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skyfire360

New to Maya, and I love it!!

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*pokes head into the doorway* Hiya! Never really posted in this forum before, so I guess I'll preface this a little... I'm a DirectX guy. I design engines, I write shaders, and in general I make things look pretty and run fast. These "things" that I play with, however, have always been made by other people on the internet or other artists on the team I'm working with. This really hasn't bothered me, as I've always been concentrating on projects for other people, classwork, etc. Recently though, I've wanted to take some of my own side-projects and turn them into polished demos in my own vision. This requires specific models and engironments, specially rigged skeletons, and generally a lot of work that I didn't want to put on other people. Fortunately for me (unfortunately? :) I've been laid up during the last week because of shoulder surgery, so I decided to take it easy and teach myself a modeling program. Seeing as our school has a site license for Maya, I have only one more year left at Uni, and I was laid up with nothing better to do I decided to give it a try... And I love it! It's reeeally easy to make models that actually look like something! Keep in mind that up until this point, I've been the victim of terrible "programmer art". True, I've made some of the most beautiful quads/triangles you'll ever see in your entire life, anything more complicated than a cube was always a product of someone else's work. Lookie lookie! I made that, and in about 4 hours too! Mind you, I've never touched Maya before and realize that it probably looks like crap to most of the people in this forum, but I'm just baffled that I could make something that looks like this: I began to follow this tutorial, but realized that he had some skills that I just didn't have or know. What did I end up doing? Dive right in and try to make it! I don't mind if it looks like crap, as it's my first model ever! I admit that there are a TON of problems with this model: - The nasty seam down the middle of the head didn't seem to get smoothed like the rest of the mesh (I figure this is one of those learn-as-you-go things) - I started in 2D from an image plane, then moved to 3D - His upper lip looks like a beak! O.o - I "eyeballed" a little bit - There are non-square (weird for a DirectX guy :) and non triangle polygons - It's a mishmash of lines - Okay, I "eyeballed" nearly the entire thing ... and a million more I'm sure that you guys can spot. But again, this is my first model... and certainly not my last! :) I'm open to criticism and critiques! Be brutal... the more things you point out that I did incorrectly, the more I'll learn. If you don't want to, then just take this as my way of saying "Hi Artists"! Edit: Sorry, I'm typing this with one hand, so I probably made a thousand spelling mistakes [Edited by - skyfire360 on August 13, 2006 12:27:05 PM]

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One nasty thing with trying to get to both the worlds is that your skills _will_ decay with time, and you'll have troubles keeping up with both being an artist and a programmer.

learn the technical side of maya, but do not try to force yourself into becoming an artist, you'll end up master of none :/ sadly..


for critiques though, always show a NON-smoothed wirecage of the model, the one you work with.

And always render the model on a 50% gray background, or any other neutral image.

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I mostly agree with Eldrons sentiment, but its worth saying 'never say never'. I am quite sure there are people in the world who could cope with being a programmer and artist and do both well- probably not many, but I wouldn't say it is impossible :).

Also, you can still make a good game/demo without it looking like unreal 2007- maybe for your purposes you don't need to reach the level that spending 100% of your time on art would get you to.

btw, I can't see the actual pics

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Quote:
Original post by Eldron
One nasty thing with trying to get to both the worlds is that your skills _will_ decay with time, and you'll have troubles keeping up with both being an artist and a programmer.

learn the technical side of maya, but do not try to force yourself into becoming an artist, you'll end up master of none :/ sadly..


Have no fear, I'm not disillusioned. I realize that trying to be fantastic at both will only lead to me being decent, and master of neither. I'm a DirectX guy at heart, but hey... it gave me something to do while I could only type with one hand :)

Your advice to "learn the technical side of maya" is exactly what I intend to do. I would like to know Maya well enough to build a crude skeleton (to my liking and specs), rig it and animate it. This way, I would have all the parts to build and complete my model exporter and have something to play with in my engine.

Quote:

for critiques though, always show a NON-smoothed wirecage of the model, the one you work with.

And always render the model on a 50% gray background, or any other neutral image.


Gotcha! I'll keep those in mind :)

Quote:
Original post by red_produkt
Also, you can still make a good game/demo without it looking like unreal 2007- maybe for your purposes you don't need to reach the level that spending 100% of your time on art would get you to.


That's just it... I have the parts to an engine that can do some of the advanced shading effects that the U3 engine can, but I've got nothing to show it on! :) I don't really want to make a game; I want to make a number of tech-demo vids to show off my engine (a-la the Making of Halo vid or the E32004 U3 tech demo)

Quote:
btw, I can't see the actual pics


Ack! My DNS host died last night... sorry. Should be fixed now!

Thanks for the insight! :D

[Edited by - skyfire360 on August 13, 2006 1:26:53 PM]

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Hey, that was my first head tutorial, and yours probably looked better than my first attempt (that I didn't even finish). If you're concerned about art, learning traditional techniques and anatomy will take you far. If you're more (rightfully) concerned about technical stuff, don't worry about how it looks, just use very simple models and learn all the techniques. In order to make a head, you need to know what a head should look like, same for all 3D. Which is why its hard to be a great programmer and artist, aside from time to practice. It takes a tremendous amount of knowledge in ALL fields, not just technical, but conceptual.

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