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July 6, 2005

arm wrestling

by sven at 10:40 pm

Oof. Over 7 hours working on LSGL today. I did another sculpt of the Elder Things -- this time meticulously piecing together my favorite bits from past versions, then sewing the geometry together... one. polygon. at. a. time.

Here's what I had done by dinner:

Ugh. The seams between "snakes" have come unfastened by my transformations. The arms, which looked so cool in Modeler, don't look organic at all. And straight lines really show if you forget to make the arms bendy on one axis.

Even though I've figured out how to make splits in the arms look more organic, animating these things is going to be a nightmare. And the shoulders still don't look as organic as I'd like. Back to the single-arm concept.

So I started casting about. Here, I took the leg-tentacles and tried using them as arms. Not bad! They may be a little too beefy, but they do look organic. I see from this trial, too, that the arms primarily want to wave up and down -- not so much side-to-side. Good to know, when I start having to make these things move.

Maybe I could still have a little hand-like split at the end of the arms, I thought. ...Nah -- it makes things too cluttered.

The arms looked good when they were up and waving; but I need to know what they look like at the critter's sides, too. So here I took the straight version of the leg, positioned it where the arm should be, gave it bones, posed it in Lightwave, reimported the transformed object back into Modeler, applied "radial array", and uploaded the thing into the empty scene I'm using as a backdrop for these tests...

The armpits bend badly. But that's something I can probably fix with weight-shading. Beefier arms impact the silhouette -- something I hadn't forseen. But overall, I think I'm pretty OK with how the silhouette turns out.

I'm not quite committed to the beefy arms yet, but I'm guessing now that I'll wind up using some version of them in the final sculpt.

My brain's burnt out on sculpting. I think I'll take a few days off from this part of the project now. I'll turn my attention to figuring out what shots I want in the teaser-trailer and creating a title card. The thing I'll really have to be careful about is sound. It could really bite me in the ass if I don't leave enough time to assemble the music, sound effects, and foley.

Eep. August 1st. That's how long I've got.

posted by sven | July 6, 2005 10:40 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies