I created, or modeled, my first 3D living thing this week! It is a mouse embryo. No, I did not choose to create a 3D model of a mouse embryo. It is not a beautiful thing, and it is in fact a little bit gross. But it was an assignment in my 3D space modeling class in which we’re learning the program called “Maya.”
Maya is used by Pixar to create a lot of their animated movies. The finished products certainly have a certain feel and look to them, despite the vast amount of controls Maya gives you in terms of shading, coloring, texturing, lighting, etc.
Here are a few screen shots of the process, and my current end product. I hope to mess around with it a little bit more and sculpt it more to refine it. Then I’ll set up some lights… and camera, action! No, the mouse embryo will not move. It will just sit there, perpetually in 3D space.
You can see in the background of the above picture that I imported an image of the embryo to use as a reference for size and shape. The blue shape is the model that I’m building. To create it, you start with a basic polygon shape, and “extrude” the edges and faces of the shape to build more and more of the mouse. You can manipulate every single edge, vertex and face of the surface, which should ideally be made of four-sided polygons.
It’s all still pretty overwhelming to me, and there is a TON to learn! Maya has like 50 bajillion buttons and tools. Hopefully I’ll model an organ or biochemical process for my main project in the class, or perhaps even a big toe!