Thursday, 5 May 2011

Entry the Final

As you’ve been reading this blog you may have noticed a trend. When Im happy with the place I am with my work I feel more inclined to post.

If a character was made I would post

If I had learnt a new awesome skill I would post.

Alas I haven’t felt that I’ve gotten to a place I want to be with the last stage of this project hence the lack of posts.

Against my sensibilities I’m forced to post up a final entry for this semester for the hand in so this entry will contain work done so far and what I intend to get done within the last week of this project

Before I get into that though I suppose I should post my feelings on the last two lecturers we had.

First up is James Corazzo. James is a graphic design lecturer at Stockport College and exuded a powerful feeling of self assurance and arrogance. If he was a robot he would be made by Apple Mac. I settled in all ready to be bored/smug/hate filled as he announced that this lecture would be “About Nothing” and that “It will be the only lecture he does where if someone said to him I learnt about nothing in that lecture he would be happy” yes yes, I was ready.

Then a tragic thing happened. The lecture was actually the most interesting one we’ve had to date. It was less about learning and more about pointing things out. He pointed out how important negative space is in every aspect of design and life and I was enthralled. Everything about his demeanour and the way he spoke made me dislike him but the subject matter was too engaging for me to dismiss him.

Further compounding my love have relationship with Mr Corazzo was the fact that when I was looking for information on him for this essay, images of previous pieces and works he had done, I infuriatingly found barely anything! In fact all I found was a lot of people saying how great he was. This led to me having to reference a project at Stockport he did instead of his actual design work.

Next up is Michael Marriott, a product designer. Not much can really be said about Michael. He was terribly dull and his work seemed to mainly exist as a platform for other peoples works (mainly an artist named Anthony Burrill). Brilliantly it was the only lecture that was dull enough to make the guy in charge of the lecture actually want it to end instead of trying to drag out as much info from Michael as possible. Ah, the little things in life…

Now, the WORK.

So when I began this project I envisioned doing animation, two characters, two different sets of animations, a simple project. Alas Josh decided to push my buttons and get me making something that would be far more interesting.

I decided then that I would make a set of models that told a story. That soon changed into a digital comic with interactive panels where at key points in the action the viewer would be guided through the panel then back out into the story. This iteration is what I wanted to do more than anything. Alas my own inexperience with Maya was my undoing. I was striving for something I simply couldn’t do and that disheartened me and caused me to fall behind. Whereas in the first semester I had everything done in good time this semester I find myself fighting to get things done on time.

To date I have managed to-

Create 4 characters

Unwrap and texture all 4 of them

Rig 3 of them

Create 2 environments and the furniture within (5 or 6 pieces)

Unwrapped and textured the environments and Furniture

Now all along Josh had been keen for me to produce the models and have them viewable in Unity and up until this last week that had been my end goal, finish the models and rearrange them into scenes that people could look around on the computer. It would be a project sure but ultimately not one I would be happy with.

Then it hit me. There was something I had been doing throughout the entire project that was far more interesting than a couple of staged scenes. All along Id had one thing in mind, even looking back to the first semester it was there. The idea of me presenting my way of drawing and of realising characters in 2D into a 3D space. Would I be able to get the same characterisation and feeling that I have in 2D into 3D?

It requires me to look back and view how I’ve made my creations.

With each model I began with a hand drawn T-pose turn around and used a method of extruding polygon edges, this effectively means I’m tracing over the exact silhouette of the characters, that I’m sticking as close to the shapes I made them with as possible. Instead of using the sketch as a guide it’s a mould or a template.

I’ve stuck to low poly characters for both projects. I feel more comfortable working with fewer polys as I feel the textures do a bit more work meaning I can get the same quality as in my drawn stuff.

I’ve noticed that the higher the poly count the less the characters look like the sketches. The Vikings look exactly how I wanted them to, I stuck to the shapes quite faithfully with them.

For the textures this time I added one of my ink wash textures I created for my comic work. The idea was that it would look the colour was more organic looking than simple flat colours.

Out of the new set of models the one of Peabody is the one I’m happiest with. He looks pretty much the same as I draw him. The others however aren’t quite right.

D’Gorath looks ok but seems to need eyebrows drawn on. I had tried this before however and it looked ridiculous. Other than that I like the model. The suit as solid black worked really well and I’m glad I decided to keep it solid instead of going for a deep blue or grey.

Jack Jr looks terrifying he’s my least favourite of the models. The body turned out fine but the head looks horrible, it’s missing all the personality of the concept sketches. I’m putting this down to Jack Jr being the first human face I’ve tried to model properly. I got caught up in people’s advice about edge loops so instead of going with my gut and creating something that looked like the drawing I began trying to build according to conventions. I know conventions are there for a reason but I can’t help but feel that I’d have been better off just doing what I felt would work.

Spring heeled Jack turned out ok. The main thing for me is the brow. In the sketches he has deep-set yet large eyes. This was an odd thing to create in 3D and hes ended up with a Neanderthal brow. I’m happy with how his body turned out though (especially his belt buckle!)

The environments turned out good, I’m happy with the way they both look especially the indoor one, though it was definitely the biggest pain to model with. I found the backgrounds quite easy after characters, I was able to get a lot done in a day on each of them which is how I’ve taken to measuring my time frames in Maya.

So where does this leave the project now?

Well I have one character left to rig. After finishing that I intend to draw out the scenes then try to re create them in 3D, same angles expressions, everything. Once that’s done I’ll be able to draw comparisons between the two and see how it looks.

Wish me luck and check back here after next Friday when I shall be posting up my final progress!

(PS gun Peabody is holding is not by me, a Penman style gun will be coming soon!)

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