Wrap up post

I took this class because I enjoy sculpting. I had just taken the fine art programs version of the 3D design and I wanted to branch out. I was trying to apply to colleges in the winter but something stopped me. For better or worse I put off applying to four-year schools until I felt it was a good investment. So in the meantime, I wanted to take some fun classes at MCC. So I signed up for Art History: Contemporary, Creative Writing and the media and arts version of 3D Design.  (Yes that’s my idea of fun.  Don’t judge.)

When I found out the program concentrated solely on Maya I was excited. Over the winter I had found a Disney internship program that required knowledge of Maya. So I figured the class would turn out to be a good investment of time. I don’t want to be an animator but I would love to make toys so learning a cool organic modeling program seemed like a good thing.

My biggest frustration is that Maya is an incredibly boring piece of software. But I do want to keep using it and learning it. I plan to keep working on it to make characters. I want to make two character references. One from a fantasy series called Dragonriders of Pern and another would be my own lion story series. And I still want to create a skull for 3D printing. But again I find Maya to be really boring. It can do powerful, beautiful things but it’s not tactile enough to be engaging.

I think the best piece of advice is to keep it simple as long as possible. I wish I was told that in the first class. Or for the first project. It’s a great piece of advice about work flow. I wish that had been drilled because it’s really useful. When I was trying to craft a skull I was doing really well but I added so many unnecessary edge loops. It’s much easier to add then delete. So simple as possible for as long as possible. It should be put on a poster. The standard KISS as in “keep it simple stupid”. Applies with Maya. Every line added brings the computers closer to blacking out or crashing because of its complexity.

However, I was really happy yesterday when I created my first truly personal scene using simple techniques. Basically using the simple things from the fish video and then rendering it. It was awesome and showed me the power of using Maya. My goal over the summer is to model and rig a dragon. Maybe even animate it? Well, we’ll see. If I get a really successful model (I hope) I can use it over and over in various scenes. And that’s a huge advantage to traditional hand drawing techniques.

So I guess seeing the beauty of Maya and the possibilities helped me overcome my frustrations with it. Also, I was never annoyed at starting over. It’s so much easier than troubleshooting. And it teaches you to keep your workflow clean. Also, humor was huge for me. Just being able to laugh at mistakes or to search for silly gifs to explain things helped to keep the mood light.


So when this happens . . .



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Eventually, you’ll get it.

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It’s a little creepy . . .

This disembodied face floating in the nothingness of Maya.





It maybe looks like me?


I’m headed on to video 8.  So far it’s easy to follow the tutorials over all but getting the details of facial structure, the placement of each vertex, is really tricky.  It’s relatively easy to make a creepy mask.  It’s hard to make that mask look like a human being.

There’s also an extra ‘edge loop’ in there running from the eye to the mouth.  I’m hoping this line I added with the multicut tool to fix an n-gon and turn it into a quad doesn’t come back and bite me.  I’m not sure I fixed anything.  I’m worried there was an n-gon in the the first place.

Pretty sure nothing bad will happen.  Overall I’m feeling really confident.

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Excuses, excuses . . .

I haven’t posted in awhile because I was feeling sick.

I managed to get some work done and to find a tutorial to make a woodgrain for my guitar spoon.

At the moment I feel like the design is aesthetically off and I’m not sure what direction to go in.  I want to put something like water or coffee in the spoon part into order to make it more obvious that it is a spoon.  I also want to fix the pegs.


guitar spoon

Kings or pawns

We are kings or pawns, a man once said . . .

Right now I’m feeling like a pawn.  I watched several of the videos for the train and I watched the chess piece tutorial twice.  I’m having trouble working at home because the all important meta key on my surface book is also the windows key.  Every time I use it in Maya to try to “tumble around” the Windows menu pops up.  I looked up how to disable it and it comes with a massive disclaimer.  I’m going to take it to the Microsoft.  That way they can’t blame me if the process goes wrong.

I’ll just have to make up for lost time this morning before class.

I did, however, find the chess piece tutorial very helpful.  I was trying to use the extrude tool which is much trickier than just resizing the edge loops.  I also appreciated learning how to insert a reference image among the other little tips.

I’m not terribly frustrated, though.  I’ll figure it all out eventually it just takes time.

Also because I have no renders to post yet here’s a gif of a hamster stealing a pawn.