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.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Build up to assessment

So with our assessment approaching before the semester concludes, its the valuable time to check everyone is ticked off my list of projects outstanding. It's a huge relief that 3D is concluded (for now), more time to prioratise over Visual Design.

The Argonath of Maysaf!
Depsite my collision importing and file format crisis', I prevailed and got it completed. Turns out if my files aren't all in the same location, UDK doesn't want to corporate! It sure was a tedious process of assigning materials and applyijng correctly, however it was assuring to know what I was doing.
Meanwhile with our Imagineering work, after feeling like reaching a dead end with my tripod, I decided to base it on the legendary Pokemon Deoxys.
I mean just look at his form, tentacles and pointed legs, he's just begging to be made into tripod form!
I started out by trying out a potential model for each form: Normal,Attack,Defence and Speed. Given the tripods general scale the latter may not be so believable. On the other hand, I can mould this project into my own image so whats the stop me ''ahem'' editing the design in general?
I really liked the deisng of the Goliaths and Stalkers from Resistance, I did consider using their leg deisgn, however I wanted to attempt to keep an orginaic elemetn evident in my deisgn, also one of my mates was aiming towards the mech path.
Was also torn as to wether I should leave the tentacles in the model

The head design became a bit of an issue during the orthographic view, thankfully my childhood came into play here and I was reminded of one of the series from the LEGO Bionicle, the Vahki. In particualr their head shapes.
I was a devoted collector of Bionicle until I realised I'd probably outgrown them, regardless, these were fun to draw.
I'm happy with the way it turned out, One minor part I wanted was to include all of the blue leg detail on all forms, which I managed to achieve as they no longer render the legs blank. The body apears to be in almost as high as the legs, quite a change from the WotW tripod, with longer legs and a smaller body. Even though I could make whatever I wanted I still feel like I've done wrong by having stouter legs.
HOWEVER, if you think about it, the long thin legs wouldn't have taken much force to dent inwards on topple the dman thing over, whgy the films never took that logic into affect I'll never know... SO yeah you could say that I have removed this flaw by balancing out the weight. Furthermore the tentacles aren't for picking up victims and storing them inside the tripod, this isn't a mobile prison, they're simply for smashing and squashing! I hope to paint a piece with it in action, and time adn procrastination permitting a movie poster.
Meanwhile my main issue is the vehicle, I have started the final while trying to apply some of the composotion rules we've learnt however so far it has not gone to plan.
The idea was that its purpose was for tranversing extreme and unstabel terrrains, like a swamp whihc is featured. I'm happy with how the swamp has come out so far. The problem I guess is that the vehicle reference is futuristic, as far as I'm aware there is no actual existing vehicle to help with moodboarding. I wanted long legged birds to be the other half of the reference, ideally to make the seating area/body.
So far it's still looking more mechanical than organic. With the backdrop I was considering adding mist or fog to help the atmosphere, however that would not help, because that would just make it look like a Republic walker on Dagobah! I suppose the factors that make me feel positive is that the legs have been re-designed along with the feet, which I wish to be the main feature. And so far the body has been redesigned to resemble a ostrich.
Judging by my current opinion, I feel the design will be reworked yet again, and the composition. I wanted the shot to be almost looking up at it from the water, however despite this the vehicle is dominating the majority of the page :/

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

War of the Worlds

The Building project came to a successful conclusion, the Assassins bureau stood proudly between the neighbouring buildlings.

The cathedrals near campus provided excellent tiling textures, I felt spoilt for choice given how many were available, however at the end of the day I wished for the model to blend in with the Blitz example meshes, this factor made me determine whihc was most suitable.

For the statues I had hoped to paint on the textures to add extra detail, however this turned out disastrous so I painted a rock texture instead which actually looked like an improvement.
So from here on in it's all about UDK, naturally I was like 'eeep', but after browsing through the linked tutorials on Dmuga I was feeling more confident. This process however was long and tedious, and above all, I learnt the hard way of the importance of naming assets, Once it was exported into the engine, I encountered this....
Multi/Sub-Object we'd you go!?

Only one element was available for applying my textures. After devoting the whole day to ensuring all materials and meshes were appropriatly named I still encountered this. Saving as an alternative file allowed the multi/ sub-object to show up, yet in return it didn't import my collisions, so for a brief period I was forced to have a ghostly cathedral :/ Either or really....

However, after much toiling over I miraculously managed to successfully import everything. I took great joy in utilising the 1st person shooter playing of Unreal and taking out my bottled frustration on incinerating my building. Currently just need to finish importing the exmple meshes then it's all good to go, so long as UDK can tolerate me trying to be a good student and saving regularly, only to have it not respond at 75%....

Meanwhile the War of the Worlds project has been the prioraty for Visual Design, I have admired certain peoples ideas ( and there drawing style in general) although I have had pretty solid ideas myself, I have tried not to focus so much on the legs of the tripod since legs were the prime focus of the vehcile project.

I quite liked the idea of an aquatic based one, either like a carapce or with the anatomical features of a jelly fish. On the other hand I also felt that another interesting path was the idea of the tripod being possessed or having something latched onto it,  like the Dalek mutant or some form of creature with tentacles. While I quite like the stuff I've done so far, I worry that they just resemble existing stuff I really like and just stuck some mechanical legs underneath it. I should really decide which path I want to choose as I want to tackle the remainder of  outstanding stuff that could use tweaking before the assessment.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

So THATS what they want.......

So the work progresses in as per usual. after spending Tuesday in the labs I try to mentally lay out my week ahead, catergorising whats most outstanding etc.

It would seen things have been tweaked here and there in this year structure, althugh this was told on the first day, I didn't expect it from Game Production in all honesty. Instead of the Blitz Treasure Chest I was expecting, We are doing a building project instead. I standard New York city Street block scene with a gap inbetween, we could fill it whatever we want, plus No tris limit AND NO texture budget. dude....

Although we can put WHATEVER we want there, I would like it to vaguely blend with the design of the neighbouring blocks.
I decided to go for a Cathedral entrance, It's one of my muses, given my liking for complex detail and what have you. Another reason I think I chose this was because I wanted to build statues, you see them all the time inside,outside and nearby cathedrals. Of course I was torn as to what position I would have them in, so I assembled some well known examples to aid me.

So much cool fiction to choose from, in the end I decided to go for a battle stance pose, so I logged into WoW (yes, I know don't judge me) and got my paladin into some idle poses....
What doesn't help is that they aren't anatomically accurate....
I wanted to have two on pedestals with a staircase inbetween them leading to the arched entrance,  However once I'd built the figures minus the hands and head, I found myself remembering the Assassin Fortress of Masyaf, and that instantly made me decide to theme my cathedral. Also this meant I had to rewind and reconfigure my stautues. Getting the geometry right was a bitch but the end result was worth it! I decided to use the Argonath from LOTR because their pose was just cool, plkus with the hidden blades retracted, it's quite intimidating.
Once I'd built the doorway and archs, I paused because I realised that with my new theme, cathedrals walls can be laid out in numerous ways, furthermore I had various ways in the my mind and how to display the Assassins occupancy there.

Ready for unwrapping!

 Moving on, last weeks Crit lecture was very insightful because we were told in detail how this module is assessed and what exactly makes up the marks. Aside from completing the Mandatory tasks set in the handbook with images and links, what takes our mark further is:
Personal Reflection
Engaged Writing
All this can be easily achieved, by reseacrching I can find out more to write about the subject at hand and extend my blogs. And by reflection, ideally writing positive information as well as cutting myself down from etc.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Composition involves the placement of assets within an image to increase their value. When producing a peice of work, be it a sketch/paint and shot from a 3D scene, assets can't just be placed anywhere. Well they can but it wouldn't be as effective at the end of the day. Regardless of whether it's a single asset or mutliple ones, if a piece is to truly shine, then they need to have a corrasponding place.

As well as deciding where on the page it's going to go, there are additional facts in take into consideration, the following are ones which I wish to use most frequently when given the opportunity:

Colour and Lighting:
By lighting up certain areas of the image, it can make it the focus point of the piece and direct attention to itself, darkening/lighting at a scene can also influence the atmosphere that it is trying to represent. Choice of colour can make a difference as well, whether they merge together well or cause one fo them to stand out amongst the others, also making it a focus point.

On occasion I have utilised layers to create depth in certain pices where I deem it suitable. The terms background and foreground are used often for artwork, but in particular pieces of work like environment it is possible to have multiple layers to give a sense of distance in a piece.

The angle at which the photo is taken, is it from straight on, at an angle, above or below? Furthermore the latter two can been off a sense of superiority, if you'rre looking up at some thing you can feel small and intimidated etc.

In addition there are compositional techniques which can help artists achieve the purpose of thier work, depneding on the subject of course.


Rule of thirds: Something I have experienced a lot in GCSE Art, griding the page up 3x3 for guidlines. This is so that the main elements are along the lines are at the points were they meet. The purpose of this is to give balance.

The girl is the main object, see how she is placed along one of the line, and how the horizon is as well. Furthermore, the upper three is light whereas the bottom is darkest.

Rule of Odds: Having an odd number of assets proves to be more effective than an even number, if a piece contained 2 for example the view woud be torn between them etc.

Rule of Space: Also know as lead room (....huh?), this is to provide the essence of movement in a piece of work. So this would be an almost compulsory requirement for vehicle concept. It basiclly involves providing a decnt amount of space in front of the vehicle to give a sense of direction and movement. If you can say to yourself ''Ah i see where that's going, then this rule has been applied.

Simplification: No. Absolutly not. No way Jose. It's should be established now that I am not capable of simplifying. Period. I cannot help it, the time I slaved in Abbey Park doing individual leaves istead of using a convenient foliage brush. Some things never change.

Limited Focus: Something I have seen often in film and TV, in particular scenes which have proven to catch my eye, using depth to create a foreground/background one of the latter is blurred to make of other stand out, often because it is the primary asset.

In regards to my finals in the past, at the time I have chosen shots which I densly populated with multiple assests, simply because that's how I roll, however having looked into these numerous techniques, I hope to apply them more evidently in the future, excuding simplification. E.g abbey and the train, I zoom in so far to work in the minutest of areas before zooming out and lamentig on what a waste of time that was.....