Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Ambitions and aspirations for year 2

Let’s talk Ambitions! I think I am at the stage in my life and degree where it is time to decide what I really want from the industry of design and where I see myself in it. It has been 3 weeks into second year and I am already confused about what to do, more so in my personal time. I guess coming back to the degree all of us seem much more prepared for the work at hand compared to the scary times of first year. But at the same time, we need to start building portfolios of work and this means personal work as well, because you do not want your whole portfolio to be full of work you only did in class. Ever. My current thoughts on personal work are cloudy because I have no idea where to begin and with what. Setting MEGA-AWESOME project briefs could take up months to finish but at the same time you don’t want anime fairy paintings you did in 5 minutes with no ‘reference’. Ah yes, I remember the times where it was a bragging right if you did something without reference, only to realise 99% of unreferenced designs will most likely be crap.   

Also I really want to get to grips with learning some new software, when I came here as a first year my initial thoughts on 3ds max was that it would take years to achieve anything half decent, but with the teaching and regular deadlines in this course I’ve picked up everything quite quickly. We also are always looking for tutorials and other artists work to develop our skills frequently. Software like UDK and Zbrush seem to be popping up in conversion regularly and looking at the 3rd years’ work really does put things into perspective. As software is only a tool, like a pen, pencil, marker, or paint brush, it is something I am not trying to play favourites with, so learning something new isn’t some scary taboo act but instead a helpful resource to my current working pipeline. It will be important in this year to develop my 2D skills to a professional level or as close as possible. Things like making mistakes in lighting, perspective, colour theory and anatomy have to be corrected so ideas and concepts can become more alive and accurate to what I have in my head. This will mean trying to draw every day and just building a scrap book studying all these factors.

I read artist interviews all the time on and this is where it always motivates me to be working on something personal or on the side as a student because all these artists tend to have amazing portfolios that suggest massive interests in areas unrelated to their 9 to 5 jobs. After being asked about the industry most say that as students it was this unknown world everyone talked about but had never been to, and you would hear stories about it, but after being there you realise how small you are and your ego is thrown out the window as you find yourself giving your all for the content your employer wants, as a team. As the 2nd year will unfold we will also have group projects which we never did as 1st years, so this will also be interesting to work on something as a team with other peoples input and opinions. Good or bad, I’m it will be a learning experience so I look forward to it! I just hope that guy who does no work and never turns up to anything, you know that guy, who constantly lets the group down with minimal input in everything, I just hope I don’t get stuck with that guy, I will of course, try very hard not be that guy! Group project? Come at me bro.   

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Summer Reflections!

So we have been back for a few weeks now, but I want to track back to the end of the first year. When summer started I had so many ideas for both 2D concepts and 3D in mind and when the tutors said “you won’t touch max for 6 months and come back not remembering anything” I was saying to myself “not me!”… Hah, it’s never feels good being wrong. 

 Although I did do the summer projects Heather set us, I still felt a bit unsure of my 3D skills when second year started all over again.

So as the first few weeks of summer started, I had this idea for the 5000 tri limit character/vehicle brief. One of my favorite cars is the Nissan Silvia S15 which is commonly used for drifting with the typical Skylines, RX7’s, 350z’s and other Japanese imports. I thought modelling and texturing a drift machine would be something different and more of a challenge when compared to an everyday road car. Personally I do want to set my sights on becoming a vehicle artist which I am not 100% sure about yet, but find myself drawn to as this degree progresses. 

Modelling this thing was slightly difficult, I tend to find with all blueprints; nothing really matches perfectly. In other words, if you want an accurate model you WILL need to source some good reference of it in existence. Whilst progressing I also realised that I overly spending tri’s on the body which left little for the interior, I think it was something unfair like 500 tri’s for the interior. I think making these simple mistakes can be healthy so I left the model as it was but now I realise that with vehicles, there should be a balance of some kind. I had trouble with the wheels as each spoke of an alloy should be equal in size to the rest, I was not sure how to recreate this just by tweaking each spoke with nothing but human eyes. I now hear that the ‘array’ feature of max can duplicate forms equally in rotation so I shall be aware for next time.

After I finished modelling and unwrapping I decided it was time to find the perfect decals/livery for the drift machine! Here I did have a choice to make, make up a livery for the car unique to me, or turn it into an already existing S15. I decided to mix It up a little and… do a bit of both. As I was lurking around Google images I found an RC S15 with the ‘Coppermix logo’ and thought ‘that’s the one!’ I threw it into Photoshop, and re made it using the pen tool in my chosen colours, this also helped enlarge the image without pixelating and now I am not at risk for slapping something onto my model straight from the net :D 

Although I never got around to finishing this because of my own loss of interest and typical summer laziness (promise won’t happen next time!! …ahem). As far as I got, I guess I can finish this at some point for that good ol' portfolio :D

 However, In-between shifts of doing nothing at all and going out to do non art stuff (lol), I did manage to cram some doodles of cars in, and I am a big fan of Scott Robertson’s work so I tried to apply his perspective techniques after staring at his books for so long. The outcomes were not pretty but drawing is learning and learning is progress. I now tend to do a lot of these car sketches at lunch times/train journeys so there will be more to come!