Creative Strategies: Project Reflection

With the module finished I can say that i’m a mixture of happy and underwhelmed. Originally I set out to do more in all areas but ended up compromising due to issues with time and deadlines.I loved the module briefs and think they leave a lot for the user to experiment with and achieve awesome results, but it all felt a bit overwhelming at times for me personally within the time frame set. Looking back now, I can say with confidence that  I learned a lot, I love modelling and am happy with how my knowledge and approach to the area has developed (looking back at some of my early modelling and thinking “what the hell is that?). However i’m still somewhat clueless to Uv mapping, which annoys me cause I know its an area that really holds me back, however as a result I’m determined to solve this problem, I’ve been looking into Ptex a little and it seems like a really handy way to get some nice maps but I still want to learn how UV map in Maya first and when I know  I can do it that way, then i’ll try out Ptex. Animation and compositing have become a personal favorite, and would love to work on a few projects that combine the two. Overall I really liked the module and brief set but felt a bit overwhelmed at times. Thankfully i’m getting better at dealing with this, knowing when something is too ambitious and when something is realistic to achieve, which in the past has been a problem but i’m happy with my outcomes as a starting point, just going to have to keep getting better with practice. To finish off I would like to say that I had an awesome team. Edward,Kerry and Sorcha are incredibly passionate and hard working individuals who are doing to do some awesome things in the future, was really glad I got to work with them and am thank full for all the support and feed back given by both the team and my lecturers.


An Introduction to UV Mapping

In addition to modelling, we’ve also been tasked with UV mapping some of our models. 

I haven’t had much experience with UV mapping in the past, so I thought it would be necessary to brush up on some of the basic theory revolving around  UV mapping.

I found a nice article by Renier Banninga(found Herein which he goes over some useful tips and methods to use when UV mapping. In addition Digital Tutors also had some really useful tutorials addressing UV Mapping. (found here).

The Rengier article dives straight into the technical aspects involved in the UV mapping process, whereas in contrast, the Digital Tutors tutorial starts off by explaining some the basic theory and terminology used and then gradually builds into some of the more technical aspects of the UV mapping process. Both are great sources of information regarding the topic at hand and often include visual examples  of what they’re trying to explain which I find incredibly useful being somewhat of a visual learner.

What Is UV Mapping?

(digital Tutors)

UV mapping is a solution addressing the problem one may face trying to apply a two dimensional texture onto a model or piece of geometry that exists in a three dimensional space.

UV’s act as a bridge between 2D and 3D, allowing us to apply a 2D image onto a 3D object.  Each face on the polygonal object is tied to a face on a UV map.

UV example

In reference to the image above: I like to think of a UV Map as a the 3D object stretched out and flattened, making it easier for us to paint on it and this process is often referred to as laying out the UV’s. (UV mapping)

When mapping our UV’s there’s a few things we need to keep in mind:

  • UV’s need to be spaced evenly to work well, otherwise this could lead to our texture being distorted when applied to an object.
  • Seams, , non-connected, non continuous edges on a piece of geometry, plan where they can be hide on an object.


Mapping Types And Their Uses:

(Renier Banninga)

Planar Mapping

Renier describes planar mapping as the most basic of the mapping modifiers to apply to objects.

It  projects the texture onto a model from one direction and is useful for mapping objects like walls and basic terrain. however, isn’t considered to be effective when a complex object with many overlapping surfaces needs to be mapped

The reason for this being that it will often stretch the polygons that don’t face the projected map directly.


-An example of Planar mapping above-

Cylindrical Mapping

Projects the texture in a radial pattern inwards making it very useful for mapping objects like tree trunks, arms, torso and legs. It’s very handy for blocking out mapping on various types of meshes. However it still requires a lot of tweaking afterwards in the UV editor.


-An example of Cylindrical mapping above-

Spherical Mapping

Projects the texture in a spherical pattern onto an object. However it causes a very high pixel density at the poles of an objects mapping. This causes a pinching effect that’s hard to counter when painting the texture.


-An example of Spherical mapping above-

Pixel Density and Stretching

Try to keep your mapping a consistent aspect ratio for the pixel size in the texture map. Lookout for areas where the texture gets stretched or skewed. This can cause unnecessary problems for the texture artist who would have to counter any warped mapping.


Mapping Seams

To Minimize Seams when UV mapping, Simply align the vertices of the seam with the corresponding connection in the mapping on either the horizontal or vertical plane of the texture coordinates. This way the pixels align on one of the axes.

For technical objects, it’s easier to get away with seams since they tend to be quite fragmented, and the nature of the object allows it. however for organic meshes.

We can minimize the amount of seams as much as possible by using accurate, continuous mapping.

Banninga, continues by covering some of the more advanced aspects of UV mapping.

Optimizing UV Layouts

Optimized UV layouts are particularly useful for real-time characters.

(He’s basically stating to not waste space in your UV editor, and this is because the entire texture gets loaded into memory, so take advantage of it)

To do so, you should scale, rotate and move those UV-mapped vertices until no more space can be saved.


Unfolding and Relaxing UV’s

Unfolding and relaxing UV’s is a handy thing to do if your UV’s are caught up and tangled.


Inside the Relax UV option box we can edit some values such as Pin selected UVs or Pin Unselected UVs.

Pining either means they wont be affected the the action of the Relax UV’s

Relaxing with even and smooth out some of the irregularities in you’re UV’s.


Lets you unwrap the UV mesh for a polygonal object while trying to ensure that the UVs do not overlap. Unfolding UVs helps to minimize the distortion of texture maps on organic polygon meshes by optimizing the position of the UV coordinates so they more closely reflect the original polygon mesh.

Within the Unfold options we can set restraints, in order to achieve the effect we want, like limiting the unfold to only unfold Uv’s horizontally or vertically.


Modelling: Toys

Rubik’s Cube

Reference Used


Started off the rubric’s cube by creating a maya cube and beveled the edges found under edit mesh.


This beveled cube was then duplicated into rows three by three.


This, in addition, was duplicated two times to create the final shape of the cube.


Mia preset materials had been applied previously (glossy plastic,Black) in an attempt to re create the visible attributes in maya.


Colour was then applied over certain faces of the cube to create the varied colour design typically found on rubiks cubes.


final result



Broken Barbie Doll































































Modelling: Ceiling Fan

Modelling the Ceiling fan for multiple house rooms

To model the ceiling fan, I started with the main body. I blocked out a rough shape of body using a cylinder which had been modified by inserting multiple edge loops and scaling/extruding them based off the design I had in mind.


I then began to work on the mechanism that the fan blades would typically be attached to.
I wanted to leave the possibility of the fan blades being animated open, in case we wanted to use a little bit of animation to add to the atmosphere or pacing of our scene. (blades rotating) so I use a separate cylinder to begin it’s creation.


To finish, I made the blades of the fan using a plane, I selected the faces at the base of the plane and scaled inwards. Finally I duplicated the plane two times to create the additional blades of the fan (three in total).These were then arraged and placed accordingly with the main body of our fan giving the result below.









Modelling: Tiolet

Modelling a toilet for the bathroom

Reference images used


Using the reference images, I started from the bottom of the toilet bowl and modeled upwards using a cube as my starting object.


Next, I created the hole found on the inside of the toilet bowl, by selecting a vertex and using the chamfer vertex function found under edit mesh.


I extruded the edges found at the rear of the toilet bowl upwards to create the back of the toilet.


Created the flush button of the toilet with a cylinder, scaled down on the y axis and extruded it downwards in the center.


With the main body of the toilet finished, I started working on the toilet seat and lid. (modified cubes)




Creating the small latches that keep the lid and seat to the toilets main body was initially tricky. I added two small pipes to both the lid and seat of the toilet
and then used the bridge function to attach it to the toilets main body.










Modelling:A Saw

Modelling a saw for the Bathroom


Reference Image used


I started off with a plane to create the handle


I progressively added more detail as I progressed like adding the curvature to the handle and creating the whole in the middle.


I created the little metallic bolts found at each side of the handle using spheres which where halved and arranged in reference to the reference image.


I created the little metallic bolts found at each side of the handle using spheres which where halved and arranged in reference to the reference image.




Extruded the faces downwards (y axis) and scaled them in the create the pointed effect of the teeth of the saw.


Finally I narrowed the tip of the cube by scaling it down on the y axis.