Sunday, 20 December 2015

Santa (with directions from a 4yr old) | Personal Work | Timed | Photoshop

Originally this started out as a drawing challenge for myself but with a 4 year old jabbering in my ear it became a quick time challenge with his art direction. 

It HAD to look like it was snowing, with a RED hat and coat and a BIG beard... Oh and we NEEDED Santa's name written on it too. Alll under 4 minutes as he was getting impatient...

I'll redo this challenge again later when he's not next to me so I draw without him poking the screen or grabbing the pen or making silly noises....

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Part Textured Scene | Hibernaculumis | Work In Progress | Maya

I've started the texturing process and plotting in some basic window shapes. I'm not sure if they seem too clustered yet but I will add them to the other buildings first in this manor before I make a better decision.

UVs Completed | Hibernaculumis | Work In Progress | Maya

All the buildings have been modelled, the trees and path added and I've applied the UV map to everything!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Ice Landscape Test | Photoshop | What If

Original Attempt 

With help from Jordan

Latest test

I've decided that my city will be based around snow and ice. To help with my thumbnails I tried to create a landscape to help with colouring for the thumbnails. In my first thumbnail I attempted to paint 'blind' which ended with some warm tones. I asked Jordan for helped and he reuses my painting and did a 'paint over' and helped me with a lot of tips and ideas. After this I decided to retry using The tips and I think it has come out a lot better than my first attempt. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Hibernaculumis | Work In Progress | Maya

This is the work that I have completed so far in my Maya scene! With a few small hiccups along the way, I have manage to model all of my buildings which are all looking great! I've mapped out some of the UV's which do need a bit more work on, just to make sure that my textures lie across the surface properly. Finally, I've mapped out a rough version of my city. This isn't my final piece but a great test version which has allowed me to scale all the buildings and set the city layout and the camera angle as well as some basic lighting!

The images above show my progress from when I first imported all the buildings into a test scene and replacing some buildings with better models, to testing lighting and basic UVs. The final image was a test with the matte painting to check the colour of the lighting used in the scene.

My next tasks are:

  • to add in windows and doors 
  • UV the remaining buildings

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Making the Buildings in 3D | Maya | What If

I've finally started making my buildings. I struggled with this for a few days trying to make these from shapes such as cylinders but I've since realised that as long as I get the correct angle, I can make them via block modelling. A lot of the shapes used to make these buildings are repeated but have been rescaled. This is helping with the pace of working and is creating some great results.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Concept Art Update | Photoshop | What If

The repaint of my concept art is almost complete. It's been taking a lot longer to complete than I first thought it would but I'm definitely happy with the progress I've made so far on it. I just need to add in the windows and doors with a few final touches and it will be done!

Alleyway Scene | Complete | Tutorial | Maya

AO pass, Diffuse pass, Matt pass

Final image after photoshop

Here is the finished Alleyway scene. This was great to make as I've definitely learnt a lot about this process. It was a lot more intensive than I first thought it would be but it has given me a great insight into what to do with my city when I create that in Maya too.

Texturing | Alleyway Scene | Tutorial | Maya

Left - walls and floor complete
Right - wood and poster complete
With the texturing completed (part 4 complete) I thought now would be a good time to post an update before I finish the bump, spec and final composite.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Alleyway Update | Lighting | Tutorial | Maya | Screenshots

The lighting is now done for the alleyway scene. These are the 12 renders I took of the scene throughout the process from start to finish.

Eyes | Life Drawing | Draw With Jazza

I've been struggling in the Life drawing classes to get several features of the models correct, like the eyes, hands and feet. So! To help me with this, I've decided to do one of 'Draw With Jazza's' Tutorials a week! 
Today I've followed his tutorial on how to draw eyes for comic and cartoon characters. This of course applies to real life drawings as well and has taught me how to proportion the eyes and what shape eye fits with the angle of the face.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Jake the Giraffe | Progress | Animation | Flash

I've been tweaking my little Giraffe in Flash. This time I've flung his neck forwards a bit when he hits the ground. I've also added a background although this might just be temporary at the moment as I''m not such that the pixelated effect suits Jake as much as I first thought it would.

I've also just noticed that his tail is not as animated and seems to hover in mid air when he hits the ground. Time to edit it some more!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Progress of Rework | Photoshop | What If

I've been carrying on with the rework of my final concept art. I'm happy with this layout and I'm now using the new techniques Jordan had shown me yesterday to help rework and paint into my piece.
Work so far:

  • I've sorted the sky and the skyline to show the city extending back further.
  • Grass, hill and path have been extended and merged together a little better with hightlights.
  • Started the paint over of three of the buildings as the black outline around them breaks the illusions of depth.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Rework of Final Concept Art | Photoshop | What If

New Composition
Help from Jordan and learning new techniques
Following on from my recent OGR feedback, I have rearranged my composition to have the outcome above. I think this is starting to feel much more like a city. I have had a chat with Jordan about what to do next with my final piece and have written a lot of notes down with next ideas and techniques to try out. I shall scan these later on and put them on the blog as reference and carry on working into the piece. 

Bouncing Giraffe | Animation | Flash

After my bouncing ball animation, I felt that it wasn't conclusive and had something slightly off about the piece. For the next stage, I manipulated the bouncing ball into the body of the giraffe and the smaller ball into his tail. I think this was a huge success as I still don't feel 100% confident when using Flash.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Alleyway Update | Tutorial | Maya | Screenshots

I'm part way through the lighting tutorial and I realised I hadn't posted an update on the Alley Way scene for a while! The UV layout is complete. This process took slightly longer than I anticipated as moving the file backwards and forwards from uni (Windows computer at uni, Mac at home) is messing slightly with the material that I had assigned. Now I have worked out how to change this back and fix it, it is a very quick change before continuing. Now onwards onto the lighting!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Online Green light Review 2 | What If

Final Concept Art | Gif | What If

Final Concept Art | Photoshop | What If

This is the final concept art for my city. I chose to light the scene as if it was sunrise as I thought it would add an extra sense of depth. Iris does a similar thing of adding several tones of one fabric into a piece and then adds in an opposite to really draw attention to certain parts of the dresses.

Scale Comparison of Buildings | Photoshop | What If

Once my orthographs were completed, I wanted to show the difference in size for them all. If all of the buildings were on a flat piece of land, this is how they would look side by side in front view, back view and side view.

Orthographs 3 | Photoshop | What If

Here are the final orthographs for buildings 5 and 6 of my city. My favourite out all all of them definitely has to be building 6 and its bubble like appearance. I'm thinking of doing a 'scaled orthograph' where all the buildings are lined up side by side for each view to show the size difference between the buildings.

Orthographs 2 | Photoshop | What If

This is my second page of orthographs. Once again, I've added in a basic colour version beneath with the texture to show how they look as line work and as the model itself.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Orthographs 1 | Photoshop | What If

These are the orthographs for the first two buildings. I've also placed below it the final colouring and textures onto them for comparison. I think they look great so far and the scale of them is really starting to become clear. They should be straight forward to model in Maya because of their repetitive nature which will be helpful when modelling.

Colour Tests 2 | Photoshop | What If

This is the second page of colour tests that I have done. This is quite an odd building for me to visualise in any colour other than the original green so 9 different colours were a great way to see the textures and shapes etc.

Colour Tests 1 | Photoshop | What If

Whilst working on the orthographs for the buildings, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test out the colours using the palette I've selected from Iris's work. I've created these 6 versions of the first building and I think all of them work really well! Just by changing the colour, it is giving them the illusion of different rock types. Initially I think I'm going to use number 3 (top right) as its more subdued and doesn't jump out at you, although I might change this later on.

Colour Scheme | Colour Picking | Photoshop | What If

To help with colouring my city, I've used the colour picker to take a range of colours and shades directly from Iris Van Herpen's work. By doing this, I feel it will help me discover a better tonal range for the rocky buildings, trees and other aspects of my city. When painting my final concept art / thumbnails, I will select certain colours out of this palette to take forward and experiment with. These will also be the colours that I will try and base the mood around for Hibernaculumis. This will include colour comps.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Le Belle et La Bete | 1946 | Film Review

Fig 1 - Film poster for La Bele et La Bete

Jan Cocteau's La Belle et La Bete (1946) is what you may see as the original, darker and more perverse version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The fairy tail revolves around Belle (literal translation - Beauty) and her almost twisted whirlwind romance with the La Bete (the Beast). This film unlike its counterpart choses to focus its story on family and love, rather than magic and singing tea cups.
"...there is something bizarrely romantic in her holding out in this way, and in the Beast's very un-beastlike gallantry. And all combined with this strange Freudian sacrifice for her father — or perhaps it is to her father. It is formally exquisite and heartfelt and entirely absorbing: a secret fairytale for adults." (P. Bradshaw, 2014)
Belle sacrifices herself to la Bete to save her fathers life. While lost roaming the forest he stumbled upon la Bete's castle and taking a single rose which Belle had asked for, he was given a choice to pay with his life or select one of his daughters to be held prisoner for his actions. She believes it was her fault for the mess her father is in and willing goes to la Bete. It's only around this time that we start to see him through his facade. Gentle and calm rather than the cruel and feral like being we see at the start. 

Fig 2 - Belle entering the castle for the first time, surround by human arms holding the candelabras.
There is clear magical presence which is often seen in la Bete's castle, with arms intertwined with the furniture and decorations. Some heads are even positioned on the fireplace! Rodger Erbert noted it, stating
"It's entrance hall is lined with candelabra held by living human arms that extend from the walls. The statues are alive, and their eyes
follow the progress of the characters..." (R. Erbert, 1999)
Magic is often hinted at through out the film but not as the whimsical magic of cartoons and fairy godmothers, the 'magic' here is more of punishment. Is this supposed to relate to the riches that he obviously controls or that the outside world is merely onlookers to the events unfolding before them? This film is not meant to be straight forward with its thinking, but to allow the audience to speculate at its every twist and turn. 

Fig 3 - La Bete standing behind Belle who is seated at the table.
Before long we see Beauty beg to return home to see her father whom she missed dearly. The beast agrees with much reluctance because if she stayed away for longer he would die of grief. (Why he could not use his magic to transport himself to her every night is questionable although It would definitely prove the attachment issues for both parties.) he gives her a parting gift of a golden key which will unlock the door to all of his treasures.

"...glittering temple of Diana, wherein the mystery of the Beast is revealed, the visual progression of the fable into a dream-world casts its unpredictable spell." (B. Crowther, 1947)

When she return back to her family, it is clear to see she has risen from rags to riches rather gracefully. Her sisters green with envy and jealousy, steal the golden key sending the two young gentlemen off to steal the riches. Unfortunately, they fail resulting in death by arrow (fired by the statue of Diana.) Belle uses the magical teleportation glove to hurry back to her love where he is transformed from a beast to a man who just happens to resemble the young gentleman whom we just saw die. She accepts his wishes to marry her before the both rise up into the sky.

Peter Bradshaw, 2 January 2014

Roger Erbert, December 26 1999

Bosley Crowther, December 24 1947

Fig 1 -
Fig 2 -
Fig 3 -

Test Shot Layout | Photoshop | What If

Original Attempt

Rework of tonal range and colour version when converted
Before experimenting with my building shapes in a scene, I wanted to do a test shot using an angle that I've never worked in before. Jordan pointed out that I had my tonal range back to front and shown em how to change the file to have a black and white proof setting to work in. This helped me re do the piece while keeping the colours close to what they would be in real life.

I need some more practise and experience with working in Black and White because I want to place lighter objects at the front and the darker in the back which is throwing the tone and mood of my pieces off completely.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Online Green Light Review 1 | What If

Sorry for the delay in posting the final OGR 1. Here it is, complete with travelog (has been uploaded before).
I thought I'd previously managed to post a basic version of this but apparently due to internet problems, it never uploaded. My apologies! I shall have to keep a closer eye on what posts and what does not!

Travelogue | What If


When you first stumble across Hibernaculumis it feels almost by chance. You probably saw the shapes off in the distance but didn't think anything more of it. When you travel closer across the land and see the shapes of the rocks more clearly, is assumably when you realised that there is more than meets the eye with this place.

Hibernaculumis is often celebrated for its decorative landscape and the buildings that seem so other worldly. Not too far back into history, the landscape in which this city was built, it could have been described as barren and lacking in life. The land was once full of rocks that seemly appeared from nowhere. Cliffs over look the city from most angles but these formations look like they were always detached and lonely. Over the years the acidic winds and stormy atmosphere reshaped the land dramatically. No longer looking so jagged and rough, they began to show almost intricately built shapes. The houses and buildings that you see before you were not sculpted by man but by the weather over hundreds of years. 

The people who chose to dwell in this city were nomads not too long ago either before they stumbled across this city. They saw the shapes in the rock formations that Mother Nature had carved so beautifully for them and began to carve deeper themselves. Only this time they chiselled away to create houses and buildings inside these formations. They took from the rock, never adding; choosing to admire the work of nature, treating it like a work of art. Only sculpting for their own needs when they deemed necessary. First came the housing. Then the hospitals and shops  and businesses when their city became more established. 

The folk who live here chose the formation for the building. The more intricate the design on the outside, the more significant the building. This does not always reflect the wealth or social status of those within. They love this landscape for its architecture and will often have a choice of where to place their house or business.  

Each building is unique. Each seems to be formed from a different type of rock. The wind and weather affected them in such dramatic ways. When the travellers first appeared, not all of the formations were symmetrical. This is the only time they change the outside, to make it more aesthetically appeasing to the eye. The city is always growing, always under construction but the religion within the Hibernaculumis has never changed for as long as memory can recall. 

There are no gods or goddesses as such for these people, they worship nature itself. In this modern age, the closest religion we can compare it too is Wicca. They thank nature for its gifts and constant protection, the weather, produce and health. Their medicines may seem prehistoric but they claim to draw from the 'magick' within the herbs and plants that they chose. All grown from the surrounding land, these people believe that nature is nurturing those who live there.

Although this city may seem newer than most, carving rock is a pain staking process that takes time and care. No one can pin point when this city was first established but they all agree that the founders of Hibernaculumis stumbled across this place by the blessing of nature. No real fact remains surrounding this subject, for it is now used as a bed time story for the children. 

Food is not much of an issue for this city. They are descended from foragers. Choosing to live on what the earth provides for them. They grow plants, herbs and berries for themselves all year round and only eat meat when the wildlife roams nearby. The meat from the hunts are often shared with the young, elderly and the sick before others can claim some for themselves. They also keep a close eye on the populations of animals around them, believing that mother nature occasionally allows a boom for the city folk to feed upon before reducing them back to a safe number. The plants they grow are not only in the grounds surrounding the buildings. The buildings themselves have many ledges on. When adding a thin layer of soil to these, the plants soon take root, fixing themselves to the rock beneath. They believe that by letting the plant life do this, it connects these rocky formations to the earth, bringing them closer to nature. Most homes only grow berries whereas the shops, cafes and restaurants grow all sorts of herbs, spices and vegetables. How they grow so well is a mystery none the less but it works well for these humble people. 

The people here don't just live on the ground. With the ever growing city expanding day by day, the workers build some temporary buildings in the trees surrounding the new project. They act as shelter from the wind and rain, where some chose to spend the night rather than venturing home in the darkened streets; and some even stay here until the project is done, moving in after the work is complete. These are not your typical tree houses, but more of a community of workers. Often built up in clumps of 6 or more, they become their own family. Once construction is complete, they move their mini community to the next build location.

All of the streets and buildings are lit with candles. Made by the women of Hibernaculumis while nurturing their babies; they sell them back to the city for a small price, to help light up the extravagant buildings by night and provide beautiful decoration by day. 

Hibernaculumis is a truly breath taking place. They say once you've been there and have been so lucky to watch the sunrise over tops of the buildings, it will change your view on the world today, leaving you breathless and open to Mother Nature herself. Only time will tell if you will miss the city as much as I will but it is sure to stick in your memories for a long, long time.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Bouncing Ball | Animation | Flash

Realised I hadn't posted this. It's my attempt at a bouncing ball. My timings are slightly off as I know that the first decent should be a lot quicker. I might retry this soon just to improve on timings and apply the squash and stretch animation principle.