It seems like yesterday that I was laid in Jonah’s bed dying from last weekend’s killer hangover. I don’t really drink, so it was a big mistake to actually consume alcohol. Anyway. I am recovered and game-arting once again.
This week has been a funny one. It’s the second to last week on our Off The Map project before the DMU hand-in, but I haven’t had a huge deal of work to do. I’ve been hanging around labs and generally trying to keep up-to-date with what’s going on, but mostly I’ve been writing our (currently 46 page long) documentation, or grumpily pestering people to hurry up. Our project, though mostly complete, is hanging quite heavily on Dom getting the last bit of scripting done. Physically, the level is almost complete. Now it’s a couple of tweaks here and there, a cut scene and puzzle, and my fish. My fish are low priority though *sad face* and may not be done for DMU. I’m not overly pleased with our level, but it’s going pretty well so I can’t complain. 🙂
So, I’ve spent more time than usual lazing around, painting, and actually chatting to people in labs for a change.
I did a grumpy self-portrait first. I wanted something to paint that didn’t require imagination, since I distinctly lack that, and would be fun to do. I tend to do periodic self portraits to see how my work is progressing, and they usually take about 2 hours. This one was no different, and was a pleasing improvement on my last. I think my ability to use a large brush effectively is definitely progressing. Also my use of colour and value, though I still have a looong way to go. I’d like to get better at mark-making and creating interesting surfaces too, which I guess would come from experimenting with brushes. I actually spent some time painting on Jonah’s computer with his brushes this week too, so that forced me to get away from my usual brush pack.
I’d like to say this was a quick painting, but it really wasn’t. I found a piece on Pinterest that was really inspiring, but then ended up almost doing a study of it. I forced myself to hide it from view so I wouldn’t copy it, and ended up churning out this. I’m pleased with the green/pink colours, but honestly I stylise my colours because I am incapable of depicting them realistically. Overall it’s a bit shit and I’d like to get better at imaginative art work.
We were asked by our lovely life drawing tutor, Heather, to create some boards of our work this year to show her for marking. It was quite interesting to get all my life drawing work together and see how it’s changed since last year. I’m pleased. My favourite medium seems to be pen, but only for the shorter poses. Otherwise, my favourite work by far is with the oil paints, which I really wish I’d had more chances to use. I tend to favour minimal, graphic mark making over extensive pencil or charcoal rendering. I find that I lack the control to get the perfect values that I want, and the marks I make are not sensitive enough to sit back and make a bigger picture; it’s all too scribbly for my liking. With oil paint I get a nice mix; I can use minimal marks with a bigger brush to fill an area, rather than spending ages filling a space with millions of marks and holding my breath to make them at least a similar value.
My personal project is still going next to nowhere, but I learned some cool new stuff from people at uni too;
I made a bunch of perfectly square, highly tesselated floor tiles in Max, as was suggested to me when I emailed Alice. I was about to follow a totally different workflow that she had told me about, but when I learned about Voronoi Fracture I just had to try it. I used a tutorial from the Vertex 2 magazine (it’s free!), by an artist on Bioshock. I took my tiles, and used the script to randomly break them into pieces. Then, using MassFX, I could simulate the physics of these tiles and drop them onto the base I had sculpted, making them randomly move like they had shifted around over time. Better yet, the tiles I wanted falling off the edge of the scene actually have fallen! I made a few tweaks, and deleted quite a lot of tiles that were making the scene a bit too much, and the above is what I came out with. It’s a bit exaggerated because I want it to be baked into a normal map.
Unfortunately the Fracture script ruins the topology of the tiles, and they’re totally unsuitable for sculpting. So my next task is to take them into Zbrush and hopefully encourage it to remesh them without breaking. It may not work, so I’ll have to see… If it does work, I can sculpt in all the variation that cracks have, and make it look realistic. If it doesn’t… well, I’ll work that out when I come to it.
Just takin’ it as it comes. Just takin’ it as it comes… It’s been a nice week. Except when I watched 2001 Space Odyssey. That wasn’t nice at all.