Spring is in the air!
It's an incredibly bright and sunny day today; hard to believe
it's still only february. It's a Saturday too, so I'm full of
the joys of spring. Spent most of the morning out for walks regretting
only that it's still a little too chilly to be out in a
pub garden. A game I ordered on the net arrived as well this morning,
but I wanted to have a play with the dragon again today..
As much as I want to
get started on the head (and yes, I remembered to print a paper
reference yesterday) I want to add the final "large" feature
to the body. The fins/spikes along the spine.
I've already reserved
large poly quads along the neck. so I start off with detaching one
segment and isolating it.
Using the smooth-reference
split windows trick it's an easy session of extruding faces and
pulling vertices. The entire thing has to be built from the base
of one quad poly so I can easily copy and stitch it back in along
first spike is finished, so I detach it and unhide the whole body.
The first thing to do is make plenty of copies and places them along
the spine over the correpsonding polys.
is the tedious bit.. stitching them all back in. It's an easy job,
but I've made loads of them.. Move element, delete corresponding face,
target-weld vertices, next... and so on.
Now all the spikes are
set out along the spine, but kinds boring at the moment. Organic
things are always more interesting when they're got a little history..
creatures in the real world always have a touch of irregularity
and asymmetry to their features.
In the case of the spikes
I go through each one and add various distortions. For the final
model they will also be slightly crooked to either side of the spine.
Distorting shapes in detail is actually kinda fun in Max - "Soft
Selection" essentially turns it into putty, which is a feature
Maya sorely misses still.
Finally I select the
border and use the vertexplacer script to make sure all vertices
are snapped back at X=0.
USEFUL TIP: to select
all the vertices along a border, first select the border and
then use "convert to vertices" on the QUAD menu. This
really should've been on the main tools rollout as well; those who
don't use the quad menu much often miss this feature.
quick render test and I'm pretty happy with it so far. It's still
untextured and I want to do a little more work on the back leg, but
it's coming on fine.
I finally bought myself
a new monitor this week.. I hadn't realised just how poor my old
monitor had become. It was a great monitor (*an Eizo 17", which
cost a small fortune when I first picked it up) but I've had it
far far too long now. I guess you should really change your
monitor every two or three years but I'd had this one aorund 7 years.
It's just something you don't think about much, but I got a new
one at work recently and realised I had to get a new one for home
Big spanky 19"
black trinitron.. That's what you need. I'd been looking at TFT's
for a while, but I was sorely disaapointed by the colour reproduction
in even "high end" models. Sure the image is crisp, but
as an artist I really need faithful colours (even my old and sick
Eizo could handle that; it was just blurred).Still, a TFT is great
for playing games and running a word processor..
of Games .... time to install the one I bought this morning :)