Art of the M Cubed

Welcome to my online portfolio. My name is Matthew Mills, and here you can view samples of my work in 3D and 2D animation, as well as 3D Modeling.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Seems the NSCC server is down. You'll notice a few missing images and that the rest of my site is down. Guess I should get around to moving my site to my own web domain soon. Now that I'm almost done of capstone I may do that soon. Hope it's fixed soon. ( I changed the font color to a grey so you guys can read it while the images are missing :)

Prop 3 - Skateboard

Just finished my last prop, and thus my last model for the capstone project. This one was the skateboard. It isn't modeled after any one skateboard from Back to the Future, but I did design the bottom decal with that theme in mind.

908 polys
1X1024 texture map

I still have some other little things to finish up for Capstone. Need to finish my normal mapping research. I redid the UV map for the Hydral, and I'll be doing a quick high res version to make the normal map from tonight probably. Will only spend a couple hours on it, and then will just try a few ways to actually make the normal map. You'll probably see how that comes out tomorrow, as I'll post my results.

After all that, and some residual forms, Capstone is done! After taking a few days to rest up, catch up on some video games, and figuring out my work schedule, I'll be picking up my Scissor Sisters project again. Expects posts on that in the future.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Prop 2 - Guitar

Just finished my Guitar prop here. It's a replica of the one Marty plays near the end of Back to the Future, keeping with my theme again. It's a Custom Made Bigsby ES-355.

1363 Polygons (Way high for a prop, but I did put in all the little pieces with geometry as opposed to just in the texture like I could have. I wanted it to be as accurate as possible, but I kept the poly count as low as possible.)
1X1024 Texture Map

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Normal Mapping Artifacts Explained

Hey guys. Some of you I already showed how to do normal mapping, but I was struggling to figure out why I was getting little artifacts. Well I finally figured it out. It's all in the UV map.

I've been watching a video tutorial from digital tutors that covers the whole maya to zbrush to maya pipeline, and they mentioned how important a clean UV map is. So I went back to my hydral and looked at the UV map with a little trick they used in the tutorial. They used a checker pattern to give a visual representation of the uv on the 3D model, and low and behold, there were my artifacts. Have a look:

On the left is the model with the normal map, and on the right is the corresponding UV map distortion.

I am now cleaning the uv map, and will be trying Zbrush again. The normal map won't be very detailed, as I'm just trying to get the process down right now. I'm also going to try another program I found, called Xnormal, and see how that works.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Prop 1 - Clock

Made a clock today. Yup. Sure did. And here it is. The first of three props for my capstone project that go along with the Delorean. Clock makes sense, it was a time travel movie.

593 polygons ( Might be a little high for a prop but I went nuts on the details.)
1x1024 color map
1x1024 specular map
1x1024 transparency map ( for the glass front )

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Delorean WIP Final

It's done! Finished all the texture maps I needed to make. Here are some final renders for your viewing pleasure, and a composite I did for a little fun. Enjoy!

Final Specs:
2490 Tri's
1x2048 Color Texture Map
1x2048 Bump Map
1x2048 Transparency Map
1x2048 Specular Map
Maya 2008
12 hours - est.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Delorean WIP 2

Hello again. Thought you'd like to see how the delorean is doing. Just finished the color part of the texture. I still have a bump map, specular map, and transparency map to do, but they shouldn't take me very long.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Delorean WIP 1

Hey everyone. Speaking of works in progress. Here is the low poly Delorean I have been working on for this summer's Capstone project. It's only a piece of the project, but I'll talk more about that later.

I finished modeling him yesterday, and just finished some final tweaks and did a couple test renders. I squeezed him into 2490 polygons, which is under my 2500 limit I set for myself. I'm pretty sure this is at least close to industry standard as far as counts go, but if you have a better idea let me know.

Texturing is next for him, and I hope it goes well. Of course I have to UV map first, which is always fun.

As always, comments are welcome.

Blog Updated

Hey everyone. I know it's been a while. As you can see I'm in the middle of incorporating my blog into my website. I'm not a coding genius so I couldn't figure out a really easy way to actually make a blog in my website, so I'm just going to make my blog look like my website, and so far it's going rather well. Still a couple things to match up, but it's almost done. I'll also be moving my website at some point.

But now that I have my blog here, I can put more updates of the stuff I'm working on. I figure I can update my blog pretty much everyday if I want to, and update my actual website about every 2 weeks to a month. This way I can put up works in progress and such, to see what you guys think.

Anywho, let me know if there is anything not working in this new setup. I noticed it's a little slow myself, but that just might be because some of the images are hosted on the school server along with my website. Won't be that way forever.