Here is the final render of my ZBrush Self Portrait sculpt. I created the sculpt entirely in ZBrush primarily using Dynamesh and Fibermesh techniques.
While making the model I stumbled upon the ZBrush retopology tools and spent a few nights learning how to implement them on my goofy mug. The retopolgy tools are a little clumsy but I found with time and effort that they were able to get the job done. Fibermesh can be a real memory drain so this new resource is a godsend for my little laptop. Now that I have a retopology option I am able to subdivide my models in a much more efficient way and increase the resolution I am able to work at significantly. I feel like a fool for not figuring out this function earlier.
I love dynamesh, don’t get me wrong, but it can be difficult to work with on the back-end, especially after you have found your character. The high polycounts cause lots of memory crashes which up your chances of lost work and make computational heavy actions like transposes nearly impossible. But the real killer and the reason I began researching retopology options is the lack of UV’s . You create these beautiful characters but can’t do anything with them outside of ZBrush. The lack of UVs was a big problem for me on some of my previous sculpts especially when I was trying to render glass. At the time I wanted to render in MentalRay but couldn’t get any of my color information over to maya. Now I can do this easily so I couldn’t be happier.
My other big experiment this time around was using a morph target to sculpt the hair. My previous Fibermesh hair attempts all involved raw extrusions which I would sculpt using the move elastic brush to the desired styling. This time though I sculpted a guide model, ie morph target, and grew the hair to fill in the difference. This worked rather brilliantly and i’m pleased with the results. The one small catch is that my final hair has some unknown error which has block all attempts at exporting and transposing. I will have to rebuild it at some future date if I ever want to animate this fellow.
For those who are interested into this sort of thing. Here is the topology and a few hi-res renders.