Saturday, 31 March 2012

The art of progression – why slow growth is so important

The art of progression – why slow growth is so important

At the end of the academic year I have started to develop a better understanding of what it is to progress. I have looked back and reflected on the mistakes I have made and have tried to develop my own thinking as to why certain things have gone a certain way. I have tried to rationalize absolutely everything I have done. That is the only way I can move on from it and focus on the ultimate goal.

Every student or anyone that has a dream or ambition has one ultimate goal and that is success. That may be a little misleading, by success I don't mean ultimate fame and glory and being the best at everything. I mean getting to the level they want to, or more to the point need to be at to be able to achieve what that success. I hope that makes sense.

Growth was, is ,will and always has been a slow and painful process. It needs to be for the process to work in full. These things take time. Why? Because I need to understand and remeber the basics.

Take two tomato plants, the first one has been allowed to mature over time,
The leaves are large and green and the fruit on the plant is red and succulent.

The other one has been fed chemicals to force it to grow, yes some of the leaves are large and green the fruit looks good enough, but if you look closely parts of the plant have not even developed properly there are still unopened flowers leaves that have not fully developed, you get my point.

A better example would be two buildings, the first one has firm foundations these may be traditional art skills or talent, all the bricks have been laid on top of those, which could class as experience, training, learning, understanding and so on. It took time to build but as a result it is Its sturdy and steadfast.

The bad house would start with some traditional art skills/talent but would not build on those so to speak and layers of bricks would be laid on top but they wouldn't be very well thought out. It was a rush job. For a while it may look like a house but eventually the badly laid bricks would give way and it will all come tumbling down, the mess would have to be cleared up and it would have to be built back up again.

The biggest question would be how? Would you build it the proper way or make the same mistakes again knowing that ultimately you would fail at house building.

Or would you do things the right way?

Would you learn from the mistakes you have made in the first year of your degree or make them again in the second when it counts and never succeed at become a great artist?

Its hard to fight against that urge to try and be somewhere right now and let yourself mature and grow and make sure you have all of the basic skills before you try and move on or push yourself a bit further.

The biggest mistake I have made this year is trying to build that house at all.

That is my plan this summer, to learn how to build houses....properly.

Next year I will analyse how and start to apply that knowledge.

This year was not the time to try and build houses. I will keep on fighting, but this time I wont let myself burn out. For the love of  houses.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Breaking free of that "high school" mentality

I would just like to compose a peice of writing for writings sake for once.

I was inspired today after a chat with one of the lecturers. This is my perspective of how things stand from the view of a mature student who came back into the education system 3 years ago.

I dont know if any of you know but I was a pre - millenium highschool graduate. Class of '99. The cream of my teenage years was basically combat trousers and the spice girls.

After a 10 year gap I decided to return to college and I was shocked beyond belief. I had been in sixth form at school and college previously and as I remember back then as soon as year 11 was up you were treated like adults, had to be responsible for yourself and for your own learning, your own life. How things have changed.

It felt like I had got out of a time machine back to the time I was in primary school. It was very different. Suddenly my 16 year olds peers acted like the 12 year olds from back in the day which I found very odd, surley things couldnt have changed that much.

The teachers had changed too. Instead of talking to me like the adult I was, I was reverted back to child status. Bear in mind I was 27 at the time, knew what the real world was like, had children of my own and I didnt like it. How dare they they treat me like a child.

It was only after a particular incident when a teacher told me not to cheek him after stating my own opinion that I complained. Apparently He wasnt aloud to treat me any different because "a students a student" fair enough but I thought hasnt he heard of diversity? you cant treat everyone exactly the same because everyone is different. Obviously not.

My major concern was when parents evening came along. At 27 I had been responsible for my own life for 10 years I just couldnt understand why there would be a parents evening for students who were post 16. It was a joke.  I thought young people should be able to stand on there own two feet.
Why would they though, Our college project briefs told us exactly what to do for the different grades this for a pass, do this and this for a merit and this this and this for a distinction. It does not really encourage three really important skills. This mind set remains. When something has been drilled into your head for so long it sticks and its hard to break free from. It also teaches that there is a smooth narrow path that can be followed to achieve.

Im sure there are many reasons. One of the most bizzarre I have heard is that the world is more complex these days. So young people have been molly coddled and wrapped in cotton wool all there lives, to do what exactly? to prepare them for this more complex world? That just dosent make sense.

I have been talking to some aquaintences as to the reasons they go to university and most have them have said "because its a means to an end" is it? is it really? Do you stop learning after you graduate? Thats the same mentality do this this and this and you will achieve this. In some cases maybe, but unfortunatly the route to sucess isnt that smooth and simple.

I have done some research into the subject and have realised why people can not break free of this high school mentality where you are told exactly what you have to do to achieve this, that and the other.
The molly coddling/ overprotectiveness  has made them lack 3 essential skills.

1. The ability to learn and "self educate".
2. The ability to become independant.
3. The ability to gain experience.

And learning to do these things is no smooth and narrow path upwards to a certain level of achievment. You learn from experience and mistakes and going out there and trying things for yourself.

This diagram is a more accurate representation of the learning process.

Red line = learning. see any smooth uphill curve?

How would one go about breaking free from this mentality?

I call it the learning triangle. Each will help with the other. Learning for yourself will lead to independence and doing things for yourself will lead to experience, which will lead to the knowledge that learning for yourself works. repeat process.

I was subjected to this mentality for luckily only 2 years of my life.  I feel I overlooked this a little I know from life you have up and downs you learn, you go round in circles then you learn you gain knowledge, no matter what way it goes you gain experience. If it goes backwards you still learn. You dont stop learning, ever.

Red line in my own life: Every day I make mistakes and the the next I feel a little closer to achievment. Some days I feel Im not progressing much other times im getting worse, then next day I feel better again, The I see drastic improvment then I stay the same for a bit..... and on it goes on. Forever.

EDIT: just to prove a point I realise I had yet again contradicted myself with what I had wrote. Writing down steps to get rid of the mentality of taking steps?  at least its a method understood by folk in that mentality.

I went backwards a bit there, did you see that? ...and on it goes. Forever.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

*Project Have Fun- Final Concept

Well here it is, my Final Concept art for environment and characters.

Project have fun - SPOILERS WIP

I f you dont want to see the final then skip this part it just shows screen shots as im finishing up the project, such things as colour, reflection, and sorting the perspective out.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Project Have Fun - Colour theory

During the final rendering of the comcept art, I thought some of these colours are not working. That said the snake and the main character which are red and green seem to go together really well. This made me think of a music video (strange example I know) but it is the best example I have seen of when colours, contrasting and complementary have been used together and have worked really well.

I compiled a few screen shots. The colours used are blues and oranges in this example.

The point is everything seems to have been considered, the oranges in the wood, costume even the skintones work really well with the blues.

I want to achieve something similar. I  will be using greens and reds though. I know that its not just a case of using green and red anywhere, there are things to consider like colour ratios. Its 50:50 for green and red. 

But what about the orange rolling character? what about the shadows? are all greens opposite to red? 
Another prob.
Lets solve this one... and quickly.

edit: I have made a little colour palette with the colours that will be used together in the final render....

Turns out pinks go with greens also, so lets get some in there, the carpet, browns and oranges can be used alongside red for the wood, lets get on with it.

Project Have fun - composition3

After the incident with the last character it made me realise how much wasted space there was in the composition of the scene. It was there but wasnt really doing anything for the composition.
Another thing was that some characters appeared so insignificant they might as well not be there. See below.

Another issue is the kettle character He sits at the top of the scene again without doing anything, I think its time to say goodbye to him aswell. I believe that the composition will work without them.... lets see shall we.

Colours are not final,

all I have done is cut the top off the composition, and moved he plant/ main character. How about some experiments with light and shadow, to help put the focus back on our main main.

The image should be dark on the ground and lighter as it goes upward, to give that sense of height. Our main man is not the main focus, its shared between him and "cutter"

I have moved the door slightly to the left of the image. added some more quick shadow just to give an idea...
I need to make the ground darker and flick stand out a bit more.  


Ive added some more shadow highlights

Ive added some beams of light from the hallway, more appropriate shadows, nice idea , they may be in the wrong direction. Another anoying thing is the cutter character... it just looks dead...

Edit: yet another attempt, changed doorway, beams of light, added some more shadow...

 I think adding the shape of the doorway and window has really helpedthe composition, still hate the cutter, its because it dosent go with everything else at this stage because there not real enough.. so time to make it look real.... The next post assuming I dont have anymore problems will be the final.

Project Have fun - " axeing characters"

In the midle of developing the vacuum cleaner character he wasnt going very well espeicially when i put him in the scene. I thought Id place a silhouette of him in the scene to see if I could figure out why he was doing nothing for the composition of the scene.

He covers the doorway which will be the main lightsource, this will highlight him  but steal all of the glory so to speak from our main man. Positioning him elsewhere? not really possible as there is no where for him to go without making the scene look cramped. Crunch time,  I have made the decision to axe him from the scene. Shame really, but nessecary none the less.

Project Have Fun - "Cutter"

One thing I hav elearnt from this project is that doing things "from life" is a whole lot easier than other methods. That is why the cutter character (gingerbread man cutter on orange) was so simple.

Doing things from life does not require tediously searching through photigraphs and the web etc to fin reference because you have all of the refernce you need around you. It will be a good thing to remember in the future.

Cutter character

He is not totally static and rigid as he would be in real life, I wanted him to look a bit wobbly after all he is balancing on top of an orange. I dont know if I have mentioned about colour before during the project but I have looked into it and I have added some blue to the character to contrast against the orange. It is subtle so the character still looks like he is made from metal.

On reflection, I think I should have added some "reflection's" of the orange but that can be done at a later stage.

lets see how this guy fits into the composition.

Basically I like. after the shdows are put in so this guy dosent take emphasis away from the main character, perhaps lowering the contrast may help, ill just give it a quick try for now.


I have lowered the contrast of said character, also Ive played around with the way he is leaning, It helps direct the viewer to the main character. The only thing that is niggling away is the scale, he is behind yet the orange i bigger than the light switch. in real life they would be about the same size, because the orange is behind, it will need to be smaller.Im just gonna play around with it.

edit :

This looks about right. Scale wise. It seems to give more of a idea the character ismoving towards our main man. That adds to the "story" world against character.
time to finish this..

*Project have fun - Body language/expression

Body language, one of the things that gives a character "character".
I think that to tell the story the main character needs to be scared and frightened in his environment, after all the enemy characters in the environment are huge and intimidating in most cases.
The main character is situated just off the centre of the image near to the snake plant character. He must show fear in his body language and also facial expression, I have looked at scared body language and expression. This will be easier said than done with this character as he has no hands and his facial features are limited, lets give it a go anyway.

quick pic,

The way he is standing with his feet up shows that he is ready to run away, it shows fear, the way his leg is bent and his neck is craned give the message that this character is edging away showing that he is frightened,scared.
Facial expression, lines around face show shock, fear and bead of sweat shows anxiety. even his nose appears to be sucked in like the character wants to get his face as far away as possible.

Does it work along the snake plant? ive put together this quick pic, just to see.

Answer ... not really. why? because the snake/plant is not nearly scary enough in fact his expression looks more like a yawn than a feirce "im opening my mouth because I want to bite eat you"..... his eyes need to be wider (both characters)...
That will ned to be sorted.

quick go at scarier

 Better, but its not quite right is it? not quite feace enough. ok the nose is turned up. the eyes and mouth are wider, maybe its the body language of the plant.

Image source

Ideally looking at the body language of this fiece dog, his heads lower than his back, i think it may be snakeplants neck that is wrong....... This can be left for the moment.... and ill come back to it... I want to finish up the last parts of the composition, i wonder how many other problems ill run into.

edit: composition as it stands

*Project have fun- Snake plant

Just a quick post  

It may have seemed odd, designing the plant during the environment but, as it is part of it I thought it would save alot of time that could be spent on other areas of the project if I designed the parts of the environment as and when I came to that problem in the project. (time is money)

Here is a basic render of the object/character I would like to build on it after all the parts of the environment come together. I will show the stages, silhouette to colour pallete moodboards and so on.

This i s more of a teaser, to show a little progress. things like shadows etc will be added when composition all comes together,   back to it..

Monday, 26 March 2012

*Project have fun - composition2

I have ben looking at ways to communicate ideas to the audience of my art, Ive thought that its mor than the layout of objects in the scene, it has alot more to do with there direction and how they help the composition.
For example, the plant in the corner of my scene could quite happily stand upright, but it wouldnt do anything for the composition.

The plant needs to assist the viewer in someway else why would it be in the scene? it needs to have a purpose.

Its purpose is mainly to lead the viewer to the focal point of the scene which is the main character.
Heres something visual. and a reminder of the scene thumbnail.

The plant on the left hand side but is it really doing anything.

Here are a few silhouettes of the plant, I will place them on the thumbnail to see if the different shapes do anything different. This is not a hope that by fluke it will work. I have thought about the lines of the object and how it will divert the viewers attention to the focal point without taking attention from it.

This one, Its a nice shape, but does it do anything, It points to the area the main character will be in (square) but i feel it diverts attention away, lets try some others.
 This silhouette is leaning towards the character, it sort of works but the shape isnt right. parts are too large (head) and the parts that "point towards are too high, if anything it diverts the atention away from the character. back to the drawing board.

Again, too high, Looking back I feel parts of the first one that pointed across and up were better because they helped guide the viewer around the image, as well as too the main character. they also kept the shape of the plant.... something new i think

edit :This appears to work better, leaves pointing upwards and across, not quite there yet though. I think there may be too much of it in the scene.... maybe cut it back a bit so too speak?

edit: smaller in general, dosent take up too much space and points towards character. for now I think we will go with this one, lets just see how it wors when everything is in place.

*Review of the 1st year - I just got this uni stuff.

Guess what, I just got this uni stuff, and the answer is what ive been doing all along. Searching for the answers myself.

Go and find the answers yourself, be critical with yourself and go out and work on finding the answers to make your work better. Ive been searching for that answer for a year.

I can only compare the quest to the story of moses, Moses searched all his life for the promised land and couldnt find it, thats because he was already in it.

Mission accomplished..... Not quite, must carry on seeking out the answers and learning independently, im at university, not playschool.

If that isnt my biggest achievment of the year, I dont know what is.

University in general

Unfortunatley I dont feel like I have gelled with the other students. I think thats part to do with the fact I dont live here. I dont think its the age difference between me and most of them, im not ageist even though some of the moaning about having time really pees me off because I do it. I need to be more understanding and the constant reference to certain parts of the male body, i really dont see the fascination with that.
I just try to think, I was that age, I was the same, there still learning.
I do get invited out but sitting in a pub/bar/club getting wasted isnt my thing, I rarely drink because I cant face the aftermath so I dont see the point and its a waste of money. I made a little group of friends but I think ive seen one of them twice outside of uni, shes great Jess. I didnt come here to make friends but it does help having the support.

I envy those who have gelled/have partners on the course/ have friends nearby from the course, the benefits to them will be immense/ have been immense, good luck to them.

That gurus thing

Yeah, this should of been a window of oppurtunity but wasnt. I think that if I was an 18 year old bit of stuff. I would have had more luck with that. Im not so I had no luck. I did ask, all i got was this noise "uuugggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" well "uuugggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh" back to you. It didnt help that the rest of the grasshoppers group was in a different class.
One of them however gave advice later which I thought was honourable, after all whats it like being a 3rd year? the pressure. 1st years in your face.... I cant even imagine so well done anyway lads. 
I wish id put more effort into the gurus thing, I wish id been a better grasshopper.

To the ones who told me to put diffuse maps into crazy bump to make normal maps, thanks, thanks for making me aspire to not be so flippin' gullible. and yes! it was a big thing.

A certain 2nd year however was there in the first month to help out. I dont need to say his name, I thought and still think to this day that he is awesome. I hope he gets first class honours and becomes the best games artist in the world. I hope he makes a lot of money. He saved so many, I hope he gets the credit he deserves. Hes also the only lad I know who can pull off the black jumper well.

From that point I went it alone determined to do it for myself, every challenge i overcame was a triumph.

Lets talk about the subjects. Im going to be honest.

Critical studies.

The recent project havefun, is awesome and I would love more of the same in future. I think the "blog thing" is an excellent idea. I enjoy writing as a whole If I can get passionate about it I love it. I felt this at the beginning a spark of something would inspire me to write about the subjects in a different way and i believe it worked at first, not so much recently. I found I had ran out of ideas and my writing became a little boring and uninteresting.

I think the lectures on character design were really informative changed my way of thinking and I feel we are being given ideas, lots of them, even being fed them. I wish I had of acted on them.

I think I only missed 1 of the wednesday films. Shame there finished, liked them.

I think that the lectures we had when we would do group discussions were a really good idea because it helped people gel.  That was the first time id spoken to many of them. As it stands there are people who I still do not know very well or at all or have never spoken to.

I have tried to write about progression in my blog, I do not know If I have suceeded or not with that one. I keep thinking I may be missing the point with alot of my writing. I need to ask for feedback more often.

Visual Design.

Drawing outside in the rain  is character building, deciding to stay in the rain for 4 hrs is determination. making the decision not to go to the pub instead requires sheer will power. honestly i dont know what to say about this one anymore, brainwashing? good job there.

Game production

This is a challenge, doing it is one thing, but planning it, doing  it , doing it well and making it interesting is something else entirely. Mastering all of these things and putting it all together in the end that is my goal.
Knowing at the end of the year we have to do the visual design for game production makes sense. This will require more tedious planning and time management. Looking forward to learning how to do that.


This year has been a learning curve, not just academically but emotionally as well. I hope I can learn from my mistakes and apply what I have learnt so I can aim to be a better artist and a better person.
The thought of giving up now is not an option, discussing it with another mature student we both agreed that this is like a holiday in comparison to the alternative. Because the real world is Nasty, people are nasty and eventually it turns you nasty but that dosent have to happen. The way i see it you can never be a bad person as long as you keep trying and never give up on your dreams and ambitions.

Looking forward....

I am looking forward to ( fib) the group thing next year, I dont care who I am put with.( fib) I just want to build my people skills that is something im not so great at. Never have been a people person its alway been do this move on but i want to hang onto all the people I can, stick with them and never loose them. Things are no fun when you do them on your own and that is the way it goes down.


If I was to give advice to any potential game art students this would be it;

Go to the gurus and grasshoppers thing, if you hate it keep doing it anyway learn all you can.

Learn all you can from the tutors, they know what there saying, listening will help so much.

Believe, in yourself and have confidence, even if your not very good, without it how far can you go? not very believe me.

and most importantly never ever give up, you will get there as long as you never loose faith.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

*Please read this - Hitting the nail on the head

I knew something was going wrong and I have written many a blog post trying to dechipher exactly what that was but I never really hit the nail on the head I just messed about with the hammer.


Its time for me to be honest, with myself and with whoever reads this blog. This post will go as far as blatant honesty can possibly go.

Do not read this as the views of someone who is
2.who hates, does not believe, has little confidence/faith in themselves,
3. does not enjoy doing game art. 

Its not that, its just the truth. The truth I have realised just in time.

The fact is I expected uni to be hardcore, I expected lecturers to be mean and nasty and not care less, I expected to stay up all night doing coursework. It wasnt like that, not like I imagined.

I did at first struggle but I got to a point after the first month when I overcame my first struggles and thought for the first time "YES, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING.

Things were going well, I wasnt failing which was a feat in itself and at christmas I had improved and I thought things were going really well, better than I had ever imagined, I was told to play video games at christmas, told by lectureres to play video games. Thats when it happened.

I got complacent,big headed and complacent, thats right I'll admit to it, a student will admit that they got complacent. Ill put it in bold so the whole world can see.


The thing is I was talking to a third year about my grades at the beginning and he said I would get complacent, and I said to him that would never happen I would keep working hard. He was right.

One thing I have learned whilst being at university is that I am not always right.

The thing is I didnt even know it was happening, I knew something had gone from inside me, something that was there at the beginning and not there now. At first I thought it was confidence but it was passion. The passion you need to try hard. Its like a burning flame that nags away at you to make you do better. subconciously I must have thought I dont need it anymore to do well. I was wrong.
Without passion I am nothing.

Because I thought I didnt need it anymore I let my passion die down, and with it went my confidence and with that my ability to do well, small things became a struggle so I had to work even harder to do those things at a less than mediocre level and I became worn out and my smile dissapeared.

Honestly The work I have done in recent months I am ashamed of. I did better at level 3 and that is appalling. I got to the point where the simple stuff was such a struggle by hand in date I didnt care.

There was a time I would have said "here are my mistakes, I am only human" but those mistakes led somewhere.  There is a difference between making a mistake because you are learning and producing rubbish because you havent got the passion to produce better because you got complacent.

Its nobodys fault but my own.

If its any consoleation I have now realised this and that little flame has started to return, that I am glad of. I need to make it back into to the raging inferno it once was, that is if im ever going to do this.
I know some may say " I wish I could do it all again"  NO, I learnt some important life lessons this year, needed to happen, start over?, knowing what I now now, yes, from scratch No thanks.

I have a few issues and things I dont understand ,Visual design thats where it got bad bad, I was told to get faster I did, Im told I am doing the right thing, how so when the outcome is rubbish. Thats the problem.

The outcome was rubbish, I should have got faster slowly instead of right now, and progressed slowly, that way my work wouldnt have lost quality. No one saw between the reef project and masters. Which Im told were good.

Im not saying I didnt put work in, I put alot in but the circumstances being how they were, i didnt get alot out of it. 

All I am asking is a chance, a chance to redeem myself. To show you guys yes I got big headed and complacent, yes my work lost quality but I want to prove I can do it now. So I will be redoing final peices, just to prove that yes I can and No im not rubbish.

This is a polite request to please tell me. If its crap, awful tell me if its good great tell me, but please if you see it going down hill please dont let me carry on, on the same downwards spiral or the same level of mediocrity i was 6 months ago. I have a problem of not being able to see whats in front of me sometimes.

I am told im still doing the right things... learning the design process, It would be so easy just revert from that and go back to spending hours and hours on a final peice. Produce fantastic work and get fantastic grades grades. 

But I was told not too. and that confuses me to the point where I dont know what to do. I still have faith though so Im going to keep doing as I am told.

GUESS WHAT? one thing hasnt changed, still dont get this uni stuff.

Project have fun- Composition.

If it doesent work at the thumbnail stage it will not work at final stage.
thumbnails in my view just need to be enough to show the information needed, layout composition and dont have to be masterpeices, there just a really quick way to get ideas down.

Gonna post them up in a minute.

EDIT:  sorry about the edits, trying to post things as they develop, 

compositional thumbnails

Ok, so little man big world,  bottom one top right, all lines lead focus to main character so he dosent appear insignificant or lost within this "huge world". The plant I included really could be developed into a character.
I have time... lets make this final.

Project Have Fun "Creating a believable environment".

There is a reason I have done this before developing anymore characters furthur. that is because I need to decide on how the environment will be, before I know which ones will fit/ be included into one piece of art.

Flick is a small character in a big world. I want to show that in the art, I want to make the environment look huge as it would be from his perspective. I dont want it to look like a such.

I imagine that from flick's point of view, the kitchen cupboards would look like mountains, the ceiling would look like sky, the lino – earth, baths filled with water, lakes and so on.
Something the viewer could relate to and see how phenoninal things look from his perspective.

To do this I will have to think about the perspective and how to use that to convey the huge world.
Would I perhaps have to include details in the environment that would make the objects look how we flick would see them?

Maybe make the cupboards look like mountains and so forth. The enemy characters look like other things, the vacuum cleaner like a rhino, the kettle boss a big steam train, with clouds of steam that would look like storm clouds from the sky. This would communicate to the audience the idea of size making them relate to it. Just seeing a kitchen with a kettle in it may not have that effect.

Project have fun, The story.

One of the “rules” or many of them, said that the environment needed to tell a story and it was the artists job to decide how to tell the story.

Problem – Story.

Before one can decide how to tell a story one must have a story to tell.

So this is my Story, a bit of creative writing to get those creative juices flowing.

When the lights go out

There is a house that is lived in by a family. Straight forward enough. Unfortunatley the family dont own the house and the house is set to be demolished If the family cant find the money to buy it. Thats pretty easy to follow.
The lady of the house had a very precious family heirloom that is worth a fortune, but unfortunatley it has been lost in the years she has lived in the house.

That's when the characters come in. Hearing the rumour, objects that are part of the house come alive. Enter main character “flick” and are determined to find said heirloom to prevent the house being demolished and there own demise. Adventure games always my fave. These objects become the “goodies”.

Objects in the house welcome the house to be demolished so they can go on to live in a better place and refuse to assist and even try to hinder the progress of the “goodies”. These objects become enemy characters or “baddies” .

Imagine this. Platform game. xbox 360

Level 1, the hallway.
This is where flick will know for the first time that other “characters” are not there to help him and will face be chased aby “Ryson” the Vacuum cleaner/rhinocerous boss. (he will escape and have to face “Ryson” again later in the game.

From there he will go to the kitchen.

He will make his way to the work tops through a series of challenges, face off's with enemys. To the place where he can talk to his friends, the other light switches. They will be distinguished from him by colour/ or lack of fingerprint on face like he has....

I can imagine the boss will be the kettle. And the area around him will be really steamy, this would look like clouds to him.

One piece of concept art, with a bunch of characters, how would I fit this all in?

I may have to just give a general idea of the environment as a whole rather than one place in the house.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Constructive criticism, time to act?

Took time out from "project have fun" to do visual design work, also had fun.

I would like to show my first horrible painting of bradgate park, then the one i did today.
actually, maybe i wont post up the first pic.... oh go on then.. I am a bit embarrassed..

I got plenty of constructive criticism because I said, feel free to tear this apart, and it was torn apart but i cant complain. Will apply constructive criticism and then post up perfected version.

Here is a taster of the constructive criticism I recieved based on painting I was proud of. How constructive do you think it is?

1. why is the ground so blurry.
2. Why does that tree look like a guy upside down with his legs in the air.
3 branches over lap from trees from further back. 
4.Try to keep away from scribble branches, they just look la...zy.
5. I notice that the sky is very blue and there is a shadow that one tree casts, but non of the other trees are casting any shadow. 
4. The shadow that the closest tree is casting, is more like a saplings shadow.
5.  the shadow of that tree coming from that angle and if it was that blurry, would have a much longer shadow. A thing to remember the closer the shadow to the object, the sharper the shadow, so it would be crisp next to the base and fuzzy farther away from where it meets the ground.
6. Add a pinch of blue to the shadows as you'd get the sky filling the shadow. 
7. It looks like you've used pure white for that cloud in the background, it punches a hole in the picture try to avoid that.
8. It looks like the sun is coming through the branches on the center-right of the picture, judging on shadow and colour of the sky, this wouldnt make much sense. Looks like you just hit dodge tool there, but it has the effect ofthe sun.

im glad for this criticism, without out it I would have gone on and thought the above picture was ok.
The only thing I can do is apply it and see if it makes a difference.

I promised I would not be negative on my blog again.... and I wont. In fact If anyone reads this i personally give them my permission to decapitate me if i be negative.

Yet again, It leads to the old chestnut.. " i dont know what good is"  but if I listen to and apply the feedback I may get closer to understanding.

Its an improvment on anything ive done before. I am only really beginning to dabble with this sort of thing. Thats the main thing. just keep going.
Im in the mood to write my review of the first year now.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

*Project Have fun - Flick

To make the characters work within the environment, I have to make the characters work.
So lets make them work. Lets solve the problems I set in the previous post.

Flicks his name. I thought that the light switch face looked quite bird like so it only seems natural to get him to move like a bird, and base him around a bird.

Im reseraching  at the moment bird anatomy Im going to do some rough sketches, then post them up hear.
I dont know if it will work so im trying it out.

Edit: I have looked at bird anatomy, how they stand and how they move,

I had a rough idea of the shape of his head (lightswitch, square) but what would make up the rest of the body, from my initial sketches, I had wires coming from the back of him. It would be cool to manipulate thise to make up the rest of his body. There are of course other ways that I can think of creating his body. I have thought about a spider or insect like body.

Edit: looked at spiders anatomy, I thought it may be another way for the characters anatomy to be believable, and also to work. I tried out this idea on the character.

A practiced with a few silhouettes but i just knew it wasnt working from the word go.A bit creepy, not really working for me, Im nit sure if it would go with the environment/ other characters. Although I want the main character to be distinguishable from the rest I dont want to overdo it to the point where he dosent fit. I have also tried out the bird idea with some silhouettes and sketches. Made moodboard as I was interested as to wear the body parts could emerge from on the switch.

This appears to be a better solution to the problem. It just looks better, it goes. With so much else to concentrate on. Id better start giving this kid some character.
How do I give him this intimacy that make the audience relate and communicate with him?
I read that flaws help to do this, also ther emay be other light switches in the environment he needs to stand out from them. A bit of grime maybe strategically placed? back to the drawing board.

Edit: Made some rough silhouettes with a few details on, thinking about grime I thought how I could make grime appear to be something else something that would add to his features rather than looking like "pure filth".

I tried out a few things, grime for scars, fringe, tear, thumbprint for a patch over his eye, stripey wire for stripey legs, my favourite was the thumbprint eye patch. Plus this made his "face" less symmetrical.

Edit:  Just realised, that I have to reference everything, that means if I want wire for the legs I have to look at wire, if I want copper for the feet, i need to find copper for reference. How else will I be able to paint it?
I need to see how it twists and bends, how light reflects from it, the texture all of these things.

Edit: character work in progress,

Edit: greyscale concept. No colour?  I have done colour, but, I want to get everything together before I start on that, seriously.... colour concept not final.