Creating Hard-Surface Stamps Outside of Mudbox

Posted by Craig Barr, 26 October 2012 7:35 pm

During Siggraph 2012, I showed some techniques for achieving smooth, hard-surfacing in your sculpting workflows in Mudbox.  The main-stage Siggraph presentation for this is embedded in this post here:

SIGGRAPH 2012 - Los Angeles: Mudbox Demo and Notes

We actually had a second presentation area located at the side of the Autodesk booth that was not broadcast as it was for live attendees only!   I talked a bit about the creation of custom vector displacement stamps for hard-surface sculpting.   I have put together a little video (20 minutes in length) that highlights this process.   It’s quite simple and it utilizes any external polygonal modeler.  In this case, I am using Maya, but the exact same thing can be achieved in Max, Soft, etc., so certainly feel free to use what you are most comfortable with.    Watch the video to see these tips in action.   I have also included 9 hard-surface VDM stamps that I used for sculpting up the cybersuit-armor.   Feel free to use as you please!   There is also a single-face poly plane attached here as well.

Basic shapes created in Maya to be made into VDM stamps:

I will highlight the basic process here:

- Start with a simple 1-face poly plane (attached to this blog!)

- Subdivide the plane up a few steps (to produce enough edges and verts to give you enough to model with…so think out your basic profile shape before you start)

- Select the plane and send to Maya, Max, Soft (or export as FBX/OBJ to use elsewhere)

- In Maya, be sure your cameras are framed in each viewport to allow you to see and select                 all verts/edges

- Push, pull and adjust verts and edges while adhering to these rules:

                    - Don’t adjust or affect the corners

                    - Don’t change the vertex count 

                    - Model with uniform edge flow to maintain edge flow when sculpting

- EXPORT the model as OBJ or FBX

- In Mudbox, and with your original plane selected, goto File>Import as Layer.   Use the defaults (by vertex count and Delta to base checked)

- Extract the VDM stamp via the Map Extraction menu using Relative Tangent

- you can add stamps via the tray or access them in the Image Browser (see video)

The video also outlines the proper settings for your Sculpt tool (ie. strength to 100) and how to store a custom-sculpt tool on the tray as well.

Lastly, in the event you may have additional questions about Vector Displacement and map creation, here are some other videos I have created in the past that you may find useful!

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Posted 26 October 2012 10:12 pm

Thank you Craig.


Posted 27 October 2012 2:19 am

Thank You Craig, I've been waiting for this as you know already Thank you so much.


Posted 29 October 2012 2:49 pm

That's great! Thank you so much.

Maya Guru

Posted 19 November 2012 7:54 pm

Very nice Craig you are leading the way perfectly as we all want this to be in this way .


Posted 3 December 2012 4:36 pm

Thanks Craig


Posted 27 March 2015 2:26 am

thank you Craig

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