Friday, September 11, 2009

Self Portrait

Need to paint. Bored. Made a self portrait. Nuf said.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

For Fun. For Free

Hey there,

Yet another post, and one that came so fast! A few nights ago I felt an urge to draw something. I was looking through a wonderful book of photographs and I came across a picture featuring three young girls who were part of a Brazilian native culture. They were sitting on a bench waiting to pick out the man who they were going to marry. I was inspired looking at each of their varied expressions at the prospect of their future.

On a different note. FOLLOW MY BLOG! Even if you never comment on anything it would be nice to know who regularly checks in to look at my work. It will be a motivator for me to post here more if I know there are people who visit. :)

The building is finally DONE.

Thank God. This building has been theI bane of my existence for the past few months and looking back at it now I have no idea why. It was something that I would work on for a few days and then lose interest in to work on something else for a while. It was a vicious cycle of starting a bunch of new things that I am pretty sure I will never complete. But here we are now. It is done. So let me explain the background to the building.

I was approached a few months back by a former coworker of mine asking me if I could build a city street scene for an animation he was working on. I gladly agreed because I was really looking forwards on working on something with another person. So I began the project by grey boxing out the entire street scene which was comprised of about 4 fully detailed buildings and a bunch of background buildings that I would later put some kind of rudimentary texture on to give them form in the background. Throughout the construction of the piece I was torn because the animator i was working with was pushing me to create a building that had a high amount of geometry with very simple textures. At the same time I wanted to have something that would eventually be a good portfolio piece on its own.

When I finished grey boxing the buildings I decided that I would pick this building to texture to fruition in order to have a portfolio piece and leave the other buildings simple like my friend requested. This is where the trouble started. I ran into a motivational roadblock halfway through the project was because I told by my friend that he was going to be switching back to Maya for the project and that he might not need my models. :( I was also not sure how detailed I wanted to make the building myself, and how much effort I wanted to put into creating high poly elements in zbrush that I would later bake down. About half way through my initial texturing I decided that I wanted to use zbrush and that ended up taking more time than I expected. I found myself focusing on little things and not looking at the big picture. It was tedious and my computer was not cooperating with me through the whole ordeal. This is about the time in the project where I discovered a great program called Body paint. Body paint is an element of the program Cinema 4D and if you have not tried it I suggest you find yourself a copy and do so.

The first project I tried cinema 4d on was a art test that I had nearly completed and wanted to eliminate texture seams. But I didnt know what I could do with the program when it came to making a strip texture sheet and other textures that I would have to use over and over again on the model. I ended up exporting low poly elements of the model that represented pieces on the strip sheet and after making high poly versions in zbrush i would go into BP and make the diffuse maps. BP works a lot like photoshop. It allows you to paint on layers and use layers to multiply, overlay to effect layers that lie beneath. I found a wonderful plug in for 3Ds Max on C4D's website that allows you to export any selected model and textures directly into BP at a click of a button. Extremely convenient. :) Another great feature of C4D is if you use PSD's as your textures in 3DS max, BP will read maintain the layer information from the PSD and update it when you save so that you can work with your original texture between BP and Photoshop and not worry about having to make a million different versions of your original. Anyways enough gushing about C4D.

I ended up making about 2 different versions of many of the textures on the model because I was not liking the way certain things were looking. In the end everything came together pretty nicely. I think the biggest issue I can still see with the piece is that there still is no grime detail where the fire escapes meet the surface of the building. I think it is a small detail that might make a big difference in close up renders of the model. I should come out and say that I did a lot of things wrong on this model. Many things were not done in as efficient a manner as I would have liked, but this was a learning experience and I am going to treasure it for that if I do not for anything else in the future. Thanks for reading, and keeping up with my work. Ill try to take on smaller projects in the future so that I can post things with more regularity.