Saturday, 23 February 2013

Modelling the 'Termite Mound' Ship

With this design being a very chaotic organic one, I felt I could experiment with using only the front image plane from my concept drawings, and leaving room for some creative freedom within Maya. The  design was fairly simple, so after separating all of the spikes within the design from the main UV, I again placed in the coloured grid to make sure the texture was flowing nicely around my model:

I made a few very subtle tweaks to the UV map, but generally the parts in view looked very tidy. This lead me on to the texturing stage. Again I used Nagel's custom skin brushes to get the tessellated bee hive effect. On top of this I did a bold what I like to think of as a 'circuit board' effect. The bright purple pattern follows through some of scales created from Nagel's brushes, as well as breaking off into smaller patterns. This gives the impression that some form of energy is flowing through the ship, giving this organic meets synthetic theme to the design. My original bump map consisted of a desaturated complete image, with the levels tweaked to add more contrast and depth in the texture:

I decided I wanted the purple pattern to maintain the bump texture of the layers beneath, giving the effect that it is glowing from beneath the skin of the ship, almost like a painted on effect. I am aware of self illuminating maps in Unity, which perhaps is something I could look into in Maya to give a greater glow effect to the pattern layer. For now, here revised bump map texture:

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