Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Initial Influence maps)

Having received the briefing I got down to researching my two components, 'Arachnoid' and 'Knight' to get a better idea of each word and its meaning and what it might mean for my characters form and behaviour/function.

Below are my initial influence maps. The first is for Arachnids- spiders, exoskeleton, clockwork, hybrids, superheroes/villains, horror flicks, sci-fi, fantasy and even sculptural.
The second for Knights- The round table, Arthurian legend, fantasy, sci-fi, traditional, Templar, armour,  Jedi, Samurai and also video-games.

I'm beginning to get an idea of how an 'ArachKnight' might look, I will create a few thumbnails, so that once I understand its form I can create a space in which such a character could reside. I also want to create further influence maps exploring the spaces inhabited by Arachnids or Knights,. Combining the two could prove comical and weird but all the same visually intriguing.-- Imagine a spider-like knight, the size of your thumb, living in the 'lavish' crevices of a castle window-frame with a 'round table' comprising of a button that a passing royal left behind...

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Introduction)

Well, we had the briefing on monday; the part 2 of the 'Cinematic Spaces' projects. The next seven weeks are to be spent creating a fully rendered 'Secret Lair' within Maya. This lair needs to be the perfect abode for a character, described by a pair of components chosen from 'the magic blue box.' After a certain degree of excitement and trepidation I got my mitts on 'the magic blue box' and found myself with the following title...

'The Secret Lair of the... Arachnoid Knight'

Not the easiest of titles to roll off the tongue but it will certainly prove interesting. First things first will be for me to work out what this character looks like. How he moves... a general profile if you will. With that completed I can work out how the abode can be tailored to him/her. This calls for a stack of research, thumbnails and influences maps. Lets get cracking!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces- Final Crit

Please find the various links to the criteria for Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (26/10/2012)

The three Finished Concepts for excerpts from H.P. Lovecrafts at the Mountains of Madness

Thumbnail sketches investigating the various looks of Lovecraft's Alien world

Research into the Source Material ('At the Mountains of Madness' 1931)

Influence Maps

Creative Partnership Archive

Space Oddities Film Reviews

Submission Disc Artwork

Photoshop Tutorial Work

Final Crit Presentation

Project 1:Cinematic Space (Final Concepts Collection)

Here is my final collection of concept artworks for H.P.Loveccraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness'. 
1. The Alien City
2. The Rampart
3. The Star shaped room




Life Drawing- Session 5

Our latest session of Life drawing we took a view on the subject of sketching the human form from a different angle. Oddly, this was more difficult than expected! Foreshortening was a huge part of this practice and I feel I definitly need to practice.

Space Oddities Film Reviews

Sixth review on a sci-fi classic

Review- Alien (1979)

Life Drawing-Session 4

Here are the sketches from our fourth life drawing session. We did some quick two minute sketches followed by two ten minute sketches. i seem to have been particularly slow these sessions. i could not seem to get the figure correctly. However the continuation of our strongly lit pose (begun in our last session) shows promise. I still need some practise but I am quite pleased with the result of that particularly long pose.

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Submission Disc Artwork)

Cinematic spaces disc and cover artwork. I used a compilation of layers on teh disc artwork, detailing 3 stages of progression on one concept. The main case cover is one of my earlier concept thumbnails

Project 1: CInematic Spaces (Crit Presentation)

Below is the presenttion for the Unit Cinematic spaces

Cinematic Spaces: Final Crit Presentation

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Final Concept3)

Here we have my thuird and final concept artwork depicting the interior space of the Alien city. This is one of the Star shaped rooms complete with a central scultpure.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Project 1:Cinematic Spaces (Thumbnails-12)

Here is some of the development from my third and final concept artwork. The dark foreboding interior of one of the rooms within the old city. This design has been developed form thumbnail 55. The star shaped room. I've had to redesign it slightly to make the piece work and in the process subconsciously took a little it of a 'Giger' route. I also chose the sculpture thumbnail 70 as the centre piece for the room before lighting it up slightly. My main light source is to be artificial, namely the torches of the explorers.

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Concept2)

After a fair amount of playing around i have finished with this concept of the Rampart . The entrance by which the explorers gain access to the Antarctic Alien City.

Project 1: CInematic Spaces (Thumbnails-11)

These thumbnails below show the development of my second excerpt concept art. The Rampart. It became a mix of adjusting textures and the density of the shadows most of the time, but also the additional use of colour in the sky being reflected in the ice below helped a lot. The snow caused a lot of problems, especially in the foreground. I'm still not entirely happy with it. I'll just have to work into it some more.






Project 1: CInematic Spaces (Thumbnails-10)

These thumbnails explore the interior space of the alien ruin city, looking into star shaped rooms, arched corridors and possible sculptures to be placed in either a room or a corridor. It would appear the number five and five pointed stars mean a lot to Lovecraft in his story. But then again he may be trying to instill the idea that these alien's and their architecture are satanic. Who knows...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Creative Partnership Archive)

The below are the series of correspondance between myself and my creative partners; Matt Coward and Alex Edmonds on our cinematic spaces projects and or progress

Initial online greeting. My first post to Alex was looking at his silhouette drawings before changing the subject and looking to our current space and environment projects.

Emily Clarkson27 September 2012 10:39
Hi Alex :)
I really like these silhouettes you've done. Number 1 looks like some prehistoric crossbreed! 4 makes a pretty interesting structure; it could be some kind of plant or even a wind turbine! and 14 looks like an awesome semi-organic tower. Nice job! 

Out of interest, what book(s) have you been assigned for the 'cinematic spaces' project?

Emily Clarkson ( your fellow CG peep and Creative Partner :)
Alex Edmonds27 September 2012 14:09
Hey Emily
Thank you, I was going to choose 4 as my life-form as a huge carnivorous plant type thing but as you can see I did not get round to do the final design :( and 14 was going to be my structure as well :) My book is The Time Machine by H.G Wells, what's yours?
Emily Clarkson4 October 2012 12:03
At the Mounains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. Difficult read if you're not paying attention, but it could be interesting. Ruined civilization kind of thing in Antarctica. So lots of mountains and snow and stone. Time machine is great. I've watched the film adaption’s of it. Could be interesting to compare the two for ideas...?
Alex Edmonds5 October 2012 14:38
Oh nice, I think I have heard of that before. From what you're saying it reminds me of the 1982 film 'The Thing' at the beginning where they find the destroyed and ruined Norwegian base camp. Worth taking a look if you haven't seen it before :) Me too, I preferred the 1960 version to the 2002 one though as it was more true to the book where as the more recent one is completely different in pretty much everything.

Emily Clarkson8 October 2012 13:46 Hey thanks for the heads up on 'the Thing!' I see what you are getting at. Great shots of snow and mountains from high up. Thanks for that!


Looking at Matt Cowards influence maps there are an interesting compilation of textures that were very fitting for the particular story he is looking at. I did a quick search myself offering a few pictoral references I would look at had I been allocated the same book.

Emily Clarkson4 October 2012 11:20
I like your research into textures. grungy looking items will be right at home with Poe's writings I would think. Have you looked at spaces like prison cells or tombs yet... or even caves? They're quite dingy and they seem to engulf light. I don't know if that might help your research. Here are a couple of links that might help.

Matt Coward4 October 2012 12:09
Wicked :) cheers, yeah I have researched caves, prisons etc they are currently in another influence map that i haven't uploaded yet, How's your work going?

Matt Coward4 October 2012 12:11
I like the first link, that's what I've been trying to find lol I understand what you mean by the second one so that should be useful

Alex Edmonds6 October 2012 13:03
Hey man these are looking good, I agree with Emily about the fact you focused just on textures, it will help a lot when it comes to your thumbnails and final concepts :) Also the custom layout is quality!

Emily Clarkson8 October 2012 12:57
Well I am finding at the moment I am struggling to picture what is going on in a few of Lovecrafts descriptions. I think i am probably limiting myself too much. I am just going to have to keep referencing back to my influence maps. Hows your project coming along Alex?


Looking at Alex’s influence maps and enquiring as to the subject content of each of his allocated excerpts

Hey Alex. So what key space does each excerpt of your book describe? I am intrigued by your 2nd influence map and all the cave like qualities that are depicted. 
(P.S Let me know if you need help with anything!)

Alex Edmonds8 October 2012 14:58
First one is outside when the traveller first arrives 800,000 years in the future and there are bushes, decaying statues, tall buildings like temples and stuff like that. Second is the cave of the Morlocks with machines inside which is entered into by a well and the third is a gallery of all sorts of things, similar to a museum I think.

What about yours?

Emily Clarkson10 October 2012 14:20
Well my first influence map is based on the view of mountains and snow from an aircraft as the explorers fly in, there are a few ruins and monuments of the old civilization and finally they get to the base camp of the scout group that went ahead of them. Influence2 was of the most complete part of the old city as 2 of the explorers fly over to see whats there. The third influence is based on the interior of the complete part of the city and all its carvings and the like.
I'm going to change influence 2 to somethign different though. There's a description of a rampart, like some sort of fortification which is where the two guys climb into the city to go and check out the interior


Enquiring to Matt about any progress with thumbnails

Emily Clarkson8 October 2012 14:08Hi Matt, I'm just wondering how you're getting on with thumbnail designs and the like? Have you thought how the pendulum might look yet? My first thoughts were of some rather grim upturned axe!


Looking at a few of Alex’s recent thumbnail uploads

Emily Clarkson20 October 2012 09:31
That first thumbnail page (number 28) is fantastic Alex! the perspective on that is brilliant!... As for 'dead space' I don't think you necessarily need to fill it. Remember the Photoshop examples Phil had onscreen... if you take 28 through 'to the next round' see how applying various textures in the foreground goes, or you may find your design becomes too busy abnd detracts from the main machine... Oh and i like your sheet of 'angles' (numbers 31-37) well set out :D Great work Alex

Project 1:Cinematic Spaces (Photoshop Tutorial-4)

During my fourth tutorial I began working to develop an idea for my second Excerpt concept designs, however, half way through the class Phil asked tolook at the work so far and stopped that particular development in its tracks. Having eye-balled the concept here, ('thumb6') Phil believed it was a good base painting on which to build and so with a short and frankly incredible tutorial I saw how to improve the Digitial painting. The progress of which is displayed below.

1) the original 'base painting'

  2) Addition of bark texture overlay and blue gradient
3) Addition of an orange horizon line

4) The overlaying of the orange glow of the sun

3) is the point I managed to reach during the tutorial; having cleaned up some of my linework added a faint colour to the stonework and so on. 4) (and beyond) is the work I completed in my own time, inspired by Phils tutorial. It leads onto the final piece located here.

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Influence Maps2)

Some influence maps from earlier on in my project. (Included the greenlight review but forgotten to post) This includes a second version of the influence behind my second excerpt design and also the general visual concept map.


On the left we have the influence map 2.2 for the second exerpt, now focusing more clearly onto the mountainous, castle-like, architecture of H.P. Lovecrfts 'star shaped Rampart'

On the right we have the visual oncept, encomapsing a general overview of visual references. Scale, mountains, ice and snow landforms and so on.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Research)

A Scribd document detailing my early thoughts and findings on my allocated title 'At the Mountains of Madness' By H.P. Lovecraft (1931)
Source Material Research

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Concept1)

Having done some further working into my ruined cityscape concept with the aid of Photoshop tutorials. I have gone on to develop the piece and finished with the concept below. In an attempt to create more depth I added a horizon line,  got rid of the snowy blizzard layer, added an amber glow from the sun low on the horizon, finishing off with a subtle blue gradient in the background for the chill of the Antarctic.

Behold H.P. Lovecrafts Antarctic, Alien Ruins of old.

Space Oddities Film Reviews

Fifth Review.
Review- Barbarella

Space Oddities Film Reviews

Review number 4
Review- King Kong

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Thumbnails-8)

Another sheet of thumbnails exploring a new version of the desolate alien city. Some further developing into the star shape ramparts, turning them on a horizontal or vertical plane and the last couple are exploring a slightly 'Giger' approach- Tubular interconnecting shapes. I need to expand on this more, however I think his style might come in more useful with the designing of the interior carvings of this lost species. H.R. Giger is very famous for 'Alien' after all...
In an earlier post I decided to toy with number 48 in photoshop as my excerpt 1 concept, which has actually turned out-so far- rather well. However I think I would like to try out 50 for the whole angle view. These explorers are traveling in an aircraft over the city, so there would be such a view seen from their cockpit window. As for excerpt 2, the star shaped rampart, I have begun to use photoshop to test numbers 46 and 51. But as with all my thumbnails I may combine a mix of several of similar subjects when digitally painting to see if I ca dream up a more interesting composition.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

project1: Cinematic Spaces (Thumbnail-7)

Having completed one set of thumbnails (Thumbnail-6 'thumb1-6') I went about trying to alter that existing idea and mould it into a different design. I then experimented with the atmosphere lighting which you can see below.
Here I used a blue tinted airbrush dodge tool

Here I used a mix of the airbrush dodge tool and just the airbrush tool in a shade of orange

And finally this one is a direct copy of the orange layout, however I messed with the hue and saturation levels to create this blue version.

Project1: Cinematic Spaces (Thumbnails-6)

In an eager attempt to further my design idea's, readily equipped with helpful hints and tips from my Greenlight review I have gone on to redesign the cityscape described by H.P. Lovecxraft in my first excerpt. here is some of the original  excerpt to help give an idea of what the intrepid explorers see from their aircraft...

'The effect was that of a Cyclopean city of no architecture known to man or to human imagination, with vastaggregations of night black masonryembodying monstrous perversions of geometrical laws.' (page 15-At the Mountians of Madness)

So here we have some progression. I copied a design I sketched out in ballpoint pen (soon to be uploaded with a sheet of sketches) and created 'thumb1' I quickly found it just wasn't going as I'd hoped and was encouraged to alter the perspective by flipping and rotating my image and so on. I then developed this into 'thumb2'...


'Thumb1' had its awful dark grey background removed, the image shrunk till it was almost half the size in another 16:9 canvas and took off from there to create 'thumb2'. Expanding on what I had really improved the situation, before long I felt the composition was improving. It felt like a larger space. I tried to detail what was in the foreground using a pencil tool for the fine lines. The resulting detail was not too dissimilar from my original sketches, but something was missing... SNOW!


Enter 'thumb3' upon which I used a blocking tool on a low opactity to build the snow into the crevices of the sprialling geometric shapes that make the alien ruined city. It definitly helped indicate the weather! But just to say I had tried every aspect I went on to create 'thumb4'


Here in 'thumb 4' there was the addition of blizzard conditions. simply using a spatter brush and adding the filter 'motion blur' all of a sudden I could feel an cold icy breeze blowing through. But half the snow was lost in the white background... enter 'thumb5'


Finding things were a little bit whited out I messed with the levels of my background, it helped the snow stand off from the buldings and the background a little more, but therewas one more thing to add... atmosphere, leading me to 'thumb6'


Here we have the final part of this particular development. Any feedback and tips on what to do with it will be HUGELY appreciated as I find myself wondering should I be experimenting with a tinted colour atmosphere???


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Project 1: Cinematic Spaces (Thumbnails-5)

fifth page of thumbnails detailing some scattered views of the decimated campsite of the explorers, the interior of the ancient alien city and also the star shaped rampart...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

CG Artists Toolkit- Tutorial 2 continued

Well I have just finishe the final task for this weeks Maya tutorials. The UV Mapping of a cube. Unfortunately being so involved with the activity I accidentally forgot to document my progress. So please find below the rendered image of the three cubes.

Monday, 15 October 2012

CG Artists Toolkit: Tutorial-2

So our last session was spent furthering our cartoon characters. Having managed to compelte the grey basic shape I moved onto the colouring of the little critters. I had to utilize some interesting tools, fascinated by the diffrent spheres you could select for slightly different properties. And also beginning to get my head around how difficult shiny reflective surfaces are to create and make effective within an environment. Below is the finished sheet of the pencil and rubber.

The following sheet is the result of creating the common shaders as instructed in the tutorial. It certainly opened my eyes to the potential textures you could create with such a versatile set of tools. I gave a good go at creating the various materials. I should probably note that each robot is demonstrating a different material, listing from left to right we have... ceramic, gold, plastic, glass, silver, glow, chrome and hidden glow