It has been a while since I last updated my blog on this, so here goes! My spaceship interior and my Unity project happily collided a little while back, I was given the all green to use assets I created for Unity in this project and then eventually use the whole thing as an addition to my Unity game. This was a great help!
I’ve been struggling a little bit with coming up with new ideas/concepts to model and due to this ended up leaving the project on the back burner while I worked on other projects. Honestly, bad move time management wise. Now I’m buckling down for the next ten days to get this achieved for the deadline, to a quality I’m happy with.
On top of this the few times I have worked on it Maya has been troublesome. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Autodesk forums fixing issues my personal home installation has been giving me. I’d had a lot of Mel Python script errors when starting Maya, which kept escalating to the point it stopped being able to load or use texture files. It seems this is actually quite common and is due to Maya randomly disabling its own plug-ins. If you go into Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plug-In Manager its a simple case of turning them back on when this happens. If only I’d known this before I tried multiple times to do re-installation repairs. Any workman worth his salt should know his tools, and figuring out fixes like this can be just as time saving as polishing your modelling skills. In IT terms I guess this would be whats known as a ‘Known Error Database’, yes I can fix that in a minute, it happens often! Then everyone gets back to work.
So in short I’m taking what I learned during half term from the digital tutors content and really trying to make headway as quick as possible. Although I wish I could find some reliable info about stacking identical UV shells in Maya, it would save me so much time but cannot get a definitive answer on how to do it. I know Blender has a button for it, so Maya must!
Here is my idea checklist I’ve had for a while. I started this after making my environment concept art, trying to think what else might be stored in a hangar bay, expanding on what I’d already drawn.
As you can see I’ve made some progress, even with finishing off assets that were started in the Unity game.
My crate which was always bare before has finally started getting textured. Not quite there yet but nearly finished. I initially started with a wild orange & white colour scheme however it seemed out of place and I opted for something a little more military/utilitarian. I’ve also added no detail pass yet, such as dirt, little bit of rust etc. However the lid does have a few scratches at least. The green panelling colour is actually two different metal textures, one tinted green and the other being used for an overlay blend mode. I fussed about a lot with this, going from clean plastic looking textures, to heavily worn and back again before I settled on this.
My pipework finally got a splash of galvanised steel. Again it hasn’t had a detail pass yet. Compared to some of the other objects I’ve had to UV unwrap so far, this was beautifully simple. I’ve changed the metal texture on this three times already and I just can’t get to a point where I’m happy with it, however for something so minor I eventually put it down and walked away from it to do other things.
Ahh oxygen in space, that lovely thing the whole crew needs. So why wouldn’t you want this wonderful ventilation fan in your scene to pump that delicious air around your huge spaceship. Still untextured however I need to figure out how to texture an object made out of multiple grouped objects. Each fan blade is its own bit of geometry, it was the only way I could think to create this. One blade was positioned, it’s pivot point brought to 0,0,0 (where the centre was) and then I used duplicate special to set each duplicate with a rotation value of 15 degrees. 360 / 15 = 24 copies and then hit apply, voila!
Okay I know it’s a simple model of a safety rail, but I’m quite proud of this. Completely finished with scratches, rust, grime the whole texturing nine yards. In future I’ll get a bump map on there for even further weathering. Finally I can fix that awful breach of health and safety in my Unity stairwell that my buddy decided to comically point out! If I could get everything to this standard by the deadline I’d be thrilled, if not then I just have to keep adding to it over Xmas until I’m happy with the end result.
Something I’ve already taken criticism for and I fully agree with it, is I get hung up on small details and will throw away so much time fussing with them. When I don’t even have the actual room/environment I’m going to put these objects into yet I shouldn’t be overly focused on if something has the correct amount of weathering yet.
Primary concern going forward, better time management between all projects. I can’t say I had too many moments in my IT career where I was sitting going yeah this server isn’t pretty enough, maybe I should make a swan out of CAT5 while I’m cable managing this patch panel. New qualities needed for a new field.
Fingers crossed my next update will be pretty snappy!