Monday, 30 November 2015

What If? Metropolis - Texture Swatches

Today we were taught how to make texture swatches in Photoshop. I took a marble texture from google images and used the offset tool to adjust the image settings, and then I cropped the image and duplicated it several times until the texture covered the whole canvas. Then, I used the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush to smooth some areas. This is the final texture swatch:

Then, I painted over the texture with pale cream colours and greys/ browns as my city will have a neutral colour scheme. This was just a practice exercise, later, I shall go back and create my own hand-painted textures using reference images. I just wanted to get a good understanding of how to create texture swatches using the techniques we learned today.

Intro to Autodesk Maya: Batch Rendering

Maya Tutorial - Part 1: Exterior Lighting for Animation - Mid Day

Mine came out a bit dark in the render so it looks more like an evening scene rather than a mid day scene. This is the final image in Photoshop after applying a Gaussian blur and some other minor touch ups.

It is strange because the image is not that dark in Maya...


Friday, 27 November 2015

Intro to Autodesk Maya - One, Two and Three Point Lighting Tutorial

One Point Lighting

One Spotlight
Two Point Lighting - Fill Light
Two Point Lighting - Softer Shadows
No Specular Light

Three Point Lighting - With Rim Shadow
Final 3 Point Lighting render



Intro to Autodesk Maya: UV Layout Tutorial

I initially had some problems because my cube would not unfold properly, but I managed to overcome that problem and it is now finally done. Below is the final rendered image:


Monday, 23 November 2015

What If? Metropolis - Chosen buildings

After receiving some feedback from my tutor and from friends, I have decided to pick these three key buildings to use in my final project. Tomorrow, I shall work on drawing my orthographic drawings and painting my production art. The rest of the buildings and structures will be included in the matte painting. 

I have chosen some colours based on my artist's work and also from my travelogue. 

My central building. I have changed it from an octagonal building,
as outlined in my travelogue, to a hexagonal building instead
as the form looks much better as a hexagon.

Maya tutorial - Old Alley Lamp

I have completed modelling the lamp. Next up is making the crates and then I can move on to Part 2: UV Layout and Texturing Preparation.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

What If? Metropolis - Compositional thumbnails

Life drawing 18.11.15

45 minutes study

45 minutes study

5 minute fast poses

15 minute study

1 minute fast drawings

@Phil WIM - Rationalised thumbnails

I tried to make new thumbnails by rationalising the shapes a little more and trying to prevent them from looking like sculptures.

Could these work better as building structures? Personally, I like 93, 96, 97 and 99. What do you think? Also, I was thinking of keeping some of my geometric thumbnails like A and B (at the bottom) B is supposed to be what plant life look like in my city. Also, I still like the idea of my central building looking like A. Bourgeois' work is a mixture of geometric and soft, round sculptures so I think a mixture of the two different forms in my world could work, but I do require your advice on all of this.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Maya Tutorial Digital Sets - Lamp Post Progress

With the aid of Simon, I figured out what I had done wrong and managed to fix the problem that I had. Not much left now in terms of modelling, just the swirly details and then mirroring!

Drawing in Sketchbook Pro

This image was made in one of Jordan's lessons. He helped me create this with the use of collaging. We were given two random words, one an animal and the other an object and were asked to try and merge the two together to create an object. My two words were Ant and Lamp. The image on the left is what we came up with.
Today, Simon taught us the basics of Sketchbook Pro and I picked this image and with the aid of the symmetry tool, I drew a cleaned up version of it. I really love the symmetry tool because it has a lot of potential and I can definitely see myself using it a lot. I think it will also be helpful when creating orthographic drawings.

Afterwards, I used the perspective tool to help me create this building. I actually struggle a lot with imagining buildings and other objects in perspective so this is a very useful tool as well and I shall use it in my project.


Bouncing ball character with background

Today we learned how to import a background from Photoshop into Flash and add it to our character animation. Meg also taught me how to create a new symbol and add layers in. Then I learned how to use the classic motion tween. This is all a bit confusing for me right now because there are loads of different steps to follow, but hopefully I will get the hang of it soon.

 Here is the completed animation. For some reason, the quality is really bad in the gif version but it was fine in Flash. I'm not sure how to fix this.

Despite everything, I like how it turned out :)

Thursday, 19 November 2015

@Simon @Alan UV Layout Maya tutorial help -resolved

I was working on the UV Layout Maya tutorial today and I got to this point and I am now stuck. When I right click, the menu that appears is not the same as Alan's in the video tutorial so I cannot select 'Top Shell' because it is not there on mine.

Any help as to why this is?

My menu

Alan's menu

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

@Simon Maya help -resolved

I accidentally deleted one of the faces of my lamp so I duplicated one of its opposite faces to fix this, but I am having trouble positioning it inside the lamp.


Also, something went wrong when I was modelling the top dome-like structure of the lamp. I followed the video tutorial and everything was fine until I reached the point where I had to hold down v and snap to grid. I think something was wrong with my pivot even though I centered it, when I switched to perspective view, the dome-like structure was looking wonky so I deleted it. Should I go back and center my pivot again and then try model the dome again?


Maya tutorial - Digital Sets Old Alley Progress

I have started working on the lamp post. Next I need to work on modelling the pole and adding more detail to it. I am really enjoying the process and I believe I am getting much faster at working with Maya :)


Monday, 16 November 2015

La Belle et la Bête (1946) Film review

Fig. 1 La Belle et la Bête (1946)
official movie poster

La Belle et la Bête (1946) directed by Jean Cocteau, is a classic live-action rendition of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. 'Cocteau re-creates the classic story of the beauty who gives herself to the beast to save her father, and whose growing love eventually transforms him into a handsome prince.' (Druker, 2012) The film discusses various issues such as love and greed, and how beauty can extend beyond appearances. Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête inspired Disney's 1991 Beauty and the Beast animation and in 2013,  Ethery Pagava created a ballet influenced by Cocteau's film.

The film was made 'in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and offered French cinema audiences what they most craved: pure escapism, blessed relief from the painful memories of the occupation and the penury of the post-war austerity.' (Travers, 2000) The film was directed by the famous French poet and playwrights, Jean Cocteau and many critics have described the film as 'a fanciful poem in movement' (Crowther, 2003) The director, Jean Cocteau was described by people as 'The Poetic Prince of French Cinema.' (Spradley, 2015) This was because he was skilled in many different art forms, including painting, poetry, drawing, filmmaking and acting. In 1946, he directed his first narrative film La Belle et la Bête which was based on the famous children's story Beauty and the Beast by Madame Leprince de Beaumont. This film became a huge hit amongst French cinema audiences and was among Cocteau's most famous films. 'With this film, Cocteau reached a new level of artistic fusion,  combining mythical narrative, visual poetry, cinematic trickery and even his own child-like writing in the credit sequence.' (Spradley, 2015)

'Despite the many challenges that confronted them, Cocteau and his dedicated team succeeded in crafting one of the great cinematic jewels of the 20th century.' (Travers, 2000) Cocteau's film crew experienced many difficulties while filming La Belle et la Bête, electricity was unreliable and film was scarce therefore Cocteau's production crew often worked by candlelight. Cocteau's poor health was also a major obstacle during the production of the film. 'The director had a serious skin condition which made him allergic to the strong studio lights, and he narrowly survived a life-threatening attack of blood poisoning.' (Travers, 2000) Regardless of the difficulties faced by the director and his film crew, they succeeded in creating a film with marvellous visual and technical brilliance. Critic, Brealy states: 'it is a brilliant fairy-tale fantasy, well ahead of its time.' (Brealy, 2012)

Today, 'La Belle et la Bête is still one of the best French films ever made.' (Langdon, 2003)


Text sources:

Druker, D. (2015) Beauty and The Beast. At: (Accessed on 16.11.15)

Langdon, M. (2003)  Beauty and the Beast. At: (Accessed on 16.11.15)

Spradley, P. (2015) Jean Cocteau: The Poetic Prince of French Cinema. At: (Accessed on 16.11.15)

Travers, J. (2000) La belle et la bete (1946) - Jean Cocteau  - film review. At: (Accessed on 16.11.15)

Illustration list

Fig. 1 (1946) [Poster] La Belle et la Bête official movie poster. At: (Accessed on 16.11.15)

Friday, 13 November 2015

Bouncing Ball Animation - Flash

Bouncing ball without secondary ball

Bouncing ball with secondary ball

And finally... made a cute little character out of it

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Life drawing 11/11/15

I really enjoyed today's life drawing session, we drew some lovely dynamic poses and the model was brilliant. I think my drawings came out pretty well and I'm proud of that.

5 Minute quick poses

Fast 1 minute sequential drawings showing movement

10 minute study