Last week, I found a reference for my model; a kaiju-style monster equipped with a spiked turtle shell and long, ferocious nails, and completed the basis for my piece. This week, I began to focus on finer details.
Like working with clay, I mold and manipulate the colorless base mesh until I achieve what I am aiming for. In addition to having the general shape hashed out and slowly progressing, I create a different set of objects with far more malleable surfaces that will eventually become the highly-textured parts of my project; like hairs on a person’s head.
What isn’t visible in most fully rendered 3D models, as well as the ones displayed here, is that they are entirely built from individual polygons and faces. My models are comprised of a weblike mesh that is formed through vertices, edges, and faces, all of which can be tinkered with to produce different structural features in this hollow model. The higher the polygon count, the smoother the model, but this becomes increasingly tasking on the hardware to render and run. Because of this, 3D modelers are taught to model all major details with the finished product in mind so that all the aesthetics can make up for a lower polygon and face count.
The red pieces have additional complexity to them and contain many more polygons and special tools to make them considerably more detailed and accessible compared to the large gray body. Once the red claws are completed, I can use them as any other tool and place them on the body. Like premade assets made from scratch, this helps streamline the process which could take much longer if I were to make each individual claw one at a time from the base model and disregard my ability to “recycle and reuse.”
In the images I’ve supplied, you can see the significant differences between the areas that have been smoothed out and those that still appear blocky or like wet clay. Once the clay “hardens,” meaning that I no longer need to change it in any way, I can make it a solid asset and begin to put my entire character together through the process of aligning and scaling each individual part to look realistically proportionate, that is, for a giant turtle monster. For next week, the final installation, I will be finishing the model, adding textures and colors, and posing.
Part two may be viewed at http://straylightmag.com/archives/7127.
Gerick Yabut is a free-lance artist who resides in Southern California. He received his degree in animation with a minor focusing in 3D modeling early in 2016 at the Art Institutes of California-Hollywood. More of his work can be viewed on his website: http://www.gerick4425.wixsite.com/gerick-yabut.