This is what I’ve been doing in the past month of inactivity here on the blog:
If this guy seems familiar to you, it’s because I tried to recreate Carl Fredricksen from “Up”.
I know this is not stunning work, it’s my first time working with 3ds Max, so I am an amateur. I decided to take a course this semester called “3D Game Art”, it’s a beginner’s course so I figured I should be able to pass it even while being a total noob.
At first I hated it so much. Some classes I would sit with crashing programs and a computer that didn’t want to cooperate. If that wasn’t the problem, then I was – clueless and trying to figure out the modeling program 3ds Max.
To pass the course, we had to make a low poly 3D character. Low poly means in layman’s terms “simple”, all the characters we control in WoW are fx. low poly. We had to texture it and rig it. Rigging it means giving the character a skeleton which enables you to pose and even animate it. We didn’t have to use animation and I haven’t even looked into it yet, so I wouldn’t know how complicated it would be, but I am tempted to give it a go, just for fun.
I hated working on my character at first, but the further in my progress I was, the more I started to enjoy it. I’ve been used to doing writing heavy assignments in the past and now I was doing a production course, it was actually liberating!
At the end, I felt as if I had unlocked a secret code. I had made my own 3D character, and now I knew a little more about what’s behind our mobile virtual world repositories.
I can’t code, but I’ve been forced to learn some as part of my education. In one way it’s fascinating and as if you get a glimpse behind the curtain of the graphics and UI’s. At the same time, it was as if the magic of computer games was also endangered by me learning more and more about the inner workings of them.
The world suddenly seemed more artificial. In the past I used to be fascinated with the edges of Azeroth. They appeared to me as critical borderlines that could reveal something about the true nature of the virtual world, like trying to figure out what a house looks like by only investigating it from the inside. But now falling through into the nether is no longer a mysterious event, that used to leave me puzzled and curious, it’s just a glitch.
Making a 3D game character from the bottom reveals these “secrets” the same way. It becomes a reversed deconstruction. Carl is human enough that he has a skeleton, that he could be told to walk, but when removing his “skin”, his robotic truth is revealed.
Carl is the intellectual property of Pixar, so I don’t think I am allowed to port him into Second Life and buy him an animation and bring him to life, which would have been an awesome finale. Regardless of how imprisoned in 3ds Max my dear Carl is, I can now be the creator of my own shape and form in a virtual world if I’m willing to go through the process again.
That is after all a strange feeling of power.