I’m back with another video, this one is from the amazing hard surface modeler Alex Senechal.
A Few Common Scifi Mistakes - Quick Ways to Improve by Alex Senechal
I’m not going to timestamp every tip for this one because the video is 40 minutes long but I’ll timestamp the main parts of the video
What I learned:
*Syfy is always going to be grounded in artistic and functional reality. Even things in the future will be made for their function.
Cliches seen in SyFy - 01:30
This section is for cliches that Alex sees a lot in peoples SyFy work, try and keep these cliches to the upmost minimum when making your work.
*Bots in every corner of pannels
*Caution Tape everywhere, Caution tape is a very strong visual que in modeling, use it sparingly in areas that need it to show dangerous zones.
*Insets and extrusions based on pre-made geometry. “Break the box” learn how to make cylinder insets inside of square surfaces.
*“Sandwich affect” Avoid placing similar shaped details stacked on top of each other. Use size variation to break up detailing.
*Vents. Vents should be used with intention, it there is a vent there should be a reason why this hard surface part needs to expel exhaust in that area, if you don’t have a reason, don’t have a vent.
Cables & Pipes - 10:00
3 Main types of pipes
- Singular pipes
- Organized cables - sets of cables following a singular path, part of a larger system
- Disorganized cables - Cables that don’t follow a specific system.
*Know when to use each type of cable
*Integrate your pipes into the larger structure, don’t just stick them on afterwards.
*Build your pipes into your structure
*Use shape hiarchy for pipes, larger pipes are sturdier and more important.
Breaking the Box - 16:20
*Model outside of basic square and cylindrical primitive shapes
*Use large bevels and plane changes to break out of boxy shapes
*Learn how to model and design complex forms, this will help with your confidence in making shapes that are not basic shapes. Helps “break the box”
Greebles - 22:45
*Know the meaning behind the forms you use.
*Don’t just add in greeble detail because it’s “cool”, know the reason behind the shapes you add in.
*When placing detail, place it with intention
*Balance your forms, too much detail is disorienting. Have areas of rest as well as areas of detail
*Having areas of rest and areas of detail helps us to know whats important. EX, if you have a dashboard with a bunch of red blinking buttons it’s hard to know which is important. If you have a dashboard with fewer simple buttons and one blinking red button it’s easy to tell what is important.
*Use hierarchy of from, Large cuts will break up bigger parts of the forms, whereas small cuts break up more detailed ares of the forms
Tangents - 26:20
*A tangent is when 4 lines intersect in one point.
*Limit your tangent connections to 3 lines intersecting. "
*Avoid breaking your panels on ever edge.
*Offsetting your panel cuts and edges can help reduce the amount of tangents your model will have.
Illumination - 30:55
*SyFy is functional, and by this metric illumination and lights will be functional.
*two things that the function of lights can do
- Represent a toggle (on/off) (Loaded/empty)
- Illuminate something that cant be seen otherwise
*Use your illumination sparingly. Like my example for greebles “EX, if you have a dashboard with a bunch of red blinking buttons it’s hard to know which is important. If you have a dashboard with fewer simple buttons and one blinking red button it’s easy to tell what is important.”
*Lights will be one of the strongest parts of your scene, so use them sparingly
Aligning Diagonals & Avoiding Random Diagonals - 32:25
*Only have a few sets of diagonals you use. Keep your diagonals parallel with each other. Too many different diagonal angels becomes confusing fast.
*Add counter diagonals sparingly. These counter angles will be perpendicular to your other diagonals.
Rest Area & 70/30 - 34:12
*Rest Areas: The areas of the design that are simple
*Detail Areas: The areas of the design that are complex “art of the design”
*70/30: General rule of thumb when designing, have no design be either 100% detail or 100% rest. Also avoid 50% detail & 50% rest
*Halo would have the design language of 70% simple forms and 30% detailed forms
*Gears of War would have the design language of 70% detailed forms and 30% simple forms
*70/30 principle can be used for color as well, EX 70% grey (simple color) 30% red (complex contrasty color)
*30% of a contrasting color will draw the views eye to that place and make it seem important
*Same goes for plane changes 70% large plane changes 30% small complex form changes
*Can be used for where you place detail on a line. Either place detail at 30% mark of line “beginning of the line” or at 70% of the way “End of the line”
*Learn the rules first before you try and break them.