Sunday, February 21, 2010

A bit about Maya...

Well I have started learning how to use Maya and bring my boring old 2D drawings into the realm of the real. Now all Kaile's late night rants from last semester are starting to make a funny kind of sense. It really is a completely different way of thinking and one that I still haven't quite got used to. Luckily Josh's Friday afternoon tutorials are bringing me on quicker than I ever thought I would learn and by all accounts, us newcomers are doing quite well (so far!).

Due to technological difficulties (= Maya 8.5 being a dick), I'd been having trouble transporting my work from Uni to home meaning that everytime I started something, I couldn't then continue it. Annoyingly, this has meant that I haven't managed to do as much as I perhaps would have liked to. The head you see above is probably the best looking model I've made. It was simply a sphere and I manipulated the UV's to create the shape and then used one cylindrical map to texture it. I did the eyes closed when Steph pointed out that eyeballs are usually created as separate objects so that they can be moved about within the head. When I first created it, I wasn't quite savvy enough to start making individual objects. Now however, Josh has taught me about parenting and more recently, creating a skeleton for you models with which to animate them (though I am yet to try out this daunting procedure!).

With regard to the 'Tin Toy' project, mine has been on a bit of a hiatus after a made a model I was quite happy with and mapped it out only to find that the file wouldn't open once I brought it home. I do plan on building a new one from scratch at home, that I'll hopefully get rendered and in a presentable state within the next week or so.

I should probably point out here that through discussing the concepts I've painted with Josh, we have decided on a way for me to incorporate 3D in my main work this semester. Being that I'm a a Maya n00b, he suggested I try to build a set of low poly models representative of those seen in DS/PSP games. I intend to make a soldier (which I can duplicate to create a squad), at least one vehicle and an enemy or two plus some very basic terrain that I can then render as 'screenshots' and if possible display them on a PSP screen as a slideshow in April. If was to go the whole hog, I could attempt also to animate them and create short video clips too - Josh has shown us how to do so and it didn't look THAT difficult, though it is all dependant on time!

The conceptual designs are just about coming to a stage where I am happy with them and I have attempted to make a low poly 'man', although the joints will need to be adjusted before he can be animated. My next few posts will summarise the next stages of development...

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