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Old 29-03-2010, 03:48 AM   #16
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Default My WIP face

Hi all

I've learnt that the only way to really get a awsome look with texture is either zBrush and photoshop and that you should uv map humans because if you use the Maya procedural shades and apply them directly to selected vertices or faces, then there's no blending. Now I understand a little more what UV is about and why it's extensively applied to human faces especially.

I'm quite disappointed Maya doesn't have the direct 2.5D texturing like ZBrush. It just means CG artists like me have to fork out double the cash to get Maya and ZBrush instead of just one app plus of course, the indispensable Photoshop. If Photoshop itself can be included like a plug-in in Maya, then wow..how much easier would UV and human face texturing be doing everything within one application! I really wish Autodesk, Adobe and Pixologic can cooperate together on this to make a more convenient pipeline for the good of CG artists.

UV-ing or shading the head as photorealistically as possible is only the start for me because my objective is to make an animation of a close-up face to face dialogue (as in a conversation). Can you imagine a (future) time when there will be no need for actors anymore because CG artists can make nearly photorealistic heads for animations? Do you think Avatar is taking us in that direction?

P.S. >>
The sample head I'm working on is actually the sample provided by the ZBrush 30-day trial and it has creases and muscle lines (work from ZBrush can get really detailed). I will need to place muscles and align it with the creases in order to make a photorealistic animation as well as align the bump map carefully in UV. Better to do direct painting in ZBrush (Projection Master?) Any tips?

And voila! here's my head at the current moment. Please comment!
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Old 29-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #17
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With regard to my city model, you'll have to wait until 2012 when the movie hits the cinema

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Old 29-03-2010, 10:22 AM   #18
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Default Aw c'mon

Aw c'mon Jay, can't we have a preview ? :-) Pleez...pleez (P.S. I thought 2012 has just gone out into the cinemas. Is that the movie you're talkin' about?).

Anyway, I'm building up my "hands-on" time in ZBrush now. I think that's the only way to go now to build awesome human models and monsters and also try my hands at the direct texture painting stuff (pixols, 2.5D and stuff like that...)
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Old 29-03-2010, 02:15 PM   #19
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Hi ezanih
I hope to do a as near as I can photorealistic head that I will post in WIP in the next few days, I will model first in maya then to zbrush for bump and norm map finish in photoshop. It will be a sink or swim as I was not pleased with the Avatar texture I need to push myself to the next level...........dave

Edit: sorry forgot to ask did you model the head looks good
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Old 30-03-2010, 05:14 AM   #20
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Default Thanks DaveRave!

Thanks DaveRave! Can't wait to see your head. How are your kids? :-)

I didn't model the head, Dave. I'm concentrating on photorealistic texturing at the moment (especially of human faces). I'm not good at modelling heads (many, many more hours to put in) and I've heard that even for experts, it takes a good 30 minutes (I saw a UTube which speeded it up to 8mins!). Would appreciate your guidance. I got the head from a free URL (Turbosquid, can't remember?). I have got Julian Mortimer's second head modelling tutorial (not the the baked texture one) but haven't gotten around to going through the tut...maybe, tonite.

P.S. >> I saw a cool UTube tut on Photoshop CS4's latest 3D tools and the author seemed to make it so easy to take a real life photo of a human face and distorted it somewhat (using the Liquify filter and Warp Lattice deformer) to fit Maya's UV of that person's human head mesh. He brought it back into Maya and it fitted nicely! But I really don't know about UV. You still can't avoid that stretching because its actually mapping a planar 2D photo (with x,y coords) to a roughly spherical 3D head mesh (with mapped u,v coords) and the sharpness and clarity of the photo is lost during the mapping process. I haven't seen any really photorealistic CG human head so far (despite Beowulf and Liam Kemp but Avatar 3D's is quite good). The skin doesn't really seem to have the texture and the eyes also are not that photorealistic.
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Old 30-03-2010, 08:15 PM   #21
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Hi ezanih
The kids are fine how are yours, school holidays for easter comming up soon (head ache), You need a good graphics card to do 3d in photoshop alas I do not have one, hope to get a new rig soon, I was trying to find you a tutorial I had that shows you how to use a photo front and side to make the skin texture in normal photoshop alas the link is broken, I think the texture for your head is not to bad but you need the UV to control how your bump works all over the head...........dave
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Old 31-03-2010, 04:23 AM   #22
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Hi..hi...thanks Dave, you're being overly kind. My kids are fine, thanks. Just dropped them at granny's this morn. Why don't you bring your kids to Brighton? There's a funfair right by the stony beach or bring them to London to see London Eye?

I've put the same image up in WIP and most of the commenters agree that the Brownian texture is a bit too strong as well as the SSS. The lips and eyes could do with a bit more work :-)

I totally agree with you over the graphic card thing..and new rig..wow..wouldn't I like to have a state of the art system like Windows 7 64-bit, 16GB RAM, Maya 2010 64-bit and the whole Entertainment Pack (with Mudbox), ZBrush, Adobe CS4 Extended, Premiere and After Effects.

Still not sure whether its better to have a Linux rig because with Linux, if you had 32 or 64 gigs RAM, Linux can use all of it! Those Hollywood guys used to use Iris or Silicon Indigo rigs with 128GB RAM and a UNIX system for their Hollywood blockbusters.

A word about UV though. If you stretch a great clear photo of a man's face over a 3D spherically curved head, wouldn't there be distortion and stretching? I have not yet seen a UV head that is believable up till now (Beowulf is a case in point) - its either the skin is too blurry or the eyes are too blurry.

Cameron's Avatar 3D UV texturing is great by leaps and bounds. I think if they did try to texture a human head mesh or a human body, it would be believable but alas, Sam Worthington might be out of a job!

Probably its the UV technology they use - the software apps and advanced, expensive computers. I think a step forward for me to do more photorealistic human heads and human bodies is to start using ZBrush right now and use their direct painting (because ZBrush's UV mapping technique is very sharp and accurate and uses very small accurately mapped tiles instead of the normal planar, spherical or cylindrical mapping in Maya).

And hey, let me know how you're getting on with your head! :-)

Bye!
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Old 31-03-2010, 11:40 PM   #23
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Hi ezanih
To make a photo realistic model you need a lot of photos of that person, hi res if possible front and side but that is only one part, lighting, hair,spec, model, bump, so much...............I will post soon if just that I have not tryed this before and do not want to make a ass of myself and am doing a lot of work before I post, we have got a guy called bullet because he is fast you can call me snail.....................dave
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:40 AM   #24
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[@daverave : I will post soon if just that I have not tryed this before and do not want to make a ass of myself and am doing a lot of work before I post...]

[@daverave : I think the texture for your head is not to bad but you need the UV to control how your bump works all over the head]

Hi...hi....hi...a strange statement comin from an Avatar 2010 Gold Medal Winner. WAY TO GO DAVE !!! IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU'RE THE LAST MAN STANDING. JAMES CAMERON CAN SUBSTITUTE YOUR AVATAR WITH ANY OF THEIRS AND I DON'T THINK WE'D SEE ANY DIFFERENCE! A JOB VERY WELL DONE!!! YOUR KIDS WILL BE PROUD !!!

About UV though, I still stand by my previous statement : " If you stretch a great clear photo of a man's face over a 3D spherically curved head, there will be distortion and stretching. I have not yet seen a UV human head that is believable up till now (Beowulf is a case in point) - its either the skin is too blurry or the eyes are too blurry - I'm not talking about an alien head or something, I'm talking about a human head

But your UV of your avatar head is a good illustration of UV technique well employed - its pretty photorealistic. Your hairs are great and so's your eyebrows.

And you know what ? I've been searching everywhere for a Maya eyebrow tutorial until I read your Avatar WIP forum post. THANKS A MILLIION DAVE !!! :-) :-)

Dave The Avatar Gold Medal Winner 2010, I really have two special requests - I really want you to share with me your technique for making that superb looking hair. Are you using Joe Alter's Shave N Hairbrush ? And those beautiful texture for your Avatar especially the lips ? Were they painted directly in ZBrush ?

Many thanks and C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S !!! Never thought I could have a SM Gold Medal Winner as a friend ;-)
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:20 AM   #25
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Default Some useful references for head

Hi Dave

Since you're doing a human head and UV texturing it, I thought you'd find these tuts useful (I certainly did and have kept them for my UV references) :-

Search for

(1) Potrait of an actress (Marlene Dietrich) by Indonesian CG artist Max Wahyudi

(2) The Station Master

(3) The Last Joker by an Iranian CG Artist

(4) Making of The Kid by Rakesh Siddhu

(5) The Last Elf (very photorealistic)

(6) www.liamkemp.com (A Wonderful Life)

Here's the URL : http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tut...tutorials.html

P.S. >> Oh ya, I noticed you're using Maya 2009 Unlimited. Did you find the Maya Muscles feature useful ? (I only have 2008). Another great CG tool you should get is PShop CS4 Extended - its got 3D tools built-in and seamless import/export into Maya

Hope you find them useful!
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:14 PM   #26
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Hi ezanih
Not used the Muscles thing yet, Yes I have maya 2009 unlimited, I used the maya hair system to create the avatars hair, first I create curves in the shape of the hair I wanted then create a nurb sphere then assign a hair system to it from this you can assign the system to the curves, the avatar has 3 hair systems.
1:hair sweeping back
2:eye brow
3:braid
I did not use zbrush for the avatar, but created the texture in photoshop using photos of the avatar and painting. the lips are a cut out photo adjust and made to fit with the Liquify filter then a bump was painted over it.
I have got CS4 but at the moment cannot use the 3D bit because of my graphics card, will have a look at those links..........................dave
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:46 AM   #27
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Hi dave

Thanks for sharing that hair procedure, dave. I've also tried Maya Hair (I only got Maya 2008 Unlimited and PShop CS3 Standard compared to your 2009 Unlimited and CS4 Extended Wow!) but I noticed there is also Maya Fur and also PaintFX Hair (where you can choose the different types of hair from Visor). I wonder what kind of hair we can get from these 3 features. I also know the PaintFX hair can be converted to poly for rendering in MR (hair can only be rendered with Maya Software)

Ok, now I know how photorealistic UVs are done...literally from photos! :-)

I'm missing those Maya Muscle and Liquefy commands to really help me make UV-ing easy but have to go the long route for now and see if there's any workarounds until I get some extra dosh.

P.S >> Right now, I'm taking a break from UV and playing around with planar images and camera motion path as well as making explosions in Maya. I have also tried Maya Cloth briefly so if there's anything I can help, just give me a shout :-)

Happy rendering,

Ezani
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #28
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Hi ezanih
Are you sure you do not have the Liquefy filter in CS3 it might be a update, as far for the muscle you could use blend shape. I dont think I will need to use the muscle thing that much unless I was going to animate some animal, that link was good the best one for me was Making of The Kid by Rakesh Siddhu. Daffs are now comming up soon be summer..............dave
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Last edited by daverave : 03-04-2010 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:23 AM   #29
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Default Hi daverave

Dave

Will you hit me on the head for a moment ... omigosh... of course there's Liquify command in Photoshop CS3 so that's a big YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for me. I played around with it for a moment on Saturday and I especially like the Pixel Distort feature (the first button). Hi hi .. now I can do it just like in the UTube tutorial. I'm pretty excited.


And of course how daft of me. You can use Blendshapes and still stimulate the muscles...duh! I'm going to do that in my animations later. Just that I'm worried if my PC can take it as I'm working with high polycounts and with BS, you need to make several duplicate copies of the same head. I think I'll stick with a pair at a time for any individual ma or mb scenes. Thanks for that slick advise. :-)


A couple of questions :-


1. I displayed Polycount details with Display-->Heads Up but I can't get one figure that says what's my polycount. Maya's giving me couple of numbers for Tris, Vertices, Edges, Quads. Which number says what my polycount is ?


2. I know Relax and Merge can reduce the polycounts. I tried that but Maya says I haven't "Prepared" my mesh. I clicked Prepared but I still can't get it to Relax. I can use Merge but I don't want to be selecting individual edges one by one and merge - there hundreds of thousands of them. Is there anyway I can reduce polygon count in one go. I have several high quality but high polycount meshes (one face and one robot) which I need to reduce the complexity as my PC frequently crashes as I work on it.



OK I'm going to UV my ass off now with actual photos I get from the Internet!!! Will post them when I'm done and compare with the black man's head I did using purely Maya's native shaders. I dunno...you tend to lose the sharpness in the skin and eyes with UV..maybe I'll do the eyes separately. I'm pretty excited with UV now!

There's a new brilliant UV tut on The Making of The Potrait of Sheikh Zayed. You should check it out.

P.S. >> Have you decided where to take your kids yet for the hols ?

Cheers
EZANI
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:08 AM   #30
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Hi ezanih

I am sorry but for you question number 1 I do not know the answer I thought it was fases but think I am wrong
Quetion 2 I dont think I understand the question are you asking how to reduce the polygon count of a model to make it more rendable.............dave
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