Tag Archives: concepting


Hur durrr I’ve been so busy this weeeeeek. So here’s a quick update about how my project went and what’s next! If you’re interested in all the technical mish mashery, go here. Go!

First, you may have noticed I changed my blog again. It’s mostly so I can keep my third year official submission blog things separate from my ramblings, and the tutors can find them easily/you casual readers can avoid it. YOU’RE WELCOME.


I FINISHED MY SHOOOOOP! (Sketchfab-ulousnes)

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Pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m not going to go into obscene amounts of retrospective evaluation rubbish because that would be the third evaluation I’ve written about this (hand-in blog and then a Word document too). Instead, have an overpaint I did to show some of the things I’d alter if I had some time;


Learned a lot for this project, in particular points about creating interesting forms and colour proportions. Thanks to regular feedback twice a week on this project I managed to target areas of weakness on my model or design before it was too late, and any mistakes that managed to escape that net have been noted so it doesn’t happen again (there were quite a few I want to target). A big thing I learned during this project is just how flexible you can be with making changes to a model throughout the pipeline. A big part of me has always felt tied down to my final concept as soon as I closed the Photoshop file, but for this project I have been encouraged to constantly overpaint my model, even in the depths of texturing, and make improvements here… change a colour there etc. I was still feeling a bit uncomfortable doing it for this project, as I felt a little guilty. But for future projects I am very ready and open to making constant edits and overpaints, and keeping a record of them to show the development of my work for hand-in.

For my next project I am going to be doing the Partially Stylised Epic City Project. This is a pure concept art project, and my main reasons for choosing this are to establish whether I would enjoy doing just concept art for a large amount of time (in case I choose to for my FMP), and also to work out a realistic, productive concept art workflow for future reference. This is an extreeeeemely intense project, because I have to produce;

  • Quick concept ideas for multiple potential cities.
  • Choose 4 cities that are geographically distinct, all in the same era, with more developed design ideas.
  • A number of sketchy shots for each city, eg. birds eye view, gate view, street view, tower view, etc. to quickly convey design/mood.
  • Tidier street scene sketches with hero buildings/props/life in the city.
  • A few typical inhabitants of each city.

So… no definite ideas for cities or anything like that yet, but I’ll be starting a Pinterest board very soon to start quickly throwing together some visual inspiration before I start really actively concepting ideas. Assuming I create 3-4 sketchy views of the cities, 4 tidier street scenes/hero building sketches, and perhaps some drawings of inhabitants on top of that, not to mention the original iterations and concepts to decide on my 4 final cities…. I could be extremely under pressure for the next 3 weeks! Not that this little guy cares;

‘Quit yo’ whining and hold me, lady.’

I’m not much of a concept artist/illustrator so my final outcomes for this project could be totally hilarious. Ah well, I’m sure it’ll all work out just fine in the end. Lol I haven’t painted for weeks hahahah I’m doomed. I stress a lot about my work, but deep down a part of me knows that I’m mostly competent enough to pull through with a good outcome in the end (with a few exceptions, this project potentially being one). I’m so screwed. I’m going away next weekend for a day or two so hopefully that little break will stop me getting too wound up. Send help. Besides, I should reclaim my weekends.

I guess I’ll post next weekend with how it’s going. Thanks for reading!

Please help me.

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Good to be back!

It’s Monday and I’m back at university on our last push before my first year is over -sob-. Easter has been both productive and recuperative, and I’m really happy to be back with some structure in my life and work to do. Tomorrow marks the hand-in for my first UDK based project, and I’m both happy and irritated with my final scene. Here are some screenshots, and I will explain;


I’m really happy with how the whole thing looks. It felt like after hauling my way through all the past painful 3D projects and wallowing in self-pity, I’d finally done something that looked half decent. I learned absolutely loads and feel satisfied in that sense, but there are some things that went wrong in this scene that others won’t notice. But I know it went wrong. I know. For example the skybox is meant to have a sun, and it shows in the material editor, but it’s not showing on the mesh (grr). Also upon applying the normals to the ground material, the shading goes odd and almost looks like there are pools of shadow in random places. So there are no normals on the ground. Lots of little things like that, that I simply gave up on when one of the tutors couldn’t even help me. It’s not the end of the world. 🙂

On the arty side of things, I’ve been doing more drawing out and about in Leicester because the weather has been fabulous, which I will post on my personal blog shortly, and I’ve been working on another character piece. You may or may not recall the reef character project I had. I wasn’t overjoyed with the work I produced and I feel like I have improved since, so I started a new final over Easter. It wasn’t really because I felt pressured to re-do all my finals; it actually started out as a self-indulgent personal project which I’ve just decided I’ll add to my final hand-in if I get it done in time. Here is a WIP;


The main issue I’m dealing with at the moment is trying to make the torso look right in terms of colours and form. My reference wasn’t very good for getting anatomy right, so I had to sort of compromise because I loved the pose that the model was in. The sea and waves were a happy accident as well. I couldn’t paint the skintones correctly (and still damn can’t) until I had an environment that would influence them, otherwise the character wouldn’t really fit in. So was spam-painting until I had something that worked, and then this choppy sea came through which I liked and I just went from there. I’m hoping I’ll get it done soon, because we’ve been set a new project; 1920’s Chicago.

I think the Chicago project could give me some grief because it’s not really something that suits my interests and drawing style, but it’s important that I try to adapt to different styles etc. so that’s what I’ll do.

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Blogging Day!

Yesterday our tutors hosted an all-day blog ‘conference’ for us, with lots of sessions with help and advice on our blogs, writing skills, and creativity within our blogs. I was pretty neutral about the day beforehand, because I wouldn’t say I’m a student who has issues with blogging. I’ve had a personal blog since the day I found out I had a place on Game Art Design at DMU which I have enjoyed writing, and I have always been good at English, with an A at A-level. Nevertheless I intended on going to some of the sessions, but not all 4 that I could have. So on the day when I was told we really had to go to all sessions I was a bit grumpy for the next ten minutes, as I had made a plan for my day already and I can’t stand having my plans disrupted.

I attended the first session I had signed up for anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to not just be sitting there waiting for someone to come look at my blog and give me about a minute’s feedback on it. We chatted with some second and third years about the course mostly, and had an opportunity to ask them questions about their experience and the likes. It was a nice start to the day and improved my mood for the following session where I could just sit in peace and write my blog, which was perfect for me because I had my big Game History post to write up. I attended the third session with the intention of just sitting at the back and finishing up my blog post, but I found myself getting involved in that a little bit too.

The session was all about transferring creative skills into blogs, and so we (when I say ‘we’, I just kinda sat at the back and stared at the pictures) analysed several images from movies and games, and also looked closely at The Last of Us. Timed tasks were done where, in the theme of The Last of Us, a word was given and we had 2 minutes to write about it. For example ‘smell’ or ‘sky’. The idea was in a very short space of time, we had effectively directed a scene using words rather than drawing like we were used to. I didn’t get chance to join in on this task but I did some thinking while it took place and intend on doing the task myself and painting what I come up with.

Overall the day could have been worse and it all went really smoothly for such a big operation. I imagine it would have really benefited a lot of people, but personally I just used the day to chat to new people involved in the course and write my blog, which is a successful day in itself. Days and workshops I always find useful though, and there is always something to get out of them so I think they’re definitely something to continue providing. Looking forward to see what else we’ll get chance to do.

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More Character Designs and More Fun!

Really loving my projects at the moment, particularly our new Visual Design one; design a character… deja-vu, right? This time, our starting word was ‘reef’, and we were allowed to take this where we wanted. We’ve had this project since Monday so only have a few days left. I’m really happy with where I’m at at the moment, and can definitely see my progression from our last character project. I still need to go and finish my last character’s 3rd iteration, but I’m making a list of things I need to do and re-do over the weeks leading up to Summer so that’ll fit in there somewhere for sure.


I’m really pleased with both the design idea of this piece and the way I executed it. I have another day tomorrow to hopefully get a drawing done in-situ too… I’d really like to but I actually have no idea what environment I’d but him in. I chose to do a male character because I always find myself gravitating towards doing female characters, but actually I found this way more fun. I also wanted to create a lot more patterns and textures to look at, as it’s much more a style I’d like to pursue and lordy was it fun. I also think the use of many different fabrics and shapes draws away from the obviousness of ‘reef’ just enough as to not make it super cliche, though I still feel it is present in the colours, forms and some of the textures/patterns I used.

My main nit-pick with this piece is I’ve relied far too much on the linework to do a lot of the hard work for me, something I’d like to go back to and work on addressing fully with this piece and others in the future; I need to work on using tone, not line, to get definition. On the other hand however, I do like the style of this piece and could also like to try more pieces with this kind of style. I’m feeling more and more like I may have at least some creative talent that goes beyond just copying what I see.

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