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Texturing and Sculpting Essentials in Mudbox

Jonathan McFall, from Escape Studios, presents a 5 1/2 hour special course for cmiVFX on in-depth sculpting and texuring. Jonathan focuses mainly on Autodesk Maya and Mudbox, explains some of the lesser-known but powerful features of Mudbox, and also touches on various workflows including ZBrush, Mari, and Photoshop. This course is packed with valuable content. Buy it now!

Length: 5 Hours 24 Minutes 31 Seconds

Price: $59.95


Everything you need to learn how to sculpt and texture models with an artisitc flair.

Jonathan McFall speaking, I’m one of the full time lecturers at Escape Studios in London. I'm currently teaching on full-time 3D courses, but I also teach on 2D courses. I teach everything from modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, plus a bit of rigging, animation, plus I also teach Nuke and compositing, and Silhouette as well.

The software that I normally try to use (well I guess it depends on the job) is Maya, but when it comes to sculpting I use a lot of ZBrush. Today, actually, we’re going to be looking at Mudbox. There are some really interesting skills that you can do in Mudbox that are hard to do in some other software. We’re going to focus on some really interesting techniques. We’re going to look at Maya and then the workflow between Maya and Mudbox, and also some nice tricks in Mudbox.

I decided a couple of months ago to create a graphic novel that has to do with the Terminator. So I’ve been experimenting with a few different graphic styles and this is one of them that I came up with. They’re quite graphic, and look painterly.

This is an image that we’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. I modeled everything inside of Maya and I sculpted some details inside of ZBrush. After I textured it in Mudbox, I also textured it separately in Mari. I was quite curious to work out the benefits of some of the different software. I think Mudbox is a slightly understated software, but it has some really surprising tricks.

We’re going to look at some different techniques in Mudbox, like sculpting, projecting different photographs, sculpting from photographs, we’re going to look at the paint tools, some of the sculpting tools, and then also some of the power of the sculpt layers and the paint layers. It’s really interesting and definitely worth watching.

Some of the other images I made for fun: Terminator and then baby-Terminator. And then with some different kind of graphic, postural style, with lens-flares, and things like that, and then sort of playing around with more graphic images.

That's a rough introduction of what we’re going to be doing. In terms of the techniques that we’re going to be going over, we’re going to be looking at the UVs inside of Maya so that it’s ready to go to Mudbox. And then after that, we’re going to send it to Mudbox and then we’re going to add things like paint layers and show you how to use things like brushes. After that, we’re going to look at how to use stamps and stencils. How to project photographs. How to change the color of the photographs we’re projecting. How to use layer masks. How to export textures from Mudbox to Photoshop. Then, how to import them back to Photoshop. After that, how to create different kinds of channels, for example, specular, reflection, diffuse, and also how to copy between channels, how to transfer images, and about sculpting and some of the nice sculpting features in Mudbox.

After that, once we’re happy, and I’ve shown you how to experiment with the different kinds of photographs for texturing and sculpting, then we’ll import some of those maps back into Maya. It will be lots of interesting techniques and also a bit of a workflow so you can see how you can use these programs together and how they are used on a frequent basis in the industry.

Once we’ve exported all these maps back into Maya, we’ll put them into, for example, an AI standard, one of the new Arnold shaders. We'll then take a look at adding some light and HDR.

I wanted the final image to look like a finished poster, so I experimented with some graphics inside of Photoshop and Photoshop brushes, to add a rough textural look around the edges, which we'll also go into briefly.

Ok great, let’s get started!

Intro Music: Terminator Salvation - Opening - Buy on Amazon

Software Requirements:

Maya 2017, Mudbox, Photoshop


Video-on-demand streaming is available through the website to subscribers. In addition, video files are available for download for those who directly purchase individual titles from their cart. The necessary project files are included for download.

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Watch the first chapter for free.

About Jonathan McFall

Jonathan McFall

Jonathan has worked in VFX for over 10 years and has had many different roles. He is currently teaching 2D and 3D with full-time and part-time VFX courses at Escape Studios, London’s elite training facility. He is also a member of the VFX society. He has worked in 2D and Comp and as comp supervisor in Hengdian, China, plus he has developed training videos on Matte Painting in Nuke. His filmography includes Prometheus, Narnia, Dredd, Star Wars, the finale of the Harry Potter series, Men in Black 3, and Dark Shadows. Among this impressive list of films and even though he is lecturing full-time, Jonathan has found the time to create training videos that shed some light into his teachings in 3D, VFX, and Comp. His training topics range from Concept Art, Modelling, Texturing, Lighting, Render, Prep, and then Comping. Jon's favorite weapons of choice are Nuke, Silhouette, Maya, Zbrush, Mudbox, Mari, 3D Equalizer, and Photoshop: pretty much the whole VFX pipeline stored in his brain. He has recently released training videos on sculpting and texturing in Mudbox and has now developed a training video about speed painting in Photoshop. In Jonathan’s latest video, he explores and dissects the methodology behind concept art and matte painting in order to take you on a step by step guide through the creation of some fantastic speed paintings. In Jonathan’s teachings, he uses a variety of software tools to demonstrate the limitless styles that can be created.