Cheers, VERY early days yet though - and I do have a habit of starting projects and not finishing them so we'll see how it goes lol
I've just realised that I don't have to do a left hand turn and right hand turn. I can just do a left hand turn and rotate the thing so I've just saved myself a bit of work there.
At some point I'm going to be looking into procedural generation if it's not too complicated, but to begin with I'm just going to have a bog standard level that's going to remain the same built using my modular pieces.
I also will end up having long breaks because of my depression, it's difficult for me to do this sort of thing tbh, but I have had a good day for the first time in ages so managed to get some bits and pieces done.
Edit: Bah!!! Can't solve the holes problem with SketchUp. Thought that might be too easy! I'm getting gaps like this when I Bridge everything together:
Have just put out a plea for help on another forum so we'll see how that goes lol
Another Edit: Okay, so a very kind person on that forum is having a look at my mesh for me so as he takes a look at that I've decided to jump into ZBrush and create my first alien creature.
ZBrush is an AMAZING piece of kit, definitely the software you want to use if you're going to be doing any sort of organic modelling. It costs a few grand but there are 30 day free trials available.
When you first start it up you'll probably think about heading for a nervous breakdown...but before the men in white coats bundle you into the back of an ambulance with you wearing a nice new white jacket with long sleeves that does up at the back let me break things down for you. You'll see this:
That big monstrosity that you see is the Lightbox, and whenever ZBrush starts up the Lightbox is always there in your face lol. And it isn't even the useful part of Lightbox. What you are seeing is the Projects part (I would say tab but just to confuse things even further ZBrush doesn't use tabs, it uses menus instead...which are pretty much tabs without a nice highlighted rectangle around the words lmfao.
If you click on the Tools menu of the Lightbox you'll something much more useful:
ZBrush is all about Tools as far as modelling goes. Whenever you create a new model and save it, ZBrush saves it as a Tool and puts it in the Tool part of the Lightbox.
To start work on a model (I'll go through the basics first) you first need to select a Tool. For the purpose of this mini-tutorial I'll start off with a simple Sphere that you can sculpt, even though the beady-eyed amongst you may have noticed an alien Tool that I started working on yesterday but have since decided to start again.
Pressing the comma key opens and closes the Lightbox. On the right of the screen you can see a panel (which just to confuse things is called a pallet if I remember correctly) called Tool with a squiggly line. This squiggly line is a 2.5D Tool used for painting so we aren't interested in using that. If you click on the squiggly line a selection box opens up:
Here you have a selection of different Tools, both 3D and 2.5D. Back when ZBrush was first created it wasn't used for 3D models at all, it was used for 3D painting. If you select the Sphere3D Tool I've highlighted and click and drag across the canvas it will paint what looks like a 3D sphere primitive, as in a 3D object that you can rotate, scale and move. But if you try and click anywhere on the canvas to move around what looks like a 3D object it just paints more of them.
To get rid of that marvellous piece of art just press Ctrl-N to start with a new canvas and then paint one single Sphere like the top image above.
For ZBrush to turn this 2D image into a 3D primitive either press the Edit button next to the highlighted Draw button or press the shortcut key, T. Almost there, but if you try and sculpt a 3D primitive ZBrush will tell you that you need to convert the 3D primitive to a PolyMesh3D before you can start sculpting. It's in Tool pallet on the right:
Once that button is pressed you're ready to start sculpting!
More idiosyncrasies with moving around though lol. To rotate around the sphere you click outside the sphere to an empty space and drag. Pressing Shift while doing this snaps the view to the nearest front, back, left, right, top or bottom view.
To pan you press Alt and click, to zoom in and out you press Alt, keep Alt held down, click, let go of Alt and move the mouse backwards and forwards. Yes, I know lol
To start sculpting you just click and drag using the mouse or a tablet and material will build up. Press Alt to make indentations. Shift-Click smoothes out the mesh. If you press X you turn on symmetry. With A LOT of practice you could end up with something as impressive as this:
When you start sculpting a 3DPolyMesh it's VERY low poly. To sub-divide to a higher poly version press Ctrl-D and it'll turn from a blocky mess to the smooth mesh you see below. It's best to stick with lower subdivisions when you first start working on a model, and if you do press Ctrl-D you can instantly see the lower sub-division(s) by clicking on the slider highlighted in the image above. In the image above it's set to 1 out of 4, below it's at 4, the highest subdivision:
The idea is to do the base mesh at the lowest or at least a low subdivision and then when you want to sculpt details such as wrinkle lines on the face you can do that at the highest subdivision. If you're working on a human figure and you realise that the muscles in an arm or leg aren't quite right you just switch to the lower subdivision and fix it.
This handy subdivision utility allows you to texture your high poly Tool (using Polypaint) and save that high res and high detail map as a texture. You then bring your model down a few subdivisions and export it.
Important Thing About The Files You Need To Save!
If you look at the menu/tabs (I'm still going to call the damned things tabs ffs lol) above you'll see a File option. Clicking this and saving via this method doesn't save your Tool or anything you can edit later. This is part of the old ZBrush back when it only did 3D painting. Luckily you get a friendly warning asking you if you want to save your Tool or the picture.
If you want to save the Tool go to the Tool pallet and use the Save As button!
If you want to save your entire Project then go to the Document tab at the top and choose Save or Save As.
Right, that's enough for tonight, time for bed! Tomorrow I'll cover the best thing about ZBrush, the thing that makes it SO GOOD for organic models - ZSpheres!