Katerina Novakova (shiennar)

50 replies · posted

BC1-1908 Homework - Katerina Novakova

My homework thread. 

  • Kate!! 😃 good to see you back, how are you?
    • smurfmier1985 I'm good, Miranda, glad to see you too. :-) I've also had a lot of work lately, so I had to stop doing the weekly projects (but I'm working on something special at the moment - I hope I'll be able to share more details in a couple weeks' time). 

      I saw that you already created your own homework thread, I'm looking forward to seeing your completed chest (I'm curious what kind of spin you'll put on it.)

  • Wow, my third BC1 class already :-) I wasn't sure I was going to make this one because I've been very busy lately, but I'll do my best. Each class has been different so far - in this one I want to focus on effectivity: get done as much as possible in the few hours I have. I'll also try to post some in-progress images (I haven't been very good at this, time to improve :-) ) Oh, and I really want to do the class reels again. I hope I'll be able to squeeze them in, I really enjoy making them.

  • WIP 1: Barrel stave

    I have a simple scene in mind that I want to create with the barrel (or do I hear barrels?). I want to make them stylized, but with realistic measurements, so I set out to hunt for barrel dimensions. I found those quickly enough. In gallons. And liters. And special wood-working magic units that have been passed from father to son for generations. In centimeters? Not so much. 

    But in the end I found something believable, and, equipped with some extra reference, I started from a cylinder with 12 divisions (I hope to separate these into planks later). To get the right shape, I added a circle with the right measurement, positioned it in the middle of the barrel and scaled the mid section to meet the circle.

    Then I deleted the head (that's barrel jargon for you, ha) and the bottom and I added the Solidify modifier. Remembered to apply the scale (I always forget) and I ballparked the plank width (so much for accurate measurements). I thought about the hoops and realized that it might be a good idea to mirror the barrel on Z (I had to reset the origin to the centre to make this work). And so the barrel stave was born.

    • sshiennar Great! By using the Solidify Modifier, you already got the slant of the wood planks ends for free;)

      One easy way to separate the planks is to select all the vertical edge loops (in edge mode) and press V. 

      Select a plank and press F to fill both sides at once (you'll need to have the F2 addon enabled for that to work, I think).

      Sorry if you already knew this, but others reading this might not;)

    • spikeyxxx We must have posted at the same time :-) Yes, I ripped the edges - I rarely use it, but for some reason it hit me here as a good way of making the planks. I had a duh! moment with the plank filling, but when I went to check, I found out the solidify modifier had everything under control (we'll see if that's still true when I apply it later). Thanks for the tips, I need to check if F2 is now bundled in or if I need to get it - it's a great tool indeed.

    • sshiennar Yes of course! The solidify Modifier already does the filling. I forgot about that;)

  • WIP 2: Plank separation

    I knew I'd need some holding edges for each plank, but I didn't want to add them one by one, so I used a little trick. I added a loop at the bottom. Then I selected all vertical edges and bevelled them with one extra edge inside. 

    I selected these extra edges and ripped them (with V). This didn't seem to do much, but when I added the SubSurf modifier and smooth shading, it started to look more like a barrel. (The modifiers are not applied, it's just that I'm showing the wireframe).

  • WIP 3: Adding hoops

    Next I added a circle, and extruded and copied it to create the three hoops. I temporarily disabled modifiers on the stave so that I could position the hoops correctly. Then, in object mode, I selected the hoops and the stave and copied (linked) the modifiers with Ctrl+L. Now the hoops also have thickness and smoothness.

    I didn't add the holding edges at this point, because I wanted to add more detail to the hoops. I ripped the top hoop at one vertical edge. Then I moved the cursor to the center of the hoop and I changed the pivot point to cursor. With this setup, I was able to scale (with Alt+S) and extrude+rotate the edges so that they weren't overlapping. I finally added the holding edges and moved the vertices at the end of the hoops so that it looked more like it was truly welded.

    After that I modelled a simple rivet. I enabled snapping to faces (affecting rotation) and I switched to "Normal" transformation orientation. Then I snapped the rivets onto the hoops and moved them in the Z normal direction. At the end I joined them to one object and mirrored them exactly like the hoops.

  • WIP 4: Adding top/bottom and a rack

    To create the lid, I added a new circle. I had to experiment a bit with the number of vertices (16 proved to be what I was after). First I filled it with a single face and then I inset it - to get nice shading later. I deleted the middle face and used a grid fill tool with span of 1 to create the planks. Then I selected all the loops and bevelled them with 1 extra edge. To select the middle edge only, I found out the quickest way was to press Ctrl -. Then I ripped those edges again.

    I also applied the mirror on hoops and rivets and made small adjustments to make the mirror less obvious. This is what the barrel looks like now (with MatCap):

    Next I'm going to create a couple more items to put together a simple scene.

  • WIP 5: Shaping the scene

    I added a couple of seats and a barrel rack. I thought it would be funny if the seats were created from re-purposed barrels, so I... did just that. The rack was a bit of a nightmare, though. I experimented with different shapes - this one has the bottom indent created from a separate circle (so the indent doesn't match the top one). I'll try to add couple more things tomorrow.

  • I look forward to where you go with this.  Will you be tapping the barrel on the stand?

  • WIP 6: Adding final touches

    Next I'm going to add a tap (as nnotcastanza correctly guessed). For these kinds of shape I like to use the screw modifier. It's almost like magic. You add a plane, merge all the vertices into one and then extrude your profile shape. Add the Screw and SubSurf modifiers and voila: a tap base:

    The good thing about this is that it's non-desctructive - you can change your profile as much as you like.

    The last object I made was a tankard. And of course I used the barrel base (but I created new hoops and the handle). The handle didn't come out as I imagined it, but oh well. 

  • Homework Week 1

    And this is all the elements brought together. I quickly added a few grass blades and trees to fill the scene up a bit. The trees are created from metaballs (that's a special object that fluidly merges with its neighboring metaballs, so you can quickly create organic looking shapes). 

    I was struggling a bit with finding a good angle to present the scene, so there is an overall one and a close-up.

    smurfmier1985 and spikeyxxx I both scalled down the table and raised the seats. :-) I should have added a human for scale, when I was creating the various parts (eyeballing things usually gets you into trouble...)

  • sshiennar Thanks for sharing your progress, I have bookmarked this post yesterday . For me its a definitely a  Tutorial  ,going to try and test some of your tricks .

    Love your work!

    • avirozenboim Thanks, I'm glad you found it helpful. :-) It also helped me improve, because I had to think more about the technique I wanted to use and test it several times before I wrote about it. So we both learned in the process, which is as it should be, I think.

  • sshiennar That is interesting, making trees from metaballs.. Never has seen that, thanks.

    Also that you decided to participate, you are a great resource with your experience, it is pleasure to read the how to's in the thread

  • WIP 7: Scene setup

    Alright, time to get cracking (finally). Before I start working on the UVs, I thought I'd share my scene setup. I've been struggling a bit with this ever since collections replaced the layer system. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the collections are great (and more powerful than the layer system, for sure) but there comes a time when a lass wants to see the most bizarre combinations of items she's created - and the collections need a touch more work before they do what she wants.

    This time, I thought ahead and I created each major object on its own and then populated the scene with its instances. The "template" object is hidden, the instances are not. So when I I want to see everything that will eventually be rendered, I enable the "Instanced items" and "Environment" collections (aka grass, trees... you get the idea), and I see my full scene without clutter. Or I can isolate any of the template objects and work on its UVs. I can also toggle the lights and camera on and off quite easily. Here is the collections tree:

    • sshiennar One of the great things about collections is, that you can 'nest' them!

      So, inside your Barrel Collection, you can have a Planks and a Rings Collection, and so on...

  • WIP 8: Reworks (cause I'm a lazy UV unwrapper)

    My first victim was the barrel stave. If you remember, I originally created it mirrored on Z, with the individual parts separated and thickness added with the Solidify modifier. Both of the modifiers had to be applied if I wanted to achieve any reasonable texturing later, so I ended up with 12 pieces that all needed the same seam treatment. But I'm lazy (and I had to fix some mesh artifacts anyway), so I marked the seams on one piece, deleted the rest, added an empty object to the stave origin location and added an array with 12 copies and object offset.

    One apply later and all the pieces have the same seams and fairly nice UV map.

    Next part was the hoops. With Solidify applied, I ended up with the welded parts overlapping visually. That doesn't make for an easy edge selection, so I used a little trick. In vertex mode, I hid (with H) one vertical loop. I selected the rest of the hoop and hid it as well, leaving me with just the end I needed to seam-ify. Not the fastest way to work, but slightly less stressful :-)

  • WIP 9: Barrel UVs

    A few manual adjustments were needed, but I managed to lay out all the barrel parts in one UV space. I wanted to have this one separately, so I could add the most detail (which is why I tried to use all the available space). I'll create another texture set for the remaining instanced assets, and another one for the environment filler.

  • WIP 10: Remaining UVs

    I created the remaining 2 sets, one for instanced objects and one for the environmental assets. With the instanced objects it was mainly repeating the steps from the barrel UVS, with the notable exception of the seats. Those were parented to an empty, which had active transformations. When I tried to do the array trick, it didn't work properly, because the parent transformations kicked in. I tried to apply rotation/scale, but it didn't propagate to the children, so I ended up separating the seats' stave, working the array magic and then re-parenting the stave. 

    With the environmental assets I had to go for the Smart UVs option, because the generated meshes were far from seam-friendly. I prefer not to use this UV option, because I had some troubles with it in the past, but it seemed to be the only option here. 

    Tomorrow I'll move on to the texturing part.

  • WIP 11: Early colours

    I like to start with colour blocking to get a better idea of which colours work best in the scene. But I found out that solid colour blocks throw me off a bit, because they are too far from the final look, so I tend to use gradients. Here I went for a simple dark-middle-light colour scheme, mostly linear (with the exception of the top parts of the seats, where the radial type made more sense). I also quickly painted the environment, to get a more natural look. Now onto the details. (I don't have much time left, so the next post will probably have to be my final.)

  • Homework submission - Week 2

    The time is up and this is what I was able to come up with. I created two versions: one rendered, with the colour information only, and the other in Look dev with Matcap (texture) and cavities highlighted. To make the background show up in Look dev I had to bake it into a texture. It was originally created as a quick gradient texture. I plugged the nodes into the Principled shader, added a new node for an image texture, and with it selected and Baking option set to Diffuse (influence only Colour), I baked the information into a proper texture, which then showed up in Look Dev mode. 

    • crew

      sshiennar Ooo yes, excellent texture work here, Kate. All of a sudden I get a distinct *feel* and style for this scene. I like seeing your first-pass at the texture that highlights the broad gradients. You probably know I'm a big believer in gradients like that 😊

      The only note I want to offer regards the trees and bushes To me there's a pretty big difference between the detail level of the buckets and barrels compared to the trees/bushes. I'm wishing there was something to better establish that the blobby shapes are leafy. To sell the shapes more that way perhaps you could add to a splotchy pattern to suggest leaves like this:

      I know the trees are extra and supplemental, but I think some kind of detail to feel more leafy would help unite the scene together as a whole.

      Anyway, you've definitely earned an A+ this week! You always do good work 👍

    • theluthier Thank you. :-) Yes, you are right, the trees definitely need more detail. I'll see what I can do in the final render...

    • sshiennar Need some mythological creatures and Bacchus  prancing about.

  • WIP 12: Wood and metal materials

    Not too much to mention in this update, because I mostly followed the techniques demonstrated in chapter 2 and 3. I did invert my dirty vertex information and I used a few more procedural effects, but that's about it. I ended up with more materials than I anticipated because the UVs weren't rotated consistently. So the stretched noise that worked well on the stave was cutting across the boards on top. That's definitely something I should keep an eye on in the future.

  • WIP 13: Scene progression

    This is what the materials currently look like in the scene (in LookDev). I'm going to try and add more detail to the environment.