Saturday, 30 July 2011

The plan

Before I get onto the subject of my aim for the next month of productivity I should probably cover this weeks happenings. Overall the week hasn't been too productive. Most of the assets I've made have been for personal amusement rather than for specific use. The first of these was the lightsaber.

This model is a rather high poly weapon, and is pushing it even for current generation weapons. however, one thing positive that did come out of this was my further development of different metal materials. There is in fact no textures applied to this 3D model. it is all lighting. The same day I also came to the conclusion that I should probably work on something that was close to my heart and i drew inspiration from, and hoping to be a character artist, it would be appropriate to try and produce a current generation quality 3D model of someone whom I drew inspiration from.

I chose Sir Ian Mckellen, whose career spans from Shakespearean theatre to popular modern sci-fi and fantasy cinema: particularly well known as Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Magneto from X-men films. Additionally, in 1988, McKellen came out and announced he was gay. He became a founding member of Stonewall, one of the United Kingdom's most influential LGBT rights groups, of which he remains a prominent spokesman. This man is an inspiration to me both as a performer and as an LGBT activist and this I thought it appropriate to dedicate this project to him; starting with a photoshop paint of him and a 40min speed paint of him as Gandalf the white.

As I was going to make a 3D model of him studying his face was vital before i jumped into modeling, which i soon after stepped into.

As you can see, modeling the face wasn't too difficult and I do feel quite confident that I can work the topology to how I need it to look. Bearing in mind however, that this face wasn't going to be used for animation or rigging, i didn't really need to add additional topology for smooth deforming when working facial expressions in a rig. Unfortunatly, I've hit the same wall as i did with my grizzly bear. My laptop cannot handle much in the way of hair at the moment so in terms of real practice, I will have to wait until september to get onto a better computer for working with hair. Hopefully with hair this model will look more like Ian Mckellen. Until then It's hard to judge exactly how far off I am for correct facial shapes. One alternative to my problem would be to use alpha channels, but that won't give me a realistic look, and it would also be a painstakingly slow process to put all the alphas facing the right direction, but I think I'll leave that.

Next up just as a bit of fun:

To be honest I made this purely because I'm a geek and I was kinda on the subject of Lord of the Rings anyway. In any case In doing both this and the lightsaber, I've come to realise that in making different metals & metalic properties, ie: steel, crome, gold; that they require quite different material affects and lighting conditions. So my messing around hasn't gone to complete waist, and i've made appropriate notes on each metalic effect.

Finally, just as a speed model, since I'm surrounded by poultry, I thought I would work on one. First and most obvious one was a chicken.

This was done purely to help me in modeling faster. It's incomplete and the textures aren't refined but this was the result of 2 and a half hours work. modeling, unwrapping and texturing all in the time limit.

Now to the plan. My plan isn't too exact but the aim is clear. Each week for the next 4 weeks I would like to have 1 speed, low poly model, and a medium poly model. The aim is to both work on the speed at which I model and the quality of my higher poly models to produce work for my portfolio. In addition I would like to have accompanying paints to keep up with my 2d work. Further to that, I would like my model of Ian Mckellen to be finished, even if i have to use opacity maps for the hair. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will have a nice mix of assets that will show my progression from being a second year to a third year computer games artist.

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