Directed Study - Week 8

This week I UVed my Addict model, adjusted some of his geometry (which, of course, means I'll have to go back and adjust the UVs again, but, hey, at least I won't have to start completely from scratch on them I guess...), made a base mesh for my creature design creature in ZBrush (I really need to come up with a better name for him than "Creature", and began texturing some of my Juggler's objects in Modo.

 I spent quite a bit of time re-doing things on my Addict model last week. This week wasn't quite as bad, but I still feel like there must have been a more efficient way to work on this character... Oh well, I guess I'm learning and that's the important thing, right?

So, picking up from where I left off a few days ago with my Addict model progress, I brought my Addict model into UV Layout and arranged his UVs thus:


I thought it looked pretty good - there's a bit of stretching and compression (represented by the blue and red tinted polygons) throughout the mesh, but overall it's a fair layout. There's nothing particularly bright blue or red except perhaps the inside of his eye bags, but no one's ever going to see those anyway, so I called it good  and brought the mesh back into Maya to throw a texture on it and check it out. It was upon re-importing it that I realized I'd lost all of my Quick Select Sets I'd made (again), but, as I wrote in my last entry, I had a solution for that suggested too me before I got around to attempting to make the groups a third time (thank goodness). 

When I showed my progress to Tareq he suggested some more adjustments to the form before bringing it into ZBrush, so I adjusted the outlines of the eye sockets to make less of the eyeballs visible from the side of the face, expanded the shoulder poofs to come out further (which I'd originally intended to do in ZBrush, but it made sense to just add it into the base mesh instead), adjusted his posture so that he's sitting on his feet more, brought his neck, ear, and the back of his head back further, and added geometry to the front of his forearms where he has slits in his costume. Tareq also suggested that I bring the corners of the mouth back further, but I'm going to wait until I start working on the model in ZBrush to do that. I'll make the adjustments to the lowest level of the geometry, similar to if I were adjusting the base mesh in Maya, but it'll be much easier to see what I'm doing in ZBrush because I'll be able to hide the hands without having to detach them from the mesh.

This is my progress on the changes so far:

Then I put a checkered image on the character to check out the UV placement (which I never actually got around to before because I got distracted by realizing I'd lost all of my Quick Select Sets).

As you can see in the bottom right image, something funky happened with the UVs on the back of the head - the patterns all wiggly. The rest of the UVs are still pretty good, even with the extra adjustments I made to the mesh. There's some clear stretching where I added to the shoulder poofs and whatnot, but that should be a pretty easy fix. I'm not sure why the back of the head is wiggly though...

In any case, I'm not going to bother fixing the UVs anymore until I finish making my adjustments to the mesh. I am glad that I worked on his UVs already, however, because they allowed me to do this:

The different colored sections in the images are the different Polygroups created by the individual UV shells on the UV map above. I can hide and reveal the individual Polygroups at my leisure so that I can easily reach his face and whatnot while I'm working on sculpting him. I subdivided and smoothed him once in the bottom right images to reveal a slight problem I'm having: There are parts of the mesh that butt right up against one another that I need to remain butted up against each other, such as at the elbow and between the legs, but smoothing the mesh pulls them apart. I'm not one hundred percent sure how to fix that. I'm hoping that if I just crease those edges they'll remain together, but I'm not entirely sure that that wont interfere with the smoothness of those sections while I'm sculpting. I guess I'll just have to test it out and consult Tareq if it doesn't work the way that I want it to.

Beyond my Addict model I began the ZBrush model of my creature design this week. First I created a ZSphere Rig in ZBrush:


Then I made an adaptive skin out of it and turned on Dynamesh to shape the base form for my creature:

He's missing his hood and the fleshy shapes on his back, but I'm not going to add those to him until I get him posed because the pose will have a very large influence on their shape. The next step is retopologizing him so that the geometry flows with his shape and is not so difficult to work with.

The last thing that I did this week was work in Modo (as per usual). I began texturing some of my Juggler object models this week. I decided that the best thing that I can do as a project for my Photoreal Rendering class is to texture my Juggler objects both as metal objects that will go into my statue and as the actual objects themselves for portfolio pieces. This idea will allow me to make more materials than just the metal and glass required for the Juggler; it will give me some extra material for my portfolio; and it will give me more time to finish my Addict so that I'm not rushing to finish his modeling just so that I can have a patterned model for the course.

The first Item that I worked on texturing was the chair:

It still needs a lot of work because the leather will require some image maps to make it actually look like leather and I haven't manged to get the grunge quite right yet on the bronze version, but it's a start.

I then moved onto the pencil and the stapler:


I'm pretty happy with both pencils as they are. They eraser on the non-metal one may need a little work, but it's mostly there. I'm also happy with the non-metal stapler, but I'm not quite satisfied withthe metal one. The green metal either seems to be too shiny or too dull no matter what I do: I can't seem to find a middle ground. I think that I'm going to leave it as it is for now and come back to it after I've had a bit more experience with the other items.

The last thing I worked on was my clock. I had a bit of an issue with flipped normals on the clock hands. The hands stayed black unless I had them emitting something like 200% of the light going into them. I went into Maya and conformed the normals on them to the rest of the mesh. Then I turned on "Display Face Normals" and checked them out and they looked correct, so I ruled the normals out as the problem and asked McKay what was going on. He hit "F" on the keyboard in Modo and viola: perfect clock hands. "F", it turns out, is "Flip Normals"... The normals were the problem after all. It seems like it's always something simple like that when you actually bring up a problem you're having to the professor. You keep fiddling and fiddling with an issue trying everything you know to fix it, getting more and more frustrated all the time, and as soon as you ask the professor it's either something they can fix with a single button-click or you can't get the problem to recur while they're looking at the screen - suddenly everything just works fine and you feel like an idiot... Oh well. Anyway, here are the clock renders:


The bottom right one is the only one rendered after the normals were flipped. The hands should actually match the hour markers.