It's been a fairly busy
week this week and I've not really had a chance to work on the image
in my spare time. Not only that, but I lost the ricoholmes.com domain!
When I first registered the domain I was living in Sweden with a
Swedish "Telia" email address, and I'd forgotten to give
my new contact details. To cut a long story short; I didn't realize
it was due for renewal and they couldn't get in contact with me
because my contact details were no longer valid.
The upshot of this?
If you've tried to either visit the site, or email me in the last
few days, it's been off-line as an unrecognised domain. I've now
paid for a few years in advance so that should never occur again.
I've also just returned
from a few days in London attending the Nvidia developers meeting
and can still hardly contain my excitement of things to come.. The
days of realtime Raytracing are so close to hand now.
Anyway- back to the
I've been itching to
get on and continue working on this guy so it's a treat to start
working on the claws. As I mentioned previously I tend to work
on these parts separately from the main body as they're areas
of focal attention with a lot of detail.
Scene management is
so important- render times really don't matter in the long-run
but you do need to be able to model in realtime. Working with
a slow interface becomes tedious and that's the last thing you
I start with a very
basic cylinder and kill the caps. Merging the points at one end
and leaving the other open to join to the main "foot"
I always model organic
shapes with a proxy (Low Resolution) version and have another clone
which displays this proxy in smooth high resolution.
This is only slightly
different to working with a subdivision model. The end results are
identical, but the interface is much easier to work with if things
For this I split the
screen and clone the original to a reference object. The
new reference object then has a Meshsmooth modifier applied to it.
I then move the smooth object far away and focus on that in the
The second window then
shows the end result (tip: you don't need to see the wireframe on
the reference if you use split screen)
Maya users can do exactly
the same procedure using Dirk Blaillucks excellent ConnectPolyShape
At this very early part
of the modeling I always use ONLY quad polygons to ensure smooth
and predictable results in the final result.
If I need to add resolution
I always select the relevant loop of Edges and connect them.
Then it's just a case of maneuvering vertices to form the shape.
I have the basic shape of the claw I clone it (copy) and create faces
between the two after combining them. Again, always ensure
that you are only using four-sided faces; it's hard to go wrong then.
Once I'm happy with the
connection between the claws I do the same on the other side. It
may seem a trivial thing to point out- but the connection between
these claw is the same as for fingers on a hand and by far the trickiest
part of the model..
Take time to get this
right and it all becomes fun again. If you don't get it right at
this stage it will come back to haunt you!
few more tweaks later I clone and combine three claws at the front
and one behind. I stitch the front 3 together.
Finally I extrude the
rear edge of the front 3 claws back and join them with the rear
claw. I split the new surface and model the shape using the same
techniques as always, using the whole foot as the basis for a referenced
Time to leave it alone
for a while and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow. It's taken
about an hour and a half so far and probably another half hour to
write this page.