3D Modelling & Animation – Week 10


I’ve found myself struggling to come to terms with the modelling side of Maya this week. It really seems like we’ve entered a completely new world of CG. Obviously we could have spent a lot more time learning these concepts and in fact I probably would have preferred the semester to be weighted more in that direction. Animation seemed much simpler to get a grasp on. Having said that though, it is a lot of ground to cover in a 12 week semester, particularly when it’s running in parallel to 3 other practical subjects (but that’s a winge for a different post).

Moving ahead from my capsule of last week, this is the first strange problem I came across…

…I got it in my head that everything must be beveled when modelling, to allow light to pick up the edges of the polygon. However, it didn’t want to play nicely with my capsule. After some hunting through random settings, I managed to get the above crazy looking shape. It would be cool, if it wasn’t completely useless for my project. I decided to move on without the precious bevelled edges.

One capsule was fairly manageable, but two columns, surrounded by capsules was a prospect that quickly became a little harder to navigate…

I found that when selecting capsules to rotate or move, things became quite problematic. Not only when the selection would pick other elements that I did not intend to choose, but also when grouping larger sections to edit. Grouping tended to change the point of rotation from the centre of the object to the centre of world (zero on each of the axes), or another random position. This is one of those quirks of Maya that I would like to get to the bottom of, but under the pressure of quickly evaporating time, I simply did my best to work with it.

I then decided that keeping things on different layers and colour coding them was the way forward…

…this image shows the base of the tower as well as a couple of the surrounding buildings, which will create the backdrop for the tower.

If time permits, I’ll be adding some smaller elements, like signage, street posts and a few more background buildings, before moving onto the texturing and finally lighting. But I’m going to have to move quickly!