At the start of this unit I was worried as I still didn't know which direction I wanted to go in the industry, I enjoy all areas and want to do everything but after a one to one with my tutor I finally managed to narrow it down to the rendering and post-production side of the industry. Personally I find it more accessible as it allows for other skills to be pulled from outside of the area I've chosen to study, it is a skill set that can come under pressure as it gets used late in the pipeline as the deadline nears but I found all of these factors come together to add a greater sense of satisfaction when you get to see the finished piece of work.
When I started researching the skills I wanted to develop I took into account one of the things my tutor said to me which was try finding an image and deconstructing it the way a child takes toys apart to see how it works. The way I used this advice was by looking into first so that I could understand how each pass goes together and what passes can be used to add different effects. I also found that this helped me when it came to setting up the render passes and layers as I now understood how I could make the layers more effective in the end.
The main tutorials I used were a selection from the escapes videos and a couple from 3D world magazine which I found were both very helpful.
When it came to putting my research in to practice I wanted to try a digital character into photo which I had taken myself so that I could setup the scene correctly with measurement and light angles etc. Unfortunately I was having issues finding a realistic looking character for Maya so I decided to go with a more fun idea which was also relevant to a recent project by the mill (which is one of my top 5 companies I would like to work for). I decided to go with a dinosaur as its challenging as it doesn't really belong and its is also organic rather the cliché of constantly trying to make a car look real. Below you can see a few finished stills that I have done and hopefully later today I will have one moving.
Overall I have to say this has been one of my favourite units so far as I finally have a good enough understanding of Maya that I can finally have some finished looking work and I think now that I know what direction I want to go in as well I'm enjoying it even more. I feel that I have learnt a lot this unit and have finally started to gain a more advanced understanding of areas I want to work in. I believe that the most useful thing I learnt about was render layers as it really cuts down render time and makes mistakes so much easier to fix.
I also found this has helped me a lot with my other project as I am in charge of the rendering. Although my other project is far more stylised understanding how a the passes work has helped me to take the work to a more professional level and improve the overall quality.
Below you can see 2 images, the first is from my second year piece of and the second is from the work I have done this year I think there is a big level of improvement between the 2.