What I Did This Easter

Sounds suspiciously like a b-movie/bad horror film title doesn’t it? *ahem*

There’s something about term holidays that leave you wanting to do anything other that what you’re supposed to be doing until the last week. Which is better than my old record of 3 days before you’re meant to come back.

First two weeks were spent – not surprisingly on my part – messing around in 3DS Max and NOT doing my redesign for Arty. Good job I did actually, because I stumbled across a way to still have it smooth in render, but way fewer polygons that works. Well kinda, I’ve yet to do a rig test and see how it behaves.

First thing I did at the start of the holiday was follow up on a conversation between me and Hayley and make a rigged model of Yahtzee in his Zero Punctuation guise, which if anything was a lesson in how to rig a character that essentially has no arms or legs. This is before I found out about the fewer polygons trick so the model has a high polygon count.

Then I sorta leapt of a cliff into deep water. I decided to get started on something I’d been thinking about doing for a while and make 3d models of LEGO pieces and a minifig (the plan for the latter being to make it so it can move like the videogame models). An attempt to import the LDraw model itself and fix it got quickly aborted for having far too many polygons and the mesh surprisingly not joined together in the slightest, and weld the damn thing together was more trouble than it was worth.

Don’t ask about how I’m going to get that ‘hand’ in the arm socket, I’ve not work that out yet.

Making the bricks is easier, until I get to the part when I’m modelling bricks I don’t have and can’t get the measurements for that is. Then it’ll be a different story.
On to the Showcase, or ‘What I Was Supposed But Couldn’t Be Arsed For Two Weeks’. Thanks to said polygon saving trick, Arty now stands at 500 odd polygons whereas before it was about 30,000. He still doesn’t have his hat or cloak yet – a quick test run with the cloth modifier ended in a program crash when I cranked the count up too high by accident. Opps! ^^;

Work model on the left, smoothed model on the right. He’s actually set to symmetry at the moment (the shoes are separate) with the original half set to NURBS and Render Iterations, i.e; it’ll only smooth it off when you render. Every polygon on the body except the face that disappears when mirrored is set to the same smoothing group, and that one face doesn’t have one, so when NURBS is set to Separate by Smoothing Groups you get a flat surface and no weirdness (which is what used to happen before I learnt what a smoothing group is).

Then there’s the notebook – since I’m reusing my environment for the showcase it’s just a case of making sure this is right and then worry about interactivity. The spiral binding was
seriously great fun to do (set to Render Iterations again), although the holes in the ‘paper’ are causing trouble, so I may have to cheat a bit there.

Author’s Note: This post took a bit longer to do than usual as WordPress.com has updated the software and it took me a while to find my way around.

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