Tachikoma arms

Arm comparison. Is Smooth or Flat shading better?

More work on the Tachikoma.

Mine is on the left, and has been selectively Smooth Shaded.

The finger parts were the toughest parts of this batch, though they might not look it.

Furthermore, the fingers are really very simplified compared to the opening sequence of the series.

Tachikoma Hand Reference

Also, the original model had a cylindrical drum-magazine that look weird and out of place – so I deleted it. I now see that there is in fact a magazine attached to the arm (though not much like that in the source model). That definitely has to be added. Total redo of the fingers will just have to wait till its time to start a second, much more detailed version.

Looks like the flat light grey texture will need to be upgraded to a shiny metal at some point as well.

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Tachikoma progress

So far so good, I suppose:
I’ve been able to reduce the vertex-count by roughly half without sacrificing detail.
Biggest Problem so far:

  • Boolean modifiers. Cutting a cylindrical hole into a mesh produces really nasty streaky junk around the edge of the boolean-cut, where blender makes many small faces.With Shading set to smooth, it looks uneven and puckered. (click the images for larger version, to see the problem more clearly.)
  • Looks organically wrong. Or wrongly organic. Flat shading. Totally angular, dude! Smooth, with flat shading on the faces surrounding the cut-outs. Best I can get 😦

A Good Tachikoma is Hard to Find…

Best I can find (for free) is on the Google 3d Warehouse site. It’s by ALM Modelling, and is absolutely beautiful. Really nicely detailed. Getting it into Blender was a pain – the Collada formatted file imported as a billion emptys and no geometry data at all. Had to use the online sketchup convertor to get it into 3ds. Importing it into Blender results in a scary list of errors, but the model itself imports okay. Except for:

  • It’s huge! It comes in as a zillion individual meshes all named “node####” and bogs down both machines I’ve put it on (neither of which are powerhouses, but should be able to handle a model of this caliber better)
  • Many more mesh/parts than are needed. Many should be consolidated. This is probably a result of the conversion from sketchup -> 3ds -> blender conversion
  • Triangles. ‘Cause triangles are _bad_, mmmkay?
  • Some things are a bit misaligned. Not much, but enough to be asymmetric. Needs fixin’.
  • Nothing is parented to anything.
  • It renders just horribly, due to (I think) a desperate need of retopo.

    .3ds version renders like this. ewww

  • Not rigged. Sure, I knew it wouldn’t be, but I want a rigged tachikoma.

So let the conversion begin!
Workflow:

  1. name the blenderfile I imported the .3ds into something like tachikomaRetopoAttempt01.blend.
  2. create a new .blend called tachikomaRetopoDest01.blend.
  3. (in the “source” file)
    • a – create a new scene Scene02
    • b – in main scene, select one part to be converted, and move it from layer1 to layer3, and also Object/make links to Scene02
    • c – save source .blendfile
  4. (in “destination” file)
    • a – File/Append sourcefile’s Scene02 into destination file
    • b – in scene02, Object/make links to scene01
    • c – remake/retop/remodel the part. When finished, move new version to layer2 and delete original from layer1. Also delete scene02.
    • d – save
  5. 4 – open “source file” and
    • a – move from (in main scene) layer3 to layer2
    • b – delete object from scene02
    • c – go to main scene, pick another part and repeat the procedure.

As I’m not a terrifically good or fast modeller, this is going to take me a while. My plan is to do a few pieces each night, and hopefully I’ll end up with a good, blender-native tachikoma which I will then upload to blendswap.com.