First I will explain the programs I use for the creation of my media art.

  • For grabbing stock photos to start with – Google
  • For editing the stock photos to fit my need – Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
  • For almost all of created 2D art – The Gimp
  • For music creation and adding music to 3D animations – Garage Band
  • For music fine-tuning – Audacity
  • For all of 3D art including stills and animations – Blender
  • For interactive web sites – Adobe Flash CS5
  • For sharing this information with you –

Next Off, my techniques:

For 3D art:

There is basically two different possible methods I could take here. There is the box method where you take a 3D box or other simple shape and cut parts of it and shape it to fit your reference image or idea, and there is the plane-extrusion method. This is the method I usually use. I start out with a basic 3D plane which is a 2D square in a 3D environment aka. It only has 4 points so no depth. I then normally would put some loop cuts in or subdivide it a few times to create multiple points within the plane while still keeping it 2D. I then extrude parts of it and continue this process until finished. Now is when I need to know for sure if this is an organic model such as a human head, or a non-organic, boxy model such as a barrel made of planks (which I will hopefully make a time lapse of soon). If it is an organic model, I first set the shading to smooth which makes the whole model appear smooth, and if it is a model needing a lot of detail, I may go into sculpt mode and chip away small parts for the finer detail certain objects need, such as the creases in an aligator’s head. After all this is done, I should hopefully have my final model but there is one problem, the colors. I next need to apply bump maps, diffuse maps, and other less important, optional maps to create the colors of the object. If the object is not uniformly a certain color, the model must be uv unwrapped which is a pain. UV unwrapping is taking the 3D model and putting “seams” in it that define how to unfold the 3D model into a 2D representation of it. This 2D model can be exported to either the Gimp or PSE to colorize the model with images from google or ones that I made. After all this is done, most models will need some fine tweaking of the camera and lights to display the model I worked so hard on in the best way possible. The last thing to do is to hit the render button which could take five seconds or five hours depending on the settings and complexity of the model. This then spits out a finished work.

Time-Lapses: – This is my “sound animation” I mentioned in one of my posts, its purpose was mostly just practice for me, but can also be used to show that when I say renders take a long time, I MEAN IT. This is a screen recording of my Virus Animation being rendered out. If you remember, the animation is a simple 10 seconds (9.7 to be exact). The render took *drumroll……* 4.5 HOURS to finish. This animation was rendering fairly fast as well at just over one minute per frame since it is a relatively simple scene. Try to imagine how long a normal pixar movie takes to render even with their state-of-the-art-super-fast renderers. Give up? approximately 10 hours per frame at a whopping total of about 3 years for the entire thing to finish. Next time you are watching a pixar movie, or any other 3d animated movie, think of how it was finished THREE YEARS prior to now.

  1. #1 by mom on November 4, 2010 - 12:42 pm

    sounds cmplicated! I’m glad you know how to do it….

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