November 18, 2008

First Foray Into 3D Art

One of the classes that have been keeping me so busy this term is CS22: 3D Digital Modeling. It's part of the Digital Arts curriculum at Dartmouth, and it provides just the sort of quick overview of modeling that I could put to good use in my games (once I get serious 3D stuff up and running this winter).

The class covers three assignments. First, we modeled, colored, and rendered a room full of stuff. Second, we modeled and rigged a spider using subdivision surfaces. Currently, we're working on a biped that we'll model, texture, rig, and animate. It's this last project that I'm hoping to use in a game. I've elected to make a lightly armored cyberninja character. If it turns out well, I plan on making a medium armor and heavy armor character to go along with them for inclusion in a game of the Armored Core mold. More info on that later.

So far, I've confirmed that I'm not an artist. I can't visualize my goal and then make it happen. I'm pretty good with software tools, however, so I can produce some pretty nice-looking models if I use tutorials or reference images.

Below are some of the renders from my room. The idea was that it would be the ultimate sunroom, and the curved roof would reflect the sun such that the rest of the room was brightly and naturally lit. Unfortunately, the lighting package mental ray bugged out on me at the last second, so these renders are much less impressive than they could have been. Further, I screwed up the image plane for the outside view, which becomes painfully obvious with the mirror. Lastly, I should note that one entire wall is one big mirror (next to the wine table). You can see where it hits the ground in the lower right corner of the first image.

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