Directed Study - Week 2 - Modo and Creature Design

The homework for my Hyper-real Photo Rendering for Modelers class this week was basically “get familiar with Modo”, so I used my time for that course to build a keyboard for my Juggler thesis character. Modo’s modeling tools are kind of hard to get used to after all of the time that I’ve spent in Maya and ZBrush lately, but I really think that it’s worth the effort to have familiarity with yet another program that I can add to the “Skills” section of my resume. I couldn’t seem to get the “julienne” tool to work properly, but perhaps I just don’t understand the way it “properly” works... I was hoping that it would make a series of parallel edge loops at a constant interval in the geometry so that I could extrude the keys out of it, but when I actually applied the tool the scale seemed to be very different from where the lines that I took to be guidelines were showing on the model. I ended up just using the slice tool to put in edge loops at as regular of intervals as I could manage.

I spent quite a bit of time creating designs for my creature design course this week. I made about 50 different designs, emailed them to my teacher, Micah, and he chose 2 and told me to keep going.

(He liked 39 and 21.)

So I made 43 more designs and brought all 93 into class on Friday:

He chose 39, 69, and 72 as starting points for me to keep developing my design more. He requested more interest in the negative space around the character. I wanted to honor this request because I’m assuming that he knows more about good creature design than I do, but I’m also rather taken with the idea of a creature with a kind of built-in hood around its head. I like the idea of a creepy “reveal” feature to my creature design, so I decided to try and incorporate that into something with a more interesting silhouette to please both of us.

So, after even more drawing, I ended up with these silhouettes:

He liked 11 and 13, which really surprised me since 11 is pretty much a stylized brontosaurus and, while I like 13, I don’t think it’s as interesting as some of the others on the page. I really like the idea of my character having a tail with a bioluminescent “lantern” on the end of it like an angler fish, and number 2 on the page is exactly creature number 13 with said tail, so I think that I’m going to work with 13 and some of my other favorites on the page (7 and 18) to refine them more and see what kind of feedback I get.