Joints or Blendshapes?

Reader Ric Williams emailed me a raft of questions about animation with blendshapes versus joints, mostly for facial animation. I thought I would post my answers here, as others might find them helpful!

Q1: When is it best to use joints or blendshapes?

Historically, it used to be that blendshapes meant pre-rendered, and joints were used for real-time stuff. Continue reading Joints or Blendshapes?

is a t-pose for characters a good idea?

The common thinking is that starting with a T-Pose for characters is the best way of building a model. However, after years of experience, I don’t use a T-Pose any more.  In fact, I think modeling in a T-Pose is a terrible idea, and results in characters that don’t look right or deform correctly. Why?

Continue reading is a t-pose for characters a good idea?

Mudbox tips for beginners

New to Mudbox? Knowing Maya or Max gives you a head start, but like all software, Mudbox has its own quirks.

I’ve assembled this list of Mudbox tips for beginners, based on my experience using the program since version 1. It should help you use the program more effectively! Continue reading Mudbox tips for beginners

Mudbox Character Sculpting: bodybuilder

Continuing the bodybuilder series, my Mudbox character sculpting tutorial lays out the process of creating detailed anatomy for a muscular character, a pretty standard piece that should be in every character artist’s portfolio.

Continue reading Mudbox Character Sculpting: bodybuilder

Mudbox texturing tools make photorealism easy

People argue whether Mudbox or ZBrush is best for sculpting – but no one argues about which is the better texture painting package. Mudbox is the best, hands down – and we can use its tool set to create amazing, photoreal textures quickly and easily.

Continue reading Mudbox texturing tools make photorealism easy

Learn to model a head for animation the right way

The head is the single most complicated challenge for an artist. Not only do you have to make an aesthetically appealing model, but there are tons of technical requirements that most artists don’t stop to think about. Learning how to model a head for animation the right way means knowing how to find the balance. Continue reading Learn to model a head for animation the right way

JAMES TAYLOR's 3D game art tutorials – Maya / Mudbox / Mental Ray / Photoshop