Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Narrative - Character in scene

Narrative - Character Rig Complete

Narrative - Character Maya Orthographics

Narrative - Character Textured and skinning complete

I have corrected the Uv's from the initial layout that we accomplished, because of the radius and distortion of the eyes on the character it may have to be a case of only allowing the eyes to blink but not move. We will have to create free floating iris's to incorporate the movement we desire into the animation.

Texture was supplied by Ashley which i added to the Uvs that I had re-done correctly. There are distortions in the mould due to its paintily effect. 

When it came to skinning it was hard to follow Alans tutorial and incorporate his functions into my own work. The characters head in essence is his body and I managed to skin everything to a relatable joint that can move each area of the character.

Finished Skinning on the character. initially I imported the file with the tutorials ribbon spine into the scene to sculpt around, but i experimented using raw joints and parenting them with the mesh to allow movement. 
* The Ribbon Spine Concept

Narrative - Environment Uvs

Uv plans completed by myself, The wall, floor, porthole, chair and lamp. The table was imported from Lisa which she Uv'd and textured herself

Narrative - Environment Progression

Narrative - Initial Character Progression

Narrative - Initial Room Blockout

Under The Sea - Layout Development

                                                            Titanic Blueprint
Designing the interior and exterior of the ship we are going to have to look into preserving a section of the ship to make it more believable. It doesn't have to be a full model of the ship but if the camera decides to travel the space we need to give the illusion to the audience the whole ship is on the seabed. We originally wanted the characters environment to resemble the size and décor of the original Titanic. But we might consider modeling the environment to a luxury yacht that gave the Titanic a nod for inspiration.
                                                           Ship Layout Example
Here we took an example of a plan from Google images and looked at possible places we could place our character. To hint towards that heritage of a 20th century maiden voyage we must bring all the design aspects from the Titanic and place them aboard this vessel. Also we need to place the set environment carefully because with these sort of ships there are potentially multiple levels of luxury. We need to tread carefully and go with a trend of build to not lead to confusion. For example, placing the luxury Suite above the command deck/station. Because then how would the vessel sail if the bridge cannot sea the ocean?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Character: The Fabric Characters

I hope to have multiple characters for this project and a variety of them in the rooster. The style needs to be round and inviting to all audiences so I think simplistic colourful designs are crucial with this. My characters will be fabric based and so will my environment and so I will list some of these materials and bullet point suggesting possible designs.
  • Fluffy
  • Spongy
  • Soft
  • Bouncy
  • White (Snow?)
  • Luxurious
  • Delicate/Precise
  • Sleek
  • Glossy
  • Satin
  • Purple?
  • Yarn
  • Fur
  • Fleece
  • Pelt
  • Fuzz
  • Brown/Cream?
  • Jeans
  • Blue?
  • Rough
  • Stitching
  • Bumpy
  • Skin
  • Rind (Cow-Western?)
  • Hide
  • Black-Light Browns?
  • Biker
  • Clingy
  • Extremely rough
  • Sticky
  • Bristly
  • Black?
 *Experiment drawings
*Rough plan of a track idea. It could be for the silk characters home track, based on a birdseye view of an existing track with the alterations done on the selected areas.

Character: Pitch

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Character: Fabric Characters

For my Character project I thought I would use the fabric element for my character forms, this in addition to vehicles could be what the entire game is made from. Still going from my previous character post I would like to experiment with making fabric the look and feel of the game with the mystery in how you traverse these levels in a 2D platforming form. The above image is from a Lenor campaign teaching consumers how fresh their product makes clothes.

Another example of these environments would be LittleBigPlanet, the characters are all made from a fabric/material form and the surrounding areas are usually made from abstract objects that formulate a real-world reference so in this image the characters will inhabit the stage and do something theatrical.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Character: Researching #1


Jetpack Joyride - screenshot
Jetpack Joyride: App based game available on IOS and Android devices, the aim of the game is pretty much to travel as far as possible, collect coins and level up on the select screen once you eventually die. The helicopter of today, the game is high score driven with the focus not on story at all here, just that you go never ending from left to right. The story is non-existent really, you burst from a laboratory on a jetpack and are pitted against obstacles placed there why? No one knows.

Limbo: Again another game that was originally released as an app available on IOS and Android devices. You are warped into Limbo a world of darkness and despair, as you look to reunite with a girl you saw at the beginning at the top of a hill picking a flower. The game has you move freely in both directions and is made as a forgiving experience with multiple checkpoints given to the player. The puzzles are quite inventive and have you manipulating physics and the world around you.
Future Shooter: I decided to choose this particularly because of the colours and different armor customizations visible from this character select screen. Perhaps I too could incorporate the use of mechanized suits for the characters to move within, or perhaps make the mechs from durable fabrics and have the game play out like a Febreze commercial. Everything made from fabrics.

Character: Ideas from Justin's Tutorial

Yesterday I had my tutorial with Justin in regards to what my three given cards could formulate in terms of environment, characters and mechanisms to work the game. I have decided to create the game as a side scrolling action-adventure plat-former. This can be handheld or even taken to console. Played online.


We discussed that the fabric could be the character of the game, the fabric could help represent the different factions that will be pitted against each other. Perhaps there can be alternate clothing for different races that almost define the characters. I need to make it obvious that the three cards I've been given have been chosen for the three areas, they need to speak aloud to themselves.

Result: The fabric will represent the characters that will be included in the game, the attires can indicate the level of player that is playing the game. A silent progression system so it could be;

Green - Yellow - Orange - Red - Purple - Blue

As the colours slide from left to right so could the level of detail into the characters fabrics. Green being ragged and falling apart and Blue being the most desired and aesthetically pleasing. This in turn would help entice players to level up from the clothing and onto higher levels. Perhaps the fabric are pickups for completing tasks? 

The vehicles could be the mechanism that drives the game, gets the characters from A-B. Perhaps a variety if possible and this could also compliment the environment if synced correctly. What if the vehicles were dependent on certain terrains? This would open up multiple levels that could be accessed by the player; Sea, Land, Sky, Space, Underwater? It could be a progressive feature also because if we were to look at Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario, they usually start in a green colourful world and the evil is represented in much darker colours and found to be darker toward the end levels. Perhaps Space could be that darkness to conquer in the final battle.

Result: The vehicles will be the mechanism that will pit the player against the environment. The vehicles will reflect the terrain perfectly, with power-ups being accessed by a leveling tree to upgrade your vehicles. You can customize the look of the vehicle, adding extra weaponry or outfitting it with armor that would be gained from completing tasks. 


Mystery could formulate the environment. When you are playing a faced paced arcade plat-former you can never know what is coming next, so perhaps the game design should be a side scrolling plat-former. Also creating a surrealism in these levels could emphasis the fact this game looks to push the expectations of players aside. Perhaps an indicator in the environment to show that a new enemy is nearby? Or maybe no indication what the player must do, this would lead to the player solving the puzzle to 'Open the door with the golden key'.

Result: The mystery will make the game a sides scrolling action adventure game, you wont know what is ahead of you until you move to that position and reveal the camera there. This would help unveil enemies that would upset the character in there quest and perhaps detain them. The mystery could highly influence the story also, perhaps something is amiss in this world and coins must be obtained to power something to defend an area from attack?

Next is to reflect from these thoughts, tweak them and of course receive feedback before producing a story that will drive all these aspects together.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Narrative Structure: Five Act Structure, Inception

Inception (2010) Poster

Exposition & Inciting Incident: The introduction to Cobb and his allies. The predicament that hacking a clients dreams gets them in when they are recruited by Saito.

Rising Action: Grabbing Robert Fischer within his dream and escaping his subconscious, Saito being fatally wounded in the dream with the potential of being lost to Limbo.

Climax: The three kick stage that wakes the team up on all three levels of the dream, the intensity is predominant because if someone misses the kick they can be lost to the dream.

Falling Action: Cobb confronting Mal in the dream to take back Robert Fischer from his own projection, taking it upon himself to go to Limbo and retrieve Saito.

Denouement: Cobb successful in reaching Saito from the confines of Limbo and returning to the real world. Returning home to America and seeing his children once more.

Character: Inital Ideas

  • Suspense
  • Tension
  • Shadows
  • Dark
  • Problem solving
  • Conundrum
  • Riddle
  • Secrecy
  • Cryptogram
  • Oracle
  • Brainteaser
  • Mechanism
  • Automobile
  • Invention
  • Transportation
  • Steampunk
  • Transformer
  • Piston
  • Generator
  • Turbine
  • Fiber
  • Texture
  • Cloth
  • Material
  • Cotton
  • Outfit
  • Attire
  • Uniform
  • Clean

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Character - Inital Briefing

We were briefed on what our character project is based on yesterday. The aim is to produce an elaborate 'Art of' document detailing the ins and outs of our very own boardgame! We were given three unique cards that we could use to detail the;
- Environment
- Character
- Mechanic

I was given; Vehicles, Fabric and Mystery. Thoughts are plenty and I will post a mindmap and research document soon

Archetypes - Transformers 4 Age of Extinction

Archetypes - Transformers 4 Age of Extinction

The Hero - Cade Yeager, The robotics expert that finds the wreck of Optimus Prime in an old abandoned movie theatre. He patches Prime up and together they set off to find the Autobots and uncover the conspiracy laid by the humans and Lockdown.

The Mentor - Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots resurrected once more leads the Autobots against insurmountable odds. He guides Cade for most of the film but looses his way, arguably at that part of the film Cade then becomes the mentor guiding Prime back on the path. 

The Herald - Lockdown, A bounty hunter sent across the stars to collect Optimus Prime and bring him to the feet of 'The Creators'. He creates a deal with the humans to track down the last remaining Autobots and harvest them for Transformium.

The Shadow - Megatron (Soul in Galvatron), Hidden within Galvatron the essence of Megatron is alive, looking for revenge but he doesn't have the knowledge of who he once was, only what he is now.

The Threshold Guardian - Harold Attinger, Director of a top secret organization that work covertly with inventors to produce weapons of mass destruction. He has placed a bounty on the Autobots and Yeagers, any loose ends.

The Trickster - Galvatron, Agent for the humans. Made from harvesting transformers and manipulating transformium. Deployed to take out the Autobots but he begins to show his own intelligence.

The Shapeshifter - Stinger, inspired by Bumblebee he is a Pagani Zonda capable of reaching top speeds above Bumblebee and once transformed he looks identical to Bumblebee.

Allies - The Autobots and Yeagers

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Heroes Journey - The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

A Heroes Journey is one that pushes an individual out of their comfort zone and into the world, a path that would make them confront their greatest fears, conquer them and be willing to sacrifice what they believe in to answer the call to adventure.
In 'The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey' Bilbo is the main star of the adventure, a lone small creature living in a hill who is flung into the world beyond to help complete strangers take back their homeland. There is an underlying structure that Peter Jackson has followed to captivate audiences, it is quite similar to the Joseph Campbell monomyth structure and in this quick synopsis I will connect the film closely to this theory.
1. Call to adventure - Gandalf presenting himself to Bilbo as a friend and asking for his aid in an   adventure.
2. Refusal of call - Bilbo refuses the responsibility of being the burglar for the dwarves.
3. Supernatural aid - Bilbo wearing the ring to escape danger / Gandalf at any stage of the film.
4. Crossing the first threshold - Entering the mountainside with Thorins Company.
5. Belly of the whale - Being thrown before the Goblin king and his horde.
6. Road of Trials - Riddles with Gollum / Deception of the trolls.
7. Meeting the Goddess - Small council with Gandalf, Galadriel and Saruman.
8. Temptation - The sight of the ring for the first time / Bilbo drawing a sword on Gollum.
9. Atonement with the father - Encouragement to hope from Gandalf.
10. Apostasis - The return of Gandalf before the Goblin horde.
11. The Ultimate Boon - The fight against Azog and his minions.
12. Refusal of Return - Thorins company thinks Bilbo has gone home and given up the quest.
13. Magic Flight - Flight of the eagles.
14. Rescue from without - The fleeing from the woods ablaze from Gandalfs magic.
15. Crossing the return threshold - The prolonged landing of the eagles.
16. Master of two worlds - Bilbo wearing the ring and becoming a wraith.
17. Thorins company and co overlooking the Lonely Mountain and Erebor.

'Under the sea' - Researching styles

On my group blog we have been discussing possible styles for our animation and with this post I want to cement my opinion on the matter. So please if you haven't yet seen our blog please check out

I really like the idea of creating 2D flat characters and dropping them into a 3D environment. Of course I understand that we need to first create fixed idea as we are split for choice at this moment in time, but I believe visually that they could use the style to compliment the animation in a selection of ways. I will be posting some storyboards and camera plans soon of our chosen idea to illustrate our intentions more clearly.

So the 2D characters, I would like to present them with flair possibly with animation sounds to symbolize actions and emotions. Initially I had thought of using pixel sounds, they are widely known and something as recognizable as the Pacman death tune or the Mario level up.

   Wreck it Ralph arcade machine
From the film Wreck it Ralph the perspective of the games machine is that the characters are presented in a 64bit pixelated form. It is when we are transported into this world that we discover that the characters are actually 3D and the only difference is their sizes and builds. All presented in the same sort of style. There are some items that do not translate into 3D and instead become cliché iconic items that are recognizable to the wide gaming community. I think that if we were to implicate this into an animation it would give it energy and form, playing with the use of perspective to open up the world in relation to story.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Researching into Initial Ideas - Rhys and Kyle

So Kyle and myself began scripting together our ideas and beginning to research into possible paths of creation. We had similarities in our initial ideas and we look to further express them by looking at possible styles and audiences. From my last post we both agreed that the following were intriguing for further investigations:
- Fishermen's Jealousy
- Crustaceans changing shells
- Submarine mechanic causes havoc

This animation short was just a bit of test footage for someone's animations, its quite simple and the use of the fixed camera with pan shows the environment smoothly to the audience. Perhaps we can use a fixed camera with a dynamic effect to show time passing and to speed the animation.

After watching this animation we came away with the thoughts that perhaps our idea could have the problem/ broken item being the item that causes success. For this animation it was all about the Polar Bear trying to get a catch and the problem being that the penguin was stealing all the fish.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Preliminary Narrative Ideas

Preliminary Narrative Ideas

So my group which consists of Ashley, Kyle, Lisa and myself were tasked to create a narrative that conveys a simple message in a given location. Our location was 'Under The Sea' and our message was 'If it aint broke don't fix it'.

Its the first time I have worked in a group on this course and am looking forward to co-working with my fellow students, we are in the initial development stage of creating our blog and our creative identity. We have chosen to begin our ideas individually, brainstorming and being as vague as possible. We hope to present a phrase or scenario that entices our imaginations further into investigating a path to conveyance.

'Under The Sea' doesn't have to be in the literal sense. In fact it may just have to hint to it being the origin or finish to the animation. Basically it being connected in a unique and dynamic way. 'If it ain't broke don't fix it', could be a task that is undergone or process that results in failure of some sort. The most interesting way to communicate to the audience maybe a dramatic or humorous approach but we must be careful not to loose our flair in any unneeded animation or information. I have thus came up with a few phrases/scenarios I aim to discuss with my group for further analysis.

  • Submarine mechanic creates havoc
  • Crustaceans moving shells
  • Fish lays imperfect egg
  • Fishermen's jealousy
  • The architects plughole
  • The Manfish - Swimming athlete elite
  • The Venice plunge

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Fantastic Voyage - Scene 03 alterations render

Here is the render of the 3rd scene with the adjustments I had made, the haploid cell seems to be maybe a little too erratic in size frequency and I'm wondering if it needs a few more tweaks or does this look alright?

Monday, 7 April 2014

Fantastic Voyage - Scene 03 Render *Unfinished

I used the ocean shader in this render applied to my haploid which is germinating from the spore, I had keyed it down to keep the scale together but the flare off is always occuring so I might instead use a deformer and key the distortions individually to the best of my ability.

Fantastic Voyage - HUD Research

I hadn't thought of applying Background HUD effects in my animation as I only considered something in the foreground annotating the information as we go but after watching

Yes a Miley Cyrus video. I saw some interesting designs filling the background space, after rendering my 3rd scene Ill upload some designs Ive thought of.

Fantastic Voyage - Scene 03 Germinating Explosion

Here in this video was the outcome of a pretty much default High seas shader applied to a simple geometry sphere. The effect is quite erratic and it looks like something that would be accomplished within after effects. I wanted a liquid object to ripple and settle after the spore implodes and explodes, showing force and diversity in my modelling in my animation. I will look to tone down the effect a little in further manipulation to the shader in hypershade to match my xray colour palete.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Fantastic Voyage - Scene 01 and 02 W/O HUD

The rendered files of my spore seem okay at this time, I am currently rendering my 3rd scene now just to get the explosion effect correct in looks before going onto my germinating spore into diploid stages.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Fantastic Voyage - The render fix

-Original Render

- New Render

After speaking with Simon this morning I have altered my scene and the result was an overhaul to the scene and stripping everything from the spores except the X-ray shader. Because of the complexity of the shapes the glass was not doing anything for them. So that is gone and raytracing has also been removed, with the background gone and indirect lighting deselected now it is just the raw spores moving in this void. Earlier in my designs I had shown the Spores in this form and my decision to revert back is entirely due to the fact that the render times are now around a minute a frame which is what I had expected it to be like initially. With my HUD added I believe it will belong more than the render above this one.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Fantastic Voyage - Renders (Help!)

Okay so above is a render of my spores, it was in Production quality, 1920-1080, Mitchell and one frame took 40 mins to render. And even this isn't the resolution I want..

Then I did the same frame but this time it was in Default quality, 960-540, Gauss and it took 11 mins to render. Has anyone got any tips at all about what I could do in my render settings? Am I doing it wrong or does it make sense? Regardless over the weekend I aim to render out my Scenes in Default so I have something to work with.

Fantastic Voyage - Shatter Effect Planning

Before I add the effect for the shatter effect I want to create the animations for the germinating spore stage of my animation. I want the animation to be fluid with the same X-ray and glass shaders as the spore, keeping the colours the same. I looked up a really basic shatter tutorial on Youtube and I am looking to replicate it in explicit detail to illustrate the exploded spore stage of my animation.

Shatter Effect - User has disabled embedding

Fantastic Voyage - Scene Rough Plan

Scene 01 - Producing the spore and making the shaders for the animation. Making the worlds background using a black blinn and create a light source to reference my animation to. Add keys into my spore group to add bounces in for more manipulation in aftereffects.

Scene 02 - Add X-ray shader and all extras to the standing animation from Scene 01's swatches and key around 150 then spin smoothly clockwise and anticlockwise with a slower more dynamic camera following a vector path before focus lens centring on the main spore.

Scene 03 - The main spore from Scene 02 is Centrepiece rotating slowly clockwise and bouncing slightly and slowly before imploding and forcefully exploding the debris of the spore around the radius and the animation halts suddenly as the spore debris is frozen in time and dynamic camera focusing around the radius and into the haploid cell. Haploid cell drifts off with a vector path.

Scene 04 - Camera follows the haploid cell as it collides with another to form a diploid cell with the animation being a free form liquid. Animation is fast due to collision and animation frame count.

Scene 05 - Multiplication stage of the haploid making more nuclei but only forms a liquid freeform resembling Flubber and stretching the animation to become much bigger as the camera proceeds to zoom out to show the sense of scale.

Scene 06 - The Sporangium lead up stage with the animation documenting the fruiting process of the mould using after effects to pan across the animation using shapes and keying to signify importance.

Scene 07 - The zoom in and pan up of the sporangium as it grows in height and the zoom out of the animation to get the last shot of the spores escaping the top and off into the distance.

Fantastic Voyage - Scene 02 Render frames

*Renders all taken on default setting taking between 4-3 minutes per frame