Low Poly Deer

I used the concept art and references of deer to make my initial low poly model for my Creative and Technical model.

I used Maya to create a blocky draft of a deer for my high poly model to be baked onto once I do it. I used a few separate polygons to create this, and have not totally finished the low poly yet, but it is almost there.

I think it looks true in shape to the drawing I did, and I will use the photos of deer I took to help me with my high poly detailing and texturing in the coming weeks.

I enjoy modelling but I definitely run myself into issues. I have tried to be very careful this time around as I am a bit out of practice- but I think I am getting there.

The next steps for me are to complete the shape of my model to a standard I am definitely happy with, then UV unwrap it. Then I can go on to working on the high poly version.




Doe a Deer

Surprisingly I haven’t yet posted much bout my project in Matt’s lessons. We have to concept and make a model by Christmas, and it has to be our best yet.

I decided to do a deer and have been working on it in his lessons so far, but feel I will have more time now to complete it without my essay happening. I also have spent the majority of my time at home lately working on concepts for my imagined worlds, because if I didn’t get them done in the first half term, it’d only make things more difficult for the rest of my group.

I am excited to finally get my head down on this model, because I want to do it well and be able to turn the model into a rig when I’m done with it if I could. I chose a deer immediately and worked on the concept drawings straight away, quite a while ago now.

I have been working on the model also, but I have been struggling with getting the shape totally right (and Maya crashing after I’d fixed mistakes when I hadn’t saved on time, meaning I’ve been fixing them again). I think it is getting there, though.

My model is based off these ballpoint concepts. I used reference images of deer to draw a female (technically a doe) from the side and front so I could use my own sizing to build my model. I do like these concepts and think they look almost cute.



Substance Painter

This is my first post back since Summer and last week we learnt a lot of new things and began new projects; one of which was learning Substance Painter.

Today I tried Substance Painter for the first time. I imported Matt’s turtle rig into the program and began painting the skin. I used a range of paintbrushes to first paint only the colour. I settled on a grey-blue with lighter scales in drier sports of the face and dark nostrils.

I then isolated the normal maps and painted on nostrils. this made the rims look raised in 3D and the insides look indented. I put material layers below the colours (Like the wet rimmed mouth and nostrils) and experimented with different effect brushes. I tried to make his eyes look robotic and his skin dried and cracked up. I think I got the effect I was after but I still have a lot to learn. I only put a metallic material on the shell as I didn’t edit anything but the head.

I enjoyed using this and it’s a refreshing take on texturing. I like doing physical art so I am used to painting directly onto 3D objects when they need to be designed. I hope to make more Substance Painted objects in the future.


Low Poly Model Finished

Not long ago my group finally finished up our Low Poly Project meaning all of our low poly assets had been put into one big group model- a tile with 4 different environments on it.Picture1

We settled on doing ice, forestry, a race track sideline, and desert themes. We created all kinds of assets to build this up and some are even animated, like Oscar’s penguins and Jack’s fire pit.

We each contributed different models, not only sticking to one of the 4 themes each, and I like how it turned out. Every asset is under 1000 tris and we used textures and style to bring them all together as one race track tile.

The scene is animated but I don’t have a recording of it yet. The car drives around the road over and under, as the campfire burns, cones fall and penguins flap their wings.

Here are some images I rendered out of it this week including a block coloured render which looked interesting. It was a fun project and I’m happy to finally see it finished.

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Low Poly Armchair

Over the past few weeks I have been using my concept sketches to build a low poly model of an armchair fit for a Wizard. This is the first step towards making my industry standard asset in Maya. The idea was to have an armchair with a low seat and a tall back. Its legs are wooden and its seat is fabric.

It took a while to make as I did some branches which I felt couldn’t be achieved with baking, but I will do smaller detail that way, which is my next step. I am happy with the shape I’ve got right now and am looking forward to finally moving onto the finer details.

This model will go in my portfolio when it is finished so I am paying close attention to making it look exactly how I wanted it to when I first sketched it.


I am pleased with my low poly model and will use Mudbox to start personalising it next lesson.

Making a Head in Sculptris

The other week in Tony’s lesson he introduced us to the software called Sculptris which is a simpler version of Mudbox. We used this to make our own heads. You begin with a sphere shape, which you can use the tools to morph into anything you want.

Smoothing adds poly’s to your model, so there is a reduce tool brush which lowers the polys to keep the model even, and stop risking Sculptris crashing, which kept happening to me in lesson.

I came back into college to use Sculptris again the next Wednesday and in the other room it worked well! I made a Plasticine, Joker-like face in Tony’s the other week, so I did that again, but with a lot more time put in digitally. I was never great at sculpting, so I thought I’d find this really difficult, but once it was running smoothly, I stopped worrying about doing too many little details in case it crashed, and just sculpted whatever I wanted to on the face, down to the hair and teeth.

The face is very exaggerated, as the Joker’s is in comic books, and I left the eyes blank. I really wanted to focus on a confusing, frightening expression, and I would like to have eyes included, but this way it doesn’t allow to eyes to show expression at all. Eyes can smile or not smile along with the mouth; when they don’t it is a chilling expression.


I’m happy with how my first completed 3D face turned out (though I feel I could make it creepier).


Walking and Skipping

Over Easter break and last week I have been working on character animations in Maya. We were given the task by Matt to do a walk cycle and a more difficult choice of our own, so I began by making Moom do his Moom walk.

It was difficult to get the hang of, but I started by placing the feet in the right positions- starting and ending the cycle in the same position. I then switched them over for the other foot mid timeline, and then did the in-between movements. I used pose-to-pose animation for the legs and arms so I could go between the main key-frames and add realistic transitions, such as the ankles rotating before the foot lifts off, and the knees bending and arms swinging at the right times.

The animation does loop, and each leg and arm has the exact same movement as I copied down the transitions from one to the next.

For my second animation I did a skipping cycle. I figured a skip was hopping on one leg whilst stepping the other, then switching legs. Again, this animation loops and I did it pose-to-pose.

I enjoyed making this because of the fun movement and a rig which suited the lively skip. Ellie rig was fun to use but took me a while to get used to. I have found this a challenge but I am happy with the outcome. Ellie’s arms don’t swing, but lift as she jumps. I experimented with making the hips move and the head bob.

The last step with this rig was to make the ponytails bounce and I think it made the jump more realistic. I was really proud of how this turned out.

Both animations were difficult because walk cycles are new to me but setting it out by using the first frame twice (once at the end) and doing it by the numbers to make it smooth and repeatable. I also did both animations walking on the spot, so that if they were used in game they wouldn’t just walk forward and glitch back when it loops, they’d walk only where you move them.

Industry Standard Asset

In Matt’s class we were split into groups and had to come up with an agreeable theme for a group project. That project was to build an asset or two each and put them all together in one scene. The theme we chose was fantasy, and that meant we would make a licing space for a Wizard, where he would go to study in his house. In that space we wanted spiral stairs, bookshelves, potions and more.

I am responsible for making the wizard’s armchair. I did some research of photos of chairs I wanted to use as inspiration and also began designing how the chair would look when completed in Maya. My chair had to be tall, worn, and comfortable. I also wanted to include bare wood instead of a polished frame to give it character.


I drew up my designs which I’m liking so far, but if they don’t look totally right in 3D I will change aspects. I have made the body of the chair on Maya so far and it is low poly.  will later duplicate the model and make a higher poly, detailed model, and bake the detail onto the original. This will be done using a Normal Map- which is used in industry to keep the poly count low when assets are brought into a scene in a game. Everything will load faster, take up less storage, and look the same as the detail will be in the textures, mainly.


The next step will be to make the legs and framework of the chair in low poly.

Room Project Update

This month I have been steadily improving my room project I began months ago in Matt’s class.

I made my living room in Maya and got good feedback on my models and textures. I also was asked to do more small objects and accessories, then to re-do some renders with better lighting and quality.

I did some new models; Curtains (which don’t match photos as I did my old living room curtains from memory, which were cream and could be strapped sideways), candles, clock hands, a radiator, a lamp, and 2 door handles. I found it so much easier to do these models than I did doing the project the first time around. I think some practice during the break in this assignment has helped me get to grips with basic Maya skills- so I can work faster now- and now I can try new things, like using the curve tool to do the curtains.


I fixed my models with Photoshopped textures. Last time around I had big issues with the textures constantly breaking between opening and closing the project, and with them going transparent and messing up randomly. I had no idea how to fix this problem, so I assumed doing more of my room would be tricky. Thankfully, Matt recently showed me how to unplug the transparency that is automatically imported from Photoshop when I use PSD files as textures- I did this to my rug and units and never have had a problem since. Now renders look so much better and you can see my objects properly.

I added the new models into the scene and it instantly felt more like my home. I then set up 3 point lighting for each shot, and used the Maya Renderer to take my pictures. In the rendering window I set the photos to ‘RAW’ and used HD resolution on them. This improved the look of my pictures as they are less washed out, and the vibrancy brings out the textures more.

I added the new renders as a second half to my original project PowerPoint, mainly because I had photographs compared with my last renders to show what’s in the room and how it is to scale. Hopefully putting the updated renders afterwards shows a clear difference in quality and shows off my new assets.

roompresentation1 – This is the updated PowerPoint.

Low Poly Modelling

We have begun a group project in Matt’s lessons to create a Tile scene of a low-poly race track of some sort. Team leaders were selected and they formed teams out of the rest of us. I joined a group with Kyle, Jack, and Oscar.

Our team came up with a lot of ideas, many inspired by real life racing and by games like Mario Kart. We eventually decided to do a double sided tile, where each side of the road would have it’s own environment, which meant 4 in total (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right). I haven’t added to the environment modelling yet though, as I’ve made a car, a flag, and a traffic cone. I can only get photos of the car for now though, since my home Maya won’t open the files I made at college properly for renders.

We have to keep the models 1000 tris or under and we can go as low as possible to keep them stylised. Keeping the car under this number was a challenge as it is the first low-poly model I’ve made, but in our second lesson Matt showed us useful tips about deleting edge loops and using the Mudbox-like feature on Maya to keep the polys down and the model looking good.

I’m getting used to the idea of the low-poly models, until now I didn’t really want to make any because I’ve always wanted to know how to model in detail and create things I see in movies, but I realised I also see a lot of low poly things too- like in Crossy Road, for example. Its pushing me to make something good under a restriction and I’m really liking it.


Making the car reminded the others and I of Mario’s car in Mario Kart DS- I say DS because the graphics make it look similar- and animating the flag reminded me slightly of the graphics (though I’m not sure why) in games like Donkey Kong country 3, where 3D models were turned into 2D sprites, and weren’t too detailed or smooth moving because of the game itself. I realised that keeping polys low and texturing them carefully could make an object look better than if the detail was in the model, rather than its paint.

I’m excited to see how this will all turn out.