Offset Null Entertainment, LLC Software and Graphic Design Solutions


Velociraptor, Part 1

We started working on a "velociraptor" model the other day. I put quotes around the name because it's the Jurassic Park version of a velociraptor - large and featherless. Normal velociraptors, on the other hand, are turkey sized and are believed to have had feathers.

I decided to start the model in ZBrush, using ZSpheres to rough out the bone structure and ZSketch to give the model volume and muscle mass before the initial sculpting.

ZSphere setup of our velociraptor

ZSphere Pose

ZSphere setup of our velociraptor

ZSpheres to define volume

Initial sculpting of our velociraptor

First sculpting pass

I began the retopology process in ZBrush, but after a crash which corrupted the latest save, I decided I'd try to retopologize the model in 3ds Max 2012. I was going to purchase WrapIt because I still have a scar from where my jaw hit the desk after watching the tech preview, but then I decided to see what new tools 3ds Max 2012 had.

As it turns out, retopologizing the mesh was quite easy in 3ds Max 2012 using no scripts, or plugins. I simply used the new sculpting and painting enhancements in 3ds Max 2012 and set the modeling tools to conform to the surface of the initial raptor sculpt. This process definitely wasn't that easy, but after learning the various hot keys and how to use the Extend and Step Build graphite tools, I was able to retopologize the raptor without much hassle.

Retopo tools in 3ds Max 2012

Useful 3ds Max 2012 tools for retpologizing a mesh

After retopologizing the mesh, I set to work creating the UVW map. The new Least Squares Conformal Mapping (LSCM) method is pretty cool and was able to handle the head, and hands surprisingly well. I kept having trouble with the feet, so I decided to use GoZ to pop them into ZBrush, UV Unwrap them, and bring them back to max for placement.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the new UVW map tools and the retopology tools in 3ds Max 2012.

Now to the fun part: detailing the mesh and giving it texture!

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