Friday, July 4, 2014

Always fixing... it's NORMAL

A few days ago I was watching an anatomy sculpting video on All of the training is very good and helpful, but every now and then, while sculpting, the tutor makes a comment about their mental process and struggles that is priceless. This was one of those times.  What the tutor said totally destroyed another one of those long held beliefs that was holding me back and making art frustrating instead of fun.

 As all ZBrush sculpting tutors do they emphasize working through the stages, from rough to detailed.  In ZBrush especially each tutor emphasizes the need to start with a low resolution mesh and don't subdivide (move up to a higher level of detail) until you've gotten as much out of the current level as you can.  This really applies to all art, drawing, sculpting, everything, start with a rough and work towards more detail.  Don't move on until you've got the rough right.  I've heard this 1000x.  Got it.

The tutor was Lee Magalhaes.  He was sculpting a head bust.  He started with getting the head generally in good shape, tweaking the jaw, chin, etc.  After several videos he would move up to a new subdivision level as expected.

After getting quite a bit into some detail he said something that blew me away.

He was working on some detail and realized that he wasn't happy with the chin and jaw, he fixed the jaw from the side but then it wasn't right from the front.  Then he said "This is sculpting at it's most hectic.  You're always moving, you're always tweaking, you're always doing something crazy,  now you're changing and it doesn't look good and then you gotta fix it.  It starts to look good and then you mess something else up.  It's NORMAL, you don't have to worry about it.  "

This blew me away and really really helped me.  I had the idea in my mind that if I were sculpting and couldn't see that I got a large proportion off until later that it was because I just wasn't good enough to "be a real sculptor" yet.  I figured that someday I'd get to the point where I would work through each stage, making it perfect (in short time) and move solidly onto the next never having to ever change what I had already done.  But this isn't true.  Even the experts can't always see some changes that need to be made until they are farther along in adding detail.

It was so good to hear that this is normal.  That tells me that even though I have these problems, I don't have to overcome it to produce the art that I want.  I don't have to obsess about it, worry about it, let it stop me.
  I can be thankful that I was able to see that a change needed to be made fix it.