VGA 1 – Simple Crate

Simple crate model done for class… It isn’t yet finished as, unfortunately, 3DS Max and I are not quite in agreement with each other yet. The maps could all use a lot of improvement; even painting in some scratches/scuffs on the diffuse would really help, but I’ve just run out of time. I may update it later when I can find the time and will post up a better version here. Honestly, I wouldn’t be posting this publicly if class didn’t require it as I am seriously not satisfied with it.

UDK screenshot:


3DS Max screenshots, front view and back view:


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VGA 1 – Painting Normals

Per class requirements, I’m posting below a simple (and quite unattractive, in my opinion) normal map that I painted in Photoshop in class last week as part of an in-class exercise.


To finish the exercise, I learned how to create a material in 3DSMax, load my freshly painted normal map, and assign the material with normal map to a plane. You can see the final product below lit by a small “free light”.


I’ll admit I’m not too familiar with 3DSMax yet, as I learned animation and some rudimentary modeling entirely in Maya. You know what this means… new software to tackle!

Intro to Tech Animation & Rendering – Fish Model, Rig, Animation

Our next assignment was to model a fish– a rainbow trout, to be exact. The goal was to keep the tri-count under 600. My fish landed at 562.


The finished model with background:


After modeling the fish, we rigged it. In the picture below you can see the skeleton and joints.


Controls for animating:


And finally, a couple of cycling animations of the fish swimming:

Intro to Tech Animation & Rendering – Basic Modeling in Maya

Hey, everyone. I realize that I pretty much abandoned this blog as of June 2013, but I’m going to make an effort to resume posting my progress here. In fall 2013 I moved to Austin, TX to continue studying 3D Animation at the Austin Community College Game Development Institute. I took four classes that semester and failed to post anything about it here! For shame! So I’m going to make an effort to get caught up.

First, there was Introduction to Technical Animation & Rendering, a.k.a. Intro to Maya. I had already learned the basics of modeling and animating in Maya at Richland College in Dallas during the spring semester, so this class was more remedial than anything else. However, I did learn a few new and useful things and met some good people.

We began with an extremely simple exercise: modeling and applying colors to a lineup of primitives.


After that we modeled a bunch of pots. This was time-consuming and very tedious, but a good learning exercise in my opinion.


The final product of this pots assignment was the very short rendered video below.

Graveyard Scene


Just swinging by to drop off a few things. The image above is the finished product of my final group project in this semester’s 3D Modeling class. My three group members and I were to build a scene of our choosing, with each of us contributing 3-4 assets to the scene. We decided on a graveyard. Everyone sent their assets to me and I put everything together, added the sky in the background, set the lighting, and rendered out the final photo to be submitted to the instructor. Click on photos to see them larger.

My models are posted below:

SpookyTree_URL  GargoyleStatue_URLMurderOfCrows_URL

I partially rigged the crows (created skeletons and bound them to skin) so that I could pose them.

It’s Aliiiiiiive! Zombie Deer Short Video

Well! This short video featuring the zombie deer is about as done as it’s going to be–unless I decide to return to it at a later time for improvements. No doubt there is so much more that I would love to add, alter, etc, but this is what the group and I were able to pull together by the due date and under the weight of other class projects I lack the time to do anything further to this one right now. I am pretty happy with it overall, considering. My instructor has offered to post it at the game department’s new website when it goes up (currently in the works), which I think is pretty exciting. 🙂

My role in this project: Responsible for all animation. Modeled, unwrapped/UV-mapped, and rigged the deer. Made some adjustments to the deer texture/skin given permission by Lizzie, our primary texture artist. Added sky to the scene. Created cameras and lighting. Rendered and edited video and added soundtrack. Did some quick skin weights retouching on the Huntress upon receipt of model.

Soundtrack: “Dark Spirit” published by Freeplaymusic, BMI

Software: Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, 3D Coat, XNormal, Windows Movie Maker

Zombie Deer Project


Hello, everyone! In my GAME 1303 class, Intro to Game Design & Development, we’re in the middle of a group project of sorts. My team and I have been tasked with modeling, texturing, rigging, and animating a short scene of our choosing. We decided to show a woman (Huntress) hunting a seemingly healthy buck, only to discover after putting an arrow in it that the deer is, in fact, a flesh-hungry zombie. And thus the hunter becomes the hunted– cue the ominous music.

Believe it or not, the zombie deer was not my idea, despite it being exactly the kind of thing I am interested in. As a result, I’ve been pretty enthusiastic about the assignment throughout. So far I have modeled, UV-mapped, normal-mapped, and rigged this deer– another member of my group did the textures and I made a few adjustments with her permission to do so. I will be animating it this weekend, I hope.

This zombie deer is out for blood and is very excited about it. Just look at that big, deranged grin. I have affectionately dubbed him Snakejaw.


Below is the model as it was first created in Maya:


After applying normals and adding a lower jaw and teeth:


And this is what we’ve ended up with, pending a few final adjustments to the skin/texture.


Here’s the deer’s good (seemingly healthy) side:


The New Normal


Been a couple of weeks since my last post, and all I really have to show for my absence is more of this darn pillar. I have since learned a bit about using a high-poly model from Maya and a program called xNormal to generate a normal map, which when applied to a low-poly model in Maya, gives the illusion of high definition. Pretty cool if you ask me!

If you look there near the base, you’ll probably notice something funky going on. It looks like a piece of the pillar has peeled up and lifted away from the rock beneath it. It hasn’t really; it’s built into the texture map and only appears that way from this angle. If you study the normal map below, you can see exactly where that deformity occurred (4 times) on the big U-shaped piece near the center of the map. I’m not sure what went wrong or how I should fix it.

Below is the diffuse map that covers the surface of my low-poly pillar seen above. This map was generated in xNormal with a rock texture added in Photoshop. I have also applied a cavity map to deepen the shadows and an “AO” (ambient occlusion) map to soften the lighting.


Suppose I should also mention that I learned to create a better UV map in 3DCoat. This was far quicker and cleaner than shaping the UVs all by hand in Maya. I didn’t share that first one here because it was awful… it was also 4 separate maps applied to 4 separate objects! Not exactly my best work.

Below is a screencap of the pillar after unwrapping its UVs in 3DCoat. The UV map still isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely an improvement over its previous form.


And finally, here’s a screencap of the pillar in Unity.


Mossy Pillar Plus Bonus Hammer


I’m not doing a very good job of updating this blog on a regular basis, am I? Well, all I have to show today is the pillar once again, although this time around I’ve at least learned to make a high quality or “high poly” version with smoother edges and just a tad more detail than before.


Also, I figure I’ll go ahead and throw in a screenshot of a war hammer type weapon that I modeled and textured as part of an in-class exercise (while following the instructor’s lead, that is) in another course of mine, Intro to Game Design & Development. We’re doing a fair bit of 3D modeling in that one as well.

Playing with Pillars


Time to update! I’ve had a couple more classes since my last post, and through them I learned the tools needed to model and texture this pillar. I’ve learned about working with edges, faces, and vertices, as well as functions such as extruding and inserting edge loops. And in last week’s class, we went over UV mapping and how to use the finished UV map to create and apply a texture map to the model. Fun stuff. I have to say that though my pillar may not be perfect, I’m pretty happy with it and my overall progress so far. (And once again, click the images above if you would like to enlarge them.)