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/

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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 7

Hey everyone. Here is my 7th transmission of my Progress Journals. I didn’t record the time spent on final project, because it was simply easier that pulling out my calculator each week. Week 7 had 35 hours recorded down.

Toggl Week 7

Usually I’d start this post with World Builder progress, but as it was just compling the video, finding music, exporting video, fixing video and exporting again (rinse and repeat) I have decided not to show any image progress here. The post-mortem for World Builder will be uploaded soon anyway, so you will be able to read that. World Builder is now finished (discounting the coming post-mortem). So from here on out these progress reports will be all about Specialisation Project and my body of work.

I started doing research on my specialisation project in week 7, looking at genicecream’s composition tips image on DeviantArt as a starting point. From this image full of tips I started a rough image beginning with layout.

Composition Test layout

It’s meant to be a huge rock in a clearing. The kind of rock that children would climb. And for certain it looks far better than having the rock directly in the center.

In my body of work, I added a new image. It is an image for the AU Creation Contest on the Undertale AUs Amino, which is due December 1st. This contest requires me to draw two characters (based off Toby Fox’s Undertale characters, so no original characters) from an alternative universe that I created. So I chose my Project: UNDERGROUND AU, selecting the characters Chara and Frisk for my image. And I added Mettaton with them, because it would have been odd not to, considering my AU.

Base Colours

Only flat colours at the moment, but that’s okay. And the lines on Frisk and Mettaton’s arms haven’t been added yet. This image started off as this rough sketch here:

Sketch.png

Wierd eyes. I was planning a background, however, I am currently of the opinion that the image looks better without it.

That’s all I have for week 7. See you all in the next blog post!

~Icetail~

Specialisation – Project Initiation Report

Hello everyone, it’s specialisation project time again! I don’t think I need to make a really long blog post this time. Let’s start by evaluating my skillset (again).

My current skillset is in 2D, with my digital art and rough animation skills.

Night Scare

Frisk - Operation SURFACE

Last trimester, I also discovered that I am somewhat good at backgrounds, or I’m getting better at least.

A Portal Cavern

This trimester I would like to improve my digital painting skills, specifically for backgrounds with fantasy elements and/or forest scenes. I will end up with a completed fantasy background. I hope to have something near and between these two styles here:

https://walkingmelonsaaa.deviantart.com/art/A-Friend-from-Waterfall-Monster-Kid-and-Frisk-603129992
https://jjcanvas.deviantart.com/art/Eversong-Woods-306917466

To reach this goal I need to learn more about composition of the image and more about Adobe Photoshop. I should probably revisit my old lesson notes from Media Studies in High School, where we learned a few things about composition, lighting and a lot about Adobe Photoshop.

I have started collecting references for this project on Pinterest, ranging from fantasy landscapes, forests and waterfalls.

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

I started looking at a tutorial by WalkingMelonsAAA on the brushes she uses in her drawings. It is a two part set of videos on YouTube, and I mentioned it in last week’s progress journal.

It is quite enlightening, and after experimenting with the brushes mentioned, I have created a nice background for my World Builder shot.

A few tutorials I shall be looking at later are:

And this image here on DeviantArt.

That’s all for my project initiation report. I’ll see you all in the next post.

~Icetail~

 

ANI230: Progress Journal Week 4

Hello readers! Update log 4 of my progress journals has more art! Once again I recorded 27 and a half hours for Studio 3.

Toggl Week 4

For World Builder I finished concepting my scene and I used the layers of that for the previs.

Shot 3 concept

Perhaps the cloth on Lasaraleen’s litter is too bright? I’m not sure. Though the crowd and the slaves look creepy. The background is really nice though.

I also started doing a concept for the second shot of the World Builder Project.

Shot 2 concept

I used an unmodified version of the building from my shot to find my base colours again, then I just started drawing the walls again.

For the rest of my hours I was exprerimenting with different brushes in photoshop, and finding tutorials for digital painting. I found a two part series on YouTube with some good tips that really work for any version of Photoshop.

At I tried guessing what brushes WalkingMelonsAAA used and came up with this:

Brush Test - Mixer Brush

This was using the mixing brush tool, and was really fun to make, though I’ve stopped using this tool now in favor of the texture brush that is used in the videos above.

Cordelia Rough Sketch

I really like the pastel brush. It’s easy to use and makes backgrounds look really nice. The tutorial above was used to make my concept art for World Builder as well.

That is all for week 4, and this update log. I hope to have more to show next time.

Until then!

~Icetail~

Meet the Team Project: Animation Research

In the first week of this trimester at SAE, in my Studio 2 class, we were told that our main assignment was to be a Meet the Team video that was to introduce new characters into am existing franchise. We were split into teams based on whether we had chosen to do 2D or 3D animation, and then we decided on a franchise to create these original characters for. My team elected the cartoon “Samurai Jack” as our franchise.

This blog post has been made to discuss how I am to be going about animating the shots I’ve been assigned, however to do that, I should first show and explain my character.

Samurai Jack MTT character model sheet FIXED

This is my character, she is an ice mage. Of our characters, she actually has the shortest screen time. In the video she will be the apparent villain. And though I have designed four different views, she will only ever be seen from front on.

One of the requirements of the brief is that we rig our characters so the group had to then research 2D rigging, or puppet animation. That required to break my character a bit, so that she could be rigged. Here is her sprite model sheet.

Samurai Jack MTT ice mage sprite sheet

Now she can be rigged. Currently, she is rigged in accordance to Robin Fuller’s video on puppet rigging, using the second technique mentioned; parenting.

It works for me, and is easy enough to use, and makes the most sense. The set up is easy to. At least, in my opinion, it is so. It does everything I need it to do for this animation. It most likely wouldn’t be the technique I would use if I had more scenes to do with my character, or if I needed to animate some more complex movements, however, and there are more efficient ways of setting up a 2D character rig. Like the Duik tool add on for Adobe After Effects, which contains many advanced tools to make for easy animating.

However, for this project, I shall just stick with my parent rigging, where I have attached all the pieces of my ice mage, in a hierachy, starting from the torso, working outwards to her hands.

Here we have some of my reference images of my own hand in the position that I was drawing my casting hand in. Twenty photos and two videos got me the movement and poses that I needed, to have the ice mage casing magic. I can’t embed my own video’s to my blog post however, so I can’t show you the video reference.

Another piece of reference I used, was Khadgar, from Warcraft, in the Warcraft movie, when the main characters have their first altercation with the Orcs.

khadgar-as-seen-in-the-warcraft-movie

Now that’s magic. It is a good example of the hand movements in casting, although with magic, it’s hard to come up with an exact casting stance, since it would rely on the character’s personality and the situation that which they are in.

And now that all of that has been adressed, I’d like to leave off here by sharing some of my thumbnails for a few of my shots that I will be animating. The order is up down, left to right.

MTT Thumbs

I didn’t feel like drawing the mage again, so I took her model sheet and reconstructed her in each frame. With the arrows, I think I’m going to have to discover a better way of representing the movement through the air.

Well that’s all I have to say on this. Thanks for reading! And I’ll see you all in my next post!

~Icetail~

Reference
Blackburn R. FrostieHeart on DeviantArt. DeviantArt. 2015. Available at: http://frostieheart.deviantart.com/
Duik – Rainbox. Rainboxprodcoop. Available at: https://rainboxprod.coop/en/tools/duik/
Fuller R. After Effects puppet rigging tutorial. YouTube. 2013. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsuOXXEo9qI 
Jones D. Warcraft. Universal Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment; 2016