It's been a couple of weeks or so since I managed to post an update. I the post-Christmas blues are starting to fade for everyone and work is starting to feel like the norm again. The latest personal project is a shoe. I've wanted to model one of these for a while but have never found the time. The soles always looked pretty tricky and so it's proving. On the sole of the new Air Jordans the insets are square-like but they're rotated at 45 degrees to the sole itself, so it's quite tricky blending that and the edgeloops from the body together. Not to mention there are a lot of loops that have to be ended before the reach the edge of the sole so finding ways to finish them is tricky.
Well I've still got one project which seems to be one of those unfortunate never ending ones but happily most of the elements are out of my hands now. Over the last few days while I've been at a bit of a loose end, I've been building a little side project. Here are some of the characters from a new chess set I'm modelling. I've only got a couple more to build and then it's a case of loading some textures onto those bad boys.
At the moment I'm thinking silver and black metal, perhaps with a kind of bronzed or gold base. The only issue that I'm not quite sure how to resolve is how to get a black material with a high amount of reflections. The reflection colour obviously affects the intensity so creating a black reflective colour would lead to a low reflection value. It's only a minor concern at the moment but I'll upload some render tests as and when. . . .
I'm still using my lunch break (or sometimes evening break) to keep up my Project 365, a photo a day for the year. You can find it here http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickfinnvfx/sets/72157632405931004/. It's been a bit of a mash of a few things so far and that initial well of inspiration is starting to empty. You kind of assume you're going to have loads of ideas but loads at the start means about ten. I'm sure different themes will present themselves throughout the year but it's certainly looking like a challenge. If anyone has any ideas or advice let me know!
I've finally managed to upload the final render of my last project, an animation of a robot building and coming together for a robotics company. Following on from my last post, this project stresses again how strange it is when you're completing things on your own as opposed to passing off assets as part of a team. In one sense it was helpful as I could build and texture parts of the model for the animation, rather than build the whole thing (although he does have legs for a planned minute long version). However in another sense you can end up taking much longer to complete projects as there are naturally elements that are outside of you knowledge zone. In my case some of the animation got a little fiddly and I'm sure there are quicker ways of accomplishing some of the tasks than the way I went about them.
I should also have another project to show in a few weeks but the render times on it are staggering so please don't hold your breath. You'll be purple long before it's finished. . . . . Anyway, here is the video of the robot project, or you can check it out on vimeo directly ( https://vimeo.com/53672164 ).
Here's a quick teaser from my latest project. A robotics engineer asked for an animation to publicise himself, with his logo and slogan 'Bringing Robotics to Life'.
The idea is to animate a robot building and coming together, then walking and perhaps interacting or playing some part in forming his logo. Most of the pieces are animated building now. You can see the initial test render of the arm building here https://vimeo.com/49594497.
This however is a still from the full render. Hopefully the entire spot should be online in the next week or two and obviously when it is you'll be the first to know. Okay, maybe second or third. . . after the client then my mother. As always feel free to let me know what you think via the forms or an email or whatever.
As you may know (if you've read a couple of posts underneath this one!) over this year, I've been hugely privileged and incredibly lucky to create some tutorials and (in the latest issue) a Maya review for 3D World magazine. I've uploaded a video showing some of the images I used with these articles and some wireframes and breakdowns too. I hope you like them and if you've got any feedback , advice or questions feel free to give me a shout.
I am pleased to tell you I've got a second article in 3D World magazine. It can be found in this months issue (Issue 158 http://www.3dworldmag.com/2012/06/19/zbrush-hair-and-fur-and-more-3d-world-158/ ) and is some tips and tricks for hard surface modelling in Maya. Hopefully it goes a little beyond just reading the manual out to you and incorporates some of the best practices and also workflow tips to avoid running into issues as your model becomes more detailed. There's also a little MEL in there to help build some basic polygonal shapes which will be useful in keeping your model 100% quads.
As always feel free to email me or get in touch through any of the other mechanisms to ask me questions about the tutorial or leave me some feedback if you're working through it.
I've finished the interior to a place where I'm kind of happy with it. There are some things I'd change if I could go back but aren't there always. it came in at about a ten minute render for all of the different passes. It was built in Maya rendered in Mental Ray and tweaked in After Effects. the only reason I didn't use Photoshop is because I've got a couple of plugins that I find really useful for this kind of image only installed with After Effects and not Photoshop.
I'm on about a week's hiatus from now until my new machine arrives as this one is sadly biting its last byte and spitting out its last render. So I won't be starting any major new pieces of work for that time. There are a fe things I still want to post though so please keep checking back in the next couple of weeks. As always feel free to get in touch and tell me what you think too. It's good to talk. . . .
So I have found myself banished to the shade of the indoors for parts of the last couple of days. After the winter that seemed to go on for longer than Narnia's my body isn't quite ready for mid twenty degree heat all day. So I've been 3D doodling on this image. There's still a bit of a ways to go even for the modelling stage. . . . I'll be making a candle holder for the table, some pictures in frames and some other little details before I even think about texturing and lighting.
Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions or comments, as always feel free to get in touch via the contact form or email or whatever. Or just pop round and I'll treat you to an iced coffee while we take turns sitting in the fridge. . .
Just time for a quick update. I've taken on a new side project over the last few days and have been building and texturing a Canon camera. I still plan to build a lens to go with it and add a few more details in the colour channel and normal map and probably tweak the brushed metal texture a little more when I get a bit more free time but for now here it is. I'll render some other angles over the next few days and put them in the gallery. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, critiques and things.