Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Low Down on 3DF

So the week is coming to a close and 3D Foundations will be a thing of the past. I am sad. I really loved this class! At the same time, it was pretty stressful. But still, I learned so much and made many new friends.

So the busy month is the reason I haven't posted at all. But now that I'm done, I can sum up what happened.

Well, first of all, we started off with some rough story boarding.

We were able to chose from three actions and three props. (Jump, heavy lift, shooting a gun along with a fire hydrant, a chair, or a shotgun.) I obviously chose a heavy lifting action and my prop was the chair. We could choose any of the three props just so long as whatever prop we chose, it was visible somewhere in our final project.

Our next project was to model our prop. We had a specific structure to follow with given reference images and then we could add whatever details we wanted with our remaining poly count. The poly limit on the prop was 500. My final poly count was 492.

Not bad, eh?!

Then came the character...

Of the 800 poly count limit, I hit 740. I obviously opted for the female character reference. It seemed like the greater challenge.

Next, we textured our character's head just for experience. We weren't actually allowed to use textures for our final movie, but we did at least have to learn about the process of texturing, including UV mapping and texture painting.

This was my textured head, and if you want to know what the flat texture looked like before I slapped it on:

Next, we had to rig our character for animation. That means we add a sort of digital skeleton of bones and joints to the character and then attach them to the character's body parts, or the geometry (as everything you model is made up of bits of geometry).

The reallyyyy lengthy part was the animation. We had to animate 144 frames. Luckily, Maya does a lot of the in between work, but you still have to do all of the main poses. Then you go back and add in some more frame keys to make the motions look more natural.

Then we colored all of the objects and added in lights. Lastly, you render, which is a lengthy process in which the computer calculates all the different elements you put in your scene and translate it into tons of individual images (all of your frames). Finally you can put those images together into a movie and you haveeeee:

So there you have it. A whole month of ridiculous labor translated into 6 seconds of glory that only the creator can appreciate!

Aaaand...I GOT ANOTHER 100% =D