Friday, 22 May 2015

Anatomy Modelling

Since my last project that was posted on here (which is still a work in progress unfortunately) I have been fortunate to have been kept busy with my freelance work, leaving a lot less time to work on personal projects. It's been great being able to work with clients and studios to achieve a vision, something which makes the client feel proud to show to represent their business. To date the work has been really varied ranging from 2D flash and after effects animations to 3D cg explainer films. I have really enjoyed the mix up of methods and software as it always keeps you fresh and constantly learning other areas of the industry.

My primary focus is still 3D and realism, which I have continued to do in my own time which leads me onto this post. Besides the model of the Ape in my portfolio iv never really created a character, iv never really been overly interested in creating characters either as my main area of interest has always been hard surface modelling, mechanics etc and environment modelling. That said, I cant help but think that by not touching into other areas I will be missing a trick and other ways to model. Mechanical objects such as cars etc are also becoming more and more organic, so much so that hard surface and organic modelling will ultimately have their boundaries blurred in this area.

So i thought id pick up on some anatomy. I know this is a bit irrelevant to the last paragraph but by learning how to properly model a person I will be essentially killing two birds with one stone so to speak. Anyway (as you can tell this post has no thought to construction, just thoughts out loud) I have made a decent attempt to start learning anatomy, firstly its bloody hard, secondly it looks bloody good when you've figured something out. I have been watching countless tutorials, looking at hundreds of reference photos and reading countless sites to see how people go about it and I think im now on a good path to creating something worthy of sculpting and maybe an attempt of rigging. So far I have produced a solid base mesh, the torso and the hands are probably my favorite parts as they were so intricate and fiddly. The feet and legs could probably do with some more work but in the mean time theyll be okay, the geometry is good all over which is crucial at this stage.

I dont usually show screen shots but in this case I thought it would be more helpful than a render as it allows you to view portions of the mesh and how it was made. I have picked up a few helpful tools along the way, some which i was a bit annoyed at myself (and a bit embarrassed) for not previously knowing. One being adding a vertex, before i used to use the split polygon tool and then delete the edge.. another being the collapse edge tool, before i would do it manually. The bridge tool being another but in my own defense i did know about this one but preferred to use the 'append to polygon' tool except now I have found reasons to use the bridge instead, mostly it being much quicker.

One more tool I have learnt which I was happily surprised about is in the 'duplicate special' option and choosing to use an instance so that everything I do on one side is instantly copied over. This is a great thing to know but as soon as you merge the hands and feet etc to the model the instance does disappear so you need to recreate it. I know there's the mirror function in with the soft select tool but the instance version seems a bit more reliable and accurate, plus you don't have to have the model merged for it to work. On another note it also saves you copying the model over just to see how its looking and then deleting it to continue with the half you're working on.

I'm pretty happy with the model so far and I don't think its a bad attempt at a realistic human. Next thing on the list is of course the head which I will add in its own post when its done, this will obviously be the most detailed and difficult part of the project but at the same time the most rewarding. 

Something worthy to leave on, I saw this quote the other day and thought it was really true and relevant. 

"It's common to quit because it takes too long to see results. Just know that the process IS the result."
-LeSean Thomas

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