Making Of 'Marvin'
Marvin. Our little depressed robot . This is a model which I made in about two or three hours, I always loose count.
Stage One: Making Marvin's head
This process was very simple and involved box modeling or in this case a sphere with 64 segments. I started of using 64 because I wouldn't need to add a mesh smooth modifier to it, since I was going to use the Boolean tool on the head. As you can see in the picture I created a box and then added the bend modifier. Then applied this to Marvin's head ( the sphere ). The line going across Marvin's face was slightly bent giving him emotion, with so little effort. This was why the bend modifier was applied. I also created another box and shaped it to match the look of Marvin's eyes as in the reference picture which I was using. I converted box one to Polygonal modeling >Attached the second box to it. Selected the sphere at this point and hit Boolean. Very simple to make and needs no great effort since Marvin's face (if we can call it one) does not move.
You can also see in the second picture the additional detail added to Marvin's head such as the side, and the texture which was applied to the model while building it. This is usually a good thing to do it the model is simple and you work quick.
Stage Two: Making Marvin's chest
I started of doing this by creating a box, very simple and with very few segments. That way I can adjust it as much as I want when it is converted into Polygonal modeling. The first thing I do is delete half of the box. The second thing that I did was delete the top area, since this is where other objects must be placed, also the bottom and the side was deleted. Making a very rough box chest. Imagine a person wearing a card board box, and that the top has a hole in it, for the persons neck, the side has a hole in it, big enough for the arms to fit threw and the bottom for the waist. My niece seems to enjoy this for hours on end, pretending that she is some sort of robot. But in 3D this box is not yet refined as vertices, lines and Polygons need to be moved around to get the right shape of Marvin's chest. After some time and adjustments the chest should look as the one in the picture. Then add a Symmetry tool to it, then a shell tool and the last thing was adding mesh smooth. This was the way all the parts for this depressed robot were made. If the chest didn't look right I would turn the mesh smooth off and carry on adjusting. For a model such as did I did not place a reference picture in the actual scene but looked from time to time at a picture on Windows Picture Viewer. I think it is good practice if you do some models this way (simple ones) because your visual memory improves and you get used to working in a 3D environment a lot easier.
Stage Three: Making Marvin's pants. or lower area
This was pretty much done in the same way as making the chest , but since this was a modeling exercise for me I used a sphere with 14 segments. Deleted half of it, including the top and the side then carried on modeling. I guess depending on the shape of the object that you will make you have to use your own judgment as to which method you will use to model be it Mesh, Polygonal or what type of primitive to use. It's the same as when you model a phone lets say, you will do most of it, if not all with box modeling. If you are doing something more complex and organic then use Polygonal Modeling.
Stage Four: Making the insides
I had a good look at the reference picture for this one and decided that it would be best to use the hose primitive. Using the bend modifier and the FFD 2x2x2 toll I shaped the object into the desired form quickly and did the same for the rest of the body, as seen in this image. Making the rest of the body such as the out side shell for the arms, legs and feet were also done with primitives. For the legs I used a cylinder in which I deleted the top and the bottom when it was converted into a Polygonal model, copied this shape to use for the legs and hips, just changed the shape of it with the modifiers and moving vertices. Always looking at the reference picture to get the shape right. You can see in the image below, how simple the shape is when the mesh smooth is turned off. Mesh smooth is an art form in itself, if you have made the base model with little Polygons and when the Mesh Smooth modifier is turned on you get the same that you want. Then you have done the job with not too much effort.
Stage Five: Making the hands
Making this was done with creating chamfer boxes and using the bend modifier to give me the shape that I wanted, and no mesh smooth was used for this since Marvin's hands and fingers are blocky. Yet the chamfer box gave it a smooth shape at the edges and the corners. The image below, shows how simple and very few polygons there are. Less would have been even better but you need to add more segments to the chamfer box if you want it to bend right.
Stage Six: Setting up the lights
This is the part where I went a bit lazy. I created one VRay light and a photometric light, set to incandescent and turning on the VRay soft shadow for this. The scene was pretty much empty since I wanted to just have a commercial type picture for Marvin as I have seen posters of the film on the net, featuring him and just a while background. Adding a reflective floor is also a quick and easy way to make your model look even better if the scene is empty, as well as not having too worry much if the shadows on the floor have come out perfect. You can see the way the scene looks in max by looking at the image below, and also the final version of Marvin at the bottom of this tutorial. As well as the render setting I used, noting special but it still did the job just fine.
I just wanted to add stage seven for the fun of it!!! But it always does help to clean your image up in Photoshop, enhancing the light, textures, color or even the sharpness of the model. Photoshop if an essential tool to an animation, not to mention that it is amazing in letting you create any texture that you want. Hope you found this 'Making Of' useful.