Monday, January 24, 2011

Last sketch for a while

Since I said I would focus my spare time on 3d work, I'm temporarily putting down the pencil, or in this case my digital wacom tablet. Still owed a drawing for my monthly artchallenge, so did a quick evening sketch on photoshop. As much as I love drawing, I don't really see a future in it as a paid artist, hence why I made the choice for 3d animation.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Autodesk Maya : modelling session 2

Today I sat down and modelled the head of the character Charlie.
Didn't get to finish it, but getting there :)

Here's some tips I figured out today:
- Always save your work! Maya crashed on me about 3/4 times an hour, that's a lot!
- Don't jump ahead. Work from general shapes and try to get as much feel of the character from the basic shapes first before jumping in and refining.
- Keep your topology clean! Rather then adding in topology and thinking you'll fix it later. Make sure you think ahead and clean up your lines and shapes before you go and extrude or cut in more topology.
-Do some puzzles! Figure out on a piece of paper first how you're going to cut your model. It took me ages to figure out how to get 4 sided polygons from 3 and 5 sided ones, but once you figure it out, it certainly speeds things up.

Here's todays' progress :

-general shape

-adding details:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting to know Autodesk Maya

I have decided to train myself in autodesk Maya and focus on 3D animation in my future efforts. Even though last year we worked with Autodesk 3DS Max in college, I wanted to see what Maya can offer. Maybe I was drawn to it because it's suposedly the most complicated 3D program to master out there, so I figure if I can master this one I'll be able to tackle any animation software.

It's a bit of a step back though having to re-learn old tricks we already learned to do in 3DS Max, but there are a lot of features already I really like in comparison, while others seem to be less flexible or at least less obvious in it's application.
The book I bought to help me get the basics of Maya is the official book: The modelling & Animation Handbook - Autodesk 2010.

It starts out on intermediate basis but caries you through modelling in polygons and NURBS to a fully animated scene at the end and even some lip synching as a bonus. The book is written by people who worked a lot on the development of the Maya application, which means the whole thing is presented a bit dry, and sometimes seems more like a handy reference then a book to learn the application with. On the other hand since I'm already familiar enough working with 3D, I'm quite happy with that as I spend most of the time figuring things out myself :)

Just finished modelling the body of Charlie Anna, and I'll now be moving over to the head. I'm particularly interested in texturing using UV's and rigging a bit later in the book. But for now here are some images of the modelled body: