Mid-Week Thoughts

Well here we are at the middle of the week and the first seven days of NaNoWriMo has passed.

Before I begin, I just want to thank my sister, Piggie, for pushing me to do this last year. She’s also the one that pushed me to launch this blog. My therapist commented yesterday that I always seem the happiest when I’m in the middle of creating something.

I agree with her. I do enjoy creating content, whether it’s writing stories or making 3D assets in Blender. It gives me a sense of purpose whether other people like what I’ve created or not.

I did finish making the body of the base model I was working on. It still needs rigging and what not, but I quickly discovered some problems when I ported it into the PMX Editor. It took what felt like forever to load the model, meaning it had a high polygon count. Too high if it’s slowing my computer down, so I went back to Blender and tried the collapse modifier, which did nothing, and ended up removing many subdivisions. It sped up the loading time, but the color of the textures are washed out for some reason.

BaseModelProgress-8Nov17

I’m debating on whether to press on and learn how to rig it and create facial morphs, or to just start over with a new attempt. Maybe something simpler in shape? I don’t know. I mean I’m pleased that I have gotten this far using Blender, but I’m not feeling it in regards to the appearance of the model.

One thing I did learn that I’m happy with the way it came out is making custom hair textures. It’s kind of hard to see with the silver hair, but you can see it better with the pink hair texture I made (originally an experiment for texturing lips).

HairTextureExperiment

Once again, it appears that making textures remain my strength in terms of creating visuals. Even in Minecraft I found making textures was easier than building. I’m even beginning to wonder if I could make better textures for Minecraft in a new resource pack using Blender. I know you can manipulate the mesh of the blocks now with Json code to give them a 3D effect, but I haven’t seen many visually based programs that help you do that. Two come to mind: one created by Sphax (creator of a popular comic book style resource pack) and the other created by Mr.Crayfish (creator of the popular furniture mod). I think Sphax’s Christmas resource pack plugin is a great demo of how those tools work. It’s just that now that I’m making progress with Blender I’d like to see what I can do with it for Minecraft beyond just rendering maps.

Also finished the Octavia music video that I’ve been working on for several weeks. I like the way the model looks, but in the process of making the video I found several issues in the rigging of the base. I’m not sure how to fix that since I haven’t rigged a model from scratch yet. So I wasn’t able to do all I wanted for this video – particularly shoulder movements. Once again it’s a learning process and the video went live this morning. I’m ready to move on to a new video project.

As for NaNoWriMo, my word count is ahead of the event’s word count goal at 14,145 words, but I remain two chapters behind my original plan. The last chapter I wrote I’m not sure I’ll keep. I grabbed the wrong prompt and wrote it out of order and even though it follows the current events of the story, it doesn’t really go anywhere. It feels like just world/character building and pushes close to 3,000 words – highest word count in my chapter list so far. The world/character building is good thing for the writer, but not always so good for the reader – especially if it’s not going anywhere in the story. So I plan to just bump it off to the side and work on the chapter I should have written using Prompt #6 and introduce the Goblin Queen in this fantasy world of mine. See where it takes me and the story.

In any case, I’m still plugging away at it all and I’m feeling pretty productive as a result.

 

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