Sculpting Lips on a Plane Tutorial in Mudbox 2013

Uploaded by adarbronstein on 18.01.2013

Hi, it's Adar. This video was made as an example for students
to how to create lips from a plane.
Basically I start with a basic plane, if I'll look for a second on its wireframe
I can see it has subdivisions, not many
If I will use the Wax tool you can see I can reach a decent resolution
already in this stage
I usually prefer to lower one subdivision level (Page Down) when I start with a plane
so I could have even less polygons, that way I can draw very general shapes
I always start a new layer when I start sculpting, I never sculpt on the original mesh layer
For the first steps I will turn off "Smooth Shading"
That will allow me to see the polygons
Ok, what I'll be sculpting here are lips and the start of the nose
I start marking out the very general shape area of the lips
Here I'll add a dent
And here I will mark the nose area
I can also start shaping the chin a bit
Ok, this is a good start to my opinion
Now I can go up in the subdivision level (Shift+D), I'm at level 2
and I create a new layer, because of course I cannot work on the same layer
because it is already locked on level 1
if I'll want to return to that layer I will have to lower my subdivision level
Here I'm using the Shift key (Smooth Tool) to smoothen areas out
And now I'm using the wax tool a bit to define these areas a bit better
By the way, if the strength on the Wax tool is too low then the tool would work like the Flatten tool
And then that would just flatten things out instead of adding volume
Around 45-50 in strength should be good for the pen sensitivity
Among other things, what I like about the Wax tool is that unlike other tools like
the Smooth tool or perhaps Foamy
nevermind, foamy works ok, but anyway the Wax tool doesn't harm the square shape of the plane
Sometimes you use tools and they harm the square shape of the plane
And that's why when I use shift (Smooth tool) which causes the most problems in that matter
I try not to use it on the borders so that shape would remain square and nice.
It's not that I don't use Shift at all, just not using it on the borders.
When I use the Sculpt tool, I use it only with this stamp here
You can't see it in the stamp list below because the capture resolution cuts it off
but the last bottom right one is this stamp
this stamp equals the "Damian Standard" brush in ZBrush
and it helps easily define areas
I will use it more in later stages.
In this stage I will already start using the Grab tool to bring out the masses
everything now looks extremely flat
It is very important to feel comfortable to bring those masses and shapes out
and not to bring them out just a little. When sculpting on a plane there is usually a problem understanding
how much the contrast in these areas is big
although many people sculpt lips that look not bad
but they are very flat and the nose looks very flat
and the masses I would expect in a normal head don't exist.
When I'm taking care of that I make sure all those areas are very round
This area should look like an arch
the chin as well
The chin's height usually reaches the lower lip
Also with the nose you can go nuts
Also, these areas should be much more diagonal
I'll just smoothen this up with Shift and define these areas again later
The nose can go further outside
I'll use Shift to just smoothen here things out
Lowering these areas a bit.. Rounding so it could resemble a face
Here I have an unwanted buldge, so I'm lowering it a bit
I think the gap here is slightly big so I better narrow it down
I try not to use the Grab tool to move things in this manner
or change areas too much in general, so the topology, if we look in Wireframe mode, won't be too crazy
I need it to have as much straight crisscross topology as I can
so for instance if I need to bring the lips all the way there then I would prefer flatten this area out and sculpt it again in that place instead.
As long as I'm using Grab for small adjustments it's okay
Using Shift here to smoothen these areas
I'm strengthening the Smooth parameters
Again, I don't want to influence the vorders, so far the square looks pretty good
I'm smoothing this area and with the sculpt tool I press on Ctrl and that way I can again define areas.
Let's see if I can already define the opening of the mouth
A bit.
I always try to reach the maximum sculpting of each subdivision level before I go to the next
I'll slightly define the nostrils
Overall it looks ok
I'll probably need to work on those volumes more
Slightly carving this area, so it would be deeper
Overall it looks nice to me in this subdivision level, I will go up a level
Shift+D level 3, and I add another layer
Most of the shapes exist more or less and I can now be more accurate
slightly smoothing this out
With the Sculpt tool I work a lot on level 3 and in level 4 in particular
it allows me to easily sharpen things. Now when I work on sharpening areas I don't do it in a single long stroke
I usually do a few small strokes instead
Going up a bit, and then down
Here I'll smooth it out a bit so I could redefine it
Looks nice overall
I'll keep sharpening areas
Looks nice, I'll soften these areas a bit
Again I press to define areas better
I use the Grab tool to push the opening of the mouth area inwards
I'm now smoothing the artifacts and later I can use a different tool to give more volume to the lips
I can use the Buldge tool for that task
I'm still not going crazy with it, it will come in more handly in a later stage when I'll use it to close the gap between the lips
for now it's helping me add volume which I can then use the Smooth tool to smoothen all the artifacts
Overall it doesn't look bad, let's use the Grab tool to define the shape better
Using shift to smooth some areas
And then again the Grab tool to slightly improve the shape
I'll work some more on the nose
Should look less flat
Slightly bringing out the bottom lip
This area can look better, I'll bring it out a bit
Trying to use the Wax tool to slightly add volume here
By the way, I constantly change the size of the brush
Again, I use the sculpt tool with that stamp for definition
I use the grab tool to bring these areas up, so I'll have a lesser steep slope
Slightly smoothing the transition here. Oops, not the borders
If I want, I can use the Freeze tool to lock the edge. then this border hopefully won't move
I'll get back to the Grab tool
Bring this up a bit and then smooth the transition some more
Edit and then Unfreeze All to remove the mask
Perhaps I'll go down a level
even two, to get back to the first level I started sculpting
and I will bring out the chin some more, making it more round
Now I can get back to the top level, to level 3
With the Shift key I'll soften this area without harming the border
Ok, it starts looking really good, perhaps it's time for me to save
Achla.. (sababa)
Some more smoothing
Of course I can always see exactly what I've done in this layer, this is how it looks if I never actually made any sculpting in level 3
And this is how it looks in the first level
I want to strengthen the contrast even more
so I'll get to subdivision level 2
It's important for me to reach accurate results
Okay, it looks pretty good. As you can see I have quite a few hills, it is not flat at all
Ill get back to level 3
The lip is slightly too flat
It's important that this area won't look so graded and I'll take care of that next level of subdivision
It's just that in real life the transition between this part and that part of the lip shouldn't be that steppy, it's just an area that becomes very sharp
here as well, of course
Time to get to subdivision level 4 with a new layer
I can slightly blur these areas
I'll use Sculpt tool to define these areas better
again, I do that with tiny strokes
Here I will also blur it a bit
and then I will redefine it
I will scale the brush size of the Sculpt tool up
The bigger it is the more it has a deeper pinch
if I scale it down a lot it just created a thin dent and if I scale it up it creates a dent with a very deep pinch
and that can help me a lot with the lips
I'll slightly use Grab to move around what I have here
Look cool
Lets define these holes a bit better
I'll choose Wax, scale it down a lot and with Ctrl push these polygons inwards to create
A bit Grab to shape these holes properly
again Wax, to define the hole a bit further
Notice these holes have big and stretched polygons so in these areas it would be difficult to add details but these are just nostrils so there won't be a reason for that anyway
I'll use Shift to smooth out the surrounding area
I can turn on the Smooth Shading again to have a slightly smoother looking result
I create a very gentle notation for the cheeks, for the laughter line
I do that and then smooth it out
so there will only be a hint to that
Sharpening whatever is going on here, also with Ctrl
I can slightly sharpen the lips
Later on I'll be able to use the Pinch tool to sharpen them further
I'll use the Wax tool to slightly inflate these areas where we usually have some kind of fat
Then I'll blur it using the Smooth tool
Overalls it feels pretty good
I'll go down to level 2
and slightly pull the center of the lips downwards
It slightly buldges out to my opinion
Then I'll get back to level 3
When I want to move around large areas without harming the sculpting acheived I go down levels
Because if I try this in a higher level
actually this looks okay, however, if there are many small details I can accidently harm them
If I want to move a small area and choose a small brush for that it can cause a dent
and if I'm at a lower subdivision level the dent isn't as defined and I can keep playing with the polygons in that area without causing damage
unlike this, which doesn't look very good
I return to the Buldge tool.. where is it
I use a big brush size to inflate large areas
as you can see, it automatically brings areas closer and causes in this case for the lips to close
I do that gently, I don't want any artifacts or other weirds things to occur
Okay, that looks pretty cool
I can now use Shift to slightly smooth areas out
Volumes seem okay
I'll get back to the Sculpt tool
slightly define and sharpen areas, again with a large brush size because I want to emphasize that pinchy look in this area
Now I will use the Pinch tool to really sharpen areas
The Pinch tool works very well in defining and sharpening areas
Here as well, look how sharp it becomes, which is too much for me
Now if I want to add some detail..
First I'll use the sculpt a bit to bring back the definition here
If I want I can add some detail such as wrinkles
for that I'll even get up another subdivision level and reach level 5
and now I can add detail fairly easy
I won't invest too much in detail but ideally this is an option
It's better not to do it symmetrical the way I do it now.. because then it simply looks symmetrical and that's not our purpose
but nevermind, in this case I'll make an exception
Slightly blur it our
Okay, overall it looks very nice, just one last thing
it slightly bothers me that the lips are ending that way on the sides, that usually doesn't happen
Their definition is either blurry towards the end or they simply end earlier
I'll just make them end earlier
I'll just use the Flatten tool to slightly flatten this area
Slightly smoothing
I'll slightly inflate these areas some more
I can add a bit fat below the lips
try not to exaggerate
Again, I'll sharpen this a bit
Well that's it more or less
I hope you enjoyed it
that I helped anyone
There's still more work, it's far from perfect
Good luck :)