The purpose of this Block is to give students a comprehensive understanding of 3D modeling and texturing techniques needed to construct objects for feature films and video games. Students who complete this term will have a concrete knowledge of hard surface and organic modeling techniques, material properties, 3D lighting & rendering, procedural & image-based texture mapping, and digital sculpting. This course provides 300 clock hours of live lecture and instructor moderated lab time.
Introduction to 3D Modeling
In the first section of Block 01, students are introduced to the principles of 3D modeling. The section begins with an overview of Cartesian space, the definition of 3D elements, and construction of objects from primitives. Problem solving skills and good workflow are stressed. The section concludes with the creation of a complex real-world object.
Hard Surface Modeling Techniques
Most 3D objects can be classified as either “hard surface” or “organic.” Hard surface objects are typically man-made, such as robots, architecture, and vehicles. In this section, students will learn the tools needed to build feature-film quality hard-surface objects. Students will also learn basic lighting, surfacing and rendering techniques along with presentation techniques which will be used to create a demo reel at the end of the Block.
Organic Modeling Techniques
Most 3D objects can be classified as either “hard surface” or “organic.” Organic objects are typically natural, such as characters, creatures, plants and animals. Students will learn the major organic modeling techniques (box modeling and point by point modeling) through the creation of both stylized and realistic characters. Special attention will be given to organic modeling for the purpose of rigging and animating.
Fundamentals of Digital Texturing
Textures allow you to simulate details that would be time consuming or impossible to model. In this section, the fundamentals of digital texture creation will be discussed. Attention will be given to standard 3D projections. Special attention will be given to UV projections. Professional techniques for texture painting in Photoshop will be addressed along with techniques for overcoming common texture mapping problems.
Fundamentals of Digital Sculpting
Sculpting is a time-honored art form. In this section, students will be presented with the fundamentals of digital sculpting using Pixologic’s ZBrush. The section will cover the unique ZBrush interface, the difference between traditional modeling and digital sculpting, object creation techniques, advanced detailing techniques, UV map and texture creation techniques, and the pipeline between ZBrush and other 3D applications.
Principles of Game Content Creation
The process of modeling objects for video games is generally the same as that used for feature films. However game engines impose certain restrictions which you must adhere to in order to achieve successful results. In this section, the specifics of content creation (models and textures) for gaming will be discussed. Students will become familiar with the Unreal game engine interface and the techniques needed to successfully bring models and textures into the game environment.
Demo Reel & Website Creation
Your demo reel is the primary tool used to show off your skills to a potential employer. However all too often artists make critical mistakes in the presentation of their reel which can negatively impact their chances of getting a job. In this section, proper demo reel construction techniques will be discussed. Assignments will be given with the goal of creating “demo reel quality” work. Attention to video editing techniques, DVD creation, and website creation will also be given. The delivery of a completed demo reel is required in order to complete the Block.
There are several objectives for this course. You will develop proficiencies in:
Week 01: Basics of 3D Space, Intro to Autodesk Maya, and Intro to Hard Surface Modeling
Week 02: Intermediate Hard Surface Modeling, Basic Surfacing and Intro to Photoshop
Week 03: Advanced Hard Surface Modeling, Basic Lighting, and Introduction to Textures
Week 04: Intro Subdivision Surface Modeling, Box Modeling, and Gradient Textures
Week 05: Detail-out Subdivision Surface Modeling and Intermediate Lighting
Week 06: Color Theory, Projection Maps and Photoshop Texture Creation
Week 07: UV Mapping, Grunge Mapping, Tileable Texture Creation and Hair Creation Techniques
Week 08: Intro to ZBrush, Sculpting Tools & Techniques, Retopology, Polypainting and the ZBrush Pipeline
Week 09: ZBrush Primitives, Shadowbox, Dynamesh, Remesh, Custom Alpha Creation, Texturing and Plugins
Week 10: ZBrush ZSpheres, ZSketches and ZBrush Pipeline Tricks and Tips
Week 11: Game Object and Texturing Creation, Intro to Unreal Development Kit
Week 12: Final Project and Exam Week
Week 13: Demo Reel Creation