Sunday, 11 March 2018

Major Project - Life Drawing for Animation Style Inspiration

I dropped into a life drawing class to try different methods of drawing quick poses, conveying movement in a frame and testing more experimental styles like not taking the pen off the paper drawing with only with horizontal lines.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Major Project - Spitfire Complete Disassembled Model.

I have broken apart my Spitfire so that it very closely resembles how the actual real life model looks pre-assembly. I spent time shelling each of the meshes so that they can be included properly and integrated with each other into a Sprue as seen below.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Major Project - Spitfire Cockpit Interior.

While taking apart my spitfire for the assembly scenes and the for the modelling of the sprues (the plastic the parts come attached to) I decided that I needed the interior of my cockpit to be faithful to a level I was happy with to the real life equivalent. 

I took some liverties with some of the final details as I don't have many shots where you can see inside the cockpit but as you can see I managed to capture the overall look and scale rather faithfully, and as you can see if fits inside the Spitfire faithfully to my real world airfix model.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Major Project - Potential Implementation of a Normal Map to the Spitfire.

After I had rendered my Spitfire and got a look at the near final product I was very happy with how it looked, but I decided that I could potentially make it look even better by adding another level of detail that could really take it up a notch by adding a layer of normal maps for the panel lines of the Spitfire.

After a recommendation from fellow student Ian Garling we decided that the best way to achieve this simple effect would be to use the Photoshop plug-in NormalX.

As you can see here I have a version of the wing that includes the panel line details from my real world air fix model, I think the method I used to get the normal maps really suited the simplicity of the required lines and rivets, although I have found some issues after implementing the maps.

As you can see in this picture I have highlighted areas where the seams of the UV map have become visible due to the implementation of the map, this may be easily fixed or it might just be the way I mapped the model.

At this point I am able to produce normal maps for the model at a fairly rapid rate thanks to Photoshop so I will have to experiment with it.

But what do you all think? Do you prefer the design with the addition of more detail, or the cleaner un-paneled design from before? (See below)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Major Project - Rotorscoping and Surrealist Animation Examples.

As I will be starting to produce some Rotoscope exercises soon for my film I thought I'd compile a video archive of different examples I've found of its use in different ways, be it in a detailed style that's meant to invocate a more realistic look or more stylized and surreal works.

I have also included a couple examples at the bottom of animated and live action videos that feature abstract, surreal and free of form imagery.


Abstract and Surrealism.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Minor Project - Reflective Statement.

My main concern for this year was finding a project that would fit the required criteria to achieve a good grade, and also trying not to set my sights unrealistically high by potentially trying to make something that wouldn’t be able to be finished within the year. Telling the world that youre going to make the most amazing cinematic spectacle to ever be seen doesn’t really mean much if you’re not going to actually be able to finish it in time.

But I also wanted my project to reflect the parts of the course that interest me the most, modelling and texturing, a goal for my film to have something that I could really flex my sculpting muscles on and really make perfect and really smash out the park so that I could have a great looking asset to use in future show reels. But first I had to actually figure out what my film would be.

The idea was to make a film that could incorporate my interest in historical WW2 aircraft, specifically the supermarine spitfire, and after a slow start I eventually got an idea of what the film could be. The film would be a biographical visualisation of my own personal growth and artistic development as i got older, centred around my experience building Airfix model kits with a Spitfire serving as a Totem of sorts.

My main issue from there was trying to put the idea in my head to words, I found writing a screenplay for something that was essentially taking place in a subconscious dream would to be very difficult to convey, so instead i recorded my narration first of the experience, so Phil and I decided it might be easier to use different means to try and visualise my ideas first. 

In this time I would record video footage that eventually lead to what I would describe as a “Video Influence Map” that would serve to show people some ideas of what I wanted the tone or mood of the film to be, while also giving some real life examples of scenes I wanted, I also recorded myself building an airfix kit from start to finish in stop motion so I could reference the entire process and give myself a better understanding of all the smaller details that come from my building experience.

From there I made my animatic that was finally able to show what I wanted my film to be, and it seemed that it was received well which meant that people were able to understand my vision.

Finally I could start working on the actual film and making up the assets that would be used to make it, at first i was planning for my film to be entirely made within Maya and featuring only 3D models, but something about the drawn style of my characters in the dream world seemed to hit a note with people so Phil and I decided that we could experiment with different media’s like rotor scoping and potentially claymation for the human characters. So that left the main model to build, which was the Spitfire.

I knew that the Spitfire would be the most technically impressive and detailed part of my film, and that I wanted it to be the thing that I could really put a lot of time and work into making look as good as possible, not just for the course but because the Spitfire has been such an important interest throughout my life, so I really wanted to do it justice.

This was my first time modelling something “hard surfaced” that would feature the level of detail and finish that I had only attempted before in character designs which were a very different type of modelling to a vehicle. So I really had to try and figure a lot of it out myself while trying to find any information about hard surface modelling I could. But the thing about the spitfire is that its a super smooth and streamlined design, in real life, almost organic, so capturing the curves and flow of the overall shape was very similar to modelling a character. 

But because a spitfire is a mechanical vehicle there was a lot of hard edges too and smaller details that needed to be built into the smooth shell I had made, and these would potentially mess with the smoothness of my entire model, so I really had to try and work out how I could incorporate both without messing with the curves of the plane. And I also wanted to capture all the small details that really make the Spitfire unique and stand out, so i spent a lot of time making sure that all the trademark curves and lines really looked the part.

This was also my first time building something that is based on something that already exists and has a real life counterpart. At first i thought this would make it easier but it’s actually the opposite. It was like if you had to draw a plan that doesn’t in exist on paper then you could make it look however you want and it would be fine because you’d have nothing to compare it to, but if you tried to draw a real life plane then you’d be able to see all the parts of it that you got wrong. So I really slaved over making sure that the plane was as accurate as i could realistically get it to its real life version while still keeping it simple enough to look more like a detailed plastic Airfix model as opposed to an actual functioning plane.

In the end I’m really happy with how it came out, I was even almost caught off guard with how well the first renders looked after I had set up the lighting and materials. The only thing I really didn’t get to do was rig the vehicles moving components like its various flaps, propeller and canopy as I couldn’t really find any tutorials on YouTube about rigging vehicles. But I assume that because the plane is completely rigid and none of the mesh needs to bend in anyway that it shouldn’t be too difficult to learn how to set up relatively quick.

So now that the biggest part of my film is modelled I am eager to start working on the animation side of it, ill be experimenting with different forms of animation and rotorscoping, and even filming some real life versions of my film scenes to use as animation reference.