Monday, 10 January 2011


Overall, I am happy with how my gorilla turned out. Keeping him 'civilised and sensible' was a good move I feel, and the butler apporch worked well for this too. I've learnt a heck of a lot doing this project, more than I thought I would for sure. Most of it was learnt out of college through tutorials and getting advice from mates for how things were looking etc.

I have enjoyed it a lot, and can see why a lot of people want to go into modeling, but for me its the animating that still does it. I like to bring things to life and create a character through the animation - but if there models were there then I couldn't do this!

The lighting was probably my favourite part, and painting the textures on because its doing one thing, checking it and seeing an improvement quite fast. All in all it has gone pretty well with only a few hiccups here and there!

Pose, Turntable, Video, Photos

Okay boys and girls, here is my final render in all its glory (click photo for hi-res version):

This is an edited version i did just to add to the depth of the render (click for hi-res version again):

YouTube hasn't really done much for the quality, but I assure you it looks nice! I rendered it as Tiff and put the image sequence into After Effects and then rendered it out of there ad a Quicktime movie.

Just a quick video i shot of my character. Its the 3D printed model! I am really happy with how it came out! If you watch this one in HD its better :)

Photo time!

Bored now...

As my turntable is rendering and will be for another few hours or so, I've been doing my blog. Now I'm pretty much bored and done. I think i'll take some nice close up photos of my printed model and video him too!

Out with the old, in with the new!

Maya 2011 is now mine and i have some a few tests and i am able to render! wooo! Now time to get this turntable done and rendered.

Maya 2010 broken! Ahhhhh!

When i came to render, it was having none of it, it just kept saying 'batch render complete' and it had done nothing! Then it completely froze my Maya and just quit itself. Now I'm worrying.

Lighting - i have no idea what im doing...

Never done lighting before! so i stuck an ambient light in there and...

Deary me, thats shocking. Time for some tutorials!

Aftr having a look around for some methods on soft lighting, i couldnt find anything that applied to me and how my intentions where for lighting my scene. I want it to look realistic, with a cartoon edge and obviously as he is made of clay. Time to get serious!

I started to play around with Global Illumination and redner settings to create the lights i wanted. I started off by adding a point light and playing with some settings there. I ended up having a few lights for different objectives. First i had one above him to light him, then i had one for shadows, one for lighting a specific side of him, another for a second shadow, a spot light for the wall lighting and another to just be safe!

On the shadow light, i was playing around with the global illumination and render settings so i could get my scene looking exactly how i wanted it.

Here are some renders of how it was looking as i was experimenting with the intensity, radius and merge distance...

Okay so i gotta start somewhere right?

I can defiantly see I'm getting close now, and its looking quite nice and exactly how i wanted it.

Okay now its almost done, i just need to sort out the soft shadows because I'm not happy with how harsh they are at the moment.



I am pretty happy with this now, lighting wasn't so bad, but it defiantly upped by render time to a few minutes. Time to stick a camera in and then get my pose all rendered nicely and then turntable time.

Scene time

I set up a plane for a wall behind him and a ground plane. I put a shere around the whole lot so when i come to lighting it will help with the soft lighting and natural look - hopefully! I lamberted the planes to a light yellow/grey colour because i think this looked quite natural and would help with the lights in the final render.

Now for the lights and camera!

Back to maya...

Now as he is all posed i put him back into maya and re-directed the textures back to him.

it worked! amazing! i added the shirt and bow tie and just tweaked the surface of him a bit more and hes finished! I am really happy with how he has turned out, considering this is my first character model and pretty much my 3rd model i have ever made!

 I raised his eye brow in Zbrush for some extra personality

Posing again after UVing...

Back in Zbrush i started to move my model around again. I decided to pose him how i had him for print as this was a nice butler pose. I think its a strong pose too. This time i moved his face around too, so give him some more personality.

Bump map

As i want my model to look like clay, i thought abump map would be pretty cool to do, do give it an extra bit of 'oomf' for the final render, so i tried to get one set up. As i was dong this, i found out that because i had taken my model apart to UV it, it was pretty much near impossible to bump map him because there were loads of holes, even when i merged the verts back together. I spent about 5 hours trying to get it to work because i really wanted this to happen, but in the end i had to come to terms with it just not working.

After this, in maya i played around with the scultp geometry tool, to give him some bumps and knocks on his surface too try and make it look as is he'd been modeled out of clay or plasticine. I was happy with how things were going on the test, so i decided to keep what i'd done and now for posing!

I had to change some setting and experiment with how much i wanted the tool to do etc.

Here are some screen shots of my bumpy surface:

Sunday, 9 January 2011


Here we go, all textured and looking okay-ish. Im pretty happy with how its turned out, but the textures are mad detailed. I didnt want them to be because im sticking with the 'clay' look, so i want to keep the colours simple, bold, and original. Here is the texture of the gorilla as a whole.

Thankfully, i unwraped it quite well, so that it wasnt completely crazy for me to texture and get totally confused! Anyway, here it is. I used photoshop to texture it, but creating layers for each colour and i kept checking back in maya to see how it looked by updating the uv network in the uv texture editor.

Shirt and Bow tie

For his personality which i have chosen to be a butler, i have given him a shirt 'bib' and a bow tie! here are the UV maps of these two and textures for them! These were done is photoshop, as i have explained on the body texture above.

Friday, 7 January 2011

UV day two...

Wasn't happy with the face so i have started that over again and i am much more happier with it now. Okay so he is all uv'ed! I took him apart totally for this, but i will put him back together so when i texture him he wont have lots of seems and edges all over him.

 Here is the map ready to texture!

UV day one...

Okay so ive started about 3 times now because i wasnt happy with it, but here is how im getting on with it now

UVing. Oh dear...

Never done this before, so ive been looking at some tutorials on the internet to see how its done. pretty much every tutorial/video shows a slighty different method of how to unwrap and texture, but i have found a nice simple way which i am going to use Heres the video i took it from:

I used this as a basis and just played about for a few days to get used to UVing, and finally got the jist of it


To be printed, my model would have to be a perfect mesh with no faults or verts out of place, so i ran him through a program called netfabb which basically fixes models to be ready to print. Mine was all good and came out 100% fixed so off to the printer!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Turntable Test

So this is just a really quick turntable test of my pose. Nothing final, just seeing what it looks like!

Stone Gorilla?

Well I did something wrong...


So after completion of modeling my Gorilla, I then had to pose him. Going back to when i was researching poses for butlers and waitors, i came across many poses with hands behind their back and holding a tray. This is a traditional pose for a butler. I want this to be my main pose, so i exported my model from maya as an OBJ file and imported him into Zbrush. I used Zbrush to pose because it was easier and quicker for me as we had to have our models printed before the Christmas break so they were ready for the deadline in January. Here is a screen shot of the pose in Zbrush - took me an hour or so because you have to re-sculpt the model as you go along moving each joint etc.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pretty much done with modelling now...

Pictures of how it's looking for all angles...

Ambient Occlusion:
Font view:
Side view:
Back view:
Side view:

I did a 'Bib'/waistecoat for his butler role! i also modeled a bow tie too. I may add in a tray for the final renders but i don't think i'll put it in the printed model because its quite small detail and it wont print right.

Over all, i am happy with how my character has turned out and He is looking pretty like my final drawings from my designs. I kept the edge flow nice and clean which makes it easier to UV and texture and helps with the printing too!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Shaping the head...Feet?!

I want to change the shape of the head because its looking a bit thin at the back, I've taken it into Photoshop to draw over it to how I want it to be. Now I can see where I will pull it out and shape it off more

I was looking into not doing feet to 'fit in' with the clay look, but as i had some time, i thought i'd give it another go and i am actually really happy with how they turned out!