Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fourth "full time" month on my projects

Deadlock.
It's demoralizing!

For the past month, I spent one week to watch tutorial on Digital-Tutors to understand what I need to know about textures, in ZBrush, in Softimage and understand how to apply what I have learned.

Remember? After I've done the model in Softimage, I've exported it in ZBrush and I showed you the result of the modifications I did...

So, I was to bring the model back into Softimage... The exportation between ZBrush and Softimage never perfectly succeed (and I don't think that would be the fault of the softwares... but mine, the user who doesn't understand yet all the details...) Few major details didn't work out.

Anyway, listening to some commentary I've received, I have corrected some of the facial of my character in Softimage (to give her a more feminine look, among other things).

Next, I spent several days to research and understand methods to do hair in 3D. There's many, of course... but I wanted to follow the one used for the Final Fantasy kind of characters, because it is said to be very efficient and light (size of the scene) or faster to render.


Here some examples of Final Fantasy XIII characters:




The technique for this kind of hair, is simply polygons, "grids" or "planars" with a hair texture on, applied in transparency on the grids (we see the texture, the rest is transparent).

So, I spent about two weeks to model polygonal hair... I found two tutorials for this kind of technique:(this one (text) et that one (video on "Blender" software)), but nothing on "big tutorials website"... which is better than nothing... The rest was exploration, with a lot of time loss in between (try a thing... not so good... try something else... better... keep going... don't need that much... go back... start over again...)

It was super long, super boring to do. And most of the time, I was stuck by technical details... In brief, I wanted to finish this step before I update this page, in order to have something to show after all that time... to have the feeling that I'm moving forward... But I keep stumbling and tripping against technical obstacles that I don't understand and I can't find the information on the web... My boyfriend helps me when he has the time, but I don't always understand what he does, meaning that I may not be able to reproduce by myself what he's doing...

So... for now, since it's been 3-4 weeks that I'm working on that and that I can't find any fun to do this character anymore (I'm holding the impolite words!)... I'll show you where the project is, without the buggy texture...




The things  with "strait angles" on the neck are the "grids" that should hold the hair texture and should be invisible...
 (A week after writing this post)....
I had one late thing I hadn't tried... I was feeling like dropping everything right there... but on the other hand, it was sad to have spent all that time for nothing... So, I tried it, with lips pinched and fits tighten... and it worked!!

And I was able to un-bugged the texture... (I had to use the magic and all my talent of "photo manipulation" in Photoshop in order to do it)


So, here it is again, up-to-date:




The silly expression on her face is the method to prepare models for animation...

Once again I repeat: I don't have fun doing this character anymore!
It was a first try, it helped me understand many technical things and all, but I'm loosing my head over this, so... knowing that it's not perfect nor "pretty", I'll finish the character (the head is always the hardest part to do; the rest should go faster) and then, I'll stop there. I wish to do other things. And most of all, I'd like to have fun to work on these, and now, I'm not on the right path! I need to find another work flow...

At least, I'm happy to have passed that damn obstacle that was holding me that long and to be able to show something that looks closer to be finished...