'Project Overview'

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"Making of 'A Glimpse of the Past'" by Toni Bratincevic

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Modelling (Cont.)

The windows are also simple to do. For this I needed a help of the boolean difference operation. For the door I've used simple polygon Cubes which I've transformed to the right place (pic2). As for the half-arch windows I've created them from Polygon cylinder object. After I created it, I've increased the subdivision of the cylinder to get the smoother result when I drill the window in the main model.

Next step was to manipulate the points of the cylinder to get the shape that I needed. You can see this process in first picture below. The model on the window was placed on the front of the building model so that it intersected with it (pic2). It was also duplicated, scaled and placed to the positions where I needed two other halfarch-windows. The last step was to do the difference boolean operation... so I just selected the main body model and window and done the Boolean Difference. I did this for all windows and door, and there it was. ;)

Left: Creating cylinder to cut window. Increasing subdivisions. Then scale and move selected points in y-axis until they become flat.
Center
: After the windows cut objects are created and positioned they are ready to do the bolean difference operation. Doing boolean operation to get the windows and door. First select the main structure then window cut object and do the difference.

 Tools used:
Create > Polygon Primitives > Cylinder, Move and scale tool, point editing.
Polygons > Booleans > Difference

The Fence was also made by using polygonal cubes. At the start, I've created one cube and scaled it. Then I have cut it like in the first picture (middle object) and transformed the edge points so that I got more natural edges (pic1 - last object). Now, I needed sticks that would hold the fence.

So I just draw a few non straight curves (pic2 - left), created one circle and extruded it along these curves (pic2 - right). After I have done this I went to the side view and duplicated - transformed (translate, rotate and then scale) wooden plank that I have created. One more thing that I did before duplicating the plank is that I cuted it horizontally and vertically few time. Then after the duplication, I've transformed the points of the planks so that at the edges they look more natural - not so linear, And there it is, a fence.. ;)

Created polygon cube, scaled it, then cuted it and moved the points to get the smoother transition at the edges.
Created few curves on which I have extruded the circle. These objects have been created with NURBS.
 Tools used:
MCreate > Polygon Primitives > Cube
Edit Polygons > Cut Faces Tool
 Tools used:
Create > CP Curve Tool
Create > Nurbs Primitives > Circle
Surfaces > Extrude
At this stage I've made a few copies of planks, cuted them in horizontal and vertical direction and placed them on the stick.
 Tools used:
Create > CP Curve Tool
Create > Nurbs Primitives > Circle
Surfaces > Extrude

First hill in the back (with grave) was made using displacement on polygonal object. But before I did the displacement on polys, I have used the height field object (created it in hypershade), on which I mapped the texture that I will later use as a displacement (picture 1).

When you do this with height field, after you modify some of the parameters in displacement texture, you will have real time show of how displacement will look on polygonal object, that's why heighfield objects is so good at this situations. After I was satisfied with the result, I've created the lambert shader and connected the texture from heighfield object to the lambertshadergroup.

Then, I've assigned the shader to newly created poly which was scaled to fit the x and y boundaries of the heighfield plane and then I've increased subdivisions to 100 in both directions. In this situation it is recommended to turn off Feature Displacement option in the Displacement Map section of the Attribute Editor of the polygonal plane object. This will reduce the usage of polygons ... it will only displace the polygons that are already in the plane.

After the height field object was created in hypershade I've made a texture that will be used for the displacement mapping of the polygon hills in the background of the image. As you can see for the falloff of the hill as it reaches the edge, I've used the circular ramp on which I mapped the noise texture...
 Tools used:
Hypershade window > HeighField object + Ramp texture and Noise texture...

For the ground that is in front of the camera I've created simple NURBS plane and using the sculpt tool I have modified it like in the picture.
 Tools used:
Create > Nurbs Primitives > Plane
Edit Nurbs > Sculpt Surfaces Tool

Trees are very easy to create in maya, thanks to paint effects. But, if you use the mental ray then you have to transform it to the mesh object. For example for the tree next to the building, I've picked one paint effect preset, and painted the tree, which I modified to fit my needs.

Then I've converted it to the mesh using Convert PE to Polygons option. The first time when I did the conversion, maya created too many polygons. So to lower down the number of polies, before I've done the conversion I went to the Attribute editor of paint effect stroke and lowered the value for Tube sections and Sub Segments in the Mesh section. If you have situation where you need to get close to the tree, then it would be probably better to increase the mesh complexity of the tree, or leave it as it is if that is enough.

The painted tree using one of PE presets.
After the right tree setup I converted the tree to the mesh.
 Tools used:
Paint Effects > Get Brush
+ Modifying attributes of the painted tree
 Tools used:
Modify > Convert > PE To Polygons

These are the basic steps I've made when modeling. I've added a lot of other details lately using boolean tools, cut, split and move polygon points tool. Let's see few techniques I've used in texturing part.

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