Taking a little break from the movie. I launched Sandbox2 again and was caught all over by the magnificent cryEngine2. That and I tried the Exodus Pine Trees pack for Crysis (you can see them in the background); they truly did an excellent job! I just tweaked the shaders to get something a little bit more realistic looking, but they’re a pleasure to watch.
And so I thought I’m going to make some trees! The birch is a very peculiar (and recognizable) tree, so I got some source material from the web and went to work. The difficult part is that I had to add support for colored vertices in the Maya exporter; that’s indispensable if you want your leaves to blow in the wind in a convincing way. I think I’ll probably write a tutorial at some point on how to make a tree for Crysis in Maya.
Today I thought “I’m going to try that Mudbox program I heard so much about”. I had very briefly (~10 minutes) tried Zbrush before, but was turned away by the weird “proprietary” interface.
So I just exported a low-rez mesh I modeled in Maya, imported it in Mudbox as an .obj file and quickly started “sculpting” away using my Wacom tablet. And I have to say I was amazed by the ease of use and the level of control offered by the program. Now realism is not really my cup of tea, but this was a great refresher on anatomy. Don’t know if I’ll ever get around to finishing it though…
Anyway, I hadn’t sculpted anything since I was about 15 years old, and it was weird to find again the feeling of manipulating clay through a digital pencil and a flat screen. But hey, I’m a believer now! Kudos to the Skymatter guys, or I should say Autodesk, since they’ve been bought by the owners of Maya. Which incidentally was another great plus for me: the navigation in Mudbox is the same as in Maya! Zero learning curve! Yay! 😛