Zombie Woman. To Mudbox, to Max, to Photoshop.

Zombie Sketch

A male Zombie. Sorry about the quality, I do have a scanner but it doesn’t work with Windows 7.

As I’m going to be doing some experimenting with Kinect next week with some colleagues, I thought it would be a good time to start on a model and rigging so that I have something to apply the captured data to. I’ve decided to do one of the zombies first, mainly due to the fact that at my current state with the prototype, the player is believable, but the moonwalking zombie robots aren’t. I’ve also decided to start with a female zombie, which for the time being I’ve called Zombie Woman.

So I sat down to do some research on Zombies in the only way I can; I watched the Dawn of the Dead remake. Why this film I hear you ask? Because it has zombies that run. Also I hadn’t seen it for a while and I realised the HD-DVD still had the wrapper on it. (Yes I have HD-DVDs, big whoop, wanna fight?).

Zombie Skank stetch

Sketch for Zombie Woman. Again, sorry for the photo. I will buy a scanner,

After drawing a male zombie, I had a go at drawing a female zombie and despite being in a relationship for almost 15 years, I found I still can’t draw breasts without them being the size of beach balls. So I decided to tackle my inability to sculpt boobs by setting out to create Zombie Woman.

Mudbox’s Human Model

I started the process by starting out in Adobe Mudbox with the basic humanoid model. I painted the guidelines on the Mini Skirt and vest top onto the model so I had a guide where I need to alter the model. With the 2012 editions of Mudbox and Max, there is an option to send between the two applications, so I sent it Max to alter the male model to a more feminine one.

The paint layer gives me an idea how to manipulate the model

Once in Max I can start pulling the vertices around to create the basic shape for clothing and… boobs. After a while I’ve got a general shape so I cut this zombie in half!

By working with half of the model I can work on half of the model but see how the whole will turn. To do this follow the instructions found at Autodesk’s help documents.

Working in symmetry halvesthe modelling time and allows me to get the breasts to a similar size.

Anyway, much pulling around of vertices later and I’m at the stage were I am jumping between Max, Mudbox and Photoshop.

UVW map, created in Max and painted in Mubox.

This workflow works very well. For any precision alterations, I apply them in Max. For example I forgot to model an open mouth so I sent the scene from Mudbox to Max, moved a few vertices around and back to Mudbox. In Mudbox I paint the general starting blocks for the skin, but export as a .psd to Photoshop, do some precious fiddling around, then back to Mudbox.

At this stage I’m working on the low poly model, but I will move onto a high poly model and create a normal map to allow for more detail on the mesh. I’ll update the process then.

The alteration to the mouth was a lot easier in Max at the low poly stage.

Just as I started writing this my other half came home and said her shoulders are too broad and she looks like a man. Perfect! 🙁

The state of play at the moment.

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