Building the Environment for the Leap

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My task was to create a model for the leap animation, we were planning on making a ballerina leaping in a dance studio. Therefore I built a model made in Maya 2016 to look like a dance studio. So to start with I made a simple plane for the base using the polygon primitives menu, forming a basic floor shape to build on top of. Having this base shape I made three more planes to form the three main walls around the base. Then I extruded the planes using CTRL E for extrude allowing me to make the planes into 3D walls. Rather than using a cube polygon primitive I used the plane because it has all the edges already inputted in the mesh making it easier to line up the base plane and the walls.

I chose to have three walls compared to all four because I wanted to make it like a stage, making sure that there is plenty of room to place the camera in front of the rig (Mery). Having the camera face the whole scene and the rig in the scene, it will make it easier when we animate to have a clear view of what is seen in the camera view. Anyway I have edited the mesh of the back wall by adding three windows to let some natural lighting in, as Hannah (the director) wanted some natural lighting rather than artificial lighting. So by editing the faces menu I edited and removed some of the faces to make some large windows. The issue was though, when I got rid of the faces I realised because I extruded a plane the 3D model was hollow. This made it look really unappealing and almost broken, therefore I went through the gaps in the mesh and used the Bridge tool to bridge all the gaps together fixing the broken gaps.

After editing the window gaps in the mesh, I made the bar that is in most dance studios. I made this by making different sized cylinder meshes, using the scale (R), rotate (E) and move (W) tools to make the bar. Using my research I noticed that the bar is attached to the walls, so using the extrude tool, I extruded each of the faces in line with the bar holders to form some interesting shapes that looks like the bar is attached to the wall. But having the whole model bigger than the Mery rig was to allow me some space to see where the blocking goes. Because Hannah is currently blocking the animation, it is difficult to know where the animation will go, so by making the model larger I can later edit the model to fit the scale and animation.

Having the model larger I got feedback from my team, that the bar needs to be in line with the character’s hips in order to lift the legs on to it easier. Using this advice I moved the bar down to fit the character’s proportions. The next step was to make the crosses in the windows, to do this I simple extrudes the mesh from one side of the window from left to right and bottom to top. This made the cross shape in the window, by using this method I was able to get all three windows have the same identical shape and size.

Having the base of the model done I will now need to continue fixing some small issues, maybe add a mirror and make sure all the mesh is suitable for the animation and for Edgar to apply some colour. I will now be continuing to work on this model and make sure it is completed by the end of the week, in time for when the blocking is complete.

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