I think I’m starting to get 3D modelling…

As you should know (and shame on you if you don’t), I’ve just completed a week-long intensive session in 3dsMax- a program in which you model the 3D assets for a game. You should know that too. We were expected to create a street scene using existing assets we have made such as the tree, wheelie bin, house, and newly modelled items, and this involved me spending 5 days in labs 10am ’til about 7pm.

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These are a few renders/screenshots of what I did. Some are really low res because I forgot to change the settings grr. My scene looks suspiciously like something from The Sims. Assets that had already been created were the big house, the trees and the wheelie bins. Time constraints meant that I had no time to re-texture any of them like I would have liked to. I also included my first ever 3D model, a phone box, in some of my renders, but it’s just laughable to look at.

I had been dreading the 3D week massively during the build-up to it. I’ve found 3dsMax frustrating and general modelling, texturing and unwrapping really infuriating. My first day of the workshop involved trying to make a road for my scene to centre round, and I wanted to curve the road because I’m too ambitious for my pitiful ability. I literally spent the first half of the day raging at my boyfriend and hyperventilating. I got there eventually though, and had a serviceable road with a house plonked next to it by the end of the day. And here’s the strange bit… I was feeling good about 3D.

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And so the rest of the week went surprisingly painlessly, with me successfully modelling trash, a bin, a fence (x2), streetlights, a roadsign, and another entire building, AND texturing all of these without issues. Come Friday night at 8pm I was exhausted. I completed all my lighting and camera setups, took my final renders (which were a stupid resolution) and went back to my halls and got a little bit drunk. Anticlimax or what? Only one problem which really pisses me off- I forgot to remove Ngons. I am an IDIOT. In terms of 3D modelling, an Ngon is a term that can be used to describe a polygon which has more than 4 sides. It is important to remove these because when a model is imported into a game, any poly with more than 4 sides will be fixed automatically by the game engine you put your model in, potentially fixing it incorrectly and ruining your hard work. It’s all good practise at the end of the day.

5 days of 3D terrified me at first, but having done it and had time to mull  over what it did for me, I can say with 100% confidence that the workshop really boosted my confidence working in 3dsMax. I found myself doing many things naturally that I didn’t do before. Next week we have a final push to finish our Transit vans, and before the workshop I would have been stressing over the fact that I have a week to texture it (which is a really long time). Now I know that I could texture it in a fraction of that time, and I feel really good and chill about 3dsMax now. Modelling, unwrapping and texturing have all become much quicker, more efficient processes for me. I also learned loads of new little tricks and modifiers that I didn’t know before. Although some people didn’t enjoy or get anything out of this workshop, it is my opinion that you get out of it what you put in. I think another workshop in the future would be really handy.

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