Monday, January 30, 2012


As I'm getting more comfortable sculpting with mesh, I realized that compared to my newest creations my signature mask, (the Velodorno), was starting to look a bit dated. So, I set out to create a new one.

My signature mask is always something traditional, elegant, and with ornate and delicate curls. Making that in mesh was an interesting challenge and taught me many new things about efficient geometry and UV mapping a complex shape. But of course it resulted in something beautiful I'll be proud to put in my header.

I think you'll notice that along with this release I've changed up my vendor layout a bit. I was getting a bit dissatisfied with my other layout and wanted something crisper, cleaner and more modern. I also wanted to start showing off the mask! I won't be updating the vendors of older items, but I did go back and change my other mesh creations to this layout. It also helps add another visual cue to people who might still be unable to see mesh items that these are different.

The differences between these two masks are subtle, the most noticeable of them being that one has a nose piece and the other doesn't. I simply couldn't decide if I liked it better with or without so I compromised. The other difference is in shape: the Civetta is always more "owl" shaped (Civetta actually means owl) with a pronounced pinch in at the nose. The Columbina is a more feminine line that goes straight across the face and curls up to a taper by the temples.

Doing all of the little curls was a delight and a torture at the same time. Playing with high definition to add little flares and definition to each little taper was fun, but then facing the ordeal of UV mapping it wasn't. If you're not familiar, UV mapping is the process of trying to "unzip" a 3-dimensional object into a 2d one for texturing. Imagine a map of the world, and how it's a bit distorted because it's trying to describe shapes that are a part of a sphere. That sort of map is very simple... a map for all of these curls on the other hand, looks like this:
I wasn't even able to stack islands due to a glitch D:

That took me literally all day, but it was well worth it. I had another draft of a map that was more clumsily done, and saw a dramatic improvement in the invisibility of my seams as well as detail which is always nice to see!

I'm sure I'll get better at it as I continue, and look back at this with the facepalm of hindsight and wonder what I was thinking.

Out now at the store: 300L each
Buy the Civetta Curia on the Marketplace
Buy the Columbina Curia on the Marketplace

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