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04-09-2012, 08:20 AM   #1
dustykhan
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Project Planning Ideas and Help
I feel I have now got to a stage where I will be able to work on a project from start to finish without too many problems. I haven't tried my hand at character modelling as of yet but it is not something that interests me as much as architecture and landscapes, but is something I would like learn.

I feel one of my biggest set backs is the lack of planning I do before going into a project. I am not very good at drawing and it disheartens me when I spend time drawing a concept and it looks pants. I then get lost in what i'm doing and what i need to do etc... and I end up getting very unmotivated as I have 1001 things I could be doing to continue, but don't know where to start or what to do next

So I would like to ask if anybody has any suggestions, tips and ideas on ways of starting a project and planning as I think this gets very overlooked by beginners such as myself. Ultimately what do you think would be a good sort of project to test my knowledge.

Once I have feedback I will start a WiP thread so if any of you are interested you can follow my progress there.
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04-09-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
daverave
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I would suggest doing one of the sites challenges and see or ask how the other competitors are planning there scenes, you will also learn a lot more of stuff you dont normally do..............dave
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04-09-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Daverave.

I did start working on an entry for the egg challenge, but didn't really plan my image or manage my time correctly. Things took longer then I thought, and I ended up spending more time playing around with mentalray and lighting than anything else so I never finished creating the scene, texturing everything else.

Thats was part of the reason why I was asking for tips on planning. When going into a project should you create lists of all the different items/props that are needed. Then how should you prioritise your work, whats the correct order in doing things. For example model and texture the scene then model and texture all the props then combine both then lighting and finally render.

EDIT: This is a render of the progress I made in the egg challenge:
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Last edited by dustykhan; 04-09-2012 at 06:37 PM.
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04-09-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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Im manly a modeller so I do a model first then if I think its good enough I will make a scene for it then its a case of getting references for the scene just like I did for the model, I know you said you are not a good drawer but I dont think you have to be to do a sketch for a scene just stick men and boxes to get the proportion for the scene right then its a case of getting references for you idears.
I do this as a hobby so do not know for exact how production would do a still scene but I think it will be some thing like this
1:Idear
2:Sketch(optional)
2a:References
3:Model
4:Texture
5:Rigging
6:Lighting
7:Rendering
If I am wrong please some one jump in.................dave
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05-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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This is also a hobby for me at the moment as I currently work as an artworker and web developer for a graphic design company, but would like to one day move into the 3D industry but I need to refine my skills and build up a portfolio and main area of focus first.


I have taken your workflow as a base and expanded upon it. What do you think?

Initial Idea
- Inspiration
- General Reference Sourcing
- Concept sketches

Modelling
- Create Model Sheet
- Blockout Scene
- Model Assets
- - UV Assets
- Model Detailed Scene
- - UV Detailed Scene
- Finalise Scene

Texturing
- Texture All Assets (This would require object linking so you would texture assets in their original file and then this updates in scene file. Is this possible and if so how?)
- Texture Scene

Lighting
- Set Up Scene Lights
- Test Lighting
- Finalise Lighting

Rendering
- Decide On Render Passes Needed
- Set Up Render Settings
- Render Out All Passes

Final Compositing


The one area i'm not too sure on is when to UV items, do you do this after you have finished the modelling or just before you texture. What do you think would be most efficient?

Obviously people like to do things differently, but this seems to me a good starting point and will hopefully help when working on a project from start to finish and give me a clearer focus on what needs to be done and when. Also I guess modelling each asset separately helps build up a reusable model library for future use
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05-09-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
stwert
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You can reference objects into a different scene file. Look up referencing. But if it's not too complex a scene, just model everything in one scene, it's simpler that way. If you want to reuse a model from an old scene, you can just export it as an obj, for example. UVing happens after modelling and before texturing... not too sure the distinction you're asking about? You can model everything, UV everything, and then texture everything, but then you've got all your UVing to do at once. Some people UV as they model (so model something, UV it, model something else, UV it). Just depends on what doesn't drive you crazy.
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05-09-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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You can link photoshop files to shader you will have to look in up as I dont do it that way, as for asset's you can save them with a picture of item in the "visor" hope this helps............dave
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06-09-2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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stwert - I just wanted to know what might be a good way to work on a project in a structured manner and wasn't sure if it would be more efficient to do all the UVing at the same time or straight after modelling each of the objects in the scene. I think if I did UV everything after all the modelling was done, I would go a little mad

Daverave - I take it the same is also true for a layered tiff? How well does it read the layer blending modes and various layer effects? I guess that is only of benefit when your still editing your texture.
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06-09-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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dustykhan I did have a look at a PS network for maya but the "link to layer set" would not work for me, Im running maya 2009 you might have a better with a newer version..........dave
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06-09-2012, 09:09 PM   #10
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I dont quite get it... I take it this is so you can use the one psd for various object textures...?

I get this error // Warning: file: /usr/autodesk/maya/scripts/AETemplates/AEpsdFileTexTemplate.mel line 40: Unable to allocate memory for the PSD file test.psd and I cant access my layer sets SO confused!
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06-09-2012, 09:19 PM   #11
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Well thats why I never used the PSD file straight from PS as they can get quite big, not sure what you mean by various objects, if you mean a lot of duplicated objects yes you can................dave
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07-09-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
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What I was thinking is could you use the 'Link to Layer Set' to select a different layer set for each object?

So whats the benefit of using a PSD...?

To be honest I think I will stay away from this node for the meantime. As I run maya in linux, photoshop doesn't work to well for me in wine so I think I will stay with gimp and just stick to using flattened tiffs. Beats rebooting to windows each time just to use photoshop
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07-09-2012, 10:58 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=dustykhan;341790]What I was thinking is could you use the 'Link to Layer Set' to select a different layer set for each object?

The way maya works there would be no benifit in doing it the ways you said as maya would alocate the full memory size (full ps file size) for each texture hope that makes sence..............dave
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10-09-2012, 07:52 AM   #14
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Ok, so it wouldn't just use that memory 'footprint' once, as you are only using the one file over and over...? Is there a way of finding out how much memory being used or required for each texture, or is it always the same as the file size?
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