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'Thinking Outside the Box'- The Bob Animations

I give you the first of 'The Bob Animations.' I hope you enjoy this little animation. The next one is already in production!!!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Photosho Tutorial-3)

Today Phil reminded us how to be loose with our digital paintings. A valuable reminder when I was beginning to slip backward with regard to painting freely. Taking an A4 canvas, we divided them up into 3 more. We were encouraged to paint across all of them but create 3 separate paintings. We were to spend a grand total of five minutes on each. They had to be developed equally though. I have a habit of sticking with one until I finish, so I have some improving to do. Below are the paintings I created in this one hour session.

Having completed three sets of speed paintings, we were told to pick one and then spend ten minutes working into it. I was quite pleased with the outcome. But looking at the product I now I feel as though there should be some sort of craft flying into the foreground, skimming past that cloud... just to finish off the aesthetic.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

CG Artists Toolkit: Animation (Zoetrope)

Today the group were briefed on a project that will take us to the end of term. The plan is to create a second long animation that will fit onto a strip of paper, that will in turn go into a Zoetrope.

The Zoetrope is a very old optical illusion toy that was invented somewhere in the 1860's. It was an early example of animation that operated on the phenomenon called 'persistence of vision'. The cylinder would be spun and the viewer would look through the slots (as indicated on the image below), to view the sequence of images on the strip of paper. Due to this dividing by the slots, the effect of persistence of vision results in the viewer seeing what appears to be a moving image.

(image sourced: http://zoetropic.wordpress.com/about-zoetropes/)

This toy kept Victorian children amused until the game was changed with the invention of the Cinematographe by the Lumiere brothers at the end of the 1800's, giving birth to the very beginning of film.

So in our session we were challenged to start creating a 24 frame animation that could be loops in order to be viewed through a zoetrope. Wanting to be sure my animation would work I decided I would create the movement through drawing on a light-box and animating with Dragon. Christmas is around the corner so I decided to get a little festive. Below is the sequence I managed during the session. it will be lengthened and a few extra frames are needed to complete some of the actions...
I give you 'The dancing Christmas Turkey'

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Creating the Hero Prop)

Having essentially got the design for the Hero Prop down, I thought it was high time I started building the thing within Maya.The ring itself was surprisingly easy to create to start with, but there is a long way to go. The next step would be to create the coin backplate featured in the final concept. Then get to work 'beating up' the material... a few dents here and there should do the trick. I'm sure scratches will come up later on in the process.

My only worry at the moment will be how I create the webbing sheets and anchors that hold the coin and ring together. Also trail off the back that provide the base from which the fish bones protrude. One step at a time. Here is my progress creating the ring so far. Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

CG Artists Toolkit :Animation (Pixilation)

So today we were introduced to the form of stop-motion animation known as Pixilation. This type of animation involves taking a multitude of photographs and the subject involved moving only a small amount or changing. The resulting moving image immitates a world where its almost as if invisible pixies have been moving things about. People glide around, objects shift from one place to another, items appear and disappear, or even change completely.

We were split into groups and encouraged to explore with this form of animation creating all kinds of sequences. partnered with Jebb and Alex we tried various ideas...

It was a really enjoyable session and the possibilities of this form of animation are endless!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

CG Artists Toolkit: Animation (Ping Pong Ball)

This here is a follow up post to the Bowling ball post. Here we have similar drawn out motion path, animated by use of a cut out. I decided to try and add something interesting to the movement in this bouncing scene. I thought it might be fun having the ball come to a halt on screen rather than bounce off.

CG Artists Toolkit: Animation (Bowling ball)

Having drawn up motion paths for a Bowling ball and a Ping Pong ball, I proceeded to use cut out shapes to animate the movement using 'Dragon'. I hoped using colour cutouts might make the items stand out against the paper. Here is the result of the Bowling ball animation. I feel quite proud of the bounce on this one.

Monday, 19 November 2012

CG Artists Toolkit- (Exterior Lighting Sunset)

The second installment of lighting the whimsical house saw me attempting a sunset view. I'm not sure the final result really reflects a sunset. I can't help but feel the blue of the sky might be a little harsh. It looks as though it has a rather obvious gradient. Asides from that, I think the house has a rather nice glow to it.

CG Artists Toolkit- (Exterior Lighting MIdday)

A fairly quick tutorial in how to achieve outdoor lighting. It certainly helped me learn about the shadows cast by daylight and the way in which lighting wraps around certain objects.

CG Artists Toolkit- (Introduction into Animation- Parts1, 2 and 3)

A rather belated set of animations here. These here animations consist of learning how to add movement to a little car, allowing it to accelerate, decelerate, skid and turn.

We practised inputting MEL coding. This allowed movement to be programmed into the little robot character so that his arms would swing and propeller would turn.

Finally we were given a quick tutorial into how to use motion paths to create a swift movement along a drawn out 3pathway- in this case, it was for a little rocket.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Life Drawing- Session 8

Our eighth life drawing session saw us encouraged to use a multitude of mediums in our drawing. having enjoyed using scratchy ink pens last time iI decided I'd try it again.

With our quick sketches done and a glance around the room, I saw one of my peers work, which had some incredible regular strokes in it. When I asked how it was achieved, she simply lifted a half blackened pipe cleaner. Thoroughly inspired, I picked one up myself and proceeded to continue drawing with it and the pen for the rest of the evening. I used my pipe cleaner almost as a double ended brush. one end was dunked into neat ink, the other end into water. The watered end helped to push the heavy ink on my page around, but also dilute it into shades of grey. I was fairly pleased with the end results.

CG Artists Toolkit: Animation (Bouncing balls)

Our third week of animation and we were encouraged to start drawing dynamically. Our first challenge was to draw a ball of screwed up paper, intently following the lines created by the creases... but we had to do this without looking at the page we were drawing on. My screwed up paper resembled a flame and my drawing didn't seem too far off.

Our second exercise involved us posing for each other and our drawing subjects in the style of gesture drawing. Gesture drawing is a process by which the general shape of the subject is sketched out at speed without use of outlines. It is an almost messy way of conveying enough information to understand the pose and angle of the subject. It took some getting used to, understanding this form of drawing, but after a few attempts I feel as if I might have got it.

Later during this session we were able to animate our bouncing balls drawn up between our last session and this one. It can feel like a lengthy process but its most definitely worth it when it is complete. My ball appeared to bounce quite well, but on closer examination there were a few unnecessary frames. At the top of the second arc, it appears my ball gains some hang-time in the air (after its first bounce...)

After a little tweaking with Meg's help, the final result was quite pleasing. However in future, when in the midst of drawing the squashing and stretching frames I must remember to stretch the ball to follow the the action line (the arcing movement the ball is making as it bounces). In my drawings I stretch the ball downward only, as though gravity is pulling it down. Its only subtle, but if done properly, I'm sure it will add to the final animation...

Friday, 16 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair- (Greenlight review)

Secret Lair Green-Light Review

Project 2: The Secret Lair - (Lair- (Almost)Final Concept)

The final concept of the ArachKnight's secret Lair. It still needs further development, the addition of some of his weapons and the like.but that shouldn't take long to develop ready for modelling...

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Final concept: Hero Prop)

My complete Hero Prop. An old Relic Ring acting as armour for the abdomen, a coin doubling as an armour plate for the back of the spider.

(For modelling purposes, the spider pictured is just a photograph upon which the hero prop has been painted)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair -(Thumbnails: Hero Prop2)

Moving swiftly on from my sketched out Hero Prop thumbnails, I picked several that I liked the look of (15, 16, 17) and modified them slightly to create the below images. Spider A has had the rear end adorned with animal teeth, spider B has had its rear adorned with very fine Fish bones (Although its starting to look more porcupine) and Spider C has had the ring anchored to a backplate made of an old coin.

DISCLAIMER: I did NOT paint that spider. The Arachnid is a photograph of a pet, one of a series of stills donated to my research by Jebb Bobbett- Thanks again Jebb!

I am drawn more towards B for its ring design and cobweb drapery. I prefer those fishbones (in B) to the teeth in A, however I wonder if the addition of the coin from design C might just finish off my Hero Prop. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret lair (Thumbnails- Hero Prop)

With my influence map as my guide, I have gone on to try and create a few thick banded ring designs for my hero prop. It is being modelled by a basic form of my ArachKnightto make the whole idea easier to imagine and build on. There are a few slightly cobwebbed additions (2,3,4,5,6,7) where I tried to blend a little of the spider and the prop itself together so it becomes a more ceremonial Relic/armour piece as written in the Character Biography.

The cobwebbed extensions in some cases are just that, a means by which the ring can stay attached to the ArachKnight, others have acted almost as an adornment by which the spider has attached things like the lost teeth of various other small creatures, fragments of old stones and even other semi-precious stones...

Project2: The Secret Lair- (Silhouettes- weapons)

I'm not sure I have got the hang of silhouettes yet, but here are a few testers to help me loosen up in ideas with regards to creating weapons from small things.

CG Artists Toolkit:Animation (Morphs)

We have had a couple of animation sessions now and I realized I had yet to post up the work resulting from those sessions.

On our first session we were encouraged to create new and interesting creatures through the game 'consequences' Two halves of a creature are drawn by two different people. We then moved onto morphing We managed to morph a simple geometric shape into our creature designs through a series of frames on the animation program 'Dragon'. We were then challenged to morph our existent creature designs into something different.

In the case of my team we managed to morph a slender rectabgle shape, into a tentacled creature, into a dinosaur with a temper. The result was fairly pleasing.

In the following session we were introoduced to pegs and specially punched paper and the practical use of key frames, action lines and pose to pose animation. In one exercise we were made to morph a circle into a diamond shape using 'pose-to-pose'. The result of mine can be seen below.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret lair - (Influence Maps: Secret Lair)

So I did soem further digging into what features I want for this secret Lair of my Arachnid knight. Lookng ibnto the candelabra ironwork of the Medieval period, cobwebs and the way they claim a space, a few fantastical weapon designs and environmental concept art(from the game, 'World of Warcraft') and finally some screenshots from the recently broadcast BBC televised drama of 'Merlin', displaying the set of Camelot.

Project 2: The Secret Lair- (Influence map:Hero Prop)

As stated within my character biography, I have chosen to make my hero prop an old relic of a ring lost by an ancestor of King Arthur. The below are the rings that have helped inspire me and also a small hint to possible external additions to such a ring.

I have a mix of gems, filligree, celtic design, plated rings, jointed rings. I also looked at the matted delicate sheeting created by cobwebs on objects; the idea being- what if spiders over the years have added to the original relic ring with small bits and pieces such as fangs, fragments of metal even more semi-precious stones...? the ideas are there, now to thumbnail it...

CG Artists Toolkit- (Digital sets:UV Mapping)

Well I've completed the UV mapping and imported my lampost and crates. Next is the lighting.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Life Drawing- Session 7

I really enjoyed this session. I have used traditional pen and ink on a few occasions and find it a delightfully unpredictable medium, but I've only ever drawn with it on a surface that lies on the horizontal. This time, I was on an easel. It forced me to change the way I hold my pen, but I enjoyed the challenge. Initially I stuck with illustrating via just scratchy lines, however after the first exercise I was inspired by a few peers deciding to get messy with the medium and got my fingers stuck in too. I'm fairly pleased with my drawings from this session. I may have to do this again at some point.

Project 2: The Secret lair (Thumbnails-2)

These are a couple of ideas that spawned from the sketched thumbnails posted a short time ago. I'm struggling to figure out the possessions of an ArachKnight, aside from the obvious weapons and armour; which is why the spaces are rather bare in terms of items. I am trying to think in terms of furniture for a spider. (Its rather difficult catering for 8 legs) I believe some silhouettes might make things easier... oh well, that'll be in posts to come...

In the meantime...

10. A view from above: Candelabra in a great hall provide a vantage point or our ArachKnight

11. Behind the Books: Glow worms dimly light a narrow corridor like space

12. The Torch: An empty torch bracket provides the perfect frame work for the ArachKnight to build a multi-storey home

Life Drawing - Session 6

Well our sixth life drawing session was all about being free with our drawing. Oddly, being left to my own devices... I got stuck. I couldn't really let go. (this is not an isolated problem but I do intend to improve... )

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret lair (Thumbnails-1)

After looking at my two components, Arachnid and Knight, I initially began to sketch out how the character may look (Before I completed my character biography). However at the end of these drawings I had decided to keep my arachnid knight as close to spider looking as possible in my minds eye. Just one with a few accessories; weapons, armour and such...

I also began to quickly illustrate certain spaces that my ArachKnight character might reside. places with a mild medieval theme... Torch Brackets, Bookshelves, the Round table, Candelabra and the like.

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Early Research)

Research doc1

Friday, 9 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair- (Photoshop Tutorial-2)

During this photoshop session we were shown several new techniques. all of which were completely new to me! The first will come in handy for our scene in Maya later in this project.

Tiling is a process that must be done. A slightly tedious one but  when its done you know that installing it into Maya will be an easier process! Having watched and beentutored in the technique, my esult is the image of the wall below. The inituial panel is outlinedin the top left corner of the image. The wall- when its tiled, is fairly seamless, but it will take some practise.

The second tutorial of the day was learing how to select fiddly parts to images via channels. Using a picture fom one of Phils folders of sparklers I managed to select it and make accurate copies. I have come to realize this will be a very handy tool.

The third tutorial of the day ducated us in how to use masks. I have always wondered how on earth uyou use them- I finally have the answer. It is excellent for adding textures to objects like a poster. Completely enthused with my Arachnid knight prohject I decided to borrow the emblem and have a play with degrading the image.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair- (Mindmap)

The initial ideas I had (originally scrawled out badly on paper) completely reorganized.

The research document following these ideas is to come soon. I'm trying to compile the information and add the changes since a very helpful discussion with Phil. I think I may do research text 1 and research text 2... 

Project 2 :The Secret Lair-( Character Bio)

A long, long time ago, a colony of beings lived in the legendary castle of Camelot. They lived beneath King Arthur's feet.... under his throne... in the Candelabra above his bed... in the cracks of the castle walls... and even in the heart of his round table. A colony of the most fantastical creatures...

Character Profile

Name: Sir Callida, (Arilitus Callida)


A rather large colony of spiders are living in the disused spaces of the legendary Camelot. Among them is an ArachKnight by the name of Sir Callida. The various insects of the colony have been under the rule of the False Widow Queen. The spindly, conniving creature is possession of 'The Emerald Potestas', a magical Emerald stone, that once fell from the Crown of King Arthur. The precious stone grants the False Widow the power to control her closest subjects. By the dark use of this gem, the False Widow has managed to oppress all Camelot's insect kind beneath her rule. She has halted the further breeding and colonizing of her subjects, for fear of them supplanting her high position. Little does she suspect that one of the Arachknights is planing to overthrow her tyranny, even without an army of warriors that she so greatly fears. Its going to take some clever planning but with a few ArachKnight friends, a few glow worms lighting the way and an old Relic... they might just win.


Sir Callida is a well seasoned warrior . He knows how to fight, however he would rather win a fight based on tactics, favouring brains before braun. A resourceful Arachnid, well equipped for his job and fearless. Quite ready to dive from a candelabra into full view of the human King to help his own kind... even if it means dodging the sole of  few boots.

Hero Prop:

The old Relic, earlier mentioned will be the Hero prop. In direct competition to the False widows magical Emerald stone, Sir Callida is in possession of a carved ring (one that was once on the finger of one of King Arthur's ancestors before it was lost.) This relic will provide the perfect adornment for Sir Callida's abdomen. It acts as both armour as well as a showy example of power.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

CG Artists Toolkit- (Digital Sets: Modelling)

To work alongside with our current 'Secret Lairs' project, I have skipped a few tutorials ahead to ensure I am well informed of how to create a digital set. (I will be finishing off the animation tutorials as soon as possible and uploading them.) here we have the initial modelling stages for the main Alleyway set and the Lampost that features in the middle of it all (I left out the crate as it would appear incomplete until the next stage (UV Mapping) is completed) I feel things are going well so far.

CG Artists Toolkit- (Modelling Geometry)

It came to my attention recently that I had missed one of the very first tutorials of the course. So here is the evidence of catching up. I certainly found Subdivisions to be the most irritating format to work with. But I am sure with practise I will learn to like them.

CG Artists Toolkit (Character Lighting and Rendering)

My lit Pencil and Rubber! I rather like the sheen and reflection bouncing off the pencils metal ring and the shadow shapes. I feel the image may be a little bright however. All the same I quite like these little critters. The Pencil really does look a little crazed. That poor Rubber doesn't know what to think!

CG Artists Toolkit- (Lights and Shadows)

Despite completeing most of the various Maya tutorals in good time- one or two each week,  have been terrible about uploading the results of these sessions. I intend to rectify this issue very soon! 

Here is the resulting image from playing around with lighting. I feel that tutorials like this are really going to help me understand lighting in general, both cinematically in live action sequences as well as workig out how to light a CG universe. A really helpful tutorial.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Photoshop Tutorial-1)

So I kick started an idea I've had rattligng around in my head for a while. In a sort of storyboard format I have begun to introduce the viewer to the space. I feel I may do a series of thesee interior designs with the storyboard like opening...

I have yet to work out exactly what utensiles and equipment my character might have. Most likely a vaiety of weapons, but I must devise what they are made out of, having been bug sized and of the medieval period,. its priobably going to be a mixture of bones, stones, thorns, broken coins and the like. so fat the centre table has been made with a stamped coin and a wood chipping base.

Project 2: The Secret Lair (Influence Maps-2)

I started looking ionto small spaces used in various bug related (or small mammal related) films. Most of these I remember from my childhood. (Greatly amusing films in some cases)

Here are the titles of the films I looked into...
'A Bugs Life'- great use of macro, where all plants are of enormous proportions.
'Antz'- Similar use of macro, enlargement of a tiny world.
'Bee Movie'- a really curvaceous and unexpected design of beehive interior is used, somewhat reminds me of Dr. Seuss
'Thumbelina'- for shrunken people and a miniaturized world.
'The Rescurers'- great example of anthropomorphised creatures and a sense of scale in a large world.
'Mousehunt'- A live action film only slightly anthropomorphising a mouse, giving it a teeny living space in a big human world.
'Ratatouille'- An animated view of the world from a rats perspective.
'The Ant Bully'- an animated film with a human shrunk to bug proportions.

Finally there is the oddball, the addition of a gaming world...
'World of Warcraft'- for its feature of overlarge warrior bugs and the various battlefield spaces.