Specialisation Post-Mortem

Hey everyone! I am here with my Specialisation project post-mortem this time! As you may or may not know, my specialisation was focusing on background art, and as it evolved it started feeling like background concept art for something, which was sort of my aim in the first place. My final pieces are this art here:

Christmas Landscape.png

And this one:

Pirate Cove Landscape.png

So what went right?

There were lots of images that I could use to get ideas for my images, and also use as reference to draw some of the smaller details, such as the candy canes, the gingerbread house, the skulls and the flags. This made it significantly easier to gather inspiration and to get the shape of my objects correct.

There was also a fair lot of sources around about composition and custom brushes, several of these sources were given to me by my lecturer or one of my classmates who knew where I should look for this information. I learnt a lot of information about composition and custom brushes that I was then able to use to create these images. Composition was sometimes confusing but more research then rectified that. Thanks to anyone who helped in my research, it was much appreciated.

Christmas Landscape - Progress

So what went wrong?

This project got put on the backburner due to the fact that my team for final project was being pushed to finish everything we needed to finish, as well as catch up on. Since we fell behind in final project, Studio 3 work was pushed aside so that we could catch up with the work we needed to have complete by the end of trimester. This caused my second background, the Pirate Cove, to be rushed slightly, and not quite up to the standard I’d be happy with. I still think it is a good and finished image, but it could be better.

I also started getting a bit distracted towards the end of trimester, allowing myself to have my attention dragged away from work for short periods of time. This also cut down on the second background, as my head would be turning away from it often.

Pirate Cove Landscape_Base Colour.png

What would I do differently next time…

Next time, I would certainly start doing a project like this sooner, and give myself a lot more time before my deadline. I would also find a way to minimalise distractions around me. The times that I worked best were at Uni, when the house was empty, or when I was listening to music to block out the people in the room or outside.

What I learnt during the project…

I learnt alot more about composition, and the rule of thirds, as well as colour and digital painting. I learnt different blending techniques in Photoshop, as well as different uses of each of the default brushes. Halfway through the trimester Photoshop updated, changing the default brush set, so I had to learn my way around that as well.

Finally I learnt how to make, import and use custom brushes in Photoshop, and what not to use custom brushes for.

Composition Test layout

Future Goals for skill development

In future, I would like to continue getting better at digital art, background concept and design, as well as continue my character design studies. I feel like these things will help me the most in the future, for both professional and personal endevours.

That is all that I have to say. Thanks for reading my blog and I’ll see you all in the next one!

~Icetail~

 

 

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Cross-Discipline Post-Mortem

Hey everyone, I’m here with the post-mortem of my cross-discipline projects. I had three of them this trimester, so thats a 200% increase!

World-Builder Title Card

For World Builder the title card was made by a graphic design student.

3_The Horse and His Boy

It took a few weeks for a graphic design student to show interest in this project, I almost gave up on getting any crossdiscipline work for this project. When someone commented on my post to the SAE Interdisciplinary Group on Facebook I sent an email to them as soon as I could. We exchanged numerous emails, discussing what my team reqiured for the title card, colours, fonts etc. They then gave me some draft images and finally, the final, as shown above. It was an interesting experience, we never met face to face, only communicating through email, though I suppose it is no different to commissioning art off of an artist on DeviantArt, I give the information that the artist needs and then the artist uses that information to create what I asked for.

Let’s Talk Logo

My second cross-discipline project was the Let’s Talk logo, made by a graphic design student and animated by me.

Let's-Talk.gif

This process was practically the same as getting the title card, I posted on the Facebook group and waited for the response of a graphic design student. When the logo was given to me however, I then animated it. I had some problems with this part of the process, occasionally the video file that I had exported from After Effects.

This website here taught me how to make gif files from After Effects, through exporting to video, then importing to Photoshop and then saving as a gif. This gif was then added to the first post on my new blog webseries; Let’s Talk, which was originally started on one of my Amino accounts.

Destructive Cover

My last project for cross-discipline was to design the album cover of an EP for an audio student.

Destructive Cover

I came across this project by complete accident, as the audio student I was doing this for was also the audio student for my final project group in CIU. We spoke about this as a sort of side thought to final project. Other than speaking about this in class, we also discussed this over Slack, I would send progress updates and he would tell me his opinion. Eventually this was made. Communication was easier than previous trimesters, as instead of using email, both of us were in the same Slack channel, so we both were able to direct message each other.


And that has been my cross-discipline this trimester. It was fun and I learnt some stuff. Thanks for reading and until next time!

~Icetail~

Specialisation Project – Research Blog Post

Hey everyone! You’ve seen my specialisation project being created over the past couple of weeks in my Progress Journals, but now I shall compile that research and anything extra I’ve found, here in this blog.

On Composition

My first source was this image on DeviantArt by genicecream. It is a really long image, so I will not post it in this blog post. Mostly from this image I focused on the first section, looking at layout.

Composition Test layout

I experimented with the placing of the rock in the first image I created, eventually setting it slightly down and to the right of the center point. The image from DeviantArt also coincided with other videos I watched on Composition.

These two videos gave explainations of framing, leading lines, points of interest, contrast and overall balance to an image.

Composition Test coloured

When making the forest around the rock, I tried to get the branch of the framing tree to lead towards the rock, and also keep in mind the digital painting tips that WalkingMelonsAAA gave in her tutorial video, on using colours that fell in the same spectum.

After I finished all the base colours on the rock clearing, I decided that I couldn’t work with that image anymore, so I started a new one, being the current Christmas background that has been in my most recent progress journals.

Christmas Landscape blackwhite layout

In this image I used white on black to remind myself that I wanted this image to be a night based image. This then started me looking at how to make custom brushes.

On Custom Brushes

The main source of information I used for custom brushes was this video here:

It taught me the most about how to create my own custom brushes for use. Another place which gave me the same information was this blog post, by a fellow student at SAE Qantm. From the tutorial I then started making shapes to then turn into brushes.

The most useful ones made were the signature brushes that I could add to my art, without having to redo my signature a thousand times over. The mess of dashes became the leaves of my trees in my Christmas background.

Christmas Landscape - Progress

More recently I created a cloud brush which then became the snow in this image.

cloud

Christmas Landscape - Progress 2.png

The Adobe Help Center also gave some interesting directions that can modify the brush that is being used, the spacing changing how often the shape of the brush is placed in a line, shape dynamics affecting the size of the brush, which I accidentally discovered when my drawing tablet got stuck with the tip pressure dictating the brush size, and other settings for air brushes, bristle brushes and more general settings.

On the Fantasy Genre

I looked at a lot of images that could be classed as a fantasy landscape in some way, and collected them onto a pinterest board.

https://www.pinterest.com.au/icetail38/specialisation-project-sae/

I also put research into what “Fantasy” is. Children’s Literature Classics explain it as “events that occur outside the ordinary laws that operate within the universe.” From this website I learned the three different types of fantasy, where the story begins and ends in the fantasy word, where the story begins in the real world and shifts to the fantasy world, and when the fantasy elements exist in the real world. This then reminded me of research from high school on dark fantasy.

I also looked this up, curious to refresh my knowledge. Joanna Penn said this about dark fantasy:

…a work is dark fantasy if it deals with any elements of fantasy and/or the paranormal in a way that studies the dark and frightening side of our nature, psychology and the weird, sublime and uncanny. If it doesn’t shy away from the gore and horror of its own darkness, yet doesn’t primarily aim to spook. If it has heroes that are not knights in shining armour, but people that sometimes have to do unsavoury things. If it has villains that aren’t necessarily all bad as well as villains that really are all bad. If it’s dark and twisted and delves into the depths of speculative fiction, without primarily aiming to scare or gross out its readers, then it’s dark fantasy.

So dark fantasy includes ghosts and spirits, while not being about the horror. Like the Persona games by Atlas, which delve into depths of the protagonist’s soul to beat the antagonist, depicting ocult themes while also staying within the setting of the neigborhood that the protagonist lives in while going to school.

That’s all for my research, now I shall finish the background that I have started. Thanks for reading this post.

~Icetail~

Bibliography
genicecream. (2017). composition tips. DeviantArt. https://genicecream.deviantart.com/art/composition-tips-669381371
D4Darious. (2017). Mastering Composition + Cinematography with Will Smith. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIvGRytmRaw
Blender Guru. (2014). Understanding Composition. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8i7OKbWmRM
WalkingMelonsAAA. (2015). Part ONE General SpeedPaint TUTORIAL – (using Toriel from UNDERTALE). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB5iT_8_lsk
Pinsky, H. (2012). How to Create Custom Brushes in Photoshop. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlNLavelIM8
de Graaf, J. (2017). How to create your own custom brushes in Photoshop.. My Time at SAE Creative Media Institute. https://jackdegraafdgd210.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/how-to-create-your-own-custom-brushes-in-photoshop/
Adobe Staff. Create and modify brushes in Adobe Photoshop. Helpx.adobe.com. https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/creating-modifying-brushes.html
Children’s Literature Classics — The Fantasy Genre. Childliterature.net. http://childliterature.net/childlit/fantasy/
Penn, J. (2009). Dark Fantasy as a Writing Genre: What is it anyway?. The Creative Penn. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2009/07/19/dark-fantasy/
Persona (Franchise) – Giant Bomb. (2017). Giant Bomb. https://www.giantbomb.com/persona/3025-456/

ANI230: Progress Journal Week 10

Hello everyone, and this is the tenth recording of my progress journal. Just a tad late, but that’s okay. In week ten I recorded 20 and a half hours, pushing me over my minimum requirement of 250 hours for my overall body of work. I’m still going to be recording my time for weeks 11, 12 and 13 though.

Toggl Week 10.PNG

For my specialisation I continued on my Christmas background. And this included on researching how to make custom brushes in Adobe Photoshop. I used this video here to help me, and after that I just drew random shapes do test it.

Here are some of the brushes I made.

The mess of dashes was then used on my Christmas background.

Christmas Landscape - Progress.png

In my body of work I added some random sketches that I did while I was bored.

24623640_789823817870398_1382983993_o.jpg

I also finished the contest image and submitted it.

ProjectUNDERGROUND_After-It-All.png

It was a really cool image to make, I learned more things about shading and lighting, especially on hair. I’m glad I decided to enter the contest.

That is all I have for week 10. Thanks for reading!

~Icetail~

ANI230: Progress Journal Week 9

Hey everyone! The 9th ballad of my progress journals is now here! In week nine I recorded 18 hours for Studio 3… a lot of week 9 was spent on Final Project, trying to finish the storyboard and animatic. So the chart looks really empty.

Toggl Week 9

For my specialisation I spent a short while on the original test shot, however most of the specialisation working on a new image, looking around for inspiration.

Christmas Landscape blackwhite layout.png

It looks slightly odd, the width of the cane coming off the side of the image is too skinny. I will most likely go over it and fix it in the sketch version rather than going over this black and white version again. I’m hoping that the leading lines follow the road and the direction that the candy canes are pointing.

In my body of work… I added very little to my contest image. Opps. Instead I was doing cross-discipline work for an audio student, designing their cover for their album.

23949528_785568024962644_1197985539_o

They sent me their set of references and I really liked the geometric shapes. When I asked what kind of shape he wanted he told me a cross/x shape. And then I started drawing.

That is all that I have done for week 9. Sorry it isn’t much.

Until next time~

~Icetail~

ANI230: Progress Journal Week 8

Hey everyone! This is the eighth stone monolith in my progress journals. In week 8 I recorded 31 hours of work on Studio 3.

Toggl Week 8

For my specialisation I continued with my composition test, looking at videos about composition.

These videos emphasised several important points, such as contrast, framing and balance in an image. Using what I learnt from these videos I added to my composition test drawing.

Composition Test coloured

I’m trying to make the focus of the image the stone in the forest clearing, so while everything around the stone is a tone of olive/forest green, the stone itself is an ochre. I also tried to bring in leading lines with the tree branch, however I don’t know how well it worked at current. I will be looking at texture brushes in photoshop next while I start on lighting. I might perhaps start a new image as well.

In my body of work, a few hours were taken up by filling out my transferable skills sheet, however the majority of the hours for my body of work were spent on two projects of mine. The first project, my contest image.

Progress.png

Chara and Mettaton are shaded now. Just to finish the shading on Frisk, and mess around with the background however I wish and I will be able to submit this to the AU Creation Contest. I have plenty of time, but I hope to finish it soon so I can get back to my images of Cordelia from Fire Emblem and Peony from Tales of the Abyss. And… I just realised that I haven’t given shading to Mettaton’s boot…. opps. I better fix that.

The second project is a comic for World of Warcraft, in light of their annouced expansion Battle for Azeroth. I want to keep the details of the project a secret for as long as I can, so I shan’t explain too much.

WoW Comic planning NO SPOILERS.PNG

No spoilers. I planned out what I would have in each frame and ended up with 9 frames. My specialisation research will be able to help me with the composition of each frame. I’m also trying to decide if I should throw in a cameo appearance of a character from a different game.

Other than what I’ve stated in this blog, there was the Post Mortem of World Builder that was finished. Go check that out if you haven’t already. And feel free to drop a comment below! Until next time!

~Icetail~

World Builder – Post Mortem

This is the post-mortem blog post for the World Builder project based on the book “The Horse and His Boy” in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis.

Critical Reflection

This trimester’s main project went by far better than last trimesters, and we managed to finish this project by due date, instead of having to work to the end of trimester to tie up loose ends.

One of the main issues during World Builder was keeping our art styles the same, which was often pointed out until the prescreening of our project, where we had finally kept in a similar style. The cause of this discrepancy is mainly due to opposing personal styles. My teammate is mainly a 3D animator, while my art style is influenced by anime. We had to discover an art style that we would both be able to draw, and then complete many versions of the same art before what we had matched.

The second main issue experienced during World Builder was our ability to connect to Slack to communicate progress. My teammate has dial-up internet which was disconnected everytime someone rings his house, and my internet has a slow upload speed and occasionally drops out on its own at random. There isn’t really anyone at fault here. We could have met up at SAE, however travel times make it more efficient to get as much done as possible at home, post updates to Slack when we could, and then summarise everything done at home once we met face to face at SAE. Neither of us have control over this issue.

For myself, the journey to reach the art style was an interesting one, and I was always fiddling with small details to get it to match my teammate’s. My connnectivity issues meant that I was putting off uploading some documents, that could have been uploaded earlier, until the last week of the project and ended up waiting for several hours instead of half an hour.

As a team, neither of these issues impacted our project much. We were set back slightly while still working on our style and the overall animation timing, however everything was still on track by the end of the project.

Lasaraleen_Final.png

Creative Process

This project started with a discussion on which book we would build a world for. We discussed using “Dracula” at first, then we started brainstorming other books we could use, such as “Rangers Apprentice” and the “Amulet” comic series. Eventually we decided upon “The Horse and His Boy”, and about four scenes from the book that we could do.

From this we then had to choose a style, while we began thumbnailing potential scenes. What we wanted in style was something close to the “Harbringers” series by Blizzard Entertainment, with it’s digitally painted scenes that had minimal animation. We were told however that the art style would probably be too hard for us to attempt. We then looked at the “World of Remnant” information series by Rooster Teeth and found a nice mix of simple and detailed. We didn’t want to take all the detail away from the main characters however so we made our style somewhere between “Harbringers” and “World of Remnant”.

When we finished thumbnailing, we then moved onto our storyboard. The story started off with two scenes, the first character overlooking the city, and the second character watching the parade. This then changed to three scenes, the overlook, a reveal of the city, and the parade. At one point we wanted the first character getting kidnapped and the second character jumping onto the litter parading past, even a scene inside the litter with the curtains drawn shut, but we cut these out due to time, so that we could spend more time on our main scenes. So in the end the final story board was the two characters overlooking the city, the city reveal and then the two characters watching the parade.

After storyboarding was completed we moved onto concepting. The concept for my scene eventually turned into the final version of my assets. While concepting we also put together a rough animatic. The concepting merged slightly with the making of our proxy assets as we took the layers of our Photoshoped concpets and arranged them in After Effects.

These proxies were then gradually replaced with the final versions of each asset, and when each scene was completed they were exported and added to a Premiere Pro file. I tried to get a audio student to make music for this project, but in the end I was forced to obtain some royalty free music, which is missing from the video embedded in this post for copyright reasons.

We did however get a graphic design student, who made our awesome title card. I would not have been able to make something like that. With everything done, the video was exported, and submitted to our lecturer before we posted it to YouTube.

background_Final.png

A Reflection on Roles in the Creative Process

ON TRANSFERABLE SKILLS:

This trimester, it was far easier to communicate with a singular teammate, instead of trying to keep track of what two or three teammates are doing. We worked well together, with very few arguments and got everything done on time. When my teammate needed help I would respond the moment I was able to, and when I asked for help, he would do the same. We took all the advice given to us and used it to improve our project.

ON THE FINAL DELIVERABLE:

Both myself and my teammate were responsible for the scenes we concepted out, so myself with scene three and my teammate with scenes one and two. We both agreed that my scene had more aspects to it, so I should focus on it, while he focused on the first two scenes.

Neither of us were offically the project lead of this project, and that worked for us, since there were only two of us, it was better for us to discuss the project and come to an agreement than for one of us to make excecutive decisions.

If I had to do this project again… I think I would fight to keep the scenes we have and then work out new scenes to add. It would be a nice challenge to try and match the style again.

That’s all for this post, this blog marks the end of World Builder. There is a chance that I will have to go back and edit this blog, but that’s okay. Anything to get the learning outcome attached to this!

Until next time!

~Icetail~