other work

Digital Head Sculpt and Retopology

Our assignment on blackboard.

I’m really looking forward to giving digital sculpting a go. The classmate I will be sculpting is my friend Lydia. These are the reference photographs I will working from:



11/5/2017: LOST MY SCULPT! 

Now I understand why you save duplicate files and screenshot your work as you go. I have been working on my head model for around a week now, but as I was in the final stages (adding details, defining the eyelids and hair) the file corrupted and will no longer display the sculpt. The backup .bak file has also corrupted. I have to start again.


This is the only screenshot I have of my sculpt, from when I was demonstrating the effects of different tools and brush settings to someone else and thought the results were funny. I should maaaaybe have taken some screenshots of the actual model but you can at least catch a glimpse of the progress I had made, for example the eyes and ears.

I’m annoyed that I lost my work but that doesn’t erase what I’ve learned. I’ve gotten to grips with Mudbox now, and I do enjoy using it, so I think I should be able to resculpt the head quicker than before. And I will do the smart thing and save multiple versions, taking plenty of screenshots and recording my process as I go.

15/5/2017: HEAD SCULPT 2

Took at little break from Mudbox while I completed my other assignments. Now I’m fresh and ready to start again from scratch!


Starting with Mudbox’s basic head mesh I first worked on the lowest subdivision layer (as recommended in this video) to get the general shape of the head to match Lydia’s.ss5


Using the Image Plane option on the camera helped me with accuracy.  I mostly used the grab tool on high strength/size settings to change the shapes but tried to make  sure the mesh didn’t get too uneven or warped in the process.

ss8ss7ss6The mesh at the back of the head is a little wonky but I don’t think it’s the highest priority area and it was difficult to shape right so I will leave it for now.

I’ve saved a duplicate file of this stage of the sculpt and am ready to move up the subdivision layers into more detail.

Subdivision Level 2 – shaping the face in more detail:


I have begun shaping the nose and mouth but need to move up to Subdivision Level 3 to work more complex details.


This is as far as I’ve gotten today. I’m happy with the mouth and nose for now, I will add the other details (ears, eyes, hair) later on at a higher level.


Moved up to Subdivision Level 4 as I continue adding detail to the sculpt.


This is as far as I’m going with the sculpt. It’s serviceable but not perfect – some of the facial features are still off, especially the mouth and ears, but I don’t think there’s a lot else I can do for them now. I need to move on to the retopology, especially since it will take a while as I’ve never used the Quad Draw tool before.

I’ve saved a duplicate version of the finished(?) sculpt then stepped the mesh down to level 0 to make it easier to work with when I export it to Maya.

17/5/2017 –  RETOPOLOGY 





This is the retolopologised mesh I am submitting, I’m not very happy with it as the edge flow is still quite chaotic and there is inefficient use of polygons, but I did my best to ensure there were no irregular polygons at least. I think I would have to start the whole thing over to do it properly. I should have tried to work more closely with a reference pattern and symmetry, but at least I now have gotten to grips with the Quad Draw tool and understand what retopologising entails. I will be able to do a better job in the future.


Bell, A. (2014). 3D tips: Retopology in Maya 2015 | 3D Artist – Animation, Models, Inspiration & Advice | 3DArtist Magazine. [online] 3dartistonline.com. Available at: https://www.3dartistonline.com/news/2014/11/3d-tips-retopology-in-maya-2015/ [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Chinn, J. (2015). Maya 2016 Basics – Quad Draw Tool. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqm6_lJAW_k [Accessed 17 May 2017].




Download.autodesk.com. (2014). Mudbox Help. [online] Available at: http://download.autodesk.com/global/docs/mudbox2014ext/en_us/index.html?url=files/Import_Reference_Image.htm,topicNumber=d30e9506 [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Hermes, M. (2015). Maya 2016 tutorial : The Modeling Toolkit Part 1 ( Quad Draw ). [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO5ABJ7OZlQ [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Kind, P. (2014). Mudbox for Beginners. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3qZwt5l3xE [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Knowledge.autodesk.com. (2016). Create polygons with Quad Draw | Maya | Autodesk Knowledge Network. [online] Available at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Maya/files/GUID-5308DF0F-8E0F-4851-A203-491A597001AC-htm.html [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Knowledge.autodesk.com. (2016). Receive objects from Mudbox | Maya LT | Autodesk Knowledge Network. [online] Available at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya-lt/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/MayaLT/files/GUID-BA24F66D-BD34-4C30-B6B6-15718C009C09-htm.html [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Knowledge.autodesk.com. (2016). Retopologize a mesh with Quad Draw | Maya | Autodesk Knowledge Network. [online] Available at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Maya/files/GUID-03933C1F-1BA7-4E7E-AAB5-31FB0E6A77B2-htm.html [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Moore, M. (2012). Marcia Moore gives character sculpting techniques using Autodesk Mudbox 2012. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6diXoPHts [Accessed 17 May 2017].

Taylor, J. (2014). Mudbox BASIC HEAD SCULPTING tutorial. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh0mZcblVJ4 [Accessed 17 May 2017].



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