Winter Quarter – Weeks One and Two
January 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
We’re back from winter break and continuing to work on reducing the number of polygons in Paula. I have begun working on remodeling the teeth.
I started by constructing a new rough model of the top set of teeth. It is basically a cylinder that’s been edited slightly to fit the curvature of the existing teeth more closely. I am going to add a back to the new model so the teeth are fully 3D and don’t start to disappear if Paula opens really wide.
However even tripling the face count of the new teeth will still result in a large decrease in the number of polygons. As you can see the new teeth have a lot fewer polygons. The original top teeth have 1930 polygons, my replacement model has 55 polygons currently.
Instead of geometry to add the detail to the teeth I am planning on using texturing, bump mapping and transparency mapping to add realism. I am working on a script that moves a camera around the teeth and renders the image. I will then combine the different images to create a single panorama texture image will be applied to the new model with a cylindrical projection. Here is a set of the rendered images laid out as a panorama. This is rendered at 10 points around the teeth to keep the number of images manageable while I work on the script. For the final version I would like to take the renders in smaller pieces so there is a less noticeable change of perspective.
Among the options for rendering in 3DS Max is the ability to render the z -depth. In a z-buffer rendering system the computer tracks the distance from the camera to the closest object at each pixel. If an object is closer than the distance than it is visible at that pixel, if it is farther it is occluded. 3DS Max allows you to render out the z-depth information as a separate image file. This is a sample z-depth render of the front of the teeth. I am currently working on modifying my script to render z-depth images in addition to the normal color render at each point on the camera’s path. Adding bump mapping will make the surface appear to have separate, slightly curved teeth. By changing the near and far values on the z-depth render you can obtain varying levels of detail. By increasing the far value it is possible to obtain a black and white image of the teeth to use for transparency mapping. The new teeth model will only be shown where the image is white, creating the proper profile for the teeth.