Friday, June 21, 2013

Character Design and Creation

CDC was a super fun and awesome month! It was a lot of hard work, but it really paid off to see just what I had to offer in the world of modeling organics. I had never even attempted modeling anything like an animal, let alone a human. But I was super proud of what I did in CDC.

First of all, here is my completed model:

I would say that the hardest part with organic modeling is making sure all of your separate pieces are going to be able to fit together by planning ahead and making sure you have the correct amount of edges at your seams. For example, you can't attach a hand which has 20 edge loops going down it to an arm which only has 16 edge loops.

So the planning aspect was definitely the hardest for me to comprehend. But in the end, I think it's just a matter of practice and experience.

As well as modeling the character, we also had to do some clothing development for our characters. My character was a "Steampunk Burlesque/Showgirl from the Future." And yes, that was generated randomly! We had the option of cycling through the character creation generator until we hit one that we liked. So this is what I had to work with. And here is what I came up with:

If I had more time, I think I could have definitely accomplished a much better design and illustration. But I really focused on the modeling, since modeling humans was something I was more inexperienced in.

Well, there you have it! My very first 3D character and her clothing design. If only I knew how to model clothes now. Final grade? 99% baby ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Design Class

This class had a LOT of art, so I'm not going to bother posting all of it up. Basically we just were given some critical thinking tasks in order to get a better handle on design principles. What makes a composition more interesting and engaging to look at? That kind of thing. 

Oh and the catch: the whole class was entirely traditional art... After I've finally discovered I am most definitely more comfortable with digital art... But I do enjoy a good challenge I suppose.

The final project consisted of an entire chunk of pre-production concept art. We had to choose from a character design project, environmental design project, or a storyboard project. I chose to do a character because I have a lot of fun with that sort of thing.

We were also given a fairy tale to work from, along with a choice of two characters. My fairy tale was "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" by the Grimm Brothers. I won't spoil the story for you, but the characters I did were the Old Soldier and the Youngest Princess. So here is some of the art I had to create to design these characters:

These silhouettes were done first to block out some different shapes and styles and get a feel for what best represents the character you are trying to create.

Next, I chose a few of each that I liked the most and did some rough drafts. This gave me a more clear idea of what they would all look like. Now for the final decision.

Here's where the heavy duty concept art comes into play. Above we've got full character turn arounds, expression sheets, and facial canon changes (to play with different face shapes and styles). Once the character is pretty solid, we get the final concept renders:

And voila! That's a very basic idea of how character design pre-pro works. If anyone out there is looking to design some characters, I have one bit of advice for you: learn how to use construction shapes! They are absolutely the most important tool for drawing characters consistently. I always hated the idea, but now I am obsessed with laying out my characters in construction shapes first, then working on top of that. Even when the characters are as simple as the ones I did above.

But anyways....I'm exhausted. Too much concept art crammed into one week. And now I am bombarded with too much concept art to be crammed into another week (with Mother's Day this weekend on top of that!!) So I am going to go fall into a dreamless oblivion before I get back to work, haha...

Oh right...Final grade for Methods of Design? 97.84!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shading And Lighting

So I had a really hard time with this class. Basically, we learned how to create lights and how lighting works, whether you're lighting for a picture, for a film, or for a game. Lighting is crucial to design and can dramatically enhance the mood of whatever you're working on. I have always had a keen interest in lighting, so the lighting portion of this class was really fun and easy for me.

Shading on the other hand....

Let's just say, it isn't my strong suit. It took me a really, really long time to understand the concepts and to get a hang of the processes. But where there is a will, there is a way. And my hard work really pays off. It really does go to show though that you seriously have to be willing to put in the time in order to get any sort of pay off at all. I worked my butt of in this class and was only moderately satisfied with the outcomes on all of my projects in comparison to projects in prior classes.

I do commend a lot of my classmates who did excellent work in this class!

But let's cut to the chase. :)

So I'm not going to post a lot of the beginning projects just because I don't want to break any Full Sail rules by uploading their render references. But basically for the first few weeks they would provide a reference image of the render that we were supposed to recreate and some help on how to accomplish this. So for week one, we were learning basic rendering and lighting. Week two was all about texturing....

This bad boy is the Hypershade (and the Attribute Editor on the right). Look confusing and scary? THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS. And that is what you have to work with to create textures. Even the name Hypershade scares me.

But anyways. So after going through a couple of weeks of Hell trying to figure out how to do this stuff, we were thrown into an even deeper circle of Hell for the final week. Our last project (worth 45% of out entire grade for the class) was to completely texture and light a whole scene ourselves to look as close to the reference image as possible. There were about 4 different options to choose from. I chose a scary staircase.

So from left to right, that's Before, After, and Reference. I think it's alright, but I felt so rushed. If I had longer than a week to spend on that, I think I could have done a much better job. But part of being in this industry is having to deal with time constraints so I am trying to get used to that.

The rules were no Photoshopping allowed! That was 100% rendered in Maya, baby! Luckily, we didn't have to model anything or else none of that would have happened haha.

Overall, I did pretty great in this class. But it was really, really tough. It wasn't my best, but my final grade was a 95.7%. Boom.