Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Bocklin and Manzel

First full day in Berlin and after planning to spend the morning in the Alte Nationalgalerie and the afternoon in Legoland, I ended up spending a lot of time wandering around with a camera (what a suprise), in a cafe drawing and in a Christmas market. I spent a lot longer than I expected in the Alte Nationalgalerie (its stunning and has an incredible collection for my tastes) so decided spending some quality time with some quality art could bump legoland to tomorrow.

Its like scaffolding, I love it so much.

I felt this immersion breaking "plonk" of the wings didn't take away from the sculpture... much
There are a lot more photos and these weren't even the highlights. The other photos will be up sometime soon. Highlights definately include seeing Die Toteninsel in the flesh, and loads of other Bocklins, and coming across Manzel for the first time. I have a few pages full of random scribbles and studying but they aren't worth showing.

I didn't manage to get any usable images of the Christmas market from my phone camera so that will just have to wait, tomorrow will be less cultured... WOO COMBICHRIST!

Insect Ship Pt 2

Working off some feedback from my scribbles I've found a general direction. I'm still playing with a lot of things and ideas but I have decided that the ship will be a city scale ship and a general overall shape...

I'm liking the idea of an insect chitin or corpse being used by some race as t he basis of their ship kind of like the way the reavers in the Firefly Universe take a ship and just bend it to their will.

Going to contine exploring, please excuse the terrible phone pics, maybe I'll try and present them a bit better in the future.


This was my desk for at least 5 hours yesterday.

Yesterday I spent over 10 hours on trains. The day before I spent 4 hours on trains and 8 hours walking with a massive backpack. Its been cool but haven't got as much drawing and stuff done as I wanted to, so going to try and fix that in the next couple of days.

Paris was... Paris, kinda interesting, quite a nice atmosphere but didn't really grab me, didn't think it would. Then trains happened while I continued working on insect ships but also doodled.

Doodle of an Autumn Beast (song by Parov Stelar)
Lucian and I were thinking about Combichrist on Thursday
 Last night however I got to Berlin... and I love it still. Within an half an hour of getting to the hostel I was walking around Berlin with a guy from Moscow and our cameras and just exploring until about 2a.m.

Will post some Insect ship designs this evening after I get back from the Alte National Gallerie and Legoland.

Should be a thing in the UK

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Finished, need a name for my Lapin!

Finished at Ubisoft on Friday, played on a Mega Drive (no echo the dolphin :( ) and had a raclette party, now I'm packed and ready to leave at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. First stop Paris!

I will be working on some concepts, some doodles (or dudeles as Karl Kopinski calls them) and some photos in the different places. Fingers crossed I will make it to some Christmas markets in the evenings as I really love the atmosphere they create and being in Germany for that is going to be awesome.

I wanted to warn you now that the pictures for the next week are going to be sooooper bad quality as I only have a phone and can't get the photos off my DLSR until I get back. If I get some good photos I will do a photo blog post when I get back :)

Meanwhile trying to think of a French name beginning with L for my Lapin Cretin

Start of Mitch's Insect Ship Challenge
He's One Fungi!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Last week, then TRAINS!

One week and I'll be in Paris on the way to Berlin which seems strange looking back on the six months. Meanwhile I have 4 days left at work and think I can just about get some stuff I'm proud of finished off by Friday. Yesterday saw 3 screenshots finished to the point that all the important elements are there and its now just minor adjustments to make. These important elements are pretty much the same as in painting or photography. However when taking screenshots similarly to photography its a lot easier to have control over the environment. Screenshots take that to the next stage of control allowing me to address these in almost chronological order of importance. I'm going to try and work on some concepts in this similarly chronological, iterative and slightly more rigid way and see where it gets me.

- Concept/Idea
- Location
- Tests for Poses/Gameplay Elements
- Composition/Framing (Camera angle/horizon line, etc)
- Lighting
- Details

As I'm pretty much just getting comfortable with this stuff now I want to try to write up a simple tutorial/explanation of some elements of composition/lighting/presentation both to try and explain these things to people who are learning but also to try and improve my writing and have some more interesting things to say and ways to say it. This blog needs more art, art theory and interesting stuff...

Early stages of a drawing for Futur-ish City in a Cliff

I've been getting back into architecture and use of space recently simply because I got trapped in Grand Designs for a while; need new episodes to watch! This lead to looking at minimalism and tiny housing. Tiny housing looks at designing spaces that allow a person to live in a space far smaller than expected. This is proving both great research for Futur-ish City in a Cliff and great mental stimulation. Planning out my own space and the way I would solve the problems that people come up against.

Before taking on a living space, however, I'm going to be addressing my designs for Minx; my high end, flat-pack, Mini-ITX PC case. It's basically a scaled down house!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

FMP Idea Dev: Futur-ish City in a Cliff

Currently still in the exciting over-ambitious phase, Futur-ish City in a Cliff (to get a better brand soon, promise) has changed a lot since the initial idea came about but is continually getting more refined and more interesting but has got to the stage now where the major over-arching idea is fairly solid. Elliott Pacel and I have been mulling over our FMP ideas for a while now bouncing things off each other and trying to find that thing that we wanted to do for our FMP, always have the possibility of working together for a project at the back of our minds.

This image has been floating around the internet... its photoshopped.

The above image was the inspiration for Elliott's idea to make a temple on a rock and as a fan of harsh but beautiful contrasts between natural and man made, such as this, I latched on to the idea. I had been working on a concept of a bunker being lived in by squatters having a great contrast between the militaristic, industrial building and the soft comfortable squatter's dream; the Pinterest board is here. I had started to explore the idea of a cave at the end of the bunker. A thought to combine the ideas so that from the cave being lived in (my bunker idea) you could see the temple (Elliott's idea) came about. We ran with it...

Some of my super rough thumbnails. Still working out how to best display them.

The idea currently is to create a city built into a cliff with a super modern, wealthy, minimalist, futurist area and a slum, homemade, over-populated area. This comparison is a very common one but we want to really push this feeling of contrast to the next step. Places like Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai and Dubai currently show this contrast from ultra rich to ultra poor however they are often such huge cities that this change gets lost and there is often a gradual, natural change. What we will do is make this contrast clearer. At the moment much of the idea is to make a vista with two main detailed areas but as usual these ideas are open to lots of change and when we hit the "be realistic you fool" phase are likely to change.

Daniel Dociu's awesome painting that vaguely resembles some of what's currently in my brain.

I want to try and work on the design work while I don't have a computer in the evenings, try and have a lot of design work down and a lot of idea exploration just with pencil and paper. When I get back from travelling around Germany I will try and take these ideas into a couple of mood paintings and more refined concepts. While I'm with my sketchbook I am also planning to do a couple of story boards of possible flythroughs, maybe some brand identity stuff.

Still gathering reference and ideas we recently thought that it would be interesting to think about what a British slum would look like and are trying to find some typically British cultural identifiers.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Bye Bye Kasper

I left Kasper, my laptop, in Leicester and my desktop is at my cousin's house in Leicester so when I got on the plane back to France from Halloween and the British Library/Gamecity event weekend I was alone with a sketchbook and How to Draw by Scott Robertson. While we are told that there are no required texts on the course I would say that this should be one, this should be a book that everyone either gets given when they start or has to buy and for £20 thats seriously not bad.

The idea behind this was to get back to improving my drawing. I came onto the course with the idea that I would improve my fundamentals and have found that although I have improved I didn't engage with the 2D side of the course as much as I wanted to in the first 2 years. This is a way to kick start my learning and engagement again. I've mainly been combining this work with concepting for an FMP idea so most of my drawings following how to draw will be in an upcoming FMP Idea Development post. I have also been thumbnailing like hell because its the start of the idea and still very much exploring.

Other News I have only got 10 days left at Ubisoft, not sure how to feel. Starting to get into the screenshots and as the DLC is pretty much frozen now they are immensely less aggrivating to take, far fewer bugs and far less post work. I finished a second round of intentions/concepts last week and have started work on the finals for the next batch, its going pretty well. Will have more to say on this topic come the 25th November.

The reviews on ACU are really mixed, I'm interested to see what will be said about ACU: Dead Kings.

On a final note I recently rediscovered Daniel Dociu's Guild Wars 2 concepts

And discovered Oscar Cafaro

One Day