Monday, 8 June 2009


The above is my latest showreel, the fruitation of three years on an amazing Computer Animation degree. I've learnt so much on the course, learning new skills, meeting amazing people and discovering new things about myself.

Whilst job-hunting, instead of sitting by the phone, I'm planning several ideas and projects that I wanted to build in CG for a long time, using my free-time to increase my repetoire of CG art, so watch this space.

Enjoy the 'reel !!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Model: Major Production, Whale AirShip

The last element of my Major Production, again, taking around a month from start to finish. (1 week to model, 2nd week for the balloon and main structure, 3rd week for the cabin and the last week was for props and normal maps.) Again I found building the AirShip challenging and exciting and just like the Chinese TeaShop, the AirShip was filled with many different props and elements each requiring my attention and detail.

During this element I learned more techniques to add to my repetoire, such as rendering to texture for the planks of wood going along the under-hull of the balloon, aswell as enhancing my other skills such as time-keeping, material and texture manipulation and shading.

Just like the Teashop, I worked on the main focal points of the ship (such as the Balloon, largest area to be viewed, and the cabin, which arguably the player/audience would see the most and closest. I really enjoyed making this AirShip and glad that the final look totally exceeded my 2D drawings plans but my expectations, in fact I'm proud of all three creations, but the AirShip is my favourite.

I even set up the AirShip's pivots for that I could animate the propellers, ropes and cogs.
Inspired by Final Fantasy, Golden Compass and Stardust.

Made in 3DSM.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Model: Major Production, Scene

The next element was my Chinese Tea Shop scene, it took around month to complete, one week modelling and three weeks to texture (1/Architecture 2/ Props and 3/Props, Normal Maps and Extras.

I found this element incredibly challenging, one not ever creating a scene before, but also because my scene had so many different elements that needed attention as well as keeping the poly count down.

Through this scene, I learned how to using tiling textures and IDs (As I've only done UV Unwrapping before) and techniques to make recurring objects look different, such as tranforms, turning them around and posing them assymetrically.

As there was so many different objects in the scene, I had make a clear plan on how to tackle this. Not only did I take poly counts into account but also theortical player paths and focal points, and plan to focus the most time on texturing up these viewpoints. I then decided to texture the architecture first, such as the walls, floors and shelves then working from largest props to smallest texture each of the props in turn (Large table/Chairs to negligble teacup). I also used CrazyBump.exe to create quick normal maps.

I loved making this scene, as it was like creating a world for others to see, a 3D painting, dressing the scene so that every corner had a story. I also learned a lot from tackling this scene, such as handling large workloads, learning what I could/couldn't get away with and continuing to enhancing my artistic skills in portraying materials and co-ordinating multiple objects that would sit well from any view. I also found it a great help having plenty of textures on hand from my recent trip in Hong Kong, taking real texture from an actual teashop and Asian temples.

Created on 3DSM.

Model: Major Production, Character

The first of three elements to my Major Production. I decided that to speed-up production, I modelled all three of my elements at once, then continue with each element by normal mapping and texturing then moving onto the next element.

I started modelling on my character as a warm-up. Unlike the other two elements, I've done characters before, so this felt most familiar and an excellent way to ease into the other more difficults elements later on.

This element took around 3 weeks to create. The first for modelling, second for mudbox/normal map and the last week for texturing and specular/alpha etc.

Inspired by Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, I tried to emphasise the lanky proportions and rigid angles and using normal maps create extra details such as the scar, buttons and clock designs.

Created on 3DSM.

Model: 2 Hour Speed Modelling, Bamboo

In between finishing my collaborative project and starting my own Major Production, I decided to create a quick model. Using only two hours to model and texture a prop that could appear in a game, I wanted to test how fast and efficient could model and under stressful time limits to see if I could cope.

I found the experience a great challenge, testing my time keeping and forcing me to make snap decisions as well as to see how much time it takes for me to model things, giving me a greater knowledge in time prediction for future projects.

Inspired by Viva Pinata, intended to fit in as a Bamboo Plant asset.

Created in Maya.

Model: Collaboration Project, Kangaroo

Within our Major Production we had to include three weeks worth of collaborative work and from previous experiences, modelling is always needed around the beginning, so I decided before starting my own work. I conduct my collaborative modelling element.

For this I had three weeks to model and texture a Kangaroo for it to be rigged, animated and compositited into existing footage.

I was within a team of three (Ruth Leggett - Rigger/Animator, Nicky Rhodes - Lighting/Compositor and Myself.) Though I've worked in a team before, I found working in a team a great experience learnnig to accomodate other people's views and restrictions, Ruth being acting leader, with constant internal deadlines and daily feedbacks really helped the team move forward and would be pleasure to work with them again. Though the kangaroo will be composited I went with a Digital games mentality, not using excessive polys and noting contours and quad polys.

Created in Maya.