Home > From Nate, Uncategorized > A word from Nate Russel

A word from Nate Russel

Nate Russel is our lead modeler.  And I say lead because he was the first one to jump on board the project.  When I asked him to come up with the entire probe model, he jumped into it with enthusiasm.  When I asked him to model and rig the eyes, he was delighted.  When I ordered him to design and animate the entire probe transformation sequence, he thought it was no big deal.  When I asked him to write up a short paragraph about his work on Probe, his eyes grew wide with horror!  Check out the words from the guy who designed the Probe!

For creating the outside of the Probe model, I had some excellent drawings to work from provided by our concept artist, Cobalt. I started by modeling face of the probe, and then moved on to model the lower half. The top of the model was the most difficult part. Since at the time we did not have a concrete solution as to how it was going to transform, I had to go through a few different iterations to get the topology that we finally ended up using.

The texturing went much quicker.  For the most part I was able to isolate texture layers from the original concept work, cut them up, and generate the needed diffuse, specular, and normal maps using filters and plug-ins in the Gimp. I used multiple UV layers in conjunction with nodal materials to create the glowing areas of the probe. For the glow lines around the probe’s “mouth”  I used blender’s texture painting tools to sketch them out, and then took them in to illustrator to clean them up so that the quality would hold up at close range.

The next stage will be to sketch out some ideas for the inner workings of the probe for when it the top portion transforms, and then back into Blender for another round of modeling. Working with Blender 2.5 alpha for this project has been a joy so far.  At times it even felt as though new features were being added just when we needed them.

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