Maya Challenge: Disney Weapons – The Little M89 Carbine

As my last post explained I started participating in the occasional Maya challenge with some of my friends to see what sort of weapons we could create based around some of the Disney Princesses.  It was supposed to be a quick challenge but thanks to a bunch of unfortunate circumstances - most notably my PC completely formatting after the Windows 10 update – this post is pretty late.   For this challenge the Disney princess was Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

Final Render

Final Render


Process

So as always I started with a few doodles.  I wasn't very happy with the overall concept but I was struggling to think of ideas so just ended up going for a mix of the sketches below.

To get a better idea of what the finer details of the gun would look like I went to google images and tried to identify a bunch of parts and features I wanted my gun to exhibit.  After collecting these images I mashed them all together to create this monstrosity

Rough photohshoped concept made up of about 6 other photos

Rough photohshoped concept made up of about 6 other photos

Now that I had a basic image to work with, I went to Maya to try and block out the basic shapes of the weapon. 

Basic main gun frame blocked out.

Basic main gun frame blocked out.

Refining shape.  Ignore that texture, that was just me experimenting with something.

Refining shape.  Ignore that texture, that was just me experimenting with something.

Now we are getting somewhere!

Now we are getting somewhere!

After a bit more refining I was quite happy with how the model was coming along.  While the scope and trident's polycount was too high considering their size, I felt the streamlined main body of the gun made up for these shortcomings. 

It was at this point where I realized I only had a few hours left to try and finish my model to meet the deadline of the group’s weekly target.  I rushed out a highly inefficient reel and rope and started to UV map.   

After about half way through UV mapping the object I realized I was never going to finish the full model before the deadline. I decided that for the group deadline I would just try to finish UV mapping the model, then would work on the texturing some other time over the next few days.  I was already planning on exploring a bunch of different texture and material creators that week anyway, so I felt that this could be the perfect model to experiment with.  

I tried to upload all the textures but it was taking far too long so these shall have to do for now.  No idea why I decided to split the gun into so many pieces, it felt easier at the time but only led to more work later on.  All the textures are based of photos from CGtextures and the specs were just created by editing the diffuse maps.  I created the normals with Ndo, a program I had only previously used a few times so they don’t look too great.  On reflection I feel I was too conservative with the normal maps as you can hardly even see half of them.  I also think I went over the top with diffuse and spec maps. The metal is far too dirty in comparison to the wood and leaves the final project result looking strange and uneven.  Despite not being too happy with how the final textures came out, I really enjoyed using Ndo and look forward to messing about with it more.

Final Render

Final Render

Finally I rendered the object out to photoshop, made a few minor adjustments and added a background image.  I always struggle deciding on how to present the final render but I feel this one turned out okay.  Overall I'm happy with what I managed to come up with.  I wish I had made a better job of the texturing but these sorts of things happen when you’re learning new programs and tools. Hopefully I will be able to apply these lessons to my next model.

As I think most of my friends have taken a break from the weekly Maya challenges, over the next few weeks in my spare time I shall be exploring other projects. I want to try and learn gamemaker as well as join a small indiedb development team as a prop artist but we will see what happens.