Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Girls & Guns . . . .

So I know I haven't written in a while. Life has been crazy. If you don't want to hear about my final woes, skip down to the third paragraph. Scroll down some more if you just want pictures. : ) Finals were ridiculous, I had to pull basically 3 all nighters in a row to get my 3D animation done. What set me back so badly was that I missed a check box somewhere when I was putting in the bones for the feet and then it it would flip the foot over when I would try to turn Zanderia around. It was a nightmare. It took me a whole day to figure out what was wrong and two days to fix it because I had to re-rig the whole lower half of the body over again and because of that I had to repaint all of the weights too. I cut it pretty close, I was rendering the final video 15 minutes before my final started and had been up all night working on it. Despite the problems I had, I still got an A- on the assignment and an A overall in the class.

My PHP scripting class final was a bit ridiculous as well. I studied and did the practice test before hand and knew how to do everything just dandy but then I show up for the final I had never done the stuff he wanted done for the test. I might have been alright, but nothing I was doing was working either. Needless to say, I panicked pretty hard. I about had a breakdown in the middle of the test too. After the test was over I went and talked to my teacher and showed him what I was trying to do, the problems I was having, and said that I had studied and really didn't know what happened. I hadn't had any trouble with the assignments all semester and then I just totally lost it during the final. He was pretty understanding though, and I escaped that class with an A as well (just BARELY though, 93.5% is cutting it a little too close for comfort, the cut off was 94% and he rounded up thankfully). The rest of my finals were pretty much as boring as snot and didn't really have much trouble with them thankfully.

Since the summer has started I have played lots of video games and did some 3D modeling. I'm not going to post my final animation that I did for my class because it pretty much sucks and it didn't really turn out the way I wanted it too. It's just too dang complicated to animate a human character and I did not have enough time. Here are some pictures of Zanderia after I finished though.

Here she is! I added some things, changed her clothes, gave her some accessories, and just generally made her more awesome! :)

It was kinda funny, one of the other kids in the class did a pony from the My Little Pony TV show for his character and his whole pony had fewer joints then Zanderia has in ONE of her hands. When I saw his project, I was thinking to myself, "I could have done that rigging and weight painting in one night." But that's only after doing it twice on Zanderia. I'm not even going to talk about the girl that did a fish . . . . Let's just say that I had the most complicated project in the class . . . by FAR.

She didn't quite turn out the way I wanted but she isn't really that bad. I really wish I would have had time to put in muscles and facial expressions but there was just no way I could have done it last semester, there just wasn't enough time to do it.

This version of her is pre-foot-fix. Her skirt is weight painted a little better now. One of people in the class talked to me after and said, "When I first saw the hands on your character I thought they were cool, but then I tried to to human hands . . . I can really appreciate how good they are now!" Made me laugh. : )

Her hair was a big pain in the butt, and there again I didn't have time to make it  as flowing as I wanted. It moves when she walks but it doesn't flow around her shoulders when she turns her head. I probably had to at least quintuple the number of colliders in her body to get her hair to move like that, and again, I just didn't have the time. I feel lucky that she has hair.
I'm hoping that Zanderia will be able to be a big part of my portfolio. She isn't perfect but considering the actual direction (or lack thereof) I got doing a full human character, I feel it's pretty impressive. That's just me though. All in all, I probably spent over 100 hours on her, and I probably could have spent 5 times that just to get her to where I wanted her. It's going to be WAY too easy to hit the 150 hour minimum required for senior project.

Since I have decided that this is what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life (courtesy of an epiphany), I planned to spend my summer making thing in Maya and building my portfolio. My first creation this summer (and hopefully not the last) was a realistically modeled Desert Eagle. I thought I could get this small project (at least I thought it was small when I started) done in a few weeks if I wasn't that motivated. Boy, was I wrong. It took over a month. I am pretty happy with the end result though. The only details that didn't make it in where the internal stuff (firing pins, chamber rails, etc.) and rifling in the barrel. I didn't do the internal stuff because no one would see it and since I was modeling off of pictures, it would have been next to impossible to do, and I didn't do the rifling because I could not figure out how to do it in Maya. Since it's not an external detail I didn't worry about that too much either though. Here are some lovely pictures! I would have more but it takes over 20 minutes per picture to render. This first one is my favorite!

This picture just about sums up what I have been dealing with for the past month. Let me tell you some wisdom I found out while doing this gun: "Modeling from your imagination is easy, modeling something in real life is freaking difficult." It only made it worse that I wasn't able to ever see a real one in real life. That would have made things lots easier.

It was pretty funny, I posted these pictures on Facebook and a few people though they were pictures of real Desert Eagles that I had pulled off the internet.... Hahaha! Made me laugh.

Sometime soon I'm going to animate Zanderia shooting one of these babies. I mean, I didn't put in moving parts just for kicks after all.

It was pretty annoying that Magnum Research (the company who makes the gun) decided it was a good idea to make the barrel go from a square to round and then back to square again. It might look good, but it makes it uber hard to model.

The slug is actually separate from the casing so I can shoot them more realistically. I even put primers on the bullets too. This is also pretty much the only shot that you can see that I didn't put rifling in the barrel.

The magazine that is in the gun is separate so I could make a reload animation too. I also hope that this will be a strong piece for my portfolio. I have to give a special thanks to my friend James for his gun guru expertness that helped me out greatly during this project. I couldn't have done it without him!

All in all, I think this gun took me around 50 hours to make (total guess, it could be closer to 100, I'm not exactly sure), which is quite a bit when you think about it as only one gun and not a super complicated one like an assault rifle or something like that. Yeah . . . I'm going to be able to blow through my required senior project time so fast it won't even be funny.

So that pretty much sums up the more interesting parts of my life. Hopefully I will have some more stuff to show soon (I'll be working on a Samurai Sword next with a dragon handle which is going to be pretty sick). So stay tuned for more! : ) Thanks for reading!