The traveller- Hard Surface modelling and Texture Painting finals

Once you enter the program you will have about 6-7 classes, most with huge finals to do. What do we do? We combine them in a single one! :)

Most of us combined hard surface modelling with texture painting this term, it also very convenient that this time, the modelling class would finish before texture painting class.

Hard Surface Modelling 1 teacher is Rodrigo Carrasco from Gentle Giant
Introduction to Texture Painting teacher is Eric Miller , managing director of the Gnomon Workshop

My classmates found the modelling class to be very helpful for those who didn't have enough 3D experience before coming to the school, many of them were feeling completely lost before that. You don'r need to have 3D skills before coming here. But as some already know, I started as a generalist before, so I already had the basic knowledge, but the tips the teacher gave us  were still indispensable for me. What I liked the most about this class was when we learned easy to use commands that would make a huge difference in the final work, like for example, adding rivets, modelling on top a an irregular surface or an sphere (for example) , how to model a dice in a few seconds and stuff like that, that will help us speeding up our final work at the same time we get much better results. We also learned about NEX which is super useful and easy specially for a poly by poly model and retopology.

For  the final we were asked to model whatever we wanted to as long as it was complex enough with a fair amount of detail, if just a prop it should be a hero prop. I chose to do many props, the goggles and camera are the ones with the highest amount of detail. We handed in 3 shots of the wireframes and the scene file (or .OBJ) without textures and UV's.


Now the texture mapping class , which was also super fun! (well at least for me, I want to be a texturing artist :P) I noticed that even those who aren't really into texturing learned a lot from his class. Eric Miller talks a lot! hahaha Which is awesome of course, he clearly has a lot more to teach than the 10 weeks would ever allow him to, and not only this, it seems *to me* that he enjoys teaching. This idea wouldn't surprise me since he's the director of Gnomon Workshop, after all.
Be prepared to learn other softwares and maybe getting disappointed with them at the beginning though. We didn't just use Maya and Photoshop, we also used Bodypaint from Cinema 4D and Headus, and although it isn't really required that you use them for the final, those are very good to know. I used Headus before so it wasn't a big problem, and it is already easy to use, but bodypaint still looks like a little monster for me even though if you know photoshop you will have a better idea of how it works.
But the best part of this class isn't the fact that you get to learn these new softwares, what i liked the most is that you will learn things you'd never think you'd have to learn, Eric knows a LOT even about those things  you use everyday and sometimes don't even know why it has to be this way. He explained about 1k/2k/4k/8k resolution textures , what exactly they are and why they should be used, he showed us how gain/offset (or multiply/add) work and what is the math behind it, what formats is better for textures and why (yes, he convinced us to use windows .bmp , with a very good reason), he showed us a a simple equation for the amount of reflectivity/diffuse/reflection blur that materials should have to look realistic, how to use Maya as Photoshop (yes, we actually painted a texture, procedurally!) and so many other things that I wasn't expecting I would learn, but was super happy to have learned it. I don't think a regular school or teacher would even know about these things either.

And the final for this class was to texture the props or environment of choice, but having a photo references, it has to be realistic. My final's concept is mine, but I based it's idea on photos that i found on the internet. I requested Eric to teach us how to do dust, so I came with two versions of the same model, one is dusty (for technique show off purposes), other is clean (for story purposes, since I doubt a traveller would leave his important things sitting on the same place for such a long time! ;P):

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