Saturday, 15 October 2011

Modelling my environment

So I have reached a point where I can show some of the modelling I have created and discuss some of methods I have used. Over the summer I attempted some modelling/lighting/effects etc. so starting this project I at least had the very basic skills to help me. Modelling has gone slower than expected...but I think that's because I took a lot on, not realising how much time this stuff takes to make in Maya because I don't have the knowledge of say another programme such as 3ds Max. So lets do this...

The Bench
The bench was probably the easiest thing to model in my scene. It consisted of just simple boxes that were re-sized to make lengths of wood. The only really tricky part to this was creating the feet. I wanted to use as many different modelling techniques as possible so for this I wanted to use the curve tools and then extract a polygon face around the curve. However as this was my first stab at this process it didn't work so found a way around it. By creating a tube and changing the sides to 4, I could easily create the same effect as I was originally going for.

The WindowThis was definately one of my biggest challenges ad it invlovled a lot of attention to detail when it came to getting the window frame precise. I used lots of techniques such as the Extrude, Bridge, Merge Vertex Tool and most importantly the insert edge loop tool. The Shutters were quite easy. I simply rotated a thin box and duplicated with Ctrl+D and continued with Shift+D to duplicate it several times. I also learnt how to create groups within hierarchy's, making it very easy to select the necessary component.

The Door Arch
This was created for the front to do the building and will be one of the main features (including the door itself) I easily created a simple box, unwrapped it first quickly, duplicated it a few times and then altered the shapes very slightly. For objects like bricks with a lot of variation in the mesh can have numerous methods to create them. I could have used a displacement map or normal map and I could have also taken it into Zbrush or Mudbox to alter but I thought that would take too much time. I chose to play around with the Transform Component Tool which I found very effective. I don't think it gives you as much control as the Noise modifier in 3dsMax however.

The BicycleYou can't have a tradition Italian scene without the vintage bicycle leaning somewhere in the picture. I wanted to spend a little more time on modelling this prop as I just thought it was something a little more interesting than what I usually do. I also wanted to finally crack that method of using the curve tools. I started by using the Bezier Curve Tool but had some problems with that when it came to editing the curve so I ended up using the EP Curve Tool which helped a lot. Extruding a long the curves was sometimes tricky if the curve had a lot of angles but I'm happy with the result.

The Table for Two
To get some variety in my scene I wanted to experiment with different features within Max and incorporate it within my scene. This was a good opportunity to test out the nCloth feature. As you can see it's not a perfect result by a long way but after a few tests (and a few crashes from Maya) I got a fairly decent result. 

So this is where I'm at so far. It is still early stages and there is a lot more modelling to do, such things as doors, more windows, plant pots, stools, barrells etc. I hope you like what you see and i'll get some more recent shots of some texturing up soon!

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