Saturday, 31 December 2011

PPGI - Week 12

Above is an example showreel I have created that will go along the same path as my final showreel.

There are a few improvements needed before the final showreel including:
  1. The use of my own material to be included in the showreel, that way its displaying my work to potential employers.
  2. Better transitions between videos of my work is needed, I got the fade between Maya videos right, however there aren't any transitions between any of the other videos.
  3. Smaller videos over the top of larger videos to show different views (wire frame, textured, etc) so employers know how I work.
  4. An animation at the start of the video, just for the text, so as to make the showreel interesting from the start and have it stand out compared to motionless text.
  5. Perhaps different music, sort of more mellow, or at the very least, have the videos transition along with the music, therefore it looks more appealing.
  6. Similar to the last video (the cottage), show a concept or what the scene is meant to look like in the bottom left of the screen.
  7. Have a border along the bottom of the showreel with my name and email address, constantly reminding the viewer of who I am.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

PPGI - Week 12

Storyboard of my Show Reel.

However, I don't have some of the work to show in the video that will be coming soon and it is quite a short storyboard as there will be different angled fly throughs of the same environment.

PPGI - Week 12

I will be use the following image to plan the story board of my showreel.

PPGI - Week 12

A good final attempt for a sample asset presented in a house style.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

PPGI - Week 12

A first try at presenting an asset in a in house style.

It has everything I want to show for the town hall, but I need a better way to merge everything together.

Things I'm going to improve on include:
  1. The contact information, including the link to this blog (as an example), email address, perhaps a phone number, and then choose a better font and colour.
  2. The background colour is very neutral so the images do stand out, however, it looks rather bland.
  3. A better way to display the textures, perhaps having them smaller, or laid out differently.
  4. A third view of the asset to fill up some more space, perhaps the back image of the townhall.
  5. A border to box everything nicely into the picture might be a good idea.

PPGI - Week 12

High Level Exit Plan


The above link provides information on how to create a really good showreel, and numerous examples of good show reels from with the industry, be it games or films industry.

It does provide 3 different methods to self promote myself:
  1. Youtube - To upload my showreel so people and potential employers can view it at anytime, and means that only an internet address is needed to be sent rather than a DVD containing my showreel.
  2. Blogger - A good place to blog, uploading designs/sketches, and work in progress, and also to include an embeded show reel and other completed work.
  3. LinkedIn - A source to build up a CV and start making connections with people in the industry.
  4. Elance/Guru - Gives the chance for my work to bring me some freelance work, using both Blogger and LinkedIn.
A couple of things I already know to do include:
  1. Creating a business card with up to date contact information so if I do meet someone who shows interest in me and my work, a card is easier and more professional to show rather than writing down contact information.
  2. An up to date CV is essential for any job, and since last creating a CV I have had a couple of jobs, which I believe will help at starting at the bottom as a receptionist/runner for a VFX studio.
  3. A website to have all my finished work displayed, with links to my show reel and blog (as long as the blog is kept up to date of what I'm working on, otherwise the blog is pointless) and to show my CV. This means that any potential employer can look on one website to find everything they need to decide if I'm good enough for the job in question.

On an interesting note, I found a website of visual effect employees from around the globe working on animation films and their show reels. As someone who is aspiring to be in the film industry, its good to see some animation work, although I don't necessarily want to do animation, before applying for jobs.

Reel Barrow

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

PPGI - Week 12

I had the Viva Voce this week, although I believe too much focus on the DeLorean in my Back to the Future scene was too high, even though I explained throughout the 12 weeks of working on the scene, vehicle modelling isn't my strong point, and I wasn't that thrilled about doing it. Although I completely agreed that the DeLorean had to be in the scene, I wish I had chosen a scene with more focus on the environment.

Saying that, the scene itself was very enjoyable to create, with animation quite difficult to do, but all in all, it made me want to learn more about environments and become an environment artist.

From ART to AMA, I'm focusing on environments, and that's why I'm creating the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean and if I have much time, create another scene that I really want to do.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

PPGI - Week 9

I couldn't find a lot of advice on Design Sheets for 3D models so above are 3 different Prop Sheets I found online, two from previous students to see what they displayed on theirs. From what I gather from the better Design Sheets are that a render of the final model, fully textured, along with one or two wire frame models from different angles.  Finally, there should be 3 different maps on the Design Sheet which include the Diffuse, Normal and Specular maps.

To finish it all off, it has to be presented well on a Design Sheet. The best is the bottom 2, while the bottom is rather neat, the middle is much better laid out as it seems to blend into the background.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

PPGI - Week 9

I've been looking into the type of audio I could put into my showreel, and want something classical with little or no words so as to not distract the viewer. A lot of online resources believe there shouldn't be music on the showreel as it distracts the viewer, however, subtle classical music is both visually and aurally appealing to the viewer.

I have chosen this song above (How to Train Your Dragon OST - New Tail) as the movie was mentioned on a website for having good music for a showreel, and I both like the film and the music featured in it.

Furthermore, I believe its nice relaxing music to go along with a showreel so should be able to easily have a good flowing showreel.

PPGI - Week 9

Above is a video of a showreel by Brent Waller who is a Lead Environment Artist at KMM Games, and is quite a good showreel in my opinion.

It showcases his best work, made even better by the custom soundtrack that the camera follow. The abrupt start to the showreel draws me in, while the camera pans further out through the levels he is showcasing. Half way through the showreel he then starts panning in the camera through the levels, in a slightly different way/angle/different part of the level, which draws the attention back into the level. This method is good as the best bits will be seen of the level straight away and then how they coincide with the rest of the level.

It finally ends with a slight zoom in shot of his contact details. The only change I would make to this is that the contact details should be seen at the start of the showreel for about 2 - 3 seconds so as they know whose showreel is in front of them.

My final showreel will be similar to his, although perhaps a little bit more technical as there is less work to show. So this will include moving shots of the levels I have created, starting at the best parts of the level and moving out, and then changes to the way the level looks, such as wire frame or without textures. Perhaps having a couple of design sheets mixed into the level of parts of the level I am proud of.

PPGI - Week 7

Professional Practice in the Arts

The above link refers to professional practice in the Arts and how  following certain principles will get the Artist where they want to be.

The four main points of the article are:
1 - Contribute Confidently
2 - Prepare Thoroughly
3 - Collaborate Creatively
4 - Aim High

All of which, in my opinion, are traits that everyone in any industry should use at all times if they want to advance higher in their job.

PPGI - Week 6

One thing that interests me about becoming an environment artist is the chance to work in the film industry, not only is it a bigger industry but I think a much more exciting industry. Although the need for environment artists isn't widely known for the films industry but there scenes that require the addition of environment artists as no such place exists in the world.

'Double Negative' visual effects studio came for a visit last academic year and was rather informative of the films industry and what they do within games.

The above video shows the limbo scene in Inception, which Double Negative worked on.

Other industries that modelling can get me into include the television industry, similar to film industry. The music industry is also a possibility as music artists are getting more and more adventurous with their music videos.

Virtual Engineering is another industry that is possible to get in to. Its basically the use of 3D models to simulate and test different scenarios, good example is say a dam, where the design could be tested in a number of different environments to check how it would cope with different scenarios.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

AMA - Week 6

New Brief

Above is the new brief I think would be a lot better for me as I want to become an Environment Artist and I've already chosen Back to the Future Street for Advanced Rendering Techniques so this is something a little bit different.

AMA - Week 5


Above is the brief (in Google Docs which has changed some of the formatting). I liked my ideas and how they all had a reason behind them, however, brief 1 wasn't liked and that was going to be my major one, whilst the steam punk animals were going to be ornaments for a level. As brief 1 wasn't liked I now feel this module isn't going the way I want it to.

So I'm going to change the brief completely so that I actually like it, which seems a bit extreme but will go in the direction I want. I'm going to email Phil to see if this is alright, and then post what I'm going to do later.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

PPGI - Week 5

I'm going to research a little into becoming an environment artist and what I need to know to be successful in the role, and, basically, get a job.

Good advice on becoming an environment artist.

A lot of the advice from industry professional environment artists is to just keep going at it, practice more and more until you can do everything. Although some points I never thought about was learning about architecture as a whole, not to the standard of someone who has done an architecture degree, but know enough to know how certain building, such as the Notre Dame, were built. This gives the motivation to start photographing interesting building, and building I see on the internet, and starting a collection so that when I do enter the industry I will have loads of references.

I do need to know certain pieces of software, such as Maya (of which I'm using continuously), but other pieces of software include 3DS Max, although more studios use Maya more, and Photoshop, which I know the basics to, but there's still a lot for me to learn. I should also start using engines more, which I enjoy using UDK a lot at the moment for its playability and lighting, but other engines such as the cryengine might be a good idea as its a far superior engine to UDK, so I've been told.

Year by year, technology is continuously changing, and for the better. Here are a few points about how they are affecting the games engine. Mobile platforms are continuously getting better, not as powerful as computers, but quite close. This will mean, as an environment artist, I will have to limit the amount of polys on the screen so that the mobile device can run the game smoothly, so I have to be ever aware of how much detail I can have on the screen at one time. Another change in technology, although not specific to being an environment artist, is that streaming games services are becoming available, and again I have to ensure that there is enough detail for the audience to still believe the environment whilst being able to stream the game successfully.

Level Design.

Above is a link about level design and how everything should have a purpose, this is the sort of articles I should be looking for to become an environment artist.

Monday, 24 October 2011

PPGI - Week 4

This week I've been tasked to look at some of my previous work and evaluate it as to why it wouldn't be good to display in a showreel.

Above is a video of the level I did for Real Time Rendering in my second year. Looking at it again I  realise that not a lot of the work is actually mine. Most of the items outside of the level wasn't created by me and could be found in the UDK engine, whilst the models created by me were not to the highest of quality.

Above is some of the casino games I made back in my second year. I probably wouldn't be able to use them about as they're done in a sort of steam punk way, but at the same time, they were modelled to a good standard, however nowadays I would spend more time getting some higher detail into them. Although these models were placed in a top down casino game.

Above is some work from my first year, as you can tell the scale is completely wrong and the lighting is terrible, so I would never use these models in my showreel as its not my best work, but hopefully you can see that I have improved from my first year.

At the moment I don't have any work to use in a showreel, and that is why I'm spending a lot of time on modelling so I will have something to show by the end of the first semester (December).

Sunday, 23 October 2011

AMA - Week 4

I started to enjoy the Advanced Rendering Techniques module, and the whole creating a level, so I thought about what can I do while easily being able to get references, and I believe recreating a flat from a university residential site has the potential.

Here's some screenshots on how it has progressed over the past few weeks, and as I hadn't done enough to my liking I didn't attend the Week 4 tutorials.

The room is completely modelled and I have reference images available to view, I also took it in to UDK to ensure that it was to the correct. This was not the case, so created a reference height scale using my modelled door and upscaled the room and other items to make it match the scale.

Other rooms in the flat are basically the same, just with some of the models mirrored.

I just need to get reference images of the flat bathrooms and kitchens and start modelling them and then I will be able to start UVing and texturing.

I want to be able for a finished video, showing people a tour of the flats in a 3D environment.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

PPGI - Week 3

Even though I said that I would like to become an illustrator, I'm also looking into a 3D modelling career. I like the idea of working freelance in both professions although it might be a good idea to get a good steady wage by working for a company first, making a name for myself and then becoming a freelancer.

It's a lot harder to find information on freelance modelling as I suppose there aren't as many 3D artists compared to illustrators in the world. However, the link below, although American, states the prices of doing 3D models as a freelance 3D modeller, and if they are correct, there can be a good amount of money in it for a freelancer.

Freelance Modelling

As Dave mentioned in PPGI - Week 2, companies are more likely to go for a freelance modeller as they may charge more overall for what is being done, compared to an in-house modeller, but at the end of the modelling or game, they can be easily gotten rid of as its a sort of temporary contract that is set up between company and freelance 3D modeller.

Other ways for a freelance modeller to make money on the side is by creating models in their spare time and putting them up for sale on such websites like the one below. If its of high quality, and is wanted by people, then that could be a sort of steady wage at the end of the day.

Selling Models

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

AMA - Week 3

I spoke to Phil in my last lecture and mentioned how I was going to do a spaceship similar to a Viper from Battlestar Galactica TV series, but this week I've been thinking how generic that is and how I may lose interest in the project; of which happened in my second year, so I need to think of something I can do and will enjoy.

This left me with a blank slate to start on, luckily only at the end of week 2 and not any further on.

Then this advert came on TV and made me think.

I liked the idea of using animals and making them into a steampunked artistic style. So this means I just have to think of 3 different animals to do, and I believe a tiger, bumblebee and a sort of fish (mixing land, air and water), and if I have time, a fourth one as I will know what I'm doing and do something different, perhaps a small about of animation.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

PPGI - Week 2

Good and Bad Modelling Showreels

A good google search later, its possible to bring up loads of websites explaining how to make a good showreel, one such website is this.

Few points to note include:

Concentrate on your chosen profession, so if you're good at animating then make sure that's prominent on the showreel, even if the modelling isn't great, make some generic models and animate then. On the other side, don't animate a model if it looks good on its own, unless its necessary.

Don't waste time on creating fillers between models or on the beginning/end credits as this is meant to be a showreel of your best work, and in a sense make the employer want to see more of your work.

Make sure the pacing of the video is correct; if you want to show of a model as its your best work then spend enough time showing it while if its not your best work don't spend as much time on it. Furthermore, if you're going to include a soundtrack, try get the music to match the pace of the video so it feels like its flowing through your work.

Credits at the beginning and end should have your name and contact details, and the middle if you're showing group work so as the employer knows what work was done by you.

Bad Showreel Example

This showreel started off alright, but I feel it kind of went down hill from there.

The continuous camera movement is brilliant throughout the whole video, and its always good to show 360 degree views of the models. However, the constant change to the skeletal meshes is just another way to extend the length of this short showreel (which only shows 5 pieces of work).

The addition of average animation skills will confuse the employer as to if they're applying for a modelling position or animating position.

The train, with animation, was good but there was no 360 degree view of it, and then it changed to a sketetal mesh.

The victorian town modelling was once again good, but looked unfinished as it wasn't textured and that would have been a good addition to a showreel.

The female model wasn't a great piece of modelling, so the addition of it makes me assume that the creator of the showreel doesn't have any more good pieces of modelling to show and that he shouldn't be a character artist as the model was unclothed and looked unfinished because of that.

Good Showreel Example

A good clear example of work on this showreel, specifically to character and vehicle modelling, with some animation to make the models look more realistic.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Few Summer Works

NoNukes Graphic Competition Entry

Inspiration from 'Jamestown Story' Album cover

PPGI - Week 1

My future aspects for me is to become an illustrator, connecting to a concept artist in the games industry. As of yet, I'm not sure if I want to be a freelance illustrator or work in the games industry as a concept artist, it all depends on if I get on to a master's degree and what I do.

I have already started to look into doing a master's degree in illustration, and looking into ways I could enter that industry. Although a very crude way of looking into it is through the FRONT website, if you ignore the images and other links, they post numerous illustrators profiles on their website each month, and are asked the same questions such as what/who inspires them and how they achieve what they do. Through this I started looking into illustration agencies, so just like any other type of freelance work, the agency keeps the best images you supply (if they want you) and then recommend you for certain projects to customers.

The issue with being an illustrator is that you have to have loads of inspiration and have a unique style, don't get me wrong, I can gain inspiration from a lot of things including real world events, Art, etc. However, it's hard to create your own style and thats what i'm striving to do over the next year.

Over this past summer I've been trying to familiarise myself with Adobe Photoshop, and have entered a graphic design competition in Japan, of which i'll provide a link.

No Nukes Graphic Competition.

FRONT illustrator profile.

Folio Art Illustration Agency.

A few illustrators have made a sort of guide to getting into the industry, which are available on the internet. These prove to be quite useful as the illustrator even say that trying to contact an illustrator in the industry is hard as most will not reply with any information that could help the next generation of illustrators.

Illustration Help