This quarter I am taking a 3d materials course. Now, I have worked with materials before (obviously, seeing as all of my scenes aren’t clay renders) but never in as much depth as we are in this class, and not very much in Maya. I actually find it exciting to be getting a chance to broaden my skill set in this area, as materials can easily make-or-break a scene. One thing that has surprised me is how good Maya is for creating shaders. While there are still a lot of things I miss from 3ds Max, and a lot of things I don’t yet know, the workflow is quite straightforward. More so than the modeling workflow, to be sure. Also, working with Autodesk’s new slate material editor is fantastic. Many people look at my shader “web” and freak out because it seems so complicated, but in all truthfulness it makes it much easier to visualize the hierarchy of materials.
There are plenty of technologies that aid in converting real-life objects into realistic 3d models. Laser scanners can be used to get a rough mesh and refractometers can be used to gather refraction data. Color can be captured with a camera. But, generally speaking, you can’t have a usable object without an artist stepping in and putting in a lot of effort to make sure the geometry is correct and the shaders are sound. At least, that’s how it has been up until now.
I have always wanted to learn HTML and CSS, but never really had the time. At least, I thought I didn’t have the time. I guess I really overestimated the difficulty and complexity of doing so. A few days ago I started learning to build web pages using some online tutorials (and a bit of assistance from my web designer friends) and today I am happy to present to you my first website!
As an artist, it has always been stressed to me that I need a portfolio website. So, of course, as soon as I had enough knowledge to begin working I popped open Photoshop and began planning what I wanted to do. After multiple different designs revolving around things like bright gradients and pseudo-realistic ribbon elements, I eventually settled on a minimalist layout on a subtle “pinstriped suit” background. I’m pretty happy with the results so far.
As this is my first website, I know there are bound to be issues. So if you find anything wrong, I urge you to let me know. Send me an email, leave a comment, or (if it works) use the contact form on the site.
Ok, no, I’m not a photographer now. But I am taking a photography class as part of my major and, as such, have been taking a ridiculous amount of photos during the last few weeks. I am pretty pleased with how things are going thus far. I wouldn’t consider myself to be the next Ansel Adams, but I feel like I’m holding my own well enough. And if I’m wrong, at least I have all of my other digital art to fall back on.