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Name: Erin Denning
Class: Computer Graphics
Professor: Stephen Wismath
Project: 3D Tinkerbull
Date: October 15, 2014


Tinkerbull:

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    This is my model, Tinkerbull. When I rendered it, I used two suns and a spot light . Colouring was simple, as 99% of Tinkerbull is supposed to be white, the eye rings being the 1% that's not. The wings, hooves, horns, nose-ring, and tassle were entirely impromptu and really just because I felt like adding a bit of sparkle. I had to mark UV lines and uwrap my model to colour the portions I wanted coloured in GIMP, and that was a little difficult, but not bad. I have three rendered images from different angles. I did not use a background.

This is the colouring I did to match my UV map:
map

My Adorabull's Creation: 


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    Initially, after I had googled enough, I found tutorials that got me on the path to starting my project. To start, I drew a 2D Image of the object that I wanted to create in blender. I decided that I would make a little creature from a favourite webcomic of mine called Tinkerbull. After drawing the outline using images of Tinkerbull and less acrtoony cows to make my own version, I scaned and edited the image in GIMP to clean it up a bit. From there I opened a new blender file and slipt the display window in two, then loaded the image I had created into the background of the right window. I set the left window to view back initially (I used back instead of front view because my image was facing right, so the front of the object was the back view), and left the image in the right window visible on all views. 

    After I had that set up, I adjusted the position of the image based on the position of the cube blender initializes with. Once satisfied, I adjusted the cube's position a littel as well. Using loop-cut, I divided the cube in half along the y-axis, and deleted all the faces on the lefthand side and applied the mirror modifier to my object. This made it look like I was working on a whole object, even though I was only working on half of it. This had the added benefits of allowing me to maintain symmetry in my design, and halving the amount of work I would otherwise have to to.

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    Next, I made sure the limit selection option was set to all instead of just visible, and began to fit the cube to the image of Tinkerbull. I used box select and grab in the window with the image when doing this. Once I was satisfied with how it was aligned, using box select I selected the verticies on the back half of the object and extruded. Then I again used bx select to fit my extrusion to fit the outline of Tinkerbull. I repeated this process until I had reach the end of the main body, and then began repeating the process on the other end to finish the front of the main body and the head. There was a lot of extruding and box selecting and grabbing to make my object match the outline of Tnkerbull, and rotating when I came to parts like the neck where I needed to change the direction of my extructions.

To make the hips, shoulders, and head, I also used the rotate and size commands in order to create the protrusions that those parts of the body have. The hips and shoulders sticking out from the main body to define the limbs, and the head taking on the ovular-ish form of Tinkerbull and giving it the required width. I ended up modifying the appearance and position of the head of the model too, because I didn'tlike the way the model looked when it matched my image exactly. I checked the appearance of the protruding parts by moving the view position of the object in the left window using the middle click to make sure what I was doing was making a satisfactory form.
    After I had finished creating and tweaking the structure of the object to match the drawing, I began to add extra edges and verticies using loop-cut to further moify the image. One of the first things that I did was loop-cup around the length of the boddy, making two cuts around the center. I then pulled these new edges out along the x-axis using the grab x command to give the bosy a rounder shape, making it less boxy looking. This was the begining of a long round of adjustments and tweaking, which I was now largely doing in the left window, to fine-tune the appearance of the body, neck, and head of my model. During this I discovered an multitude of internal faces that I had not been aware of, I moved the view into the model and began to delete the faces. I had to reposition the model after that as well, becasue there was suddenly a gap between the model and the axis of reflection.



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    Satified with the maind body I moved on a began working on the tail. this was tricky, since the tail is round and curles whismically. I ran into a lot of trouble here, and endend up spending a lot of time adjusting the tail. I first box selected the verticies on the top of  Tinkerbulls rump in the right window and becan a process of extrusing and rotating to roughly match the tail I had drawn . Then I realized that what I had extruded was the right shape, but much to wide. I decided to seperate the mesh of the tail from the rest of the body and modify is on it's own, and successfully got it down to the width that I wanted, and merged the meshes together again. I did not notice however, that merging meshes did not actually join them with edges and verticies, it only grouped them into one object. Later when I realized this, I made joined teh meshes by creating new faces and vertices/edges, and deleting the unnecessary stuff.
    I played around with the tail quite a bit, but never got it to come out quite right, no matter what I did it was not round enough and the curve was not very smooth. I used loop-cut to add verticies and edges along the sides and pulled them out, but that did not help. Loop-cut was also not working as I expected it too on the tail, not going fully round it, this I suspect had somehting to do with the fact that the tail was curled. After a while, I gave up completely on trying to salvage the tail. I used box select and deleted the portion of the tail near where it starts coming out of the back. For the new tail section, I created a cylinder as part of the current mesh, deleted the faces on either end, and used the size command to shrink the tube to roughly the diameter I wanted. Next I chopped the tubein half along it's length, and grabbed it to alogn it roughly with the base of the tail I had left behind and slowly began creating faced and verticies to join the half-cylinder to the main body. After that, it was a simple matter of extruding, grabbing, and rotating the cylinder to match the shape of the tail and continuing to  delete the parts of the old tail I had left. The reason I left the old tail segments, was that I wanted to follow roughtly the same path, and leaving them allowed to do that as I had strayed a little from teh drawing. That, and I was leaving the end of the tail, the tassle, to be joined with the new tail because I rather liked how it looked, and did not want to reach the tassle and not have to tail aligned correctly to easily join the meshes together. It turned out rather well after that, and I quite liked how it looked.



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    After the tail I wanted to start adding the horns to Tinkerbulls head. One of the most amusing things about TInkerbull, is that it has a massive head, and equally massive horns attached to a relatively small body. So, once I had gone over the body again and made some more minor adjustments to the tail and body and neck and head, I began the process of creatingt the horns. To do this I again ceated a cylnder and deleted the faces on both ends. Then I selected all it's vervicies, grabbed it, and aligned it roughtly with where I wanted the horns to join with the head, using the grab x/y/z commands to move it steadily on individual axies. Then I used the size command and made the cylnder the size I desired and that I thought was fitting to how large I had made the head.
    I started with the cylnder this time instread of creating a hole in the mesh of teh head, making it relatively round and extruding, because I wanted the horns to be perfectly round, and given my experience with the tail, knew that the only way was to use the cylinder right off. So after the base of the tail was just right, I meved it away from the head with grab x to create a hole in the head's mesh where I could join head and horn. Creating the hole and moving verticies to make it realtively round and aligned with the horn to a bit of time, and required moving the cyinder as close to the head as possible along the x axis. After everything was aligned as well as I could get it, I began reating faces to link the two meshes together.
    Creating the rest of the horn was relatively easy, I extruded the end outwards until I had made the bottom long enough. The next part was using the rotate y command in combination with Extrude to create the upward curve of the horn. about halfway up, I realized that I needed to be tapering the horn, otherwise I'd only have a big pipe sticking out Tinkerbull's head. Tankerbull. I went back along the horn using box select to select the verticie sections of the horn and shrunk them using the size command. Thus a taper wasa created, and for the rest of the horn I extruded and sized as I went, and merged the verticies at the top of the horn at the center when I was happy with the length.
    The horn was completed after some tweaking with the tapper and tip, and selecting all the vertices from just before the upward curve to the tip, and rotating it forwards so that the horns were pointing more ahead than straight up in the air.



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    Next were the wings, for these I just created two circles and modified them one at a time to look similar to the ones I had drawn. I first used size z to stretch the wings up, then rotate and grab commands to move the verticies into position. I added depth by selecting each wing and extruding them out a little ways. A couple neat accidents that I thought made the wings cooler as well were an unexpected rotate that gave the secondary wing an interesting corve, and when the subdivision modifier was used, the wings got a little deforemed. I fixed the deformation, because as cool as it looked, they stopped the wings from looking like fairy wings, so it had to go. I made a lattice of cuts up and down each wing to create a grid like pattern that stopped the defornation when subdivide sirface was used. The last things I did were to loop-cut the edges of the wings and use the size command to make them stick up - which rounded the edges nicely, and join them to the body. I used the knife tool to cut holes into the back of the model and then created faces between the wings and the edges of the holes, and cleared away the remaining internal faces. 



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    This next part I was reluctant to do, I did not want to start working on the fore and hind legs, because they seemed like a rather daunting task to complete. However, once I began to do it, it was not so bad. Creating the hole in the mesh was tricky because if it was not just right, then the leg would look odd once I began to extrude and position the legs along the image outline. As it was, the hardest part was trying to get thinckness of the legs right with the size x command after they had been fully made, because the extrusions from the hips and shoulders were very thin. There was also some creative vertice adjustments around where the legs join the body to help. Extruding the legs along the shape though was especially tricky around the joints (knees, ankles) because when a subivision modifier was added to check the appearance, the joints were badly misformed. I solved the problem by using loop-cut to create more verticies in close succession around each side of the knees and ankles on both legs. Last on each leg to be made was the hoof, they were made with extrude and size commands, and had faces made on the bottom to close them up. Again there was an issue when the subdivision modifier was added, though, the bottoms of the hoves bowed outwards. I fixed this by using the knife tool to create four intersecting lines that made a square in the middle of the hoof and moved those verticies of the square into the hoof a little ways for each hoof.
    I also ended up having to make some adjustments on the rear leg with rotation because it was positioned oddly.



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    Last but not least I created and joined the eyes and nose ring of Tinkerbull to the model. This was relatively simple, I created a shpere for the eye and played around with size to make it more ovualr, and grab to position it on the face. The hardest part was getting joining the two meshes and making the join look nice, I am still not really happy with how that worked, but I did the best I could. The nose ring was similar, I created a torus and choped it in half vertically, and using the sizse and alt-size commands, adjusted it's size to fit the nostrils on Tinkerbull's face. The nostils were actually a happy coincidence from earlier in the process, a complete accident really, but I saw th elocation and the potential and had spent a little time making the dimples look like actual nostrils. I positioned the tous suitably into the nose and then cupt off the unneded top tp the half-torus.  With both the eye and the nose-ring, I cut the mesh of the face around where the ring and eyes intersected it as close as I could. then I repeaded the same process on the eyes and ring as close to the face intersection as I could. I did this all on th inside of the model. I deleted all the faces above or inside the cuts I made with the knife tool, and began joining the ring and eye to the body by merging vertivies together, creating ones where needed and deleting others. After thatit was largely a practive in moving the verticies and trying to make the joins look good. I had to use the smooth verticies option on the edges of the eye to help with that join.

Final Thoughts:

    The hardest thing for me in this project was getting started. I had decided pretty quickly, thanks to a flash of inspiration, what I wanted to model, but I was really quite daunted and reluctant to beginworking on it. This was a struggle for me the entire project, I wanted to finish, and new what I wanted, but getting there when I didn't want to commit to chnages I made to the model was difficult. Building the model I actually had a couple false starts, and re-did the body several times from scratch. This didin't help my relcutance to finish.
   Other than that, the hardest part was getting familiar with the ins and outs of operating blender. For the first bit I did not know how to find the visible selection button, one of the reason I had to start over a couple of times. I also had a little trouble with the sibdivision surface modfier's effects after I added joined the wings to the main body. I was not sure why, but there were wierd ripples where the join occured. I eventually fixed it by deleting the joining faces andremaking them, but I am not sure why it happened in the first place. Actually, the subdivision modifier helped me several times to find defects in my mesh. I found several unconnected vertivies and edges in the face that were piled on top of one another and could not be fixed by using "remove doubles". They were also not visible when the subdivision modifier was not being used, I ended up deleting them individually and recutting any edges that dissapeared completely, and remaking any deleted faces as well.
    The texturing and rendering was not so bad either, I used pictures of grass and my yard at home that I had on my computer to create the world, and Tinkerbullwas easy to colour because they are all white, no colour at all. Just a gray ring to outline the eyes. Though, I couldn't help adding some colour to the wings, since I stumbled upon some old paint art of mine and thought "that's perfect".
    Next time I might also spend a little more time working on the image I want to model, as this time around, I ended up modifying the design in blender quite a bit while it was still being made.
    Over all I had fun with this project even though blender was a little frustrating at times.


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