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April ProgBlog 2: headway

posted on: Sunday, 21 April 2024 @ 11:12pm in

During my manual migration I have been cringing at all my old artwork and rediscovering a few gems such as part of a conversation I had with one of my friends about 3d back in 2013. They said:

Lol shame there is not one 3d app to rule them all that does ALL the things and is moddable to suit the individual’s work flow

I replied

i would like One App that had a workflow and was split like Lightwave (though there’s thought of unifying Lightwave, i was really pissed about it when i first heard about it, then more recently now that i’m better at this stuff i realised i don’t care if they unify it as long as the workflow doesn’t change too much and i can still box model) with a scupt mode as awesome as Sculptris that also integrated animatable sculpting/morphs like ChronoSculpt and had cool retopo tools like ZRemesher from ZBrush or BSurfaces from Blender and a dynamic paint mode like Blender or Sculptris but probably easy like Sculptris but that can update UVs on the fly and a rigging toolset that’s easy as either Genoma in Lightwave or whatever Blender has (haven’t tried but apparently good) and definitely less crashy than Genoma deep breath in

I had meant “subpatch model” not box model, this is what you get for not checking before hitting send

Over here in 2024 I snickered realising that it pretty much exists and is called Blender. What is even funnier is that I ended that blog post with “I don’t ask for much” and these days everything I want seems like it’s achievable if not easy (at least when you know how). And even funnier still is that in early-mid 2013 I was lamenting about how I just had to accept the fact that my brain was never going to work with Blender, in late 2013 (after some Blender Misadventures) I commented how it was “exponentially growing on me” and now it’s the only thing I use because it does everything I want it to do.

Meanwhile I managed to finally square everything up, it should deform properly (or mostly at least).

image 388

And then as I started on the wing membranes and moving down the back, I discovered some serious issues with squaring the wing membranes up. As in they would not because the squares down the side were bigger than the squares down the arm.

And then I found out that I can actually apply modifiers to vertex groups.

I don’t know how long this has been a thing for

Which means that theoretically I should be able to do some horrible manifold meshing (aaargh) and just use one sheet of polygons for the wing membranes instead of actually modelling the thickness, and use the solidify modifier to provide said thickness.

So I started having a go at that which fixed some problems and created other ones.

image 389

My main aim at the moment is obsessively trying to keep the membranes square as they’re basically going to act like cloth (even though I’m not going to apply cloth dyanmics, there is a non-zero chance they’ll get a lattice deformer). I can get away with rectangles on the arms as they won’t rotate too much, knowing that they exist will just upset me.

It doesn’t look too bad with the solidify modifier (I don’t know how easy it is to see in the screenie below as there isn’t much wing). My super fast initial tests indicate it should theoretically texture all right.

image 390

I’m really hoping this works out all right and that I won’t have to redo it as it’s so much easier to model (even though it’s also extremely tedious and frustrating because I don’t know how to square things up nicely from the beginning).