3dRender.com
3D ART BY JEREMY BIRN
PRODUCTIONS: HONDA HIPPO

Hippo . Station . Composite . Behind-The-Scenes . NEXT


This is the same model, without textures.

(Click here to see the textured hippo.)

HOW TO MODEL A HAIRY HIPPO NOSE IN SOFTIMAGE 3D

I started his nose by making a flat b-spline grid to represent the skin. The nostrils were made by dragging down several points on each side of the grid. Smaller pores, that the hairs would grow out of, were modelled by dragging together surrounding points and then translating the center point downwards. All the little hairs were made as simple polygon objects, which I copied onto all the tagged points at the bottom of each pore with Duplicator+. The resulting hairs were merged and grouped with the dented b-spline grid. The shaded result looked a bit like an alien landscape.

I also modelled a simple, low-resolution b-spline model of the hippo head, to define the overall shape. With the flat skin/hair group selected, I created a branch Deformation by Surface to wrap the skin/hair group around the head, and transformed it until it lined up properly with the head.

The most common problem with building detailled geometry like this into an animated character is that having too many points to manipulate can make skeleton assignment, shape animation, and other modifications very slow and tedious. This is where the Deformation by Surface came in handy.

By preserving the relationship between the underlying model and the nose skin/hair branch that was deformed around it, I only had to animate and manipulate the simpler b-spline surface, with far fewer points. Any change or animation that I applied to the low-res geometry of this surface would deform and animate the surrounding hi-res geometry. The high-res geometry was even hidden during much of animation, which had to be done very quickly to meet deadlines, and only displayed during the final rendering, for more time savings.


This is a wireframe view of the hippo.

(Click here to see the textured hippo.)