Friday, 27 November 2015

Character - Further Character Concept Development

After talking with Justin on Tuesday about my characters, he suggested that I redraw my characters in a more dynamic pose so that I could better understand how they would look in 3d space. As I had already drawn my alien character in that way, I have now drawn my two plant characters like this. I intend to do more drawings like this as I test the possible changes that could be made.

Plant Character 1 (Agile) 

Plant Character 2 (Strong)

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Narrative - Render and Lighting Testing 3

After testing what lighting setup would be best in our current ravine scene, I am confident that what I have arrived at will work well as we begin to create our complete scene for the animation. After numerous attempts with different lights, I eventually used a weak area light covering the interior of the ravine and a volume light on our glowing plants. I also used a point light with the plant test (the orb). In the final scene it will likely sit inside of the plant and be disconnected from it, creating the illusion that the plant is glowing. 
 
 Render 1
 
 Render 2
 
 Render 3
 
Final Render

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Character - Improved Alien Concept

As I struggled to create a definitive alien concept previously. I did some more sketches and was very pleased with the final result (bottom left). I now feel that I have three unique characters that I can start to work on more thoroughly in order to get the details right.
 
 

Character Session 9

 This session was our last we ended it on a group commission task. We were split into threes and given a sheet of paper detailing character bio's and environment details for a game. We had to split the work between the group and create concepts for all of the characters and environments. However, at regular intervals we were given additional tasks to complete with short deadlines. For instance, early on we were given the task of designing the logo for the 'Galactic Aviator Force'. In the end we decided on using my design.

Overall I enjoyed this session greatly and I am pleased with most of the concept work I created for the game.

 Our Logo for the Galactic Aviator Force.

Character Design for LX-ER 

Character Design for Dr Kromar Zun
 
Environment Design for the Splicing Chamber

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Character - Refined Character Designs

After using specific character silhouettes as reference, I have drawn out my characters in more detail, focusing on specific features. In particular I have focused on the facial details of both of the plant characters as they will share traits such as mouth and eye design. My alien invader character still requires more work and I have not settled completely on a single design. I may need to do another set of refined ink silhouettes gathering all of the best features of previous work into cohesive designs. I have decided to work mostly in ink for these designs until I make them into digital concepts. This is because I do not want to lose some of the details that can only be achieved through ink work.
 


Plant Character 1
 
Plant Character 2
 
Alien Invader Character 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Character Session 8

In this session we had to design a game based on a specific card that we were all given. I was given the 'robot' card and I designed a card game about two mechanics racing to build their robot before the other, stealing their opponents cards and sabotaging their progress to get ahead and win. We had to design emblems and small details in order to get across information such as health, damage and other traits to our audience. I found this very helpful and it will no doubt come in handy when designing for my own card game.

Page 1 

Page 2 

Page 3

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Narrative - Render and Lighting Testing 2

 Previous Lit Scene

 Changed the Spot Lights to a Lighter Blue

Added Volume Lights to Plant Life to Simulate a Glow
 
 
After adding a little more detail to the lighting testing I had worked with previously, I asked Simon what other techniques I could use to create a deep sea feel to our scene. He said it would mostly come from our work with light in the scene. He did also suggest some subtle particle effects in Aftereffects to move past the camera view. I feel that the bottom render image in this post is quite close to the basic lighting setup of our scene.

Character - Alien Invader Silhouette Work

The silhouettes below are for my 3rd character in my game, which is the alien invader that my two plant characters will be fighting. Overall I am quite happy to take some of these forward into more refined concept work. I feel particularly drawn to numbers 4, 6 and 7. 
 



Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Narrative - Render and Lighting Testing


I have been trying to get a rough mockup of our ravine scene to appear underwater. So far I have tested different lighting techniques, including colour and fog effects. I intend to look into rendering techniques that could help me next as lighting certainly helps but will definitely not be enough on its own. The bottom image is what I have achieved using various lights.
 
Apologies as the images are quite dark as our scene is deep underwater, so a lot of the stronger lights will likely come from the plant life.
 
Basic Lighting setup.

Working with light fog. 

Final result with lighting.

Character - Post OGR Progress

During the character session with Justin, he advised me about how I could develop my three characters more.
 

The three thumbnails above are for my first plant character, he is meant to be the more agile and flexible of my two plant characters, as such Justin suggested that I take the character I had already worked on and make his limbs longer. This helps translate that this character is agile and fast. Of the three silhouettes I have created, I feel that number two is the strongest and is very close to how I want my character to look. I will definitely be taking that design forward and developing it into more refined concept work.

 These three silhouettes above and the six below are both further explorations of my second plant character, I feel that number five is the strongest silhouette of the group but will still need more work. The six thumbnails below seem far too generic to me and as such I will not be considering any of the designs as I move forward with my characters.

The next thing to do now is to create more silhouettes for my third character, the 'alien invader', and then begin more detailed concept work for all three.

Character Session 7

In this session we all individually talked to Justin about our progress so far and how to improve upon our work after the OGR. He suggested multiple things I should consider and some useful points about each of my three characters so far. During the session I also looked into possible card layouts and themes. I am quite happy with the ones I have tried here, but I think that it is something that will be much easier to do once I am finalizing my characters and environment concepts.
 
Page 1 

Page 2 

Page 3

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Maya - Posing Part 4 (1st Playblasts)

The animations of Pose 2 and Pose 3 are both currently broken and are not quite finished for a proper playblast.
 
video
Pose 1

video
Pose 2

video
Pose 3

video
Pose 4
 
video
Pose 5
 


Character - Early Plant Character 1 Concept

This is a quick sketch working from my silhouettes of character 1. I was trying to visualize what kind of features this creature might have and how it may function. This is only experimental but I think this sketch is headed in the right direction for my character concept.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Film Review (Documentary) - Creature Comforts (Nick Park, 1989)


Fig 1. Creature Comforts Poster.

Creature Comforts was originally an animated short film created by Nick Park in 1989. It was a mockumentary that focused on the living conditions of animals in British zoo's. It was created by asking the voice actors specific questions and they would answer them as the animal. The responses given would then be animated using clay animation to create the illusion of the animals giving their opinion on their living conditions.

The animation received widespread acclaim and Nick Park received an 'Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film' for the film in 1990. The film itself is very cleverly constructed. By only including the responses that the animals give without an overarching authors opinion, and also by having many different varied opinions, the film succeeds in raising important questions without any bias. The film throws many issues at the viewer in subtle ways and not a single definitive answer or opinion is given, leaving all of the choice to the viewer.


Fig 2. Puma Interview Still.

Despite the fact that this animation is a lot of separate scenes that contain only animals talking, there is never a boring moment. The background is often filled with other animals animated doing strange and out of character actions. For instance, at one point a tortoise headbutts a volleyball on camera which is not commented on at any point afterwards. Moments like these keep the audience interested in the animation itself and not just the audio, which is obviously the focus of the film.

Illustration List
Park, N (1989) Figure 1. Creature Comforts Poster. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WC5AFJT5L.jpg (Accessed on 16/11/15)

Park, N (1989) Figure 2. Puma Interview Still. https://static.shortoftheweek.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/creature-comforts.jpg (Accessed on 16/11/15)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Character - OGR 1


Character - Game Outline

The background to this game is as follows;

Set on another world where an intelligent plant-like species thrive in harmony with their ecosystem. A group of alien invaders appear in pods and become violent against the plant creatures, forcing the creatures to take drastic measures to fight back and defend their planet. While the alien invaders have superior technology, the plant creatures have one advantage. They can use the light from their sun to mutate and become stronger/tougher.

The alien invaders are an advanced race that can travel through space, while the plant creatures are only a tribal species.

Game Mechanics:

It is a card game.

At the start of the game you are given a selection of plant characters to choose from that all have their own initial benefits.

During the game there are two decks that you draw from periodically, one is a 'mutation' deck and the other is an 'enemy' deck.

The 'mutation' deck includes cards that either strengthen your character or hinder it.

The 'enemy' deck includes cards that show alien invader characters. You have to fight using the plant character that you have built up using 'mutation' cards to defeat them. This will likely be done using statistics on the cards e.g. strength, agility, cunning.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Character Session 6

In this session we were working on combining multiple animals into one animal. I found this session to be really useful, as I'm sure I can use some of the techniques taught to strengthen my own game characters.
 
 Page 1
 
Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Character Project - Initial Environment Thumbnails

I have started to explore environment designs. For example, thumbnail 1 is an example of a pod where the alien characters could crawl out of in the background of the main environment design. Many other thumbnails including 2, 3, 7 and 11 are explorations of possible plant life for this planet. Let me know what you think.
 


Character Project - Refined Plant Character Silhouettes

Here are some more refined silhouettes for my plant character, I have used more precise ink strokes to create these silhouettes and I am very happy with these thumbnails. Feel free to let me know what you think.
 


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Film Review (Exploitation) - Mad Max Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)


Fig 1. Mad Max Fury Road Poster.

This film begins with Max himself being captured by a group who call themselves 'the war boys' who follow a dictator named Immortan Joe. Max is brought back to a place called the citadel, where Immortan Joe rules over a large population of people. He is used as a blood donor for one of their warriors but once he is taken out onto the road with 'the war boys', he eventually escapes after a battle occurs between them and a woman driving a large oil tanker which has been stolen from Immortan Joe. He manages to catch up to the tanker after the conflict and attempts to take the tanker from her and a group of women she is taking with her. However, shortly after taking the tanker, its engine fails and he is forced let her and the others come with him in exchange for fixing the engine. She introduces herself as Furiosa and tells him that the women she is helping to escape with her are Immortan Joe's wives.


Fig 2. Conflict Scene.

She tells him that they intend to travel far to a place she calls 'the green place'. After a lot more conflicts and problems, they eventually make it to where 'the green place' was supposed to be, only to be welcomed by a group of old women Furiosa knows to be a tribe called the 'Vuvalini'. After discovering that there is no green place there, they all agree to head back to the citadel as they know that there is ample food and water there and it may be possible to take control of it. After a large chaotic final battle, they manage to kill Immortan Joe and the majority of his army of war boys, allowing them to take the citadel with ease. The film finishes with Furiosa and Joe's wives being cheered by the populace of the citadel and Max walking away and fading into the crowd.

The plot for this film is incredibly simple, when broken down it is literally a group moving from point A to point B, then after not finding what they want, moving back to point A. When compared to the original 'Mad Max' film, which is without a doubt an expoitation film. An expoitation film being a film that exploits certain trends and interests that the current audience has. The original 'Mad Max' is a revenge film with a lot of car and bike chases, violence and dangerous stunts. When compared, this latest film has the same simplicity in terms of story and plot, with a lot of exciting conflicts piled on top. As such it would seem that this film is also an exploitation film. It is also seemingly exploiting the same trends that the original film was, which makes sense considering it is part of the same series.

Illustration List

Miller, G (2015) Figure 1. Mad Max Fury Road Poster. http://i.imgur.com/tY3sbBZ.jpg (Accessed on 03/11/15)

Miller, G (2015) Figure 2. Conflict Scene. http://3gem.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/hekhd7g1ddmnboxclncm.jpg (Accessed on 07/11/15)

Friday, 6 November 2015

Narrative - 'Ravine' Script Version 2

‘Ravine’ Script
Version 1

Fade in

Shot 1
Title ‘Ravine’ shown in centre of screen, in between two hills of sea plants.

Cut to

Shot 2
Fish 1 swims diagonally across camera view.

Cut to

Shot 3
Scene of sea plants swaying with the current.

Cut to

Shot 4
Fish 1 swims up across camera view.

Cut to

Shot 5
Fish 2 swims calmly across sea bed scene.

Cut to

Shot 6
Fish 2’s tail swims past plants, the plants noticeably sway in the direction of the tail as it moves, as if they are attracted to it.

Cut to

Shot 7
Group of plants stretch upwards as if in pursuit of something.

Cut to

Shot 8
Fish 1 swims in a panic, closely followed by plants from previous shot.

Cut to

Shot 9
Close-up of Fish 1’s face. Fish 1 noticeably bobs in shot.

Fade to

Shot 10
Extreme close-up of Fish 1’s face. Camera slowly zooms in during shot.

Cut to

Shot 11
Much larger mass of plants cover the camera. Camera pans left to reveal Fish 2 being chased by the plants.

Fade to

Shot 12
Fish 2 moves from open seabed into dense coral field. Still pursued by plants.

Cut to

Shot 13
Fish 2 swims frantically through coral to escape plants.

Fade to

Shot 14
Fish 2 swimming upwards, plants begin to close in and surround from below.

Cut to

Shot 15
Fish 1 is trapped by plants and is slowly covered as more and more plants close in. Camera noticeably shifts during shot.

Cut to

Shot 16
Fish 2 swims across from left, still pursued closely by plants. Fish 2 is almost trapped by plants but breaks free and gets away.

Cut to

Shot 17
Extreme close-up of Fish 1’s eye surrounded by plants. Camera slowly zooms in during shot.

Cut to

Shot 18
Far shot revealing Fish 2 on the left and Fish 1 on the right almost completely encompassed by plants. Both fish look at each other. A ravine is shown between them.

Cut to

Shot 19
Close-up of Fish 2’s face. Camera remains stationary as Fish 2 swims to the right and out of view. Fish 2’s tail disappears off screen.


Fade out

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Narrative - 'Ravine' Script Version 1

‘Ravine’ Script
Version 1

Fade in

Shot 1
Title ‘Ravine’ shown in centre of screen, in between two hills of sea plants.

Cut to

Shot 2
Fish 1 swims diagonally across camera view.

Cut to

Shot 3
Scene of sea plants swaying with the current.

Cut to

Shot 4
Fish 1 swims up across camera view.

Cut to

Shot 5
Fish 2 swims calmly across sea bed scene.

Cut to

Shot 6
Group of plants stretch upwards as if in pursuit of something.

Cut to

Shot 7
Fish 1 swims in a panic, closely followed by plants from previous shot.

Cut to

Shot 8
Close-up of Fish 1’s face. Fish 1 noticeably bobs in shot.

Fade to

Shot 9
Extreme close-up of Fish 1’s face. Camera slowly zooms in during shot.

Cut to

Shot 10
Much larger mass of plants cover the camera. Camera pans left to reveal Fish 2 being chased by the plants.

Fade to

Shot 11
Fish 2 moves from open seabed into dense coral field. Still pursued by plants.

Cut to

Shot 12
Fish 2 swims frantically through coral to escape plants.

Fade to

Shot 13
Fish 2 swimming upwards, plants begin to close in and surround from below.

Cut to

Shot 14
Fish 1 is trapped by plants and is slowly covered as more and more plants close in. Camera noticeably shifts during shot.

Cut to

Shot 15
Fish 2 swims across from left, still pursued closely by plants. Fish 2 is almost trapped by plants but breaks free and gets away.

Cut to

Shot 16
Extreme close-up of Fish 1’s eye surrounded by plants. Camera slowly zooms in during shot.

Cut to

Shot 17
Far shot revealing Fish 2 on the left and Fish 1 on the right almost completely encompassed by plants. Both fish look at each other. A ravine is shown between them.

Cut to

Shot 18
Close-up of Fish 2’s face. Camera remains stationary as Fish 2 swims to the right and out of view. Fish 2’s tail disappears off screen.


Fade out

Maya - Posing a Rig Part 3 (Middle Pose)

 Pose 1 Beginning

Pose 1 Middle
 
 Pose 1 End
 
 Pose 2 Beginning

Pose 2 Middle
 
 Pose 2 End
 
 Pose 3 Beginning

Pose 3 Middle
 
 Pose 3 End
 
 Pose 4 Beginning

Pose 4 Middle
 
 Pose 4 End
 
 Pose 5 Beginning

Pose 5 Middle
 
Pose 5 End