Friday, 3 January 2014

Guests, Proposal, and other thoughts.

Before I get into the real topic however, I just realised I never put my preliminary Aim and Objectives on here. I decided these in week 9 (the week of my presentation), and they are as follows:


To visually experiment and understand the different ways in which literature can act as a malleable and beneficial tool for developing interesting conceptual artwork and development intended for interactive media.


1. Create an array of visual style tests supported by relevant literature to scrutinise against a predetermined critical framework.

2. Research dynamic artwork techniques and speculate different methods of application

3. Demonstrate a collection of dynamic visual interpretations of literature with a strong consideration of their interactive possibilities and consider further implementations.

Now, on with the show -


Over the course of semester one there were several guest talks from a range of people with backgrounds in both academia and industry. The final talk of the semester was from The Story Mechanics founder and - go figure - story enthusiast, Simon Meek.

 In his talk Simon covered a lot of ground. From his own beginnings as a civil engineering and journalism, to Dimmer - a revered short story by author Joy Williams, to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Unfortunately, Simon was unable to stick around for a chat afterwards, but nonetheless, his talk was extremely helpful in providing me a truckload of food for thought for my research proposal.

The talk was basically a crash course/101 in narrative design, and the scope of the narrative designer was quite the eye opener.


I'm still whittling the old argument for this. I'm definitely getting there, but time is running out. This happened in honours too. I had to be separated, take some distance, from my Proposal, which was wayyy off the map, to see how misguided I was.

Nonetheless, I'm positive that because of this awareness, I'll avoid some of naive mistakes a bit better. I've found quite a number of good sources, and it's been interesting to see the range of points I've stumbled across in terms of year and location.

The main struggle has been the balance of research to interaction, and art work. As I said, I spent my honours working on illustrative styles, and visual development, so I've written a ton on that. But, that's sorta' what this project was to be heavy on - Art. But then the art needs to backed up with reading, and I'm sorta going back on myself.

A lot of this might not be making too much sense. But hey, blogging thoughts as the pop up can be good for making me say or realise what I might not be able to by being precious about my posts. So I'll stick with it for now.

Other Thoughts

I purchased "Gone Home" today, but haven't had the chance to play it properly yet. Because of the relatively opposing opinions on cinematics and story in games, I think it should make for a great case study, and if not, a ton of fun and hopefully inspirational.

Finally, although the nature of this module sort of suggests the practical work begin in the second semester, I've done some sketches anyway.

Light Tests (Photoshop)
I didn't use any reference photographs for any of the lighting in these tests, and so I'm real happy with how they turned out. For me adding in the light helps the characterisation by adding context. I feel this is best illustrated through the bottom left sketch and the sitting down woman and the woman wearing the mac on the right.
Sketch (iPad) Paint Over (Photoshop)
 This was a first for me. I often sketch on my iPad (about as much as traditionally), and it's great. But this is the first time I've liked a sketch enough to want to paint it. This was a fairly quick exercise, and you can see the majority of colour is just thrown on, especially for the dungarees dude.

Walden/Misc Sketches (Photoshop).
I did these way back in week 7 or 8. I was thinking about designing an avatar for Henry D. Thoreau in Walden; or Life in the Woods. And when I was doing the original sketches I began to wonder how the skeletal structure of these characters would look, and maybe my sketches would be better if I got some not-realistic, but at least believable skull anatomy to build on. It sort of helped, but it meant I was real restricted when it came to shape and proportion.

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