Week 21-29 summary (16th January – 29th March) FMP

This is my Final Major Project for this course.

It all started with a beautiful (but quite short) trip to Amsterdam. I can’t say that I found any museum there that helped me a lot with my FMP ideas; however, it was inspirational and thought-provoking which was nice anyways.

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Here’s a photo at the night bus and a quick overview of a trip with lots of photos from all the different museums that we saw.

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On our way to Amsterdam, we made a stop in Ghent where we visited a Design Museum of Ghent and had a chance to walk around the city. Here are a few photos of nice product design that caught my eye (flat lamp out of cut wood is amazing, definitely want to make one myself back at home).

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This day we went to Rembrandt museum (there was a very interesting exhibition of Glenn Brown in there) and then had a chance to walk around a city for the first time. We accidentally found the Red Lights street and also visited a very nice church on the road. Last, but not least, we went to the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. It a beautiful building with amazing architecture and a nice view to the city.

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This was a day of endless walking from one channel house to another. We visited Foam Photo Gallery, Museum Van Loon, Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, Museum Willet-Holthuysen and finally went to NEMO Science Museum – we tried to get there a day before as it was very close to the library but it was already closed.

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This day we went to Van Gogh museum – it was amazing. I personally thin all museums should be like this and should tell a story of one artist from the beginning to the end. We then visited Stedelijk museum where I found many interesting examples of product design and made tonnes of photos – hope that I use some of them one day.

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This final day me and Ira went to the Amsterdam architecture museum which was quite small but contained a very interesting panorama with different architectural styles of the city – it’s the shame that we haven’t got an opportunity to take a look at it during our first day. We also saw how they get bicycles from the bottom of the river.

FMP Development

Our first task was to make a presentation in front of the group to tell about our progress so far and our planning pathway choice. As I was still making my mind, it was quite vague, with no particular idea or timetable just yet. As always, I spoke about the 3d modelling that I was interested in as well as three courses I was mostly interested in.

There was a period of time when I was still thinking about making a wooden piece – and for that I was considering making a bed table for my laptop.

Here’s also my Statement of Intent, featuring my original thoughts and ideas as well as a bibliography and vague timetable.

Research

I started from collecting images and pictures from different games. A lot of the suits in this board are from Star Citizen game, that I’m a big fan of. Here’s some of the Robert Space Industries (a company that make SC) leading artists that I researched – Nathan Blaidsell, Mark Skelton, Ryan Church. This company also has a studio in Manchester, it would be nice to be able to come there one day once I get some experience in 3d modelling.

My Pinterest board with different suit concepts that I collected during the research stage.

Mass Effect: Andromeda space suits
That’s a suit that I was mostly aiming for. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reproduce this level of detail as I was struggling with the even the simple form for a long time.

This page is a source for the next two pictures that are also very close to what I wanted to achieve.

Software

I had to speak with Tipoo (I’m terribly sorry, I’m probably misspelling the name but I honestly have no idea how to write it otherwise) to chose a software to learn.

The only one I worked with before was SketchUp, but it’s a very-very basic tool. Here’s a model I made for my mom’s exhibition idea.

At the end of the day, I was choosing between Blender and Maya and decided to choose the first one as it’s free and I also had some friends who worked with it before.

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3d modelling tutorials

This is just an example of one of many tutorial pieces I made while learning to 3d modelling. I was following this Youtube playlist, making all the things that a person in the video did.

Sketches

Here are just a couple of sketches that I made for the suit itself (there are two more that are exhibited alongside the final presentation – I just forgot to take a photo of them).

Progress

These are all stages that I went through while making a helmet. Since the camera was static, they all were made from the same perspective. I first made a main shape, and then applied “Solidify” and “Subdivision surface” tools to make it have some thickness and to smooth it. I also spent a long amount of time trying to set up different materials for different parts of the model.

At this point, I realised that in the future I might need a better graphic card (which is a tricky part as I don’t think it’s possible to swap it if you have a laptop) as renders started to take more and more time.

Texturing

UV map texturing – I’m still learning how to do this and I’m sure that these textures are not the best one’s possible – however, they were good enough to make a render picture.

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Trying to find a right place on a UV map a hard way, by just painting random parts of the image.

Face scan

At some point, I also decided to make a 3d scan of my face to avoid making my own model and to try out this fascinating new technology. I had to go to the Game Design course and borrow a Kinect sensor to do this, but it was totally worth it. Scans number 3 and 4 are the one that I made, moving the camera around my head. Other two are a result of me fixing the camera and spinning in front of it on a chair. I decided to take the scan #3 (#7 in the total count) for a model – the one with a floating piece of another person who walked behind me.

This technique though seemed to make a .psy model, which is a vertex model. In order to import it to the Blender and mix it with the existing helmet model, I had to download a separate software called MeshLab that allowed me to create a flat texture for my skin and clothes. Unfortunatelly, the solution that I found on the internet seemed to be slightly outdated and produced some error at one point. I somehow still managed to convert the texture and export it as an obj file with proper materials, but I think I lost some quality as you can tell from the difference between the 3d scan itself and the render with a helmet.


I wrote a bit more about my experience and thoughts in my critique review at the end of the project:

To sum that up, at the end of the project I felt quite happy from one hand (because I started to learn a new skill and managed to make a piece and also had some concept to work with in the future) and somewhat sad from another (as I really wanted to make a full character).

Exhibition

For the exhibition, I decided to use the type of a presentation that I developed when I was making my Metamorphosis project – the one that imitates a sci-fi interface.

As I also had some nice sketches of a suit that I made using the templates for body drawing found on the internet, I decided to include them as well. After all, I really want to finish this character.

Here’s my exhibition statement

And here’s a presentation that I have running on the screen in the exhibition space.

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