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VWN Product Review: Modeling the Figure in Clay

Modeling the Figure in Clay
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Product Information
By Bruno Lucchesi; Margit Malmstrom
Produced By Watson-Guptill
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This book, written by sculptors Bruno Lucchesi and Margit Malmstrom, is designed as a walkthrough for clay sculptors; a step by step diary if you will of an unusual method of creating sculpture where instead of carving out a block of clay into a desired shape, it is built up stage by stage from the inside, adding pieces in anatomical correctness.

Thus, it goes a bit over the top for most virtual avatar creators, yet if you follow its steps, and just cut out the occluded prims for the final result, it creates stunningly realistic models. Leaving the unseen innards in, then animating the result according to the laws of physics, creates amazing results for pre-rendered animation, but of course, current real-time VR is not powerful enough YET to handle models with this degree of motional realism, created by internal organs moving realistically as it moves.

The book, starts with an armature, then building a skeleton onto it piece by piece, including ribcage, pelvic girdle, leg bones, and all the rest, packing out soft tissue below and around the ribcage, then adding the skin like a fabric layer, draped all round and sealed, so the below ?tissue? pokes through.

The parts specific to clay working are irrelevant to the virtual developer, but the general techniques and practices are invaluable if you choose to take this route, and create anatomically believable avatars. Ideal for working with weighted bone animation systems.