|Building Your Very Own
All fired up now, and ready to try your hand at CGI? ;)
Not quite sure where to start or even what the process of creating Computer Generated Imagery
is like? No problem! I promised I'd keep this short though and not bore anyone to
tears, so note that the process I went through while building Pilot's head has been simplified
a bit! ;)
|A.) At this stage,
we're just starting out. A technique called "Spline modelling" is used to
create a series of curves which define rough wire outlines of the face and overhead shell.
This becomes our jumping-off point.
B.) Next, we "patch" the wire outline to
make solid surfaces. Basically, this means that we cover them with sheets of polygons so
that they have a surface we can see.
C.) Once we have a surface to work with, we can begin
adding details. The rough surface is toggled into a mode called "SubDivision
Surfaces" (which changes all the sharp-edged joins into smooth curves) and we begin
shaping. Control points on the model are moved around, and polygons are added and devided to
refine its shape. Also, other parts are added to the model by extending edges, or fusing
on separately created segments. This continues until we have the entire head shape.
D.) Finally, to make the head model look more
realistic, it is textured. This means that images are applied to the model's surface to give
it properties like colour, shinyness, bumpyness, and reflectivity. (Compare the surfaced
portion around his mouth to his cheeks and the area around his eyes which have no textures yet
- you can easily see how much of a difference textures make!)
That's it! Of course, what's Pilot's head without a
body, right? So we start the whole process over on the next piece of Pilot! ;)
Bitten by the 3D bug? Want to give it a try and see
what it's like, but a little frightened by the price of 3D animation software? Surf on
over to Blender3d.org and a very thorough OpenSource modeller package is waiting as an
absolutely free download in Windows, OSX, and Linux flavours.