Monday, 27 December 2010

posting some art

Redoing the sculpture project, I was unsatisfied with the minimal effort I put into it so I'm challenging myself now. Flesh, hair and fabric, eep. Any crit would be much appreciated. I could work on this forever and never be able to capture the subtleties in this painting. The pose in my version is off, gonna rectify that...
Also finished the character I'm working on.
1024 flat diffuse. Working on a stylised child character atm, I need more variation in my characters.

Friday, 26 November 2010

I'm going to try pick this article apart because I think its silly.

So, its been a while since I've gotten angry on my blog about something on the internet.

This article bugged me in several ways. First off, you expect to be taken seriously using the phrase 'girl gamer'...?

'When you think about women in video games, you would be forgiven for imagining the helpless girly-girl persona of Mario's beloved Princess Peach, or for getting distracted by the improbably-chested, often-running Lara Croft.'

Has this woman even touched a video game beyond Farmville and Bejewelled in the last 10 years?

Why all the hate for Lara? After all these years she's still my secret idol - intelligent, witty, athletic and totally out for herself, not to mention looking fabulous while doing so. The Crystal Dynamics games really developed her personality and gave her character flaws such as her slightly obsessive and psychotic nature that reveals itself from time to time.

This scene never fails to make me smile. Look at what a badass she is. [also, she's pretty modest compared to Amanda!]

'"Sometimes women don't get the option of being male or female," Ngan Nguyen, editor of Women in Games Jobs, told BBC World Service's Colin Grant.

"You have to play with whatever character you're given. Some of the games I've played, like God of War, you are given just male characters."

HAHA OH WOW, does this really need a comment? Oh shit, Kratos is a man, how has this got anything to do with the topic? Some games actually have character-driven stories other than you just being a faceless avatar. This is one of the most stupid comments I've ever read.

In regards to revealing your gender over chat in MMOs, if the people you're playing with aren't immature asshats, why would they care if you're a woman or not? I knew someone in my first year who was the only girl in a group of about 20 guys and had a blast, no one treated her any differently.

"Parents aren't going to encourage their girls to play, they're not going to be as keen to buy them their first DS or buy them a console in the way you see families and mums buying lots of that stuff for boys at a very young age."

This is pure opinion over fact. As a child, all my female friends got bought their first gameboy and copy of Pokemon red/blue because our parents were intelligent enough not to buy us anything with an 18-rated sticker on it. My group of friends and loads of other girls I knew at the time owned consoles so they could play cute colourful platformers.

"I don't think we just want games where you dress up Barbies. I think [my daughter would] love to go around picking up gems, cutting the heads off donkeys or whatever it is that the game involves."

Cutting heads off...What? Since when are games either about barbies or super violence? As a child I never played games about either of those things, I just wanted games about animals jumping over things and collecting gems. Why is this article so obsessed with black and whites.
I think this is a very poorly-researched, unbalanced and petty article which I don't particularly want to be associated with as someone trying to get into the industry. :(

Sunday, 21 November 2010


3k tris. Flat diffuse ftw.
Any crits at this stage would be much loved.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The main problem with my characters, aside from aesthetic things, is the fact that they usually cannot deform properly or work in engine, two things we decided to include in the goal of this project.

Needed to brush up on my modelling skills, so I made a generic looking dude concentrating on proper edge flow and basic blocking out of anatomy, with no zbrush.

Here's some progress.
After getting a load of crits [thank you Del!] I focused on correcting things like uneven polygon distribution and the smooth flow of verts, as well as the overall posture.
Here's the result I've got so far.
Clocks in at 5296 tris including the head. Neither the proportions or topology are totally correct, but next is a rigging test to see how it holds up with deformations.

"-Is it essential to be able to rig characters, or just understand enough about how animation works to build the mesh correctly?
Placing bones and skin weighting I think is pretty essential as it’s the only way you can pose your characters to show them off and the only way you can really judge if your mesh is any good once it becomes an animated character. This is not the same as being a rigging expert though. To test elbow deformation all you need are the major bones and the skin weights, this a character artist should be able to do. To rig an elbow properly you might need to set up FK and IK and pole vectors and a UI. This wouldn’t be part of a usual character artist’s job scope."

^ Jolyon Webb in response to my incessant questions [thanks!]. A little clearer on what I have to do now. Will post the results of how I get on.

Monday, 20 September 2010

some cool animations i found while browsing.

funny Russian cartoon from the 80s.

I don't know why I like this...It's really simple and sweet.

This is really good, though I hate it when cute things turn sad at the end ;_;

More awesome 3d animation.

Also...I can't wait for this!!! 5 years in production, Madhouse are going to inject pure adrenaline into my eyeballs and its going to be amazing style over substance.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Heh, thought I should update my blog with some recent art. This guy is around 9k tris. God, the lighting is so terrible, not sure how to get it to look decent, makes the skin look like plastic. Looks better with a viewport shader.
The most successful thing about this was the hair alphas, after the clusterfuck that was the hair on my last model. It works better if they're made in chunks, and thin strands are overlayed over thick pieces. Looking at the hair on the FFXIII Lightning model was super useful.
Ah, I wish my laptop was powerful enough to run Marmoset...Does anyone else have it installed?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

RIP Satoshi Kon

"It's not that anime will never be the same with Satoshi Kon gone. It's now much more likely that anime will always be the same." - Jeff Betteridge on his twitter.

I love this quote, Kon's animation was true art not just throwaway trashy entertainment like 99% of anime. Perfect Blue is a masterpiece. Hopefully his works will inspire new directors to not just waste the medium on recreating reality and push the limits of 2d animation!
Time to catch up on the Kon works I missed, hopefully they'll make a box set or something.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Taxidermy art by Polly Morgan.
The metaphor/parallel may be obvious, but I really like this piece and I've been kind of fascinated by taxidermy since I went to the Natural History museum. I like how the animals are posed in such lifelike ways, especailly birds as they're so fine-boned and delicate, I thought it would be impossible to stuff them and open their mouths like that. Its amazing! I don't think the work is morbid, its more optimistic and quaint in the choice of materials, especially in the whole spectrum of comtemporary art where the theme of death is extremely common place. I saw her on a documantary recently called Art is Child's Play, talking about how closely linked our play as a child is to what we call 'creating art' as adults. I don't think what we do is as relevant to this theory, as our kind of art is less concerned with experimentation and self expression as it is with 'get good or fail'. Saying that, I have no desire to do a fine arts degree, and Game Art is infinitely more satisfying to my brain - making at it, not looking at it, however.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Just wow. The power of circle lenses and false eyelashes is a force to be reckoned with. Also I love how the men comment on these types of transformations with things like 'you lied to us!!!!11'. Mhm, you could say that. There's also an amazing Japanese makeover show where they transform men into very convincing and glamerous women..!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

So I entered the Never Ending Story redesign comp at Gameartisans, been a while since I did a mini.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Dreamy Theatre high poly weirdness

Ew ew ew, the PS3 add on for Hatsune Miku Project Diva [a Japanese rhythm action game] really creeps me out. Its way too uncanny valley and makes me think that anime doesn't work in 3d at all unless its got some kind of cell-style/toon shader on it like Valkyria Chronicle. Its mainly that model used with that animation that bothers me, its mo-capped and everything but it looks so unnatural. I think the PSP version of this game is totally cute and charming and its one of my favourites. The PSP forces everything to be in flat colour, so it makes things look more like a cartoon and not like some creepy doll. The 'realistic' cloth and lighting in Dreamy Theatre kills the stylisation for me. Segaaaa, why do you do this?


Saturday, 26 June 2010

This is about feeling a bit shy and isolated sometimes

School reunions are just as awkward as they're supposed to be. Two minutes into a conversion with someone you haven't seen for 4 years and suddenly the talk is highly inappropriate and i really don't care about her sex life when she was seventeen and ancient gossip, some people do not change. The fakery from them and me was astounding and just ew. I feel a little bad actually. I've gotten so uses to being at uni, i sometimes take for granted being on the same wavelength. Most people from school are ready to settle down in leeds, and i feel childish to have ambitions. Sometimes its like i haven't changed from being 15 either, or maybe just being with everyone again reminds me of that time. Some people were still so genuinely lovely it made up for those vapid conversions. I'm not one to have amazingly mentally stimulating conversations with, but at least its fun. If noone enjoys it then it feels truly pointless. What I'm trying to say is I'm so glad to have broken out of that circle when i did and have the friends that i do or people i just enjoy being with even if we don't know each other that well. I love my hometown but school was crap. Everything after that got so much better! I guess its pretty common to feel this way? I don't have a load of friends or anything like that, but i think i'd go crazy if i didn't have them. so thanks for putting up with me everyone :)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

So the 2nd year is at an end...

I guess I can count it as finished now and we're officially third years after the degree show. I'm glad I came up to see it, everyone's work was so impressive and the standard was so high...I feel like I really want to push myself to at least meet that next year.
I want to say thank you to everyone especially Cam, Del and Dave for putting up with my nagging questions, you guys taught me so much this year and I'm so grateful to everyone for taking the time to explain things to me and giving me direction. I appreciate it so much, thank you ♥

Looking back on this year I'd say I've been a little too emotionally sensitive towards what people have said and taken things as a personal attack. People are going to say what they think and be harsh to me, but I need to learn to take criticism and carry on. I made a thread on recently to get some harsh crit that isn't softened because we know each other. I'm starting to compare my work to real game artists and realise how far I have to come. I just had a frank conversation with my dad and he thinks its likely that I'm going to have to work a shit job at home and save up money before I can work in the games industry. I don't want that to happen, even though it might, and I'm a bit worried about it. Working in a shop or whatever would be a last resort, there are many other things that are at least art related I'd try and do before that. But, fuck worrying, lets do some work!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I did these drawings recently for a 12 thumbnails project and to practise my digi paints and colour theory...the last two images were done without photo colour reference/colour picking and they turned out much more blue/washed out. I don't mind it though, I think they look ok. Just used large brushes and didn't go crazy with the details, as they are just thumbnails.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

time management

Since I never made a time diary when we were supposed to this term, I made by own simple 3-day diary of how I spent my time.

11 - get up, eat breakfast
11:30 - browsed internet for 15 mins and started work
13:18 - lunch
14:00 - break
16:30 work again
18:24 - break
19:30 - modelling for personal project
23:45 - stop working
2:30 - bed

sat -

11:30 - get up
12:00 - browse the internet,eat breakfast
13:00 - work on personal project
14:00 - blogger
14:30 - visual design
15:00 - browse internet
17:00 - went out

sun -

12:30 - got up
13:00 - had lunch, chatted online/browsed internet
14:00 - started digi paint
16:20 - break
16:50 - resume work
17:40 - finished paint
18:00 - watched star trek with parents/dinner
21:30 - chatted online
22:45 - worked on personal project
02:00 - bed

My working habits this week haven't been as good, mainly cos of social commitments in seeing my friends at home where I'm out for the whole day due to travelling and such. I still managed to find time to work though. Yesterday I didn't do anything cos I had a migraine, and the day before I went out, etc etc. Its easy for your days to just disappear and you can't be in control all the time. I learned that when you have free time, you have to make the most out of it and get as much done as possible because 'working every day' in small amounts, isn't possible. So as long as I work hard on the days where I do have free time, I'll be ok I think.

The pic is something I did recently, tried to develop different silhouettes..the drawings are full of errors though!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

new Master's piece

Here's a study of an Alphonse Mucha oil painting. I thought he was an interesting artist to look at, because he's most famous for his stylised commercial works rather than his fine art/painters work. I really liked this piece because of the symmetry and focal point of the composition, as well as the vivid skin tones. Mine is full of errors compared to the original, [small face] but the main thing I learned from this piece was the importance of measuring, and that in my paintings I tend to overly highlight and shade things which makes my work look flat because there's no sense of background and foreground. So doing this helped me to recap on really basic things like that, and the piece in itself is very simple.
I suppose digital painting comes the closest to oils, because of how easy it is to blend colours and create a smooth transition between shades enabling you to render things more realistically. When I did oils in high school I painted on this huge wooden door and the smell of it really makes you light headed after working with them all day. I wouldn't mind trying to find a class that devotes an afternoon or so to oil painting, I've decided I mostly hate acrylics.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

adventures in perspective

Yesterday I worked on the ideal interior spaces project for Chris. I've been looking at a lot of rococo architecture lately and wanted to make a tea-room lounge style place. I've never actually drawn something like that without either drawing from life or using photo reference, so I made a rough model of the layout in max and drew in some perspective lines over the top.

In the chart of my progress, the biggest changes happened between image 3 and 4, when the problems in scale were pointed out to me between the chairs and the staircase. It really hurt my head trying to figure out why it didn't look right, felt a bit like a child who didn't understand anything. So I lowered the horizon line which made the room a lot bigger, so the staircase could look more plausible. Redrew a few things so that they matched the new perspective lines and added in details. I'm still not sure its completely convincing, but I learnt a lot from this project, that scale is really important for the believability of images, and to always follow perspective lines when making things up or it will look wrong. Also, that colours desaturate when they go into the background. I knew all these things in theory, but sometimes I struggle with applying them to my own work.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Drawing life, day 3

Ok, here's my last set of drawings from the short course! Some ok and some really bad, a mixed day but it was nice to do some curled poses. Stayed away from colour today and just concentrated on measuring and line...The two measured drawings I did I like the most! It is a technique that really works sometimes if you prepare accurately. The last one I did in 10 minutes before end of class and its my favourite for some reason even though its not that good. We were looking at gestural life drawings today and none of them were rendered or anything, but they were really nicely drawn lines. I like it when you can see movement in the shape of the figure. Anyway for the charcoal/chalk piece in the middle I tried to copy Aby's flesh rendering technique because I'm a fan...though mine still needs more work.
Now I really want to make extra life drawing at home a regular thing over summer! Oops, its really late again. I'm going to get up before 12 of course and carry on with my work for Chris. Goodnight~

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Life drawing day 2

Here's my work from yesterday! Will post today's lot up tomorrow. I found this model the most difficult to draw, she was really tiny and my drawings don't represent her body very well...somehow, I think its hard to draw a small chest. Like when you're drawing a female figure the breasts and hips are defining curves of the torso and when they're really small I get lost easily and don't know where to go with the drawing. Anyway I tried some more acrylic and realised I'd like to learn it properly at another class some time, my painting is really amateur and I've forgotten the right approach. Also do you ever think back to early paintings and remember how good you thought they were? Its like I downgraded somehow, but probably those early paintings were no good either, haha. Had the most fun doing ink studies, even though they're not the most accurate or particularly 'good'.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Well today I was going to post more life drawing, but I was scatterbrained and left my phone charger in Leicester so I can't upload the pictures until tomorrow. Today was pretty tiring, my arm is really aching from drawing! Anyway, I went to see Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake tonight at Bradford Alhambra. I'd been wanting to see it for years but always missed my chance at Saddler's Wells so I was made up when they annouced another tour, and the show surpassed my expectations! My new favourite New Adventures show maybe? I love Bourne's adaptations of classical stories and the camped up sense of humour they all have. Tonight I laughed a lot, though Jonathan Ollivier's performance as the Swan in the last act moved me to tears, it was so beautiful.

This was one of my favourite acts in the show, sort of like a satirical ballet within a ballet [though this is the only piece of actual 'ballet' in the show, otherwise there's not a point in sight] that pokes fun at the campy old-school while the Prince's girlfriend misbehaves in the background. There's also some fabulously hilarious butterfly and 'trollete' costumes -

Monday, 29 March 2010

Life drawing day 1

First day, went over measured drawing and measured the figure in heads. Sometimes this method really works for me and sometimes it stifles the 'balance' of the drawing...I need to trust in the measurements more rather than what I think 'should' be right. Construction lines for standing poses don't hurt, though its harder to do for lying down poses with foreshortening. Today I used charcoal+chalk, acrylic and ink and a stick. It actually gives loads of interesting marks and cool ink splatters. Tomorrow we're drawing a girl, its nice to have some variety in the models...and my teacher reminds me of Chris in the way that she doesn't interfere with your drawing and lets everyone get on. Most of these are 10-20 minutes, spent about an hour on the acrylic, going to try and zoom in on one area and make a nice fleshy tone tomorrow with a large brush. Also I heard there's a life drawing class every thursday at a place very near me, really cheap too, I want to go there over summer!

fresh start

I realise I've been neglecting my blog a lot recently, and it reflects on my low enthusiasm this term...I've been concentrating on the group project and seem to be in the labs more than usual, but I haven't got as much to show for it as I'd like. I've lost the idea of time management and I've been wasting days thinking I've been doing more work than I have, so its time to stop being dilusional and apathetic. I've been really distracted with pointless things this year and I will try my best to improve myself before the start of summer. In a way I'm thankful to everyone for making me realise this before it was too late.
Attending a life drawing class at Leeds Art College today and the next two days, so I will post some of the work I do.

Friday, 8 January 2010

I find it pretty painful to play ps2 games now unless its a puzzle game because the textures are so blurry! Did you know FFX is 9 years old? Its hard to believe that much time has passed since I was drawing knockoff Nomura characters in my bedroom. Anyway, emulated FFX and XII look amazing, it really shows how ahead of their time the graphics and art direction were, only it wasn't obvious at the time because of the limitations of the ps2. Maybe that was the reason it had prerendered cutscenes as well as in-game cutscenes? I didn't really like the graphics in FFX so much at the time because I was still in love with sprites and prerendered backgrounds like in ps1 era. All this 3d crap just didn't have the same charm to it. It was that time when most games looked like utter crap because 3d was fashionable and no one knew how to use it properly yet. Recently I've been playing Dragon Age a lot and made this little comparison image, using Morrigan and Lulu, because they're both spooky witchy characters who walk around in skirts made out of belts with their assets on show. They're both supposed to be beautiful, but I can't help but think Morrigan is hideous, despite being an awesome character. In concept art I prefer Morrigan's design, she looks like a witch of the wilds who makes her own clothes out of scraps, whereas Tetsuya Nomura tends to pull things out of his ass and stick belts and zippers on it to make it look cool, so Lulu looks a bit like a teenage boy fantasy who doesn't really fit into her setting at all. Why do so many people think he's a good characer designer? Also, just add glasses to Lulu and you have Bayonetta, ooops.

Morrigan probably has more tris in her face than Lulu does in her whole body, but Lulu looks exactly like her concept art and still looks fabulous 9 years on. Morrigan looks nothing like the concept art facially and there's tons of face mods for her which try and match it. Isn't that a little strange? FFX artists made the most out of what they had, I find it quite amazing. To be fair, Bioware used a facegen for all the humanoids, and it was originally meant to be played from above Baldur's Gate style. But none of the characters look anything like their concept art. Morrigan has so many polys in her face because it needed to animate way more than FFX characers did, but in prerendered scene Morrigan still looks ugly, what? [Even though I'm happy Bioware made one of these videos because hardly anyone seems to do it anymore.] I know they were going for 'realism', but its said in the game that Morrigan's supposed to be beautiful, and the artists kind of failed at that. Also, the environments are underwhelming. [Its still a really immersive game and I've lost many hours to it] Since ps1, FF has always been about graphics, and western RPGs don't really care as much. I still love those old isometric rpgs ~ graphics aren' that important to me, but from a Game Art POV its really intesting to look at the current standard. We're supposed to be making things superior to ps2, but given the same technical limitations I don't think I'd be able to make something as good as the ffx models.