7. The Joints
Cylinders are an important part of my modeling, and the rotational joints won't escape to this primitive. The ring was made from a cylinder and the ball from a subdivided cube.
8. The Head
Since inside the helmet it will be very dark, I didnt put too much detail on the face.
9. The completed Model
Ok thats all for modeling. Now time to put things in place. organize well the parts in one side and then all will be mirrored later. (I was lazy, so all the rotational joints are the same object).
UVW Mapping is a tricky business, but I use a tool that makes it a bit bearable. (get it HERE
) I selected and exported the parts I wanted to map as .obj and loaded them in UV Mapper. I gave diferent types of mapping according to the shapes of the object. I used mostly cylindrical mapping. UV Mapper unwraps the back of the models very well.
Then reimported the mapped parts and replaced the older ones.
I used a checker texture to see if the map worked ok.Now that i know that the map looks fine, I went to photoshop and opened the template I got from UV Mapper.
Painted the base colors and used a chipped metal image as mask on the color layer. Underneath it I had a rusty metal texture. I made bump and reflection map from this images.
11. Finalizing the Model
Now thats all the parts are almost ready, it is a good choice to name all the parts.
Believe me it is. Even better if you named them while you modelled. I attached little parts that are not rotational joints - like the plug heads of the wires, to the torso, so they dont get out of place by mistake when animating.
Feel free to attach together parts that should be a single mesh. If your software doesn't maintain the material fo the object and adapts to the one is going to hold it, then dont attach it, there is another way. I put on materials before I attach.
12. Photo Finish
Animation is the final product, but here is where the real hard work begins. So, if we want our charachter to move correctly we need to make an animatable system for it.
There are different ways of animating a character: Bones, Hierarchy (what i'll use here), morphs, etc.. since this is a mech made of solid metal it wont have to deform so skinning is out of the picture for now. When I attached the parts together, I kinda made each group of parts a bone, they can rotate independently from the rest. What I mean is that I only have to adjust the objects axis to the rotational point and make objects follow the rotation of the one they depend. This is called hierarchy: the parent/child method. The child always follows the parent. so for example I set the torso as parent and the arms as children of the torso, whenever the torso moves the arms will follow it in its same place. So thats how we make parents and children of the objects to make a moving character.
ie.: head follows chest, chest follows abdomen, abdomen follows pelvis... and so on.
There is the bone choice, but it works with the same concept of hierarchy. The difference is that the parts have to be assigned to a bone and this bone will lead the object, so you move the bones not the objects.
Well kids if you are no sleepy yet, enjoy the final product. Thanx for watching.
Jorge E. Baldeon