Thursday, 17 December 2015

Bourbon: Texture Modification

Before I jumped into rigging I wanted to make some basic texture changes to my character, Bourbon. For starters the blue and yellow/cream fur diffuse was too punchy and bold. I opted to a paler shade of yellow and a still strong copper brown colour as I still wanted my character to reflect a stylised approach rather than realism. I also made some adjustments to the Nut texture on the helmet and pads. I'm fairly happy with his overall look now, although I think I will come in and tweak textures between the rigging process (the carrots for example could do with an SSS2 MTL and I would also like to add a logo to the chest plate). 

Fig.1 Bourbons fresh new colour range. 

Fig.2 The Raw output of the Complete Map 

Fig.2 displays a simple 'length map' for the VRay fur, which utilises monotones to determine a the length of a hair on the basis of 0-100% (black to white value). To produce such a map I used the 'render to texture' tool and rendered a complete map, placing a VRay Dirt MTL into the diffuse channel of a  100% self illuminated white standard 3DS Max shader. I then had to analyse the complete map and paint over a few sections (such as the nose) where I knew no hair would exist. The VRay dirt basically allowed me to bake an ambient occlusion channel across Bourbons UV texture space, meaning objects such as the bag straps and the military vest which previously were penetrated by the hair were now being shortened to a degree in which they were no longer. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Bourbon: VRay_Fur and Block Texturing

After getting Bourbon modelled I've gone straight into UV/ Block texturing.The textures I have used so far are by no means the final look but a place holder for me to think upon before I come to the final render. 
To make Bourbon look more bunny like and friendly I've also used the VRay fur modifier. Whereby I toggled with the thickness and length until happy and also added an opacity map onto the chest and nose so that those details weren't occluded. 

Fig.1: VRay Fur Base

Fig.2 VRay Fur Toggling Presets 

Fig.3 Texture Blocking

Fig.4: Texture Blocking (Rear)

Fig.5 Texture Blocking Complete

Friday, 11 December 2015

Bourbon_Modelling Complete

It's been a while since I last posted, understandably the Christmas period is extremely busy with work. However bit by bit I've finally, finally managed to get Bourbon modelled!
I'm very happy with the progress, this is my first attempt at modelling a character inside Max and I managed it all without the aid of a single tutorial.
I'll be making a bunny gun for the little soldier too, (which shoots carrots, of course) but the next step is going to be looking into UV'ing and rigging him which as far as I can see looks completely different from what I'm used to in Maya. Game on!

Fig.1 Bourbon Mesh Front

Fig.2 Bourbon Mesh Rear

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Just a quick update of my WIP so far. Bourbon is well under way, I'll just have to model all the extra little details now! On a side note I'm really liking the EdgeTex wireframe shader map in VRay.






Bourbon: Character Orthographic Sketches

From one project and onto the next. I've finished my tank and started to get to work on a very different project of producing a cool CG character, Bourbon the Bunny. I had this idea for quite a while but sadly I never got to develop it through out my time at university. Nevertheless I've come back to it now and I will be working on him during my down time. The aim of this project is to take something from nothing all the way until completion. Moving through the rigging/ texturing/ uving/ modelling processes one after each other (whereas my most recent projects in Max have been aimed at developing certain sections of my skill set). I'm very excited to start modelling Bourbon and start to translate the rest of my knowledge in Maya to 3DS Max. Without further a do here are the orthographic sketches I decided to draw by hand. 

Fig.1 Front Orthographic.

Fig.2 Side Orthographic

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

GOW_LAV Concept Final Render

The Hardcore modelling challenge has been a busy few weeks which have pushed me to get something out of 3DS Max as quickly and efficiently as possible. I'm glad to be approaching my final few renders now, with the debate once composited weather I should try to attempt to create a shock wave effect from the main turret by exploring particle systems or possible environment Fog.
It was also nice to move into Photoshop after so much time and effort spent in 3DS Max, to switch things up with a bit of compositing this afternoon.
 Here is how it's looking so far, I'll have a high quality render with a few changes tomorrow.  

Fig.1 Final Composite 01

After a few tweaks, plus rendering out various passes for the tank I have come to my final render for the Hardcore modelling challenge (see below). 

Fig.2 The Final Render

Fig.3 The Final Render 1600x1200px
(format required for the competition).

Fig.4 :Front Orthographic

Fig.5: Side Orthographic

Fig.6: Aerial Orthographic

Fig.7 Wireframe (1600x1200px)

Fig.8: Wireframe (1920x1080 px)

GOW_LAV Tank Texture Blocking.

Yesterday I started the task of texture blocking my GOW_LAV Tank concept, my main focus to add a cool camo pattern onto the model and strat to get some colour in there.
My next task will be to add some nice bumps, displacement and dirt to the textures before the final pass.
Also a quick note on the default VRAY HDRi sky background; I'm thinking of rendering an alpha pass so I can include a matte painting/ photograph behind the image of sand and tank. For now here is my latest progress.

Fig.1 Making a start to the texture blocking

Monday, 9 November 2015

GOW LAV_Concept Modelling Progress!

I'm very pleased to say that my LAV concept for the HCR Hardcore Modelling Challenge has reached its conclusion for the modelling process. (I'll remind you that the objective of this competition was to work towards a high quality render in minimal time, starting from scratch and moving to a complete outcome under the pressure of a time constraint). Sadly this means that although on the vast part my modelling has been relatively quick I cannot finesse details as I'll have to move onto the next process at hand to get this render out on time; UV Layout.
Here is a grey scale render of the LAV Concept, the VRay displacement doing wonders to the ground plane, and I'll look forward to posting the progress soon.

Fig.1 Modelling process complete (GreyScale) 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Hardcore Modelling Challenge: Building a Gears LAV Tank.

For my latest adventure with 3DS Max and VRay I've decided to enter a competition on CGSociety tasked with creating an iconic vehicle from Game, TV or film and posting my WIP feed.
I have chosen to create a LAV tank based on my love of games and influence from Gears of War. I aim to create an asset which fits into the Gears of War world space by attempting to copy Epic Games artistic style.
I've managed to get the majority of the body blocked out and I've started to model the turret in extra detail. let me know what you think?

Fig.1 The model so far...

Fig.2 The Aerial Orthographic 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Tornado GR4

Recently I've been working on this beauty, modelling a Tornado GR4 to scale in 3DS Max. The aim of this project was to develop all of my existing skills in Max and VRay by taking a real world vehicle and building it from scratch. I may some point later add a simple rig to the retractable wings, landing gears etc, but for now here are some pics highlighting each stage of the pipeline so far. 

Fig.1: Modelling (Aerial View)

Fig.2: Modelling (Shot Cam)

Fig.3: UV Layout (Aerial View)

Fig.4: UV Layout (Persp Cam)

Fig.5: Texturing Stage 01 (Shot Cam)

Fig.6: Modelling Stage 02 (Aerial View)

Fig.07: The result so far 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Using 3DS Max and VRay to Create a Hyper real Still Life Set


The main objective of this task was to develop my skillset in VRay by pushing myself to make a hyper real still life set. 
I used the VRay Blend materials of an SSS2 shader and a standard VRayMTL for the plants and fruit. The helped me get nice glossy reflections over the fruit whilst applying sub-surface scattering. 
Throughout the scene I used some of Max's standard maps such as Fractal noise, cellular maps and dent maps to add some extra details into the renders. 




Fig.2 and Fig.3 show how my model changed a lot throughout the progression of this project. The cabbage for example was completely remodelled after I took photographs of real cabbage leafs to develop an opacity map for each individual leaf. 

Fig.4 The Final Result

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

University Demo Reel

Short, sharp and sweet; this post features my University demo reel. A collection of my best bits I developed throughout my three years in Rochester with Maya and the Adobe suite.

Monday, 19 October 2015

University Major Project: Outcome


This blog pretty much kicks off from where Uni finished. This was the climax of my studies, my major project, which again focused on creating a series of Games characters and environment using Autodesk Maya, After effects and Photoshop. 
This project required me to think about the design of my characters and their target audience as well as pushing forwards  my existing knowledge of a CG games pipeline (see the attached document for a detailed understanding of my various procedures and decisions in the progression of this project).  
The aim of this project was to:
a) develop five coherent characters with a complete character profile.
b) Out of those five, chose the strongest three to develop into 3D characters (along the games pipeline as detailed). 
c)To then develop am environment around the characters in which they would be able to perform. 
d) Create a turnaround for the characters and an animation which displays how the game may work. 
e) develop rules for the game. 
f) establish branding for the game which reflects the characters style. 

See what I came up with...

Fig.1 Nipper the Crab

Fig.2 Patch the Turtle

Fig.3 Woo-Zee the Whale

Operation Market Garden.


I feel that my first significant contribution to the world of CG came in my second year at university; whereby I was tasked to create an 'adaptation' from a textual source and develop it through a CG pipeline. 
Having recently been inspired by the war poetry of the first and second world wars, I decided to pick the famous battle of Arnham (1944) as my source for adaptation.
As for the pipeline of work, I decided to manifest this source through a 'games' pipeline, (which is why I feel this work is a significant contribution), this means it was my first introduction to high poly- low poly modelling ( or LODS), baking, maximizing and using texture and UV space to its full potential, as well as introducing myself to Hardware rendering and Maya's viewport 2.0. 
Despite being a relatively old project, I think it is still significant because I started to look at CG as a neat and perfected method of art rather than slamming a model with geometry and/or using texture space wastefully. 

Anyhow, below is my final turnaround, featuring its key assets as well as the bridge itself. I've also included an old research powerpoint so you can see my methodology, mistakes and sucesses throughout the project. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Interior Visualisations in 3DS Max. Lighting and Texturing

This post displays a step by step for the lighting and texturing process for my interior scene. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Interior Modelling on 3DS Max

Hi, welcome to the launch of my new, professional creative blog. After a few months of settling into my new occupation at Framework Creative I've been able to have a play in 3DS Max; by designing an interior from scratch. This post features a brief overview of skills I've learnt inside Max as I attempt to convert my previous knowledge (from a background in Maya) into this scene. Enjoy! 


Like every project, I started by building the base of the room, this involved making sure the size of the room was set to a real world scale as well as window fittings etc, to provide a higher wealth of realism to the render. 



Fig.2 and Fig.3 are both editable splines I drew in order to create a skirting detail across the room. I would create the editable spline using a line which I would then edit with bezier and the fillet tool (hence creating the soft fall off  and rounded edges of skirting features). See Fig.4 to see how I then applied a sweep modifier to a rectangle scaled to the size of the room to then apply our editable spline skirting. 







Another handy tip for creating realistic objects would be to create copies and edit small differences into them, this can be done by altering bend/ twist modifiers on objects slightly so that they do not appear as exact duplicates. 
It's also a good idea to copy the object and then use the soft selection and FFD lattice modifiers to re-morph objects to create subtle differences. I used this on the cushions and objects which built the sofa. (see Fig.6 and Fig.7).