Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Session Eleven

Cutting it abit fine with this post but I was keen to finish off some extra stuff before posting this final part of the semester 1 reflective diary.
So Fridays session had another lecture that I didnt find particularly useful. I believe it was supposed to be about qualititive research methods but consistd of a woman talking from a print out about her work in fashion. There was some mention of her experince of qualititive research but not alot. I felt bad because she seemed sincere but maybe unaccustomed to giving talks so her points fell alittle flat.

For the practical side of the session I picked a classmates brain about lighting scenes. I had finished the characters, rigged and textured them, created weapons and also created alternate textures for them so the last hting to do was get some nice renders.
He took me through a process of making the floor the same colour as the background and adding point and directional lights of varying strengths. There was alot to do in the render settings to get it looking ad good as possible and thanks to his advice I was able to achieve a much more professional looking render than I previously had.

Here are the Renders ( I include only the characters with weapon ones as the others are stuff previously seen in the diary but abit nicer)

And of course the evil versions!

And the final thing I put together before the deadline are some quick models for my friend Joe. Its versions of myself and Joe to be put in test tubes in an alien space craft level. I was pleased with the poly count but I think I could have done a better job given more time.

So that's it for the reflective diary portion of the course! I intend to keep going with the diary though, it's a good way of keeping track of just how much youve achieved.
Only three short months ago I hadn't a clue how to use maya and although I realise I have a long way to go until Ill be comfortable/good at modelling I will say that I feel as if I have accomplished alot and that I look forward to getting better.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Session Ten (A)

With the deadline fast approaching and my characters weapons being finished I thought Id step it up alittle bit and do alternate textures for the three vikings.
I figured the easiest would be evil versions of the characters, I had a clear idea of how cool they would look all twisted and monochrome.
I began with the Medium viking. I desaturated the texture I already had and proceeded to add wilder hair, red eyes and sharp teeth.
The out come was what I had hoped for, the model now looks different enough to be classed as another character which was one of the aims I had for the models in the first place.

Here he is in all his raged out glory

And here's his new UV
Next up was the small viking, I decided to change the mouth considerably from the other viking, I knew I wanted them all to have pointed teeth but i didnt want them all to have the same expression. For this guy I went with a snaggle tooth, Its not exactly what I wanted him to look like, I kinda wanted him to be more impish but it look fine.

The model

And the UV

So then came the tall one. I was aiming to make him creep rather than out right scary and Im pretty sure I succeeded as you can see from an accident that happened when I was positioning the lighting in maya

After fixing the lighting i got this final render

And the UV

Now when I designed the tall viking I had a very specific idea for how his mouth was to be. I saw an animaton by an artist called McBess ( Link ) and in it theres a character who has a large beard that covers his mouth. When he moves his head it stretches the texture and I liked how it looked. I aimed to copy that with the tall viking and I succeeded in getting that effect.
I mention this because I noticed how the warping effect worked with the characters shiny new mouth and couldnt help but talk a render of it since it was so gloriously creepy

And as a parting gift here's an image that would accompany the one from the previous post

Monday, 29 November 2010

Session Ten

A cold dread crept into my heart as I realised that this sessions lecturer was none other than Jim Battersby.
Jim had been somewhat of an icon for what I hated about my Illustration degree, pointless academia distracting me from the more pressing matters of actually getting stuff done.
Greedily I set about drawing the next piece in my collection of lecture doodles and had finished it by the time Jim had started talking.
Savage guilt began to wrack my body as I realised that not only was the lecture very interesting but that I was also enjoying it! Thought I will say this! I understood how his talk on semiotics would apply to certain aspects of my work, admittedly mainly in my personal work, but I still didnt think it was terribly relevant to my masters work.


As you saw before I got all the vikings done, so whats next?


Infact I modelled the weapons during class, they included a shield an axe and a quiver.
Now when it came to texturing the weapons I had an idea. That possibly only one texture would be needed for the entire range of weaponry. This came about after my work on the small viking where sheer laziness forced me to alter the UVs rather than the texture to line up elements liek the belt and hair.

I sat an pondered this and came up with this texture

It features an area of metal with a stud drawn in, an area of wood with planks drawn in and an area of leather with stitching drawn in.

And here we can see the results

The axe was pretty straight forward

The shield was the first proper test of this method, I wanted to see how the studs would look. I layerd UV over UV to get each stud right. On reflection it would have been better to have two or three studs on the texture just so they didnt all look alike but it worked for the purpose of this experiment. The wood bord texture worked particularly well

When It came to the bow I wanted to give the stitching a test. I carefully arranged UVs so it looked as if the leather grip had stitching work on it

The quiver took the longest, It was a chore to line up the stitching but it paid off in the end.

This Entire texturing process took a fraction of the time that previous ones have, Itll definately be something to bear in mind.

Next up I intend to do evil versions of the characters to highlight the versatility of the models I made.

And finally. This picture is of the viking warriors to spruce up my presentation i have to deliver in a couple of weeks Enjoy!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ninth Session (A)

So i finally got the characters rigged, ALL OF THEM.
They cant exactly do everything I want (turns out they dont like having their arms twisted) but Im pretty happy with how they turned out, and I guess the rest will come down to practice.

I had problems rigging both the characters since after I made the skeletons it refused to bind to the mesh. No matter what I did it wouldnt work. After showing it to my firneds they determined that Id not corretly deleted the history of the mesh (I thought I had) so after that they both worked.

So I have abit of a talk through of the Medium Viking model which is also the one I modelled first.

So the main problem with this guy was how I'd built him, The bottom of the tunic wasnt as sophisticated as the other models, they had plenty of polys in there to allow for movement and to allow the legs to alter them. This one however didnt and this is what happened

The tunic moved the same as the legs exposing the underside, it did it both ways.
I got around this by assiging full control of the weighting for the tunic edge to the core Hip joint and lessening the control the leg had over the polys that attatched the tunic to the leg

Here's the result

Not too bad in my opinion!

And here he is in all his glory!

Now onto the small viking

There werent too many problems with this one despite it having a different skeleton to the others. The main thing and this applies to all the characters is that Im not happy with the arms.
Josh mentioned looking at anatomy books to mimic muscle structure in character meshs and this seems like a good idea. Most of the pose ideas I have I couldnt do simply because the arms warped far too much. It isnt so much a problem for these little guys but its something i intend to work on for the next project.

The final product!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Ninth Session

I keep getting later and later with these things :/
Ok so first off I got the model rigged an weighted before the ninth session.
I decided to not rely on maya to make things easier for me and mirrored the weights by eye working from the core hip joint then working through pairs of joints until it was all done. Let me tell you it feels good to get that damn process finally done.
Here's a picture of the model, it looks nicer than the other renders Ive done thanks to my class mate Scott who prettied it up with nice lighting and a different coloured background, he also added the bow.
Then came the ninth session, as per usual the lecture was boring and I found it hard to care about what was being told to us. The games students got to go out half way through to see Pete Fields lecture about his time at Ninja Theory Games which was an informative look at the game making process.
On DE4101 I cant help but feel like a moaning child. It would seem most of the other groups are gaining something from the lectures and are interested in the subject matter and I keep wondering if Im missing out on a good thing here without realising. I also feel bad because I sit around drawing caricatures of myself attempting suicide at the mass levels of bordom Im experiencing whilst these people are trying to teach us something that's important to them.

Anyways I got the last viking textured, its pretty raw, I ended up manipulating the UV map to get things to line up rather than draw it out again. It turned out ok though.

Im hoping to get better at texturing though, I mean these look ok but I feel that I can do better.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Eighth Session

Lord damn youDE4101. Again another horrible lecture though not as bad as the previous one it still wasnt that good.
Also for the DE4101 Ive had the utter joy of doing the only essay Ive ever wanted to have a bigger word count. I dont know whether its the fact we have to do an essay at all (especially one so blatantly shoe horned in as this one) or the fact that its distracting me from the actual reason I got on the course. I didnt join up to do the same bull crap essays we had to do for the degree. I got onthe Masters because I wanted to LEARN, to LEARN how to 3D model and LEARN how to get better at something i actually care alot about. And to have that inturrupted by poorly handled academia is either very upsetting or very annoying. I have yet to decide which it is.
There has been only one positive thing thats come from me finishing the goddamn thing and thats my new found appreciation for Japanese pop art surrealist Takashi Murakami.

As for rigging, bugger that too. I got half the body done and some how managed to wipe out all the date in one go so I need to re do it. Needless to say I shall be working on that tomorrow to try and get the damn thing right.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Seventh Session

This week we mercifully had no lecture so it gave me a chance to talk through my stuff with Josh.
He showed me the basics of rigging which was easy enough until it came to painting weights.
Painting weights is actually the reason Im late with this post. I was holding out hope that Id have my weights all nicely painted before I went into class next but alas it wasnt to be so!
Here are a couple of images of the rigging in process

The skeleton

The weights thus far

The problem

A pretty big problem at that! I havent got a clue whats happeneing here since as far as I can see the elbow shouldnt be effecting these areas.
I examined each joint and found it was one of the thumb joints doing it but when I looked I couldnt see any visible influences it was having on the areas!

So after all that I decided to just make my final viking

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Sixth Session

Having been ill for the better part of the week it's taken me a while to get my stuff together for a blog post!

First I'll look at the lecture we had on Friday

I like to think of myself as a patient person, so when I was told we were having a lecture on Quantitive Research Methods the fact that I managed to sit through the whole thing without walking out was, I think, a testement to my resolve.
The opening words of the lecture I cannot recall exactly but I can easily paraphrase
" Quantitive research is probably something you wil never need to know about or use so here's a lecture on it"
What followed was a lecture that I could in no way connect its contents and subject matter with the work I will be doing on the masters.
Now I gladly sat through a lecutre the other week on the definitions of art and science that had little to do with the work Im doing but I sat through it and enjoyed some of the more trivial historical parts of the session enough to not get annoyed about it. This time however I cannot hold my tounge and keep quiet.
I hope that the remaining lectures will be in someway relevant to my work instead of a very unneeded distraction.

Ok enough of that.

Updates on the characters! Despite being ill and very bus with wrk I managed to get another of the vikings done. I was hoping to have the small viking started before I went into class on Friday but there seems little chance of that happening so I am behind my self imposed schedule.

I tried a different method for this one going along the lines of box modelling from reference.
I dont have any formative images Im afaid as i simply became too involved with the making to document it!

I do however have the finished model without textures for you to view here-

I proceeded to texture it and it turned out good in my opinion. The process was much quicker this time, I think it helped that I took more care when arranging the UV map.

Here's the UV map-So after showing Josh my prevous model he seemed happy with it. He did however enquire as to why it was so blocky. Ive had a few people say this to me. I thought the blockiness added charm to the model but evidently I was mistaken. Josh proceeded to show me how to smooth edges using alphas.

With that in mind I have a smooth version of the model here-

Im still not sure which I prefer yet though.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Fifth Session

For the DE4101 section this week we had a guest lecturer named Martin Johnston someone from the public heath sector.
Though I was unsure of the relevance of the lecture I was none the less enthralled by the ideas he was putting forward. He began by discussing how art and science are defined, art being based on values and subjectivity and science being based on facts and observation.
Then he began to discuss how art feeds science, that something subjective can provide a theory that can be turned into a scientific discovery.
The example he gave was that of Ptolemaic astronomy and how it was believed that the Earth was the centre of the solar system. All the maths and calculations based on Ptolemaic astronomy worked however it essencially looked messy when star charts were drawn up. It took Copernicus to think " This could be neater" to then do the math of the Earth not being the centre of solar system to deduce that the sun is infact the centre.
It was interesting to think of the actual relationship between art and science instead of thinking of them as two very seprate entities.

For Josh's section I began making my viking. Following Josh's advice of tracing around the reference image with small flat polygons I ended up with this-

Needless to say this baffled my friends who I was asking advice from so maybe I misinterpreted Josh's meaning but it provided a good starting point.
I began by merging the middle section to the outer section on one side. I decided to save time by then mirroring the half Id done and merging the two sections together. I didnt do it quite right though so there was abit of clean up time getting the model to look symmetrical.
I then went about making it low poly. Ive been interested in texting myself with simple models and decent textures since I saw tommy tallian's work-
I didnt manage anything close to his TF2 models but I did ok with the face count coming to 425.
Here's the untextured model-

The texturing took a while, I still have a ways to go to get it looking right but for now my line based characters are looking good in my opinion.

Here's the finished model-

And the texture sheet-

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Fourth Session (A)

Just a quick post to put up some sketches and three turn arounds Ive done since the Fourth Session.
After talking to Josh I began to look at kid robot vinyl toys. I was stuck when it came to designing a character akin to that though so instead I used the plain models as inspiration. I designed three viking characters (simply because I like vikings) then imagined how they would work as a vinyl toy. They would need to be highly customisable so would need to have the least amount of actual polygonal detail leaving the artist (or in this case textures) to denote the design.
After the character talk on Friday I went with a staple way of representing visual families. Each viking was a different size yet wore a similar helmet so they could be identified as being part of a team/set.
Simplifying the characters into a base model wasnt too difficult, Im looking forward to texturing them and might even be tempted to do different colour combinations and such if I have enough time.Still unsure about this ones arms but I guess I can always change them in maya

I changed the horns on this one so they would be easier to make.