Imaging and Data Visualisation – Reflection

Imaging and Data Visualisation has been a brilliant module, ranging from the projects to our tutor who was always there to give us a hand and to explain things to us individually. The projects set were creative and allowed us to experiment within Maya and also within Zbrush/Mudbox. It was nice to be given the chance to work on a project individually with the 3D head portrait. Taking some individual time to focus on one skill was very beneficial as there was no feeling of having to please someone else.

Throughout the module I have learnt quite a bit in Maya. One of the most useful skills I’ve learnt is how to adjust the render settings in preparation for rendering. During the floating city project we had difficulties setting up various parts, some things were just not working out. But since we had to sit and go through everything to discover what the problems were, we learnt a lot about the process and when it came to rendering the next time, things were much simpler. During class we were set various tasks within Maya, even though they seemed simple, I found them very difficult. It is challenging trying to keep up within class as it moves quite fast although if more time was spent in Maya self-learning during my free time, it would be easier. Hopefully next year I will be more organised in that way so as not to fall behind in class.

My modelling in general has developed although I still need more practise as I haven’t modelled anything I am proud of. After having spent some time in Zbrush I do prefer it over Maya. Hopefully during the rest of the course I can use Maya and Zbrush together to create intricate sculpts that can be animated whist learning more about their interfaces and the workflow used between the two programmes.


Retopologizing Clare’s Head

So, this wasn’t as simple as I thought it was going to be! Its difficult trying to keep each face four-sided and even more difficult having good flow. I’m not sure if my final results are good or bad. Comparing my head topology with others, mine is very off. I tried my best!! The ear was especially difficult and as you can see from the images seen in the slideshow below, there are a few odd triangles here and there. Hopefully more practise will help in getting head topology correct.

Total number of Faces : 5215

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sculpt that Blob – Part #3

Adding hair seems like a challenge but I’m looking forward to trying it out. I will document my progress in this blog, it probably won’t be pretty but its worth a go!

I will take some advice from this video tutorial below,

So an update on the hair sculpting, I gave a go at sculpting the hair yesterday and ended up getting frustrated as I wasn’t getting the shapes right and it looked very rigid. I have saved a copy of this file but at the moment I have decided to research a bit into the fibermesh feature in Zbrush. Fibermesh seems like it could do a good job but I ran into the problem of the length of the hairs not increasing so I will have to take another look into it to try and sort this problem. Another option could be to bring the model into Maya and try rendering some hair using nhair.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 08.52.59.png

At the moment I don’t see much likeness to Clare but I’ll just continue on and try to change things near the finish line.

Update : It is now deadline day and I haven’t got the hair sculpted or made in Maya due to a really heavy cold. I’m quite disappointed that I never got the chance to get the hair sorted but at this point I just need to get it finished. I can hopefully return to this sculpt of try a new one with hair during the summer.

Sculpt that Blob – Part #2

I reached the stage where I needed to get the simple shape of the eyes in, although I didn’t want to use a sculpting tool to build the circular shape as I don’t trust myself to get it perfectly round, id decided I needed to add two spheres. This proved to be challenging and after a while of searching I found a good tutorial that clearly explained how to go about adding in spheres using the subtool and then Zplugin for mirroring and merging.

The helpful tutorial for adding eyes in Zbrush is below.

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As Clare wears glasses I figured if i modelled a simple pair of glasses that these would help improve the likeness of the overall sculpt. After I imported and resized them in Zbrush I realised that I had made the frame too thin. I can hopefully bulk them up in Zbrush.

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After having imported the glasses, I now need to change the shape of the frame, adjusting them so that they are less angular and more round. I will also have to adjust the positioning of the temple of the glasses to correctly fit behind the ear. Once I have made these adjustments I will continue to work more on the facial features, mainly the mouth, eyes, and cheekbones.

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After a few hours extra work I have tried to re-position the glasses and change their shape a little. So far I feel it is going well althoughI’m not sure if it looks enough like Clare. The eyelids are quite hard to successfully model, more practise is needed.

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I successfully got the temple of the glasses behind the ears. Although they are not perfect, Im not too worried as the parts that like off or have been a little distorted will be hidden by hair. Next step is to add some hair to this head!

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 17.47.10



Vimeo. (2017). 0208 adding eyes to your sculpt (Zbrush season 2). [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 May 2017].


Sculpt that Blob – Part #1

Our new project is something I can’t wait to get started on.

Our new head sculpt project is very exciting and is something I can’t wait to get stuck into further. At this point I have started my sculpt in Zbrush by saying down a rough head shape and then building on top of it whilst looking at my first hand photos of my lovely model, Clare.


Since Clare wears glasses I have also taken some shots of her with them off.

I have given Zbrush a try a few months back but since then I have forgotten how the interface works in areas, it is quite difficult to remember what all/any of the buttons do. My life is full of buttons these days…and I keep pressing the wrong ones. Below is a screenshot of my first hour spent on the model. I love sculpting and aim to get Clare’s head looking nearly identical to her, in shape and detail.

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I have set up the image planes for the front, left and right sides of Clare’s head. At the moment I’m finding this quite awkward and may delete these and just sculpt by looking at the photos on a different monitor. I feel I am taking too much time trying to get things perfect at the beginning when this is not needed until after I get the basic portions matching correctly.

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Link to Clare’s McMurray’s Blog –