Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 18

I played around with this sculpting tool in Maya. It's different than what I've been doing so far. A little bit more artistic and simpler too. Just a lot of pushing and pulling. It's not that precise though and the book even said if I wanted to do more detailed work using this sculpting method, I'd need to use another program. Anyway, this was just a detour. Back to the grind.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 17

So I've been spending time working on what you see above. Not exactly that impressive. Like I said before this chapter is working more with curved surfaces. It's not as straight forward as the previous chapter. There, I could see the use of whatever I was learning and how to apply that to modeling other things. Here, the book tells me to do things but doesn't explain exactly why I'm doing it. I know the general goal but it doesn't tell me why these specific steps are necessary for attaining that goal. Like the example above was a lesson in making a nice a smooth continuous object so if it were ever to be animated, you wouldn't see holes or openings pop up. However after following all the steps, there are still holes here and there that the book doesn't address. I think it may just be that it's harder for the writer to explain steps for more complicated things. I'll probably have to go over this section again after finishing the chapter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 15

Now I'm on the chapter dealing with more curved things. I've been doing little exercises that don't result in anything visually interesting. Curves are a little more complicated than the cubes and whatnot I've been dealing with so far. I'm also tired from lifting heavy objects today. Probably the reason why I didn't get much accomplished. Better luck tomorrow.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 13

The next thing I did was model our foosball table. I could have done a little more to make it look better like adding screws and moving the players around so they don't look so organized. However it is late and I'm lazy. This is the last thing I'm going to model on my own and will be heading back to the book next.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 12

I didn't get much work done today. My sister and nephew came over and spent the day here so I didn't get started until late tonight. With not much time, I just modeled one of our dining room chairs. Not that difficult or interesting. Spending time with the nephew is always fun though. He's about 18 months old now and my sister teaches him a lot of stuff. He recognizes numbers and can count to ten. He can tell you what city he lives in and who the president is. He also knows a lot of animal noises. So you can ask him what a lion says or a pig and he'll respond appropriately. Today my sister asked him what a kookaburra says and he just laughed. It took me a second to realize that's what the bird actually sounds like. My only reference was old children's song. Mmm gumdrops...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 11

I finally finished the catapult. Like I said before, I had to do the rest on my own. For the most part, everything went ok but there was one part that didn't go as planned. I couldn't manipulate something in the way that I wanted. I ended up accomplishing what I intended but not in the most efficient way. With this catapult done, I've reached the end of Chapter 4 in my book. This chapter was mostly about modelling using polygons. The next chapter will have me using more curved things. I'll also eventually come back to this catapult to animate it in a later chapter. The book recommends that I spend some time modeling different things before I move on so I'll likely be doing that next.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 10

Still chugging along with this catapult. Added in wheels and a crank to pull back the arm of the catapult. I should hopefully be done by tomorrow. I have to do the rest on my own (using reference pictures) so we'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 9

I started working on my catapult. This is the base and I'm probably a fifth of the way done overall. Lest you think otherwise, I'm not making this stuff off the top of my head. I'm following along with instructions. However, I will be doing the catapult arm on my own. The book shows me what it should look like and I have to figure out how to do it so that should be interesting. The end result should be pretty good. Maybe then I'll finally share this blog with the world. That's it for now. GG.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 8

Chapter 4 started out with teaching me new ways of manipulating shapes. The above image is just me messing around with them briefly. Then it was on to modelling a hand using what I had just learned. Like the box before, I started out with a cube and extruded some fingers and shaped it from there. Unfortunately, I'm not going to make this hand look any better at this point because I'm moving onto the next project which is building a catapult.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 7

Not much work was done this weekend. Just spent it hanging out with my bros watching college and pro football. I started working at 11 pm on Sunday night and finished modeling the box (or is it an ottoman?). The temple I made earlier was just a bunch of different shapes piled on top of each other and the solar system was just a series of spheres. The box I made here started out as a cube and I learned how to manipulate it to get the above shape. With that, I'm done with Chapter 3 of my book. I'll finish making the box look like a real box in a later chapter. Chapter 3 explained different aspects of the Maya's interface using this box as an example. Chapter 4 is just straight up modelling. So I'm getting ever so closer to learning how to model my own stuff.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 5

I started the next chapter of my book today. This one focuses on explaining all the menus while trying to teach me more about modeling. It's somewhat of an information overload regarding the menus. Meanwhile the modeling project involves recreating a real life jewelry box. I downloaded different viewpoints of the box from the book's website. Using the images as a reference, I've begun to model the box. I imagine at some point I'll be using those images as textures to attach to my model. I'm not sure how much work I'll get done this weekend, but hopefully I'll finish this chapter.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 4

Ahh, Day 4... A day that will live in infamy. So I was working on my solar system when I noticed that my rotation tool wasn't working correctly. Rotating things is kind of a big deal so this was a problem. A quick Google search on the issue gave me a few options. One was to download a Service Pack for Maya. One 1.5 gb download and install later, the problem was still there. The other likely cause had to do with my video card. So I downloaded a new driver for it and in the middle of the install, my computer crashes. Not a good sign. Attempts at restarting lead to blue screens of death. In safe mode, my computer wouldn't let me roll back to my old driver so I had to go find and download it myself. After installing that, everything was back to normal which also meant that my original problem was still there. I was pretty irritated at this point and decided to just keep going and work around the issue.

I finished my solar system but there's really isn't much to show since it looks the same as the last image I posted. I just made all the planets and moons rotate on their axes, the moons orbit around their planets and the planets orbit around the sun. I have now completed chapter 2 of my book which gave me an intro to the basics of modelling and animation. I won't see any animation again until chapter 8. So it's gonna be modelling and more modelling for awhile. Maybe someday I'll come back to this solar system and make it better with whatever I've learned. I'll make the planets look like the actual planets, add in the blackness of space with a sea of stars, put in the asteroid belt, random comets, aliens, the battle for earth, the end of humanity. Someday...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 3

So I'm in the middle of my solar system project right now. I have all the planets and some moons (and pluto which is sadly not a planet anymore), all of which are totally not to scale. The next step is to animate everything with the planets orbiting the sun and the moons orbiting their respective planets. Honestly, I probably could have kept working on this and finished it today but I wanted to take my time with it. Especially since I'm still in the very beginner's stage of everything, I don't want to go over a lot of material in one day and have too much to digest. Instead with the arrival of some stuff I bought from Amazon, I was able to start organizing my closet. I look forward to the day when there isn't piles of random stuff lying on the floor in my room.

To infinity and beyond

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 2

Today I went through Maya's online tutorial of the basics which included creating objects and manipulating them along with some other things. I just followed their steps to create the temple below. At this point, I'm pretty much just a toddler playing with blocks.

Pixar's next movie takes place here
Maya has more tutorials but they don't have a constant learning curve. They expect you to learn some more and practice on your own before moving onto the next one. So I'm transitioning away from those and diving into the book I have on learning Maya instead. The first project will be making a model of the solar system. So I might be progressing from a toddler to an elementary school kid soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 1

Day 1 wasn't too productive. One reason being that I need to reset my sleep schedule so I actually wake up at a reasonable hour (ie before noon). Then I had to go grocery shopping and roast a chicken. And lastly, there was a double header for Monday Night Football. So I only got through basic stuff like learning about the interface and creating and manipulating simple objects. I haven't made anything particularly noteworthy yet so here's just a picture of what Maya (the program I'm using) actually looks like.

so many buttons...
So not that much progress but actually getting started feels good. I think things will snowball from here.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 0

So it's been a little over a month since I began the process of quitting dental school. Since then I've been going through the steps needed to officially withdraw, spending time with friends and now former classmates, drinking, watching tv, doing nothing, packing up all my stuff, drinking some more, moving out of San Francisco and now unpacking all my stuff here in the south bay. I'm still not 100% settled in but it's time to finally start moving on.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life which makes today Day Zero. I'll be using this blog to record my journey into the world of computer animation and visual effects. I'll try to post something everyday and hopefully I'll have a job before I hit Day 365. I've decided to name this blog "Something from nothing" because art tends to involve creating something out of nothing. Also, I know jack squat about computer animation so I'll be starting from nothing and hopefully will make something out of myself.

Alright, let's go...