Authors: Todd Emma
As the world of high-fidelity polygon modeling moves from thousands of polygons, to hundreds of thousands or even millions of polygons new software and modeling techniques are needed to create the latest levels of detail.
In this paper the author discusses several extremely success building projects and techniques that helped students move from traditional methods of polygon modeling and texturing to newer methods of digital sculpting and 3D painting. Beginning with a traditional high-polygon non-organic model created in Maya the author discusses the importance of creating high-quality geometry, the use of edge loops, four sided evenly spaced geometry and clean UVW texture maps.
After the students have successfully completed a traditional asset, the author discusses using the default meshes provided with Mudbox and the online library. The author then introduces the idea of working the entire model one level at a time and discusses the importance of layers. After using the base mesh provided with Mudbox the projects integrate the paint tools into the modeling process.
Eventually the author discusses how to create completely custom models developed using a pipeline that starts in Maya with a low resolution mesh based on the modeling techniques developed in the first high-resolution non-organic modeling project and working it through the production pipeline to Mudbox. This pipeline also includes using the paint tools in Mudbox bringing new levels of fidelity to the screen.
Through these projects the paper discusses the building blocks that allowed the class to achieve a high level of success. The paper also covers some projects from previous classes that lead to the development of these techniques.