Prickly Pears Plant PPP
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Prickly Pears Plant PPP

Odele Snowson
by snowdele on 26 May 2020

Using weekly drill prompt nature plant to practice just learned tool: ZBrush. I almost have to take out a different brain to use it, as it's logic is way different than Maya, what I was learning this semester at school. My goal is to be fluent at ZBrush to tackle any project before our summer term starts June 20th

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Update - 29 May 2020

This is my first ever ZBrush sculpt! 


It was not easy doing this plant justice. This is one of the branches out of 5 total. This is probably still just 20% done after 3 full days of work. I would estimate about 18 hours. 

What's amazing is that ideas come from detailed work and detailed observations. I never knew so many things about the prickly pear plant. How it branches out, how it forms fruit, how the new branch decides it's going to be a fruit or a leaf. 

I also enjoy and care a lot about the randomness and realistic-ness of the plant. Too often we see in games (and movies) that these SIDE objects are generated from very generic shapes. What looks like a tree, go into its details - just repetition of shapes, totally great for speed. But something new may come out of taking the time to dive into something, almost become the prickly pear plant.

So now I can easily see a plant character, a monster, a big house, a crazy forest, anything really goes, with this as a fundamental unit. 

If I were to do this over again: 

1. Create very specific subtools. Leaf units 1-5 variations. Ripe Fruit units 1-5 variations. Unripe Fruit units 1-3 variations. Stalk 2-4 variations.

So basically sculpt partial details first, create assemblable units.

2. Load subtools into a new project. Assemble , move into place. Save.

3. Save as a new project, and now merge All Leafs, All Stalks, All Ripe Fruits, All unripe fruits. This way each subtool can have its own color 

4. Manipulate and carve details 

5. once all done assign polypaint colors. 

6. Unwrap UVs (don't know how to do this part yet) 


BCL worked real nice. 

Reference image for this large of a project was still very confusing. 

Become the cacti. 

Odele May 28 2020



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Update - 26 May 2020

Prickly Pear Project 

ZBrush full learning. 

I started learning Zbrush last week. Today is May 26th, my mom's bday. 

I forged through all tutorials in Intro to Zbrush. 

This is my first try after the tutorials. It was very frustrating. Tools, subtools. Grouping subtools, polygroups. Things disappearing learning how to get it back. This was tried on Monday May 25th, felt very disappointing. I think I approached it too much like Maya. 

The way things are viewed in the port is also not intuitive at first. It's all crazy angles. yet, it's supposed to be an intuitive software. 

Mesh situation can only be seen by pressing Shift+F 

Deleting is almost impossible, have to go through 3-4 hoops to delete any sort of mesh. Correct me if I'm wrong.

And then TODAY, as of May 26th, 2020. I used the tool more intuitively. Think like ZBrush. 

First, I used Zsphere, it was very fun. But I didn't have good control over it. Once, it's turned into mesh, there's no way to go back to Zspheres. Too costly to go to the very initial stage. It's kind of like NURBS in maya. Draw the path, extrude, then convert to polygon. Wait, no don't think like maya! 


So after Zpheres were turned into mesh, I was able to sculpt much more intuitively, this time, foregoing all annoying subtools. ZBrush seems to be great for just concentrating on one asset one tool at a time, and not have groups, or components. Again, correct me if I'm wrong. 

I learned that BIN and BFA used in combination makes great shapes, sculpts. Smoothing with any brush actually just deletes, it doesn't make the mesh any good. DynaMesh is critical to "re-stitch" together messed up polygons. 

Move brush is good BMV, but I found BSH even more intuitive. it doesn't have to be just used for dragging out horns or whiskers. 

BCB is good, but it's not powerful enough to "heal" meshes. 

BIN 1 , BFA2, BSH 3, BMV 4, BCB 5 ---> may be my short cuts. Any other brush suggestions?