Monday, 22 August 2011

High-Poly Insanity.

So this week was definitely interesting. My aim for the week was to take a side step from my comfort zone of doing low poly models and work on my high poly modeling. The first thing I decided to take a bash at was the wood burner we have in our living room.

To be honest I'm happy with the final aesthetic, I mean, that's exactly what it looks like. However, when modeling this, I found it to be a little bit messy. The only difference between this model and one of my low poly models is that with this model i have edge loops going everywhere, which normally I would refine to reduce the triangle count. The total Triangle count for this was between 8 and 9 thousand so it wasn't anything rediculess, It was just a little out of my comfort zone. This method of modeling as well took me a lot longer; almost twice as long. Most likely due to the large amount of topology involved in making manor changes. Had this been an industry job, and I'd been given 2 hours to model, unwrap and texture an environment model like this, I would fail flat on my fact at my current working speed. Even in my low poly modeling I would struggle. This is one thing I most certainly need to work on before my FMP.

In any case I decided to take a short break from the high poly thing with a bit of speed painting,

and then a little speed modeling to boost my confidence again. This time, since we get Langoustine in the river that runs through the end of one of our fields, I decided to model one of those. This time I wanted to do a speed model that I could put into my Portfolio,

At the moment it's unfinished, the texture and the claws themselves need a little work, before I actually put it into my portfolio. However, I then started setting up a render shot for this which managed to consume 2 and a half days of this week. In the scene set up I was trying to create an underwater scene that replicated light refraction of the surface of the water, under the water. Having never actually looked at water before in max, and having nothing to work with but the default render settings, this was my result:

Which to be honest, I'm really happy with the result. What I intended to do then was apply a sandy dirt texture, add some rocks and import the langoustine to the scene. Only problem was that when i tried this, it consistently said that it couldn't find enough unused memory to render the scene. So, this has been added to another of the ever growing collection of assets and scenes that I can't wait to actually do when I get back to leicester. Only 2 weeks left now. ^^

Having had to put that on hold, I moved onto some more high poly modeling. This time I was going to attempt to model my blackberry.

To be honest, I'm really rather happy about the final look of it. Aside from a few minor faults on the curvature at the back, It's pretty much spot on. However! and this is a mahoosive HOWEVER, by the time I finished modeling this, it was about 25,000 triangles, not a problem, but then, I decided to turbo smooth it like crazy, just to see, only, i went too far, and couldn't co back, and i didn't save it before turbo smoothing... so the topology now looks like this:

It's now so dense in places it just rendered as a black block. Hmmm i think there's a lesson in there somewhere. Had i not been silly with this, I would have been able to sort out the curvature issue. Topology mess aside, the major problem with this one, like the last high poly model was time. This took me WAY too long to model. texturing was actually really fast and easy. It took me about an hour to unwrap, texture, and play around with the lighting. Yeah, safe to say I need more practice with high poly modeling, and after 2 years you'd thing I'd have learn't to save regularly =/.

In any case, That was last weeks productivity. What's on the cards this week I haven't exactly decided yet. I'd like to have another low poly model and more speed paints to keep my practice up with those at least but I feel like now I need to spend more time on my high poly modeling, since I've clearly neglected it.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

What happened to the high-poly models?

Uhh, this week has been a terribly stressful week, mostly for financial reasons buy lets just leave that at that. this week's productivity, again, it is what it is. Although, despite the amount of work that i've gotten done while I'm out here, in 3D modeling, I miss doing traditional art work. In my over-zealous packing, I didn't pack my sketchpad or any pencils or anything. My grounding skills have always been in traditional work and for me to spend so much time away from it is weird, and uncomfortable. I'll be a happy bunny to get back to paper, pencil and paint when I get back to Leicester.

In any case, the next best thing is my digi-painting and so in keeping with my weekly plan I've done a few paints.

The last two are incomplete because each was an attempt at a speed paint. One thing I've never been much good at is getting doing the general impression i want to create down, quickly, to build upon later once I've gotten the core details right. I've generally been a much better technical artist, working in finer detail and working my way round the image. This way, I hope that once i get more used to working this way, it'll help me with my life drawing skills, and maybe I'll actually get some images finished with in the time constraints before the model has to move. Learning to work a speed as well will no doubt help me when it comes to working in the industry, should I ever get a job that is based in concepting or illustration.

On the other hand my speed modeling is coming along quite nicely. This week I did one of the Geese, soon to be fattened up for christmas T_T.

This weeks result I think is much more successful than the chicken. Within the time limit the texture has turned out a lot better despite the fact that it is half the size and can be saved as a 24bit image to further reduce the size to to the lack of alpha channels. In addition, I also discovered a nice little trick for low poly models to make the model appear smooth edged instead of hard edged. In the bottom image of the goose is displayed the topology, which gives the goose quite an angular silouette. In the top image i used the "use NURSM subdivision" at 1 iteration to make the the edges of each poly, curved instead of straight, which results in the render looking smooth finished.

This week I also started on another self portrait 3d model...

Unfortunately this is as far as i got. As you can see in the left viewport image, I managed to get the hair near enough to how I wanted it, however, I completely forgot that my laptop was refusing to do hair at the moment and when I pressed F9, the image to the right is my result. The hair just didn't appear at all. Rather disappointing because now I can't fine tune the hair, but again, I am looking forward to getting back to Leicester where I can get on a decent computer to try and do some hair! but thus is my week.

Having looked briefly over my summer work one thing that is like a big smack in the face is that I've just noticed that everything that I model is low poly. Even the stuff I consider to be mid poly, in real terms, it's low poly. Just about the only model I've made worth being referred to as mid-high poly is the Matrix sentinel I made and then dismissed as being too high poly. So for this week, I'd like to add to my list of things to do, being a high poly model. I'm going to set myself a minimum triangle limit, of around 20,000 depending on what I choose to model, and see what I come out with. I can't afford to neglect my high-poly modeling too much because when I get a job, I wouldn't be surprised if for texturing, high to low poly baking was required.

Monday, 8 August 2011

lost week

This past week unfortunately has been really slow. Out here in the waists of France my Brother, Girlfriend and his son decided to spend the week here, so I was dragged left right and centre, not to mention the lack of quiet, as my exuberant nephew charges round the house. That aside I did manage to get some work done.

Nothing too fancy. This was just a low poly model of a little statue in our living room. This however did give me an idea to do a still life setup, as a 3D model scene. This was in could create a scene which shows off what I've learnt in making different surface textures all in one render, which I could use as a portfolio piece.

Even though the skull and the statue were reused assets, I'm reasonably happy with the result. However, the lighting does still somewhat need to be worked on before it looks realistic enough to put into my Portfolio.

I also decided to make this...

To be honest this was just for fun. A sentinel from the Matrix. As it was just for fun it's a little bit on the high poly side reaching 22,434 triangles. I didn't really see the point of texturing it seeing as it's a useless model. but never the less I have work to catch up on for next week :)