COTA 753: Animation Production
Sp 2003, Instructor: Maria Palazzi
Heather Caprette - Week Seven Report

Modeling Strategy Reevaluated: To have a final Sub D model rigged or a Smoothed Poly model rigged? That is the question. I've decided to go the Smoothed Polygon route for the model to rig. Jun Oh said my first poly model (the low detail one) was too detailed already for convertion to Sub D. He would have converted to Sub D with much less edges and vertices and then added detail in Sub D standard mode. He also said that Mental Ray Renderer has a problem with Sub Division Surfaces. Since Brock mentioned that we will probably use Mental Ray, and given the frequency of Maya crashes upon rendering Sub D models (both Triceratops and Jane), I decided it's probably best to avoid Sub D.

So, I decided to experiment with different smoothing methods: Polygons > Smooth, Polygons > Smooth Proxy, and Polygons > Average Vertices. I ruled out Average Vertices. It keeps the same number of faces, edges, and vertices of your low poly model. So, this sounds nice - to have less vertices to weight when rigging. However, the Average Vertices process "shrinks" and "smooths" out detail in the model way too much. See below.

The Average Vertices Process Results - RULED OUT.

Below: The Polygons > Smoothed with Options set to Linear, Subdivision Level = 1 (lowest setting), Divisions Per Face =1 (lowest setting), Push set to .1 and Roundness set to 1. It looks as if the each edge was doubled.

The Polygons > Smooth Proxy gives a Smooth Mesh with the same level of detail as above with the lowest settings, and a Proxy Mesh that looks like my original Polygon model. This is the route I'll go, in hopes that the lower poly mesh might be textured with ablicability to the more detailed surface underneath.

3 edges were added around each toe for bending when rigged. On the left is the original poly model, and on the right is the the poly model smoothed.

I deleted edges and rebuilt the inside of the eyes so I could round them out. See example of changes below.

Below: references for rounded eye. Other illustrations of Triceratops showed a rounded ridge protruding over the eye to protect it.

See final smoothed poly model