Directed Study - Week 10

My Juggler model is coming along nicely. I should be done with her base mesh modeling by this time next week:

She now has the better part of three limbs, as well as a guide mesh locating her head and torso. I built a pin cushion, a mop, a feather duster, a light bulb (complete with filament), a spray bottle, a vacuum, a shopping bag, an open envelope, and a frying pan earlier this week and incorporated them into the character. I decided to change the location of the chair that I built; I'm going to replace the one currently serving as her wrist with a drafting table and move it, instead, to her left thigh. Also on her left thigh is my favorite prop that I have built yet: the vacuum cleaner:

I think the reason that I like the vacuum so well is because I got to use all of the new tricks that I've learned lately on it, like deformers and extruding faces along a path: I originally tried to extrude a nurbs circle along the nurbs curve that I created for the path of the cord, but every time I attempted to rebuild the curve so that I could get the extrusion to function properly the curve just exploded into something highly unmanageable. Rather than fighting with it, my roommate suggested extruding the polygonal faces of a cylinder along the curve. When he discovered that I'd never done that before he showed me how, it worked like a dream, and I've used the technique several times in the days since.

My next step for the Juggler is a few late additions to the left leg (ideas that my roommate and I dreamed up lately while shifting the location of the small armchair away from the wrist), the entire kitchen/cooking themed leg, and the "personal interests" themed objects along the torso. After that I will move on to sculpting the objects that need additional refinement in ZBrush, more UVing, and, finally, texturing. I'm hoping to finish the whole thing in two weeks time so that I can enter it into my school's Spring Show, but I think I'll be cutting it quite close and may not finish it on time. I'm still hoping, though!

I've done a small bit of texturing this week:

I wasn't really into either texturing or working on my creature this week because I was so excited about the progress I was making on my Juggler, but, as you can see, I did manage to texture two different versions of my light bulb, a cast iron and a generic frying pan, and one metal and one plastic spray bottle. I think these things are good practice for when I get around to actually being able to texture my Juggler as a whole, and I'll be able to reuse some of the materials in the full sculpture as well.

My only progress on my creature this week was to get the retopology finished. I finally managed to work on the topology without crashing every program the model touched, which was nice. 

The process took much longer than it should have, because the division level that you see in the images above is only one subdivision level beyond the topology that I plotted point by point on him in ZBrush. I should have made the divisions bigger, but I began at a certain level on the face, adhering too much to the existing detail, and was then forced to carry that level of detail throughout the rest of the mesh. It was a long and tedious process, but I learned a number of things while doing it, such as "start out bigger" and "don't use ZBrush for retopology if you have access to Topogun and 3D Coat". I believe it would have been quicker to learn and get used to a new program with more convenient retopology tools than it was to spend all that time covering the creature point by point in ZBrush. Oh well. Live, learn, and work more efficiently next time. :)