Choi's Steep Learning Curve Continues!

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Hi everyone, 
I'm back! 
Back on track with my Maya learning sessions and blog entries. I got sidetracked with the job hunt and 2D design for a bit but now I'll be picking it up where we left of- learning texturing in Maya.
 I don't have anything new to report on texturing and Maya just yet, but I do have some announcements.     

  • I'll try and write, longer, more meaningful blogs with more insight then the previous ones. So I won't write them as often as I did I guess. 
Keep in mind that this is my first community/forum/blog thing that I'm doing, ever. 
If you have any suggestions regarding anything mentioned above, be sure to comment or PM me... 
Thank you all for reading, 

Wrap up, Recap and plans for the future (I got an interview BTW)

Hi everyone, 
Just to get it out of the way, I learned the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator (you can see the progress in my other, older blogs) and made a "portfolio" in about a week to try and apply for a job I really like. 
I've send the CV and the link to that portfolio and you know what?  


How you like them apples?! It's already 10 times more than I expected but I'm looking forward to it and I'll surely keep you posted. 
So, now that most of that job stuff is out of the way, I was in the middle of something anyway. I plan to continue to work on the sackboy model, I learned the basic concepts of texturing, i have to continue to work on that and eventually texture, rig and animate the little guy.  
I plan to learn all aspects of Maya, at least enough that I understand the whole thing, and when I get to animation and everything, probably dip my feet in some Aftereffects as well so I can produce and put some final touches on it, too.  
And continue to lost myself in Eve online, that game is unlike anything I've ever seen.
And please, if you didn't already, drop here and get yourself a unique wintery wallpaper made by little-o-me! 
Merry Christmas everyone, 
Thanks for all the kind words, constructive criticism and motivation you've given so far, 
thanks for reading, 


Quick Photoshop Update- The Siberian Butterfly

Hi everyone, 
Just wanted to share my first and brand new baby I've done in photoshop for my attempt at the job in my previous blogs
I've been watching at my dogs eyes on my desktop for the past week and thought to my self they look like colors on a butterfly. 
I turned that weird little epiphany into my first PS project. I came up with two versions. 

Snowflake version 
Snowflake version 

Graffiti  version
Graffiti  version
I know it's not Christmas yet, and I'll certainly post some more blogs before Christmas, but I want to share these here images with you guys so you can use them as wallpaper if you like them or something.  
 Original sizes here: 
Graffiti version 
Snowflake version 
Widescreen versions (1920x1080): 
 Graffiti Version 
Snowflake Version

Merry Christmas everybody! 
Thanks for reading! Peace.

2D Design, Photoshop and Illustrator- 4 days in- 7 days left

Hi everyone, 
I've been working pretty hard for the last 4 days, learning photoshop and Illustrator for the job in my previous blog. 
You are all a big part of what keeps me motivated (even the naysayers), so I've come here to share (again) my work with you. 


Ok, I didn't mess around in it too much, learned the basics of masking and managing layers and basic filter, effects and image manipulating panels. 
I watched an EXCELLENT Digital Tutors video tutorial on the essentials. 
I didn't use it much, just for preparing pictures I was gonna use in Illustrator. 
And by the way, I made this stylish wallpaper for my desktop. 

 My pet huskies' penetrating gaze!
 My pet huskies' penetrating gaze!
original here
I'll probably do something with it, maybe pop in the arrow that's right between her eyes and make some kind of logo out of it... 


 These is where I spent the majority of my time. I was hampered by a very tedious, slow and annoying tutorial and teacher from 
I was 2 steps ahead the whole time, the guy repeated all the basic tools 3 hours in... Hated it, but I learned all I needed, just took more time than I was expecting. 
So, here's some Illustrator work I did: 

 Smart people know what pedestrian crossings are for!
 Smart people know what pedestrian crossings are for!
My made up idea for an ad promoting safe and smart transportation and commuting habits =) 
Really liked the idea, plan to make at least 1 more (road's a chasm and the zebra's a rope bridge) 
 It turned out pretty much EXACTLY like I envisioned it in my mind- I'm proud of it. 

Double Fine anyone? 
Double Fine anyone? 
So, this was actually done in Maya, and this is just a simple render but I'm not going to make a Maya section here so whatever. 
Pretty straightforward- cheerful, playful and colorful. 

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This is the first thing I imagined and started working on, but kinda fell apart in the process.  
Polar Eclipse was my fake, imagined brand of perfumes and toilet waters for men- you can see the logo and the "Glacier" bottle over here. 
The logo was suppose to be textured on the rough glass, making the logo look polished and smooth. 
I dropped it and started working on different things, this seems like a dead end now- well see... 
The last day to send in CVs and portfolios for the job is on the 16. so I got about a week to go- I'll do my best. It's 3 in the morning now, I'm off to bed. 
What do you guys think?  
Thanks for reading, 

Sudden Great Job Opportunity- NEED HELP-Quick Portfolio!

Hi everyone, 2d artists, photoshoppers, Illustrators especially. 

The job!

Quick copy paste from google translate:  
  • independent preparation and data entry on the website and web shop
  •  translation of texts from English
  • photography and photo editing for web and print-prepared leaflets, advertisements and other materials for printing
  • drawing in AutoCAD
  • Creating 3D models
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office and Adobe tools (Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Excellent knowledge of AutoCAD and 3ds Max software
  • Fluent English
  • basics of digital photography
  • drivers licence (personal vehicles)
  • creativity and "eye" for aesthetics
  • responsibility 
  • Work on the temporary with the possibility of employment for an indefinite period.    
Except for the drivers licence and the Adobe part.  
I really like doing all of the above. So, everyone from the hamburger forums, Buzz_click, TheSeductiveMoose and the rest- UNITE! 
I would really appreciate some good advices for making a good Illustrator/Photoshop/Maya portfolio for this job!  
I've already started and learned the basics of photoshop, tomorrow I'll do the same for Illustrator. 
I was planing on making up a company and their product and brand and making a visual identity for it. I won't give it away, but I have something in mind. 
After making the logo and everything, make some simple bottles and cans in Maya and texturing and rendering the whole product line to seal the deal. 
Please, help a young, ambitious fellow duder.  
Thank you all in advance, love you all!

Choi's Maya Adventure- Texturing

Hi everyone from a land of pens, parachutes and light bulbs
Before I dwell on the texturing of  our little sacboy model, which we all know and love, I'll first need to learn all the basics.  
Which I have  =)  
And if you don't mind, I'm going to tell you all about it now. 
Here's the first thing I've done: 

 2 minuts of rendering; my computer SUCKS!
 2 minuts of rendering; my computer SUCKS!
Original picture and size here!
Pretty cool result, keeping in mind that there are only 3 spheres of geometry here! One is the ground, the other is the cloud layer and the third large one  representing space. 
While googling for Earth textures, I came across this great site that already has them all. 

Bump Map

With this easy example, I'm going to show you how you can tell Maya what values you want on your geometry by turning images into valuable information. 
 Keep in mind that most attributes you assign to shaders (which are later assigned  to geometry) are just numerical values (transparency, reflection, bump etc.) , if you don't count attributes that can be colored (colors are 3 channels; red, green, blue). 
So if you load an image like this one into a bump map channel:  
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You'll tell Maya that the part that is white is higher (1) then the black part (0) and the grey is everything in between (0-1).  
Easy as pie! When you wrap your mind around it and realize you can manipulate pretty much any attribute this way, it becomes a very powerful tool. 
Hope you liked this little sneak peak, stay tuned for more texturing goodness!  
Comments, suggestions and critique always welcome! 
Thanks for reading!     

3D Maya Model- Sackboy- FINISHED!

 Hi everyone! 
Finally, with so much going on, I managed to finish the Sackboy model. I'll probably add some normal and bump maps and other stuff once I learn about them =)   
Without further ado- here's  my baby:       

      8.663 polygons and only 6 triangles on the body part.
      8.663 polygons and only 6 triangles on the body part.
Since my last blog, a lot of things have happened. I quit my job, I'm fixing some PCs here and there to bring some money in and I'm looking for a new job. 
 I didn't have much time to study and work on this  tho, so sorry for waiting so long. 
With that being said, let us dissect the process of  making this stunning, beautiful and breath taking peace of art =) 

The Zipper

   The easiest to make and most realistic part of the model.  
      Wire tool
      Wire tool
The teeth were the trickiest part. I ended up messing around with the wire deformation tool. It looks a little something like this: 
The curve you see in the image is a traced 3d curve drawn on the sackboys chest. With the wire tool, I wrapped  the teeth to the curve like a cloth. I think it ended up pretty good.
 Step by step zipper
 Step by step zipper
The zipper proper was really fun to do, just to see how you can make cool stuff with the basic of tools. Only poly primitives, boolean operations and extrude were used. 


Unlike the zipper, hands were NOT a fun thing to do! I lost about 3 days (about 15 h) over thinking, complicating and going back and forth between Zbrush and Maya to get the right topology.  
Now that I think about it- this looks like a great start of a brand new character. E-DE from New Vegas with ARMS!
Now that I think about it- this looks like a great start of a brand new character. E-DE from New Vegas with ARMS!
 Imagine looking at this for 3 days.   And this is just 1 arm. I went through 4 iterations.
 Imagine looking at this for 3 days.   And this is just 1 arm. I went through 4 iterations.
The catch is, the base I used is made out of (Z) spheres. BAD IDEA! It looks pretty good and clean looking it in Zbrush (left image), but the topology (especially the palm part) is F-ed up!  (right image)
I tried it about 4 times and saw I needed to take another approach. 
In the end, I did it from the ground up in Maya with the simplest of tools as basic as possible. Only primitives and extrudes, just like the zipper.  After I divided the polys to get a better resolution of the hand, and stitched it to the body, it looked great.
 Go Figure -.-
 Go Figure -.-
 The final part was stitching the arms and legs to the body which was surprisingly easy and painless.   
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 Ok guys, let me know what you think. I'm really eager to start rigging it and animating, but I'm aware it still needs details like stitches and bump/normal maps to make him textured like a sack. 
Comments and advices on: 
  • which direction this blog should go in (what to change, format, more picture, less pictures, more video etc.)
  • what would you like to see me do next (in this case rigging and animating or detailing and texturing)
  • tips and tricks from you guys who do this better then me
are much appreciated. 
Thanks for reading, 
P.S. you can check the 360 angle video playblast on my youtube channel here. (go give thumb up bitches!) 

3D Maya Model- Sackboy- A shout out to Akrid & a Sneak Peek

Hi everyone, 
 Just wanted to show you some of the work I did after taking a different approach to the model- thanks to Akrids tip. Thanks again dude! 

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And a quick question: 
Would you like me to post more small chunks and updates like this? Or big blog posts that have all the info from 4 or more working sessions?  
Thanks, PEACE!

3D Maya Model- Sackboy- Part 1 (A Humble Beginning)

 Hi everyone from the land of Mirko Cro CopMarco Polo and Goran Visnjic,
Here's my first serious venture in the land of modeling proper. I've been trying to learn the topology flow and what I need to keep in mind when modeling so I don't screw it up for myself later.  
Usually, in this type of work, you pass it on to the next link in the chain, some other dude or dudette who's gonna continue to work on your model. (no shit Sherlock =) ) 
And way down the line, you can stumble into a lot of problems if the topology's not right. I didn't get the hang of it yet, and it's a lot harder than it looks like- you have to have a great perception for 3D space, volume and shape. 
I'll write some things I've learned while working.  

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step  AKA I started with this  
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step  AKA I started with this  



 1- Imported Zbrush OBJ       2-
 1- Imported Zbrush OBJ 2- "Cleaned" half in Maya 3- Merged whole
If you pay a close attention in the first image, the chest/ torso area of the model is pretty messed up. The base for all 3D geometrical models has to be a quadrangle, maybe a triangle here and there, but no other n-side faces. By splitting polygons and inserting edge loops you can fix the problem. 
The other important thing is edge flow. Basically, you have to have a good flow of the geometry, complementing the musculature, anatomy and nature flow of the body, face or any other thing you're modeling. 
That's why he's got a cone head and a little tail or balls :) It looks strange now, but you'll see the benefits later. 
 Rough hand from Zspheres     
 Rough hand from Zspheres     
 I'm pretty positive the "cleaned" topology is crap but I'll try and make the most of it. I'm sure this is only the first of a whole army of characters that are just canon fodder and target practice till I get better at this and can actually do these characters justice =)   
 After I cleaned the model, I exported it back to Zbrush and this is what I got after a minute or two. 

 If you vaguely look at it from afar, it's almost a SACKBOY!!!
 If you vaguely look at it from afar, it's almost a SACKBOY!!!
So, here it is, for now. 
Sorry for the lack of content, haven't done much in a week. Looking for a new job, playing some Fallout: New Vegas and Arcania and chilling so I don't loose my mind just yet. 
I'll be better guys, I promise. 
Thanks for reading, stay cool!

A little about me & The Battle Plan

A little bit about me 

Hi  faithful followers and newcomers alike, 
I just wanted to point some things out before we get further into this. I'm from Croatia (the land of Serious Sam, Nikola Tesla and Dirt 2 rally tracks)- 
So, expect blog updates at strange times, because (I guess) most of you here live in SAD and Canada which is at least +8 hours difference. 
Also, forgive me for my engrish. I got kinda rusty since I quit playing WoW a few years back so I don't use english on daily bases anymore. 
I'm 23 years old, working as a mechanical engineer in a small firm designing, drawing and calculating ventilation, heating & cooling installations for malls and other buildings like that. Sounds cool, right? 
  Well, the job's not bad and I like doing it, but the down side is, I didn't receive a monthly salary since March. MARCH! So, needless to say, I need a quick job change.  
      Actually, I could use the coins as well...
      Actually, I could use the coins as well...
I'm looking for a new job, at least setting the wheels in motion, but I was starting to think about my passion, work, willpower, energy and what I really wanted to do. 
This is where the 3d modeling, Maya, and eventually this blog come in. So,   
The Battle Plan
is to hon my skills every day after regular work, rest a bit on weekends and probably  squeeze some more work  in the meantime. 
I'll focus all my efforts in finishing the Sackboy model first, be assured I'll blog the hell out of it in the process. 
All that, of course, while I try to change and ensure my short term future and financial security.  

Thanks for reading...
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