Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Show me the Monet

You saw what I just did.

I do written research for alot of my visual design projects but I struggle to find ways to put it on facebook.
Genius. Write it on your blog.

I have decided to base my masters study on Monet, because I struggle with colour and lighting and that man does both so well.

I found out that he only used certain colours within his paintings. The artist himself said that.

"As for the colors I use, what's so interesting about that ? I don't think one could paint better or more brightly with another palette. The most important thing is to know how to use the colors. Their choice is a matter of habit. In short, I use white lead, cadmium yellow, vermilion, madder, cobalt blue, chrome green. Tha t's all."

I found out later that he had "cataracts" and when he had them fixed he destroyed alot of his work.

The painting that i am particularly interested in is this one. Impression soliel levant.

Im not a huge fan, but I can appreciate it. It gave the impression of something, and quickly painted. I like the way he has used colour to give the impression of light and how the colours contrast. The way the placement of colour on the canvas gives certain areas more visual weight. Broken lines to give the impression of detail.
I would like to achieve the simplicity and directness that monet has achieved with his paintings.

He never used black. he would make up shade and shadow using a mixture of other colours.
Now to try it for myself

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Film review - better late than never

Of all the wednesday films I have watched so far session 9 has by far got to be the best.
I started to write a film review ages ago.

The 2002 film “session 9” was directed by Brad Anderson and starred Peter Mullan and David caruso.

The film is a typical psychological horror genre. The film is set inside an abandoned mental institution . The building and its interior is old and crumbling away but its history is still very much alive through photographs on the walls to equipment in the old treatment rooms.

The story follows A group of contract workers go there to remove the asbestos from the building and and seem to become psycologically disturbed as they become more involved with there work and the buildings haunting atmosphere seems to take them over. As the film progresses you begin to learn more about the main character and also what went on at the hospital before it was abandoned.

I actually conducted some research into the building that the film was based on during the interesting character project because I saw some people in coalville that reminded me of mental patients.

To go there. would have been an experience, its gone now. I just loved the way in which the paint was flaking off the walls, it gave the place an atmosphere that words cannot describe. ok ill try, abandoned buildings are cool, because there is still a sense of life in them, when things are left you can almost sense the last human contact that the object had.
Maybe a chair is lying in a particular way or there is something stuck to the wall. Its things like that that add atmosphere.

That place stuck in my head...... more of the same please.

A little less randomness a little more action please

Dear blog,
                 Action is the word this semester. Action gets things done. Im not talking about just doing random stuff to count towards your sds, im talking about doing the things that will make you better.
For instance, i made and tested out 10 diffuse maps on my character, by the tenth one it was only just starting to look ok. ( i'll spare you the screen shots)
So that brings me to ask myself this question, how much will it take? to get things to look good. how much will it take to get stuff to look very good? or excellent?

I can do the work. within the time. to a particular standard. I can cope.
But I need to get smart. I have done for a long time.

Smart enough to produce better work in less time.

If I was 18 years old with no commitments I would put my all into this. Alas I am 29 years old with commitments and I am putting all I can in. I am trying to push myself to my limit now, no pain no gain.
If it pays off I know my confidence will grow, if it does not, I will work out what i am doing wrong and put my time into finding a new way, something that works.

If I was smarter 10 years ago, I would have done it,
but without my son, I wouldnt have the drive. He is everything to me, and I am doing this for him. Its so much easier to motivate yourself when you are not the most important person in your life.

I am working hard because I want to get out of the crummy life we have, and I want him to be happy and not have to grow up in these surroundings. With there bad influences. I want him to be successful and have a decent future.

I am going to push myself now, to the limit.

No more dissing my work or my ability, the lapse in confidence is over, I got here I will stay here, until the very end. I will spend every bit of free time I have in the labs working. To be what i want to be, for me, for him. For our future.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

* Victoria VS Character design

What gives a character “character”? 
Visuals are the clearest way to represent something.
I'm going to write my post about the visual side of character design and instances in where the visual design of a character has provoked me.

Victoria Vs Character design.

African american cop  

I know everyone moans about character stereotypes and how cliche they are.  I will defend them because there are instances where they work well. Character stereotypes can be a good thing, depending on the genre of the game.

This is Isaac Washington. How many times have you seen this guy? you instantly have that feeling of familiarity with him. He is a stereotype, you've seen him before.

Take an on the rails shooter, House of the dead overkill is a great example of when stereotypes work well. The aim of the game is shoot and kill, shoot and kill. Just look at this guy. He screams stereotypical African American cop. The relation to this character is instant there is no mystery. It works for this type of game. My thoughts were “ I know you, ive seen you 1000 times before, now lets shoot the heads off some mutants. Straight to the action.

Good visual design. Very cliche but Suitable for this game.

Metroid box art

When the game cube came out , the memory's (wipes tears from eye) It came bundled with this game that I had never heard of before. Metroid Prime and the first thing I saw was the box art.

I thought cyborg, lads game, no thank you.

I found this game in the bargain bin a year later and I picked it up for my man friend. I played it, The main character was called Samus Aran, not really a gender specific name. I loved this game, The cyborg took its helmet off at the end revealing a blonde woman.

The point is the visuals of the character made me associate it with something it was not. 

Good/Bad visual design, this game is now in my personal top 10 the character worked well within the game, it fit but I could have experineced it sooner.

Resi 4 shopkeeper

In a survival horror game when enemies come from the shadows with axes and whatnot you have to react quickly as to avoid being hacked to death and seeing the dreaded “game over” screen.

The problem with the visual design of the shopkeeper or merchant is that it was very similar to some of the reoccurring enemies in this game.

The shopkeeper in resi 4 served the purpose of letting you cash in treasure you had found in exchange for weapons etc. at least I would have if I hadn't kept shooting him on sight.
The times I killed the shopkeeper before I had the chance to cash in my treasure for some goodies/weapons was one to many not to be annoying.

Bad visual design . Non playable characters..... there is no clear difference between the shopkeeper in resident evil and a hooded enemy that must be decapitated on sight.

The reaccuring death of Tim Westwood, The reaccuring death of Tim Westwood

Relating to a character in a game is a pleasant experience. Especially if they look like someone you know. Its Tim Westwood or “Westwood the big dawg” as he's known in the hood.

Disc jokey/ gangster wannabe Tim Westwood.

Now look at the zombie/mutant below, see a resemblance? This particular “reoccurring enemy” is known as “Tim Westwood” in our house. I understand that not everyone would make the association between Mr westwood and said mutant.

Tim Westwood, and who's that behind him? Its Tim Westwood again...... I tilt the gun sideways to kill him “gangster style” its what he would have wanted.I can relate to this character because I have made an association between his flailing zombie arm movements and the "I.m a gangster innit" arm movements of Tim Westwood.

Good Visual design. Classic. You  kill him, he come's back and lets be honest no one will ever get tired of killing Tim Westwood.

Image sources.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Vicky like's deep stuff- personal review

What an interesting lecture it was today in visual design.  Deep and very interesting. Thats the kind of stuff I like, things that make you think. I may have displayed a look of confusion on my face but i swear it was a look of interest.

Honestly I was thinking, That i hardly know or talk to any of the people in my year or on the course apart from the little "click" im in.  Its sad really.... I have nearly been here a year and i havent asked anyone for help or anything apart from that one time which ended in tears, it sort of put me off, quite sad indeed that the gurus thing didnt work for me.

I have been promised a digital painting tutorial a la Chris wright tommorow. I asked therefore i got.... I need to ask more. Ive wasted my time there have been so many oppurtunitys that i have missed and i am slowly turning into someone i do not like.

 I have trippled my effort in game production and am recieving compliments from heather, they are worth there weight in gold......

I have been studying the book drawing on the right side of the brain...... I now see things as shapes.... and it helps to draw..... I have been sketching on the bus to uni.... its fun...

My quick drawings are better than the ones i spend time on.

I am not completley unconfident, I am just going through a lapse at the minute, a lull in the action. Where there is action there is always a lull. Some may call it walking off the path.......

If teach says my textures fine, i should listen.....

I need confidence, not cockiness, that is what i need to improve on..... my confidence.... i need to gain confidence, it needs to grow or im done for.  Nobody knows me really, the person I am when i walk in the doors at uni and the person i am at home.

One thing positive i will say is that i have always been determined and carry on even through a lapse in confidence.

I need to grow up. right now. I feel like i act childish......alot.
Stop trying to relive my lost childhood. It is gone. It is about time that I accepted that fact.
and it was lost as the consiquence of my own very poor decisions.

 I will never get it back and acting like an 18 year old will not change that.

So quit crying about it.... face it, and move on. 

It happens though, the oppurtunity to have a laugh and act a bit silly and laugh some more, as long as it isnt at anyones expense. Is fine, some of the time.

Ill make a resolution, its a bit late, to grow, i have grown but i want to grow some more. grow in confidence, abilty, maturity, all of those things.

 Im a flower, that has taken so long to start blossoming.  But i will blossom, and what a fine flower i will be, one petal at a time.

 I am good enough I AM GOOD ENOUGH, I can do it. i will get there, believe. have faith. suceed.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Required to be a secret agent

The things I have to be to do this course so far include,

Photographer (reference images)

Secret agent  (sneaking around getting photos of vans whilst the driver nips in the shop etc....reference images)

Model  (When i let people draw me)


Interior Architect

Fashion designer

Make up artist.....

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Recipe for making time

Today I realised that I need to get a whole lot more practice in.
I can be quick, but now I need to be accurate. quick and accurate. Which means I need to get better and master the fundamentals.

Making the time

You will never ever hear me moan that There isnt enough time to do work. There is, you have to make the time. To do that you need to stop doing something useless and start doing something useful. Its easy.

Say victoria spends 5 hrs a day smoking and drinking coffee, all victoria needs to do is stop smoking and drinking coffee which are useless things to do and she will have an extra 5 hrs to do something useful, every week she will have 25 extra hrs that could be put into her work or spending time with her son.

Thats a whole day extra time. Think of all the things you can do in a whole day.

Its not rocket science, just give up something you do that is useless to you, spending time on facebook maybe?

This week I made time. 
 I quit smoking this week and quit drinking coffee, none of those things did me any good. They were a waste of my time.

This is my dream and I plan on putting as much time into it as possible. Ill just keep going, keep practicing, and master this stuff. Just a few sacrifices can make all the difference.

 Digital painting

Digital painting just wasnt working for me, it was taking too  much time, almost to the point I nearly gave up.
How hard can this be? i thought.

So i found a new way, a way that works, a way that is quicker and easier and gets stuff done fast, and accuratley. Happy now.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

* The post about Art Direction.

If you think of art direction as being responsible for the art of a game from idea to final. There are many ideas or concepts involved in making a video game, the art director decides which of these ideas go forward, Like the game board you take a lot of steps to reach the goal, except nothing is left to chance, every tiny detail is considered.

Art directors can be envolved in films, games, advertising, publishing. The main difference in my opinion from an art director for films and an art director for games would be that an art director for a film would be responsible for that one film. An art director for games may be responsible for many different titles being worked on inside the games company.

An art director is described as being a vital role, in other words the game could not be made without them. An art director is so important because they are responsible for every aspect of a game, if indirectly.
Art directors do not physically make the assets for a game but it is there job to decide the look and feel, quality, style of everything in a video game. 

 They need to make sure that everything fits into a believable universe. The feel must be right, even tiny details such as props must support the story of the game. Every little detail must be considered. Nothing is left to chance. This includes how things will be perceived from every perspective possible.
Video games cost millions of pounds/dollars to make so it is the responsibility of the art director to make sure everything is just so. If they fail to consider anything at all the worst case scenario is that the game wont sell and the game  company they work for will suffer or maybe go out of business. There reputation ruined. That is one heck of a responsibility.

No thanks, I wouldn't like that much responsibility, not at this level, but with so much at stake they would need to be damn good at there jobs. The skills they would need would be immense. Excellent management, organisation skills. They would need to be respectful of the ideas of there team but also critical so they could turn small ideas in larger concepts. 
As there would be a deadline for the game that was being made, quick decision making would also be a vital skill. They would continue to learn new skills with every project they directed and apply those new skills to the next. 
Probably the most important set of skills they would need are traditional art skills.

Art direction is a creative role because an art director must posses extensive knowledge of the craft. To do this they must be traditionally trained. They direct the art , all of the art, there fore they must have an extensive understanding of the art. 

They need to fit everything into context, make sure it has style and purpose and make sure these ideas are executed well. For example if an important object in the game needed the attention from the player in order for the game play to run smoothly they would have to find ways of making that object noticeable, strong visuals maybe, appropriate lighting to ensure the object would be in direct view of the player. That is but one example for one thing. They would need to do this for absolutely everything. I know i have said that previously but it is phenomenal just how much work and skill that would involve.

And that is just th etip of a very large iceberg.


What inspires me that is part of me?

In visual design today we were asked what inspires us that is part of us. Well that is the question.
I have to write about it, writing is the best way for me to answer questions, particularly about myself.

The truth is I did know the answer to that question but did not want to say the answer out loud. The answer is that emotion inspires me. It makes me see things in ways that I wouldnt ordinaraly see things. I wouldnt say it clouds my judgement more like it helps me to really see beyond what is visual into something deeper.

Things that remind me off my past, tastes, smells, temperature, colours, peoples manerisms, the way things are lit. Things that remind me of previously experienced emotion inspire me. Emotion I know is part of everyone, but it drives me, good and bad emotions I can use part of them and put it into something else.

Thats the answer. Theres nothing to it.

Examples are, the smell of the night combined with the coldness of concrete or the mixture of peppermints, tea and ciggarettes. The smell of toast cooking on a fork on the gasfire. Nobody does that anymore..... why?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

'ello guvna

In case the title didn't give it away Ive just come back from London.
I am in the middle of the gladiator project in game production this week and I absolutely refuse to get reference material from google images because that is just boring.

I looked into ps2 gladiator games (since character was for ps2 spec) and i noticed that the costume is what really defined the character. I looked on line and managed to find some real gladiator artifacts in London in the British museum, helmets, Shields, and weapons. The weapons will also do for the next project.

Mostly there was just sculpture and pots and coins. I went to the museum of London first and it was boring.
The British museum was better from first glance because it had Stone pillars.

If it hasn't got stone pillars its not a museum.

Crocodile skin armour, metal foot protectors. Gut called severus (not snape)

Belts, Shields not strong enough to protect, strange devil shaped helmets.

Weapons, footwear, material from mayor of londons coach (to be used for costume)

Most of these are roman warrior  helmets,  the largest is an actual roman gladiator helmet.
Just one.

More armour protective metal, helmet visors.

One thing of particular interest was a roman crocodile skin armour. Cool and strange. It would be cool to try and find a way to incorporate that into my project.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Loving what I do - eval of work

Loving life drawing. Loving game production. loving writing about it all.

I think its time to do a little evaluaton/self crit of my recent work.
We have just finished the vehicle project which I really enjoyed.

I made my own decals up for the van, I was inspired by a really strange stop motion animation short by "corin hardy" called butterfly. I am happy with the way it looks, I think those extra hours may have paid off. I forgot to model the interior til the last minute like a drongo. Finally realised th eimportance of getting the basic shape down when modelling.

Reef project
Sketched hundreds and hundreds of thumbnails ,developed 10 finals for this, cutn it dowjn to 3, then to 1.

This was the final final final.... I thought what does this need to be? fit for its purpose, it was very quick but it showed the colour , expression, costume what more did i need to develop a 3d model. turnaround sheets, check... i refuse to spend time messing about to get a beautiful image, when i dont need a beautiful image.

Life drawing

I understand the ned to produce accurate renderings o the human form. Does that mean you have to draw every single detail? I looked around and saw a sea of curvy drawings. I was told to draw what I see. My head was still in polygon mode.... the mode when i see things as they would be in 3ds max.

Jack said it was accurate.  The lines and the tones.He made me promise that I would not mess with it or alter it anymore.  It was a random idea... a risk.....a rebellion against conformity, took 5 mins... but everyone liked it? strange huh? how you can put hours into a peice and it dosent work and just do something straight from your head without thinking to much and it works.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

How I have progressed

I was told to get faster. Oh I have, I have worked my back of practicing to do things quickly and accuratley.
This has to be said because I feel that I have improved so much that I look back on last semesters work and in this blog and realised that my efforts were pretty poor. Even my posts showing what I could do in 12 hours were poor compared to how I have progressed.
I am producing 5 times more work than before and it is more accurate. I am using my time to try and approach 3d moddeling in different ways, trying to find the best way.

I am a listener, I  absorb what I hear, good remarks or bad remarks and use what I can from both to help me. I have a sponge that soaks everything up.
Yes, I have ideas that may seem a little crazy to some.  I am not a source of entertainment for anyone, I am not a court jester. I am a person who puts in the time to get better. I can show this without including a weeks work in this post.
I enjoyed game art last semester, I love it now more than ever the hard work is very rewarding to me.
I had a little lull in the action over christmas, as I have said but I have been back on my feet for weeks.

The most important thing apart from growing as an artist is how I have grown as an individual, How I have developed critically and creativley. I am constantly trying to find new ways to look at problems and tasks  and how to write about things from different angles, veiwpoints and perspectives.

I have learned to "rise above" immurturity and let unimportant things go over my head, stand up to fear of feeling inadequate and worthless and not be afraid to write how i feel.  I  realise that the determination I have is worth more than gold because its hard to hang onto experiencing the ups and downs, But I have hung on and hanging on gets easier as i have developed strength in character. I have developed confidence and that is new to me.

I have also leanred that being mature isnt about being serious, its about knowing when to let go, when the right time is.

I like to spend time with the people I have met and talk about there backgrounds and there experiences as it helps to inspire me. The younger ones are a breath of fresh air and keep me smiling and keep the dark clouds away the older ones are pillars of stone than understand me and help to support me. Im glad I met them, they are fantastic.  I have learned to let the world around me inspire me and find inspiration in the most unlikely of places a cup of coffee or aman in a blue monk suit.

The most important parts of this personal growth lies in the hands of the people who have been an inspiration to me knowing that if they can work hard and run a household and look after a family then so can I.
I can do it.

You say a footballer plays once a week. its what he does inbetween that helps him grow as an athlete?

That is how I have progressed....... and that is what has happened inbetween the visual design, the 3d and the critical studies.

I feel proud and strong and worth something, I feel taller. That is because I have grown.

The post about industry guest lecture's

FINALLY i can write in my blog about industy guest lectures and how they have benefitted me.

Flight simulation - I will keep this one brief, I heard that we "insert textures into polygons" The only thing It helped me realise is that everyone has there... whats the word.... specialty? making fun of this guy will not make me more inteliigent than him, If I was to give a lecture on his specialist subject I can guarantee I would look like an idiot. He was an intelligent guy, his demonstration of what a polygon was was questionable..... but i discussed it with my dad and he says that people look at things in different ways and have different approaches.
Yes they do.

The codemasters one - Well what can I say, every questiion I wanted to know was confirmed, work does not neccesarily have to be beautiful but fit for its purpose, something I have thought for a long time. Also about working quickly, it all makes sense.
The demonstration was interesting, I picked up alot of tips.
We were asked if any of us had a dream to be a concept artist and not to be ashamed of that, I have never felt worthy to admit I have a secret dream to be a concept artist... but yeah... yes i do.

There I said it, I have a secret dream to be a concept artist, the same way I have a secret dream to be a popstar or a famous actress. Pipe dreams, that will never come into fruition. Its the dreams I can make real im interested in.

Another thing I noticed that stuck in my mind was the fact it was said that something he did last time was not important anymore. This made me think that you never ever stop growing as an artist , even in industry. why i thought anything else I will never know.

Haunted by the yellow guy

I have never really been into characters until the reef project, but im finding them really fun. Its so challenging trying to think of how to make a character memorable.

Then I picked up on something, There has been a lot of talk about pac-man recently and It seems that everywhere I look I see him, the pac man shape is everywhere. Im not talking cakes or pizza with one slice missing, I never see pac man there because I eat 2 slices at a time.

I did a little experiment while I was walking through leicester today, I actually took note of all of the times that I have seen this generic object. Turns out I saw "him" more than once every 5 seconds.

I know I was delibretley looking but I thought thats a hell of a lot of one shape. The best one was a circular shop sale sign, behind it was a mannequin and the negative space between the mannequins legs.

I think that may be why this character is so memeorable, there are a lot of subliminal messages everywhere people must see that shape all of the time without really knowing.... The possibilities....

From this course I have learnt that "brainwashing" is probably the easiest way to get anyone to do anything, Ive said it before. Ive realised how brilliant this is.

Time however is flying by, this first year has flown by and to be honest it scares me.