Saturday, March 8, 2014

Finished Dragon Model

Throughout the modeling process, I have looked at other models in order to ensure that the topology of the dragon is correct and when it comes to rigging and animation, the model will deform correctly. When comparing my dragon to my previous quadruped model (alien from VFX) I can see the improvements that I have made. The topology around where the legs join to the body are now a lot better and this will make sure that there are no odd deformations that take place. I had this issue a lot with my alien model, but hopefully with my dragon this will not occur. I also constructed the feet in a different way, the edge loops on the dragon's feet are more ideal as this will allow for better bends in the feet. I've taken a lot of time going back and forth with the dragon as I know first hand how topology can really affect a model and the animation. Animation is my main goal for this project, so I have to make sure that the model and rig is of a high standard. As I want to try out joint based rigging in the face, this also needs good facial topology in order for it to work correctly. Below you can see both my VFX alien model and my dragon model, being of a different shape and design, the topology will be slightly different anyway, but I like to think that I have improved a lot and this will hopefully benefit the coming stages.

Because of the shape and design of my dragon, I had to figure out the best way to connect his head to the body, as there is not much of a neck so space and edge loops were limited. It took a while to do and I had to start over a few times but I think this version works and I will just have to take my time weight painting, ensuring that each skin deforms properly when the joints move. Throughout modeling I made use of the sculpt geometry tool in Maya, this helped me smooth out areas of the geometry and also relax certain places, giving a better flow to the edge loops and the topology. It has helped a lot to smooth out the lumps and bumps of the geometry and I'm really happy with how it has turned out. From here I will be going on to UV mapping the dragon, before taking it back into Mudbox to add some textures. 

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