I forgot to post my last 3d project from the summer! Silly me. Maybe I was trying to forget about it, since it gave me so many problems. Here’s the finished product, before I start my complaining:

Polycystic Kidney Disease

So this was the assignment.

  • Extract a kidney and ureter from a data set using Mimics.
  • Retopologize the models.
  • Import into Mudbox.
  • Sculpt a polycystic kidney.
  • Paint/texture.
  • Repeat for normal kidney.
  • Export into 3ds Max.
  • Composite.
  • Make pretty.

Everything was going swimmingly. I loveloveLOVE sculpting in Mudbox, and got a little carried away. Here are some WIPs, where you can see one of my references on the left.


I moved on to painting, which was more frustrating than fun for me. I’m able to paint so quickly in Photoshop, and I wasn’t able to keep that speed in Mudbox, but I got through it.

And then I tried to import into Max.

And I tried again, and again, and again.

And nothing worked correctly. My normal map was coming in wrong, it wasn’t affecting the model the way it should have. I couldn’t get my specular map to work . And then it worked, and then went away. Max was doing things that Scott had never seen…but it wasn’t really a surprise to us. I tend to always have those issues that make no sense.

So in the end, I was able to make this work, but it was overall a really disappointing experience. I loved my Mudbox model, and it felt like Max betrayed me on this one. But Scott was happy with the end result; he said that if he hadn’t known I had problems, he would have never guessed it. I guess that’s a good thing.

Learning experience? Maybe. I’m not giving up on Mudbox, but this is one project I won’t revisit.

2 thoughts on “Polycystic Kidney

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