Thursday, 1 December 2011

Lighting and Compositing & Major project

Hey everyone, bit of a late update but hey ho...I've now finished my lighting and compositing project and I'm quite pleased with how its turned out.

To start we had to light a scene with materials such as metal and glass as well as do reflective lighting all with standard lights so there was no use of global illumination ect. We had one day to do this although we could go back and change it, in the end I left it how it was to concentrate on the bigger parts of the assignment.

Then we moved on to the lighting of the untextured hand model that was created at the start of the year, this turned out fairly well and I only used 3 photometric lights in the scene. Here is the finished result.

Then we had to move on the the compositing part of the assignment, this was the part I think I was most successful in but we shall see when I get the grades...I decided to do an exterior night time shot and an interior daylight shot as they would show the widest variety of skill if they worked out well, although I did only add one model to each (or 2 of the same model) to keep it simple so I didn't try to bite of more than I could chew like normally. 

Here is the exterior shot...

And here's my interior shot...

Hope you guys like it and feel free to leave feedback in the comments about any improvements/things you like, its always welcome :)

As a final note I now have to keep a blog or diary of the major project to hand in for marks at the end of the project. The link is here if you interested and I'll try to add a tab at the top of the page. I've created a new blog for this just so people who follow me don't get spammed with updates :)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Textures and Grades

Hi everyone, sorry its been a long time since my last post, didn't have the internet at all over reading week, then I was busy handing in my texturing assignment for uni, then....well I just forgot...

But anyway to start with I got my first marks of the 2nd year and the first marks that count towards my final uni grade... the project was the modelling texturing and skinning of a hand (which is on this blog) luckily I managed to do well with a 2:1 at 68%, so only 2% off a first which is great for my first art project, it was a really confidence booster :)

Now on to more recent stuff, I finished the texturing project on Monday and was pretty pleased with the results, texturing was always the bit I was most concerned with when I switched to art and I've had some decent feedback off peers so it should go well

First off here's the Beer Keg turnaround...

Then the Shipping Container...

Now the deodorant bottle...

And finally the jewellery box...

Overall I'm pleased with what I produced, but there are a few problems such as the smoothing groups on the deodorant bottle and the jewellery box wasn't great in the end, but i did have quite a few problems when transfer mapping and generating ambient occlusion maps towards the end of the project.

I'm also working on a side project at the moment while the the work load isn't too much, I'm quite excited about it personally although it's not really a big thing, ill post an update showing it over the next few days.

So a fairly successful start to the year! Bring on the rest of it!

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Movember Update

So I'm now half way through the current uni project of creating 2 boxes and 2 barrels of any kind with the emphasis on the level of texture detail. This is something pretty new to me so I'm fairly pleased with how its turning out so far

With all of the models I have just gotten the basics of the textures down so that they can be checked over by tutors and given the okay before I start adding smaller details. this is what I've done so far...

My Cargo Container...

My Jewellery Box...

My Beer Keg...

And my Deodorant Can...

I've only just started texturing the deodorant can so its just block colours at the moment to test its working, and most of the models don't have a working normal and specular map yet, and if they do its not finalised

Also as I side note I'm taking part in Movember and shaving off my beard and moustache to raise money for charity, I have a donation page HERE if anyone would like to help out towards a great cause, thanks :)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Art, Crates, Skulls and Tings

Hi, all been a while since I updated my blog so I thought I would give everyone an update on whats been happening.

First things first, I've decided to take the plunge and swap over to the art side of the course...I'll be completing the art assignment for this years minor project and at the end I can either stick with art or switch back to animation if I find I don't like it, so that's reassuring.

So for this years minor project (which is 4 weeks long) I have to create 2 barrels and 2 boxes which have diffuse, specular and bump maps on them. I point of this project is to do as little modelling as possible and rely entirely on the textures to carry the project so it will be a good test to see if I enjoy it enough to follow it through for the rest of the course.

Today we had a quick lecture on texturing and got given some photos to work into our texture, so I made this crate in an hour or two...

In other news I have been trying to improve my drawing by doing an hour or two every night. So far I have been working on anatomy and trying to get character proportions right, but today I decided to try something different and used Photoshop to sketch some skulls to try and help me with facial proportions and also to work on my sketching in Photoshop using a tablet as its something I've never really tried before.

It's not great, but then that's the point of practising, so if I keep it up I'll hopefully see an improvement *crosses fingers*

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Another Hand

Hey everyone, it's about time I did another blog post as I haven't done one since the end of my first uni project since I've been quite busy with my 2nd project...the storyboarding...but I'll explain that another time...

The first assignment lasted 2 weeks and we have to model, texture, rig and skin a hand (as well as create the bug posted in the last blog post)

First off here is the low poly model of the hand

Then the mesh smoothed hand

The low poly turned out to be 999 polys, which was quite lucky as we were told to keep it below 1000. I was really happy with how the modelling went and so I'm thinking about doing this years minor project as an Artist to see which path I enjoy more...I'll let you know what I decide to do later

After this we had to texture and skin the hand, this is the skinned model

And here is the final textured model of the hand

I was quite pleased with how the skinning turned out but I didn't have time to add some of the fancier skinning techniques like the tendons as it took a few days to get the skin modifier to for the texturing it was done quite fast as I didn't have much time for that but for the short time I had to do it I was reasonably pleased

Sunday, 2 October 2011

100 Faces

Well uni has gotten off to a great start, really enjoying myself now I'm back and getting loads done, the hand modelling we have to do for our assignment has been so good that its making me consider switching over to the art side of the course even though I will be somewhat behind...but that's for another time...

As for this post I'm going back in time and submitting something I completed over summer but never get round to putting up here, so here are my 100 faces, which was a task set over on the Ctrl+Paint website where they suggested you pick something your bad at and then draw it 100 times to improve. And I hate drawing faces so this took me a while to do but I hope you'll agree that I have improved at least a slight bit since I started. :)

Sorry about the poor quality and poor Photoshop mashing it together, you cans see a bigger image Here, and then click zoom, but its still not great...

Maybe I'm just embarrassing myself by posting about switching to art and then  posting some badly drawn faces at the same time but you know...

Ill be posting the model of my hand over the next few days so everyone can say what they think I'm better at doing, will be interesting to see what people think :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

4AM? It must be blogging time!

So today was my first day as a 2nd year at the University of Glamorgan and I was excited to get back into work...

The first mini project we've had to do is model and insect in 24hours as a practice for the modelling of a hand over the next 2 weeks. I have obviously not done much modelling as an animator (other than what I've posted on this blog) and this was the first piece I've had to do professionally.

Its been fun so far but has taken up lots of my time as I get to grips with lots of new tools and features I've never used, hence why I'm only just finishing rendering it at gone 4 in the morning :)

I decided to model a Hercules Beetle as its interesting as well as very identifiable making it easier to create something that will make people realise what it is. Another reason I chose this insect was its made up of large solid objects with gentle curves and a smooth body, this helps when making the model as I cannot go into too much detail with my little experience over such a short period of time.

But here is the final product, when meshsmoothed it's 4090 Polys

Here is the turnaround

And here is the mesh turnaround

The renders havnt quite turned out how I wanted but its 4 in the morning and I'm tired, I'll redo them in the time I have tomorrow, as for now, time for bed, need to be up at 9 for a lecture...phew its non stop :)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Uni Year 2!

Woo hoo! So I made it to the 2nd year, and I'm glad to be back. I get my first Assignment on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to getting back into the working mood.

In preparation fro the start of the 2nd year I've been doing some drawings (which I will post at a later date when they're completed) and also finished what I could of the Kizard animation before uni began.

In the end I decided to scrap the running animation as it was taking too long to make for the time I had and if I focused just on the walking/sneaking I could get that to a decent standard, so here is what the final animation turned out like :)

As from now on the posts of work will become much more frequent again as the work load increases :D

Sunday, 18 September 2011

My First No Work Post

Hey everyone, sorry for my lack of work being posted up recently, been very busy with lots going on at home and with the move back up to Cardiff to start my 2nd year of uni

Ill be back to posting work up soon and I will post my uni work up here too so there will be plenty to show, as for now I just need to get settled in and make sure everything is sorted

Looking forward to the next year of uni and I'll keep everyone updated with my work as I go along :)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Kizard Running

It's been a while since I last posted an update on my work as I've been busy enjoying myself in the weeks coming up to going back to Uni, which I can't wait to get back too :)

As for the work I've been doing in the mean time, I've been focusing on my drawing more as its been an area that needs improvement for quite some time, so I've been working on quick 60 second poses to get back into the drawing and to practice my scale of anatomy.

Another thing I have been working on is drawing 100 faces, which was an idea on Ctrl+Paint to draw 100 of anything you struggle with to practice and get better at your biggest weakness, so I decided to work on faces as it's an area I consider myself to be poor at...but I have seen improvements in my work already and I have only draw around 40 so far...Ill post all 100 when they're finished (which I hope to do before beginning my 2nd year of uni) and you can all laugh at my poor drawing but you will hopefully be able to see an improvement...

As for the animation side of things, I have been working on the Kizard animation still and have begun to add some more to the animation. After it has walked carefully, looking around as it does so, he breaks into a run which makes the animation less of a cycle and more dynamic. Currently the walk at then beginning is mostly done, with just some polishing needed...the transition between walk and run needs to be worked on and possibly extended so it takes longer to speed up...and the run is still in its early stage as it has only half been animated with things like the wings having no animation yet.

As always feedback is welcomed and I would like to hear what people have to say of the animation so far :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Small Update

Its been longer than usual since my last post, and there's not all that much to report on...maybe I'm getting lazy and should do some more work...

I've mostly been working on quick sketches to keep my drawing skills up and not slip behind...who knows, I may even get better and maybe even get to an acceptable standard...but I think that might be a long way away :)

As for the animation, I've been mostly working on the skinning and have sorted out a few areas that had yet to be skinned properly or skinned badly so I can now begin working on the animation some more. Hopefully the project will only take another week or two before I have a finished animation but the main target is to have it done before I move back to uni, which I will be doing on the 17th of September, and I cant wait to get back to uni and get some work done :D

Here is the most recent render of the animation...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Kizard 2012

So I'm back from my holiday in Ibiza, had a great time and enjoyed just taking a few days to relax without having anything to worry for now...its back to work :)

As I mentioned last week I've put my modelling on hold for a while as I animate fellow class mate Kieran Mckay's model, and its been a fun and challenging project so far. The skinning of the project has been hard and every time I think its skinned properly I check it in my animation to find its completely wrong...but trial and error shall save the day.

The actual animation is of the lizard...thing to be doing a sneaky walk as if stalking prey or hiding from something. At the moment I haven't been animating it very long and some of the skinning such as the arms and the front of the thighs need some work as well as the actual foot placements as more skinning needs to be done there too, but this is what I have so far...

I also downloaded 3DS Max 2012 which looks very nice but doesn't really change all that much for us animators...not that I've found yet anyway. The only thing to really affect me is I found I could no longer use the skin modifier to skin the model as I was unable to select points while having the weight adjuster open, I eventually found a fix for this that can be downloaded from Autodesk, if you haven't found it already, Here.

Also one last thing...everyone who loves games, or likes to play a game from time to time, check out the Humble Indie Bundle, its a bunch of small game developers getting together to raise money for charity, you pay what you want and choose how much goes to the developers and how much goes to the charities, so get over there and splash some cash now, give to charity and get some great games :)

Thanks for reading and give me any feedback you can other than the obvious skinning errors ;)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Anybody Need A Hand?

So last week I modelled the head and had a rough body done, but I decided the body was done all wrong and it would be quicker to redo the entire thing than it would be to try and fix it, so I've started again and decided to do the body in lots of separate pieces as I can add all the detail I wanted without having to worry about the rest of the body and will hopefully turn out better than before.

The hand isn't complete yet, as you can see, some of the shapes are not quite there like the finger tips and the palm but the majority of the hand is there and I'm quite pleased with how its gone so far.

But for now this project is on hold while I work on my next project which is animating a great model done by fellow class mate Kieran Mckay who has his own blog here. I'm really excited about working on this project as the model looks great and should be something very different to the stuff I've been doing recently.

As for now I'm off on holiday for a week in Ibiza :D so no updates for a while but I'll sure to be back to it afterwards :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

It's a Boy!

So I've started my new project which involves modelling a human, which is something I've never done before...and so far it's going well.

I posted the work in progress shot of the body last time, which still needs some major work to take shape, but I thought doing the head would be an interesting project in itself and would help me define how my character should look.

As I had never done a face in 3DS MAX before and had no idea where to start I decided to follow a tutorial (Check it out here) which used polygonal modelling starting from just one polygon and expanding from there, something else I haven't tried.

I then had to alter the finished piece as I wanted the character to be male and the tutorial is for a female head, so I tweaked it around somewhat and it now (hopefully) looks like a man.

This has been a great learning experience for me as I've learnt a new modelling technique, finished my first face which makes the next one less daunting and learnt all sort of tips and tricks to use while modelling.

I'm hoping to define the mouth some more and add teeth and a tongue in the future so that I can animate it talking and hopefully acting on the body when I've finished it.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Run Cycle Results

That's it then, I have completed my run cycle challenge.

I have done my normal run, knight run and soldier run cycles over the past 3 weeks and I'm pretty pleased with the results (although I'm sure I wont be in a few weeks).

Ill post the 2 run cycles I've already posted up first and then I'll post my newest run, enjoy...

I've also started work on my next project, which is something different for me.

I decided to attempt some modelling as I have done very little of it in 3DS Max so far and its something I would like to get good at. I've not attempted a human character yet so its been quite a challenge so far.

Don't worry about thinking how bad it is, and how many horrible mistakes there are, I'm sure ill find most of them as I work on it, but by all means point any out if you spot them, it will help me further down the road :)

I've also updated my artwork page, so give that a look too :) 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cryptic Soldier Run

So the final run cycle of the challenge is upon us, and time is running short...

The cycle is going well so far as I have animated the feet manually again and not like I attempted to with the knight. The weight is coming along better with this run although its not altogether there and I struggled slightly with the arm movements which need some more tweaking.

Other than that the run is going quite well and its done in the style of a soldier keeping low to avoid fire while also running. Here it is, feedback will be appreciated. :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

2 Down 1 To Go

Today marks the end of my 2nd weekly run cycle and the beginning of my 3rd and final run cycle...the soldier.

As for the knight, it turned out well after the problem with the feet and legs, which I had to reanimate, but the final piece would have been better if I had managed to put more time into it and didn't have so many problems.

The main problem I can see with the animation is the weight. Especially the weight of the steps which hasn't come across very well for such a heavy character.

I tried to get the sword arm to rotate less than the other arm and I think that worked fairly well with the lean to one side, but I would have to spend more time getting all the weight right on this character.

Enough excuses it is...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Cryptic Knight Run

I've been working on my knight run over the past few days but haven't got much done recently due to being busy (although its not that bad most of its been fun) so I best work harder as I only have till Wednesday before the deadline for this run is up.

When doing this run I decided to use the Cryptic AR's foot controls rather than moving the model manually as I did with the first run, this has made it harder for me to get to grips with how this works and I have experienced problems with the legs twitching that I haven't quite been able to fix yet.

I decided to have the shield on the back of the knight as I have already done a run animation with the Roman soldier who had a shield and a sword so I decided to mix this one up somewhat. 

I also need to work on the weight some more as the knight is carrying heavy armour and weapons. The idea was to have the sword arm much more tense and not swinging much to contrast the other arm which is working harder to compensate.

That's it for this update, as always any feedback is always appreciated .

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Weekly Running Challenge

I've decided to make myself a challenge, I may not go through with the whole thing but having some solid deadlines should get me to work that bit harder.

The challenge is to do a different run cycle every week using the Cryptic AR's different characters, that being a normal person, a knight and a soldier.

I can go back to the run cycles afterwards and polish them some more afterwards to make them better and make them more like portfolio pieces than something I did for a few days but for now I only have a week per run :)

So the first week is now over and the normal run is done, well for the week anyway. Here it is.

Next up, the knight run...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Cryptic Run

Well I'm back in Cardiff to clean up my room and grab all of my stuff from uni this weekend, and then the joy of trying to get all that stuff back on a 2 and a half hour train journey.

But in terms of work...I decided to give the tiger animation a break for a few days as its gotten to the point where I need some feedback and by waiting a few days I can see it from a different view and possibly spot the mistakes and things that need editing. Its nice to have the luxury of leaving it for a while which is something you don't get when working to a timeline.

So the past couple of days I've been playing with the Cryptic Animation Rig which Cryptic Studios have released ( and I'm really enjoying using a rig that is used professionally and has so many customization options to look and work exactly how I want it to.

So to practice using this I've been working on a run cycle using the AR and I can already tell its an intuitive way of working and I have already got something that looks decent even after only a couple of days of work.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Just An Update

So its been pretty busy recently and hopefully it will get busier as I'm sending my CV off tomorrow and try to get a summer job, so updates might come a little less frequently unless I keep updating about how little work I'm doing :)

But ill try to keep my animation work up as well as possible over summer to keep the practice up and post what I've got here.

As for now just a quick update of the tiger animation as its looking somewhat more finished after the past few days, still a way to go though :)

Friday, 17 June 2011

New Tiger Project

So its the summer holidays and I have some ideas of animations to do on my time off, most of which will probably end up half finished :)

First up is a project involving the tiger rig I used for a project in my first year of uni and I'm attempting to get it jumping down from different platforms realistically.

This is only the first test render and obviously not finished, but feel free to give me feedback :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Glammie Awards Aftermath

And there goes the first year of uni, man did that go by quickly. Its been an awesome year and a great start to my animating. The Glammie Awards just finished and the sting I worked on seemed to go down well.

The animations was a group effort where Matthew Watson, Joe Hornsby and myself animated and Sean Jones created the art assets. Were all year 1 students at the University of Glamorgan and this was the final collaborative piece of the year.

This is the final product...enjoy...

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Glammie Awards

I've not updated this blog in a while, and for good reason...

I've been hard at work getting the final render for the Glammie Award sting ready for tomorrows event, and its finally done :)
After the award ceremony is over ill upload the final video here so everyone can see it

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Glammie Awards Update

So the first 2 weeks of the Glammie sting production are gone, and 1 week is left to finish up the final product including adding the art assets, sound, lighting and cameras. :S fingers crossed

These are the 2 parts of animation I have done so far, mostly finished up I think, although were showing the other students our progress tomorrow so I'll soon know if any major changes are needed...

Hero Enters

Kissing the Princess

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Next Project Begins!

The final thing to complete the year of university doesn't count towards the final year grade, but is still important. I have to work in a group to create a sting in between an award ceremony called the Glammies, celebrating the best animators and 3D artists at the University of Glamorgan.

The theme of the event is fairy tales so our group decided to spoof the sleeping beauty story...but that's all I can say for now, need to keep it a secret for the event ;)

Ill be posting my part of the animation once I have the basics blocked out :D

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Final 1st Year Piece

So my first year assignments are all complete, mostly to a good standard I hope, but the last one became a struggle for me and found myself only getting 4 hours sleep over 48 hours and using 2 computers for the last few hours...and still didn’t complete it. Ah well I’ve learnt a lesson for next time...always get your work done well in advance of the deadline, mistakes WILL happen :)

But I did get the majority of the animation done, albeit with no textures or environments and here they are, next job is to sort these out so they work with the arty stuff :D 


This is the deformation test for the Roman soldier character I used in my final 1st year project. The model was created by Lauren Slater on the same course as me and I skinned it to a CAT rig in 3DS Max.


The first animation I did was my Roman soldier charging into battle with sword drawn and shield up. This was an interesting piece as it was my first run animation and found that it was nothing like what I had the reference helped loads on this one. 

The second animation had to be a trait of the character being shown and the characteristics of them had to show through, I decided to do him training to stay at the top of his game as I saw him as a very competitive man who is proud to serve his country. 
I originally wanted a change of angle everytime he swaps activity but time got the better of me.

Last but not least is the performance animation which had to include the characteristics of the roman, be at least 10 seconds long and include dialogue, this was the furthest I got with this piece and doesn’t currently include any dialogue...the lip sync and the performance with be completed with sound in the upcoming weeks. :)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Visual Studies Work

My first post of my work here on my blog :D
Here is some artwork done for my visual studies class as I frantically try to complete my last 2 projects of the academic year, I'll upload the animations once they are completed and I can settle down for the weekend :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

It's Blogging Time!

Time to start a blog, for the next few weeks ill be working on setting up my blog, dedicated to my animation...with some artwork thrown in, so keep an eye out :)