This is my first time posting in this part of the forum so a little background info might be called for. I graduated in 2008 from Ohio State with a BFA in Art and Technology. It was a fun program and I learned quite a bit there but I feel like ultimately it left me a bit out in the cold. We had several classes on 3D modeling and animation, however everything was taught in Cinema 4D (for its ease of use from what I understand). After graduation I found out that not a whole lot of companies really use Cinema 4D and mostly its Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox, and Zbrush.
So I saved up my pennies over a year or so and got a copy of Maya to start learning on that. Recently though Autodesk's divine grace I was able to get an educational licence of Mudbox. I went through a bunch of tutorials and a book and decided it was time to strike out on my own with a model.
So here it is from start to finish. I know I made a bunch of mistakes along the way and I really want to improve my abilities so if there are any 3D gurus here that could point out where I went wrong or just some critiques in general I would really appreciate it.
For my subject I picked an iguana. I decided I would do the work for as a gift for my fiancee. I spent some time researching iguanas and decided that a young one would be a nice place to start since there is less hanging skin and I was not sure how I would do that.
This is the base model I did in Maya
I then cut the UV up. I feel like either I should have cut the tail in 2 sections or arranged it differently so I would have a larger surface for each section.
I added some eye orbs and started to get some of the rough detail in. I tried to work at the lower subdivision levels as long as I could but I found that I had to go up quickly in order to get any detail. I don't know if its because the model was not big enough or if it was because I did not have enough geometry in my low poly model.
I ended up having to go up to subdivision level 8 which was (43451898 poly) to get enough polygons to do the scale detail work.
After I finished with the scales on the head and had the body mostly done I started working on the hanging skin which is called the dewlap. I just pulled and pushed with the grab tool till I had it looking how I wanted. This created some really messed up geometry though. I am not sure how I could have done that better but there must be a way. (normal map filter is on so I could see it better)
After I had it all finished and went to work on texturing I was limited to 2k maps either by my computer or because the model had been subdivided so much. with 2k maps I was unable to get in and paint each individual scale. I tried the export to photoshop to do the detail there but it would just loose it again when I brought it back in. I did what I could with the textures and having worked on it for about 2 weeks was ready to call it done. Here are the final renders of it and a turntable video.
Thanks for looking at my work and I really appreciate any comments on what I could do better.