So for today,
here are some images of the work I did on a new part of the armor today.
For its pretty late here today, I´ll edit this post tomorrow give some comments on the images.
Edit: Here are the promised comments on the screen grabs:
To join the different object Im using a "master".mix file. To make sure that all the parts fit together in size and shape, I start with this file and the "body" object active.
This body object isn`t in full resolution and does not keep all the details I already sculpted on another obj. This is a reduced one. The detailed obj will be put in later on to save memory in this state of work.
In Select mode, symmetry on, I select the part of the body that will be covered by the part later on.
Smooth boundary and Extract that surface with only a little offset along the surface's Normals.
Invert the selection and Discard the body now.
MM's obj export saves only the currently active object. I use this to isolate the selected part. So save it as an obj, and import it replacing the scene.
Now its time to modify the basic shape of the resulting obj. Smooth it, sharpen its edges or do any distortion you like. It is a lot easier doing this now on this single surface than on a "solid" object later on.
I use to use Drag to sharpen edges and Smooth2 in VolBrush mode . With Drag on a small size you are able to move single vertices and with a small sized smooth tool you are able not tho smooth it out again.
For the following it is very important to have a clean and smooth boundary triangulated as equal as possible. Select the whole object and Remesh to a resolution as low as possible to keep the details to plan to extract from it. Now using SmoothBrush with HoldBoundary active, smooth the boarder manually. Then SelectAll and run SmoothBoundary again. This may be redundant, but this way I got the best results until now.
For this method it useful to understand what happens with the Triangles of you mesh. So switch on wireframe rendering.
SelectAll and Extrude to negative (Offset slider in ToolProperties) to keep your original surface in front, Harden at 100 while Density is Zero. If your surface is rather flat it is good to use a Constant extrusion Direction. This way you'll get the sides subdivided only by one "row" of triangles. This makes it easier to select manually. Select the sides of the extruded object. Extrude this sides along their Normals' direction. Now you've created a border around your object.
Note: To keep hard edges, MM uses very small faces right in or on the edge. Be careful not to select these edge faces. If selected too, these faces are extruded too and (especially if you use extrusion in Normal direction) these faces might disturb your extrusion result. Their normal vectors point to a different direction. It's a good idea to use a high CreaseAngle in the Select tool properties.
ClearSelection and Select the faces around your original surface and extrude in Constant direction towards you (postive Offset).
I use to smooth this result a bit to get a nicer rendering. SelectAll, Deformation/Smooth. To smooth hard edges, Type Uniform does a nicer job here. When the Smooth-value-field in ToolProperties has the focus, you are able to use your scroll wheel to set the value very comfortable.
To extrude organic elements you can use Select to paint the rough shape and SmoothBoundary. SmoothBoundary directly affects the mesh and draws a new topology line. You can select different parts at once if they are not to close together. If they are and SmoothBoundary fails, you might try to SmoothBoundary for the first island and for the second later on. As SmoothBoundary drew the topology line in the first step, you can reconstruct this first selection manually (at its boundary use a small tool diameter) and extrude these selections now at one time.
You can now do another selection and extrude again to positive or negative. Instead of using Extrude you might also use the Transform tool. This gives you the freedom to rotate the surface. Keep in mind that you can not vary the sides' faces density with that tool and it does not work symmetrically.
After these organic modifications you might consider using the Smooth deformation again. Do this now. I´m going to insert decorative elements of higher resolution via drag&drop using MMs parts library. Smoothing later will also smooth their details. I made these parts within MM extruding primitive surfaces and converting them to parts. I´ll add this workflow later on.
Inserting parts is a native power of MM. I found it much more quicker than doing it with booleans and you have nice tools within drag&drop ToolProperties to modify the insert (as Bend and Bulge). Ideal if you want to use a decorative element several times.
Note: I dragged high res parts onto a surface of low poly density. This seems to be hard work for MM. This allows to drop the part only on areas where the base mesh matches to. Try different scaling and slight movement of the part to get it to where you want it to be. To keep different inserts on the same size, keep an eye on the Size value in ToolProperties. I had quite some crashes at that point. AutoRecovery sometimes didn´t work anymore after a second crash. So go the save way and save your result as a .mix file after inserting a part.
Another trick to get straight shapes on your arbitrary mesh is to use two slim Selections + SmoothBoundary. Select the intersection or difference of the boundaries manually.
Here I used this to get a straight selection to pull it out using the Transform tool. After transforming the selection to a distance were I got a subdivision of three on the sides of the extrusion, I selected two rows on its lower side. Extrude (Constant Direction). Select only one row. Extrude.
Note concerning extruded edge faces (as mentioned above):
These may be self intersecting faces so you only can see it pale pink backface. You cann't select these backfaces using brush selection in paint mode. But LassoMode does the job an you can smooth them out as I did here.
The ready part. Export it to OBJ.
Open your "Master".mix file and append the OBJ. It should be there were you extracted the surface, nicely scaled.
This workflow is still WIP - as MM hopefully will be for a long time.
Thanks for your interest.