Having refreshed our 3D modelling skills fashioning swords, we moved onto modelling low polygon count characters. We created our first full body character from a single cuboid, similar to how we made the swords. We extruded the different faces of the original shape to create the different extremities, adding in more divisions later to allow for more detailed modelling. A frequent problem many people ran in to, including myself, was using the extrude tool, doing nothing with it, then moving on, which would create geometry underneath the original shape we extruded from. This would result in little hidden terrors throughout our models, which would affect how our tools interacted with the mesh, creating numerous issues, such as the inability of edge tools to cross ngons (shapes with more than 4 sides), and triangles. My first model had many of these issues, and resulted in a weird mess at some joints when previewing the smooth mesh, but ain't that just learning.
I was very wary of creating the same mistakes on my second attempt, and managed to avoid them for the most part, and where I had created these conflicts, I learnt to deal with them, and managed to rid my model of them.
I have also been using Lynda for short courses on Maya, and added a little lighting to my character to make it slightly more interesting to look at while modelling. Not to say I don't enjoy 3D modelling. In that respect, I have found the most joy in working with 3D, something I hadn't considered a career I'd follow. It displays a lot of potential, and is something I definitely want to pursue, and possibly work with in the future.
We next modelled a face. Instead of creating a polygon, and effectively carving into that, we created our own geometry by adding in quads and moving the edges to where we wanted. I again added some fancy lighting so I wasn't looking at grey all the time, which I feel also helps with understanding where the shapes I make are placed (although it too can be straining to stare at very saturated reds and blues for hours, perhaps I need to learn how to make lights cycle through hues). This method of adding our own geometry was slightly more tedious, however the results were much more controlled, and I found myself without having to deal with the issues that appeared with modelling from a polygon, such as ngons.
The 6 hour session was indeed slightly tiring, sitting in front of a screen for that long tends to do that, however the time passed quickly, and I was pleased with what I had learnt, and what I had made. I intend on using Lynda more to further acquaint myself with the ins and outs of Maya.