Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Evolution of a 3D Model Part 2

Yet more tinkering with the 8th Doctor model. It seemed it didn't look much like the character so with some advice and a morph file provided by CD2010 for reference I rejigged the face (and thankfully I would add, saved the resultant morphs).

Although I felt the morph I was given looked a little like it was more like Rocky Balboa I used it as a reference to modify my original model... (here's a morph video that shows how far CD2010's morph was from my original model)

Then I had a complete Daz3D crash (probably due to me trying to rearrange all my assets into a logical filing system) and had to work from the ground up again - which in the long run was good as I used a slightly different ensemble to create a more accurate costume...

which I then modified the material of to make it appear to reflect light and give off a more subtle green (or any colour I wished)...

Then I played around with lip-syncing, although rendering these movies was an overnight job.

Lately I've replaced the hair with... er... one that fits. It's a little too OTT on the curls for my liking but it seems to do the job - especially when you play around with the lighting on Daz3D to create some rather nice scenes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Couple of More Models

Here's a couple of more models I may use in my game... if I don't stop playing in Daz3D.

One is a potential companion for the Eighth Doctor who's costume is designed to compliment his...

... and the other is this guy. Hmmm...

(Actually I used a morph made by a nice chap called Charles or CD2010 for this one but getting the rightish clothes took a while.).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Babylon 5 Viewing

Been watching B5 with the missus and we've made it a fair chunk of the way through the 2nd series. Sadly Naomi agrees with me that there is no subtely in the way in which Michael O'Hare is replaced with Bruce Boxleitner. A lot of folk diss O'Hare as being at times wooden, including certain co-stars but I felt he needed to be in the first few episodes of season 2 at least to transition from one CO to another.

It does seem for a few episodes that Sheridan is walking around being really nice to people for no apparent reason, and that no-one is resentful that poor Sinclair got transferred finally. For Naomi though the point where the obvious tipexing of Sinclair with Sheridan hit home was in episode 2 of season 2 when Captain Sheridan volunteers to give some of his life-energy to save Garibaldi. This doesn't really work from a dramatic point of view as Sheridan has never met Garibaldi, while it would make sense for Sinclair to do so.

Still one does wonder how the show would've been with Sinclair... probably not as good if this account is accurate. Though I think this was probably just the rough draft of Seasons 1-5.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Evolution of a 3D Model

Recently I bemoaned my inability to produce some decent graphics for my games and twittered about finding a decent package to render walkcycles (making the walkcycle for TARDIS Trouble was tough using a pretty awful freeware walk cycle editor for AGS). Thankfully Korvar aka Big Mike of DURPS fame came to my aid - he does visual effects for the USS Intrepid fan films and like many of the other Star Trek fan films the special effects are state of the art - and recommended Daz3D.

The main drawback of Daz3D is that it comes with minimal content preinstalled - Victoria 4.2 - their female model - and a few (skimpy) outfits for her to wear. Daz makes most of its revenue off the model addons it produces and vends for 3rd parties. Thankfully the base models were free for the moment so I was able to install a male model (Michael 4) and with some browsing on their site I was able to find the content I needed for my model.

I decided to model the 8th Doctor, Paul McGann. Surprisngly there's a derth of Doctor Who models on and other such places - I've seen a really good Chris Eccleston model, numerous Tennants and even a really good Matt Smith, so I decided to give the neglected 8th Doctor a whirl.

Here is where things went a little squiffy - oddly (IMHO though in Naomi's opinion this is unsurprising) there is a lack of male clothing packs for Daz3D compared to the dearth of female packs. You certainly don't get any male stuff with the default Daz3D install - though the Daz3D book I have later acquired gives you a lot of base stuff to work with.

Firstly I installed some packs allowing me the use of a frock coat, frilly shirts and waistcoats. I then fit these to the 3D model and after being told by Korvar how to prevent the "bleed" problem that persists when you try to dress a model in multiple layers of clothing.

My next problem was that despite the effectiveness of my ensemble my model looked like Ken from Barbie:-

(As an aside I do like the pose in the last image there - very Ascension-like).

However the good people at Daz3D were able to give me some hints (the face should be thinner, the chin longer etc.) Truth be told it would really be the hair that made or broke the model, as Doctor Who is a hairjob.

I then morphed the face - which basically involved turning dials until it thinned the face and made the chin more pronounced. I got carried away...

Then I managed to go from that baseline to something looking a bit more realistic...

And here is a comparison with images of the source face... which I think shows I did a fair job for someone who'd never used Daz3D before.

After that it was mostly touching up the model - changing the hair colour slightly, reworking the clothes. I decided I didn't really like the original waistcoat I'd given the model so I swapped it for a silvery "tuxedo" vest. I even found some ready made walk-cycle poses which has enabled me to generate a walkcycle...

and FYI don't ever have a character wearing a frock coat... talk about a nightmare to make a walkcycle...

Next I want to make a better cravat, create more animations for the character and trying to get rid of the jaggedy edge on the transparent renders.