Zbrush to A:M

I had an idea this evening to see whether I could combine Zbrush and Animation:Master by using the extract command in Zbrush to create equipment (in this case a helmet) and bring that geometry back into A:M as a PROP.

So I exported the Hyena as an .obj and imported it into Zbrush, painted a mask for the helmet and extracted the geometry. I then sculpted some detail–though  not too much, because I wasn’t sure it would work…


Before exporting the helmet, I ran the Decimation command on it to reduce the polygon count, then exported an .obj file. In A:M I imported the helmet and assigned a rusty steel DarkTree material to it. I dragged and dropped it into an Action and it perfectly aligned with the Hyena model! All I had to do was add a translate to and orient like constraint to the head controller and I was done:


I’m not sure if I will use this technique on some of the gear, or if I would just model from scratch in A:M. I just wanted to try it and see what happened. A:M has a reputation for not playing well with polygon-based programs, but I think you just have to understand the limits and work around them. For landscapes or hard-surface objects that don’t need to deform, use the PROP feature and you shouldn’t have any problem.

I recently experimented with modeling a simple landscape object in Sculptris, and it also worked great in A:M



Kickstarter Results


So looking at the underwhelming Kickstarter results, I was pretty discouraged for a couple of days… I had a goal of $10,000 for producing the first episode of this series, but only got $1,587 in pledges over the 30 day campaign.

I had thought that I would get a lot of help from the Animation:Master community in spreading the word about the project, so I was suprised that I only had a few friends share the link. The same was true on Facebook (which actually hurt my feelings)! I can understand not having the money to pledge–but I expected that my friends would at least help me get the word out.

So to those 48 backers who DID pledge, I am extremely grateful. And to those friends who DID spread the word, thank you!

It is a humbling experience for an artist to put there work out there and discover how small their fanbase really is. I have learned that my “network” is pretty small–and I have to work on putting stuff out here that is for those true fans, and hope that “my people” find their way here. Without true fans, there is no way a crowdfunding campaign is going to get the attention to succeed.

I found that blogs like Cartoon Brew and Animation Scoop are not interested in covering a project like this–though they would be happy to sell me a banner ad on their blog for $300/week…. CGTalk will not even let you make a POST on their forum about your campaign, even though they would like to think that they are helping artists develop their own IP.  The A:M Community boasts 10,442 members–however there were only 10 pledges that came from the hash.com domain…. One pledge came from Twitter.

So I have to rethink where I have been posting my work. I have a WIP section on the Hash forum where I’ve been posting my stuff, but I think that I should have been posting here instead.