Friday, March 14, 2014

Zbrush Portraits and Thoughts on Finishing

As a bit of downtime between work and atelier studies, I've been doing some zbrush sculptures to see what information is sticking and what's not. Thankfully it seems like the stuff I've learned so far is lodging itself firmly in my memory!

Features are iffy here and there on some of these, and that makes sense since I haven't done extensive studies of features yet.  But I have noticed the planar head studies paying off big time, I've become incredibly mindful of proportion and placement, and even some quirks that help out with fleshing out a head. I'll have to make a post about that soon.

I think I may be preemptive and work on some eye structure studies soon, because I've noticed myself really trying to grok how that assembles, but I'm defaulting to gut instincts on it instead of how it really looks and comes together. Looking at modern and classical sculptures' approach to eyes made me switch out my eyes three times - you'll notice that there's three varieties of eyes amongst this group, with the last being the most recent/accurate to what I want.

Something I have noticed in regards to sculpting these heads and dinosaurs, and when I think about it in regards to my 2D stuff it's the same thing - progress on a piece works a steep curve. When you first start on a project you make GREAT progress, that's why it's always exciting to block out gestures or thumbnails or rough in shapes in clay. But about midway in the curve you move from block-in to refinement and iteration, and from there on it's a finishing game.

You see what I mean? Basically you start to feel like you aren't making as much progress as you did initially, even though you're putting in the same amount of time. Eventually, if you're smart enough, you get a feel for when you're experiencing massively reduced ROI, and you consider the project done.  Sometimes a person quits earlier than they should, and sometimes a person goes for longer then they should, and risks making the work too labored. Only real way to get a feel for when it's right is to do it enough times.

One last picture. This was a hand study I just "finished." I put that in quotations because truth be told it's not near what I felt the finish should be for it, but I just ran out of steam on it. It's not a failure in the slightest, I actually pulled away a lot of great information from it that I can incorporate into my next hand study, and by doing so I can get further along the curve before I start to feel the spinning wheels effect.