I started using a new 3D modeler named Silo for the videogame 3D modeling contract I mentioned a while back, and in order to familiarize myself with its tools, I worked through them one at a time, almost literally with the mouse in one hand and a copy of “3D Modeling in Silo” by Antony Ward in the other. I thought old-school Ebbles Miniatures fans might get a chuckle out of the subject I chose for my in-progress scratchpad build: the torso of a re-imagined Murphy.
(Click to see full size version.)
It’s an unfinished work in progress. I started out scaling, extruding, and beveling a box into the body’s base shape, and from there, I figured out how to use the rest of Silo’s tools to greeble the body with raised panels, insets, bolts, grills, vents, and flush panels. You know, the usual stuff I texture into my paper models, except in actual 3D.
I’ve just about got my head around Silo’s toolset now. When the video game modeling contract’s over, I’d like to revisit and finish the Murphy so it can be 3D printed.
I just added a dozen new reference books to my bookshelf, all in the name of self-improvement and continuing education. They should arrive sometime next week.
For character modeling, I got a bunch of books covering human anatomy, and some books on figure/portrait drawing for good measure. Sure, I could use online reference sites, but I don’t really feel like explaining why there are random photos of naked people on my display every time somebody walks into my office.
I also loaded up on books about animation, both 2D and 3D. I have a bit of rust to shake off there, so it’ll be nice to get a refresher for the basics.
I wanted to test out the Stop Motion Studio app for iOS along with my new micro tripod and smartphone mount, so I shot a cheesy 4 second, 75 frame film starring a random 28mm figure, a random paper model for background ambience, and a stray cat hair.
I wanted to see if any of the problems I was worried about would crop up. For example, things like the white balance and exposure changing from frame to frame, or focus/depth of field issues. I wanted white balance and exposure to remain consistent across all of the frames, and I wanted to lock the focus as well.
Fortunately, the app has manual controls for those things, so I proceeded to test the onion skinning functionality, which shows your current frame superimposed over the previous frame. Without that feature, I’d have had a much harder time moving things around.
I think I would get better results with larger characters and props, so I’m planning to experiment with that later on.