Just a random update, at the moment at University I’ve been working on a lot of AI stuff (neural nets, game planning and traffic simulation) which has been pretty intense, so to relax a bit I’ve been learning some art tools. I’ve been able to do basic modelling since school, when I (mis)used Pro/Desktop to make spaceships and space stations, one of which can still be seen on a Blake’s 7 fansite logo but using 3DS Max is something I’ve done a little of in the last couple of years. Yesterday I started learning UV Layout, which is a fantastic standalone tool for unwrapping models. I’m getting the hang of it, I still have to go back to the shortcut list every ten minutes since it’s pretty much exclusively shortcut based (which is fine by me as it speeds up workflow and makes it more intuitive once you’re past the learning curve.) UV Layout really is proving to be an amazing tool, I think from now I’ll be rarely using 3DS Max for unwrapping.
At the moment I’m about halfway through unwrapping a car, I’ve also downloaded Mudbox off the education programme at Autodesk. So once the car is unwrapped I’ll have a go at texturing it in Mudbox.
This evening I made a quick stab at making a traffic light, it came out pretty well, the proportions don’t feel 100% right to me although someone else said they thought it was dead on. The model is a bit messy, it’s about 3k tris at the moment, but I should be able to cut it down to 1k easily enough. Since modelling it, I’ve been messing about with 3DS Max trying to figure out how the lights work. I’m still a bit fuzzy on that front, I should probably look it up on the net instead of messing with random settings!
Next I need to learn how to use 3DS Max’s Render to Texture feature to generate AO maps and bake normal maps.