Modelling Principles

21 Sep
  1. Get reference material (draw, cut, paste, scan, photograph) – brainstorm, moodboard
  2. General 3d reference:
      Digital art community website with news and user galleries
    2. CG Talk, CGchat, CG Challenge, CG Channel, 3D Festival, Highend3D
      General 3D industry news, discussions and competitions
    3. Morguefile
      Morguefile is a term for post production work used for reference, this site contains free high resolution images for corporate and private use
    4. Imageafter
      Free, high resolution (1600×1200) textures and reference images
    5. Anatomy pictures for 3D artists
      Anatomical reference pictures, model sheets and scanned fine art tutorial books
    6. Reference image archive
      Reference pictures in many different categories
    7. Cartoon Animation, by Preston Blair
      Animation book by late Disney animator Preston Blair, available freely online in digital format
    8. Lucasarts – Demo Reel
      An informative guide to what employers such as Lucasarts want to see in a demo reel
  3. Make a MODEL SHEET
  4. Starting modelling
    • Top10 tips on modelling
    • Start by using one of the orthographic viewports (when the precision or accuracy is needed)
    • Use a reference image on the camera (background image) or on the plane
      • You aren’t required to create and use a reference but it does help because it lets you concentrate more on creating the actual structure of the model instead of the design itself.
    • How to start?
      • Modify a primitive (e.g. Cube, Cylinder, Sphere etc.) or NURBs object – box modelling (faster and more commonly used)
      • Draw polygons – point modelling (offers more control over the wireframe model and allows for more precise modeling)
      • Draw curves – use as a base for NURBs model
    • Model each element, which has a different texture as an individual object. Except when modelling for games, when one single mesh is preferred.
    • Tools & techniques:
      • If an object is symmetrical, you can/should model only half of the object and then mirror it across an axis to the other side. You can use a symmetry object. When finished, the symmetry object should be applied to the object.
      • Use subsurface modifier to smooth and subdivide the mesh.
      • Mesh modelling tools (download the tutorial)
      • Surface creation tools
      • Sculpt
  5. Modelling rules
    • Start with a simple geometry (low poly) and add more geometry as you go along when needed
    • Subdivisions: It is important to plan the subdivision of your polygon mesh. Having too many points leads to an overloaded mesh and too few points results in faulty deformations. A lot of practice is required in order to be able to correctly plan a mesh. But don’t worry – you can always remove edge loops or add subdivisions as needed in order to create a usable mesh.
    • Models which appear closer to camera need more detail than objects further away
    • Topology:
      • Try to keep polygons as four-sided (quads) and loops as continuous. Avoid star-shaped polygons.
      • The goal is to create a shape whose edges are as uniform as possible and subdivided correctly. If the structure or points are not aligned correctly creasing and overlapping or intersecting polygons can result when the object is deformed or smoothed. Picture your structure as a grid that covers your entire model. This grid should be as uniform as possible (uniform number and shape of polygons along adjoining parts of the model) and the polygon loops should be positioned along those regions that will later be deformed.
      • Avoid overlapping geometry (vertex, edge, face) (optimize)
      • Check that the polygons are all pointing the right direction – normals are pointing outwards. When the faces of the object are selected, the polygons which are the right way around are coloured orange and the polygons, which need to be turned around are coloured blue.
      • Rules explained

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