Wednesday, 27 February 2013

With Matt day two

Day two with Matt in AV commenced, and I knew exactly what modelling I needed to get done. All I had left were a few features on the octopus to create, and a bit more work on the carrot. I started off working on the carrot's shorts as they were what I was dreading to model the most. Again I started off with a simple rectangular shape which we then added edge loops to and split the legs apart, allowing me to focus on the creases.

Here is the beginnings of my shorts, and how I was stitching between the views to get the first basic shape, and rounded enough to fit the model.

As you can see, once I got my model to wear the shorts, the shape of them were really odd, even when the dents had been rounded out. which led me to spend a good amount of time modelling every crease, and moulding them into a believable pair of shorts.

Here you can see the difference in smooth and normal view, and how much of a difference smoothing can really make in creating a model. The first image is what I started with, and the last is after a little bit of messing around to make creases by moving each vector point. I am surprised looking back at how much of a difference this makes to the believability of the character.

As you can see here, my geometry got a bit confusing, and I decided to try and smoothen it up a little bit so the vectors weren't over lapping and making it unclear on where each point was.

This lead me to creating a much more desirable shape, with life like creases.

Once I had finished modelling in both the normal and smooth preview, I smoothed out my finished shape.

Here is my final version of the shorts, with extra creasing and matched almost to the creases in my toys shorts. It did take a long time for me to create these shorts, especially as they aren't really in

Mr Octopus is done!! I coloured his moustache by selecting the faces of the edge loops I wanted, and made them a lighter shade, as well as changing his eyes to a blinn texture so it looks more toy like. I am so proud of him, even though he is so simple in real terms, I think that I have captured his character and charm from the toy I own.

And I have almost finished my models!!! Only got a few tiny things to do to my carrot model, but other than that they're all done!

In this post I would like to thank Matt for really helping me in AV on those two days. It has really helped me set down the foundation of knowledge I needed, and I will forever be grateful for the amount of time and patience he had in going through each problem I encountered with me, until I felt confident enough to tackle those problems alone.

Learning Maya take two....

After falling ill for a few days, and not being able to come into uni to continue with my modelling I started falling behind with the rest of the group. I knew deep down that I was severely struggling to get my head around 3D space and dreaded every session where we learnt anything new as I didn't understand what was already taught. So I went to see Matt in the AV suite to talk about my issues with Maya and see if he would mind me working on my project downstairs with him around to call on. He then offered to try and teach me from the start again and help me pick up the fundamental skills that I simply didn't understand from the large group taught sessions with Mat or Annabeth. Although this is a massive step backwards in completing my animation (as many members of the class had already completely finished their modelling, with some almost finished with their animation and lighting too), I fell that it will give me a stronger chance of enjoying and understanding Maya in the future, and this way I have actually enjoyed learning without the pressure of seeing everyone else's completed work around me and panicking! 

So on February 21st, I got to the AV suite at 8.30am and stayed for the whole time the suite was open. Up until lunch time Matt talked to me about the idea of 3D space, at first showing me the software cinema 4D and explained how fun it could be, showing my different replicating, physics, texturing techniques and how you can add a background. From showing me this, it got my interest and excitement up, and by the time he opened Maya I had completely forgotten he had swapped software, yet it was still interesting and exciting me. I was really impressed in what we could achieve in a few minutes. and even more so when matt started teaching me modelling in Maya. As I struggle with modelling, and end up using loads of different shapes and deforming them all, I seem to get really confused. So Matt showed me how to model shapes from a cube, but using the smooth preview to make curved shapes. At first we made a simple model of my phone, and then we moved onto a strange and simple human form, which took shape really quickly in relation to how long I usually take to model alone. Just before lunch I showed Matt the models I had created already, and my main concerns with the carrot character and asked for advice how to model it. Rather than starting with a simple cube/rectangle like in the tests we had done previously in the day, he suggested trying with a cylinder which I wouldn't have done (as my previous model was made with a cone) and to apply the skills I had relearnt to create the shape I wanted. As I didn't fully understand the extrude tool, and only slightly understood the edge loop tool before today, I felt a lot more confident in my modelling skills when Matt left me to get on with modelling it.

My first and main priority was to redo my carrot model (from my last blog post you can see there is a lot to do to it!!!) Matt suggested that I started again, and can always go back to my previous model to work on if I need to. So like the first model I made a cone shape but added in edge loops, which I could then resize and stagger.

Then more edge loops were added and I moved each ring left and right to create a staggered effect. As simple as these two steps were, I previously wouldn't have done them to create that shape and wouldn't of had the confidence to even dare touching those tools when modelling. I am so glad I have finally jumped over that hurdle and can make more complex models (in comparison to my earlier attempts)

The next step was to create the arms. Although I initially would have just used the arms I had already modelled for my first carrot model, Matt suggested that I tried to feel more confident with the main tool used for modelling, the extrusion tool. Although I again struggled to begin with, I eventually understood what to do.

Here you can see my model, which I was really happy with, but was unsure how to soften the edges...

...which is when Matt taught me how to use smooth preview, and I was then able to smooth the whole model in the options bar.

Here you can see how different the arms of this model are to what I was creating before, and you can see the crease in the joints which makes the model look more realistic.

This is the comparison between my model before and after. I can't quite believe the difference already, and I haven't even finished yet!!!

Next step... Legs. As I am happy with my Totoro legs, I chose to duplicate his legs to use as a basis to reshape and model my carrot legs around. I came across yet another unexpected problem with doing this, as the original leg was parented to the body, when duplicated it automatically parents it too. Which meant I had to find a way to unparent an object, and with a quick search I soon found a way.

As you can see from above, I then chose to add an edge loop to the bottom of the leg, allowing the roundness of the foot to be the right level when smoothing the whole object.

By adding more edge loops I was then able to ripple the leg the same way I did with the carrots body.

Once duplicated, I rotated one leg slightly, to make the legs look slightly different to each other, without the need to remodel.

As I was becoming frustrated at the idea of making the carrot's shorts, the next thing I did was to model the moustache for the octopus.

After playing about (as pictures show above) with different ways of creating a moustache, and every attempt failing, I began to question why I couldn't get to hold of doing it properly.

But again I was trying to over complicate things, and by using simple edge loops (and only adding them when needed) it kept the geometry clean, but also made modelling a hell of a lot more easier. Matt showed me the basic way to make it, and I recreated my own, and kept curling and resizing and moving my moustache until I had the perfect flick before smoothing it.

After a quick colour, presto, it is done!

Carrot model Feb 11th

After finishing my Totoro and almost finishing my octopus models I thought that I should attempt to make the basic shape for my final character, the carrott judge (which would then be duplicated).

I started off with the simple shape of a cone, which I stretched to get the right sort of angled point, but I couldn't figure out a way to smooth off the top spike, so I went on to make eyes (simply duplicated from the pupils of the Totoro model), arms which were cylinders stretched with a deformer, and then bent inwards, and a cylinder which I tried to line up with the carrot body. I then added the simple colours which would be used with the lambart shading, but felt again that it was unfinished.

One massive problem I had when modelling the carrot was placing the eyes, as when I rotated them to try to fit to the body they would deform massively. It took me ages to realise the cause of the problem, and when it finally clicked that the centre point wasn't in the centre of my eye it really frustrated me that it took me so long and wasted so much time trying to find the source of the problem.

Here is my first version of my carrot model... I am really unhappy with how it looks, especially compared to my other two models which I think have worked really well in simplicity of shape.