Sunday, 11 November 2012

Doing my own thing

Work has been absolutely mental the last few weeks but in a good way. I've had the chance to do some matchmove work on Man of Steel and Fast and Furious 6 which feels like a huge step forward. Whilst its not animating its the next step on the VFX ladder.

So I've finally had a day off to do my own thing and figured I'd make the most of this enthusiastic/exciting spell thats going on at the moment. Spent this afternoon trying to get a decent model sheet sorted to I can get into Maya and start modelling a base mesh, so rather than upload a whole bunch of pictures here is a gif... YAY

As per usual I got carried away with thinking about details and not making decisions but creating more options so here's the breakdown of some of the variations:

Not sure when I'll be back on this but I think I'm in a good place with it to crack on with some 3d stuff now :D

Sunday, 23 September 2012

30 Days of Anatomy

Did another 30 Days of ... Calling this anatomy is a stretch but its people and limbs and stuff so that sort of constitutes anatomy right? the full gallery is here (day 30 will post tomorrow morning)

Not sure what's next. I've almost finished the matchmove training at work but could be a year before any spots appear so trying to fill the time with something more creative than making coffee and delivering post. Going back to a few old film ideas so at this point in time its literally anyone's guess as to what appears next.
Want a character similar to Polarity to appear again so I can animate something of interest to me and get a little reel together to pass on to the animation dept and see if I can get into the mentoring scheme...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Learning Python

I think it was maybe a year ago that I headed to Eurogamer and got a chance to talk to one of the lead artists at Creative Assembly and we spoke about how I could go about getting into animation and things I could learn to become a more useful member of the team. One of these was learning Python/Mel. So now I have a good 4 hours a day back and a nice quiet place to work I've made a start over at codecadamy .

Obviously I can't say 'this is amazing and it teaches you Python super fast' as I'm two days in and haven't applied any of the things its taught outside of the projects and materials it provides. That said it does have achievements and they are something I adore. Give me icons and badges and collectables and I will sit and plough through the material for as long a necessary. Well played codecadamy, well played. Another thing worth mentioning is that the Python course is still in it's Beta phase so there's not heaps of content but the bits and bobs I've done so far have been surprisingly easy to get my head around and often find myself testing bits out in the console on my desktop before committing to the one on their site.

So yeah with the points/achievements and streaks its a nice little incentive to keep at it and will hopefully give me a decent enough foundation to restart the 'Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner' I bought a while back.

The whole idea behind learning it is to help improve my rigging and writing tools that could speed up workflows etc. I had ideas for small bits and pieces that would speed things up when working at Rare but had no way to apply them. Moving house has been a genuine breath of fresh air and I think this is probably the most productive I've been outside of work and training ever.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

It's been a while... to say the least

Well so its been pretty much a year since I updated this at all. It's been a *really really* busy one too. Rare was amazing and I'm chuffed to have my first animation credit under my belt, unfortunately there wasn't much junior animation work going around in the UK at the time so I ended up becoming a runner at Double Negative VFX and 9 months later I'm still happily playing in the vfx industry =)

Looking back at what I was doing a year ago is strange, a big kind of regret (?) is that the Polarity project fell through, she's all modelled and ready to go but no direction/scripts/concepts were ever sent my way so seeing as she's not 'my' character it's hit a dead end. Originally I'd removed all the work as I didn't want unfinished pieces up here but it was great fun and hopefully I can find a new writer/concept artist to work with in the future. So I think for now she'll stay and hopefully motivate me do get back into learning modelling (along with the endless list of other things I wanna try out).

Anywho why update now, after so long you ask... Well I've spent the last 9 months working at DNeg and spending 5 WHOLE HOURS a day commuting but at long long last I've saved up enough to move to London. I've got a good 3 hours a day back and a spare room to set my PC up in and get cracking once again. Its all started out with a quick 30 Day Drawing challenge where I've posted sketches daily to a new tumblr (the full set is here if anyone is interested). I think the idea behind this was to just get back into doing stuff again rather than staring out the window on the train ride home. Work is good but its not an artist's role yet, still running and training in matchmove out of hours. All new 3d artists go into matchmove before a specialism and its a challenge I've enjoyed so far.

For now I think I'll leave it at that and should have some more interesting things to upload in the future, there's definitely a few short ideas kicking around and I'm itching to start making something again!

Oh and for a possibly more regular update you can follow me here

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Other things and stuff

Things have finally settled down enough for me to go back to working on Polarity, still not entirely comfortable with my original plans for creating the hair but rather than waste an afternoon mulling things over I decided to get on with the accessories instead.

The belt needs some pouches but I wasn't sure if one needs to be accessible/animatable later on, the goggles need detailing but the final design is still being worked out. Other than that I thinks its just small changes here and there, I want the scarf to look wrapped around and layered as well as getting some seams and crinkles in the suit itself. And looking at it now the palms of the hands could do with some work too.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Things and Stuff

First piece of cool news is that I just found out today that my grad film Discovery is going to be screened across the UK as part of the BBC Big Screens project/thing.

Next up is that Kinect Sports 2 was released this week, I had the chance to work on this for a couple of months over the summer after graduating. Was strange but cool seeing something I'd worked on being played in a store. 

And finally, Polarity is almost modelled, there's been a few tweaks and the mouth needs to be reconstructed as I've finally settled on a rigging solution and I want to make sure the mesh flow is a neat as possible and take out any hint of a smile/expression so the base mesh is as plain as possible. Which is  a stupidly long sentence, but there's loads of work to be done so it can stay that way for now. 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Polarity Begins

Finally starting to model Polarity, got the chance to run through the idea for showreel pieces/portfolio ideas with a couple of artists and animators at the Eurogamer Careers Fair. Concept went down well so after a couple of days thinking through exactly what we want out of it I've had the designs through and am in the process of working up a base mesh, most the way there now just got the hair and hands to go.

We've also got another person on the project now to help with voice acting and the creation of Polarity's nemesis... It's all sounding really cool but I'm saying nothing until things are confirmed. Even though we're splitting time between working day jobs/this project the plan is to have a short scripted and a 30 second thing done for the new year, depending on how busy people get.

As well as the short we're figuring how how to show off the model and set up in-game type animations in Unity (which will test how well the python learning is going). So while the scripts and storyboards are organised/written/whatever there's other cool stuff to be working on. Main priority is getting this modelled and rigged well enough and in a way that's flexible enough to allow us to do all of this.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Finally started work on a side project with a friend, she's had an original superhero character idea for a while and I happened to mention a few showreel piece ideas that I'd had involving superheroes but I'm not so great with designs so I'd not pursued them any further...

Anyways I'm working on making her designs into a 3d character in maya and building a better rig than last time out, researched and found better  modelling and rigging solutions than used in the grad film so loads to learn but working with someone on a cool looking character makes it fun and easier to go through the process from scratch.

Aside from that I've also started to learn some python programming as every job spec I've looked at seems to want some know how so hopefully that'll start to sink in and become useful as the polarity project comes along - especially when it comes to making the GUI.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Short tests 2

So after the previous short test thing I found that I really liked getting back into the facial stuff compared to the more game-y body mechanics stuff i've been working on pretty much exclusively for the last year or so, I've decided to have another go at a longer piece, its getting there slowly and ive got a few ideas of how this is going to end up as a full body performance. I think im gonna start blocking these bits in then re animate the eye line/head movement to fit

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Short tests 1

While i'm waiting for shots to come through at work i'm doing my own thing and either taking part in the mini challenges on the 11second club or playing around with various ideas of my own, today i decided to tackle some lip sync and start doing some more performance focused things.

This is still a WIP but i've really enjoyed spending a  couple of hours working things out and playing with a different facial setup to things ive used in the past. Want to get some of the mouth shapes better defined and figure out how to get some movement into the upper body without over doing it.Been a nice change from the sort of things ive been doing with mocap and my grad film.

Will post polished version shortly

Face wise it feels a lot closer, keep scratching my head when im thinking about the line, not so sure it works with the character, single frames look nice but over the whole anim it doesnt feel quite right - at the same time its better than him stood there arms side by side. will ask around and think about what to do next...