Here is the next part in my 3D model tutorial series (part 1, part 2, part 3). This part covers sculpting the high-detail model that will later have its detail "baked" into a normal map to be used on a low-polygon model. Here is the base model:
And here is the sculpted high-detail model:
I have recorded a timelapse to show what the work of this step entails. You can check it out in HD here.
I exported the base mesh from 3D Studio Max into Mudbox using the .obj format. Once in Mudbox I subdivided the mesh four times, bringing the polygon count to about two million. It's actually very simple. Using a sculpting program like Mudbox doesn't involve a lot of technical details. You just kind of add bumps or smush things around using various tools until it looks right!
The next part will be about baking the normal map onto the low-polygon model. How much do you guys already know about normal mapping? I need to figure out how much background I can assume.