3710 Project

By Frazer Muhlbier

The above picture was taken in the cemetery in Baltimore where Edgar Allan Poe was buried. the main reason I chose this picture was because of the contrast between the tombstones and the older building in the cemetery on the relatively new buildings behind them. It's an interesting contrast, made slightly more intriguing when you stop to think about which will outlast which? In 100 years will the cemetery still be there and the buildings gone? Or the other way around? Or will neither still be standing?

As you can see my rendition of the portrait, (done with Maya 7 Personal edition), is similar. However, there are some serious issues with texturing and a few scaling issues. While I feel I could have done a lot better I am happy with the result considering this is my first attempt at modeling anything using any kind of modeling software. The main problems I had was with texturing the image. Maya is very user friendly and easy to pick up. Creating the shapes for the houses took no time at all, manipulating the shapes and positioning them was also very quick to pick up, and the help videos were a huge asset.

  However the texturing tools are much more complicated. That and I really had no idea about what would make good textures and what wouldn't, and I spent too much time on shaping and didn't leave enough time to play with texturing. Below are some pictures and screens of how I progressed up to the final image.
This is the basic Wire Frame of all the buildings as they started out. Nothing too complex, just a bunch of cubes of various dimensions. And this is how it looked when it was rendered
Now as you might be able to see I have started to add in a bunch of windows to the buildings. While not difficult this was a very time consuming process, just with the sheer number of objects being created, pieced together and then placed on the building. And this is how it looked when I first rendered it without any colour in the windows.
Now is when I started to run into some problems. I noticed right away that the texturing of this image was going to be much more difficult then I had originally planned. I tried cutting patterns from the original image and pasting them on, I also tried flat colours. Neither of these really worked too well. I had more success with the texture on the actual tombstones (see final image above) however I simply ran out of time and was unable to texture the image nearly as well as I would have liked to. In this image you can see that I have added even more detail to the left most building and experimented a little more with different colours for the back buildings
The other really difficult part is putting in the natural objects. You don't appreciate just how complex it is to recreate plants until you have tried to build a hedge out of regular geometric shapes. It is extremely difficult, and the easiest way to pull it off is with good texturing which helps break up the smooth edges and lines of your object. Unfortunately my texture did not do this very well.