Quick Talk: Half a semester done/ Missed a deadline / random 3D stuff

27 November 2018

Hey yo! No reviews today and title picture really isn't meant for click-bait purposes but since I couldn't find something to use, I had to anyhow grabbed some yummy pic I took when I was dining at Dotty's Pastry TTDI(so yea, at least I provided info on where to find it๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚)!

As I was saying, hello kawans! I'm currently on Week 9 of the semester (survived half of it yay) and yesterday was my first 'Monday blues' in a very long while because I have officially missed a deadline (usually I'm a day early! Rare occasions would be few hours before time's up!). My school has a policy(?) where the lecturers are told not to grade/critique your work if you've missed the deadline but thank god my lecturer was kind enough to give me an extension๐Ÿ˜ญ. I'm glad he gave the extension otherwise I probably won't be able to finish this week's work because it's a continuation of last week's!! Now that I've "caught up" with my "missed deadline" I kinda just wanted to sit down and write a blog post.

Usually right after finishing one assignment, I'd take some time out to write blog. Lately I would just pick up any beauty reviews in my drafts to write/continue writing any long-forgotten travelogues(still not done with last year's Australia lol) but today I felt like writing something related to what I'm currently doing, and because it's one of those "quick but not-so-quick chats", it's gonna be lengthy๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚! Nonetheless, I hope you guys enjoy reading.

To any kawans that have been curious on what I've been so busy with over the last two months, here's my not-so-proud assignment stash that I'm posting online (very rare I do this btw /low self-esteem issues/) so I could look back by the end of the semester to see how much/or at least whether or not if I have improved HAHA. I don't ask for much, just let me match half of my course mates' standards, please?

So uh, I did want to write a whole blog post dedicated to what I'm doing with life but now that I'm writing this 'random assignment stash' post first, I guess my blog timeline for this subject has became a little confusing?? A quick summary would be: I'm currently doing an online diploma in 3D Visual effects and here are a few pieces I've done over the past 8 weeks/am currently working on. I'm not gonna explain how an online diploma works etc but I'll answer any questions regarding it maybe towards the very end of my semester? Though if you ask me what I think of this program so far, I'd say that I have no regrets, yet. 

The only regret I have is not realizing I wanted to do 3D sooner. If I had, I would've put more effort into learning 3D back in my previous diploma days especially when I actually have a patient and experienced lecturer teaching in a physical classroom. Sadly, now isn't the time for regretting and I'll just have to put more effort into this online program I'm learning from right now.

Before you begin scrolling, I know that these works are not great, but they're just gonna stay here for me to reflect back by the end of the semester and maybe I'll delete this post when I start job hunting haha! Also I think I should probably add that these works are all done while following the video lessons so yes, there were video lessons guiding me and almost towards the end, I'm left to finish up the rest. If you think I was able to eyeball these with zero help, I wouldn't have signed up for this diploma program kan? Plus, not to make myself feel better or anything, video lessons are actually tougher to follow than you imagine ๐Ÿ˜—

The final assignment however, is something we have to 3D on our own(obviously), with no video lesson help na-da, it'll be just me, my softwares, heaps of googling, and probably some help from my coursemates/lecturer miles away from me. Because of that, I'm lowkey excited and at the same time pretty scared to start working on mine haha. I'm even more anxious because if I'm not wrong, the starting date to work on my finals is when I'm abroad for 2 weeks. Bless me :') And of course I've considered starting on it earlier, but A, we're "technically" not allowed because there's gonna be a scholarship award going on for it and B, I bare get enough sleep T_T

First up, cheese! This was actually a really easy 3D volume studies exercise to tackle but I kinda wanted to post it up just because c'mon guys, it's cheese. Anyways, it's was interesting how you're able to play around with simple program settings (Maya 3D fluid container), slap on the right shaders (a.k.a colours/material I guess) and get a mini block of cheese! This one could definitely use some better light set up configuration and maybe spike up the render settings a little more though. Yes, I'm judging my own work.๐Ÿ˜ถ

This was another piece focused on 3D volume studies, done in Maya, stylized in Photoshop. All the objects has already been provided but we were supposed to make the scene look as underwater as possible. To be honest, I have a love hate relationship with these two pieces because I kinda like bits of elements from both pieces but it was impossible to combine the two without costing me more render time, something I didn't have when I was rushing this out. You can see that one is noticeably 'more blue' than the other which actually felt as if I was tryna showcase two different 'depths' of water. But in reality, I probably would've just went with the top one if I hadn't overwrite my working file with something else and couldn't just re-render the same file in the correct resolution lol.

What happened was that I rendered out my final output in a smaller size than what was required so in the end after getting some critique from my course mates, I decided to not risk it and re-render according to the right resolution. While re-doing the piece, I went with a blue-r tone, also this time I increased the rendering quality so it'll look a little less "grainy" and in the end the 2nd pic was what I ended up with. Re-rendering the second pic honestly gave me a shock. The first pic was rendered out in 540p resolution with pretty low render settings(my bad), that took about 7mins. The second one, rendered in 720p with better render settings BUT took me 3 whole hours to render. I practically placed it to render at 3AM then woke up at 7AM to my finished render and nearly flipped knowing that it took me 3 hours to render out 1 single image. The rendering time was recorded, so yeah, that's how I know. This is when you know, despite using a laptop with 32GB ram, a laptop is still a laptop :') It can never beat a PC.

Once it was done rendering, I brought it to photoshop for finishing touches + that 'glowy look'. Looking at it, there are so many things I would like to go back and change so perhaps over my free time I'll make the tweaks, re-render and see if I could improve it further.

The earlier two were from Look Dev class, this gas can here is from texturing class and I thinkkkk I did a pretty bad job at this?? T_T Texturing class mainly uses this program called Mari and we pretty much "paint on" how we want the object to look. The gas can was already provided so for this assignment we were suppose to texture on Mari then finish up the final look of it on Maya. As you can see, I clearly needed more rust on this and I admit I really didn't spend much time on this. Painting through a decal was confusing but I'm on my second exercise involving this and this time I'm gonna attempt to have it look more presentable. *fingers crossed* Wish me luck guys, I'm lowkey considering texture/lookdev for my 'major/specialization' though as time go by, I do wanna be more of a 3d generalist because I really enjoy everything I'm learning right now :x

Heck, that was probably why I enjoyed most parts of my previous diploma in creative multimedia haha (I basically wanted to be good in everything but in the end, I couldn't pick a specialization). If you ask me do I regret studying that previously? Nope. Though if you were to ask me knowing exactly A-Z of what I would be learning back then, would I still sign up for that course? I think I might go into IT/Programming instead ๐Ÿ˜‚ The geek in me still loves the coding language and two classes of web design really wasn't enough to quench my thirst for coding. Plus, I went in hoping to learn how to code a wordpress theme from scratch(I really don't ask much), but in the end we didn't even touch wordpress during the intermediate class. Trust me, I did ask, but all I got in reply was a simple 'syllabus has changed'. Nonetheless, I still liked all my lecturers and met really talented friends, so all is good.

This one's pretty direct, it's a 3d modeling assignment based on a concept art provided by the school. I think I'm a slow learner so I usually follow the video lessons as much as possible but for this octopus assignment(Week5 &6), I was getting slightly better with Maya so I didn't have to pause and repeat the video lessons non-stop just to know what the instructor did. I've kinda watched it, grasps the technique then just kinda wing it according to the reference image. It's baby steps, but I'm still proud of it ok!! Especially the shape of the tentacles, because when it comes to working with curves, you can't just punch a few numbers and get the same results the instructor got(unless you're using plugins idk), so probably thanks to that I've learned to play around and experiment more on my own. If I can get 100% same results as shown on the video lessons, trust me it wouldn't take me so long to finish each assignment.

Week 9 Work In Progress
This is it. This was the piece that brought upon my first late submission!! If you guys tell me "Huh, this one like same same difficulty as the octopus ma, why you cannot finish?" Well, yeah. I guess you can say it's my poor time management that has led to this :) I spent 2 days working on another Lookdev assignment and fyi, the end results for that isn't even worthy of making onto this random blog post. I was having a lot of technical issues with that assignment so with it eating up so much time, I only got to start on this a day before submission :) bravo. Thankfully, I got a day's extension and I've managed to finish and submit it. This was a 3 part assignment so I really needed my lecturer's feedback before bringing this to another programe called Mudbox for sculpting. (Which is due by up coming Monday, wish me luck pls thanks)

Lastly here's a drone texturing exercise I'm currently working on. I've only mapped out "some" wear and tear bits on this drone and I have yet to decide on a colour theme I want it to be yet so that's why it's still grey haha. So far it's looking pretty okay, right? I'm looking forward to putting more effort into texturing this so I'm definitely gonna pull an all-nighter tonight to work on other assignments for this week in hopes that I'd have more time to focus on this.

So yeah, that sums up a few of the exercises/assignments I've been working on over the past 8 weeks.

This is one of those blog entries where I'm kinda writing for 'future me' to look back at but if anyone's reading this, thank you for reading! 

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