This will be a weekly or bi-weekly update of my current projects/ideas in development. I've decided to do this to keep me busy and give myself own personal deadlines which I think is important in order to maintain healthy motivation/pressure.
Currently learning some core modelling techniques from a tutorial researched at university. The goal is to build a simple Android model. I'm following the tutorial exactly here before I deviate away too soon. I think learning core 3D skills again will help me show off the areas I want to concentrate in (lighting/rendering/particles).
After this I'm going to do a few simple car tutorials and make the generic car model as a studio lighting and render test. While I could just use a premade model I don't think it will hurt to learn some extra modelling skills with this.
Mini Project Idea:
I want to use the techniques learned to create a 3D version of the image below. It will provide some modelling and lighting challenges and yet not be too complex to be impossible for me.
angel alita rendition by ~emotionography on deviantART
I've been looking back at some tutorials gather from university research as well a great lighting theory tutorial found here . I plan in the next week to provide some very very simply modelled scenes (cubes, spheres in a room, no complex geometry) to show things I've learned, maybe advance that to a few challenges not looked at much in most lighting tutorials (evening shots, multiple artificial light sources etc).
While this is very much more fun still at the moment I've bought an anatomy book and intend to develop my sculpting skills. My goals currently in this is to create a full body maquette/statue and texture a head.
Long Term Personal Project Idea:
I currently have an idea to develop a short story I visualised near the end of my university course and adapt it in to a simple comic although using 3d models/zbrush sculpts instead of drawing it. As my skills still aren't as proficient as I'd like while I'll be developing this throughout I doubt any practical progress will be made on this till I am comfortable in the areas of organic modelling and sculpting although I can start on the sets.
Reading/Viewing/ To Buy List:
I am currently reading Anatomy for the Artist
I still don't have any of my books from university over here yet so I don't have much else to ready aside from the tutorials and research I've gathered on this laptop so I'm also reading those.
I'm currently watching a few Pixar movies for some lighting ideas and composition techniques. It's interesting to see the evolution of the camera angles used. As always generally speaking the films I watch in my own time I usually watch again in greater detail and write some notes or ideas as to how they did a certain shot. I might write a little essay on futuristic design theory soon as it has been on my mind recently.
My current to buy list are 2 dvds from Digital Tutors. I think Digital Tutors tutorials have improved greatly over the years and now provide some interesting workflow solutions and methods in a good range of 3D packages.
Character Creation in Zbrush - This is a start to finish look at creating characters from scratch in Zbrush and may help me in my comic idea.
Motorcycle Modelling Techniques in Maya - These tutorials have been developed with a bike company and have a lot of techniques regarding modelling parts visible on a motorbike which aren't necessarily shown when modelling a car. These shapes and parts would work well in an android based model as well as improve complex objects. Also one of my projects down the line is to model one of my father's motorbikes.
Mental Ray Nodes online Reference Library - I think this will be invaluable when the time comes to look at advanced rendering techniques. I am considering buying this although the others currently are more important to me for my short term goals.
I shall update this soon with any progress or ideas developed.