Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Pipeline Plan

Pipeline: Character Design for a Game.

1) Pre-Production: Visualising the Character 

Project Start: Mythology, History, Painting

Research and Visual Research: Norwegian Mythology, Information on the characters chosen, Viking art, Norwegian art, Period or modern imagery.

Art Direction: Colour palettes, Style, Ancient Norwegian time period.

Concept Art: Thumbnail drawings and Digital Paintings

Finalised Paintings: Refined concept art, Turnarounds, Elemental versions

2) Production: Modelling the Character 

 Modelling: Character and Accessories

UV Layout and Texturing: Layout maps and Texture maps


Animation: 1-2 Attack moves

Lighting: Character and Elemental Lighting
Rendering: Creating Render Passes - Beauty, Occlusion, Glow, and FX etc

3)Post-Production: Combining all the work
Compositing: Combining render passes and applying visual effects to the attack

Delivery: Submit the Demo reel, Technical paper, Art Of..., final composited attacks, Unit Evaluation

Mary and Max (2009) Review

Mary and Max (2009) Review

Director - Adam Elliot
Mary Daisy Dinkle - Toni Collette
Max Jerry Horovitz -Philip Seymour Hoffman

Fig.1. Poster image

Mary Daisy Dinkle is a lonely and bullied eight-year-old girl living in Austrailia. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father is a dull and unfatherly character. One day whilst waiting for her mother in the post office, Mary finds a New York phonebook and decides to send a letter to a random person. Her letter makes it's way to melchony fat man, Max Jerry Horovitz, whom is also in despret need for friendship and company. This claymation shows the life of their pen-pal relationship as it progresses.


Mary and Max is beautiful in every way, the characters are enriched with style, the animation is perfect and the comedy is at the right amount. What is noticed at first is when there is a shot of anyone other than Mary and Max, the scene is full with objects and sometimes movement, but the shots of the main characters show a lonely scene. This is a great technique to express their loneliness. I admire the way the director has used the disadvantage of small models in claymation and used them to his advantage. For example the characters only express common expression that are easy to portray and camera movements are kept to a minimum but to high effects.


The way the film ended was pleasing, I think that having the characters not truly meeting, allows the film to keep the strength and passion of the friendship that was created by the letters. This ending forces the audience to keep back the tears of sadness and happiness.

"Like Mary and Max’s friendship, this movie is an act of tenderness that will linger long after the closing credits roll." - Jeff Giles


Jeff Giles, (2009), http://collider.com/mary-and-max-review/9469/, Accessed on 31st January 2012

Illustration Bibliography

Chosen Idea - Game character design

The Idea

For the next ten weeks I will be going through the process of character design in games. I have recently become very interested in the subject and would like to explore it more. From this project I want to work closely with my pipeline and have each section as detailed as possible to help me grow as an artist. I will be going through a process of design, modelling, rigging, texturing and final presenting. By the end of the project I hope to present at least one detailed character which has gone through extensive development, also it must be full textured and presented with turnarounds. I also look forward to possibly design attacks for the creature and maybe animate one or two of those attacks to show at the presentation. This would allow me to improve my animating skills for future projects.

The Source

For the source of the game I want something that will allow me to have a lot of freedom to create without leading me down that disastrous one way street. However there must be context to transcript and inspire from. I like the idea of using mythology or astronomy. With mythology, I want to find a mythology that I've never heard of or know much about so I widen my range of knowledge and possibly find something really really interesting that I wouldn't have found before. Astronomy is there as a set or an escape from what is around me because if there is truly a billion billion galaxy then anything I create could exist and with that way of thinking, everything becomes very interesting and highly creative.


I have never really been interested in history so mythology isn't my strong point and anything I find can be new to me. For example I have spent the evening looking up Norwegian Mythology and have already been mesmerised by what it offers. Also the other added joy from Norwegian Mythology is that I can already see it as a game and I also know that some aspects of the mythology are already in games, for examples "Final Fantasy 13" created by SQUARE ENIX.

Notes taken from sites on Norwegian Norse Gods

- Heaven is called VALHALLA and to enter this place you must have been a solider and died in battle. when dead you are escorted by blonde beautiful VALKYARIES.
- Kingdoms - Danmark, Vastergotland, Ostergotland, Svealand
- Eddas and JRR Tolkien's Middle-Earth
- Scandinavia
- Sweden Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic
- The Giant and his huge stallion called Svadilfari

The God LOKI - Mischievious, sneaky, malicious
- Shape Changing
- Gave birth to a 8-legged stallion and gave it as a gift to Thor and called it SLEIPNIR
- Dwarves stitched his mouth shut.
- He had three wives named GLUT, ANGRBODA, SIGYN
- GLUT - who gave birth to EINMYRIA and EISA
- ANGRBODA The Giantess - gave birth to FENRIR the giant wolf, JORMUNGARD the earth encircling serpent, HEL the underworld Goddess.
SIGYN - Gave birth to their ill fated sons NARVI and VALI(2)

ODIN's son BULDUR is killed by LOKI - HOD the blind god - twin of BULDUR

THOR, son of ODIN- A very strong god, god of the sky, thunder and fertility

RAGNAROCK - The end of the World, Doom of the Gods

All gods, giants, monsters and dwarves unleash a battle that ends with death of everyone, no one survives except two humans that stay in a forest for safety whilst the battle goes on. LIF and LIFTHRASIR.

SKOLL eats the Sun
HATI eats the moon
HEIMDALL blows his horn to start the battle

ANDVARI - Dwarf who created a magic ring and bewitched it so if anyone stole it it would kill them and is the master of all the gold in the universe.

Summerary of the Norwegian Mythology

As I have expressed I really like this mythology, it is really rich in creative and there is so much going on between all the characters. My job wouldn't be to just make a model of the story but to put my own twist on it but keeping it inside the Norwegian style. I think that I am going to consentrate on the god, LOKI, this is because his character is quite evil in the most creative of ways, and his shape shifting abilities give him an edge in creativity. I could fill my time up with creating his true form and his shape shifting forms which would be a great use of my time, however if I wanted to use a few days to explore a few other characters then I could. Certenly the characters I would be interested in is SLEIPNIR (The 8 legged stallion), SVADILFARI (The Giant's huge Stallion) or the surviviours LIF and LIFTHRASIR, these could be used as the main playing characters for the game.

Sites used for this research - Accessed on 31st January



Saturday, 28 January 2012

Transcription Post One - Ideas Part One

This project is one that I have been waiting for for ages and it is finally here!! The waiting has given me a chance to think of a lot of ideas, most ideas were thought of before I saw the brief and would need changing if chosen.

Anyways here are my ideas

Idea One: Whilst watching the BBC's "Frozen planet" it got me once again fascinated in animals and the documentaries, and thought it would be cool to create a spoof version of the documentaries. This would involve realistic environments, multiple animal modelling and rigging and extensive animation. It would be interesting to do, but too much work to get through in a ten week block.

Idea Two: This idea involves making a transcription of one of The Brothers Grimm's fairy tales. I wanted to choose a story that is not known very well but has a vast contexts that can blossom into a beautiful piece. The tales that grabbed my attention were "The Golden Goose","The Golden Key" or "The Devil and his Grandmother". With this idea I could add any style I want or genre I want, for example, the tale could be told in a sci-fi setting. This idea will allow me to improve on storyboarding, scripting, style, character designs and animation.

Idea Three: This idea was to make a CG version of Lee Evan's One man band which he performed at his gig in Scotland.

I'm excited about his idea because it allows me to only focus on animation with a couple of weeks of character modelling and rigging. However I have had a talk with Alan about this and he has advised me that I should come up with a different setting and possible style that creates a new story but allows me to suck the energy from Lee Evans and place it into someone or something else. We came up with an idea to possible to use an alley jazz cat and have him with the same movements. The idea will also grow from this.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The day the earth stood still 1951 review

(The day the earth stood still Poster)

The Day The Earth Stood Still Review

“The day the earth stood still” is an influential sci-fi classic about an alien named Klaatu (played by Michael Rennie), coming to earth to warn all humans that if they do not change their destructive ways, and then they, as well as their planet, will be erased from history. The story takes place shortly after the Second World War, the destruction caused by humans is slowly effective other inhabited planets nearby.
Movie Still One - Flying Saucer
I have now watched this film twice and I preferred it on the second time around, I think that I had judged it harshly the first time because I hated it. However the second time was I had a lifted opinion on the movie. I was mostly impressed with Rennie’s performance as Klaatu; his tall structure, small movements and the intelligent eyes all emit an alien vibe which helps me believe his otherworldly story throughout the film. The mighty robot, Gort (Lock Martin) is for me, where the movie lets itself down. I will not comment on this robot via the point of view of a member from my generation because there is too much competition and it will always lose. However from the 1950’s audience’s point of view I can understand why this would be a successful monster; this is mainly because of the face. Gort’s face has no features to recognise and what is hiding behind his visor? As I say this monster is successful but if only the costume for it was better, it is clearly a man in a suit and I dislike seeing this, I know it has become almost a requirement in B-movies but I still don’t like seeing.
Movie Still Two - Gort
I give this movie three stars, this is because I enjoyed the storyline, acting and mainly the fact that Gort stood still for most of it, restricting us from seeing the horrendous bends in his “metal” form.

Illustration Bibliography

The day the earth stood still Poster - http://robotanime.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/the-day-the-earth-stood-still-in-1951.jpg - Date accessed on 22/01/12

Movie Still One - Flying Saucer - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Y32nBaee2kw/S4qQrrAbz7I/AAAAAAAAAzo/dQN-w8UNbrk/s400/flying-saucer-steals-homeplate-in-washington-baseball-park-the-day-the-earth-stood-still-1951-directed-by-robert-wise-picture-courtesy-20th-century-fox%5B1%5D.jpg - Date Accessed on 22/01/12

Movie Still Two - Gort - http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6-vTxoVoeUI/Tq8KjlN_EeI/AAAAAAAABi4/wdz83R8BGQ4/s1600/dtess.jpg - Date Acccessed on 22/01/12

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Alley - Two seperate scenes

First Alley Scene

This is where the shadows will form up the wall showing the dumping of the waste.

Second Alley Scene

This is where the centipede will walk past.

The Top of the Empire State Building

I have modelled the top of the Empire State building separately with more detail because we will use it in a close up shot.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Street Finished

I started with having a brickwork texture on the walls but soon rejected that idea because it would be too long to render, it didn't look good and it was simple too much detail for what we are going for.

So instead I applied a grantie bump onto simple tonal lamberts for each building.

The extensive amount of bricks in the map used for the road has caused a blur closer to the horizon. I shall fix this when it comes to final renders.... and when I find out how to fix it..... :D

Here is the final image.