About Me

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Leicester, United Kingdom
Studying BA (Hons) Game Art Design at De Montfort University. It continues to be challenging as much as rewarding. Primary outcomes include 2D and 3D projects and 2am coffees.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Where to begin...

I'm no stranger to poor planning, in the past when a final piece or end result was expected I just flung myself straight into an large complex piece. Normally half way me realising the futility of it and how it was gonna take longer than expected. Now it is evident that this cannot afford to continue. Concept and planning are words that we've heard frequently since first stepping into the Fletcher Building, and for all too good a reason, there are the foundations of ANY successful piece of work produced, be it a 3D scene or a piece of concept art.

From the planning perspective my flaw is time management (still), it's the first thing that comes to mind, as we're told the time we have is ridiculous! There have been days when I get up with good intentions and mentally lay out what I hope to accomplish, and it often results in either spending too long on one certain aspect or just stretching it out throughout the day and having a classic procrastination. For example, the trash project in which we have 3 weeks to complete, it is so basic a task that I had the following planned out: Week 1, model the mesh and gather pictures, Week 2. unwrap and texture, Week 3 maps and any other improvements, In the third week now and I'm still working on my maps and tweaking the diffuse. Not that I view certain modules over others, but there have been times where I need to prioratise which is the most important task at the time and which requires more time for it.

So by deciding what tasks I wish to focus on which days I can tick things off my list,

Next to time management, the other factor which is crucial to me is reference, usually for 3D for textures and so on, there really is no point starting out a piece with nothing to work from, even the most creative of us must have a muse or inspiration. For example, today in Mitch's workshop which involves making a Middle Eastern Market, this was convenient for me as I've lived in Oman for 4 years, also my instant references were Mos Espa from Tattoine and Jeruselam and Damuscuss from AC

I refreshed my memories through Google Images which is my source for referencing for 2D work, and found images to the common traditional architecture. Bottom line: I now have my camera on me at all times :)

Thumbnails are the center point to all our 2D work, the more the better. They are brillaint references that we use to record the atmosphere of a location and helps us decide what we want for our final. Whilst they are a quick and simple way of working, I STILL find myself unhappy with just having blocks in my thumbnail even though that is generally alll that could be needed, having said that, I have somehow managed to restrict the level of detail I used to get into, I only wish the same could be applied for finals.....leaves.......train engines.....

Cannot begin to explain how much I zoomed into places to get all the fine detail

Last week at the train station was profitable because not only did it have a bleak baren surrounding to it, it also helped with my perspective which I have been meaning to improve.

One thing which I havn't done much of in the planning process is record (scan in/upload) scraped ideas or duds, mainly out of fear that they aren't worthy of being displayed to all to see. On the other hand, I feel as if I don't produce enough thumbs ( as a result fo over working into some) so that I can't divide unused ones rom ones I'm pleased with, so from this little self analysis It would seen that I need to..make more mistakes? Or at least keep hold of them and have reasons for it. I guess its just me trying to get everything right first hand, saves me using rubbers and so on!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dredd: It wasn't dreddful (facepalm)

Last week the guys and I went to see Dredd 3D, only to discover that it was not being shown in 3D any more- much to the organisers chargin. I came along because the last time I went to the cinema was for The Dark Knight Rises and it looked like your stereotypical guy movie, action packed and full of artillery. And also because my flatmate insisted that it was 'awesome' on more than one occasion, I almost contempleted keeping a tally!

I was aware that it was a reboot of the Judge Dredd franchise and was not related story-wise to the 1995 film starring Rambo (Stallone), so I was optimistic as to what was in store. From what I have seen in reboots or remakes of past films is that they make it visually more staggering yet they include flaws like a weak storyline or what have you . In truth, in the past I havn't often put much though into films after seeing them, sometimes because its not in the group bigger then 2-3 so a discussion with multiple views can't arise.

Taking place within a Mega City in an oh-so-familair semi post apocalyptic future, the plot involves famed and feared Judge Dredd taking rookie judge Anderson on a field assignment in order for her to pass. The judges wield the authority of judge,jury and executioner, allowing them to condemn their targets on the spot. The major premise of this film is within a Mega Block skyscraper Peach Trees where the duo's routine job exculates into a lockdown of the tower. They must then fight their way up through 200 stories of armed gang members to eliminate their leader Ma-Ma and halt the prodcution and distribution of Slo-Mo, a new narcotic that is spreading throughout the Mega City. Cut off and with communications offline, the master and apprentice must engage the masses and bring judgement on those who would defy the law. IT'S JUDGEMENT TIME.

It would be impossible to talk about this without going back to the namesake; I havn't watch the 1995 film so I can't make a comparrison. But just by looking at him in the opening scene as he steps out after donning his signature armour you can tell he means business, Albiet the helm, badge and shoulderguards, he resembles a riot squad/special forces so it's clear he gets right in there- being a street Judge and all. His overall figure and armour is much more effective than Stallones, I mean look at the size of that bling! Don't get me wrong the eagle is a new design, but it would either weigh him down or it would jiggle too much and be a nuisence, and is that a codpiece??

The opening scene where he intercepts and judges a gang in a street chase pretty much defines how this guy rolls to newbies like me. However once he teams up with the telepathic Anderson its almost Ying/Yang. Dredd is an emotionless sentinel who serves only to enforce the law, his job is short and clean in his book:

Brake the law: Sentance them
Resistance: Use lethal force

Information required: Brutal interrogation

He shows no remorse or sympathy from behind that visor. In spite of that he is totally the kind of guy civillians would wnt to cower behind while he obliterates hostiles. Once they hit the streets Anderson is straight away identified as the humanity of the two, compassionate and thoughful. Initially she shows reluctance to carry out judgement, even those at her mercy. However she evolves and adapts at a remarkable rate as the film progresses. When they first meet there was a point where she 'looked inside of him' I assumed at later in the film she would ask about his background and emotionally compromise him, however this wasn't the case. It probably would have been a break for the film, redefining Dredd and showing he wasn't always the way he is then etc. Furthermore, it is mentioned that the Judges helmets disrupt her powers so that was kinda a relief.

City maps and tourist information must be a bitch!

The lifts must be a nightmare...

I didn't mind that the bulk of the film took part in Peach Trees, however one of the first shots of the film was a zoomed out view of Mega City 1, it would have been interesting to see more of this vast metropolis maybe. Furthermore, the whole plot of fighting up through a tower reminded me of the film The Raid, where a Special Ops team had to eradicate a gang holed up in there. However I have not seen that a nd reviewers who have seen both have confirmed with relief that the two films are not related storywise, the latter involving more martial arts and that.

The featured drug Slo-Mo lives up to its name: it slows the users perception of time to that of 1% of normal rate, so like living in slow motion of god knwos how long. This was a brilliant reason to use many slow motion scenes, many of them beautifual and just plain bloody, usually at the same time!
To give my view in a nutshell, this was a visually lush film, it's certainly gotten rated 18 for a reason, with the bloody carnage, anatomically correct shootings and flashing images of torture and worse. However it also captured the natural beauty too, I might be basing that solely on the bath water scene... In the intervals between gunfire the scenes feature the similarities ans difference between the two protagonists and how they eventually find themselves on the same ground. With his gruff voice and unchanging partial face expression, from what I have seen of Dredd, I think it lives up to the fans expectations.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

What a plie of...

So to get us back into the swing if things We got ourselves a pile of trash. I don't wanna jinx it or anything but it has been rather easy so far, considering the prime assets are basic shapes and all. Aside from boxes and bin bags, I decided to make my pile a dumping ground for takeaway food, since that is the most common type of trash you see on the streets. So yeah drinks, pizza box, Happy Meals and so on.

I did take some consideration into 'interesting' assets I could include, however given the 500 tris budget, my first ideas would be too expensive, and at this point having seen other peoples additions, I didn't wanna steal their thunder per say so I'm satisfied with what I've come up with.

I found myself with additional tris left over in the process so I used them to rough up some of the assets. This project is also an opportunity for me to be formally introduced to Zbrush, having seen the results and sculpted bin bags, the appearence looks impressive when enhanced, to get the effect of all the creases in the bag.

Right now I'm working on the diffuse and learning how I will go about sculpting, I can tell there won't be any shortcut to this, just like everything else!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Thus begins round two

Yes I will admit it would seem that I was caught within the radius of the exexutioners swing, but I was able to redeem myself and now I'm back, given another chance.

Year 2 is here after what has felt like almost half an entire year, so it's time to get back into the swing of things and work hardER! Unlike this time last year I now know what's up ahead and what is expected of me, although I am still curious and shitting myself about UDK, since it will dominate most of this year AND the whole of next year, but I'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So given all this time off I am relieved that I did do some work, I chose the summer project title 'Rain Forest Crashsite' since I had always had issues getting my alpha channels to come out right, and thankfully, no major issues arose during the creation and I am rather pleased with the end result.

As stated before I'm still in a state of envy over other peeps digi work, I'm getting there but I would be even better if I just did more of it, aside from the random doodles in little sketchbooks, the only accomplished pieces I did were a couple fo portaits. Having brushed the dust off the intuos (shocking I know) for the first time in about a month or so, I found they went bizarely well first time round.

So already my diary is full of activity, having spend most of the week down at Abbey Park doing thumbs and sketches. British weather was in its prime, as in I had to stand and wait for the perfect shot of sunlight in a photo etc.

This final was my bane in all honesty, I broke into my habit of doing each of the leaves ONE BY ONE, it was only after 2 hours later that I fully explored the brushes and found ideal ones to make trees look fancy and simple. Lost track how long this took overall, but the end result was definatly worth the hassle.
Off to see the trains tommorow.