Monday, 21 March 2011

Turntable animation

Here is something that I made a while ago but I forgot to post up; it is the 3D Human head model with three different textures.  I have started looking into lighting and I have practiced lighting the turntable animation with 3-point lighting.  I think it turned out quite well.
video

Here is a link to the human head model, so I can test to see if it works

Click here to download 3D Human head model

Sunday, 20 March 2011

3d Painting

I am in the middle of editing my UV Mapping tutorial and it is already really long.  I have found that towards the end, it was becoming less of a UV Mapping tutorial and more about 3D Painting and Texturing.  I have therefore decided that I am going to cut out the 3D Paint method from my tutorial in order to keep it focused on the UV Map.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Why do we use UVs?

Many of the tutorials that I have come across have been very thorough in explaining how we use UVs and UV Mapping when texturing a model, but one thing nearly all of them have neglected to explain is why.

When I begin my tutorial, one issue that I would want to address is why UV Mapping is the method for applying texturing to Polygon models, that is universally accepted by industry, and not any other method.

In looking for a decent tutorial on UV mapping, I came across the Gnomon Workshop lectures on UV Mapping.  Unfortunately, I cannot upload the video clip, but the lecturer explains that UV co-ordinates are components that allow you to manipulate the positioning of a texture on a Polygon model.  This is largely because Maya will not be able to figure out how you want a texture to fit around an object by itself.  UVs can be used to control how distorted or how clear a texture looks on your model.

UV co-ordinates are essentially components, just like vertices, edges or faces; but they are specifically used to manipulate the texturing rather than the corner or edge of a Polygon shape.  Moving each individual UV to get the texturing on a model perfect is very time consuming and this is why we produce UV maps.

UV Mapping is a method of laying out all of these UVs in a meaningful arrangement.  UV maps enable the you to see all of the UVs laid out in 2D against the texture, so that you can see what changes need to be made to the UVs in order for the texture to fit the model.

When I start recording my tutorial, I will begin by establishing that UVs are components of a Polygon model that allow the user to adjust the positioning of texturing on that model (much like vertices adjust the positioning of a specific point on the geometry of a model) and that UV Mapping is done to arrange these UVs into a meaningful form.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

First attempt at photographic UV Map texture

I produced this photographic UV Map, using 3 photos of myself at 3 different angles, and then applied them to an OBJ in Photoshop.  Here is the outcome.
It would have come out better if the model that I used had been modelled against the same photographic reference as this texture.  I had to go over this texture quite a lot and use the clone tool to fill in all the white areas with skin and hair.  I also had to use the clone tool to put in the full nose and ears.  This is not the best UV Map texture but it should work out in my tutorial.

Rigging

For the other project, I have been working on rigging.  For a character animator job, rigging is a basic skill that is important to have.  Here is a video that demonstrates a model that I rigged and weighted for a Post Production project.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Shadows and Highlights

As part of my tutorial, I want to demonstrate how various techniques in Photoshop can be applied to a UV Map.  I have decided that I want to use a map with a photorealistic texture, as I demonstrated in a recent post, and also a map with a handmade texture.  This will demonstrate to a beginner at Maya how much artistic freedom is possible once they have undergone UV Mapping, and how this one technical ability can enable artistic freedom.

After looking around, I came across this tutorial on creating skin texture in Photoshop, using the Shadows and Highlights; as well as the use of Multiply layers.  I decided to apply this concept to my UV map, and here is the outcome.
This exercise did not work particularly well on a 3D figure, because it looks odd and unrealistic.  This is largely because shading in Maya is usually created from external directional lighting as opposed to texturing.   I decided to experiment further, and using a softer brush, I applied blushes to my UV map and the outcome looks better.
From this, I have learnt to be more subtle when applying marks, such as hair or blemishes to a model and to use softer brushes.  I have also learnt to make better use of Layer Modes (Multiply, Dissolve, Overlay, etc.) to make textures blend more naturally.  When creating a texture for my UV map as part of the tutorial, I shall aim to produce something like the image pictured above.