ANM230 – Wk08

In this blog I will be researching part of my self directed learning which is modeling hard surface in Zbrush. Along with the team, I decided to use Zbrush to refine the base model of our character’s armor. Below is the base mesh of the armor created in 3DS Max;

Screenshot (54).png


My task was to model in the details of the armor such as around the breastplate and abdominal area.

I researched hard surface modeling in Zbrush to achieve the sharp detail which I desired. The procedure to create sharp edged details is not very complicated with the steps consisting of using the Mask Curve or lasso to create a clean mask, then in the Tool palette in Deformation rolldown there is an option to resize the selection which extrudes the masked part(“Tutorial: ZBrush -Hard surface modelling techniques.”, 2017).

Below is the refined high subdivision model:

Screenshot (55).png

In order to take it back to 3DS Max, however it has to be at its lowest subdivision which unfortunately means that the sharp detail is lost. The solution to this is to bake a normal map which will bring out the missing detail.

Following an online video tutorial (“Zbrush 4 R6 zremesher – Awesome way of doing retopology”, 2017), I learned the correct way to use ZRemesher which not only creates a new clean topology for the model but it is also possible to ‘tell’ the software which areas should be denser.

After remeshing the model, the high poly detail is projected onto the low poly model which I learned to do from another video tutorial  (“zBrush: High poly sculpt to Low poly mesh and normal map workflow”, 2017). After this, the normal map is baked from the Normal map rollout.



 Tutorial: ZBrush -Hard surface modelling techniques.. (2017). Michael Arbuthnot. Retrieved 22 July 2017, from

Zbrush 4 R6 zremesher – Awesome way of doing retopology. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 22 July 2017, from

zBrush: High poly sculpt to Low poly mesh and normal map workflow. (2017). Vimeo. Retrieved 22 July 2017, from

ANM230 – Wk07


This week our lecturer taught us the rigging method in 3DS Max known as the CAT rig and it was an amazing revelation. The simplicity of the CAT rig as compared to the manual method of rigging which I was familiar with before is such a relief. I am still happy that I have initially learned the harder way of rigging since it is the more technical way which may be useful in the future.

CAT rig, which stands for Character Animation Toolkit, is a skeletal animation system built into 3DS Max. It allows you to create flexible and practical character rigs in a fast and simple method without the use of code  (“Getting Started: Rigging with CATRigs, 2017).

The workflow is pretty simple and follows the following pattern. A CAT parent is created  and placed at the center below the character. Then in the modifier of the parent helper, you create a Pelvis helper and from there it keeps going to leg, spine etc. Through this process, one gradually builds the skeletal structure using helpers and once that is complete, you simply add a skin modifier to the model itself and make suitable adjustments to the skinning. CAT also has pre-made animation cycles such as the walk cycles which really simplifies and accelerates the animation process.

Here is a screenshot of the CAT bone structure I created in class on the provided model:

Screenshot (35).png



Getting Started: Rigging with CATRigs | 3ds Max | Autodesk Knowledge Network. (2017). Retrieved 10 July 2017, from

Tutorial – Setting up a CAT Rig for CRYENGINE in 3ds Max – CRYENGINE V Manual – Documentation. (2017). Retrieved 10 July 2017, from