Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas Project - Gregory Crewdson

I chose to look at this photographer mainly because of the still frame compositional aspect of his work. His photographs in many cases look like screen shot's from films and as such leave the viewer pondering on a multitude of questions. So I chose to look at photography so I could focus on composition and focus. By breaking down a good photograph I understand how and why aspects such as composition and lighting are used to enhance the image. I chose photography particularly as it greatly interests me, previously for looks but more recently for the technical skill involved.

What I like about this photo more than anything is the fact that as soon as you look at it you are a rush with hundreds of questions, as the composition and everything involved causes the viewer to think outside of the photograph. As soon as I saw the photo I was asking myself what this mans story was, who is he, where is, what has he done, why is he there, what is he thinking and so on.
The way the photo is shot causes these questions and that is from the mans pose and position the luggage the open car door the weather (pathetic fallacy maybe) the location. All of these aspects cause me to draw up a story around this one still frame which I find amazing. To me the man is on the run from his failing marriage, which he didn't want to leave, and he is now coming to terms with what is happening in his life. He has been driving for around an hour or two and has come to a sleepy drive through town and has no where to go.
The lighting in this piece is great as well as it pushes the character out at you whilst slowly diffuses into the dark void in the background.
I also like the way that the perspective of the street and most of the cables point towards and then through the character into the background, causing the character to feel like hes on the road to nowhere.

I possibly don't like the vagueness of the image as almost too little information is provided to ascertain anything solid about the character and his identity and from loooking at other works of this artist it is a common theme. The lack of identity I find with the character can cause a certain distance but at the same time it has allowed my imagination to run freely through this image as im not being told what is actually happening.
There is a strange spot light effect at the rear of the image where there doesn't seem to be a source, I know that the artist has used this light to cause the subject to distinguish from the background but to me it looks like there should be a UFO just out of shot above the street, perhaps there is?

Friday, 27 November 2009

how did it go?

so overall i believe that the project has been a great success as i set out to create two characters textured skinned and rigged and then animated in a short scene . As a whole the project has been an excellent learning curve as 90% of the learning has been done through tutorials, class mates and just experimenting with the software. im amazed at the fact that i was able to finish as last week i was bitching over the fact that i would never get it finished but through perseverance and a lot of coffee i managed to get everything done that i wanted to.
now seeing the process a a whole i can understand why areas of the process are divided up in to separate jobs as each area needs a lot of care and a lot of time in order to get the best possible results.
over the past 6 weeks i have gone from being scared of the controls and jobs in maya to now feeling really confident in what i am able to achieve with the program and im hungry to learn more :D

storyboards for the animation

so here are the simple brainwave boards i used to get the animation blocked out. i wanted to have an idea of what i was trying to achieve before setting out to do it

Thursday, 26 November 2009

the animation

iv managed to get a nice short animation done involving the two characters the zoo keeper is gunna clean up the poo when the kid comes running in chasing a fly then slips on the poo simple.
im really surprised at how well i was able to use the rigs, but it just meant i had to be imaginative and start keying some of the bones in order to get the look i wanted. and i had great fun recording the voices and comping the sounds.

right there is the link to the vid if this doesnt work

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Animating all day and probably all night .....

so i am probably a good half way through the animation but there is still lots to do i thought i would jus give a render to show progress, had loads of problems though such as the rigs not working exactly as i wanted them to so i have had to solve some issues. such as walking the characters have to walk on the spot then i have to move the master control to make them move,, not ideal if u ask me but it solved the problem .

rigged in a day

im amazed with the speed at which i managed to skin and rig willie billiams. it took just a day for me to create the skeleton skin it paint weigths add ikhandles and add set driven keys, which previously with wee eck took around 3 weeks

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


so Wee Eck is finished finally rigged with eye controls, hand controls ( spread, curl and individual digits) reverse foot lock and locators there is also a handle to control the sporran.

after all the problems iv had im really happy with the final result. this character has been a huge learning curve for me and i have learnt so much as before this character i had never modelled, skinned, textured or rigged my own character.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

willie billiams

so the model for willie billiams is finished now. i am really happy with the way hesw ended up very simple yet does the job and the colours nicely compliment each other.

not only that the 2 characters i have created should look quite nice on screen together


so its been a while since iv blogged but thats only cos iv been so busy working on all these projects so yeah basically i have now decided that the model of the zoo keeper is finished and i have been skinning the character which i have had soo many problems with.

so i started by following tutorials on how to create the skeleton which was simple enough and then bound it to the mesh, then steve suggested using roll bones to make it easier to rotate the bones so i went back detached the mesh and inserted roll bones.

iv had many issues with bones not behaving properly and so it has meant going back to the skeleton and tweaking things. i started painting the weights of my character and everything seemed to be going well until the next day wen i came back to work on the weights i couldnt use the paint weight toool ??!! so i spent 2 days tryin to figure out why, resetting tools searching through the hierachy and so on, not to mention trawling through the internet for answers. i was coming to the point of deleting prefs but i didnt want it to affect the rest of my work so that was a no go. in the end i decided to detach the mesh from the skeleton at the risk of losing the weights i had painted so i did this then noticed the neck joints werent working properly so i added more joints tweaked some stuff re-bound the mesh and hay presto the paint weight tool works again the only problem is it seems to have lost the weights that i painted so bback to painting weights for me

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

tex mex chicken!!!

finally got both my UV map and my Texture map sorted for Wee-eck. The most difficult part was the face as there is a lot more detail there than i thought so in some cases i had to break the model down into really small parts to get the texture map to work.
most impressed with the kilt to be honest with ya, and also it was probably the simplest bit.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

final design work for wee eck and for willie billiams pretty happy with it

willie billiams

so heres the progress with the model at the mo still needs a lot of refinement

Friday, 23 October 2009

research on the kid

yeah so heres a couple of images grabbed from the net for my research only a couplle dont want to drown u with a flood of images

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

problems with my mesh

so i transferred my mesh into Zbrush after i thought it was finished and then i encountered problems with my model. there were holes in the neck area ( in Zbrush not in maya) and in some areas there was a clear seam with strange irregularities.

so i went back into maya and tried to fix the problems with relative success, with the neck problem there were no evident reasons for the mesh breaking but there was a quick fix with the collar by adding some geometry which needed to be there, with the neck i decided it was the same problem so i took my maya model and smoothed it then exported it to zbrush and that seems to have worked fine.

with the crazy seam problem it was apparent that when i mirrored the geometry in maya it did not merge the verts so i halfed the model and made sure the geo wass merged and still the problem occured. i looked depper into the mesh and it was clear that in some areas the seam had created lots of extra geo and placed it on top of each other so i went through the model and got rid of the unneeded geo and this solved my problems now it is ready to be messed with in zbrush.

this process has proved a good test for the model that u have built as zbrush shows up irregularities that maya didnt.

Friday, 16 October 2009


this is where im at so far with wee-eck as you can see the rough model is nearly finished and I am nearly ready to transport this mesh into Z-brush to refine

Thursday, 15 October 2009

maya modelling WIP

so heres the stage im at so far with my character im pretty impressed with myself at the mo seeing as this is my first solo model (without tutorials or anythin) its only mirrored jus for the screen shot iv been workin on the one side then mirroring just to make sure that its all going well :D

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

clay maquette

so seeing as i have to create a 3D character that looks to be in a clay style what better way to understand the way it should look than by actually building the model out of clay

sketchbook scribble sheet

so i pitched all of my character sketches to my family and got them to pick the best designs that fitted the brief and profile. so yeah the one that came out on top was one that i had over looked as such it made sense and i had realised that my idea of the character had become too soft . so i redesigned the character based on the results


here is a collection of facial expressions for wee eck

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

maya and modelling

yeah so im not too strong at modelling so from the beginning of this project i have been working through the maya workbook that i posted earlier which by the way is probably the most useful book of all as it goes through everything that u need to know, some things are very detailed and iv come across new ways of working in maya through this book not to mention the confidence boost i got from working on this cartoon penguin.....


heres some pages from my sketchbook mainly research and the last page is character designs mainly looking at the guys face, if u hadnt guessed im doing the scottish zoo keeper

Monday, 12 October 2009

my reading list

these are some books that have treated me well so i thought i would share them with u guys, if ur into concept art then the halo art, skillful huntsman, imagineFX and digital fantasy painting books are all very inspiring and very useful so look into them.