Well hey, that’s a little morbid


I’m actually really excited about this design.  I’m not sure if it counts for the project and it might be a little weird.  Basically, it’s a kind of play on Cerberus with wolf skulls instead of actual dog faces.  If I do go with this design I might make the skulls shorter or combine a wolf and lion together.   I really want to make this and 3D print it.  I think while a little creepy it could look cool.  There’s plenty of things out there like this but not this exact thing.  Which kind of surprised me.

I’m headed to make more sketches and come up with some other ideas but I like this.  I found a tutorial so hopefully making something like this isn’t terribly advanced.


Train Renders

I wasn’t able to log into Facebook from the school computer today.  I’m just going to post these renders here, though.  I don’t like my material choices but I was having trouble seeing a preview in Maya.  It only showed color when I rendered them with mental ray.  It was confusing and might be because I didn’t save my files very well.

It’s 3:45 am. What have I done?




Over the weekend I got stuck on video 8.  I don’t remember why I let the vertex welding tool slow me down but I did.  Yesterday I worked on it for a few hours.  I kept running into tiny problems that I didn’t want to wrap my head around fixing.  For instance, when doing the roof piece I didn’t allow enough space between the cylinders to extrude things.  So I redid each piece multiple times in order to avoid these little mistakes.  With each tiny mistake, such as an accidently deleted edge, I learned what not to do.

Right now I am honestly still on video 14.  I think I’ll manage to get a few good renders but . . . my file isn’t saved properly.  I knew this but I just kept working hoping I could start over at the end and quickly go through the process.   I’m a little frustrated that I keep having file saving issues.  I need to review the earlier videos that deal with this.

Overall I’m starting to get the hang of things and I’m going through the videos faster as I become more proficient with the basic tools.

I think I can, I think I can

I also think we also all saw this Little Engine Who Could reference coming.

So I’m building this train in Maya for 3D class using these tutorials.   I’m still not sure on how to transfer files correctly from google drive.  I was able to get to my last scene but there was still a warning.   What I believe happened is I shouldn’t have manually put the files into the Maya folder.  I should’ve opened Maya first and then looked for my files.  Hopefully, this doesn’t become a huge problem.  Although I’m comfortable starting from scratch if necessary.   I might actually try to do that if I have time to just make sure I know the procedures.

I’ll be posting or editing with updates as I go along today.

Also, I was googling for images to accompany this post and found this.


THIS is what it feels like to work in Maya.  You’re chugging along and suddenly you have a black pyramid of death because you welded a point in the wrong spot.   Thank the gods for scene saves, though.


Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 10.58.09 AM.png


So I’m slowly learning Maya.  I’m no longer a beginner I guess? So yes I made a rook chess piece solely to make that pun.   Yes I’m slightly ashamed for doing that.



One curious thing that happened is that when rendered in Mental ray it kept the hard lines.  Which is cool it kind’ve looks like old fashioned crystal but I really wonder what happened here?  I had to go back in an smooth preview it so it would be smooth in the renders.  So odd.

I made a cylinder, deleted the extra lines on top and bottom so the top faces would be quads.  I resized my edge loops to make the chess piece silhouette.  I used the extrude tool for the top.  Than I just added a random sphere for visual interest.

I had a lot of trouble putting the edge loops in.  But the prof showed me a better way to do the top.

Hopefully the train tutorials shed some light on how to better use Maya.  Everything feels very slap dash at the moment.


Kings to you Fernand


This is my Count of Monte Cristo themed post.  ^ And that’s how I feel about Maya right now.

So we were supposed to make a chess piece using various tools in Maya.  I just made one by cobbling together a few shapes.  This was not the best way but I ended up with some very, very cool renders.  I sort of understood the extrude tool and I did try practicing at home.  But I haven’t been able to recreate the piece I made in class yet.  I’m going to watch some video tutorials.  I did, however, learn to edge loop things, which I had not completely understood.  Part of the problem is the computer I use in class has heavy modifications to it’s Maya program.  When I scroll over things it does not say what they are so it makes it a little harder to find tools.

Also, I couldn’t load the poly flow shelf on the computer at school but I had zero trouble loading it at home.  I still need to get Mental Ray on my computer, though.  Because most of my current fun with Maya is staging cool shots to make renders.   Below is my favorite one from class. I think the shadow it casts is the best part.



I used a bifrost liquid material and then used two planes that were blinn material.

I also stumbled upon the same lighting from my original sculpture and made another .png.  It’s not the same interesting effect, though.  And you can tell I used a water material and not glass.


I’ll just have to keep working at it.


Trials and Tribulations

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire, the ring of fire . . .

Learning Maya reminds me of something an old professor said often when things were strange and hard to understand.  We will go down into the Jordan, the current will be strong, but we will come up on the other side.  I’m pretty much think this will be true about Maya.  This morning I realized what I did wrong when I saved my project. Or at least I think so.   I was able to get the folder back from google drive and open it in Maya.  But I had forgot to save a new scene so I lost the lighting I had added.  Which means the file I sent didn’t have a new scene in it.  Oh well.

I have some very awesome renders.  I’ll start with my first sculpture that I didn’t save because I didn’t know how.  Now I know to upload the entire file in google drive by clicking the blue button new and going to folder upload.  I was then able to download it from drive and set the project up and get my sculpture back with minimal glitches.



My original sculpture and lighting was awesome.  I loved the reflections.  Too bad I didn’t know how to save it because I have no idea what exactly I did.  Live, lose and learn I guess.  Also it looked better as png.  The dark blue background in the jpeg file kind of kills it for me.



Then I made another sculpture in Maya.  This time I did use multiply when making my duplicate special instead of doing it one at a time.  I nearly crashed the computer but the resulting shapes were really beautiful.  I put planes behind them to cast more shadows and shined a single red light on the objects that were all gray blinn material I think.  I liked it.  It reminded me of illustrations of cells in the bloodstream but more abstract.

Then we swapped projects and Aly changed the materials to blinn and lambert I believe and used colored materials and plain white lighting.  He also added a large backdrop.  He upped the render quality which you can do in render settings.   So now I learned how to do that.  The renders took about 30 minutes but I think they were worth it.   They remind me of Constructivism with the harsh angles and multiple shadows.  Very cool.  I wish I could get more random shots and maybe change materials around.

I also got to see the art of the professor who teaches a different MAD 114.  So seeing what one can do in all these different computer animation programs was very cool.