Thursday, 27 February 2014

Daily Spitpaint 2

This is only the second day, but I'm really enjoying the whole 30 minute timer thing. It's funny the compromises your brain throws in when you notice you only have 1 minute 30 left. One of the them was the smoke, It's just a soft round brush quickly stabbed over the boat funnel, although funnily enough I think it turned out alright. 

The theme was "Wise One", in that he was wise not to hang around that joint, and just take one hell of a leap onto the departing. (Originally zombies were going to be chasing him - ran out of time).

-Really bummed with how flat the hills in the background look, I kept messing them up, will need to work on that. 
-I didn't have time to add the smog to the water, so the water looks very off. Might need to reconsider the point at which I start adding the atmospheric detail. 

- I like how the clouds turned out, highlights aside.
-I like how, despite taking about 10 seconds, the boat design is pretty neat. 
-I like the sense of character and urgency the silhouettes create. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Daily Spitpaint #1

I've joined, or at least sent a request to join the daily spitpaint group on Facebook. However, the group is open-content and so I was able to see the themes. The three options today were Sandworm, Lava Pit, and Sleeping Beauty

So I decided to do a take on the lava pit and set the timer to 30 minutes. 

Here's my result:

The painting doesn't exactly scream lava pit, but I'm still happy with how it turned out, even if I didn't manage to finish it in time. Hopefully it's clear what my interpretation is. For some reason the first thing that popped into my mind when I started was the idea of a lava vendor in some downtown slum to keep people warm. The idea is absurd but it was enough to go on. The perspective is a bit whack, and the scale of the characters don't really make any sense, but I'm happy with the warm and cold contrast, and the sense of scale from the smog in the foreground to the jet stream in the sky in the distance.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Mood/Thumbnail Test

I decided to concept some varied environments today in B&W and then apply separate colours to these, which would enhance the mood of the original B&W concept.


I think the above thumbnails are fairly readable, which is often stated the key thing when thumb nailing (Zhu, Chiu). In B&W I personally thought that the top two were the most readable and interesting, although once I added colour this opinion changed.

In the top left one, I had mixed the Venice Gondola method of transport with a murky swamp environment, and the applied green colour really improves the atmosphere of the piece and creates a nice contrast between the safe orange hue of gondola (seen better in high-res) and the gloomy surroundings.

The top right one was a midnight jail break sort of thing. I wanted to create a double focal point in this thumbnail between the structure and the (ex)prisoners, and I think the direction of the search lights and the search planes lead the eye quite nicely to the characters. Also the blue creates a nice cold, middle-of-the-night atmosphere which I think adds a lot.

The bottom left one is my new favourite, I took inspiration from the art direction in Rime for the colours. Although I don't feel a particularly vivid environment is portrayed in this thumbnail, their is a strong sense of realism created through the warm and cool colours.

The bottom right image is a sort of western/dystopian mongrel of a landscape, which depicts a group of nomads arriving at a security barrier at the foot of a town. Because the environment needed to feel polluted and dusty, it was almost a no-brainer to throw on a nice rusty red/brown.


Life Drawing - S2.01 / Misc. Sketches




Step On it 2.0

Having just come back from a meeting with Dayna, I now have a firm plan of action for the project.

The blur of thoughts which existed, regarding what made this project a Masters project, rather than a clone of my honours project, is now clear.

To summarise, this project will aim to take the essence of a story, and develop the story into game ideas, which are analysed through the MDA process, and produce a library of art which showcases this game. The art will not be simply a line up of characters or environments; rather, clear visualisations of the game which convey the aesthetic and interactive value of the game.

Key Tasks.

- Have an elevator pitch for my game for the sessions next week. (Game setting, taken from a story, the type of game, the genre constrain, which games' theory inspire it, etc.

-This of course means having a game setting established or at least noted. Dayna suggested the idea of looking at Eric Zimmermans' stuff on brainstorming to help establish a root/base framework for working my game idea, so it's looking like a fair amount of game design theory will play a part in this. I'll also try and get some opinions from industry to help with general direction.

Another idea we spoke about was the tactile method of designing for games. Games like Tearaway and Tengami convey the benefits of this, and it should be interesting to perhaps set up some scenes in craft (although not inherently paper craft, because Tearaway's already nailed that) and polish them p in photoshop.

And then as I said, add some audio and motion to them to bring them to life a bit, and emphasise the game qualities through the concept art, and not just show a pretty picture.

Really looking forward to this now.

Step on it.

I sit here, it's the end of week 5, and I've yet to make any significant progress in this module since my proposal. 

This is bad. 

I mean, I've done a few sketches, but nothing which supports the train of thought which fueled my proposition. 

Although I'm hesitant, I think it's perhaps crucial that I dive in, or else it's going to be too late. I think I should kick things of with a case study, and create a link to my proposal. I need to choose an interesting game, in which I recognise the hero's journey, take screenshots at the key points, as identified in the theory, and create a ton of new artwork. The case study should help me create some sort of loose framework, if nothing else. I'm also going to take the artwork straight into Maya/AE to add some motion and audio, and then I might have something of value. 

Till then,

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Professional Specialisation: 2D Texture Environment

I got back from Animex Games yesterday evening as inspired as I've been in a long time. I can't recommend the festival enough. The range of talks in such a short space of time is incredible, and the chance to meet the speakers afterwards and talk with them about games is great.

As I mentioned in a previous post, for Professional Specialisation, we've to engage in some interesting dialogues with industry professionals (of 4+ years), so hopefully the artist speakers from Animex that I contacted will be willing to help me out a bit.

Today, between madly trying to catch up with the game development module, I was working on an environmental piece. Before I started I didn't really have a clue what I wanted to convey; rather, I wanted to experiment with some bold textures.

In pretty much all of my 2D work I use one of 3 brushes - none with any texture added. For the most part at least. So, this is in attempt to add some new elements to my concept development.

This is my first draft. Below it you can see the final where I pushed the blue hue of the image to push the atmosphere a bit more, and added some more detail in the mid ground.

The finished one on the bottom took about 2 hours (I think). From now on I'm going to time myself more precisely as an incentive to learn to work faster. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Spyro Re-work.

I had a quick meeting with Dayna last week, in which we went over my Research Proposal, the value of my project, and the timeless pop sensation that is - Phil Collins.

What we decided was that I needed to give myself a goal to work towards as soon as possible, or else the project might fall behind. So I decided to do a game-revamp, mainly to gear myself towards games, and better understand the designs behind them. 

I decided the Spyro franchise would be a good one to toy with. These are just very quick sketches, and so far I've just been trying to take the protagonist in different directions by messing around with proportions and such, and still trying to maintain that "Spyro" feel. 

More on this to come. 

Concept Development and Presentation

Despite having done a number of presentations in my time, I often wish I was more sophisticated in my delivery. Although in my head the content might sound somewhat interesting, and an informed structure is identifiable, the rhetoric of the presentation always feels awkwardly contrived.

But I think this is just a matter of experience. My progress and attitude towards presenting is always maturing and developing, but because they are so sparse, or fragmented, popping up months apart, like trying to learn an instrument, the development is severely handicapped. 

So with this module, we're given the opportunity to present every week to become better at developing concepts efficiently and speaking publicly. Makes sense, right? Last week was the first of the module and the topic was reflective of this:

"What drives my passion for a career in games?"

I took a different approach to every single person in the class. I'm unsure if this is a good thing, and please take that as it's written, with no underlying self-righteous agenda, I do mean everyone. The rest of the class all chose to focus on why they're passionate about games, and that's cool. I chose to highlight the word career and discuss what that meant to me. 

I guess I was quite pleased that I took a different approach, even if just from a philosophical stance. I also spent the first few hours of the presentation writing slides about why I love games, but then as soon as I become aware that I had fallen into an inherent answer or response to a question, I always get worried that there will be no unique aspect to it, or real purpose. Because if my inherent answer is (A) then someone else's has probably been (A) also. So I'm not adding anything to any discussion. I just think it's bad practice.

I can draw a parallel to making games here to this point. Say, you're brainstorming game ideas, and the game idea has wind in it, inevitably,someone will suggest to "do it like Wind Waker". I mean, yeah, Wind Waker is ridiculously cool and it's a relevant way to show wind. But a car designer wouldn't say "just make the lights look like the Ford Fiesta". They would go about designing their own. And I like to keep this in mind at all times.

This weeks' topic is:

"My favourite game, what I admire about it most, and three ways I would improve it."

The first games that spring to mind are Fallout 3 (360), Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC). But then so do games like Spiderman 2 (PS2) and Spyro the Dragon, Tekkn 3, and Tony Hawks' Pro Skater 3 (PS1), and of course, GTA: III and GTA: San Andreas. (PS2). And on top of that I can't help but want to use Pokemon Red (GBC) more than all of these

However, for many reasons, I'm going to go with Fallout 3. 

Adam Adamowicz concept development of Fallout 3

The universe of Fallout 3; the fantastic backstory, and the way that it harnessed the whole retro-futuristic/Rockwellian stills fascinates me immensely. I did a similar presentation back in 3rd year on why Adam Adamowicz was my favourite artist at the time, and this is still true. I can legitimately remember finding his artwork back in high school and deciding that was what the sort of stuff I wanted to create.