Directed Study - Week 4

I didn’t get a whole lot of work done on my thesis this week because I got distracted with other projects. I’m collaborating on a friend’s animation thesis by building him a 3D model of a dragon built entirely out of cubes. I also had an 8 inch maquette to build for my creature design course and 15 new textures to create in Modo. Despite this, I did manage to get a couple of models done for my Juggler character. I finished the computer mouse that I began in my GDS class last week. I had started building it in one piece but was having trouble with the smoothing where the corners of the buttons met. The geometry kept pinching no matter what kind of holding edges I managed to get into the mesh (and sometimes those edges caused the pinching). Tareq suggested that, like the keyboard, the mouse would be easier to model in multiple pieces. I took his advice and it seems to have been successful:

I also modeled a “to go” coffee cup and started modeling a stapler.

That’s all for my thesis, I’m afraid, but I did get some useful work on my creature design in by building the small maquette.

I changed the silhouette of my creature a bit before starting in on the sculpting. I tried to change the proportion of the back leg compared to the front two legs according to Micah’s request. This is what I came up with:

#1 was my favorite. I shortened the thigh area of the creature’s back leg, thereby elongating the lower portion so that it would continue to reach the ground. I also moved his foot back just a bit to make him look a little sturdier on his feet. I submitted thoise six options along with this image showing a comparison of the silhouette, a top view sketch to indicate limb placement, and a quick sketch of the creature's walk cycle:

Micah approved the changes, but requested that I play with the silhouette of the billowing folds along the back as well. I decided to sculpt the maquette and play with that form in 3D rather than 2D. It was a mistake.

I built my maquette out of an air-dry clay that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. He has a nice wire armature mounted in a base of cured Sculpy III and a body made from La Doll clay. I referred to the 2D design when I built the armature, but after that I left the sculpt up to memory and intuition. That was another mistake. I spent a full day and night working on him and was quite happy with how he turned out when I finished him. The next day when I compared him to my color design, however, I wasn’t so pleased. His head is down too much and his face is too far forward in his hood. The billowing folds along his back are also much too small. I want them to be deep and shadowy. These are shallow and much too regular. The feedback I received in class was that the back leg and foot still needed to be a bit sturdier and I need to have his body twisting a bit more to break up the very straight-up-and-down form he has when looking at him head-on.

        The last of my projects this week was 5 Modo fur materials, 5 displacement materials, and 5 bump ones. McKay showed us how to use fur, displacement, bump, and luminosity in the class before this particular assignment was issued and I got some fun results:

The luminous material was created by playing around with luminosity and a gradient editor, and McKay took us through the creation of the lava step by step.

        For the homework, however, I once again, spent many hours trying to get things looking good and had less than thrilling results:

I was quite pleased by my sea urchin spines and cast iron, and amused by “the world’s strangest Lego”, but, for the most part things just didn’t look quite right. There are a couple of textures in those images (“Moss on Rock” and “Other Grass”) that I created during the most recent class after the homework was due. Those came out a bit better because McKay showed us at the start of class how to have a different material on the fur and the surface from which the fur is protruding. My previous “Moss” looked like it was growing out of bright green plastic because the fur was getting its material properties out of the surface from which it was protruding. I like “Moss on Rock” much better. I still need a lot more practice to get things to a point I’m really happy with, however.