Sunday, February 6, 2011

Projects 350 - Week 4 Progress Journal

At the beginning of this week, I had started with the UV unwrap process when Mark Peasley suggested I revise some of the mesh to optimize it for deformation before going too far into the unwrap. As much as I wanted to just get the model unwrapped and start painting the texture, I knew he was right, so I made sure to put attention into the trouble spots on the mesh, which is where the majority of my attention went this week for this project.

I made sure to add additional loops around the facial features that were going to see the most deformation, as well as optimizing the joints.

I added additional loops around the ball of the foot area, as there was going to be substantial bending here and it needed to work naturally. I also added a "patch" around the knee to help keep the form from flattening oddly when it was bent.

The elbows received the same treatment. I also made sure to optimize the loops around the knuckles and wrists.

I still need to go in and add the geometry for his single glove, but that's a trivial matter of just extruding and pushing the mesh and then pushing a couple verts around to clean it up.

I've also begun testing out my first foray at rigging in Maya, and already really like the setup far more then its Max counterpart. I've got a ways to go, especially getting the IK-FK blends set up properly and the facial deformations in place, but I've begun the research and sketching for that process, as well, and should be good to go in two weeks time.

With that schedule in mind, getting the model unwrapped and a base texture down in the next week or two is a goal I can handle. Getting a block model built of the environment, the props built and the initial shader research all in the next four to five weeks is do-able, and I'll be starting my animation planning in that time frame, leaving me plenty of time to complete the project and hit all of my goals, providing I don't hit any major technical or personal snags along the way.

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