Creative and technical model: Retopology

This morning was spent retopologising the base model, because there was too many tris on the model itself, and this would have caused trouble with animation in the future steps.

I did this by using the multi-cut tool to connect the vertices in messy areas better, deleting the unnecessary edges from the model, and merging any vertices that didn’t need to be there. I spent some most of this morning working out the wisest way to do it, and retopologising one side of the model. I then deleted the other half of the model, and finally worked out how to use the mirror tool so that I wouldn’t have to worry about connecting the model pieces and vertices.

I then began personalising the model to the character that I am making for my creative and technical model, Lilith. I will likely make Zach’s model around the same stages that I make the Lilith model, however the Lilith model comes first in this case.

I started by making her shirt. To do this, I extruded most of the torso area out of the model, and made a collar part by extruding faces out of the top of that previous extrusion around the neck. I then put an edge loop around the torso so that it would be possible to extrude out the corset part. This is all of the progress that I have made throughout the college day.

Lil shirt 1.PNG

So far, I am feeling confident about how this looks. Before the model was retopologised, I was having trouble thinking it was good, however now that the geometry has been fixed, it looks more like a professional model. My next steps are to make the shirt look more like a shirt, then make the rest of the low poly clothing and hair as soon as possible so that I can rig her up and get started on the animation while I work on the high poly version.


Creative and technical model: Feedback

Today’s lesson was focused mainly on feedback for our model’s progress so far. We were split out of our groups and partnered with people from other groups to give and receive feedback on our models. The feedback for my model’s progress so far can be viewed here

I then got working on some final steps for making the hard lines on the model smoother. I asked Matt for advice on what caused this and what to do about it, and his response was that too many edges were close together, and this made the lines look sharp even when smoothed. Matt then advised using the target weld tool to merge vertices of some of the lines so that they wouldn’t be there to cause trouble. This worked out wonderfully, and now those parts of the model look smooth. I then shifted some edges around and used the same technique to make the chest less pointy. Lastly, I moved the ears on the model down so that they looked more anatomically correct and appealing.

4th boy soft lines

At this moment in time, I am very happy with this model. I am currently very happy to share this model with Ebonny so that we can get started on making this model into Zach and Lilith, which is my next step.

Creative and technical model: Model smoothing update

Since Tuesday, I’ve spent some time making the model’s body smoother and more rounder. This was mostly done with edgeloops and edge smoothing, so no new techniques were used on this part. I then gave the model a nose and some ears so that it resembles a person more. This was done by extruding those parts and then moving around edges and vertices. Then, I attached the model’s head to the body.

3rd boy re-capitated

I’m quite happy with the way the model looks now. I’m happier now that the head has been attached, because it feels more like a character and less like a lego boy. However, I’m not overjoyed about the hard edges on the model’s head and chest, because they look bad from the wrong angle. This is something I plan to fix in my next steps. My next steps after that will be to make this into the characters that it needs to be.

Creative and Technical model: Model smoothing, and learning about texel density

Today I worked on making the base model less blocky and more life like. We also learned about texel density.

Texels are basically to textures what pixels are to pictures. A texel is a small piece of texture that forms together with other texels to make a texture. Texel density is the amount of texels that make up a texture, so high texel density is a higher resolution, and low texel density is a low resolution. This is important to keep track of, because if the texel density isn’t equal for everything on a model, then textures look weird and badly scaled, which overall makes the texture worthless. It is also important to keep track of texel density so that your scene doesn’t become too memory intensive for small assets that could easily just have a lower resolution texture.

This morning was mostly spent making the base model more rounded. I got some edge loops into the model, and then moved edges and verts around to make it look rounder.

Base model low poly rounding 1

I’m now working on trying to get the arms to look more arm like, and trying to overall make the body look smooth. I used edge smoothing and lots of appending to polygons to try and get the model as smooth as possible. I’m actually super happy with the outcome so far, considering that this morning he looked like a lego boy.

My next steps after making the model smooth are to make facial features such as ears and a nose, and to make any extruded clothing parts that are necessary for both models.

Creative and Technical model: Low poly model start, and learning about retopology

In today’s lesson, Matt taught us about retopology and showed us some more modelling techniques. Retopology can be used to recreate a surface with optimal geometry to even out polygons, and lower the overall polygon counter. It is also useful for making the polygons on a face deform better when animating. He also taught us how to use curves to make shapes to extrude along.

I then got on with making the base model for the animated short project. Unfortunately I didn’t make use of any new techniques yet, but I hope to make good use of those later on when I make hair for the character model. So far I only have a very chunky blocky model, which I will work through the week to make better.

Currently it doesn’t look great, however my next steps are to smooth the model out with edge loops, and make the body look less like a lego character, and more rounded. Ideally I will get this finished before next week so that I can distribute it to ebby, and then we can get to work on making the characters.

Animated short: Creative and Technical model planning

Today we discussed what we are going to make for our creative and technical model. Since we are making an animation, we decided it made more sense to make the characters as our creative and technical models so that they would be done sooner and available for the animation part quicker. We split the tasks of the models that needed making so that Ebonny is making most of the environment assets, and I am making the base character model. After the base character model is made, we are going to make both of the character models from that, so Ebonny is going to make Zach, and I will make Lilith. Here is a visual representation that I made to try and work out how to make it…

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The modelling pipeline consists of first doing the research, collecting reference images and/or concept art for the model, then working out design choices and concepts for the final sketches and annotating as necessary, then making the low poly model, then UV unwrapping so that the UVs are set, then making the high poly model, this point is a good time to work out naming conventions, then bake the model to get the normal map, then texturing, making sure to check that the model will work in the required destination, then exporting to the necessary engine.

My next steps for this model are to make the low poly base model so that I can then make the high poly one to distribute to Ebonny so that we can finish the characters as soon as possible.


Substance painter: Week 2

Today I continued making textures for this turtle in substance painter, and learned how to bake textures from high to low poly models within substance painter.

To bake textures in substance painter, you need to press the bake textures button, then chose the model that is going to be baked onto the low poly one, then make sure that the suffixes are the same as they are within the modelling software, then bake it. I made the mistake of forgetting to make the suffixes the same as they were in the Maya file (because substance painter is case sensitive) and my first few attempts at baking didn’t work properly, but after I asked for help and this was changed it worked out fine. I also learned about what ambient occlusion is, it is a texture map that can be used to add in shadows that rendering software usually misses with the available lighting, for example the dark shadows in the corner of walls, or a shadow between two ridges. I didn’t play around with ambient occlusion yet, but in the future it is likely to be something I’ll try out. I then learned that to export you have to chose which platform you want to export to (as long as it’s compatible with the model), and then it just exports! Armed with this knowledge, I exported my turtle to Sketchfab, here is the link below!

Overall, I am happy with how this model turned out. Because of the nature of the high poly model, it has a lot of skin texture to it, which makes the wool texture I chose look a little strange, but it sort of gives it a loved toy look so I’m okay with that. I took some time to try and add some depth to the wool texture, which doesn’t look drastically different, but it’s a subtle improvement, and gave him some eyes so that he doesn’t look terrifying anymore. I was hoping to try and give him Pixar eyes, but I couldn’t really get it to work, so I might go back to that and make it better at some point.

Substance painter is likely to come in super useful later on, if not for texturing then for texture baking. I never properly managed to bake textures in Maya, but substance painter makes it so much easier, so I’m very likely to use it for texture baking in the future, but overall I’m definitely going to use it for texturing too, because being able to visually see where you are painting makes it so much easier to texture.