Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sessions 9 and 10

Firstly and apology to anyone who reads this blog for the lack of update last week. I was ill and got very little work done so didnt feel like posting up JUST the lecture stuff.

Session 9s lecture had an animator named Emma Calders, her stuff can be found at
Now after my embarrisingly inarticulate ramble about the last lecturer I was looking forward to another animator. Alas Emma Calders is one of THOSE animators, ones who cant really draw or animate that well. Her subject matter was often crude and uninspiring.
She used a variety of mediums from paint and ink to rubbish. Her stuff was in places childlike and in others terrifying. The childrens show she animated with characters made from rubbish and found objects looked nightmarish though the odd music that accompanied it was admittedly pretty awesome.
Now looking at my work you can probably guess what kind of animation I find interesting, but that's not to say that I write off something because it isn't done on the computer or with animation cells. This here is what I consider to be a good example of using paint for animation- Cory McAbee
Emma Calders did have one good piece of work that stood out from the terrifying childrens shows and animated turds. It was a rather striking piece called Queens Monastery and was done for the BBC. The reason I liked this out of all her stuff was because it showed a definate level of skill and there were some very nice bits of animation within it.

Session 10s lecture was surprise surprise another ceramicist Janice Tchalenko. As with the other ceramicists that have come in Janice was a lovely person who created things that didn't interest me. Thankfully her lecture also detailed alot about her life and she has led rather an interesting one.
From what I could gather she was something of a radical amongst the other ceramicists at the time and was someone who was genuinely successful to a point of being self sufficient. I put this down to her remarkable work ethic, the rate at which she produced pieces and how sensible a person she was in general.
Her talk about her time in China was enlightening, I've worked in a craft centre before and never once considered where all the ridiculous identical pots came from so it was an eyeopener to see her images of the pottery factories.
She also seemed to end up working with the most unlikely of people. The favourite of her pieces I saw were the 7 Deadly sins pots that she did with Roger Law of spitting image fame.

A couple of notable quotes from her were-

"I steal everything, digest it and then it comes out. There's nothing original in life so feel free to pinch my ideas"
" Museums like broken pieces stuck together, collectors like things whole."
"Gallery directors don't like change... Beware"

Ok, now onto the nitty gritty. The work I have produced so far.

I have successfully completed the last of the character models.
Jack Jr was an absolute pain in the arse to model, I was too busy listening to people opinions instead of getting stuff done so what should have been an easy enough model turned into an all consuming monster.
It all started with people comments about my D'Gorath model on Deviant art which got me onto asking about tris, then onto getting Ken Lau to crit my work. Now dont get me wrong Ken's crits helped improve the model but they also led me into unfamiliar ground and I lost my footing somewhat.
I spent so long trying to create a character that held no triangles that it became too much of a chore for me.
Here are some images of Jack Jr

Once the damn model was finally done I was pleased with the outcome but vowed that it shouldn't take me that long to model anything again.

I took what I had learnt from the previous models and began working on the last model. Springheeled Jack.
I began with an eye ball and began creating edge loops around the eye and mouth. Then instead of obsessively making sure there were no tris at all I used them sparingly, it made creating the hair and ear a lot easier as it lowered the amount of verts I had to work with.
When it came to the moustache I used the same trick as I did with Peabody's, I created it separately then combined the meshes and simply placed it into position, this saved me having to weld the complex shape into my mes and ruining the edge loops.
With the body I used the plane modelling technique but instead of extruding edges I used the bridge edges tool and then cut into the new polys with the edge loop tool so that I had divisions that I could manipulate making the model smoother.
I added loops around the legs as Ken had told me and then began making the hands.
The hands were a simple cube that I divided up with edge loops and began extruding faces to create the fingers and thumb. I wanted Jack to have long nails and knobbly hands so I manipulated the loops I added to allow the fingers to bend to give him pronounced knuckles.
Then came the belt buckle. After seeking out my friend Joe's advice I created the buckle in the same way as the moustache so that its a separate object that has been combined to the original mesh and then put in place.
Finally came the cape. Originally I was going to do it the moustache/buckle way but after again conferring with Joe he showed me how to turn it into an N Cloth. I don't know how well that will work out since I don't fully understand it be We'll see.
Here are the images of Jack

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Session 8

If there was a good way to articulate the sound of a long heavy sigh in the English language then that would be how this post would start, unfortunately I don't believe there is a way so its beginning with this sentence.
The generation of the sigh was due to the lecture we had this session and I feel bad for sighing, really I do.
The lecture was by a world renowned ceramicist named Ken Eastman. Ken was undoubtedly THE best speaker we've had so far. The way he delivered the lecture was perfect and I found myself liking him a lot. Alas it was the subject of the lecture that made me want to melt into a puddle of impotent and sleepy anger.
I'm constantly baffled by the practices of two disciplines- Product Design and Ceramics.
Now product design and I go way back (see session 5) so there's personal reasons for me not respecting it. Ceramics on the other hand was only introduced to me via the glorious contextual studies sessions at UCLAN and as soon as I had that first lecture (I believe it was a girl who put beads in concrete) I knew I wouldn't get along with it.
And why's that?


Despite the fact that he has been the best person at delivering a lecture we've had so far Ken Eastman just couldn't make me appreciate ceramics. It's a terribly dull and wholly useless thing to learn about unless you are actually a ceramicist.
I'm getting slightly concerned that I'm not going to have enough material for this next essay since I cant find a lot of worth in most of the lecturers that we've had. I like to think Im trying, and I do try to look at the positive side of them and get some good quotes that I could link in but by Christ I'm running out of patience now.

Incidentally the quotes are as follows-

"The more rules I impose the freer I get" This i agree with
"A good idea doesn't mean good work"
"Don't try to make a piece better just start another"

As for the other side of the Masters I have got most of the boy model done though the hair has been an absolute arse to get looking how I want it to.

I also did a pretty picture-

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Sessions 6 and 7

Session 6 had an interesting talk by a director called Carolyn Corben.
She began her career as a fashion/textiles student and ended up doing alot of unique designs for adverts which led to her getting a directing debut doing idents for ITV Weather-

It was quite interesting to hear her thoughts on direction, one quote I got was- "Most important for direction is a strong independent creative vision"
She also believed that the current generation you needed to be a multi skilled worker to get a job.

During class I completed my D'Gorath model however Id had some criticism online as to the amount of Tris it contained. Brilliantly the internet is full of more talkers than doers so when I asked about tris I got a fat lot of nothing back. I took it upon myself to ask for the help of fellow tutor and student Ken Lau to crit the model. He took me through the things I could do to change which were mainly the hand and the crotch.
Here's a comparison of before and after Kens input

And here's the untextured model-

After that was done I got stuck into Peabody. All I really had to do was create the head for this one and tweak the body so it looked less muscular-

And then I began looking at the last two and certainly the more difficult models.
I decided to go for Jack Jr as I really like how the drawings of him have turned out.
Heres a picture of me starting the model

Ive been looking at Ken's blog for tips on how to get the loops on the face so that they work and its INFURIATING. There is some progress but its just slowwwww. Heres the more looped model WIP-

And finall I begun concepts for the environments.

Here is the orphanage roof