Directed Study - Weeks 11 & 12

Well, I've finally done it: I have fully completed the base mesh for my Juggler character!

This took me a bit longer than I had hoped due to a vacation on which I had a lot of fun but got no work done last week and an illness that severely inhibited my ability to work this week, but I've finally finished it.

The first thing that I did after posting for week 10 was finish the last few pieces of the housework-themed leg:

The scissors are probably my favorite piece in this whole character so far. They were much more challenging to create than I anticipated, but the extra work was extremely worth it. I love how they turned out. I've already done a render of them with a metal texture and they look like real scissors. I'm quite proud of them.

You may notice that  the scissors are different sizes in different images on this blog entry, and that is because one of the final things that I did before calling the base mesh officially "done" was enlarge the scissors to give them more of a presence in the design. Tareq suggested this in my most recent DS class this past Tuesday, and I think it was a good call. I didn't actually get around to enlarging them, however, until after I'd already gathered a number of screen shots for this blog entry, so they appear as different sizes in different images. The larger size as they appear in the bottommost images of the above collage is their final incarnation in the piece, however.

The next portion of the character that I moved on to was the kitchen-themed leg:

I made a rolling pin, wooden spoon, knife, spatula, spoon holder/vase, whisk, juicer, measuring spoons, bowl, foot piece, spinning plate on a stick, tea cup, and tea ball, and arranged them accordingly. The tea cup and tea ball are difficult to see in most images as they sit in a representation of a coverless pocket in the apron, but they're worth taking a look at. Maya doesn't really seem to like the fact I constructed an actual mesh of crisscrossing wire forms for the wire mesh part of the tea ball - it's a little too high poly and makes Maya chug a bit when it's on screen in smooth mode - but I'm excited about what I anticipate the final textured render of it will look like with the actual geometry there.

  The next thing I did was revise the supporting hand yet again. It now consists of a drafting table, plugs in a surge protector, and the rubber stamp that I built previously working together as the supporting part of the statue. I also finished the bulldog clip that I started a few weeks ago to fill the previous position that the rubber stamp was in.

I then moved on to the torso, building objects to represent hobbies and creating the geometry (thanks to retopology and adaptive skin tools in ZBrush) for the apron:

The most difficult piece on her back was the film strip. It was simple to build (though also a bit challenging due to it's poly-count being a bit high for Maya to enjoy smoothing), but very difficult to position. I used bend deformers to wrap it around the body, but I had a hard time deciding just where I wanted it to go, and the first few positions had some odd combinations of angles for the deformers to create. It was a piece I dropped and then went back to a number of times. I also decided to extend the vacuum cord at this point to fill some of the odd open space around the area of her left butt cheek. I considered a number of things to fill the space, but when I had placed stuff there in past weeks it covered up many of the details of the vacuum too much, so I kind of liked that space somewhat more open. The space is hidden in most views of the character anyway, but there was one angle in which that space was clearly visible and bugged me much too much to leave it completely blank, thus my decision to fill the space with the present, but minimally obscuring tangled vacuum cord.

Finally, I moved on to  the base meshes for the more human characteristics:

The Juggler face and attached torso:

And the Baby:

These pieces were particularly challenging for me because I haven't memorized a good method for creating geometry with proper edge flow for animating the face. I know how the edge flow is supposed to look, with rings around the eyes, the nose, and the mouth, but whenever I try to create it from scratch I end up with that result after a lot of round-about readjustments of topology. I think that I really just need to go back and study the videos that I still have of Tareq's method for creating facial topology from my Organic Modeling 1 class to get the process down pat, but, in the meantime, these faces were good practice. I also happen to think that they turned out pretty well, despite their less than efficient process of creation.

So, that's it. That's all of the work that I've done for the past few weeks. Now I need to get going on work for my Modo rendering class, which will consist of texturing all of the fully finished objects that require no ZBrush sculpting:

Then I will put in some more work on my Creature Design course ZBrush model, which I have only three weeks to finish, and then move on to sculpting Juggler pieces in ZBrush. It should be fun!