Thesis Project: Kobol Interior Design Changes

This week I spent a great deal of time backtracking on the design of the interior of the spaceship.  Going into the modeling, I told myself that I wanted to simplify things a bit, but the further I got into the model, the more I realized that I hadn't really thought things through fully.  I had troubles visualizing the interior space completely because the exterior of the ship had so many changing surfaces.  After getting some pretty clear feedback from a number of people about how the exterior and interior really didn't relate to each other and that I didn't really have any spacey motifs on the interior, I decided that I needed to look at this space again.  It just wasn't working.

I wound up raising the ceiling and opening up the area where the icon statue sits.  In addition, the walls are all curves of one type or another.

I added some sweeping structural elements to the ceiling to relate to some of the sweeping lines of the exterior.  I also raised the ceiling of the main audience chamber and added a small lofted section to complete the transition.

For the bedroom, I took out the original simplified Roman columns and added the sweeping organic struts to the interior.  That changed where I could put the sconces I had already constructed, so I had to come up with a different idea.

Overall, the design feels better.  It feels less "cardboard box" and more vessel-like.  I have a few more design details to add, but the idea is to make this feel like a luxury yacht.  Surfaces have to hide the functional elements of the craft while still conforming to the design of the surrounding elements.

I did a few more sketches of things I still need to add and added some glow to give some sense of where the light sources will be coming from.

I hope to finish doing the modeling this next week.  My plans for the plants is to modify some XFrog plants I've downloaded for free and make them feel a little more alien, either in texture or shape.  We'll see how it pans out.


Organic Modeling 2: Midterm Project Progress Part 2

I am trying to do a 3D duplicate of this picture of John Malkovich, so I still have a few things to create, like the shirt and tie.  The week I was able to use the image as an underlay and move things around so that they sort of lined up with the major points of the picture.  It's really difficult sometimes to interpret a 2D image into 3D, so I've still got some learning to do there.

Mostly, though, I enjoyed creating the wrinkes and scars on his face this week.  It was a nice, therapeutic break from my thesis project.


Organic Modeling 2: Facial Muscle Sculpting

Our exercise last week was sculpting the shape of the skull.  This week we followed up with adding the facial muscles across the surface of the skull.  It's not terribly exciting work, but it's a good exercise for learning why the face is shaped the way it is.


Organic Modeling 2: Midterm Project Progress

This week in my attempt to sculpt John Malkovich's head, I took some time to retopologize the original sculpt in Topogun.  Even though I won't be animating this, I find that correct topology is great for getting the right details into your model.  The polygons don't stretch in the wrong direction and you don't have to keep subdividing to get the shape you want.

Thesis Project: Kobol Interior Prop Modeling

I was hard at work this week trying to finish up the modeling for the interior of the ship.  I started working on some props so that you can get an idea of how the space is filled up.  Once I start lighting and texturing the interior, then you will be able to see just how it all goes together.  Right now the default gray shader isn't showing the full details.  

I also hope that a lot fo the details can be achieved in the texturing in order to bring out all of the minor details that will make this feel more surreal.


A Sunday Afternoon ZBrush Sculpt

I have been on a head kick recently and have wanted to beef up my skills a lot.  Organic modeling has always been my weakness and the only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice.  

I tried doing this guy from memory of my anatomy of the human head, no real looking at reference.  I don't know how close I really got proportionally speaking, but it's not terrible.  It took about an hour and a half to do this, although I could have spent more time on it. It was just for fun in the end.


Organic Modeling 2: Skull Exercise

In a continued study of anatomy, this week's exercise involved modeling a skull using the same sculpting techniques discussed a few weeks ago.  I started from a cube and wound up dividing about nine times to get the desired level of detail.  This was mainly to get the proportions down again in my head.  Next week we will be sculpting the muscles onto it.


Thesis Project: Kobol – Modeling Reconciliation

I decided that this model needed to feel grounded when you saw the renderings of it, rather than sitting in the air.  I decided to create a landing gear system for it, which was quite a mechanical feat in itself.  There is a lot to think about when working on something like this.

I also finished the external rear details of the engine and am much more pleased with this iteration over the original design.  This feels more completed:

I also added a VTOL system to the ship for when it is in an atmospheric planet.  Essentially, the vents on the bottom send thrust to the right vectors underneath the ship to help it take off from a launch pad.  When they are closed, they line exactly up with the rest of the surface so that it appears seamlesss:

I'm hoping to have some time to animate that feature so that the committee can see how it all works.  This next week I have to finish the exterior and work my tail feathers off on modeling the interior.  It's closer, but no where near where I feel comfortable with it.

Organic Modeling: Mid Term Project Beginnings

For our midterm project, we're supposed to be doing a head sculpt of our choice.  I decided to do one of John Malkovitch from some reference photos I found.  This is just the base start.  I plan on retopologizing and doing a lot more sculpting next week.  For now, this is a start to get the major forms blocked in.

Organic Modeling: Retopology

This week was a short exercise in retopology.  I've already talked about retopology using Topogun and ZBrush, but I learned this week how to retopologize within ZBrush itself.  There are some decent topology tools, however, I didn't like the whole process as much as I like using Topogun.  You have to draw the points one by one and can't insert edge loops or anything.  In addition, your points won't snap to your mesh after you've created them, which is one of the things I like the most about Topogun.

What you see here, from left to right: 1) Original high-poly head with new base topology; 2)New base topology; 3) High resolution details projected onto low resolution mesh; 4) Polyframe of retopologized mesh.


Thesis Project: Kobol Interior Modeling Start

This week I started to work on the interior of the Kobol.  This has actually been a refreshing change and I have had fun trying to figure out how to work the environment.  I've decided that lighting will be the most difficult challenge of this model because of the many different light sources.  I hope to be able to make it close to physically correct as I can, but I also need to keep in mind that this needs to be a bit surreal, because otherwise why do it in the computer?


Organic Modeling 2: Week 1 Head Sculpt

I have a feeling that I am going to really enjoy this class.  I decided that my organic modeling skills weren't really that up to scratch, so I decided with my last spare credits, I would take a class to polish it up.  Not only do I get to focus a ton on some of the things that I find most fascinating about anatomy, the class is taught by a dopplegänger of Seth Rogan.

This week our assignment was to see how well knew ZBrush and also gave us a chance to refresh our skills.  We were to take the most basic geometric model, a cube, and work from there in sculpting a head of out choice.  We were supposed to keep it humanoid, so we could do an alien or human.  Since I'll most likely be doing a human head for my midterm project, I wanted to just have some fun with this first assignment.  One of the nice things I have learned is that you can have fun first, then worry about topology and technical stuff later.

By the way, it's best to click on the picture to get the full details.

So as you can see, I started off with a cube and began stretching out the vertices  to some oblique angles.  I don't want to stretch things out too badly because then the distortion would be very evident.

At about this level I could start adding some more defining details about the form.

This is the level where most of the medium details were sculpted in. It's still pretty rough, so I didn't get too detailed.  The trick is to move from broad to focused as you work.  That helps keep you from getting too much detail too early.

The refinement starts to get a lot more detailed at this stage.

Although you really can't see a huge difference in the details from the renderings, they are subtle enough to be noticeable to the artist.

I wound up doing an alien design for my head.  This alien has large olfactory glands and transmits messages to others in his species through pheromones emitted from the orifices in his cranium.  Fun stuff and I'm looking forward to doing some more heads as the semester goes on.