Dusting off the drawing board

Having grown wiery of doing simple boxes and sphere’s in my unity tests, I’ve put Unity on ice for a little while to work on earlier steps in the creative pipeline. This detour has ended up with me committing to improve everything from 3ds Max knowledge to my pencil-and-paper drawing skills.

First stop on this journey was Modo, where I created a rudimentary gate tower that I can use for the trigger zone of my UGDE Chapter 5 recap.

Modo towers for the Unity recap project.

The gates can swing to just under 90 degrees.

Checking for mesh collision with the doors open in Modo.

The right door is a mirrored instance of the left door and I later realised that the doors swing in opposite directions when using the same +ve y rotation value. Given I’m only planning to send a pre-baked animation to Unity it won’t matter but it feels like a noob error that I should really learn how to correct without breaking the instancing (if possible).

After this little Modo exercise, wanting to give equal play time to 3ds Max and fairly sure that my 3ds Max knowledge needs a big boost, I started the 3ds Max 2013 Essential Training course on Lynda.com.

1 hour working on the course I’ve completed the first 3 chapters and learnt quite a lot of handy 3ds Max settings in the process and finally touched the Graphite Modelling Tools that have been in Max for a good few years already.

Snapshot from Chapter 3 of 3ds Max 2013 Essential Training by Aaron Ross

This morning I went to Costa Coffee for a medium latte and to read the latest issue of 3D Artist magazine. The articles got me buzzing about art and I was eager to crack on with the 3ds Max study upon my return home. However, it all went awry when I decided to pin a few of Serge Birault‘s pictures to my PInterest board before starting the training.

Bascially, I went on an engaging and inspirational journey through many art blogs (primarily about Pin Up art), bought a few books and decided that I really really wanted to improve my drawing skills and the best way to do that was to get a sketchbook and start drawing, drawing, drawing until I could… well, DRAW.

I’m going to plot my path here so that I have a public record of progress. It’s not in keeping with the gadgets and tech theme of the blog but well, I haven’t got a better place for the stuff right now.

The aim is to stick with this no matter how embarrased I may be about the quality of my work. I haven’t drawn in years and I may never be any good. The only way I’m going to improve to whatever level I can achieve is to try, try and try again.

Following is my first “stretch sketch” – trying to draw something that I know is way beyond my current reach. It was from real human reference material and the aim was to capture the essence of the expression as simply as possible.

Thanks go to Silver for his iPad Posebook.

The next drawing is my attempt to mimic some of Les Clarke’s drawings of Mickey Mouse’s hands. The original image was apparently published by the International Animated Film Society but I can’t find it on their website. I viewed it on Drawninblack.com.

Mimicing some of Les Clarke’s Mickey Mouse hand poses. Credit ASIFA.

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