JF make 279
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Creation Date: 2003-08-07
Ah, it feels good to make a decent Making of JF once in a while. Just like back in the day. Ya, I did this everyday for months. So I'm gonna make it real by doing it right. Today I'm going to talk about the picture, the model, and nothing else*. As you can see, it is a child model for Hack Mars. m2f designates it's my second male child model for HM and it uses the f texture.

* Nothing else not guaranteed.

This picture was created in MS Paint. Not because I couldn't make it in Gimp, but because I was in Windows anyway and was too lazy to reboot. Why was I in Windows when I'm a total Linux convert? Well, one the only programs that I use in Windows is Milkshape 3D. While Linux has Blender and K3D, I can't seem to create *anything* in them. So the model seen in this picture was made by Milkshape 3D. Also, the texture on the model was made in MS Paint, not because it is better, easier, what have you, (I could have gotten anti-aliased lines if I had used Gimp and I could have saved about half of the hour I spent making it if I had used XFig), but because I didn't feel like rebooting. Anyway, MS Paint isn't the worst program in the world, just not as good as others. When I reboot into Linux, I'll have to recreate the image using XFig and Gimp. Who cares, though, huh? Well, I want to make it clear that Gimp is a tool that can be used to make textures that are good and MS Paint is able to make something that looks like this (without rebooting into Linux). The model is pretty cool. I'm happy that I was able to create such a marvelous thing. I spent quite a bit of time prepping it and quite a bit of time working on it. I started by drawing a picture of a 6 MYear* old boy. It was amazing how good the drawing was. I drew a 6 MYear old girl for fun and it looked decent also. I don't have a scanner, so I had to use a ruler and MS Paint to import it. It's not as easy as it sounds, if it sounds easy. So I created it and it looked okay, but it wasn't quite right. The chest looked like an old man. In fact, the whole thing looked like an old man. I couldn't have that. So I thought about it. Maybe it was the red shirt. I changed it. No, maybe it's the fat chest. I make the chest slope inward as it goes down. Now he looks ~10 MYears old. So then I think, young guys aren't very buff. They have a thin chest and thin legs (I try to remember what I looked like). So I squish the body flat and it works. You don't get to see this because I only did the head tonight, but you may later. So then I was ready to create my model. I used the image as the background image and started.

* MYear is my notation for Martian Year. A Martian year is 697 Sols long. A Sol is a Martian Day which is 24 Earth hours 39.6 Earth minutes long.

As with all my newer models, I start with a box. I then use the 4-Subdivide tool to make enough sections to work with. I scale vertexes until it becomes a diamondoid-type thing. Then I add vertexes with 3-Subdivide tool. You can see that most of my vertexes were added at the mouth and the nose. I remembered to put vertexes for the eyes only after I had created the picture, so you'll have to wait for the final version of the model to see that. I think the model overall right now is very good. The shape is right and it looks like a male child to me with the texture. It is extremely low-poly which is cool since that's always a goal of mine. Without the texture, it still looks like a male anime character, but older. So perhaps the model could be used for other characters. The texture is decent considering I used MS Paint. It has a decent nose (which I've never gotten right), a smile, good hair, and good eyes. I don't think I could have done better with the tools at hand.

The other day, I created a model quite similar to this, but I thought that it would be super-cool to create the hair out of triangles instead of texture. Boy did I get a surprise. It looked good and it was low poly. From the front, you could see that it was definately going to be the new Jav model. But then it kinda deteriorated. The jaw became more like a block, the texture I was using looked like a hillbilly, and the hair on the side looked like a mullet. No shit, I was pissed. I worked hard trying to make it look good and no self-respecting guy would wear a mullet. So the model was destroyed. This model, however, lives because the hairstyle I chose was very simple to implement and was made into a texture.

There is an important lesson to be learned in the making of this model. Simple works. I can't make it any easier on the reader than to say: if you're putting a lot of verticies into something, something is wrong, start over with a box and work from there.

A short rant on Blender and K-3D and I'm done for MoJF. First, Blender's User Interface. I learned two important things way too late working with Blender. The first is that you can split windows by right clicking the border to get the MS3D look that works so well. The second is that you can only mirror something by making an object link which mirrors. It makes no sense to me still and I still can't do it. Also, so many features in MS3D are missing that make Blender aweful to use for what I want to use it for. The other day I found inverse kinematics and I was amazed at how so many people could use Blender in such amazing ways and I couldn't do jack with it. It's probably a book that they've all bought that unlocks the secrets of how to use the frigging thing. K-3D is a decent program. It works on doing simple things and more complicated things. Like Blender, however, it has serious problems doing many of MS3D's most important features: extruding, subdivision, and the "1000 click" system. MS3D has a system where you can have your right hand on the mouse and the left hand on the function keys and you're set. F1 gives you select mode, F2 is move mode, F3 is rotate, F4 is scale, and that's almost all you need per 1000 clicks. You can just click, click, click, no messing with the user interface. You have the front, side, and top views right in front of you _always_. Both K-3D and Blender require the person to create three viewports every time or load it from a file. And it still doesn't work very well. Both Blender and K-3D allow you to select vertices and faces in 3d view which is something I've been wanting in MS3D for years, but having to mess with the lame user interfaces of these two programs makes me want to spew my cookies. If they adopted the F1-F4 system and standarized both extrude and subdivide, I could use either of these programs. Until then, I have to reboot into Windows which is more than I can handle most days.

Normal Rant proceeds:
The Mike Hawash illegal incarceration has come to a focus. He plead guilty, but most folks on Slashdot think he was innocent and that it was a forced confession to avoid terrorism charges. It makes perfect sense that as soon as the government suspends Habeus Corpus, the process of law will be made into a farce. John Ashcroft need to open his fucking eyes and smell the napalm. Immediately after destroying the power of the Constitution to protect citizens from tyrrany, he destroys the justice guaranteed in judicial system (while it was never truly the case for minorities). So where the fuck is the John Ashcroft who wrote this scathing rebuke of Big Brother?
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