Saturday, 20 December 2014

Maya Winter Submission

Slightly late upload, and I know some aren't links because I' ve not done them yet, but I am currently working on the "Rendering Layers: software" tutorial before finishing my Old Alley scene tutorials.

1)      Intro to Autodesk Maya:
2)      Modelling 1: Digital Sets
c          c)      Lighting
d          d)      Colour Maps
e          e)      Bump and Specular Maps
f          f)       Dirt Maps and Final Render

3)      Lighting and Rendering1: Intro to Lighting
4)      Visual FX: Visual Effects 2
a         a)      Render Layers: Software 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Visual FX: Visual Effects 2 - Rendering Layers: Part 2 - Depth of Field

This is my attempt at the depth of field tutorial. I managed to do this one with relative ease, which is obviously a good thing. I didn't have any major problems, although I did have a little issue when trying to do the pass out image but it was just an issue with my computer. I maybe could have added a bit more blur to the foreground/background to make the one in the middle stand out more, but it looks fine as is.

Depth of Field: Pass Out


Digital Sets 1: Part 2 - UV Layout - Tutorial

This is my attempt at adding the UV layout to the Old Alley. I did this a while ago now, but forgot to upload due to focusing on other work. I couldn't manage to get the UVs to fit properly and so are wrong in places. However, apart from that I had no major problems, and managed to resolve not being about to save the images from the character tutorials.

Character Part 3: Lighting & Rendering - Tutorial

This is my attempt at the 3rd character tutorial. Like the last character tutorial, I followed every little thing because I had I problems in the past. I managed to complete this one much easier as I have learned a lot about Maya since the first attempt. However, like last time I had to print screen the image because when I tried to save the image it froze the computer and closed Maya.

Lighting & Rendering: External - Night -Tutorial

This is my attempt at the Night time lighting and rendering tutorial. There weren't any problems on Maya or Photoshop when doing this tutorial.

Lighting & Rendering: External - Sunset -Tutorial

Here is my attempt at the Sunset lighting and rendering tutorial. I think the sky is a little too blue at the top, but apart from that I managed to complete it with no problems.

Lighting & Rendering: External - Romantic -Tutorial

Here is my attempt at the Romantic lighting and rendering tutorial. I managed to complete all the remaining tutorials for this section today and will post the images of them in a row. There weren't any problems this time as I was able to fix the little photoshop problem that I had last time.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Bob Godfrey - Breaking Bad

I have always liked drawing caricatures/cartoons of celebrities/ tv/ film characters etc. so this little optional "project" is something I would like to do. This is my first one, as I hope to do a few more because there's only a certain amount of fun that you can get from continuously playing Halo. Anyway, this is based on Breaking Bad, and everyone must think I'm crazy about it at this point. I drew Walt (Right) and Jesse (left) on paper with a pencil first, then I drew over it in photoshop. Looking at Godfrey's work, he uses bold black lines for the outline and bright colours, which this drawing has, but his works colour looks very quick and over-lapping, because his work is usually coloured by pen. I think I showed that style in Walt's beard and slightly in their clothes, but not so much in the skin. You can see it doesn't really match the usual style of caricatures. What I mean by that, is that their facial features haven't been exaggerated, e.g. a big forehead or a big nose. As I have said, I have always like drawing caricatures, but I've never really managed to create my own. I can imagine what they'd look like, but when I'd try to draw it, I wouldn't know how to begin. I tried to playing with their facial features a little, but it didn't work, so I left it as is.

I'm really pleased with it, although it could be a bit more Bob Godfrey like.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What If? Metropolis: Production Designer profile - Peter Lamont

Production Designer Research - Peter Lamont

What If? Metropolis: Submission Disc Artwork

This is the disc art for the submission disc. It's quite simple because it works well with Riley's work and the city.

Unfortunately, my printer has hardly any ink so the colour/black isn't very bright, but it can still be read

What If? Metropolis: Matte Painting

This is my matte painting of the city. I used the same method as to how I made the orthographs. I took my final render image, put it into a layer on photoshop and drew over it on a new layer. Although it's not realistic, it has a graphic style, which I quite like. It has more light than the final render but still works well with the city.

What If? Metropolis: Digital Set Pipeline.

Below is the digital set pipeline for the city:

Models in set

Lighting test 1

Lighting test 2

Quick test with textures

UV Layout

Texturing progress

Adding the sky

Adding the camera

Wireframe image

 Final Render

I cannot remember having any major issues when building the city in Maya, which is obviously a very good thing, except for when the computer froze during adding textures. In the future, when creating things on Maya I won't go as over board on making divisions as, as you can see from the wireframe image that is exactly what I did.

What If? Metropolis: Final Render + Thoughts

This is the final render of the city. The city is very simple in it's design, which is both a good and bad thing. Bridget Riley doesn't have complex shapes in her work. The hard to understand things in her work are usually due to a a series of lines and shapes packed closely together. It was very difficult to design the city, as the buildings should represent Riley's work and her work is quite simple, despite it's complex composition. Perhaps I should have organised the buildings in the same way as one of her pictures, but I chose to design them based on one of the thumbnails. The theatre is the building that I wanted to show the running theme in Riley's work, where there is usually a small section that is hard to see, hard to understand and very abstract. The theatre is very unique in the city as it isn't the same blocky building like all the others, which is also both a good and bad thing.

I have mixed feelings about it, in all honesty. I'm happy that it looks like my final concept pieces and that I had no big problems modelling, adding light, textures etc. so that shows that I'm improving my Maya skills. Adding and creating textures/shaders was relatively easy so that is another bonus.

As I have previously said, I struggled at first because I didn't know how to design the city. It took me more than a couple of weeks into the project when I finally started to create useful thumbnails. I knew when getting Bridget Riley as my artist that the city needed to represent her work and not just have her work as wallpapers fro the buildings. I think it may be argued that the unimportant buildings are just blocks with her style of work on, but they do match the thumbnail that I based them on. I did try to make the buildings look more Riley-esc but I found it very difficult. Her work has no structures or 3D forms so I had to create them based on 2D patterns. Her work contains simple shapes and lines that are used incredibly well, I think the city contains simple shapes that has lines used reasonably well.

What If? Metropolis: Wireframe Image

This is the wire-frame image of the city. As you can see, it is full of wire-frames. The reason for that is because I went quite over the top when adding divisions as when initially modelling the divisions gave me a rough idea of what the patterns would look like.

What If? Metropolis: Adding the main camera

 I am now on the stage of adding the main camera. It's pretty much the same view as the final concept images, so it doesn't look to different. I like the angle that I've chosen because it makes the Theatre stand out and the lighthouse's light is in the foreground which has an interesting look, although that may make the lighthouse the main building rather than the theatre.

What If? Metropolis: Adding the sky

As this a very dark city, there is no colour in the sky. The sky will make the city look very dangerous and mysterious which is how I described the city in the travelogue. 

What If? Metropolis: Texturing progress + UV Maps

I have been adding the textures to some of the buildings and the picture above shows my progress. Although, just after I screen shot the screen, my computer froze and closed Maya, so I have to add textures to some of the cylinder buildings, so luckily I haven't lost much.

For some reason, the buildings that I have added textures to are all black silhouettes. However I think that actually gives me a good idea of how dark the city can be.

I have been making the textures by going on the UV texture editor and copying the image into photoshop and painting over them. Below are 4 examples that. The first two are for square buildings and the bottom two are for cylinder buildings. They all look how I wanted them to when put on the building, which is obviously a good thing.

Character Part 2: Texturing & Shaders - Tutorial

This is my attempt at the texturing and shaders tutorial for the pencil and rubber. I managed to fix the problems I had when first modelling them, so that made it a lot easier to add textures. I didn't have any major problems with this tutorial, as I followed every little  thing correctly.

I know it's not the best picture quality, but when I tried to save the image it froze the screen and then closed Maya, so I had to print screen it.

Film Review - Suspiria (1977)

Fig.1 Suspiria (1977) Movie Poster

Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977) is a wonderfully beautiful, but horrific Italian horror film. It's spooky supernatural elements are well matched by it's heart pounding soundtrack and horribly colourful lighting. Alan Jones mentions in his review for Radio Times how brilliant the colour, lighting and soundtrack in the film are by calling it "A stunning combination of menacing Grand Guignol atmosphere, dazzling colours, gory violence, lush d├ęcor and pounding soundtrack." - (Jones, 2013). The film is a piece of art. It has colour splashed all over it and that is what makes the film that much more terrifying.

Fig.2 Exterior of the Dance Academy

What may at first seem like a usual top dance academy in Freiburg, Germany, we go on to discover that there is more than meets the eye, and with it's slightly disturbing and extremely gruesome introduction we are already wondering how and why these events have occurred. Suspiria's brilliantly cheap special effects are effectively used by Argento. One minute, it would be very unrealistic and then in an instant becomes very realistic. This is very frightening as when you first see it, you almost want to laugh and then all of a sudden you are left with your eyes wide open and your jaw as close to the floor as possible. The film's soundtrack is brilliant. It has supernatural elements that accompany an almost iconic horror film sound. With it's slow then fast use of drums and other instruments, it truly gets the heart pumping and you know something is about to happen, and then when it does it would happen in such a way that is was unexpected.

Fig.3 Corridor in the Dance Academy

Lighting is used wonderfully in the film. The lamps on the wall throw their light on the bright red walls, and would make going through the most normal of corridors a struggle as it looks so intimidating (See Fig.3). The academy itself is covered in "The Shining"-esc patterns with a lot more red, especially on the outside (See Fig.2). As the setting is a dance academy, the colour red is a strange choice, if this it was the real world. The terribly bright colours make the academy look so daunting and you have to wonder why people would choice to live there. At night, it is incredibly dark, and so the only light they have is red. There are several scenes where the main character, in particular, walks through red light and it makes it look like she is covered in blood. This is a chilling sight and makes it very clear that the academy is not safe, and there is something mysterious about it.

Fig.4 Suzy, played by Jessica Harper

Suspiria is an incredibly stylised film. It's unique use of colour and light is a welcomed difference to the standard horror film. The film is a piece of art. Anthony Lawrie also considers the link between art and horror in the film by saying it is " The ultimate combination of art and horror...." - (Lawrie, 2014). Although the story may not make too much sense, primarily due to it's involvement in the supernatural world, the film is a sight to behold. James Hoberman touched on that in his review by calling it "A movie that makes sense only to the eye" - (Hoberman, 2009). The lighting and soundtrack build so much tension that you know something terrible is about to happen, and that demonstrates Argento's and the film's lead production designer, Giuseppe Bassan's, genius vision.

Illustration List:
Fig.1 Suspiria (1977) Movie Poster - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Fig.2 Exterior of the Dance Academy - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Fig.3 Corridor in the Dance Academy - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Fig.4 Suzy, played by Jessica Harper - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Hoberman, John (2009) - Supiria Shock: Two Runs in Two Weeks 
-  - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Jones, Alan (2012) - Suspiria - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Lawrie, John (2014) - Suspiria - - (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What If? Metropolis: UV Layout

So this is my UV layout of the city. The UVs aren't fitted to each building perfectly because I think I went a bit over board when adding divisions. Despite this, it does look quite abstract and hard to understand which is what the final city will be like.

As you can see from the 2 images below, I already added light to the city and that in itself looks quite good and works well with the obscure UVs.

CG Artist Toolkit: Pixelation Animations

Taken a while to upload, but here the pixelation animations we did. It was surprising how long it would take to do one part, but in the animation it would be over in a couple of seconds. It was still fun to do, despite my little dance and poor driving.

CG Artist Toolkit: Charcoal Morph Animation

Taken a long while to upload, but here is the charcoal morph animation that we did. It was a lot of fun to do, and was relatively easy to do, despite how little each frame had to be compared to the next.

Texturing Part 2: UV Maps - Tutorial

Ran into a few problems the last time I tried to do this tutorial, but this time I made sure I followed every little thing correctly, and completed it with no real problem.

What If? Metropolis: Orthograph - Lighthouse

These are the orthograph drawings for the lighthouse. I used the same method as when I did the drawings for the theatre: I put my original key asset drawings into photoshop and drew over them on a new layer on photoshop. The lighthouse is very simple in it's design, which is completely different to  the theatre which is very unique and abstract. Most of Riley's work has clean straight lines, and I want the lighthouse to represent that. These drawings do look identical because the lighthouse  looks the same all the way round. The island that it is on is an abstract shape, and the island can be reached by boat.

What If? Metropolis: Orthograph - Theatre

These are my orthograph drawings for the theatre. I put my previous key asset drawings into Photoshop, and drew over them on a new layer. As you can see, they are simple line drawings with no detail/tone, which is very useful for when I need to model it. I am very happy with this design as it is quit similar to my thumbnails and has an abstract style that works well with Riley's work.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Film Review - The Shining (1980)

Fig.1 The Shining (1980) Movie Poster

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) is a classic horror film that will leave you more questions, like Kubrick's other classic "2001: A Space Odyssey". It's incredibly large, but tight setting of a hotel is extraordinarily designed by production designer, Roy Walker, somehow makes Jack's journey into insanity somewhat understandable.

Fig. 2 Danny stops at Room 237

Kubrick's excellent camera work and attention detail in each shot makes the whole experience a tense one. Kubrick frustrated actors as a result as he repeated each scene before he knew it was perfect. Ian Nathan touches on this in his review for Empire online by mentioning "Shelley Duvall was reputedly forced to do no less than 127 takes of one scene" - (Nathan, 2009). It leaves you waiting, and by each scene being partnered with a horrifically great soundtrack it makes you expect that something is about to happen. More often than not the music would increase, get louder, more instruments would play and would stop in an instant. These scenes get fear rushing through your veins and so when things start to occur, it is almost unexpected due to being fooled before. There are some breathtaking camera shots that Kubrick uses, especially when the camera is following Danny ride his bike.The camera follows him for over a minute, at his height so that we can almost see through the eyes of Danny as he rides around this enigma of a hotel. The camera stays in place throughout and so we do not know what to expect when he goes round a tight corner in the corridor. The sound is used brilliantly here also. We here the difference of the bike riding over a rug compared to riding over a wooden floor. The sounds are very loud and so it makes this sequence even more tense.

Fig.3 Jack at the bar

The hotel's magnificent exterior is nothing compared to it's interior. The series of puzzles scattered all over the wall and the now infamous carpet (see Fig.2) has gone down in cinema history. There is a scene in the film where Danny is playing with toy cars on the carpet and the shapes seem to be imprisoning him. The bright colours in these patterns are welcomed difference to the now cliche horror film setting of a dark, deteriorating building. Filmsite refers to the film brilliantly different setting by calling it "a beautiful, stylish work that distanced itself from the blood-letting and gore of most modern films in the horror genre." - (Filmsite, 2013). These, almost illusion, patterns would make you very uncomfortable after a long length of time. Peter Bradshaw mention in their review how brilliant the setting is: "The rerelease of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is another chance to savour, first of all, those magnificent interior sets." - (Bradshaw, 2012). Jack and his family have to endure the hotel for 6 months, and due to it's large structure and intricate design sends Jack into madness, and the results are catastrophic. It seemed that Jack was consumed by the hotel and made him fall into madness, and once that Jack begins to terrorise and haunt his wife and son. Some of these moments of terror have gone down in cinema history, especially the "Here's Johnny!" scene, but that scene demonstrates just how far Jack has fallen.

Fig.4 Jack laughing at the bar

Near to the end of the film, we are left bewildered by what we are seeing. Blood pouring out of a closed elevator and an old naked corpse laughing are what stay in your mind. They are unexplained. What is causing them? We are supposed to believe that it is Jack that has become insane, but why can his wife see things in the hotel? The hotel is a mystery that is left unresolved and we cannot begin to understand how or why.

Illustration List:
Fig.1 The Shining (1980) Movie Poster - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Fig. 2 Danny stops at Room 237 - - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Fig.3 Jack at the bar - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Fig.4 Jack laughing at the bar - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Bradshaw, Peter (2012) - The Shining - Review - - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Filmsite (2013) - The Shining (1980) - - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Nathan, Ian (2009) - The Shining - - (Accessed 09/12/2014)

Monday, 8 December 2014

What If? Metropolis: Key Asset - Theatre - Drawing

With most of Bridget Riley's work, it is very simple and clean, but often has very strange forms and unclear patterns in them. The Theatre in the city will be the most detailed and most unique as the rest of the buildings will be very simple with crisp edges, like Bridget Riley's work. Like the lighthouse, I wanted to do it in my sketch book because I could do it quickly and see how more obscure it can become through drawing it fast. I'm very happy with how it looks as it is very abstract and will be hard to read/understand when it is fully rendered in Maya.

What If? Metropolis: Key Asset - Lighthouse - Drawing

Although my lighthouse is very simple in design, it is very important to the city as it is it's main light source. I wanted to draw my key assets in my sketch book because I look the rough style that I have and it manages to demonstrate what the final lighthouse will look like.

What If? Metropolis: Quick Test

I made this quick test on Maya to just get a rough idea of what it would look like with an extremely basic image used on every building. Obviously, it's very rough but it gives a slight idea of what it will look like. I will have simple Bridget Riley patterns on the simple/basic buildings and more complicated patterns on the main buildings and the waves of the water. 

The simple pattern that I used/created.