Sculptris: Ear practice and thoughts

Ok so here are a few of many done this week. For this week I only sculpted ears in Sculptris, with various references and starting points.

While I didn't exactly improve with it overnight I do think I've reached a point where I can at least add ears to a sculpt roughly, then be able to add detail as I go. The results of practise are below. Note some of these are really bad, and it's a learning process. I'm putting these up to hopefully give some people confidence that yes although they may suck they will get better over time!

 Test 1: This was my first attempt using a reference found on the net. I was using masks and getting pretty detailed too early on, making smaller adjustments pretty hard. The end result at least looks like an ear which isn't too bad!

 Test 2: This was actually following an ear modelling tutorial for maya. The first 5 minutes the guy explains the key lines in the ear so I tried to sculpt with an emphasis on the lines and curves. It was sculpted a little quicker than the first and the simpler style gives it a little flow. (Sculptris doesn't like too much masking or pushing geometry back in on itself, lesson to self remember to save!!)

 Test 3: This to me is a little step back but an experiment. I followed a clay sculpting step by step for a small toy head. It was 3 images next to each other and had the steps laid out above. It 'kinda' works in terms of exterior shape however it is stuck on to the side of the head and whereas in clay you could stick a palette knife behind and pull it out it can't be done easily in 3d sculpting.

The below test wasn't from reference but using the key areas from above. It was a 10 minute speed test just to see if I could make something with a start point so that from here a more detailed model could be made with the rest of the head.

Test 4: This was more about the characteristics of the ear to me, I used a regular standard brush to pull out the Tragus (the little knobbly bit on the right) and then a mound for the general ear. From there I used the standard brush on that mound to drag out the lobe and helix (helix is the curved bit at the top left/ the main arch). Doing it this way already pulled the ear out of the model and gave enough room to sculpt inside. A quick crease tool to extenuate some lines and emphasis on the lobe and it seemed to be ok.

I think the below test is my favourite. While not the most accurate it was the quickest with average results. It would fit in to the style of a more cartoony model which is fine and more detail can be added.

All of these (and all my sculpting in previous posts) has just been with a mouse for now (wacom on loan to a friend) so hopefully that should encourage others to try 3D sculpting!

Here are my thoughts on it all:

  • Practice! Keep at it and things do improve. Keeping a log is great to show before and afters. I have my first ever zbrush sculpts in the first or second post on here as a reminder.
  • I think that using reference is great for this however it can get easily confusing, the geometry just doesn't make sense when trying to convert it to 3d at times! Modelling it in a 3d package like maya may help give a sense of which bits are lower or higher in the ear extrusion itself.
  • To me after trying this it helps me realise that in a lot of sculpts the ear while an integral part of the head isn't that needed to nail as much as say the face. It is still important (particularly if basing a sculpt of another) but the 'feel' of the ear tends to be acceptable, especially if just doodling. It does improve your head sculpts even if basic, adding to the overall shape and feel of the model.
Finally I completely forgot to add this in a previous post but here is a very basic doodle in zbrush using a base mesh Danny Williams use. It was just a basic orc with a helmet but the mesh is a great starting point to practise some basic busts. Danny also sometimes runs seminars and lessons which hopefully one day I'll take!


This entry was posted on Friday, 26 October 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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