Break Week–7125GFS CGI: Character Modelling

It finally happened!

I have finally caught up with the weekly content of CGI: Character Modelling! So far, all of the weekly content has been aimed at modelling a character based on a model sheet depicting a female zombie character.

Weekly Course Content

Up until now, the work has been segmented like this:

Week 1: Scene Setup

Multi-view Panel

Week 2: Modelling the Head

Completed Head Model

Week 3: Modelling the Body

Incomplete Body Mesh

Week 4: Modelling the Body (Continued)

Completed Body Mesh

Tutorial Videos

Newly Learned Techniques

The tutorial videos from these past couple of weeks have taught me a number of interesting techniques in Maya. Off the top of my head, this includes:

  • Switching between pivot point orientations for better manipulation (e.g. World, object, component)
  • Working with symmetry: Edits made to one side of a symmetrical model also affect the opposite side.
  • Making proper use of threshold when combining meshes
  • The many ways of extruding polygonal shapes along NURBS curves.
  • The use of Deform > Nonlinear > Bend: Creates a line through a length of geometry that when bent causes the geometry to bend in an identical fashion.

I’ve also been trying to make an effort of using shortcuts in Maya. I haven’t mentioned this before but I don’t really use shortcuts in programs that much. However, I’m trying to make an effort to do so in the programs I’m using. My normal shortcuts are the very basics like duplicating (Cmd + D), undoing (Cmd + z) and the switching between the basic tools: the move tool (W), the rotation tool (E), and the scale tool (R).

Newly Learned Shortcuts

Ones that I’m trying to pick up in Maya include:

  • Parenting (Cmd + P)
  • Grouping (Cmd + G)
  • Saving (Cmd + S)
  • Extruding (Ctrl + E)
  • Repeating previous action (G)

Afterthoughts

This coming week I’m hoping to properly start the modelling of my own character. I will definitely be referring back to the tutorial videos for any additional guidance.

However, I’ve been thinking about whether or not to build off of the model from the weekly content. Use it as a base and reshape it into the character I designed. It is something I will have to ask my instructor about.

If I was on schedule, I would have started the mesh for my character already… but I’m not… so I haven’t…

But that is no reason to wallow. Since I designed the character myself, I feel like I’ll be far more motivated to model it quicker.

The next piece of assessment is the character mesh and it is due in week 8. This gives me two weeks to build the character model. Depending on how fast I get the bear minimum done, I might introduce more than the assessment requires. Perhaps some more finer details.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First I have to make some minor tweaks to the character model sheet. My instructor’s feedback has made me more aware of the fact that my character’s center of gravity is slightly off.

So hopefully, I can make some real progress into the modelling of my character by next week. And also go through the week’s class content.

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Cooper Joti Nonggorr

Aspiring graphic designer and 3D modeller. Graduate of Bond University. Avid Disney fan.