The last thing to do before the model is complete is to mirror all the feet and the antenna. It was a fairly simple process of putting the anchor point in the centre and then mirroring the geometry. It didn't sit exactly where I wanted it to, so I had to move the pieces around a bit in order to place everything in the correct position, but the model is now complete.  

adding the feet


In my original designs, I had the feet coming out of the side of the caterpillar, and before I started modelling, I suddenly realised it wont work well with the way the caterpillar moves. So I redesigned the feet, looking back on the reference images of caterpillars I found and decided I wont make these too mechanical. I'll have them at the bottom of the body, and the first three will be sharper and the last three will be slightly more rounded. 

I started by selecting some of the faces on the bottom of the pieces of geometry and extruded them inwards to make a sort of dent that the feet can sit in. I then thought that maybe using a polygon sphere might work to create the feet, but I soon found it didn't have the type of geometry to make the type of shape I desired. So I deleted that and went for a polygon cube instead. I then adjusted, scaled, rotated and added resolution to the cube until I was happy with the outcome. I then duplicated and pushed them back, doing exactly the same thing as I did to the first bit of geometry; selecting faces, extruding upwards and adding the feet. 
I then did exactly the same for the back three feet, but this time I made the shape of the feet slightly rounded instead. 

Adding the spikes


The next part of the caterpillar I wanted to work on was adding spikes to the back of it's body. 
I started off with a polygon cube and started adjusting the CVs to make a sort of fin shape. If I smoothed that as it was however, it would be too rounded, so in order to make the edges sharper, I inserted more resolution with the Insert Edge Loop Tool. 
I then played around, moving the CVs around and trying to find a shape I was happy with. 
Next, I duplicated the spike and started working on the ones that would be on the rest of the body. As I was playing around with the CVs and adding resolution, I made a sort of dent in the back, and I really liked that. I thought it made the shape more interesting. However, I wasn't happy at how rigid and sharp I had made the edges of the second spike, so I moved it to the side (just incase I wanted to use it again) and went back to the original. 
I duplicated the original and moved it to the back, again incase I don't like the outcome when I adjust the CVs and I want to start again. I added a little dent in the back as desired, but instead of it being a super sharp dent, it curves back. As this is a hybrid of organic and mechanical, I want the pieces to have a sort of mix to them, so they're organic but has metal like qualities at the same time. I adjusted the shape until I was happy, and increased its size. I then duplicated it and made the second one smaller, placing it to the right of the bigger spike, just to add a bit more detail. 
I then duplicated the spike again down the body, but the spikes seemed too big, so I deleted them, made one of them smaller and duplicated them again down the body. I think they work better smaller and so far, I'm happy with the outcome. 
The next thing to create was the rest of the body. I had decided there would be around 10 pieces of the entire animal, including the head and tail, so I needed around 8 pieces to make the rest of the body and the tail at the end. 
I made these the same way I made the head and the first part of the body. Making a polygon cube and adjusting the CVs by moving them around and scaling them until I was happy. In order to make them a bit more square and less organic, I inserted more resolution by using the Insert Edge Loop Tool. 
When I was happy with the initial shape, I duplicated that polygon and arranged them as the rest of the body and went about adjusting them so they fitted well into each other and looked neat. 
The next thing to create was the tail. I made another polygon cube and added it to the end of the body. I wanted to start with a fresh cube because I didn't want it as square as the the rest of the body. I wanted the end to be a bit more curved. I adjusted the CVs and added more resolution until I was happy with the final outcome. 
I also noticed that the geometry in the first part of the body seems a bit bent, so by moving the CVs around, I managed to not dig into the body too much. 

Getting stuck in


As this is my first time modelling on my own without guidance, it's been really tough for me to get started. However, I decided to finally get stuck in and give it a shot, especially as I have a rough idea of what I want to achieve from my design sketches. 
When I first started, I tried to be efficient and extrude in each of the divisions of the polygon cube to make the parts of the body. This however, is nothing like I wanted and it looks silly. It's difficult to adjust the parts and I decided to start again.
The first attempt, playing around with ideas and polygons. Disliked this as it's not what I was going for.
I tried again, this time modelling each of the bits of the body separately. At the moment, I've modelled a basic head, a single antenna and the first part of the body. I've been using polygon cubes, adding divisions and adjusting their shape by moving and scaling the CVs around. 
Making the head.
For the antenna, I used a Nurbs curve. Using the CV Curve tool I created a curve and attached it to a Nurbs circle. I then extruded it, scaled and moved it to sit on the head. I then converted it to a polygon and began adding a bit of detail to it to make it more interesting. I selected some of the faces and extruded without the "keep faces on" option and pulled them out. I adjusted the tip to make it more pointed too. 
The next bit I modelled is the first part of the body. I created another polygon cube and like I did for the head, adjusted and scaled the the CVs and added more resolution with the Insert Edge Loop Tool to make it more square and less organic. 

    Modelling in Maya

    On this page you will find all the work I have done applying the techniques I've learnt from the modelling tutorials and designing my own caterpillar with some sort of man made substance within it's design. 


    April 2013
    March 2013