I spent a bit more time today in Maya, feeling a little more comfortable tackling some further objects that are in the room I’m making. There are still a number of items left to do – including the architecture of the room itself, which I’m leaving until last – but I would like to get them all modelled and then focus on UV unwrapping/texturing all at the same time. However, to see the objects a little more easily and have an idea of how I’d like them to look once they are textured, I have been adding shaders to them. I’m hoping that, since most of the objects I’ve focused on thus far are quite straight-forward, the next stage of making my room will go a lot quicker.
Overall, I’ve made three more items over the last few hours. I feel as though I’m getting more comfortable with the modelling tools in Maya. A few that are now my absolute favourites after doing these three models are: the bevel (which just makes everything look more realistic), the bridge (which I heavily relied on for the desk chair), and mirroring (which makes creating 99% of everyday objects so much easier and cleaner).
I’m not too sure if I’m overly keen on the design I’ve gone with for the desk or if it’s just the shaders I used that are throwing me off. It’s actually extremely difficult to find good shots of the desk in-game, so I had to take some creative liberties with it. I liked some designs that have the back panel as a piece of glass, while there is a foot board and a set of drawers/filing cabinet hanging from the left side. I think once it’s unwrapped and textured it will look better, however this might be one of the models I’ll have to revisit further down the line and make adjustments.
I actually really do like this model. There was something very simple about making just a square office-like chair. It reminded me a lot of some chairs my parents had many years ago; it has a retro feel to it, which matches some of the other objects in the room. Out of everything I’ve modelled so far, this one was likely the easiest and yet it’s now one of my favourites. The chair was done using a single cube, extrusions, and bevelling. I also have to insert quite a few edge loops along the way, to try and get the sunken look of the inlays looking right. These chairs (there are two in the scene and the corner couch matches the style very closely) are actually one of the few things I’ll be texturing in a material, where what is currently the mauve pattern in the picture is something like a hounds-tooth or hexagonal pattern in my reference photos.
This has actually become my top favourite modelled item at the moment. I’m quite proud of what I’ve managed to do and learn in my own time doing this room project; I think this chair just proves what you can do when you think about basic shapes, manipulating those shapes, and problem-solving when things just don’t go the way you expect.
This is something I really think looks good and it will look even better when it’s textured. I started with a polygon pipe and a lot of rotating/reshaping to get the look of the cushions. I then extruded the faces at the back of the cushion to make the metal brackets. With that done, I could safely delete two rows of what was the pipe to get the gap between the seat and the back. After that, I did some negative extrusions to get the inlay look on the back cushions and bevelled the cushions all around.
I decided to do the chair and the metal-work base as separate objects, if only for ease of unwrapping/texturing later on down the line. It also seemed like the easiest way to model the two parts. In actuality, I used a simple cylinder for the first pipe connecting the chair to the base, but from there I felt a bit lost. In my photos, half the time it didn’t look like the chair had any wheels, but was actually on feet. I decided I liked that idea, so I started with another cylinder; from there, I cut off the capping faces to extrude the edges into a curve, add a “bump” just before the resting feet on the floor.
This was all fine, but I was left with a single part of what needed to be four base parts. It took me a while to get it right, but I think it ended up looking fine. I brought the four objects as close to the main cylinder in the middle as possible and combined them all into one object. From there, I started combing vertices and deleting any inward faces, then bridges the gaps for a more welded look. The underside after that was a piece of cake: all it took was extruded the edges, scaling them towards the centre, then merging them in the middle.
I think I’ve learned a lot from this chair that I hadn’t really realised before. While it’s easy to imagine something in your head, a look that you want to achieve while modelling, it takes a lot of trial and error to get to a final product. This chair took up the bulk of my time, even more than my ribbed/curved chair, merely because of the legs. Overall, perhaps there are things I could have done better with my other models, but I’m keeping this one just the way it is.