Sunday, 23 February 2014

Escape Studios: Weeks 5, 6 & Final Project!

Hi all!

So thought I'd update you on where I am with my course so far! I've completed the final part of my 6 week Maya Core and have to say I feel like I've learnt a mammoth amount of knowledge in such a short space of time! I am now in possession of a laptop that will actually deal with all the things I want to do, which means much more experimentation and perhaps even some personal projects at some point :)

So first of all, we moved onto slightly more advanced texturing, which meant creating a texture from scratch, adding stickers and giving some age to the object. Our tutor had already created a model of a WW2 Canister, and it was our job to create a texture, add some details like rust and scratches, and then adding pre-made stickers and roughing them away. See above for a screenshot of this in progress!

I have to say, I felt a lot more confident with this part of the course, as I've already used Photoshop in my own time for a number of years and didn't feel quite as lost with the software. Texturing is something I enjoy due to the fact you can add a lot of character to your model just by adding tiny details. It sort of creates a story, and you have to think about it a lot harder than say, just colouring in!

We also touched on some of the more complicated parts of texturing, playing with shadow samples, transparency, bump and specular maps in order to create a number of surfaces.

Finally, we moved onto mia shaders, with which you have a lot more control of the product! They also interact a lot more with your light sources to create a realistic finished image. We used a few different objects which we applied different shader presets to, and experimented with the sliders to get a variety of effects. Here are a few examples:

I have to say, i was very impressed with the mia shaders, and we're recommended to use them from now on instead of the Maya default Blinns and Lamberts. You get so much more control over your textures, and I'm not going to lie, it's pretty addictive experimenting with all of the values to see what you can make from it! It does take hours of trial and error, but the finished effect can be really satisfying :)

Finally, throughout the last four weeks we have been working on our projects, and I'm pleased to present my finished still from this:

We had our presentations on the Friday of the sixth week, and I was very nervous about it. Apart from the obvious mistakes (some of the shadows and specularity etc. etc.) I'm really pleased with my work so far and I can't wait to get on with the next project!

Would love to hear any feedback, as I can always improve. I think I might come back to this at a later stage and have a play around to get it perfect :)

Thank you for reading!



  1. Hey Annie,

    Loving your blog on the course. Keep up as I want to lean and know more. :D

    1. Hey Mauricio!

      I will try my hardest haha (I've been quite late recently, hopefully I'll get better at it!)


    2. No problem. I almost started the course from the online mentored option, but since the currency in Brazil is all crazy, it became too expensive. But that doesn't mean I won't make the course someday. :D

      I'm really liking your progress. For a person who never used Maya before, you are getting good fast. Congrats.