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volume 1, issue 9

Today in loonygames:

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Thinking Outside the Box:
Exercise

By Paul "Villam" Steed


Okay, but still, 103 faces for one tentacle puts us at 555 faces without the guns, hose connecting the guns, head/body or brain case. Uh, …not good, Grasshopper. Let's get rid of the top 3 segments of the rascally appendage and see where we are.

Hmm. 73 faces. SOLD! We'll sit with that for the time being and move on. But first let me adjust the tentacle mesh to accommodate the animations better. From experience I know that the majority of the animations for this type of appendage take place in the bottom two-thirds of the things so I'll adjust the segments incrementally to support this. Let's also make it less smooth and slightly more wavy.

Notice that we make the tentacle hanging straight down. Contrary to bending it to ensure accommodation, we are going to rely on bending and undulating the thing in the animation tool with a skeleton inside the mesh. Now to the body.

In 3D Studio 4 we can start the body with a primitive called a g-sphere or geodesic sphere. An l-sphere primitive or latitudinal/longitudinal sphere could be used as well and it is cleaner than a g-sphere, but this is one of the few time a less symmetrical approach is better. Actually g-spheres are better for round objects when modeling low-poly because we get more bang for our buck. Also the fact that a g-sphere can be specified by total number of faces as opposed to segments is a nice touch. Here's the difference between a 144-face g-sphere and a 14 segment (diameter) l-sphere…

They look about the same in resolution but if you look at them top down (with the g-sphere's top edges turned as a modest concession to symmetry) you'll see that the g-sphere actually has 15 segments in diameter while the l-sphere only has 14 segments. This is even more significant when you consider that the l-sphere has 168 faces vs. the g-sphere's 144. More rounded diameter with fewer faces.

(Continued on the next page)

 

Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1998 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.