Category Archives: Animation Techniques for Visual Effects


I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out Zbrush and looking for useful information, I Have been mislead countless times and created problems for myself. Really underestimated the time it would take to do these tasks or even knowing i would have to do them.

I want to re-film but i cant due to weather and time.

Anyway I have started tracking shots in Boujou 5 and exporting the camera solves into 3DSMax


Once it was inside 3DSMax i had to re-orientate my 3D rock man in 3DSMax to match up with the footage, which was a right pain because i tried this several times and the camera solve was coming in upside down or looking down or something stupid. I think it has something to do with Max’s Axis system, being that Z is the axis that points up in 3D Space



Managed to create a UV Map for my 100k decimated poly model. but the topology is not good, i think the whole point in UV master is to use it after you’ve created a UV Map on your original first model.

In the end i just gave up trying to UV Map and attempted to rig my 500k poly model, all was going well until i started correcting joints with envelopes, vertex selection or weights. it was ridiculously Laggy, every time i made an adjustment to the radius of an envelope the program would freeze for about 30 seconds.

So i un-linked the 500k poly model with the biped and put the 100k poly model in its place and connected that. It was laggy but bearable at least.

Not what i wanted to do atall because i have this stretched UV Map and i seriously need to start rendering



Found a solution, But Created a problem

Found a plug-in with zbrush called Decimation Master, this means i can reconstruct a low poly model but it still looks similar to my high poly model.

However i cant decimate it too much or it stops looking like my model.

So i took it down to 100k polys, which should be alright for rigging. I cant find a definite answer anywhere online to what is a good number for rigging.

The problem now is UV unwrapping this 100k decimated model…

The topology is completely different, i cant even seem to figure out how to get my bump map from my high poly model onto the 100k poly model since the models topology is so different, i dont think its even possible. I tried to divide the 100k model to 2 million polys but this still means i’ll have to paint in some definition. I Cant get it to work anyway, I’ve wasted so much time on this.

Im running out of time and my group project is going downhill because they are not doing much to help me so stressed on this.




After understanding Zbrush a lot more now, I’ve learnt that i have made a huge mistake…

I think somewhere along the Zbrush process i was trying to be organized, deleted the lower sub divisions and carried on modifying my model, because of this I’ve made it impossible for me to “bake” my model, therefore i’ll have to re-zbrush my very first model again :/ in order to do what is known as “baking”… its the creation of a bump map onto a low poly model. i tried hitting the reconstruct the lower levels of division button but i just got an error message.

Although i was fairly confident that i would be able to rig a 500k poly model, i changed my mind now cause i don’t want to run into problems.

Furthermore UV Unwrapping is now impossible, 500k polys is too much and it just crashes Zbrush… i been trying to use UV Master which is pretty cool because it allows you to paint where you want seams to be.


Been filming and taking pictures

Went filming and they gave me the wrong tripod. The screw didn’t even fit the camera properly so it was sliding all around the plate. managed to make 2 cylindrical HDRI’s somehow

The filming wasn’t great because of it getting dark so quickly these days didn’t have much time



Brush Problems…

Oh No…

Some of the tools in Zbrush have a tendency to modify the opposite sides of a mesh!

All this time I’ve been making things look cool on the outside, some of the inside is all messed up.

Here is a picture of a tooth i was trying to flatten with the flattten tool in 2 places to bring out a more sharp edge on the middle of the tooth


Heres the opposite side of the tooth



This is has happened and is happening all over my model, the spikes on his back, the feet, pretty much anywhere with a harsh edge or an area where the opposite side of the mesh is close by.

I did eventually find something that almost fixed the brush from doing this, but it didn’t always work.

In the image below sometimes hitting the topological button and adjusting the range would fix it.


I Think it has something to do with my model not being smoothed while i divided the subdivision levels




Think i might get rid of the story aspect, and just have him awaken and break from a cliff face. Then smash up a building or two. Keeping it simple 😛

Furthermore the Zbrush is looking pretty sweet now, but I’m getting worried about this poly count thing. Apparently you can project high polygon model detail as a bump map onto a low polygon model, but i don’t see how that will help me much, as i am using Zbrush to sculpt distinct 3D features i wouldn’t easily be able to do in 3DSMax. Also i really like the way the high poly casts shadows in several places.

I should of maybe put more detail in my first model, because i cant easily sculpt the rock mans features with a low-medium polycount model in zbrush, just doesn’t look right.

I’m too far into this model now 😦 i cant start again now.POO

Zbrush is Fun but also Not

So I Been using Zbrush for a little while now and it is pretty damn annoying to navigate, and you can sometimes end up clicking something by mistake and losing your work. The UI layout is pretty weird…

I tried out Mudbox recently and it seemed much more simple to pick up but I am getting used to Zbrush so i think i’ll keep going with that one.

Been trying hard to perfect my first 3dsmax model because i want good topology, and zero holes in my mesh.


Its getting there…

my coursemate Blane is using Zbrush but i think he divided his model too much, as he was having trouble rendering. His model is in the 2 or 4 million polygon region :S

I rendered this frame with Vray and it didn’t take more than 30 seconds, the model has 500,000 polygons.


My 3D rock man is looking kinda cool now, but i want it better. I’ve been looking at Zbrush and it looks awesome, but I am not sure if it’ll be too complicated to use.





So far I’m not quite sure yet how i’m going to make the odd rocky geometry