Tuesday, 23 October 2012

3D Trash

 Our first 3D project of the 2nd year....trash! Yes, that pile of rubbish that most people would take no notice of. We have been asked to model and texture some in 3D, meaning we all get to go outside photographing rubbish looking like complete weirdos. The last time I used 3DSMAX was around April, so it isnt hard to imagine how horribly out of practice I am.  *sigh*

Unfortunately my lack of practice in recent months affected my entusiasm to start the project and I left it till the last week of the project to even get started. I was confident I could get the project done within a week but it still wasn't a great idea to leave it and then stress over being able to get it done in time.

Thankfully using the software came back to me quite easily after I got started and once I got stuck into the project I was able to complete the modelling and unwrapping within a few hours. I was really pleased I hadn't completely forgot how to do 3D and wouldnt have to teach it to myself all over again! Texturing was more problematic however, and very very tedious. I lost steam when I got this far and ended up taking a few days to get it done.

Last year I used to really enjoy Game Production and doing 3D, I would feel excited and interested when we were given a new project to do and couldnt wait to get stuck in. This year however I feel somewhat overwhelmed and uninspired. This is likely down to the large space I time I didnt do any, but also down to all the new things we need to learn to do, and the things that I dont know that I probably already should *cough* lighting *cough*. With all the new things like Zbrush and UDK that are looming I'm not confident at all about my work and what I cant produce. I feel I can always do better in 3D, better ways to model or texture but I don't know what these ways are and I dont think I'll learn them in time and my 3D work will always end up looking a bit rubbish.

With that being said here is my rubbish rubbish! yay...


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Task 14: Elements of game design, part five: planning and concepting

Concept Art, those big old buzz words that everyone seems to love. Just stick them into google and your eyes will melt with all the pretty pictures. Here is just two examples of results on the first page of google image search...

The Internet is FULL of websites where you can go to glare at awesome looking digi paints that people call concept art, such as the well know "http://conceptart.org/forums/forum.php" Concepting is however, a largely misunderstood idea, and I will admit I was one of those people who thought concepting was just about drawing those pretty pictures. I come to realise now however how much more than that it really is. If for example you goggle image search 'concepting' you get a much duller set of imagery...
 That doesn't look very interesting does it? Where are the awesome characters kitted out in armour or the stunning environment vistas?
Elsewhere I guess.

This is what concepting is really about. Its about the basics, thoughts, references and ideas. Concepts are born from ideas and take them a step further. They aren't the glossy well polished artwork that probably took hours to create. 
I think people think being a concept artist means just producing nice pictures all day and they don't realise just how much really goes into it and whats involved. But who can blame them, that's all we, the public, every really get to see.

Companies release concept art books but it seems limited to showcasing the top quality well worked art. The sheer amount of artwork produced for a game must be massive and I understand that what can be included in art books is limited, so the best is chosen, I get that. But it would be really nice to see a collection of the art in progress. The real concepting of the game. The initial stages of ideas, planning and experimenting with the brief before everything is nailed down. This would really give an insight into how the game came to be, how people think and work together and what artwork really kick starts the gears of the imagination.

Throughout recent years I have lost my interest for stunning pieces of concept art, and this is generally why. I don't feel the artwork really shows me anything about how the game was designed or truly concepted. I'm just looking at someone who is really good at digi-painting showing off their skills, and that has become quite boring.

So now we get to the 'planning' stage. The idea of which I find quite dull. I just get an image of sitting around all day planning to do something but then never actually getting anything done. It gives me the sense of talking rather than doing and I'm more of a 'doing' person. But I'm overlooking the real importance of planning. Without planning nothing would get done in the first place. There would be no point to randomly starting to do things if they weren't following a plan that had a desired and planned outcome.

We need and use plans in everyday life, in order to make sure we get done everything that needs doing. I can't even imagine how many times I must have said "So whats the plan for today?' throughout my life. It might not be something I write down and strictly stick to, but it is basically the same as what companies and other people do all over the world. Why would game companies be any different? They need to plan their games. They set up teams, objectives, limitations and deadlines. They plan everything out, even if they don't know what the end result might be exactly, they still know when it needs doing by and how much it has to cost.

Planning is a large part of what makes games happen, granted they can often be pushed back and released at a later date or sometimes even completely redesigned but without a basic plan they wouldn't happen at all. An unfortunate example of this is Valve. They have released several good games but often release them years later than predicted or not released at all. Of course I have no real idea of what causes this to happen but from what I have read in the past a lack of good planning could be a leading cause.

Getting back into the swing...

We've been back at Uni for just under 3 weeks now and I've had an 'interesting' mix of feelings. I wasn't thrilled to be back to begin with, if I'm honest. I wasn't really looking forward to the endless hours outside drawing in god knows what weather conditions or spending hours staring at my screen trying to figure out how to get 3Dmax to play nice.
But it hasn't been all that bad I guess.
The first week we spent out drawing at Abbey park, the weather wasn't great but at least better than last year! I really struggled to get into drawing and it took alot of effort and visits back before I really started to get anything done. I felt I had a very strong block, perhaps just my stubbornness to get started again. I guess I was just afraid I would be terrible after not drawing for so long and suck at it again, and nobody wants to suck.
I made the decision pretty much straight away that I was going to stay well away from digital work. At least for the first few weeks. I don't personally enjoy doing it and don't find it all that impressive either. I decided that if I was going to get back into drawing and do it well I would need to do just that, draw. Not use Fancy programs to get fancy results., I'm sure there will plenty of time for that in the future.
So I stuck to traditional work for the first two weeks, mainly inks and water colour washes and I actually really enjoyed it. I find not worrying about having to produce really pretty digital masterpieces to compare with everyone else very liberating. I've been able to just focus on what I'm doing and what I'm learning and how I can improve. Its been alot of fun rather than alot of stress. which is nice.

Just in these two weeks I feel I have developed a way of using ink and washes that I no idea about before. I've been able to produce interesting, (mostly) accurate sketches quickly that don't look half bad. So I'm happy.
So here's a small sample of work from the 1st week at Abbey Park.

By the end of the first week I felt more confident with my drawing again and interestingly found it much easier to sketch confidently with a pen rather than a pencil. I continued this technique throughout the 2nd week at Loughborough Great Central Railway.

I felt confident enough drawing in this way that I used it to do my final piece for the Train station and I think it shows a marked improvement from my Abbey park final.

I still haven't done any digital painting *sigh*. I don't really want to but everyone else is churning out some amazing looking digi paints so I guess I'm going to have to start soon just to keep up. But maybe I can keep doing traditional for a while longer, its so much more enjoyable.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

So now Year 2...

So the date is 07/10/2012, the summer holiday has come and gone and it is now Year 2 at University. If I'm honest I didn't do all that much during the last few months. The plan was to have a week or two break to relax and then carry on with a productive routine throughout the holiday.
That didn't happen.
My priorities changed somewhat during the summer. I was jobseeking and working for a large part of it, getting married, playing games and relaxing for the rest of it. It worked great for destressing and having a nice time but has left me woefully unprepared for the start of the year.

There is however, not much I can do about that now and I must look forward to the coming months and getting back into the swing of Uni.
Looking back at the first year now I release I didn't spend enough time workly productively and despite making vast improvements in all areas throughout the year, still have a long way to go.
My goals for the second year, as I stand now, are to stay focused and aproach work sensibley.

I know from experiance of the first year one of the worst things I can do is get overstressed about work. It isn't productive, it makes me feel quite depressed and ill and the vast majority of the time it isnt even justified.

There is a variety of areas I want to improve in this year and new things I want to learn, but I can't do either if I'm spending all my time stressed out. I want to use this year to improve my abilities in as many areas as possible and getting work done to the best of my ability.

I also want to use the year to grow personally in other areas that interest me. I know I can acheive more if I put my mind and effort into it, rather than constantly worrying about everything I'm doing.

So, bring on the second year and we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bringing it all together...A Year 1 Review

So the last day has been spent collecting and preparing all my work for hand-in tomorrow and its been an 'interesting' experience.
I say interesting because it has been quite stressful, but also positive. While sifting through all my files and folders I've realised just how much work I've produced over the last few months. This is were the stress comes in. I have masses of files, all over the place, spread between 3 different hardrives and memory sticks with inconsistent folders between them. My memory isn't great so trying to remember everything I've done and should have for hand-in just wasn't happening. Thankfully Chris had posted a list on Facebook and with that I could collect all my 2D work together.

The positive effect of having to do this however was being able to compare my early work to some of my latest and seeing just how much I have improved, in pretty much all areas. I've never been that great at the 2D aspect of the course and have often worried about it but it's nice to see I've made improvements!

With all my work sorted I then decided to try and present it a bit better than just a lazy scan. I went through my work, sorted into their projects and picked out the best of what I had done and sorted them into a sort of portfolio thing. I haven't really done anything like it before so wasn't really sure what I was doing or how to make it look good but I wanted to do something with my work.

It ended up to be 73 A3 pages of 'presented work' with a hell of alot being left out....mainly because it was sh*t.  So here's a few examples...

So here I am...almost at the end of the 1st year and Jesus has it flown by. The course has been a shock to the system if I'm honest, with a host of ups and downs along the way. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started last September but I don't think I was at all prepared for what was coming. The quantity of work we were meant to produce and the pace of the course was a punch in the face to the ideas of 'sit around drawing for a few hours and then play some games'. These were never my thoughts to begin with but the level of hard work required was still a stunning new experience.

I feel unfortunate to be in such a large year group that we have needed to be split in half, meaning we only get half the time with lecturers but I'm not sure this has had much of a negative effect other than a mental one. What I've come to realise over the course so far is its all on me...if I want to get better, if I want to make prettier pictures or learn to understand lighting or use colour I have to go do it. I can't sit around just doing what I'm told and expect to magically learn these things just from being on the course. I have to make the most of the time I'm in University and take advice where it is available and fully commit myself and my time to what I'm doing or I'm never going to get anywhere!

I have tried to get better myself in the past but with such a wealth of influence out there I've never known where to start or even how to start. I think in this area the course structure has helped me massively. Everything we've done has been for a purpose of improving some fundamental skill. We haven't been told ' go learn 1 point perspective this week! Off you go!' and then left to try make sense of it ourselves. We've been shown what we are trying to grasp, how to make sense of it and then take to place and given a subject to practise with. This method has told and shown me what I need to do to develop the fundamental skills I need to get anywhere, where I have failed was thinking that was ever going to be enough. I didn't take on board  what I was beening told and practising and running with it, I was just doing what I was told and then stopping. Which I've found out just isn't enough.

Through the 2nd term I have tried to put alot more effort into my work and take it abit further but found the work load after the Christmas break a real struggle. I continued to work over the break but I found the slower pace of not being at Uni took abit of a toll and I started to feel very tired and lazy. This meant when I came back I was all over the place, out of tune with the work and horribly slow! The projects just kept piling up and I didn't know what to do first which meant I really fell behind in 2D during the 2nd term. Thankfully working hard over the Easter break gave me the chance to catch up but there are projects I'm not happy with and I never even wanted to fall behind in the first place.

What I want now is a clean slate. I want to hand in all the work we've done so far and be done with it! It sounds negative but its because I have improved so much through tout the year I feel hindered by my earlier work. Looking back I can't help but want to redo everything I did in the first 2 terms because I know I could do so much better now and get a better mark, but there just isn't enough time. I want the chance to redo things to be gone, so that I can move forward and not worry about redoing anything.

Despite knowing I have improved massively throughout the year I can't help but think I could of done more. You can always do more of course and I find knowing where to stop and sometimes start difficult. I could work myself 24/7 striving to improve but I think I would just burn out, I need some breaks or I just become too tired. On the other hand taking a too relaxed approach to work and improving means I won't get any better. This is a balance I haven't yet managed to find and hopefully will do a better job of in the future. With the summer break fast approaching I want sort myself out and get into a routine that will help me use my time more productively.

Another thing that has become apparent over the last few months is competition. Up till this point in my life I haven't really thought about competition and what it means to me and everyone else. However being on the course with 100 + other students, being able to see their previous and recent work I can't help but compare myself to each and everyone of them. I know we aren't meant to compare ourselves to each other and instead help each other via criticisms and help but its unavoidable. If people on the course upload stunning digi paints or master full traditional pieces I can't help but feel disappointed that I'm not capable of the same. I have thought in the past, 'Ahwell I have the time to improve and become that good', but now, with the 1st year almost gone, I release I dont have forever and time is running out. These people that can produce a much nicer picture than me also aren't just going to sit still and wait for me to get better than them, they will be pushing forward as well, constantly improving and I relise this isn't just going to be for the duration of the course. This is going to be the same forever. The competition in University is soft, friendly and helpful, but once we are done we are stepping into a world were everyone else has been trying just as hard, if not harder, than us to become the best they can. This competition is only going to get harder, faster, worse, with people always aiming to be better than each other to get that job.

So the course so far has brought some stark realisations for me. The world isn't rosy and cushy and I've reached that point in my life when if I don't try hard I'm going to miss out. I've gotten this far and I now have a shot at doing something I enjoy with my life IF I put the hard graft in now. The gaming industry is a rough place, with the economic times not helping and companies aren't going to hire everyone who wants a job. By the time I finish Uni there might not be a job out there for any of us doing exactly what we want to do but its impossible tell and the skills we are learning now are universally applicable to a variety of areas. I have really appreciated this area of the 1st year, the chance to learn and practise fundamental skills which can be applied in different ways and not to the one subject ' Game Design' that we are studying.

With everything in mind, an area I think the course could be improved would be personal interest and encouraging us to do things outside of the curriculum. I'm not sure that's a fair comment though, given it is art and its very much on our backs to do more. If we enjoy art we should want to be doing it all the time anyway, and shouldn't need to be told to do more, but with the pace and work load of the course it is often difficult or impossible to fit in some personal stuff. I couldn't help but feel any time doing personal stuff would be wasted as I could be spending it on coursework that will be marked. So some encouragement or inclusion of personal art interests could increase the enjoyment and effort towards work.

Installing a 'crying corner' might also be a good idea.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

More of the slum environment...

I found it difficult to imagine and think of the slum environment working digitally so I decided to have a go sketching some out instead.

It was hard to begin with but I started to get into the swing of it and think I managed to produce some interesting thumbnails that could be developed further.

After doing a series of thumbnails I starting using inks to bring some colour into the sketches to bring in some colour palette ideas.

Despite enjoying the process of making thumbnails I've become somewhat uncommitted and bored of the slums idea. ¬.¬ *sigh*

I do have some other ideas that I think are most interesting (and amusing) such as a game that involves the player being a rat and chewing its way through a house/garden sort of environment. It would be a side scrolly game that involved simple colourful drawings and a cute rat. I have become more interested in this than the idea of a 'next gen slum' scene.

I however have to much work to get done before the end of the holidays to commit any time to this idea unless I get everything else finished.

*rushes about to get things done*

Interesting Character

Bit overdue but I wanted to do a brief blog on my interesting character project.

Given the project was meant to start with an interesting character that we found in real life I didn't really know how to begin. It might just be my opinion but I don't personally think there are that many interesting people around Leicester, so I wasn't holding out much hope for the project.

Not looking forward to the prospect of scouring Leicester for someone that even remotely interested me I decided to carry on with another project and went to draw the Guildhall. It was here I actually hit a stroke of luck and not one interesting person turned up but a whole family of interesting people!
Yes there was a mum, dad and 2 young girls that I personally found very interesting and appealed to me. They very kindly allowed me to take some photographs of them and do some quick sketches of them as they continued to explore the Guildhall.

From this starting point I explored within the project and expanded with styles that I thought was fitting and interesting.

I made some mood boards from collected images and from here made some basic silhouette ideas. I found it difficult to find a silhouette that I liked so I decided to make my own. Using some basic clothes that gave a good shape I got Luke to photograph me in various poses, I then used these images to block out over 35 silhouettes.

Some of my silhouettes

From these I was able to pick my favourite 3 that I thought gave an interesting and strong silhouette. Over these silhouettes I developed a variety of clothes. I spent quite a while mix and matching all the various ideas I had come up with until I found the combination I liked the most.

Clothing designs.

The next step of my development was to start experimenting with some colour, I decided to do this traditionally using inks rather than digitally.

When I was happy with a colour theme I produced a traditional final piece of my character before then doing a digi paint aswell.

With my character designed I then thought about putting her into an environment. In keeping with theme I decided to put her in a Steampunk themed bar based around the existing 'Edison Bar' in America.

Final character

Final character in scene.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Environment Project - Slum

After gathering more reference images I've grown to like the idea of a slum environment more. I know its been done before in things such as District 9, Call of duty and probably others, so it still isn't very original. Despite it being done before, the concept of a slum scene being well done in other games or films isn't the reason I thought it would be a good idea, unlike most of my other ideas.

I was drawn to the idea of a slum environment because I think its really interesting. Slums are colourful, chaotic, crowded, run down and messy and interesting to look at!
I thought it would make an interesting game environment if the slums were abandoned for all but a few people, giving you the chance to explore around this mass of shambled together homes. Scavenged materials and items litter the homes and streets with rubbish everywhere, creating a very busy run down look.
Wandering around you see clothes are still hung out to dry, meagre food supplies still in pots and yet the 1000s of people that inhabit the slum have completely disappeared. What happened? Where could so many people of gone?
The shocking conditions of the cramp slums aren't any indication as to what might have happened but show the way all these people lived.

I thought this had the potential to create an immersive environment that was quite creepy as it feels like it should be bustling with people yet it remains empty, all the shacks and clutter would also make an interesting environment to explore.

Seeing as I haven't done much visual design work for a while getting into the design and drawing of the environment is going to be difficult. So I start small scale and try digi paint some ideas for shacks to get me going.

Its abit of a mixed result but at least its going somewhere. Next I'll do some quick thumbnails of environments.

Environment Project - Initial Ideas

Now I have a basic grasp of what an environment is and how it's design plays such an important role I'm now faced with the task of creating/designing my own environment!

Eeeek. I'm sure I should be more enthusiastic than I am but theres not been much of value going on in my head lately so I'm concerned anything I come up with could well be complete rubbish!
The first thing I need is a basic idea, something to expand upon. Uuugh.
Some things come to mind;
Treasure hunter

Futuristic city
Space ships / hover craft
Tall buildings
Lots of metal
Future warfare
At sea
Rusting metal

The problem I'm having is I want to come up with something interesting and what I'm looking for inspiration in things have already been done.
"Oh I love Uncharted that was awesome I'll do something like that. A jungle theme with temples and ruins, hell yeah!"
But theres no point in that. It's already been done and its already been done better than I could ever hope to imagine it, so that wouldn't be of much use to me. I need to stop getting ideas from games!

------------------------------------------THINKING GAP GOES ON----------------------------------------------
Ok so after a bit of deeper thought I like the idea of doing a slum environment. The run down, overcrowded messy look is interesting to me and I like the look of random bright colours mixed with metal and tight spaces.
A few of my reference images gathered from...oh noes...google!

Environment Project - The hard beginning

Designing an environment is something I always thought I would enjoy doing, I don't know why I've never come close to ever doing it before. Maybe I thought I would like doing it because I really like other people's environment art, I tend to find it really interesting, eye catching and fantastic. A good piece of environmental art can set the scene for the rest of the world and what you might expect to be going on in it.

However, now we have a project to design an environment and the people that inhabit it I feel abit 'rabbit in the headlights', I don't know where to begin!
I've tried sitting about and drumming up some ideas in my empty head but nothing seems to be very interesting or worthwhile pursuing. :-/ Hmm this is going to be harder than I thought.

First things first I guess, coming to grips with what environment design is and why it is so important.

I started by reading the various PDFs we had available and I must admit I found some of them rather hard to stick with. One I did find really interesting however was the "What happened here - story telling through environment" PDF. 

The in-game examples it used are all from games I've played it this made it easy to understand and relate what the writer was going on about. Before reading this I had a general idea of what 'environment' referred to but never really thought about it so deeply. While playing a game I often run through most of the level not paying much attention to the surroundings or thinking about what they might mean, but this is a good thing. If the environment has been designed well we don't need to think about things too much we instinctively read and understand what we are seeing. The example made of Bioshock demonstrates this well I think -

"Theres a lot of subtext and associations here.
-ATMs are associated with money and represent other people's savings
-Trashing an ATM (or stealing from it) is frowned upon by society
-Splicers represent social ideals gone wrong
-Water reminds us of Rapture's setting

While playing Bioshock I will have seen this scene and interacted with it but not sat and scrutinised it, it fits perfectly into the setting and story of Bioshock and I could instantly read the meaning of what had gone on. If the ATM had been something else, say a rock, I would have questioned the situation and it would have had a negative effect that detracts from the believability of the game.
This scene wasn't needed within the game but it was there as added effect, interest and a deepening of the immerse Bioshock world! Awesome.

What the PDF also pointed out and really made me think about was the idea of 'avoiding disconnects', again something I have never thought about, but upon reflection have often encountered within games.

"Here's another example that we really like a lot:

Somebody built a ramp in the sewer system and tried to play Evil Knievel.

But… can we play Evil Knievel?

What does this moment say about the game? Fallout 3 is a game heavy on traversal. Does this example remind us of things that we can't do, drive around the wasteland on a motorcycle?

Once again, the example is probably okay, because Fallout 3 never communicates the possibility of drivable vehicles elsewhere in the game, and the bike looks sufficiently broken."

I again agree with these statements, while playing Fallout 3 I noticed various broken vehicles around but never expected to at any point be able to use one. This allowed them to be there, creating a more believable world, while not irritating me as a player by not being able to use any of them.

A game I can think of which doesn't do this is Stalker. The game world is large with expansive zones of not much, requiring you to run quite long distances. The game had vehicles about but not that you could use and this annoyed me and distracted me from the game. I couldn't help but think it was all abit stupid that I have to run miles, often slowly due to heavy stuff,  thinking why couldn't I use a vehicle? It always felt abit wrong and irritating.

Other people must have thought the same because it wasn't long before people made a mod that allowed you to use vehicles to get about!

Populating a game with things that make it believable and interesting yet avoiding making us question what we can and can't do within the game must be difficult yet very important task.

So a well designed environment is an important part of the game that does alot more than just looking pretty! So I come to guidelines or rules for creating that all important environment:
 - The environment creates meaningful play by guiding the player through the level allowing or dening access to other areas.
-The environment communicates with the player, helping them to understand the purpose of an area.
- Communicates the boundaries of the game and expectations of what we can and cant do.
- The environment sets a scene which reinforces the identity of the player.
- The
environment should further the story as the player advances through the game, providing narrative context.
- The environment should provide the story for the game where the player can read, understand and assume what has happened without the need to be shown it.
- The environment needs to be compelling and interesting while at the same time believable and indicative of a larger world outside that of what the player sees.
- The environment should be immersive and avoid things that may disconnect the player from the believability of the game.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Texturing Project

I had no idea what project we were going to be given after the gladiator project and with only two weeks till assessment I knew it couldn't be anything massive.

So we were set the texturing competition project. We were given two basic character meshes, a male and a female and had the task of unwrapping, texturing and rigging both within the two week deadline. I figured a good way to approach this would be to do one a week so I'd have plenty of time one each.

I started by having a good look at each of the models and thinking about what they reminded me of, what style I could give them and how I should texture or portray them. The ideas that I visualised were of a stylised army look, so I started researching this and finding reference images.

Male moodboard

Female moodboard
 To bring my ideas together I did some quick paint overs of the models to help me decide how I was going to texture each one.

I felt I had a stronger idea of what I wanted to do for the female model, so I unwrapped this one first. I found unwrapping the model to be fairly straight forward and quick without too many difficulties. Knowing the texture sheet was limited to 512x512 I made an effort to use as much of the texture space as possible so it would have the highest quality possible. I made the texture using a mix of reference images and hand painted textures, I think this mix worked well and generated an interesting texture.
Quick female concepts.

 Using the 'skin' modifier to rig the character was quick and simple, I found the envelopes it made as default were effective and fairly accurate enough. I did however have to alter the weights of a few verts so it animated slightly more realisticly.
Female model
With the style of the textures now set with the completed female model doing the male was straight forward. I found unwrapping him slightly more irritating than the female due to more complicated geometry but I was able to create a UV that I thought would texture well, using as much of the space as possible. Following the same method as before I used a mix of hand painted textures and reference images to create a texture I was happy with.

While the doing the rest of the model was was problem free when I got to rigging the male model everything started to go wrong. 3Ds max crashed halfway through rigging and this corrupted my autoback files, the only save I had was before I started rigging.

Male model
This was only the beginning of the problems however and from this point on Max would crash regularly meaning I had to redo most of the rigging several times. I also had alot of problems getting the texture to display with a model that wold keep going grey and not displaying the textures.

As a result of these problems I'm not completely satisfied with the male model's rigging and the way he animates, the majority of the model is OK but there are some bits I would change if the program didn't crash the instant I tried to.

Despite some problems I enjoyed the texturing project, I'm pleased with the textures I made and the overall theme and look of the models together.

Finished posed models.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Masses and masses of Posemaniacs.

Recently I've been doing masses of figure drawing from the website http://www.posemaniacs.com/.
I've been doing it any time I get chance, like while waiting for 3D to start on Monday morning or while I'm sitting on the sofa too tired to do any real work.

I was put off by the way the models you draw look to begin with but started to enjoy it and practising from it quite relaxing. I think the process has helped me alot to learn the shape and scaling of both the male and female form. I have become much more confident from doing it as well, to begin with I would only draw the poses I wanted to, ignoring more complex or awkward angles but as I've improved I've started to attempt every pose that comes up.

I've even gone as far as getting the app on my iphone so while I'm out and about I can be scribbling some posemaniacs down rather than sitting around doing nothing.

I think my life drawing benefited from doing all the posemaniacs, I felt like I knew how to approach drawing the figure better, and how to get the proportions right.

Recent life drawing.

Update: Recently I haven't been doing as much posemanaics or drawing in general, jumping back into trying to do posemaniacs has been difficult and annoying. Looking back at my early drawings I think my current ones are better in a way, but I'm still unhappy with them. I also found life drawing for the last 2 weeks incredibly difficult and frustrating, the current lack of drawing has made me feel really rubbish at it all over again.

Unfortunately I don't have 24 hour access to a life model I can practise drawing but I do at least still have posemaniacs so I'm going to try get back into drawing from it. I also want to start drawing from photos of really life models more.