Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Crazy golf- building the scene (part 2)

For the next stage of modelling my crazy golf course, I turned my attention to the obstacles that will form the basis of my animation. I decided that for proportion, It would be best to begin one end of the course, and work my way round, completing each obstacle as and when I came to where it should be. My first task was to create the wooden windmill, the first object the viewer will see according to my storyboard.

When I created my custom materials earlier, each was chosen with relevance to my animation; the wooden panel textures were created specifically for the windmill. I began simply by placing a pyramid into my scene, and adjusting the vertices slightly to achieve more desirable proportions. As a guide for where the panels should be modelled, I added the texture at this early stage by assigning the existing material. 

As said above, I wished to add some extra definition to the top of the windmill with regards to the panels. After adjusting the UV (texture) to have a suitable number of panels vertically, I made use of the profile and plan views to add several series of vertices with the cut faces tool, and to move the vertices into position. This created a slight overhang to the rows of panels, as seen below:

The main body of the windmill on the other hand would rely solely on the bump mapping to achieve this surface detail, since adding more vertices would have increased the polygon count drastically, not to mention being difficult to implement due to the shape of the body at the base. The windmill body began as a cube, with the scale and move tools used to elongate and bevel the shape to match my designs.

The golf ball needs to roll underneath the windmill of course, so it has to be on some kind of elevated support. For this, I chose to have the body supported by short legs. To create a hollow look to the windmill, I used the extrude tool to move the base upwards, subtracting material inside the body- Not all the way, I might add, since the inside will not be fully visible. 

I thought for some time on how to create accurate legs that were all the same size. My solution was to modify a cube, use the scale and move tools to narrow the top to parallel the sides of the windmill body, and to place this in the center of the body. I duplicated the modified cube, and simply rotated it 90 degrees using the Channel Box to create the 'cross' shape that would form all four legs (one at each corner). I was then able to remove their material away from the windmill body using the Boolean 'difference' under the Mesh tab.

The windmill body was finished, although the UV did not align properly around the faces of the legs, particularly on the inside. To correct this, I edited the UV on a face-by-face basis, applying the UV with Planar mapping to the correct axis, and resizing it where necessary.

The next stage was to create the sails. Bearing in mind that they will need to be animated, I was careful to make sure they were not grouped in any way with the body itself. The centre pivot point was created with a cylinder, with edge loops added and resized. The first sail was created from a cube, before being duplicated and rotated at 90 degree intervals. More cylinders were added to represent dowel supports.

Lastly, weathered wooden textures were added to compliment the panels texture of the main body:

Now on to the next part- the two bumps just after the windmill. For this, the two needed to be exactly the same, and so I decided to make a template. Beginning with a cube, I inserted edge loops and repositioned the vertices in profile view to achieve a smooth curved surface. The object was duplicated and added to a template layer to 'trace' with the astroturf vertices. 

The insert edge loop tool was used to add the necessary vertices to move into position, copying the outline of the template shapes.

To finish off the texture details, I added another set of edges with the polygon split tool, allowing me to add a concrete material to the sides, as well as a thin black rubber material to represent the thickness of the astroturf mat on top.

The golf ball was created very quickly from a sphere, using the golf ball bump map that I acquired online (the post can be found here). A range of appropriate colours were tested before deciding on the final yellow design, as this contrasts well with the surroundings.

The last small obstacles I shall detail for now are the wooden blocks near the hole. Again very simply, these were created from cubes, with a corner edge removed to achieve a triangular shape.

The image below is a replica of my first storyboard image showing my current progress. You can see the course is starting to take shape! 

Once again, check back soon for part 3 of my Maya modelling walkthrough!

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