Digital Media Arts College (DMAC) Maya Animation Professor speeds up animated character design – with ZBrush & Character Creator


The Problems of Teaching 3D Animation

When creating unique 3D characters, digital sculpting is a new-age proficiency that every 3D artist has to tackle as it guarantees them the utmost freedom and control when it comes to ground-up character creation.

Traditionally, 3D institutes and seasoned 3D veterans have always used de facto tools like Maya, and 3ds Max as they are the go-to applications that can do everything from sculpting, skinning, texturing, rigging and animation. — But the biggest problem with these expensive applications, is the complexity of it all. The high difficulty level, the long hours of work, and a large amount of effort necessary to do the simplest animations are what deter most people from enjoying the art of 3D animation.

This is why 3D animation professors all around the world go through the same burden of having many animation students drop out after their first couple of semesters, as standard tools have simply too many user interfaces, with too many steps and technical methods that easily disenfranchise upcoming 3D artists.

Having fun Again – thanks to New Tools

Digital Media Arts College (DMAC) program manager Mike Centowski however, has found a way to help 3D animation students fall back in love with the art of 3D animation, by making it fun again.

Mike profile pic

Mike has done this by using Pixologic’s ZBrush, one of the preferred 3D sculpting tools to create amazing digital art, characters, and detailed models. With ZBrush, 3D students can work like actual artists by intuitively shaping and morphing their sculptures into animatable 3D characters. 

Mike’s workflow allows him to take a pre-rigged base character, with morph customized shapes from the iClone Character Creator tool, and bring it into ZBrush. This method helps students skip the part of having to tediously rig 3D characters as the CC character bases are already fully-rigged for both facial and body animation, saving 3D artists hours if not days in the process.

Amazingly, combining these two powerful tools (ZBrush + iClone Character Creator) can turn a week-long project into just a couple of days work!

If you would like to learn more about professor Mike Centkowski’s streamline creation pipeline, then take a look at his latest tutorial – Quick Character Creation from Start to Finish with Mike Centkowski.

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