I did a series of exploratory sketches to find some kind of unique shape for my bug. I found it easier to think of a function or an environment for it first -and then design the bug. I also tried simply crossing the bug with random objects or animals -doing a quick drawing as each idea would pop into my head.
As can be seen, I chose to do the version which crossed the bug with a pitcher.
While working on this assignment, I learned the invaluable ability of Maya to work with PSD files. Being able to keep all the color, bump, specular, UVs, etc information in one psd file was tremendous help.
I took the photo last fall in a park about a mile from where I live. Something I did which really helped when it came to lighting the bug, and matching it with the photo, was taking two photos of the same branch on the tree. I took one photo for compositing, and another photo with a red push pin stuck in the branch for reference.
The push pin was about the size of the bug and helped me to compose the environment -reserving enough space for the bug. The push pin also was a simple enough object to build a copy of in Maya and provided valuable lighting information. I lit the model of the push pin to match the one in the reference photo, swapped the photo with the actual photo to be used, hid the push pin model, and then placed the bug in the scene to be rendered.
I wanted to share what the bug looks like from other views as well. UV and textural information for the bug can be found in the Personal Work: 3D section of my portfolio.
I was sad when this class ended a couple weeks ago. I haven't really had a sit down, teacher guided class in Maya. Most of what I've learned so far has come through workshops and on the job training. It was nice to be guided from start to finish through a project, not to mention learn a little of the background of the program.
I'm probably most grateful I decided to sign up and shell out the cash for this class in the face of being in between jobs at the time. I learned so much more than if I would have tried to tackle the same projects on my own. With respect to my love of drawing and painting, I'd definitely like to get into this more.