Sunday, 31 October 2010

Task 14: Planning and Concepting

"Art Process Boot Camp. Bring a helmet."

I found this to be a very interesting read, almost as if i really needed to read it. To be honest I dont feel like im much artistically and I really need to improve in my work.
It was good to see how a professional would produce things as it emphasizes how much the planning means to the final outcome, I dont believe I plan enough and my work suffers - sometimes I manage to produce some good finals but with more planning I believe they will drastically improve.
I like the way she has given rules of thumb in her tutorial as it gets me to remember them, I feel like writing them out and sticking them around my room.
It was quite a read and I think I would have liked to seen some more "Work in progress" pieces between the main pictures posted.
Its good that she posted "Rule 7: Always be aware at how the element materials of your painting affect and are affected by the environment" and then gave some examples, in my work I dont think I pay much attention to the actual materials - sure I want them to look as realistic as possible but I dont feel like I understand it particularly well at the moment.
Yeah it was a good read and I believe it helped me a bit, she has obviously done this quite a lot as it shows in how she has painted areas, Im still relatively new to digital painting (And general art work) but she stresses that these steps she has listed seem more important than ability - the ability comes with time and practice.
I really like her final image and also how she has used the motion blurs to emphasize certain areas, its interesting that to me this is a very good piece but she her self still has problems with it, almost at the point of binning it - this shows that she still feels like she needs to improove a heck of a lot.
(I feel the same way with most of the work that I produce also)

I defiantly need to develop the skill of planning and concepting, I dont feel like the work I was producing was that very well guided and almost felt like I was just doing it because it had to be done rather than doing to improve in understanding and production. I wish to be able to produce work faster and to a better standard than my previous productions, as i said in previous posts about wanting this 2nd year to be a vast improvement from the first and that I need to develop, this gives me tools(skills) that i need to now continue to use but more importantly, to use and develop.

[List of the rules]
Rule #1: If it doesn't work at the size of a postage stamp, it won't work at any size
rule #2: If it doesn’t work in value, it won’t work in color
Rule #3: always try to avoid centering anything and avoid odd tangents.
Rule #4: the farther from the focal point, the blurrier the details in an atmosphere.
Rule #5: the stronger the contrast, the more the focus.
Rule #6: the stronger the saturation, the more the focus.
Rule #7: always be aware at how the element materials of your painting affect and are affected by the environment

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Blitz Guest Lecture2

Last year We had a similar talk about the Blitz company and a lot of the areas were recovered, Speaking about the importance for artwork in the arts and animation department and also looking at the different areas in Blitz.
Last year I didnt really have a goal to go towards which wasn't as bad this time around, looking at jobs I was quite interested in the environmental area but also in asset creation. At the moment I dont feel confident enough to be able to specify exactly, looking at what was done in the lecture I seemed more interested in the character side of things - but my skills at the moment wouldn't be up to their standards to do.

It would take a lot of practise but I wish I would be able to get to that sort of standard by the time I finish this course, I would also like to speed up quite a lot in my work.
I think now is the time to actually try and make this possible, not having much of a goal last year I wasnt entirely sure about what I wanted to do but from what I seen in that lecture I was mainly interested in the things which looked the most interesting and complex, things which jump at you having in-mind the awesomeness.

I would like to be able to get competent in both 3D and my 2D skills to be able to do things to that standard, I think im steered more towards the 3d side of things but to be employable I really need to be equally good in both areas.

Was interesting to see the sorts of things they work on again and although im not sure about working for Blitz it gives me more of an insight in what I would like to be doing as a career.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


An interesting film that kept going back and fouth between the past and the present.
The actual story played backwards but also had some sections in black and white which played forwards and the climax was actually in the middle of the story.

Was quite interestingly done but you had to stay very focused on what was happening along with the other sections in the story. Its hard to know what to say about it as a lot of things happened but I really enjoyed it.

It was all well done but I am curious to if it was played in a more linear way - start to finish if it would have the same effect. I would say that it may not have been as exciting but to know the climax before it was meant to be known (But with no Back knowledge of the scene makes it just as thrilling)
The scenery in the film did represent what was going on, using a fairly cheap motel as a starting point where you would expect this sort of corruption to happen, although its quite obvious why them areas were chosen for filming but still the scenes worked very well.

The ironic thing also is that you would need a pretty good memory to put together all the scenes in backward, chronological and in a middle order. This simulates what the character may have gone through which was a good touch but Im not sure this was intentional. Myself not having a perfect memory i found myself trying very hard to stay focused and help the story playout in my mind.

Was a good film but at the very end of the film I was a little bit confused with things, the explanation from the Teddy character, as this was trying to remember all the time line in a non linear fashion.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


Well I already seen this film before and it is still quite good, personally I prefer the 2nd one (i also seen these films in the wrong order, first the 2nd then the first). Although its quite dated its still watchable and still quite rude by todays standards, it uses features which were commonly used in filmography such as a blue screen behind a car set with a rolling film. The creators/directors work with this to make it obvious to what it is and they add elements to it making it funnier for the audience.

Another feature is the dialogue, common phrases which we have all heard are mistranslated in the film in a funny way;
A good example is the scene where the doctor tells the stewardess that he has to get a patient to a hospital where the woman replies "What is it?" referring to what the medical problem is but through direct listening its as if she is asking what a Hospital is where then the doctor replies "it's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now." Typing it down doesn't give it justice but the idea was good.

Yeah its a comedy film at the end of the day full of jokes based around a serious subject of a plane crash. Its better when you see these sort of films the first time around since you don't expect them to happen the way they do but they are still good. As I said i prefer the 2nd one to the first one which sometimes doesn't work with sequels, there was more going on in it and I believe it was a bit longer in feature length.

Anyway Airplane! is a worthwhile film to watch, i'd recommend to anyone.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Task 13: 2nd Year Reflection

Well, here I am in the 2nd year now. The first year went alright I believe, I did many different things in both Visual Design and Games production and found it interesting to work with the different weekly essay type tasks.
So in general it was a good year but if I am honest I wasn't very happy with some of the work I produced, I didn't feel particularly confident in the things which I was doing.
Since I came from a more technical based background I struggled a bit with the visual design drawing section - but also even though I had experience with 3ds Max I wasn't able to do as well as I would have liked. I feel like the first year was like a taster course and I was happy to be accepted into the 2nd year where I now promise to myself that I would work harder, and be able to have more confidence in the work which I produce.

In terms of ambitions, im not really sure. In my spare time during and before the first year I found myself making many playable Game modifications including a bit of character design,
graphical HUD's and Menu design,
sound design,
Level Design and
3D playable vehicles.

Over the summer I found myself going more towards the level/environmental design as I was producing a set of story based game levels, but I still have an interest in making the assets for games. I think im more geared towards the actual development of games, thinking about a wider picture of things within a game and then working through it. I'm not really sure as I haven't really looked on what sort of things are available.

Looking at Blitz Game
3d Modeller & Texture Artist - looks quite interesting
Technical artist - im not too keen on
Visual Effects Artist - Looks interesting but it doesn't get me excited
Concept Artist - This would be a good pathway but as I am at the moment I wouldn't feel confident to be able to do it. I struggle with envisioning and designing products (As seen in the Vehicle From Shapes project of Last year)
GUI Artist - Although I have worked a bit on this a while ago in my spare time But it wouldn't be something that I would like to Specialize in.
Texture Artist - Again Im still not that confident with the texturing side of things but seems quite good if I was able to do it reasonably well.
So I think my main interest would be to go into the 3D modeling & Texture artist specialism.
Looking on the Games Design section of the Blitz website I am quite interested in the Level Editing/Designing section as I have done this before on my own and have enjoyed doing it although Im not that engaged with the scripting side of it.

Im still not fully sure what I would like to go into the most, Ill look on the Eurocom website.
In the open vacancies the 3D artist (Environmental Artist) I think would be the one to go for, in its description it is very similar to the Blitz specialism although focuses more on the Environmental side which I find myself more interested in. It states about producing props, weapons, and other things, also in the 3D Artist Job Description it also has a section on Character Modeling which as a whole would be quite interesting as its not specialized in 1 small area but is actually quite vast and exciting.

I have no interested in programming what so ever, otherwise I would have searched for a different University course than this one.

Looking on these 2 websites as a start Im interested more in the Eurocom 3D Artist
which covers all environmental but also character and prop development.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

District 9

I bought the dvd of this film to check it out - I was interested but didnt get a chance
to see it.

Well yes it was very different, following an interview style narrative (kidding along at
the start with the prefabricated "The views in these interviews....") Quickly jumped you
into the world of the film using news reportage with the typical shakey camera effect you get with the media - also the type of lens. This made it very believable as it was using things which we could identify with; Again the CGI, Design and effects were excellent but compaired to the New Star Trek film I recently seen, the story and the way it was told was far superiour.
It was a British film suprisingly and wasnt Americanised (which I was a bit afraid of) and it had elements which me, as a british person, could identify with.

Its hard to summarise the film as there was a lot happening, loads of effects but it also had a darkness towards it with the xenophobic attitude towards the aliens, but also the aliens seeming quite corrupt - as seen in dark alleys in cities dealing in weapons and drugs.Each were balanced but in some ways throughout the whole film the Aliens were treated as scum and unable to have their own voice with humans prodding forms into their chests, failure to follow these structures and they would be shot.

This sort of attitude was clear in the film and it made you connect with the species.
All in all it was a great film full of political and moral controversy, its hard to specify anymore what was good or bad about it. There was a lot in it;
you could connect with the characters,
you could see the corruption in the media and humanity,
it gave you a picture of world events (even if set in an alternate reality)

Was just very well done and had a strong storyline and I really enjyoed watching it.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

This was an interesting, dark British film with Jason Statham (from the transporter films) staring as 1 of the characters. Personally im not a great fan of these dark crime based British films as the living conditions portrayed in the films involving lieing, deceit and violence would definatly not be the way I would like to Live.
Anyway they are very good at showing these.

The film was produced in 1998 but for me while watching, seemed to be late 80's - early 90's. The film grain was apparent and although I know it may not have been intentional because of technology, it helped supplement the dark atmosphere of the film. The characters were as you would expect and at the start of the film were clearly labeled by a narrator.
Its hard to think of what to say more about this film, the story-lines all interlocked where at the start things seemed to be all over the place. Towards the start when a character apparently lost the Casino game, although the card game was explained in the film I was still confused to what were classed as good or bad cards, the sequence where the main character puts cards down and walks off i was in mixed thought as to what actually happened but due to the way the camera was going around the character (almost like an artistic impression of a headache/migrane) quickly suggested loss and defeatism. Was quite well done even though I didn't fully understand the card game.

The film carried on switching between the gangs and individual characters and eventually wound up at the destruction of them all (Apart from the main character Group) which was quite well done. Hard to pinpoint exactly what was good about it, it had a pinch of dark humor about it.
Although I dont care much for those who deal in crime, I was happy to learn that the group who we met from the start ended up to be the ones who still survived.
The "Cliffhanger" at the end of the film was a good touch, where the group could still get a lot of money from the stolen rifles - although a few minutes ago, thoughts of police looking for them, tieing the group to the investigation, wanted the rifles destroyed. (Doesn't do justice in words) and having the ending where the audience could choose what happens, if the character drops the rifles into the river, or if he answers the phone.
Personally for me, I would like to just leave it at that situation rather than choose what he would do.

So it was quite a well done film, quite dark in setting, lifestyle and humor and although not my first choice for a film to watch It was quite entertaining.