Monday, 19 November 2012

Unit 8: Character - "10 Waves" Gesture/Flow - Curves

Hello Everyone,

I took some time this week to explore line & curve advised by Justin to make my poses jump from the page. I purchased a massive A3 book and got cracking of course it wasn't easy exploring this method not that I thought it would be. My arm has become rusty (not that it was ever totally accurate) I found that my bold strokes would often place me in the wrong meaning I was angrily ripping out pages as opposed to fixing...

When Justin said it wouldn't be easy or even achievable in the short period we have this Unit he was not kidding. You cannot change who you are overnight or in a week you can just do your best to adapt and roll something out of the experience... I wanted more finalised drawings from this but I ended up settling for the basic shapes once again...

I began exploring Evalines two identities the sad damaged woman and the angry monster within I just wanted to get the mind-set correct. I wanted to not consider the imagery as Justin advised but I found my mind wandering a little too far changing its mind mid sketch. Research was and still is essential to give me direction in my drawing...
This was just some standing research for her pose one conveying her normal/gentleness the other mid action almost as though she is in a battle. My biggest problem here is representing the action as Justin has told us in the past we have to imagine the curves of the body even the ones that we cannot see... This is easier said then done obviously but mastering it means that you can achieve any pose or drawing with accuracy - it works because the anatomy works...
It was just last week Justin advised me to look back into this book on force (one I have had for quite a while). Looking through it again I could see the confidence in everything but even then I was wandering how every line could hit home. From my experience line making allows you to isolate the void empty space... to be so confident means most of if not every line has a point I decided to give it a shot if anything just to free my mind a little...
One of the first exercises the book advised was to draw on the page with my eyes closed just trusting in the curve and flow of my own arm (image above to the left)... I found myself sliding of the page in some cases but what I ended up with was a complete mess of lines what felt to me to be too many - I think I moved about too long. I repeated the exercise with my eyes open (image above to the right) while I didn't mean to I wound up getting a shape that looked somewhat like a human to me... it was weird.
Next (Fig 0) I decided to convey the direction of force on one of the poses I had researched I did this by drawing lines conveying the direction of posture and the shift of weight vs. perspective. This was quite easy once I considered the downward trajectory of the spine. What bothered me was that the pose didn't appear to show force, the action was sitting so it made isolating it difficult, actions show force but sitting is dormant.

Figs 1 - 3 was my stabs at this pose Fig 1 was deliberate I just knocked the shapes down and got out of there which cause it to be more like a running silhouette in the early stages. Fig 2 was my approach the nervous line making and readjusting until you get something that may or may not resemble the form... Fig 3 was a different approach of the same pose, as I said before tucked up like that didn't feel as though there was action... so I decided to simulate a sitting action as opposed to just drawing dormant sitting... Suffice to say - It worked better then the dormant.
I moved in close for the next drawing I wanted to do something from my mind just to say to hell with the reference. It took a while but eventually I felt comfortable after roughing out the crude form above. I had done an earlier rendition in a previous post but the form in this one felt more alive the body even conforms to the gesture the way it is supposed to. One of the things it doesn't have though and I find this hard to do is a hunched back I honestly have no idea where to begin with that...

I ended up doing a series of standing poses committing solely to the flow of line, again I had my problems and the perspective still feels off particularly for legs but I do somewhat understand the movement and action of forces. Dormant and flat are boring, at the same time maybe its my job to make them interesting. There is no point in drawing things that are not my characters here. I think what is key here is finding what worked in the flow of lines in my top set of sketches when I was just drawing curves on a page....

The key here is not to be so much in my own head when I draw, this is why next time I'm going to skate the page when I consider a pose. I free myself up when I do this and sometimes for lack of trying I get results... Maybe somewhere deep down in my head my brain is telling my arm to do this without my full knowledge or it is drawing what the object is and not what it thinks the object is. What is key here is to be less constrained and more free... I will be doing this more.

For now though I have to consider other things poses are well and good but there is other character work to be done...

I will get down to this much more in the next week.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Unit 8: Character - Week 6 - Sketches

Hello Everyone!

We are nearing our deadline for our Narrative project (closer every day) so I've been biding my time a little here. I will see about getting a link to our group blog put on my personal page (not sure how I do that yet). Alas we have to juggle a few things here, among those is an essay and lots and lots of drawing  I'd just like to stake that I'm doing my best so I wont make excuses here... because I don't think I could change circumstances even though I really want to...

Anyway I wont bore with much more piffle, this week we had Justin for more character design exploits (something I have come to fear but also Love) there's nothing like talking about characters with a person who loves characters. I know this personally I work with one quite often and its nice to get a vibe when you are talking about something fictional.

We were looking at detailing particularly with Silhouette, the silhouette being used as the basic character building block to create a visually attractive and workable character/pose. This was very valid to me - as Justin said some of my poses just don't jump from the page and the ones that do aren't really for my character in particular. He has advised me to step away from the sketch book and just throw lines up a page with freedom and confidence (this should be interesting - gulp)... He said he has confidence in me so here's hoping I don't disappoint....

Anyway onto the images I know you are here to see...

I only got round to 4 Silhouettes I was doing a tonne of tweaking before Justin moved on to some very important information for a Character head. I kept the sketch I made on the page but it was basically to say that the base of the head is a sphere the chin is the extension. The skull basically creates an L shape from the top of the head down the ear so look out for that. Information on hair and the crown was also invaluable it always going back to a root (I did this automatically but I never noticed why lol). Anyway from the silhouettes above I chose C to draw a costume/detail on...

I put this up basically because it was very valid to colour choices when we come to identifying our character. I had no idea colour had so much meaning but Justin showed us a number of images demonstrating the use of colour. The chart is above, some key highlights stem from obvious evil red/black themes while the green is contributed to sickness, etc, etc. It was very valuable to learn I don't mind saying... I will have to consider these very carefully with my characters mainly because my main character Evaline has potential to be evil so maybe blue attire to create distance...

The dude above is the silhouette I chose to detail, originally I wanted to do something very scary but it actually ended up becoming quite tame... Mind you I found myself chuckling when I wrote his description on the page - "Criminal Spider Man". I should have drawn him bigger really... it was quite difficult to get in there and draw further detail... This is making me consider Justin's advice to be even more invaluable noticing myself that poses I draw tend not to leap from the page and I really do want that to be shown in my final designs for my characters....

Well I think that's it for this week of Character design class I will get cracking on some pretty awesome sketches on the weekend. Going to buy a huge sketchbook today that I can place on my easel just to throw lines up. I want to be prepared for next week, hopefully I will get time to put some up on Photoshop and express myself more accurately.

Catcha Later people!!

Over & Out,

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Unit 8: Character - "10 Waves" Character Sketches - Final Roughs

Hello Everyone

Just thought I would get these up before class today, last week I didn't get a chance and Justin thought I hadn't been considering my workload... Suffice to say I have been, just quietly I work better that way for some reason. Anyway I have explored mainly into my main Character Evaline Alvilda but I have considered the villain a little but am having a few issues there. My K9 sidekick is something we will be addressing later in Justin's classes so I have avoided that for now.

I had been considering how Evaline's chain like arms would function should she need to morph her arms for an upcoming battle. I found myself going into the practical side of it and fleshing it out to the point that I could see it possibly happening to a real person. Strange but I really found myself enjoying this aspect examining the arm closely... considering its joints as holes for chains etc. I also explored her features and finalised what I think her form should be.

I tend to keep slipping though one of the hardest things for me (and it might just be me) is replicating something in a different way I know the shapes are meant to break that down but even so I still find myself creating different things when I mean to create the same things...

Anyway lets get down to the nitty gritty!

Well to begin (see image above) I thought I would explore some female Anatomy which was also a great excuse to dig out my anatomy models (see prior posts). I then found myself flying away from this exploring just with the gesture line and using it to make the body twist and extend. This made the drawings feel much more Dynamic something which has eluded me for waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. As you can see this was valuable I even did my initial investigation into the arm on this page... just so it was clear in my head for later on...

Next (image above) I found myself exploring into some basic poses which I thought communicated who she was, this was just for my piece of mind... I didn't want her to be heroic, if anything a damsel who has a demon inside her that likes to resurface when you push her too hard (think incredible hulk). Her humanity is what makes her sympathetic but the beastly machine inside her just wants to get out and consume her entirely. For this I went with mostly defeatist poses with the more confident stance being focused on her machine transformation.

I continued my understanding of her into my facial development the majority didn't work but the larger one was defiantly the best and had much more empathy then my earlier etchings.  I was also up in the air trying to decide if long or short hair suited her better I mean the pirate in me keeps saying long hair but then the macho alien feminist image says to me short. I'm not too sure maybe the hair could tentacle out like the chains when she transforms fully into her robotic counterpart. Just food for thought but that's one way I could do it.

I delved briefly into the villain of my story the nasty Capt. Peter Creek but found myself unsure (image above) I could not imagine it too well. I wanted him to be very menacing, I found the more humanoid I made him the more he started looking like the terminator.... Not only that I didn't want the machine to encapsulate him I kind of wanted it to be him just like it is Evaline. I may have to ask Justin today how he thinks I should go about this... I'm in quite a bind here. I also want to capture the pirate image something that doesn't do it for me just yet... more research!!

Next (image above) I found myself delving into making the transformation of an arm into chains something very practical. It was kind of weird at first I didn't expect to get as into it as I did. The pattern of patches for the arm also really worked in my sketch of a hand, I will look into this pattern much more. Anyway basically I re imagined the skin on the arm to be panels of metal that slide into the elbow joint revealing a mass of balled chains that can be propelled towards enemies. I imagine any and all stances with the fully transformed Evaline to be pretty cool with drooping chains.

I returned for a basic view pass (shown above) just so I could show the final shapes of Evaline with the gesture line in front to communicate the pose. Again these were basic tests but the front profile was pretty accurate. I'm just hoping that these sketches are less boyish, again I had a slight issue getting the proportions exact in every instance I will flag this up with Justin today probably. I didn't want to make her too tall but also I didn't want her to be flat in the page so I tried to communicate it with dynamic lines but found the legs getting longer... oh well.

I had a small run at some basic emotion tests (due this week - a few above) but found most of them kind of falling short, however when I got to pain I found it actually worked quite well. I like her face like this, pretty, petite and very capable of demonstrating pain. One of the other great things about her looking like a delicate mouse is that no one is expecting this little flower to become a robotic monstrosity its like the ultimate cover. Suffice to say I will explore other facial expressions this week. I was also very conflicted about the hair so yeah I didn't want to commit entirely.

When I reached the end I found myself experimenting further with the basic shapes and knocked this little sketch together (shown above - please ignore the clothing choice I just didn't want to draw more nakedness). Again I went back to the long hair still thinking it to be quite a pirate thing, I could be wrong but as I said this little detail has yet to be decided. I don't want to cross too far into this being about technology then I do it being about robots and pirates. I find shorter haircuts less ragged and more professional...

I will continue exploring this aspect but I think my next main cause for concern is my villain, I really need to pour more time into him. Today I will probably go to the library to locate myself some pirate reference imagery. The worldwide web is good but I really want to have it all to hand. Suffice to say I am enjoying exploring the tech aspects but I really have to keep it objective here so I know the theme is Robot Pirates... not just Mech/Humans.

Anyway I think that concludes this little well rather large post, I can only apologies that I haven't made too many final decisions as of yet, I will do my best to get this sorted this week. Hopefully with a few more final designs made.

Take it easy!


Monday, 12 November 2012

Unit 8: Character - Week 4 - 5 - Sketches

Hello Everyone,

Its been a hectic few days with modelling, only now to be finally getting down to finally posting up our status in Justin's Character design class. I have been exploring my character in lots of ways trying to establish who she is in her form. I don't want it to be too real (as Justin says real is not stylised, our approaches should be unique). I have been exploring that notion with my female heroes proportions. Anyway lets get down to what we have been doing in Character design class.

Well to start Week 4 we were asked to bring in an object from home and then draw it in class, I brought a pencil sharpener much to Justin's disgust (I know, I know). Not that we begun with the object, we were given a room and were told to draw objects within that room. I got the living room which of course my first thought was television. What I ended up creating was actually quite amusing with a heroic control battling the giant egotistical television. I created a lamp as a side kick and even managed to reimagine a coffee table into a little demonic henchman.

The image above shows my development for week 4, it was actually quite fun once I got down to it. You can see my rather pathetic attempts at humanising the pencil sharpener that I brought in at the top right. The idea was to keep the object as closed to its natural form as possible so the first drawing I did (at the far left) was the most accurate with pencil sharpening's as eyes. The coffee table I redrew as a kind of parasitic beetle - Justin liked that idea.  The lesson was basically to show us that anything can become a character you just have to find a personality for the object (a lesson I learnt somewhat with my Oafish Lamp in Unit 5).

Week 5 was mostly based on Gesture (the central line of a character) - the more drastic the line the more dynamic the pose. The gesture line is basically the spine of a character which is causing the various movements in the primitive shapes of our skeleton. The top few are what we did in class, we were then told to explore more freely which I did over a number of basic primitive skeletons. At this point I just wanted to be free and explore what I could achieve with the line - sometimes it worked and other times it just didn't...

When I got home I did a little research and found an image of a female character (my hero is female in 10 Waves) with various turn arounds. I then decided to invest a little more in time in playing with the basic line to see what results I could actually get. I lost a little of my flare here things were much more careful (something Justin told us to try not to do). If a person draws and they are not confident the poses are less dynamic and much less fluid. Still it was a valuable lesson to learn and I hope that when I get into this more down the road Ill just say to hell with the consequences and stop thinking... just DO!!

Suffice to say Justin's advice has been right on the money this far it is in my nature to be terrified of everything I put on paper (including words). I have to push myself a little further then I have been just so I can be more free with my work and less in my own thoughts. The idea here is to sit down and crack out something amazing and I'm sure its in my arsenal... I think.

Anyway that's what we have been doing in Justin's classes the past 2 weeks, sorry Justin for not putting these up sooner I've had a bit of a hectic few weeks... I'm here now though and I will give this my very best shot, who knows it could be (to quote Phil)... amazing.

Catch you all tomorrow!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Unit 7: Narrative - Maya Exercises, Wk 3 - 5 - Modelling & Lip Sync

Hello Everyone,

Thought I would post up the Maya exercises for the last few weeks... I've been keeping them close mainly because It made sense to collect them till I had the final build of the model. The good news is that I did reach the end (eventually).

Anyway this series of Maya Exercises has been mainly about building a character from the ground up, we were told to watch videos to get a gist of Character building and then take their lesson and rebuild each section of a character. We also hit the Jackpot by getting a bit of Lip Syncing thrown in for good measure but suffice to say over the last six weeks we are meant to have a Character created and have a decent understanding of Lip Sync.

For the Lip Sync we are to understand Visual Phonemes (known in 3D terms as Visimes) so we can sync up sound files with a pre-rigged characters face. Its quite fun until you hear the sound file for the 1 millionth time. Never the less it is a good thing to know!

Figure 1 shows the development of my 3D character. Expanding on the objects built in Weeks 1 & 2 were the shoes (shown in the top right), The Hair, Eyes & Eyebrows (shown in the top left), the arms as an extension on the Shirt (shown in the bottom right) & the head (shown in the bottom left). Its quite cool seeing it now it is all complete but there has been alot of soul searching along the way, I'm much more versed in Character building though which is a good thing to know... Ill need it tomorrow!

Figure 2 is the polished final model altogether. This is the mesh smoothed at level 3 obviously its much lower (I counted it at 5030 polygons). We are going to be taking this character further forward in the next few weeks getting texturing done and some rigging. This will all be beneficial for me as I am the man involved in the rigging of our Narrative Character.  I will be beginning development on him tomorrow and very soon he will be complete like this dude :)

The Video above (Generi Lip Sync Week 3) was the developmental stage of our Lip Sync class during week 3. We were basically told to sync up the lips of a pre-rigged character (known as Generi - I'm guessing Generic) with a sound file. This was just expanding the regions of the lips to better reflect accurate oral movement. This was all that was required from this stage as we had already achieved the basic movement of the jaw.

The Video above (Generi Lip Sync Week 5) was the final stage of our Lip Sync classes - the completion of week 5. I smoothed the mesh of Generi just to make everything a little higher poly for the animation to run smoother. Week 5 had us mainly looking at the movement of the tongue and the adaptation of the brow. Basic blinks were also incorporated, basic things really just to make the character feel more alive. To be honest I think it looks quite cool.

Well I think that concludes this little post, I will miss doing the Lip Sync in class but to be honest I'm sure I will have plenty of opportunities on my future characters. There will more then likely be some facial movement on our character for this units Animated short.

More posts will go up about our created character above probably a few weeks down the line, I don't see a point in reporting it every single week... Might as well just let it build up a little before posting about it... Makes for more interesting things going per post.

Talk to ya later!