Dealing With The Difficulty


By Ivan Hawkes
April 10, 2013


I’ve been working on my pet project for almost five months now and I must admit that some parts of the project are easier than others. I don’t actually get a choice about which parts I will try and deal with, but I do get a choice about the order in which it happens.

A long time ago I learned the value of taking on the hard tasks first, the ones you don’t want to do. There’s no secret to how you handle this, simply pick a task out of the ‘too hard’ basket and work on it till you complete it. Rinse / repeat, and when all is said and done you will have completed your goals.

Now while there is great value in following this philosophy I am a firm advocate of the middle road. In this case it means when you find yourself dragging your heels - switch to a task that you will enjoy instead and see that to completion before returning to the hard stuff.

On my project I’ve spent a lot of time on terrain and the evil learning curve that comes with it. I’ve been learning how to use World Machine and Mudbox to create a terrain that is compelling and realistic - far beyond what I can paint by hand. The negative side is that tiny little changes in one parameter can have massive effects down the line and I’ve reworked a lot of things to compensate. There are a lot of little ‘passes’ over the work too as I try and nail down the exact parameters / machine required to get me to the end game. Then there’s the joy of watching a piece of terrain I have carefully sculpted in Mudbox liquify and slough off as mud once the erosion devices have done their work.

I’ve been promising myself a break for a while now. Tonight I decided to go ahead and try and create the first object for my game world - an overlarge mushroom. It’s a complete cliche, but since I have so very few of them I am going to go ahead and indulge my child-like desire for this particular one.

Now, I’ve been using Mudbox for a while now to sculpt terrain, and hopefully those skills will help me with sculpting an organic object.

Modelling the base object in 3DS Max wasn’t too challenging - it’s really just a bunch of concentric rings. I now have it imported into Mudbox. In the words of DirtGirl “Let’s get grubby!”."

Here’s the model in 3DS Max.

3DS Max Model

And here it is in Mudbox, ready for sculpting.

Mudbox Model