Spotlight 05 – 3D Modeling with Hagan Miller, Lisa Lo, and Nicholas Wong

This week’s spotlight post features another facet of our Art team: 3D modeling with Hagan Miller, Lisa Lo, and Nick Wong. Hagan and Nick are both Seniors in Architecture, while Lisa is a Senior studying Computer Science. Over the course of this semester, these three have designed 3D models for our buggies, props, buildings, and much more.

Through our Q & A format, we will discuss how these students approach their work, and their thoughts on our project’s development.

Q: What software do you use for 3D modeling, and why? What about this software works for you?

Hagan: “For this class, I use Maya for 3D modeling and sometimes Rhino 5 for getting the bigger picture of a space. Maya is good for maintaining a good meshflow, making those who texture’s life easier. Maya is fairly good at taking a base shape and editing it to get the final product. This process is called box modeling.”

Lisa: “I work in Autodesk Maya honestly because it was what I was told to use. I had started with Blender but then switched to Maya. Since it’s industry standard, I decided I may as well switch over and learn it.”

Nick: “Blender 3D, [because it is] open source, free, [with] many high-quality tutorials online.”

Q: What’s your method in creating 3D objects? Freehand/organic, structured and articulate? How would you describe your process?

Hagan: “ For creating props and buildings, box modeling is the style that I’ve been using for this class, it tends to be a bit more structured with the modulation of the object itself to feel more organic.”

Lisa: “Honestly I still don’t know my method. I start from a cube and then extract and use edgecuts to shape it. It’s kind of like a puzzle, trying to see where to cut it to both make it look nice but also have good mesh flow. Mesh flow was why we were taught to use the box method instead of just smooshing 3D objects together.”

Nick: “Pretty freehand, usually starting with a primitive like a cube or a sphere, then extruding / manipulating the shape from there. I mostly do hard-surface modeling, so it’s mainly just manipulating vertices and adding extrusions”

Q: Have you worked in large groups/projects before?

Hagan: “I have worked in a bunch of other team projects before, though nothing quite like AGS where there are multiple teams coming together to make one product. I quite like the process of this class and I wish I had taken it on a semester that I was not overloading so I could devote a bit more time into it.”

Lisa: “I’ve definitely worked in large group projects before! I was actually in this class last year as well. It’s definitely nice to work in this type of environment which has been very supportive and allowed me to learn the 3D Pipeline skills. This year definitely has been a lot more relaxed than last year, although a big part of that probably has to do with me knowing a decent amount more than last year. Plus there is art from last year to go off of.”

Nick: “I’ve taken Reality Computing and Researching Issues In Game Development, so I’ve had experience as a 3D modeler in a group setting for game design. Because we have so many modelers at AGS, I feel like the workload is a lot lighter compared to other classes with smaller groups.”

Q: What is your favorite artistic element of this project?

Hagan: “Of what I’ve done myself, the finish line, but I really love the concept art that Vivi came up with and how it has translated into the game over the course of the semester.”

Lisa: “I really like how we have a distinct style which is really cool. I never really understood how art styles come to be, so it was fascinating to see it come together.”

Nick: “I personally like the low-poly style mixed with the painterly textures. The game has a very unique aesthetic.”

Closing Remarks…

Thanks to the hard work of Hagan, Lisa, and Nick, our cartoony, low-poly style has come to fruition. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue fine-tuning our art assets, excited to soon release our game to public!