Monthly Archives: August 2014

Blocking Facebook, Rediscovering Games, And UDKing UDK!

Title says it all really.

I came to the realisation a long while ago that Facebook prettyyyyy much ruins your life. I go on there and procrastinate all day, I get sad about everyone else’s work, and I get angry about the number of Ice Bucket Challenges accumulating on my Newsfeed. Do you guys even know what ALS is?! Me neither… better deal with that.

So, I installed a Chrome Extension called StayFocusd. It allows you to block sites for certain days and time periods, and has funny pop-ups when you try to change the settings. You can even have it set you a challenge when you wish to alter your settings!


I regretted setting the challenge.

I’m hoping this is going to increase my productivity, and also remove Facebook from my life as a ‘downtime’ hobby, as it is no longer on my phone for me to instinctively click on in bed in the morning, or at work, or anything! As a result, one day into this experiment, I am already finding that I am gravitating back to games after claiming ‘I don’t play games anymore’ for about a year. I played The Sims 3 this morning (not really something I should be proud of)! Additionally, I played Portal the other day so roll on Portal 2 with my new-found no-Facebook time.

Another thing I’m really enjoying at the moment is my UDK project. In fact it almost feels like a game to me, with even more freedom and challenge. True to my promise to myself at the start of summer, I am learning particle effects and all sorts on my journey to create a little gypsy fantasy scene. It’s so so rewarding and I’m actually choosing to do it over painting at the moment. It’s starting to come together a little now, though there are still so many assets to create and, of course, my gypsy.




In hindsight I wish I had made the map bigger so I could have made perhaps a valley and such rather than the map just… ending. I’m hoping to hide that a little with trees and rocks but still, I could have dealt with it better at the start. Always learning! In both making the assets and sorting things in UDK itself I have learned so much and I’m seeing my work and workflow improve from asset to asset, particle effect to particle effect, and material to material.

It sounds like I haven’t been doing much art with all that Facebook and UDKing I’ve been doing, and really, I haven’t. Which I think is good in a way. I’ve got a part time job I’ve been doing too, which involves working in an ice cream van and is very weather dependent with regards to how busy my work days are. On quiet days, I’ve been able to draw while at work which has been a change in both lighting conditions and subject matter for me (in relation to being at home at my desk) and quite enjoyable. Here’s some of the art I’ve been doing lately, both at work (pencil) and home (digi);


I decided to let go and do some crazy character designs without stressing about reference and rendering.

male character

Value work!


Letting go again.

Tribal Girl Male Portrait

image (12)

I also got another commission! 😀

photo 3 (2)

The car moved before I could finish 😦

photo 2 (2)

There are lots of cows where I work.

photo 1 (2) photo 4 (2)

The last thing I’d like to stick on the end of this blog post is I MOVE BACK TO LEICESTER NEXT WEDNESDAY I’M SO EXCITED AHHHHHH! I can’t wait to see everyone again and get back in labs soon! Also here’s my favourite song to listen to at the moment, that my new housemates will hate after about a week of hearing on repeat. The Parov Stelar mix after it in the Youtube playlist is also awesome.


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A long awaited update! I’ve been working on my Summer Project!

It’s been an extremely long time since I posted here. Since uni stopped I’ve been posting (less than I should have) on my personal blog. I’ve moaned a bit about my life, and art dumped a lot. I’ve been pretty mood-swingy lately, so sometimes I knew I was long due a blog post but was simply too grumpy to do one. Having spent the last two days virtually flat-out on UDK and 3dsMax (I haven’t done a single painting. I think my life is over) I think it’s about time I posted an update here. I’ve been really casual about the whole summer project thing until the last week or so. I wanted to do something other than art and being sad about art though, and it’s been a nice (if infuriating and mentally challenging) break.

So, as I’ve mentioned in the past, the summer project I chose was ‘gypsies’. That is, concept, model, and texture an environment with a gypsy, a horse, and a cart. I’m also throwing it all into UDK as I go and playing around with some more stuffs. You may recall that last time I did a UDK project I threw myself in at the deep end with an animated skydome, the landscape editor, lighting, and the foliage tool. This time I’m leaving out the animated skydome and trying out particle effects, emissive textures, and (maybe, it looks super advanced and I probably can’t be arsed) a river with animated textures. Another challenge I’m setting myself is lighting the scene at night, rather than day. To make this an easier task I’m going to be using lots of point light objects like lanterns and a fire to illuminate the scene. Here’s how I’m doing so far, in picture form…

4096 texture

My cart model, before I downsized the textures from 4k. Still looks pretty good with the smaller ones.

Horse 2

My horse model that I finished a while back. I animated it.

I’m aiming for a really dreamlike fantasy feel to my scene. It’s really tough, and probably won’t end up looking great in the end. But that’s not what matters to me at this point (it is really. I’m actually crying inside), because right now I just want to focus on learning little things like how to get pretty firebugs floating in the sky so one day I can make it look damn good with all my awesome skillz.


So yeah. The tree kinda needs a texture and y’know… leaves, which is what I’m currently working on. I’m also going to put glowy lanterns hanging from the branches hopefully. Aside from that there are like a gazillion things to do… like sort all that floating grass I just noticed. If ANYONE ANYWHERE knows how to make the sky PLEASE STOP BEING PIXELATED I would be forever in your debt. The only option I can currently think of is make some tiling clouds to move over it which will draw attention from the pixelyness.

I love UDK for how creative you can be and how much I’m learning but I can’t help but hate it a little (lot) too. Some things just feel so clunky, or don’t work when I feel like they should. Not to mention the frustrating fact that I’m working in UDK 3 when 4 is already out… I’ve told myself I’m going to get to grips at least a bit with 3 first! So far so good.

Please feel more than welcome to crit my UDK work so far, link me tutorials I may be interested in, or tell me what I’m doing wrong. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks for reading and feel free to check out most of my art here!!

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