Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Back to Pre-production

So it's been a while since I posted any work up here, mostly because I've been working on pre-production which is always a weak spot for me, I generally find myself unmotivated and struggle to get any work done. I am glad that pre-production for major project is it's own project however as it stops me from getting to this stage and then just jumping into production before I am ready.

That said, it hasn't been going too badly so far, the pressure to do well this year as well as getting the animators and directors everything they need is keeping me going for the time being. I find that I enjoy the end of pre-production anyway as I have trouble coming up with initial ideas and designs but enjoy tweaking solid work.

So far I have basically what I put up here for the Centaur a few weeks back, even though some tweaks have been made to him, and I now have the player character design down, at least in terms of his size and shape so the animators can start thumbnailing and planning the animations and rigs.

So here is the Fae player character design so far:

The one on the left was the original design, then we had the idea of using the vines running along his body to roughly plot out the veins or follow the nervous system. I then came up with the one on the right. I really liked the idea but I'm not sure it comes across to well. I like how it grows up onto his face and down his arms, but I think I'll need to play around with it some more before I enjoy it.

I also have a list of props I'm making for the summer court environment as well as weapons, these include:

A bookcase made out of a tree
Musical Instruments
Tholos Arch (Similar to the Oracle of Delphi)
General Ruins
Tree Stumps
Bow and Arrow 

So far so good, just got to keep this up and keep knocking these designs out in preparation  this should be an amazing project, lets hope my blog posts stay this optimistic over the next few months.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Changes to the blog

As some of you may have noticed I've redone a fair amount of the blog to make it more interesting and to add more content, to do this I've actually combined 3 blogs together to allow more freedom. This also works well as if someone is only interested in part of my site then they can follow it and only get updates for it. On the other hand it can be a bit awkward to set up, but it should be able to be used seamlessly  Hopefully I will set up my own website soon so everything is much tidier.

So if your interested the 3 blogs are this work blog, where all of my uni and spare time work will be posted, there is my personal blog, where I will write game reviews, recommendations and anything else that takes my fancy, finally the last blog is the tutorials tab which is where I'll post any interesting tools, programs or bug fixes I come across.

So it's up to you what you follow and what you take interest in, so you won't get spammed with simple tutorials below your skill level when your really interested in my personal blog ect.

Hope you all like the new blog

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Specialist Animation Project Part 1 Complete

So it's been a little while since I updated my blog, this is due to the rush to get this first assignment in and then sort out a 10 minute presentation for the next day, so things have been a bit hectic. But it's over now, it turned out well and I get to have more of a laid back week now, which I could really do with. Well probably not...but it's nice none the less.

Anyway, enough babbling, time to show what I handed in for Spec Anim 1.

First off there was Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, and Loki's Sceptre. I already posted up the basically finished screenshots but now I have some with proper lighting as well as turnarounds so here goes.

Mjolnir, 379 Polys:

Loki's Sceptre, 655 Polys:

The image renders are quite low quality, I do apologise but these were screenshots as I went along rather than final renders. Hopefully the turnarounds will turn out better.

Overall I was quite pleased with the props, I think they came out at a decent quality even though I felt I could have improved on them quite a bit given more time, but I need to get into the workflow of producing things faster so this was a good practice for me and I'm happy with it.

After we had produced these we had to model and unwrap a a character that went along with the props, and I'm afraid this is where my work goes downhill. I would claim it was getting used to Maya or something, but I think it was my own fault, I rushed into the character way to fast without getting the basics down and this had a pretty bad effect on my model, I managed to improve some of it, but I fear the damage was already done.

In my haste I appear to have submitted the screenshots without making a backup for myself...smooth...but they were only basic renders anyway as we haven't textured the character yet, but I still have the turnaround so here you go.

Thor, 6813 Polys:

It's not all bad, I was quite pleased with how the face turned out, even if it doesn't look much like Chris Hemsworth (The actor who plays Thor in the Avengers and Thor movies) I still like how I managed to get a level of detail out of the face I haven't been able to previously. It's all learning and everyone has their bad pieces of work. No point in hiding them and pretending they didn't happen when you can learn from these moments.

Just to touch on the presentation as well. The feedback I got from the tutors seemed promising, especially as nerves usually get the better of me during presentations. I think I was pleased with the quality of work I had in the presentation so I didn't feel as nervous about presenting it. The presentation was to pitch the idea we have for the final year dissertation, mine was titled 'Aesthetics as Metaphor: A Study of Embedded Narrative' which is a study of environmental storytelling and how subtle background cues can influence how a play experiences and game and what emotions they can evoke.

If I feel confident enough I will post my dissertation on here for people to read, but I've never been a very strong writer so we'll have to see how it turns out.