I think it’s fair to say that my hindsight is 20/20. Looking back over the past year’s work I can see many flaws in the work I have produced, an artist is their own worst critic after all. Most of it has been due to unfamiliarity, difficulty adjusting and generally time restraints. Some of this can’t be helped (with a bout of severe depression throughout early 2014 which I’m still recovering from alongside other medical mishaps.) but I still wish I could have dedicated more energy to learning and experimenting with the new software. I’m happy with the skills that I have aquired, even if the finished pieces are not to as high standard as I would have liked. But it’s about the journey, not the destination.
My 2D art style is very comfortable to me, so to move out of this comfort zone and try to focus more on digital painting and other techniques I have shied away from in the past is something I’m proud of. I have learned many techniques and although a lot of these remain unfinished or rather poor quality, I feel that the techniques and experimentation is just as, if not more important than any final finished image. The 2D concept work we have done this year has also exercised my design skills, which I feel is one of the better creative qualities. And this has certainly improved my skills as an artist and a designer.
3D has always been a strong point of mine in the real world, but it seams in virtual space I struggle with creating what I envision. Although I could make a model out of clay or sew a garment with little trouble I struggle with the tools and processes of 3D programs such as Maya. This will likely come with time and I will be able to combine the skills I have in the real world with the virtual. But I feel I will need a lot of practice and guidance to do so. I hope over the summer and next year I’m a little more familiar with the packages, but I feel that given time this may become one of my best skills.
And don’t even get me started on coding. My skills, or lack thereof, leave a lot to be desired…
So this year has been a hell of a steep learning curve, but it’s a good challenge. I learned a lot, and there’s a lot more to learn.
“I’ll get there eventually” [D.Edmed. 2014]
In this session we were given a front, side and top view of a sci-fi car and told to use our perspective skills to draw it at a 3/4 angle. Although I have yet to finish the work i feel that my perspective was not too bad on this. Originally I had places the two vanishing points too close on the horizon giving the car a dramatic warped look, but after changing it I believe that my lines are closer to a realistic perceptive. I realise the the far sidewig bold line is a little too high, but I plan to correct and colour this in the near future.
Mudbox is a 3D modeling program with is based more on real-world sculpting than building from virtual blocks. I have used Sculptris (a freeware program which could be described as a free/trail/streamline version of Mudbox.) And I have used it to make several models before and quite enjoyed the experience, you can see some of my rough Sculptris models below. So I thought Mudbox would be my cup of tea. I was wrong.
Sadly I missed one of the sessions completely, and the other I spent a lot of time trying to catch up with the rest of the group. So my experience with the program is minimal. But I could see some things I recongised in the toolbars, but sadly it felt like mudbox was working against the user the entire time. Whereas Sculptris has a more freeform flow to it.
By creating a simple box model, I managed to create this blob-twotailedcat-creature in one of the sessions, and add pivots to the legs successfully. but that was about all I achieve. I feel that I might be able to effectively use the program if I can get accustom to the differences between Sulptris and Mudbox, As Scultris is meant to be inferior to Mudbox, but that’s where my preference currently lies until I learn the tools and mechanics of this new “better” program and hopefully be able to use Mudbox and all it;s tools effectively in future.
Box modeling is a process of which a 3D model is build up from a single cube. by adding edge loops and extruding shapes the model slowly gains more detail and polygons. The concept of box modeling seams easy enough, but personally I struggled greatly with it. Partly because of the software, and partly due to the amount of time needed to “correct” the errors that come with the nature of box modeling.
After struggling for several hours on 3DS Maxx, The program crashed and I decided it might be easier to use Maya. After installing Maya I had many issues trying to get the symmetry to mirror the modifications and movements I was making to the other side of the model. In the end I made half of the model in hopes of mirroring it after it was complete. Although this did not happen in the end. I spent a ridiculous time trying to find, select and delete the extra edges and planes that the technique of box modeling produces, and I felt frustrated that the shapes and topology of my model was incorrect. I restarted this work a good three or four times. Below you can see the workings of the most successful one, that i did not manage to mirror.
Although we were takes to model a minotaur, I could not even produce the humanoid shape. I feel that this technique is good in concept but requires a lot of trial and error to master the intricacies and inevitable errors from the programs while using it. We were provided with a mirrored Maya file shortly after this session, which I feel will help with the process we learned. I will attempt this method again in future without any time pressures and hope that I get better results.
Examples from recent life drawing sessions. Including parts of a swans skeleton that I particularly enjoyed drawing due to the complexity and uniqueness of the study.
We were tasked with making a “Tentacle Monster” for this session. After looking at some references I took my inspiration from the fictional character Cathulu and MindFlayers from Dungeons and Dragons.
I took a more simplistic approach to this piece, sketching the rough lines on paper before digitally inking them, and using flat colours. After deciding that this looked very flat and uninteresting I started adding a paint effect by using various brush opacities using complimenting colours. this made them stand out without clashing. This made for a very interesting textures effect while still holding the strong line art. Bringing quite unique results I may well use in future.
I also Took the work and changed the hue and brightness to achive some different colour choices, although this did make the contrast between the painted effect and the block colour less obious and thus made the image look flat once again. but it does prove quick results to recolour the creature while retaining the complimenting colours by changing all colours in the image proportionately.
We were assigned to make a creature inspired from plant life, mainly trees. After researching some of my favorite trees I found the Bonsai tree to be quite strong in terms of character and based my creature off this. After sketching in the shapes and playing with the features slightly, I added the base colour for the tree. Then added a leaf texture.
Sadly I had no time to finish it in session, this is what I had at the end of the session:
After the session ~I spent some time adding layers to give the bark more definition as well as draw the leaves and add a texture rather than just using found textures. I found the leaves quite hard to draw as I did not want to draw each one individually. I found drawing a large shape and then adding the textures quite effective. But I was rather rushed for time with this work. I would have approached it differently and spent more time actually digitally painting the work rather than this approach given the chance to redo it.
This is a Lava based creature I designed after we had a session studying molten rock and lava. Although it was advised to draw the rock first I took the opposite approach as I knew it would work better for me. I started by making a creature silhouette with orange, adding a red and yellow glow to it and drawing in the rocks on the surface. This worked well as I gave the creature a strong form and balance before getting into the details. Using a slightly opaque brush also gave the rocks a more layered and rough look to them.
I added a lava texture as well as a rocky texture, both on overlay layers to make the materials look more raw. This gave the image the effect i was looking for.
After speaking to my tutors, i changed the texture of the background slightly to make the character stand out more.
[Technical difficulties with the blog. Excuse the late updates.]
We were asked to design a steampunk ship, weapon or character for this work. As characters are my speciality I decided to create a robot, partially inspired by the band Steam Powered Giraffe.
First I done a fair amount of research into steampunk and the defining features of it. Below you can see a collection of images put into a mood-board type arrangement.
Next I sketched out a number of ideas for what my character could be. I explored more “bulky” robot designs, humanoid design and animal-like designed and settled on the more humanoid ones as I could add attire to them without adjusting it, and a character like this would also be a lot easier to animate in the industry.
I decided to elaborate on the sketch in the bottom left with the robot tipping his hat~ I took a liking to his expression and details and decided to mix elements of the full body humanoids to make his legs. I proceeded to sketch this out on a new page:
I then too this image and coloured/textured this image to create a final draft of the character:
Although I am quite proud of the texture usage and design of this character, the end of the image was rushed due to time constraints. I was also going to make a second version where the character was wearing a waistcoat/tailcoat to make him look more fitting to the steampunk genre.
< Mindmap and research into planes and aircraft design.
< Initial sketches
< Final design combining elements of sketch 1 & 3.
< Modelling in 3DSMaxx using basic shapes and turning them into “editable poly”.
< Wireframe and final model with plain material.
< Final Paintover.