Meet James! He’s teamed up with instructor Zack as part of Game-U’s Accelerate program. As James learns to develop games in the Unity engine, he’s also working with Maya, the professional modeling and animation software. James wanted to see how a Maya-made castle would look when imported into Unity, so he and Zack dedicated their recent classes to transforming his creative vision – that castle in the air – into digital reality. See how they did it!
Maya offers modelers a wide range of tools to sculpt characters, objects, and scenes. James, after finding architectural inspiration in an art book, picked up these tools to begin sculpting the castle proper. He focused on its front and base, creating a façade that serves as one of the scene boundaries. However, curious to see how far he could take his ideas, James also included a few extra pieces of architecture (like the tower) to test his skills and the limits of his tools. He even used textures and a few additional models (like a wall-climbing vine) to perfect their appearance. Check out his finished product! The castle and its accoutrements stand in eloquent testimony to James’ success.
Since a castle deserves gardens, bridges, and scenery, James took up Maya’s tools again to develop a fitting environment for his building models. To create the meadow outside the front gate, he varied the height of the work surface, raising hills, and made use of textures and detail models to plant fields and cover the barren terrain with grass. A beautiful bridge, one of James’ favorite models, spans the valley in front of the castle. Trees came next! When it came time to render the scene in Arnold – the industrial-strength renderer so essential to the visual effects of many movies – the vegetation transparency and positioning gave James some trouble. But thanks to some troubleshooting, he and Zack worked through the bugs successfully. James’ finished scene looks so good it deserves a fairy tale spun around it!
Awesome work on this scene, James! It’s elegant, appealing, and skillfully modeled. Zack’s pleased not only with your progress, but also with your independence! You took ownership of this project and performed more and more tasks on your own. Thanks for sharing your castle in the air with us! Zack says you’re planning to add a character next, so be sure to send us an update when you do. We’d love to see her in her new home!