mudbox tips for beginners
courtesy of MethoJ
MUDBOX tips for beginners:In general:
- Mudbox is a RAM hog. Get as much RAM as you can, and a fast SSD hard drive for your swap disk.
- Having a powerful video card helps, as well. Try searchingvideocardbenchmark.net to find the best balance between performance and price.
- Speaking of, when sculpting or painting at high levels of detail, don’t try to run other programs (especially Maya/Max, but ESPECIALLY PHOTOSHOP) at the same time!
- And use a stylus and tablet. Sculpting with the mouse is painfully slow, and you have no pressure control to fade your strokes.
- Adjust brush SIZE by holding down ‘b’and left-click-dragging.
- Adjust brush STRENGTH by holding down ‘m’ and left-click-dragging (why ‘m’? I think of it as magnitude of effect)
- Use the Smooth brush by holding down Shift, no matter what brush you have selected.
- Invert your brush by holding down Control (i.e. push inwards instead of pull outwards)
- Change subdivision levels by hitting Page Up or Page Down.
- Subdivide your mesh by hitting Shift+D.
- Control+Z is undo. Take note that the Undo queue is erased anytime you switch between subdivision levels!
- Play around with the Sculpt Brush to get a feel for the program. Almost all the other brushes are just variations on this brush!
- Use the Wax Brush more often in the beginning phases, to block out big shapes.
- Use the Smooth Brush after (almost) every sculpting stroke to blend the new sculpting into your surface.
- Use the Grab Brush to make big structural changes – like re-proportioning a body – instead of trying to do it with sculpting brushes.
- Speaking of Grab: use a really big brush – otherwise you’ll get spikes!
- I use a custom Foamy Brush for sharp brush for detailing. I click the check box for ‘Invert Function’ to keep it permanently set as negative; and I set the brush falloff to the ‘0’ on the falloff menu; I use this brush to carve in sharp details! (I don’t like the Knife brush, because the stamp sometimes prevents me from getting smooth curves.)
- Use the Repeat, Stamp, and Imprint Brushes at the end of the sculpting process, to quickly add textured surface detail to your high-res sculpt.
- It’s time to Subdivide when you start seeing jagged, zig-zag shading when you are sculpting. This indicates that your surface isn’t high-res enough to accommodate the level of detail you’re trying to add!
- Use Sculpt Layers! This will allow you to go back and undo mistakes, since the undo queue disappears every time you switch subdivision levels.
- Things looking pixelated when texture painting? Try using a higher resolution texture layer;
- If that doesn’t work, step up to a higher level of subdivision!
- Getting gaps or dotted lines when painting? Turn on ‘Stamp Spacing’ on your brush, and reduce it to 0 or -1.
- Stencils are one of Mudbox’s most powerful painting features. Learn to use them! Projection painting on to your model makes adding detail easy.
- Right click in the Paint Layers menu and choose ‘Import Layer…’ to bring in a new texture.
- Similarly, you can right-click on a layer and use ‘Export Layer…’ to save it as a texture file.
- Use ‘Move Selected to…’ to change a paint layer to a different type. For example, you can move your diffuse texture to the bump channel, to copy color detail to your bump map.
- Speaking of bump maps… to convert a black and white bump map to a normal map, right-click a bump paint layer and use the option ‘Normal from Bump’.
- Getting weird artifacts on your normal map? Try switching to Subdivisionmode in your extraction options.
- Remember to extract to the sculpt level you are actually using – i.e., extract to level 2 if that’s what you’re using in Maya. The level 0 map might work, but it will have errors, like UV seams.
- Does your displacement map look weird when you render? Make sure you save to a 32 bit format, like TIFF or EXR, otherwise displacement (and vector displacement) will look aliased and stepped.
- If your file is already running slowly, turn off the ‘Preview as…’ at the bottom of the map extraction dialog. Manually import the texture later.