Stumbled into the third dimension

Learning 3D modelling has been a new skill that I’ve stumbled into during my course at TAFE last year. I had always avoided 3D, putting it into the “too hard” basket and instead concentrated on 2D art. At first, 3D modelling frustrated me, but then I started to comprehend more and more of what I was doing and I started to enjoy it. I wanted to make this post to document my journey with 3D thus far.

We start with Boxy, this robot character that I made:

Boxy the robot

He was inspired by the robots of Puzzle Bots and Megaman‘s Servbot. Best to begin with something block shaped when starting out I figured. However, I must say that I prefered making this 2D flash animation for the same character:

Doing that made me realize that if it happens that I don’t end up working in videogames, then I could easily see myself happily working in animation, perhaps in children’s cartoons.

Next up I attempted a more organic character. I sketched out a generic looking elf that I named Xannry Treepath:

Xannry Treepath sketch

Except the execution didn’t go entirely to plan:

Xannry Treepath render

He looks rather deformed, and he has giant hands. Not exactly what I intended.

It’s all part of the learning process though. Expecting to be perfect straight away when learning something new is unrealistic. You have to fail to succeed.

And finally, I endeavoured to make another organic model, which I then animated. This time it’s of a young girl dancing in a forest. I used the famous Joan of Arc tutorial available online to learn how to model her so precisely. I’m mostly happy with how she turned out, although I didn’t put any weight maps into her hair so it looks as though she has a ton of hair spray in her hair when she jumps upside down. Also my final render (which took at least ten days!) is grainier than I had hoped. Perhaps it was my render settings or my lighting. I’m not sure. Nonetheless, I like the ethereal and whimsical atmosphere of it as she dances through the forest:

(best watched in HD if doesn’t play in that automatically–>)

I’d like to be now able to make such a detailed model again by myself without needing to reference a tutorial as I did for this, but that ability will come in time with more practice.

All of the above models were made with Lightwave. Next up, I need to start using Maya as AIE where I’ll be studying this year uses it.

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2 Responses to Stumbled into the third dimension

  1. Jess says:

    Awesome stuff, your ‘young girl’ model came out really well!! I’m really glad you showed your early stuff too, it’s great to see the progression :)

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