Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Influence: Graphic 45's Le Cirque Collection

When I started thinking more into American P.T. Barnum's whole showman and entertainer role in circus and all things 'spectacular' I remembered a craft company who specialise in vintage materials for card making and scrapbooking something I really love doing in my spare time. I realised that they had created a vintage/old fashioned collection based around the circus.

They are also American so their vintage styles would link back to American history. Even though this collection may not be based on the 1800s when Barnum was around it is still very inspirational with its colours and how things are put together and laid out in such a 'grand show' way so I thought I would share them.

Games Modelling: Head Part 5

The roughed out nose has been scultped and definition to the lips and jaw added.

Curve Flow: Motion Path Dynamics

Curve Emitter: Water Foam

I really enjoyed doing this one because at first I had no idea how you would create that effect but now it all makes sense!

Monday, 28 January 2013

World Fairs/The Crystal Palace Influence Map

Phil suggested looking at the old Crystal Palace which was originally in Hyde Park and held the first world fair as it was very grand and spectacular so it seems perfect to use as a basis setting for an attraction of Phileas Fogg's adventure.

The Great Adventures of Phileas Fogg!

At the beginning of 'Around the World in 80 Days' Phileas Fogg was laughed at for thinking he could do just this. However, in the end he does achieve that but we never know what's next for him. If we pretended that Phileas Fogg was a real historical figure who was first to travel around the world then alongside other historical figures who have achieved fantastic things during the 19th century he would probably have been celebrated and his achievement made look spectacular.

The publication of 'Around the World in 80 Days' (1872) also corresponds with the start of the world fairs (1951) so it seems suitable that Fogg would have a fair dedicated to his travels so I am going to design a filmic digital set exhibiting and celebrating his journey with elements from each of his stops displayed.


After Phileas Fogg completes his venture around the world he settles back down to his old habits but with a few extra and better ones which his new wife accompanies him with. However, he is soon approached by American entertainer and businessman P.T. Barnum, who is fascinated with his achievement, with the proposal of creating a fantastical museum based on his great adventures around the globe. This is to much delight from Fogg's valet Passepartout who feels it would be an honour for his noble master to share the greatness he achieved. After much persuading by Passepartout and Barnum, Fogg finally accepts.

World Fairs in the Victorian Era

During the Victorian Era the thought of exploration was very sought after and written about a lot in newspapers. This was most likely due to the expansion of the British Empire to more countries overseas which was vital for trading. The British were very keen to celebrate the diversity and richness of the empire so any excuse to show their successes would be attempted.

'The Great Exhibition' of 1851 was the very first world fair which celebrated the British Empire.

The Victorians were also keen on celebrating people who developed the empire such as those who founded technological advancements.
This would be similar for anyone else who achieved something huge which was done first in Britain including explorers...

Because I want to great a very filmic digital set of 'Around the World in 80 Days' I want something that I can add a bit of wow factor to. It felt like there was something missing with the direction I was going and I wasn't sure which environment was more likely to allow me this wow factor. However, the question arose... what would happen to Phileas Fogg's success?

Wouldn't he be celebrated for travelling around the world in 80 days?

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Games Modelling: Head Part 3

Some adjustments to the head so that the faces are all laying flat and adding some edge loops and space for the mouth.

Front and side shots of making room for the mouth.

Games Modelling: Head Part 2

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Games Modelling: Head Part 1

I've completed the first part of the games modelling head and I keep telling myself not to smooth preview! I've also saved this out as a separate base so that next time I have a character to model I have a base to start from like Alan suggested.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Adaptation Idea Presentation

Victorian Era Colour Palette

Just as I did for steampunk I have created a colour palette for the Victorian period so that this will keep me on track when it comes to my sets and allow me to combine colours from Victorian and steampunk.

Some of the deep colours remind me of some of the oldest Tiffany lamps.

Steampunk Colour Palette

To understand the style of steampunk further I have studied a range of steampunk art pieces, graphic design and products and picked out regularly used colours which overall seem to scream steampunk as a basis to the style.

I realised that the colours of steampunk are quite muted/soft and very industrial as they remind me of the old railway trains so I'll have to keep this in mind for my digital sets.

Art Direction: Steampunk

On deciding the type of art direction I want to take my adaption of 'Around the World in 80 Days' in I looked at what has and what hasn't already been done with past adaptations as I want to make sure I am original with my design. I also thought about which direction would compliment elements of the book well. Phileas Fogg's extreme habit of accuracy of numbers and time keeping makes him seem a bit like a machine. There are also a lot of mechanical and technological advances influencing the book so it seemed right that steampunk would be appropriate.

Here are a couple of influence maps looking at steampunk in art as well as exisiting uses in film and game.

Steampunk Art
Existing Steampunk Films & Games

Monday, 21 January 2013

Key Extracts from Around the World in 80 Days

To help me narrow down which two environments I would like to adapt from the novel I have been searching through the book for interesting setting descriptions. I have got to the halfway point of the book and have found the below already.

Doing two environments means that it would be nice to have contrasting ones so a European one and a more oriental one.

I think I would like to do part of the Reform Club for my European one as there is a lot of good description for rooms in here and an internal environment alongside an external environment would be a nice contrast. I am still not sure which oriental enivronment I would like to do yet from what I have found but there are still a few more destinations left in the book so I may find the right one from them.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Volume Emitter: Space Travel

I wanted to get some more practice in with particles before the next lesson so I completed the bonus tutorial which was pretty fun to do.

Primary Research: Historic Rochester

Because 'Around the World in 80 Days' is set during the Victorian era I thought it would be appropriate to research into areas of Victorian streets and buildings. I then remembered we have Charles Dickens and Victorian history right here in Rochester so what better way than to get up close and see it with my own eyes!

I took quite a few images of Victorian elements down the Rochester high street while I tried to bare the cold weather. I think these will be really useful to put myself in this timezone even if I don't design a digital set of a British Victorian street and also because these structures follow other parts of Victorian design.


Friday, 18 January 2013

Volume Emitter: Smoke

Omni Emitter: Fuse

I've completed the omni emitter we used for a bomb fuse just sticking in some very simple lights and a plane in the background so that the particles can be seen properly.

Directional Emitter: Explosion

Next for particles was the directional emitter which we used to create a sort of explosion.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sketching Particles: Clouds

It's now time to start playing around with some particles! Now I know how all those cool effects like clouds and sparks are created :) This was really great to learn how to do, perhaps this one will come in useful for my actual digital set... railway steam anyone?

Maya Software rendered shot of airship colliding with cloud particles.

Playblast showing airship colliding with particles.

A short guide to 'Around the World in 80 Days'

As part of my adaptation research I have made a sort of 'guidebook' to Around the World in 80 Days to really get into my head what the novel is about, who it involves, and the background behind it. This was also nice to do as it keeps the basis of the novel all in one document for me to refer back to regularly making sure I'm still on topic.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days'

During my first tutorial with Alan yesterday we talked through the ideas I had and which one I was leaning towards. Adapting Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days' into either a single environment or possibly two contrasting ones -time depending- was the idea that I was most keen to go on with and Alan was happy with me to do this.

While I'm re-reading and picking out important things from Verne's classic I'll be posting up useful research and possible environment ideas from the book.
I'm going to start off with a short summary of the story though both for focus and for anyone who is not familiar with it.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Adaptation: Ideas

Since the briefing I have come up with 3 possible ideas for what I could do for this unit which are briefly explained below.

Idea 1:

I have a keen interest in Victorian stories and the steampunk styling so I would really be happy to adapt an environment out of a text which is set in Victorian times to a steampunk style. A list of books I have thought of which I think are possible to adapt from for this are...

Around the World in Eighty Days
The 39 Steps
Treasure Island
His Dark Materials (The Northern Lights)
The Ruby in the Smoke
A Charles Dickens novel.
A H.G. Wells novel.

From more research I am leaning towards 'Around the World in Eighty Days' if I was to do this.

Idea 2:

I also am really interested in Film Noir so another option is to find a text to adapt a set from in this genre.

Idea 3:

I really liked the idea of adapting an Aesop's fable into an animated short however taking a modern twist to it so that it could appeal to audiences now better.

Adaptation: Initial Thoughts

When I first got this brief and saw the scope and wide selection there was to chose from it did scare me a bit but thinking about what I may want to do for a career did help a bit even if I am still unsure what element of the animation and CG world for definite I would like to work for. So it's a bit of a combination of what I enjoy doing a lot and what I have narrowed down to what I would like to work as that has got me to the conclusion of where I want to go for this unit.

Out of all the possible pipelines the ones that stand out to me the most are:

-'Text to Digital Set for Film'

-Text to Animated Short'

I think the idea of doing a digital set would be more suitable and enjoyable for me however so I am leaning towards this unless I find something that grabs my attention as good to adapt into an animated short.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Narrative & Character Design: Maya Tutorial Links

Here is an archive of all of the maya tutorial posts I have put up together to help them be found easier. :)

Lip Syncing:

Cartoon Character- Modelling:

Cartoon Character- UV Mapping:

Cartoon Character- Skinning:

Cartoon Character- Rigging:

Cartoon Character- Turnaround:

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Character Bible- Interplanetary Lyra

Character Bible- Interplanetary Lyra

Character Design: CD Artwork

When it came to creating a design for my CD I really wanted it to embody the 1960s influence and theme of my work. I wanted it to be bold so I looked at 1960s art work especially more graphical pieces and film posters. I loved the use of silhouetting but decided it didn't all have to be about black silhouettes so I brought back in some of those bright funky colours the 1960s is known for.

I also finally decided on a title for all my character design to come under. 'Interplanetary Lyra'. I did a bit of research into 1960s titles for sci-fi and spy films and noticed they were normally quite short and sweet like 'The Avengers', 'I Spy' and 'Get Smart'. Some of them also had a bit of mystery to them such as 'Mission: Impossible' and 'Danger Man' so I tried to combine both for my title.

Villain Final Prop: Spacesuit Mounted Gun

Seen as my villain has been though a lot what with losing parts of his limbs I thought it only fair that he gets a chance with a gun attached to his spacesuit where the majority of his arm would be. That way he can aim it as if he was moving his arm and press one of his buttons on his suit with his fake arm to make it fire.

Villain Turnaround

This is my villain turnaround. It may look strange that in the sideview he doesn't have a face just the top of his helmet showing but this is due to the bulk of his suit coming up past his headline in the front and back views and his helmet having only a small see through section at the front where his face is.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Villain Facial Expressions

My villain's facial expressions range from being full of himself to scary angry and while he looks a bit different when he is angry I quite like the difference because is as if he is turning ugly from being villainous.

Height Comparison Charts

To really get a sense of my characters as part of their world here is are height comparison charts showing the different scales of each and allowing us to imagine what sort of form they would be if they were real.

Height Comparison Chart- Silhouettes
Height Comparison Chart- Colour Poses

Group Image

Here are my three characters as a group just to see them all fitting together :)

Villain Colour Palette

My villain colour palette, which is made up of a very minimal range of colours to link back to the 1960s appliance theme for him.

Villain Final Coloured Version

Here is my villain in his final colours. I wanted something very contrasting to my hero and sidekick but very minimalistic at the same time so again I looked at 1960s appliances.

Villain Silhouette

This is my villain silhouette for me to check that I'm happy with the way he looks before painting him. He is very asymetrical which is what I wanted to show that there is something dodgy about him so I think I can go on to paint him now.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Finalised Villain Outline & Pose

After many attempts at making my villain droop and hunch over a bit I got to a drawing where I realised that he just wasn't looking like the villain I imagined anymore. He had lost some of his snobbish body language. I had a think about how I could keep the snobby villain but also make his form feel real and as if it could be carried and decided then to re-attach one of his legs as this would help carry the weight. (He'll also be a bit happier now and might not rip our world to smitherings)

Villain Posture Development

I've already got my villain's outfit and shape and form sorted and ready to paint however there was something that me and Justin both agreed wasn't working and that was the posture of my villain. He felt as if he was standing too straight when really if he's lost parts of his body and has now got all of these heavy mechanical attachments until he supposedly takes over the world and gets his looks back he would struggle to stand straight. He needed either a sort of hunched over or dragged down posture which is what I was trying to figure out in these rough gesture drawings below.

I think the dragged down to one side of #3 worked best as he looks as though he is trying to stand up straight but really struggling to.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Sidekick Facial Expressions

I really enjoyed doing these facial expressions for my sidekick. I dunno if it's because I got to be a bit more experimental and creative with how to make him show emotion compared to human characters. I decided I didn't want his lava to just stay the same as this would be quite boring and unemotional so I have changed it's characteristics for each. When Aves is scared the lava stretches and wobbles as if shaking. When he is excited it pops and falls to the bottom of the casing. When he is happy it multiplies rapidly and when he is sad it sinks to the bottom while Aves swivels his head around to face the wrong way and keeps his wings folded up. :)

Sidekick Turnaround

Here is my finished sidekick turnaround. From the back it looks like I have changed his wings but I haven't promise! The bolts/hinges along the wings allow them to fold up so they fold up like a paper fan into each other. I wanted this rather than just having massive wings stuck on his back because I felt this kept to his sleek design on every other part of his body and didn't want a big chunk of wing to lose this.

Sidekick Final Prop: Wing Mounted Gun

When it came to my sidekick's prop he needed something quite lethal to counteract his weaknesses as a fighter and more of a knowledge machine. However, because he is not much of a fighter it didn't seem him that he would hold it normally so I attached it quite un-naturally to his wing with straps. I also made it quite small. Whereas the hero's gun is quite chunky and the length of her head, the sidekick's seems small in comparison to his size. It's sort of there just incase he really needs to help fight otherwise the hero does all the action.
I also wanted to keep it true to his design so was inspired by 1960s hand massage machines and the smoothness of them which could match his lava lamplike body.

Sidekick Colour Palette

Below is the full colour palette for sidekick. Some colours are used for multiple parts because of the minimal colourways of 1960s appliances.

Sidekick Final Coloured Version

My coloured sidekick is finally finished. I changed up the colours from my tests a bit more as he seemed to work better with browns and creams/beiges and then the turquoise lava actually fit as well!

Because he is based on 1960s household objects and appliances I looked at a lot of them for colour layouts on them. This one was particularly inspiring because of its minimalistic but in your face colour.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Colour Comparisions- Sidekick & Heroine

To help me with my colour choice of the sidekick I popped the colour experiments I did on the same canvas as my heroine to see which seems to sit best with her. I'm still not very sure but am now leaning towards #2 as I don't think he overshadows her but also stands out in his own right. I'm still not too keen on the silver though.

Sidekick Colour Experiments (Feedback Please!)

I have been experimenting with colour palettes for my sidekick below. The colours are already limited to colours that compliment my heroine nicely so there are not as many because they have been narrowed down. I did one experiment with turquoise lava but it just linked to my here too much and made my sidekick sort of fade into the background so I tried to think of other colours that compliment turquoise/teal and settled on a sort of yellow or orange, beige, brown or a light green colour. These are the colours I experimented with below but tried to limit to a use of 3 colours in each experiment. I also used silver as the metallic parts but I'm not sure if this works or whether more beige would. Perhaps going the same as my hero with gold?

Which do you think works the best or are there any other suggestions for colour ways I could go?

Sidekick Silhouette

Again here is the silhouette to go with the character's outline so that I can check that everything looks correct before moving on.