Reva- Modeling and a bit of Animation… (Maya)

Manas Patil, Madman's Journey

Fact: I wrote this piece at 3 AM today and that pic right above was shot by my roommate…

Don’t worry, this really isn’t as boring as the title seems. Well, at least not to me as I like animation and stuff… just kidding! It’s a story alright. Let’s get along with it right away!

Another thing here… why don’t you subscribe (by clicking that red thingy at the right corner) and get annoyed by more articles by me which usually make no sense? I think that’d be sensible. Anyway, no offense.

Why modeling stuff in Engineering?

In case you still aren’t aware, I’m into CS Engineering in Reva (Yep, I linked that to my hostel stay here). And CS engineering doesn’t usually have animations… or any Engineering for that matter. So how?

Manas, Madman's journey

We have a program called SDP- Skill Development Program here at Reva University. This program comes up once every semester where you can join a subject of your interest as a small course. I assume this is only for us as the topics we could choose from were animation, ethical hacking, python and so on…

These aren’t related in any way to the syllabus in our semester course and yet it’s a compulsion for everyone. However, I think it’s a pretty cool as you get credits for it and certification too! Moreover, I get to portray tiny rays of creativity that I possess.

And so I chose animation as that seemed more fun than anything else on the list. Ethical hacking does sound cool too but I watched ‘Unfriended 2’ too many times… if you’ve watched it, you’ll get it.

Day One

Strangely, animation had the least number of students compared to other subjects. So we all had a single class- a huge class though. Laptops were a compulsion… which I clearly didn’t have. I did have a laptop which was brand new back in 2009. Technically, it couldn’t support Maya, the application which we’d be using for program.

So for the whole program, I just carried the old thingy in my bag and that’s where it stayed the whole time. It never came out. Apparently, my roommate also chose the same program as mine so I sat beside him. Now, this guy was super cool.

He had a gaming laptop which was originally 8GB RAM. He later added another 16GB RAM to it which literally made it a 24GB RAM beast.

gaming laptop

But we didn’t really require laptops on the first day as there was just an introduction. Most, obviously found it depressing as they couldn’t flaunt their new pcs… I didn’t :).

In fact, I made myself pretty comfortable in my seat on the first day. The Air Conditioner was on, the room was dark and the only source of light was from a projector at the front end of the room. It was basically a movie theatre without a movie. There were pictures of The Hulk’s animated body structure instead.

I also slept off a little bit at some point but… ahem, that’s another story.

A little about Rendering

As soon as we complete making our models in Maya, we are supposed to render the file to get a realistic effect whatever we create. Making a model… sure does take time and efforts. But rendering is back-breaking. The computer typically heats up until it finishes.

 

Though all our laptops were new and generally had at least 8GB RAM, we were instructed to go for the low-resolution rendering. But surprise surprise! My friend had a 24GB RAM beast, didn’t he? He started rendering his models in 4K resolution.

 

As I didn’t have mine, he lent his to me so I could get a hold of using Maya. Our assignment was simple- make a well, put some lighting around and then render it with a moderate resolution. So I made a well… and then I extended the well.

Finally, the well became a machine gun; and later turned into a building with bridges and cool interiors. Yeah, I don’t know how is that possible either. The point was- after I put a couple of hours just modeling it, the memory usage was 90%.

I still wasn’t satisfied with my creative gigantic building with cool interiors yet. I looked at my roommate who was already half traumatized by the way I was burning up his system. He looked at me for a moment and asked, “Can we render this now?”

Rendering cool stuff…

I looked back at my model. I zoomed in to the narrow tip of my building and… bent it to a small curve a little bit. Then I zoomed out to get a view of the whole building. We both stared at the model I’d just modified. Now it looked like long… and very very wrong.

“Yep, let’s render it,” I said, smiling at him. He just stared back.

I expected him to say, “You ass…” but he wasn’t done flaunting with his laptop. He decided to render the building/ wrong-looking thingy I’d made in 4K.

‘Render’…click!

The laptop started heating up. I was holding it on my lap, so my lap started heating up. The fans started breathing heavily. After 10 minutes, there was still no portion of the image rendered. We checked the CPU usage. We exchanged glances.

It was consuming over 16GB RAM and still, there wasn’t anything! After a moment, the Maya application itself shut down. It probably said, “I can’t handle more of this shit!”

The small stuff and Animation

Apart from the well, we started off by modeling a simple cup with a handle on the side. The guys, including my roommate, that I was with were pretty creative and quick- like me. So we found it simple. One of the guys with a Zenbook made eyes and an entire face for the cup apart from the handle which I have to say- was more cringy than creative.

Anyway, when the laptop came into my hands and another guy who didn’t have a laptop, we made a simple cup…

Then we took out a model of man. We made the man stand inside the cup. We took out the handle of the cup and made wings to either side of the cup. And we got…

Most of the classes passed by with modeling. Towards the end of the program, there was a little animation. We made a realistic bouncing of a ball where I made the ball jump higher every time it bounced.

We were actually supposed to use logic and understand physics in order to give animations a realistic touch. However, I wanted to portray that I’m bad at physics, so that explains why my ball goes higher with each bounce 🙂

Final Project

Our final assignment was to render a house with moonlight and lightings in it. Let me not brag much of it, but I tried to make my house look similar to my house. And this was it.

madman's journey, manas patil