In Volume 8 of the Ultimate Learning System, we’ll cover BodyPaint, an amazing tool that allows us to paint in a 2D and 3D environment at the same time. First, we’ll look at the different managers that are unique to the BP layout. Then we’ll review the difference between UV polygons and geometry polygons as well as the ways that they relate. We’ll learn the workflow necessary to get the most from BodyPaint, including my personal favorite, using the wizard. By the end of this volume, you’ll be able to set up material and UV coordinates and optimize your preferences for BP, and we’ll work on a project together to prepare a model of a man’s arm, create a skin texture, and then add some tattoos.
We kick off our BodyPaint volume with an overview of the layout including the 2D and 3D views. You’ll want to use the 2D view to see how your UVs are laid out and the 3D view to check how your model actually looks. We’ll review the basic concepts of when and how to use UV and geometry selections and how to transfer between them to get the most use out of the tools (loop, fill, outline, etc).
Chapter 2 is a comprehensive overview of the amazing tools offered in BodyPaint, including my personal favorite, the wizard. Using the wizard is an amazing timesaver once you have your workflow worked out and lets you condense multiple steps into a couple of clicks. Next, we use the material manager to show the different maps that can be painted on a material and the layer manager to show the different layers and alpha masks. Over the chapter, we also review the brush settings, clone stamp, gradient tool, fill, photo retouching tools, text tool, custom shapes, and the line tool.
This Chapter kicks off the tattooed arm project. First, we set up our materials and UVs using the wizard, then we break our model up into various UV islands. Next, we’ll use the UV peeler and relax to refine our UV coordinates to create our final UV layout for our texture page.
This Chapter is an overview of the different mapping types. We’ll learn how to use the interactive mapping tool to apply mapping coordinates to polygon selections instead of the whole model. We’ll also go into more detail on using the UV peeler and relax tools which were introduced in Chapter 3, as well as the magnet tool for making minor, point-level changes.
In Chapter 5, we’ll create the skin texture for our human arm project using projection painting. The first step is using fill layer to create a basic color background. Second, in our picture viewer we select and copy parts of our source image. Third, we’ll paste them into our 3D view using projection painting.
Continuing what we learned in Chapter 5, this chapter will use projection painting to fix seams in our skin texture.
In this Chapter, I’ll review using the clone brush to clean up any artifacts in our skin texture. Then, we use hide polygons to reach occluded areas.
In my favorite Chapter of this volume, we’ll add a bunch of tattoos to our arm. We’ll make extensive use of the layer manager to organize our layers and layer sets. We’ll also work with the content browser and picture viewer to easily access assets.
In the final Chapter of the BodyPaint Module of the Ultimate Learning System, we’ll create our own custom brushes. By enabling the brush effector settings, we’ll make both a suture brush and a custom star scatter brush to finish off the work on our human arm project. Spoiler alert: those of us who use either a Wacom pad or a touch screen can get a lot of use out of the brush effector settings.
After studying film and sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute, Greg Kulz began working full-time as an artist in the SF Bay Area. Always interested in experimenting with new techniques and methods, Greg turned to 3D motion graphics as his new medium in 2001. Since that time, he has worked on such projects as the Team America and WWE video games, Ironman, various short films and a number of product modeling contracts for corporate clients including Sony, Panasonic and Frito-Lay. Greg's first love remains character creation, but he also enjoys working with motion graphics, texturing, and modeling.