Modelling Development

I started off the modelling process by first understanding the anatomy of the origami crane. I learnt how to build my own origami cranes out of paper by follow some instructions from the internet. The helped me see the proportions of each part of the body, but also to understand where all the folds would be visible. Moreover it allowed me to have a physical reference that I could constantly study whilst modelling simultaneously.

for a little bit of fun and also to get an idea of the scale of our crane at a world scale, we made a giant origami swan. This was made from large rolls of paper, taped together and folded the exact same way as its miniature cousin. We would have liked it to be a bit larger after folding, but it would’ve been a lot more challenging to fold, than it already was and required more space than the library could offer!

Whilst modelling I went through few different variations of how the crane would look, i found it quite challenging at first to get the shapes I wanted, but on my third attempt, after I had thinned the model to make it look more paper like, I was more pleased with my results, it was then just refining to get the model I wanted. I was using some images of my crane models from different angles as reference for my model. This helped me get a sense of proportion.

Click these links to view the models in 3D

I have been using substance painter to create the diffuse texture to apply to my sub surface shader and to create a normal map to add some more details such as folds and creases


Down below are the extra textures I have created to apply to the subsurface layer. I felt it was necessary to use custom textures on the sub surface layers as well as the diffuse, it gave me a lot more control over the look and the detail of the shader. crane_textures

We can more clearly see how these two textures are effecting the shader by having a look at the test render below.  The darker texture is the sub surface colour, this is what is adding the dark almost marble like veins that run throughout the paper. I gave it this effect so the surface looked a bit more interesting and tactile, instead of being a really smooth and lambert like. The second texture is the scatter colour which specifies what colour will be scattered in the sub surface, although it make look a bit grey on WordPress it is actualy more yellow/orange. This is what gives me the warm orange glow that comes through the thinner parts of the model like the wings.



Here is the normal map, used to create the organic texture on our lily pads, made in Substance Painter. I have also used the sub-surface shader on the lily pads, since it gives a nice translucent effect around the thin edges. I have also increased the specularity which really makes the little veins pop. It was an artistic choice to make the specular colour orange and not a more realistic white. This orange would fit well with our autumn colour scheme.

Rigging: Painted Weights

After modelling the crane I sent it over to Henry for him to rig, I thought seeing as he would be animating it, it would make sense for him to rig the model so he would understand how it all moves. There were a issue with the skinning, causing some parts of the model to move undesirably, this is easy fixed by remapping the  painted skin weights. Essentially a texture that changes the influence of a joint on its surrounding geometry.


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