Making a Junkyard environment model

Today my aim was to create a 3D maya model for the Junkyard environment in my visual storytelling animation. I decided to make a model for the environment because at first I wanted to have a three dimensional reference when drawing out my environment designs. However when the issue came about, for time left till the deadline I decided to use the environment model as the actual environment model for the final animation. So because of this I no have a fully modelled junkyard with; scrap piles, telegraph poles, gates for the surrounding area and additional scrap piles.

To start with I made a simple mesh using the cube polygon primitive to make the gate and sign for the junkyard. So by using the plane polygon primitive I made a floor plane for the model to help add all the stuff on top to help make a suitable base for the model. After making the sign from manipulating the mesh using the vertexes with the move tool (w) I needed to think about the junk piles. From my research they are typically piles of scrap are made from layers and layers of metal and other materials. My issue is that because I am limited in time for making this model I thought about using a simple shape as the base and then add some different materials on top or even add a texture on the model to resemble the scrap pile look.

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Therefore using the polygon primitives menu I used the cube mesh and scaled it up to a large cube compared to the rest of the model so far. Now using the insert edge loop tool I added multiple edges across the entire cube, allowing me later to manipulate the mesh in a way that would look like rock kind of shape, so adding some displacement in the mesh would give it a natural look. So using the vertexes I moved them around to form some different rock formations as seen in the images. By moving the vertexes around I was able to form a rock like shape with asymmetrical rock shapes for the base of the junk piles. Then using more cube polygons I added different edge loops and used the scale and rotate tools to make some different shapes for each of the piles. Some of the piles were duplicated and then changed to make them look  different. Plus I have made the duplicates smaller than the others so that I have a variation in the scene.

Using the move tool I moved the different junk piles around to make a simple pathway in between the piles to make it seem like a natural path without making it seem really obvious it is there. I made this pathway from the formation of the rocks because I wanted to make it easy for the camera to move around the scene, so by having a basic pathway I can move the camera around from the gate to the end of the model. This model has allowed me to create a scene where I can easily apply my 2d animations in toon boom over the top. This can also allow me to animate the camera in Maya to match the toon boom videos making the editing easier when I put them together.

From creative crash I downloaded and added a grass model  to the scene to help make the model look more like a wasteland than just a sand pit. So by using the grass in different places scattered around the scene, it helps to make a natural looking appeal, whilst making some additional colours in the scene. Furthermore using the cylinder polygon I was able to model out some telegraph poles which I had explored in previous designs, providing a once fully working electrical system. I made these because I thought it would help provide some additional scenery to the scene, making that abandoned aesthetic.  Finally I hand made some initials for the sign which I made to be a R and a D. This represents two things which is my animation name, RoboDragon animation and Robot Dismantle, creating a name for the junkyard while having my animation name implemented like a little easter egg in the animation.

Looking back at this model I think that it has come out nicely as the scene can clear show it is a junkyard as the scrap scattered around helps to provide the look of man made structures. However I think that some of the piles look a little symmetrical in some places, so perhaps adding a displacement map in Maya could help make it more appealing.  Next stage will be to add some different textures on the model, so by going onto google I shall find some rusted metal textures and sand textures to help bring the scene some different colours that will make it pop out to the audience, but also not overwhelm the scene.


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