Calendar October 25, 2013 15:30

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Normal & Ambient Occlusion Map Test

Since the UVs are done, I decided to do a normal & AO map test in XNormal to see how it turns out. Here are the renders. I did these in the lowest settings so that it wouldn't take for ever to render:

Now that I can see that the UVs turned out ok, I will continue to polypaint. I will have to watch a few tutorial videos, but I'm sure it will be fine. Thanks for reading!

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Calendar September 21, 2013 12:59

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Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 2 - Progress

So I had started the second volume of the ZBrush training but left it half ways done to try and learn ZBrush on my own much like I learned Maya. Sure I had a lot of help learning Maya, but I don't have a professor or TA that I can ask for help now, I find that I can learn more if I try to figure it out on my own and then look up anything that I don't know.

And while I am very pleased on how much progress I have done in the last month, I realized that there is no way I learn a software package as big as ZBrush on my own. So instead of jumping on my next personal project of learning ZBrush on my own, I decided to go back and finish at least another couple of volumes of ZBrush.

Here is a render of my progress so far on Volume 2:

I had to sculpt the base mesh, and use ZRemesher to get a lower resolution mesh with higher resolution on the face and the hands.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar September 15, 2013 04:38

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Final Render of Bull's Head Sculpt

Here is the final render for my bull head:

I did a few changes since last time:

  • I changed the horns, since I realized that they were pointing straight and they should be up at an angle with some curvature.
  • I added a nose ring, I thought that it was appropriate and added character to the sculpt. 
  • I removed the skin flap under the mouth. I was thinking of making it hair, but I gave up on that idea.
I added some detail to the: ears, around the base of the horns, the nose, and skin texture. I really do think I'm getting better in the short month since I started ZBrush. I remember my first sculpt that I tried to do by myself, and it looks awful.

Now I have to keep working at it and I will be even better! For my next project, I don't really what I want to do yet. I want to do something else that is interesting. Since I've been doing only head sculpts, I may try to do a full body sculpt. 

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar September 10, 2013 13:32

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Bull Head Sculpt WIP

So for my next sculpt, I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I thought about it for a while, and I decided to do another animal head sculpt. So I've decided to do a bull's head. I thought that it would be cool because of the horns.

After a few hours of sculpting here is my progress so far:

I think I'm almost done with the base mesh, so I look forward to finishing this in the next few days. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar September 1, 2013 04:35

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Werewolf Head Sculpt

So I decided to make something a little more creative other than generic head sculpts. It's my first time doing something like this, and I'm drawing only on what I already know from ZBrush, so I have to keep taking tutorials since I need to get a better understanding of the software package.

Here are the renders:

I worked on this sculpt for a few days, so I'm going to move on to another piece now. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar August 16, 2013 04:05

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2nd Head Sculpt

So this is the 2nd head sculpt that I've done, I've decided that taking only 1 hour for each head sculpt is not wise, at least not when I'm so new to Zbrush. I've decided that I will give it at least a couple of hours and if I like what I have, I will work on it for a couple more, but no more than 4 hours per sculpt.

Hopefully, once I'm on my 15th sculpt, I will be much faster and much better than what I am today.

Here are the renders for today's work:

Yesterday I did the sculpt without reference, and I it turned out horrible because of it. I tried to see how well I could do if I just left it up to my imagination.

Anyways, I've learned my lesson and for today's sculpt I followed this YouTube video:

It isn't a step-by-step video, its a quick rendering of an artist work into a 15 minute video. I paused and rewind the video as many times as I need to see how the artist was doing his work. I learned some really cool tricks and a different way to start a head sculpt.

For tomorrow I will try to find a woman's head that I can sculpt, and maybe even add hair! :O Well, that's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar August 15, 2013 16:02

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30 Head Sculpts in a Month Challenge

Everyday for the next month, I'm going to sculpt a head in Zbrush. It doesn't look that great now, but the idea is that hopefully by doing it everyday I will get better.

My friend Brandon Rees is now a tech artist for EA Tiburon, and he gave me this great idea. He said that I should take no more than an hour per sculpt, after a while what used to take me 20 minutes to do will be done in half the time.

I will have to admit that I cheated on this head sculpt since I spent almost 2 hours doing it. I know that it looks really crappy for 2 hours worth of work, but it took me a while to figure dinamesh and all that set up stuff. Anyways, here are the renders from ZBrush:

I was trying to go for the look of an old wooden idol head. If anyone has critique, please feel free to let me know. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar August 12, 2013 02:26

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Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 1 Assignment

So here is my sculpt for the assignment at the end of volume 1 in the DT (digital tutors) quick start series:

I decided that I'm going to create like a rocky beach and I will eventually learn how to make a treasure chest of some sort and put it on top of the middle pedestal with other things around it as props. It doesn't look like it from this angle, but I made it so that the part that is sunk in is lower than the rocky part. I don't know if I can do this is Zbrush, but if not I'll figure out how to do it another way, but I'm planning on adding water of some kind to that it looks like a beach.

Hopefully my plan works, since I can see it so well in my mind. If I have time, I'll try to sketch out a concept of what I mean over the week.

Now its time to start volume 2 and learn some more Zbrush! Thanks for reading!

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Calendar August 10, 2013 01:34

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Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 1 - Done

So I've decided to learn Zbrush, and I'm taking the learning path in Digital Tutors for Zbrush.

I have finished watching all the video and I've been following along, and been doing my own model. I downloaded the project files just in case I needed them, but it turns out that its probably just better to do everything my self.

Here is a quick render of what I have after the first lesson:

I also took the test, and I only got 1 answer wrong giving me a grand total of 93% for the final test.

Next, I will do the homework assignment and create another terrain on my own. Hopefully by the time I'm done I will have 2 finished assets and know my way around Zbrush.

To be fair, I was always scared of zbrush because its so different from what I'm used to with Maya. All the controls felt weird, but after a good couple hours of working in Zbrush, I'm actually really liking this software package and hope that I can keep getting better.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar July 12, 2013 23:57

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Fifth Day of Teaching

So today was my last day teaching at Spy Hop.

Today was mainly about getting the students to do 3d modeling on their own, so I was mainly jumping around helping students with questions. The students had freedom to make almost anything they wanted, but I made sure that it wasn't too complicated.

One of the students was trying to redo the companion cube on his own, another made a computer, and made a cake. Even though it was a short week, the students got really good at the basics of Maya. I gave them links to other resources like Digital Tutors to help them keep progressing in their 3d modeling.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar July 11, 2013 22:34

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Fourth Day of Teaching

So today's lesson took longer than I thought it would. I can do the model of the companion cube fairly quickly, but showing a group of people took me pretty much the full time. A lot of the students were really excited to do this project since its based of the game of Portal. 

The reason why I picked this model is because its harder than it looks and it also teaches a lot of tricks for 3d modeling. For example, if you take a look at the companion cube its really only made of 4 parts and its just a matter of making one and duplicating them. 

Tomorrow is the last day of teaching, and I have to say that I really wish there was more time for this class. Thanks for reading!

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Calendar July 11, 2013 01:51

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Third Day of Teaching

So I think I'm finally getting a little more comfortable standing in front of people.

The point of today's lesson was a simple introduction to how UV's and materials work in Maya. Since this is a one week course, there is no way to teach everything there is to know about Maya but at least a simple intro would do.

I gave the students access to this file that I got from one of my professors when I was going to school. This is a really simple Maya scene and the main point is to make it look more complex than it really is. Applying a few simple tileable textures can really make the difference on that scene.

It won't look like a AAA game quality work, but the point of this exercise is to get a general idea of how textures work in Maya. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar July 9, 2013 21:08

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Second Day of Teaching

This is harder than I thought it would be since some of students are still a little nervous or shy about being in the class. I tried to slow down on my presentation since I could tell that some of the students were not able to follow completely yesterday.

To start things off, today I went over the overall process of the art pipeline using this great article I found on IGN. It does a really good job at explaining the overall process but with the right amount of detail that its not too general. I also added some of my personal experience with game development with how some parts of the pipeline can be affected if you skip over or don't do some of the things in the article.

After that we created the basic model for a fire hydrant. It took a while to get started since Maya is still really new to them, but we managed to get through it. At the end, I showed them how to add some of the other detail since we wouldn't be able to keep going with the lecture without going over on time.

I hope that I will get less and less nervous while talking as time goes on, I think that's part of the reason that I start to speak faster. When I get nervous, I start to speak faster so I may lose some of the students. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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Calendar July 8, 2013 21:41

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First Day of Teaching

So today was my first class at Spy Hop, and it went better than I expected.

I think at parts I was going a little faster than what the students could follow, but I tried to slow down every few steps to see if anyone had questions or if they needed help.

For today, we made a simple chair model. And I could tell that many children weren't really exited about it. But I think that by the end of the lesson, they understood why I was using a chair as the first model that we were going to build together.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be teaching about the art pipeline and make a fire hydrant together as our class exercise. Hopefully, it won't take as long as it did today to make the chair since they should all be more familiar with Maya.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

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Calendar July 7, 2013 16:48

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Companion Cube Render

Here is my finished Companion Cube. I used Maya for the 3D model, and Photoshop and Illustrator for the texture. I used Xnormal for baking out the normal map, and occlusion map. Finally I used Marmoset Tool Bag for rendering the final image.

Here is my texture map:

I think I'm having a little issues with the normal map, so I might be able to redo it. But for now, this is what I have. Thanks for reading!

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