Monday, 18 January 2010

The Snatch

Today I suddenly realised that on graduation I'll no longer have access to the Web CT, and leapt onto it to download all the modelling tutorials! Hahahaha.

Since I didn't have a lot of time for the modelling side in my final semester, focusing more on digital painting , storyboarding and GDD work, I'm making some models now for experience and as portfolio pieces. I'm working to a 2,000 triv limit this time, so double the count of Diz, and roughly what would appear on a character in a PSP game. Low poly modelling seems to be more in demand, and I think it builds good habits too.

By the way, I found this good tutorial on low poly character modelling, it's for 3ds max, but the basic ideas are transferable and it's very clear:

I want to make a nice human model using photos as a proportional reference, then texture and maybe normal map it (I want to learn how to normal map, it makes such a huge difference to low poly models) and take a nice render. That's my new project!


Selina said...

Yay, making characters is fun! Lots of interesting and difficult problems to solve.

Although... be a little wary of that tutorial you linked to. There's some pretty weird practices on there (like using alphas on the hair but ignoring normals completely, and sculpting lots of folds in the mesh. And the poly flow is pretty wobbly in a bunch of important places. And shoes never get their own texture sheet, even if they're swappable! XD And with no eyes, how is that character going to blink or look anywhere - geometry is always cheaper than textures. There's no need to fuse the fingers and not animate a hand at that detail.)

Kate Holden said...

Ohhh. Thanks, Selina. I wouldn't have known that! 0_o

Elcura said...

A normal map quality depends entirely on your texture size. At 1024 you can get some good results, but anything lower than that and you'll find that your models would have looked a lot better without them. At face it, at 2000 tris you'll want to keep your map size, AT MOST, 512. If not several smaller maps (like 4 256 depending on what you do, but 512 would probably be better practice).

I'm sure Josh will tell you this and has told you this, but normal mapping is never a good place to start when it comes to 3D. Focus more on low-poly painting, faking folds in textures using fake light sources. 9/10 times, a low poly model looks better without a normal map.

As for the tutorial, there are worst places to start. You'll find out about edgeflow later on if you get that far, but the best thing is to just model, rig and try some movements when skinning. You'll see what works and what doesn't and why. It's a lot better than people telling you not to use this or do that.

As for the eyes, it's not that important unless it was a cutscene or something. At that poly limit you wouldn't need the character to blink or look anywhere with his eyes. It would all be done in head movements. Even if geometry is cheaper than textures, you'd have to be pushing some crazy limit for a simple texture swap/animated UVs to matter. Especially if it's a main character, someone would find the resources to make that work.

Good luck! 3D modelling is hard, but satisfying. You'll make more mistakes than ever (even when experienced), but you'll always feel good about a model.