Having realised that my Mudbox sculptures are unusable I have been forced to utilise something a little more off-the-peg, MakeHuman. It is easy to use: features are controlled via sliders. There does not appear to be any place for numerical input of values which limits the usefulness of the application in the longer term. The user experience is not dissimilar to the character creation experience in Bethesda games, such as the popular Elder Scrolls and Fallout series of games. The software comes with a few prepackaged clothing templates. If a hoodie had come with it I might have left it there, but it did not so I decided (foolishly?) to make clothing in Maya. Once I made that decision I exported an FBX, a UV map and a light map.
When an FBX model made in MakeHuman is imported into Maya you need to setup the file locations of the textures for the eyes, eyebrows and hair.
In order to make the t-shirt I copied faces from the nude Harry mesh, duplicated those face and scaled them outwards along all three axes. I applied a lambert material which I coloured a pale turquoise taken from the Harry colour scheme. I then spent some time smoothing out the mesh a little, removing extraneous fabric folds. This was done with a combination of deleting edges, adjusting the scale of the faces on the axis perpendicular to the object and the moving of vertexes. In order to remove the folds at the base of the rear of the t-shirt I have to use the grab function set to a high strength level but having a small radius.
Bearing in mind my recent lessons learned in the importance of keeping on top of the UV map I decided to UV map the t-shirt to ensure a smooth texture application. This was achieved by selecting faces to represent a plane and applying a planar projection to them. My first attempt resulted in a distorted texture around the abdomen. I removed the problematic faces from the selection and reapplied the projection. I repeated the process for the back of the t-shirt, the side panels and the arms. I then selected all of the UVs and unfolded them.
Once the UV map was completed I opened the hypershade window and graphed the lambert network, renaming it TShirtMaterial. I then changed my mind and decided to utilise Mental Ray’s mia materials to create the t-shirt texture. I applied a mia_material_x to the t-shirt, colouring it turquoise. Then I placed a Maya cloth texture in the Overall Bump in the material’s Bump attribute. I set the U width and the V width at 0.1 and U wave at 0.4. I selected the placeTexture node and changed the scale to 50, 100 and then 200.
Upon rendering I saw that I had made an error when deleting edges from the torso. I tried fixing the error with limited success. Although there is an error on the front of the t-shirt I am very pleased with the results otherwise. Most of the t-shirt will be covered by a hoodie anyway so the texture error will not matter. Still, it shows the importance of proper UV mapping throughout the process. When it is done wrong it will be obvious.