Monday, 8 March 2010

Evaluations




My initial schedule did not really go to plan throughout this process. The main reason for this was because our group took a few weeks to decide on a final concept and we also had members joining later on in the process. There was an also adverse weather condition that held up the first few weeks of term and stopped us from really talking face to face and knowing what we all wanted. With regards to the final idea we had it on our first true group meeting, yet dallied around with others for a while that in hindsight wasted quite a bit of time.

I did begin my animation tests such as different water and using Maya Cloth for the flag quite early which I am glad about as I was able to utilise them quickly in the later stages, although rendering of the different elements did take a long time and my laptop frequently crashed at the end of the term, adding yet more time to render. In the end it came down to the last night for me to render completely. My schedule for the final night was to wake up every two hours and see how my rendering was going, which I did. There were a few times when rendering had not begun or my laptop could not cope with the final output, yet it did manage to render on time.

I am quite pleased with my work this term and feel that I have learned a lot from the project, including:

Using Particle effects to create fire
Using Softbodies and Dynamics for water
My modelling skills have definitely improved
UV and Planar Mapping for texturing
Using lights in the best was to highlight key areas
Layering of rendering and also objects within the scene
How to use real world objects and use them creatively for a different purpose

I feel like I worked really hard on the project and although certain members of the team let us down throughout, I am proud of my own personal achievements. I did not think that I would enjoy the project as much as I have due to being mainly interested in character animation beforehand, and I also enjoy modelling and texturing far more than previously thought. I believe that my models look well together in the environment and that the water and fire animations also add an extra level of complexity to the images.

On the other hand, I do feel as though there is a little bit of a divide between Lydia’s section in the cave and the main central part of the castle, mainly due to the lighting. I realise that the black background does not help matters and if we had been given a little bit more time I would have liked to see a starry sky in the background to give a bit more depth to the images. I was a bit disappointed with the lighting in the main castle, and wish that it had been just a little bit brighter or had more of a strong moonlit glow to enhance the textures and make them look more realistic. I think this would have made it look more akin to the cave where there are strong glows from the torches.

Another point that could have been improved is the camera angles. Our story boarder did not actually produce any storyboards so it was left to me and a couple of other members to try and sort out which angles were needed at the last minute. If I had known he was not going to produce them I would have done some more myself rather than just quick shot ideas. One bit I was sad about in my final renders was that when the camera is following the light trail around the room you can barely see the actual fire, which is annoying because in the playblasts the particle effects can be seen. I did move the camera frames to try and compensate this after my first render yet not enough, and I did not have time to keep rendering to test it due to the amount of time it took to do so. If I were to continue this project that would be one of the first bits I would change, although I do feel that the other camera shots showing this section show off the fire very well and the fact that it trails around the room.

Coming Together

The project is finally coming together woo! Although Sam has used Mudbox to make the island have so many polygons it keeps crashing my laptop, the scene is nearly complete.
The focal point of the story is the Lady of the Lake giving Arthur the sword Excalibur. As I have been modelling the sword, Andi has been modelling the Lady statue and these images show the final pieces coming together.

Top View:


I added a glow to the sword to make it look more authentic as a magical sword, and we thought it would create a nice reflection on the glass statue.
Here are a few more details with the additional plane I added for water in the fountain pool. I did not animate this as I felt there would be too much movement in the scene with the fire moving around too and I did not want it to be too complex for the audience to take it. I think a little bit of movement would have been lost in the scene and as it was a calm night the water in the centre would not have been disturbed too much anyway.



The final pieces for the centre all together (the fountain, fire, tombs, sword and balcony area that I worked on) :







Balcony

As one final piece of modelling, I also added to the central part of the castle to make it seem a bit more detailed and also so that the ramp at the top of the stairs was not completely barren and the fire stemmed from somewhere interesting. I had previously altered Lydia's fire plynth to make it more decorative like the Bishop's staff at the British Museum. The symbol in the centre was also common during the Medieval time and I thought it would help give historical relevance to the piece.
The same can be said for the carpet I added behind the plynth. I realise that as the castle is derelict that the carpet would be in a worse state than this, yet the dark lighting would not make it seem this bright.



I did have to fiddle around to make sure the plynth was directly underneath the fire trail as it was easier to extend the verts for this rather than change the whole fire position. I think the end result looks quite effective and I am glad I added the extra details. I did use Sam's pillars from lower down the ramp for my rail for consisitency in the scene, yet added this stone shader to make them look older and give the scene age. I think they create an aesthetically pleasing image and one the whole it is better than if I had just placed the plynth on the ramp.



These are the textures that I used for the carpet and the base, both of which I altered on Photoshop to make them fit in with the style of the rest of the environment:










Boat Animation

opening from Hayley Allen on Vimeo.





The following images show the beginning opening where I animated the water and boat drawing close to the castle. This was our establishing shot so I wanted to spend quite a bit of time making the water look impressive. The first image shows how the scene looked in Maya without the actual castle and the flag I added later. I made the transparency of the wtare quite low and gave it an ocean shader to make it look like water and also added a plane below with a noise shader of green and yellow to create the idea of something below, giving the scene more depth than just one softbody plane of the water.


The same scene in wireframe:


The following picture shows how Maya conveyed my water effect if you jump far up the timeline. This made it hard to see whether the water was working properly and it did come down to the final render most of the time. From my previous practice I knew it would look ok in the end though.

The next two are from Lydia's section where it enters the castle dock. Although the scene has no textures, you can see where we used the boat weight on Maya to create ripples in the water as the boat passes through.



We aslo played around with lighting, ending up adding a light within the lamp on the boat as well as one on top of the boat just above it to light the room effectively. It also created a nice shadow of the lamp on the water. I parented these to the boat, yet keyframed the boat weight seperately as Maya didn't want it to work otherwise.







Final Modelling

After group discussions, we thought it would look good to have tomb structures within the central part of the castle, as it shows that there was a history to Excalibur and they could be the forbearers of it before Arthur. I set to looking into medieval tombs for knights, including these images taken from the web and also one of my favourite computer games Broken Sword Shadow of the Templars.

As I am going to create symbols for my sword, I thought it would be good to carry the designs across onto the tombs aswell. I began drawing different symbols for cultures or history but thought this would either be too obvious or not really relevant enough to the story we were trying to convey (it may have confused the audience to have an Egyptian tomb in the Lady of the Lake story for example). Therefore I started looking at the basic symbols of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. I found these triangle alchemic symbols and thought they were perfect for the seals on the tombs because they would be easy to recognise and relatively simple to model too.



However, I did want to add my own touch to them so created these symbols myself, so that they continued the style of my drawing of the King Arthur seal for my flags etc. The idea behind the symbols is the fire looks like a flame (obviously), water looks a cross between a wave and a fish, earth is a tree coming up from the ground, and air is a box which represents space.


To create the textures I took an image of stone into photoshop, then traced over my drawings in different layers using my graphics tablet. I found this looked better than just using my original scans and also gave me more freedom to export the layers onto different images so that they could also be used on my sword design.

















Here are the final finished images of my tombs. Another point to add was that I used one of my photographs from the British Museum (again Photoshop edited to look more like the Clone Wars brush strokes), as it was from the early Medieval period and I though this would at least give a bit of history to the environment. I used Planar Mapping to make sure each of the faces looked just right, and also added a gold shader to the edges of the triangle seals to make them seem more regal and important.












I am very pleased with my final tombs and enjoyed the process of texturing them. The main point which I would improve if I had been given more time would have been to create skeletons or armour to place inside the tombs to show who inhabited them. I did place a shield with the English cross into one of them to show that there were people inside, and I suppose this adds to the mystery as where has this person/ being gone? Who were they? I really would have liked to create a skeleton as this would have stretched my modelling skills more, yet towards the end of the term I wanted to focus on my water and fire animation effects and making sure all of the components worked together.



Here is the final model for my Excalibur sword. I have used my images from the British Museum to make the sword look more magical. I also added my symbols from my tombs down the centre to show style consistency and it was also designed to show that the sword was the link between all of the elements, kind of like the Ultimate Power or Fifth Element. I wanted to look into Medieval colour more so read on this website about what colours meant in their time. I wanted to utlise colours that seemed powerful and for people of high standing, so I used red and blue as rubies and sapphires to decorate the sword. The main reason I added these details was to make it seem more ornate like the Bishop Staff from the British Museum.





The King Arthur seal is also part of the handle of the sword to make it seem as though it was made for him. I tried a few different backgrounds for the seal, including the blue sapphire but you could not see the black outline of the drawing easily and it got lost in the pattern. I also tried just black and white but felt it looked just too much like a normal drawing and not a ‘real’ texture. I finally decided to use a yellow sapphire background as this combined both the precious stone idea as well as giving a nice colour that suited the rest of the gold sword.



























Facebook Chat

Lydia Fabian January 22 at 11:05am Reply
heyy everyone.. hope you guys enjoyed exhibition yesterday and it was inspiring..just thought if you take a look at the group blog there are the rochester pics on there and i for some reason instead of drawing ruins on a mound .. went for a cliff coast kinda thing. check out my blog theres pics which show EXACTLY what i mean on therewhat do you guys think we should have done by monday? shall we all have our concepts together.. spend monday just going through making sure every ones happy and then matt can draw the final concept.. ?then i was thinking to run a quick maya mock up of placements for the floor plan so matt can get on with some boards of our camera movement around the environment.. does that sound cool? lyds

Andi Bennett January 22 at 11:07am Reply
im down with that.

Lydia Fabian January 22 at 11:09am Reply
ange shall we sort a little mock of what should be done by when..

Lydia Fabian January 22 at 11:19am Reply
oh and matt i have sent you a link to be on the group blog, should be on your inbox for vadis95hayley iv re sent your invite so that should be on your inbox..

Sam Mcguire January 22 at 11:22am Reply
im confused does this mean the ideas changed to a cliff now cos it means all my concepts are wasted

Andi Bennett January 22 at 11:27am Reply
of course it doesn't. they are just concepts, we get together and discuss them and move on from there. everyone needs some concepts so we all know what we want to see and can can take ideas from each other.

Andi Bennett January 22 at 11:28am Reply
and your concepts wouldn't be wasted anyways, you post them on your blog and it shows development of ideas.

Hayley Allen January 22 at 11:32am
I dont think we should do it on a cliff, karens group are doing a cave coastline kind of thing.
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Andi Bennett January 22 at 11:56am Reply
okay, well its just an idea, i dont think we should stray away from it just because another group are doing something similar.I hate to be the bad guy here, but we are running out of time and i want to get started so we have plenty of time to make this project as professional looking as possible. So far we havn't made much progress at all, and im getting worried.

Lydia Fabian January 22 at 12:01pm Reply
um.. guys.. does anyone feel that we're kind of fighting eachother about things.. i was just basically saying 'check out wht iv done tell me wt u think' cz i wanted your opinion.. i didnt mean for everyone to go off and change their ideas.also i'm under the impression that you and sam may think me and andi are being a bit gay about ideas, if as though we're taking control.. we don't want to take control as we want to be constructive as a group and your opinions count and are important. i first got this feeling when me n andi went off to rochester and you two stayed in class, which was the plan and then hayley wouldv liked us to stay.. which she wasn't very clear about.. as she said it was fine.please if there's any thing wrong or you're annoyed about just say. i don't think im the only one thinking like this..i want us to have a good time and just crack on .. also are you in on monday?xx

Matt Vadis January 22 at 12:14pm Reply
Okay read the thread. I agree with Andi we should stick to the idea, if another group is doing something similar then we'll have to dominate them with our righteous badassness. Also it's not finalized yet so, if we can get all our ideas ready for mon (maybe with some variations on the theme) so we can pick one and have the final concept ready for wednesday then i think we should be good to go with the maya. reckon?

Hayley Allen January 22 at 2:06pm
i said that about the first day coz all the other groups were together n got alot done n me n sam were like so..? we got alot done weds n had a clear idea n it now feels you are changing it when we arent around. im starting to do tutorials 4 animation and modelling at the same time, will try and get concept for mon altho i wanted mon to do them really.
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Lydia Fabian January 22 at 2:30pm Reply
shall we see what we can do over weekend and spend as long as we need on monday doing concepts? even if we just assign the modelling sections that are needed to one another then we can get on that. i think we'll be alright. just need to make a deadline chart thing cool with the getting on with tutorials.. found anything helpful? i've just been playing in photoshop with different textures and brushes for concept stuff.

Andi Bennett January 22 at 4:49pm Reply
well im glad thats sorted, i dont think we have changed anything, well not intentionally, its gunna be alright guys, we just need to pull together monday with the designs and work our asses off.

Hayley Allen January 25 at 10:44am
Hey guys sorry im nt in today, im going to scan in my concepts and add them to my blog in a sec so you can have a look. hope that was the kinda thing you wanted x x
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Andi Bennett January 25 at 10:49am Reply
thats cool hayley, we are all on our way in now, we will try and move towards the final concept, and incorporate ideas from everyones concepts.

Hayley Allen January 29 at 6:28pm
Hey guys i was just wondering who is modelling the tree? i was thinking rather than the orbs flying round it could they be hanging from the tree a bit like forbidden fruit? the character could pull 1 off the tree or something? x x
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Lydia Fabian January 29 at 6:40pm Reply
hey.. since me matt n sam spoke to jared about our project he said we needed more of a purpose.. i made a messy blog post on the team blog if you want to see ways of giving it purpose. any questions shout me.xx

Lydia Fabian January 29 at 6:41pm Reply
andi was meant to be doing tree.. and alex said it'd be asier to do a dead tree.. blaaahhh sam can fill you guys in

Hayley Allen January 29 at 6:49pm
Im jst asking about the orbs coz was guna start that 2night. the tree could still be dead with the orbs hanging from it. and what do you mean by purpose?x x
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Lydia Fabian January 29 at 8:23pm Reply
iv been trying to think of what i mean by purpose.. jared said we need a purpose.something educational - something linking us with a potential client - advertisement promotion of an existing castle.. we could get floor plans and stuff n half the works done for us. not just a little story we've made up to lead us around the environment.one thing jared did like was that we start with looking at a 2d picture of the castle.. (character holds it up) then when we pull it down we see the ruined castle.. that was andis idea.. nice way to get us into the story.. i was tlaking to sam about ..you know that map thats in harry potter which shows where a character is walkig about.. liek we could have a map of this place?i wrote in the blog.. soemthing about maybe our character has something of a symbol (necklace, item, tattoo) which links with the castle.. and starts a reaction.im just trying to think of more of a purpose to our film.pfff i dont know.

Lydia Fabian January 29 at 8:24pm Reply
*but do what you liek with the orbs.. need matt t talk to as he's doing the drawing.. id prefer them maybe sat on the tree or something.

Sam Mcguire January 29 at 9:12pm Reply
hey just thought I would input something i like the idea of doing it for a client in some kinda informative manner. when I mentioned to jared that I'm doing a talk at my bros school he said use them for research and if they have an awesome idea we can use it, and have a way of justifying it. also by purpose jared means a reasoning behind our work not just creating something for no reason. I know what me and Lydia are saying sounds like we have to change a fair bit but it's from jareds feedback that we are saying it
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Andi Bennett January 29 at 9:57pm Reply
im down with it... we just need to get going as soon as.i have a horrible feeling that if we don't finalise now we will fall behind. Meanwhile, im terribly confused as to what im supposed to be modeling as everyone has kinda moved off of their own bits and i know the tree n fountain may not happen now. so lemme know what im supposed to be modeling and ill get on with it.

Matt Vadis January 30 at 1:24pm Reply
I'm listening and will be thinking of ways to add narrative over the weekend. Sam if possible could you email Andi and Hayley what's been modelled so far, maybe they can get a rough idea of the shape it's taking. Also like Lydia said check out her team blog post to think more about purpose ideas and my picture of the layout; should give you a rough idea of the structure. Of course you can change the bits you don't like.We might have to change stuff, but i don't think that's important. Once we're clear about the narrative it'll all come together even if we do have less time cos it'll be a better idea, which is better than spending more time on a pants idea. Can't polish a turd.Also about the orbs, another idea was having them as glowing butterflies or fireflies but again, what they are depends on what the purpose of whole thing is so if you think of more ideas post em. I'm curious to hear what the kids have to say at Sam's thing, could give us what we need.

Lydia Fabian January 30 at 3:29pm Reply
im putting confidence in sams talk too. im sure once we've got an idea we will easily crack on :)should be tlkn like this on the blog u know..

Hayley Allen January 30 at 10:07pm
When is sams talk? What about the fountain being the fountain of youth, and the tree has part of its roots in the water so thats why its massive. The character could not be alone, s/he could having a dying friend in the boat, so they need the water to save them. if they are knights or something the one in the boat could have a stab wound in their side maybe? i dont know lol. and i think at the end of the project our chats could be copied to the blog. btw matt ive printed your concept i really liked it x x

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Sam Mcguire February 1 at 8:58am Reply
hey guys sorry but my talk has been delayed till next monday i dont know what you want to do but im still gunna do the talk also im gunna email what ive done so far out. so can i please have andi and hayleys email addresses.

Andi Bennett February 1 at 9:30am Reply
andrew.robert.bennett@googlemail.com

Hayley Allen February 1 at 10:31am
h.allen@rave.ac.uk
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Lydia Fabian February 1 at 10:43am Reply
check the team blog i put up something which might help to tell a story in a cool way. tell me what you think

Sam Mcguire February 1 at 10:58am Reply
ive done some bloggy stuff as well

Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:09am Reply
okay i read through the team blog, and i hate to be the party pooper here, but i think we are running out of time. The less time we have, the more dangerous it becomes to try anything ambitious. I love matts concept, and i think that will look stunning if we stick to it. As for a purpose, how about a little kid that turns up at the island with a picture of it in its glory days, he makes his way through the castle as discussed and maybe touches a statue or crypt of the lady in the lake and the whole place transforms into how it was in its glory days, we could even do some internal animation of rubble kinda rewinding back into place. i dunno just an idea.Ive looked at the models and they look pretty cool, are we all in on thursday or is anyone heading to barcelona?

Lydia Fabian February 1 at 11:14am Reply
like the idea of the kid and then the whole castle transforms into its glory. i don't know how to model my part for this entrance.. i need matts or anyone's help?

Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:14am Reply
what part are you doing?

Lydia Fabian February 1 at 11:17am Reply
the dock entrance part.. shall everyone just say what they're modelling again.. as things have changed a little.xxx

Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:20am Reply
well i'll take the archway stairs things, and whatever is decided for inside the castle, if its going to be a statue i think we should decide now as i really don't mind modeling a human, but its gunna take time.

Sam Mcguire February 1 at 11:32am Reply
i can give you a hand if you want lydia. i am modelling the castle structure i can also look at the animation of bricks falling of you want seeing as its to do with the structure even if i just research it

Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:33am Reply
yeah sounds good to me...it way be a case of filling in the holes modeled in the ruined model and animating them?

Hayley Allen February 1 at 11:36am
Im modelling the boat and additional items, maybe skeletons, wall hangings etc. i wondered if someone could make a logo or crest i could use as a texture on my models? i was using a tree but if its changing thats fine. erm also on my blog i drew a concept of a statue holding a glowing orb or light i dont know if you want to use it x
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Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:39am Reply
yeah i like that idea.

Matt Vadis February 1 at 11:43am Reply
okay so we're all sticking to the original plan. I'll be going Barcelona on thurs, so i'll make sure i put some images up on the blog maybe some mood pics, colour variations and stuff before i go. I'll be in on wednesday so we can finalize exactly what's gonna happen regarding the poxy narrative.Also i'd like to say you shouldn't feel like it has to be 2d characters in a 3d world cos that's what i'm interested in, see it more as an option that we have. I'm fine with doing it but if there's a better way of showing what we want to show then we should do that. I'll be staying online in case we need to talk about anything. Peace crackers

Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:46am Reply
haha crackers... it's true.sounds good matt, im still pretty stoked about the 2d character. I think it will have a really nice contrast against the environment. I just want to make sure we get a move on so we all have a comfortable time getting this done.

Matt Vadis February 1 at 11:47am Reply
oh yeah, Hayley whenever i try to watch your vids it says, the video is currently unavailable?

Andi Bennett February 1 at 11:47am Reply
same for me

Hayley Allen February 1 at 11:53am
Oh ok il have a look later see whats wrong. They are of water and a flag blowing
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Matt Vadis February 1 at 11:53am Reply
okay, i'm gonna Wiki lady in the lake

Matt Vadis February 1 at 1:56pm Reply
I was looking at the some of the myths of the lady in the lake, i didn't know much about it, but apparently she's the person/thing/spirit who gave king arthur his legendary blade excalibur, sorry if you knew that. The stories about it seem a bit vague and open to interpretation.If that's the case why don't we have the main character as king arthur, who's come to this island in search of the sword. As he arrives on the island we could have Andi's idea of the comparison of how it looked according to rumour (which is why he has travelled there) and it's actual ruined image.In pictures of the myth it often shows the lady of the lake presenting the sword to Arthur from the water like in the link. Why don't we have a similar image of that but instead of the lake it's presented from water in the fountain at the top of castle.Alternatively it might be quite cool (and if you don't want to deal with water effects) to have Hayley's statue idea, but of the lady, embedded in the epic tree holding the sword out for Arthur to take.As far as the castle's purpose is concerned, it doesn't look well fortified in the way that other castles are because it was never intended to fend off invaders, which explains why it looks more decorative - it's purpose is to house the legendary sword so it's not conventional in that sense and we can get away with our uncastle-like-castle.On his way up to the top arthur could see a load of references to the King arthur legend, i'm not sure exactly what they are but, we could do some research into it. I like the idea of using sound to lure the person around the grounds, calling him up to the sword. I remember Andi saying Lydia created some cool ghost like voices using some music software? That might be an idea.I realise these are all the things that you guys were all thinking about anyway, like sword in the stone and stuff i'm just trying to bring it together. It's a bit cheesy but solid and would be happy to do it.However i am still having trouble thinking of a potential client for the project - is it a level for a game, educational, maybe we're designing an area/ride for a theme park? Get back to me.Man i just wrote an essay. Sorry.


upload.wikimedia.org
upload.wikimedia.org


Andi Bennett February 1 at 2:01pm Reply
i like the idea... i like it alot, why are we thinking of potential clients?people don't make movies to please a client... they do it to entertain people, i think we should do it to tell this little king arthur extract.

Matt Vadis February 1 at 2:09pm Reply
I understand what your saying but if we're telling a story just for it's own sake (or, you know, just to pass a unit) then nobody is going to care. The best way to entertain people is to know our audience and have an idea what we want to say to them.

Sam Mcguire February 1 at 3:06pm Reply
how bout a client of say a museum but its to inform kids about englands most famous legend that way it doesn't have to be to serious we can also relate it to my talk thing next week. i like this direction as i originally wanted to use a myth anyway

Andi Bennett February 1 at 3:08pm Reply
sounds good to me.

Lydia Fabian February 1 at 4:15pm Reply
im with that.. that was a lot of reading i just did. cool so everyones happy doing this idea of showing a myth/legends of the past about king arthur? The audience would know this becuase of all the tell signs of the environement..maybe in the sky (like jason and the argonaughts) we have a blink of a face of him being watched.um. What did people think to the idea of illustrating little 2d scenes? maybe when king arthur is looking around the castle to get to the sword ?(btw love the idea of the lady being a statue holding out the sword)I'm feeling enthusiastic now because we're all talking about it and getting hyped which is awesome.im ready for some serious crack down onto this unit.I want to make something that looks pretty awesome,and sam yes totally right about making it liek a museum event to attract young audiences.i wasnt meaning to look for a client i just was trying to think up anything for a purpose as to why this environemtn exists and whats it all about..we have our story now..i like itmakes more sense than the tree and orbs.. though that was pretty cool.i checked out castles on my blog..if we're not fortified then we are like the Tudors who built coastal castle's more for intimidation against invaders but more so for comfort and wealth. Should this statue be the centre of the castle ruin.. or maybe as the environment is a ruin.. she's sort of tucked away where our character looks for her.or not lolGood work today though guys.. everyone has put up what they're thinking.I'm fine with the modelling of the dock area just haven't got any designs for it.. so i guess i'll crack on with looking to existing stuff.. if you guys see anything throw it my way through the blog

Lydia Fabian February 1 at 4:21pm Reply
actually. from the drawing mat did.. i'm not thinking to include a little room. there's no purpose? unless any one can think of one.. how about just the stone plinths coming from the water (where the wooden dock platforms would've been) and then the stone steps winding up through the cliff edge (like a cave feel) then we start going up from there on the drawing.?

Hayley Allen February 1 at 4:22pm
Im happy with this, it kinda feels like we have come full circle, as we said about that before. i thought drawn sections would be good from the point of view of arthur, as if he stil sees it in 2d, altho i dont wana give matt too much or if he would want help i will. shall i use a symbol of a sword on the flags etc? oh and ive modelled a basic sword, i can fancy it up tho to make it the one the statue is holding? x
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Andi Bennett February 1 at 4:29pm Reply
go team GO!everything sounds wonderful... im a little confused with the 2d scene idea...but im sure you'll explain at some point!sword sounds lovely hayley can't wait to see it!

Andi Bennett February 1 at 4:31pm Reply
how about instead of a fountain, maybe a little pond or something. quite liking this image.https://www.brent.gov.uk/icimres.nsf/images/img-356/$file/8%20lady%20in%20the%20lake.jpg


www.brent.gov.uk
www.brent.gov.uk


Matt Vadis February 1 at 5:10pm Reply
Sam, yeah i like the whole educate the kids about the myth in a museum thing too.Cool Hayley make the sword the stuff of legendLydia maybe we should get rid of the bit at the bottom. If we do we should make sure that there's something at the bottom that introduces us to the place, so it sort of hints at what's to come and establishes where we are.Andi yeah the fountain ideas are all yours, whatever your comfortable with modelling. If your going to put a statue in it it make sure it doesn't clash with the statue holding the sword if that's what we're doing.And I'll work on some overdue concept work.Sounds like we're all on the same page now and we can sort out the details on Wed so if you'll excuse me i'm gonna go froth at the mouth from brain damage.

Hayley Allen February 1 at 5:45pm
Could we start with a storybook and the pictures come to life? a bit like they did in the old disney films and shrek? or would that be too obvious x
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Lydia Fabian February 1 at 6:09pm Reply
like the ice age link i posted?matt i was thinking of some stuff thats just easthetically pleasing :) .. so now i shall get on with thinking of how to introduce us to this place.. to set the scene a little.. even though thats already done with this little 2d intro idea if we go there

Lydia Fabian February 1 at 6:10pm Reply
oh so are we all wanting to go in weds? how about thurs for the rest of us? or do we just need the one day?im thinking of what ticket i can get home you see :)xx

Matt Vadis February 1 at 6:25pm Reply
Lydia yeah as long as it looks nice then we should be okay, don't worry about thinking of how to introduce the place, cos you're right that's what the 2d intro is for.What I was getting at was so that it's not just a path all the way to the top we should have something at the dock to spice up the boats entrance into the place. So the first thing you see are not stairs followed by more stairs. I don't know what to put there but you know what i mean right? or not. I need to think about it.

Lydia Fabian February 1 at 7:33pm Reply
yes i need to think about it too..again.. is the group only meeting weds?

Sam Mcguire February 1 at 7:42pm Reply
im in weds, thurs and are we in fri??

Hayley Allen February 1 at 7:50pm
Ill be in thurs as well as weds, n sam no we arent x x
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Lydia Fabian February 1 at 9:12pm Reply
yes we have no lessons friday. *self directed study*

Lydia Fabian February 2 at 1:59pm Reply
check the blog

Matt Vadis February 2 at 2:33pm Reply
That panoramic thing in the link is awesome, like a better version of of google street view and a really good reference for us. Nice one for sending them the email by the wayPersonally my vote would be to carry on with the lady in the lake idea as we seem to be making progress with it now, but i shall follow the majority.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Formative Reflections

I believe our Formative Assessment was very successful and we feel as though we are coming together as a team.

Personally, I am doing better than I thought I was, yet I need to focus a little more on my blog and updating it with my own thoughts and the key features I pick out from my reference material. I also have some images that need to be scanned (concepts and my research) that I will add at a later date.

I am happy with how my modelling is going, although I feel I have become more of a modeller and texturer during the project, which is not really what I want to do in the future (even though I have enjoyed it).

I will now push on with the fire and water and make sure they look ready for us all to render and composite the piece together.

Modelling Update: Boat

The boat has gone some big changes since my last posts.

I started by looking at the lamp or torch that would be at the front of it, so I started modelling a candle as seen below. I did however decide against it in the end as I was having trouble following the tutorial about the flame, and I also feel that it wouldve been unnecessary detail that would not have been shown up enough in the final renders. Furthermore, it probably would not have given off enough light in the opening sequence where the boat is still in the ocean and that is the only light source.
So... I went on to modelling a lamp using curves and revolve. The light is emitted from a layered shader and is quite bright so that it will be easily seen and light up the boat and the surrounding environment. I used a shader to colour it to give it a worn look as though it has a history or that Arthur has been on a journey to get to this point.
Next to the finished lamp are the initial shaoes I used without texture and also the image plane I used as inspiration.

One major problem that I had for a while was the texturing of the boat. I tried so many different images of wood, wood shaders etc but could not find the one that looked in the right style or suited the boat for quite some time.



I finally found this image on the internet as tried it on my boat. It was very successful so I took it into Photoshop (the second image down) and used the Palette Knife (I believe) to make it look more akin to the Star Wars Clone Wars style.





The shape of the boat has also changed. It now looks closer to my original concept and I much prefer it this way. It no longer looks just like I cut a sphere in half on Maya and looks more like a boat. I also curved the front of the boat over so that I could hang my lamp from it.
Here are the final boat images:



Experimenting with Water





One of my main tasks was to look into the water effects around the Island. I tried lots of different shaders and textures (for example photographs of ocean as a blinn and reducing the transparency), but I found that the Ocean shader in Maya looked the best. My only problem with it is the reflectivity at the moment so I shall have to experiement more.

When I imported the water into the Castle file I found that it jumps for no apparent reason:


Water Environment from Hayley Allen on Vimeo.



So I started again in the same file and found that it did not do it this time. I have not made the water move much as we decided it is going to be a reasonably calm moonlit night, so rough seas would not work. I will make my boat move slightly in the water but not too much as it will not match its surroundings.

However, when I zoomed into Lydia's section the water looks more blocky. I don't know if the team wants it kept this way or if not I will make another plane for the inside so that detail is not lost. This should be easy to achieve quickly and will give us alternatives of what looks best.

Water inside from Hayley Allen on Vimeo.

Fire Trail Breakthrough

video


I could not find any tutorials about creating a flame trail across so I had a bit of a play on Maya and this is my first breakthrough. Obviously the intensity of the flame can be changed when in the environment, but I feel confident that I can make it work when Sam and Andi have finished their modelling of the central room. :)








Update:


Ok, so after receiving the overall environment I have worked on adding the fire to it. I did this by basically creating a cube, extruding it over and over and then using Dynamics to create the fir emitter. This is still in development, obviously the extruded parts will be hidden on a different layer so that only the fire will be seen. I can model some kind of trough for the fire or leave it plain depending what the group would like. Also it gives some idea of the light given from the flam, I can make them more intense in order for a brighter light if necessary, or even if you would just like the flame to be higher.





The video below shows the movement of the flame going around the water. This can be faster and slower, but I did not want to make it too fast so that it does not look unnatural and also so that we can get a decent couple of shots of it moving round the room and Arthur reacting to it.Hope this ok guys and what you wanted :)





Fire Test 001 CVA Environment from Hayley Allen on Vimeo.

British Museum

This first image is not Medieval, yet I liked the way that the statue was standing at the top of the stairs, I thought we could use it as a camera shot as she is quite foreboding here and you have no choice but to walk up to her. Afew wall hangings telling stories. These are aimed at Lydia who may like them to tell the story of King Arthur using their style.


This piece is the King's Pavement. I liked the circular design of the earthware and thought it would be good to surround the statue at the top of the castle.



These wall hangings were of particular interest as parts of the images are missing. Lydia wanted to achieve this effect as if we are going to fill in the gaps. It also shows that it can be done using tiles or stone bricks rather than using Maya cloth.











These images are possible textures that I can use for stone items in the environment. There has been talk of creating tombs around the central fountain, this could be ideal for that (obviously if I import them into Photoshop and do a bit of editing).












The next two images show different pots. The first is early Medieval yet the second is from a much later period. I thought the oversized pot could be lit by Arthur when it is placed in the centre of the dock area. Obviously the fire will flow from it so there would be channels attached, yet the examples show how grand it could look and the type of colours we could use to texture it.







Again this statue is not from the Medieval period, yet I liked the feminity of the character and thought she could be used for the Lady of the Lake. Her arm to one side could be where the sword it drawn from, and she looks very protective so it would suit the treasure she is holding.




I took this photograph to show a possible camera shot of the audience and Arthur looking up at the statue. This perceives her to have a high place and makes her look powerful.



Again another Medieval statue. I really liked the lighting in this one and the way that the shadow falls against the wall. Again she looks powerful and the robes once again cast interesting shadow.









The shield could be another way of telling the Arthur story, or he could pick one up to protect himself from the unknown dangers that may be waiting for him...
Again I like the intricateness of the piece and also the gold colours. I think I will use gold throughout my sword design and also maybe on the tombs to show that they were also of a high rank.



Finally, this kind of ties in with our original idea of the fountain, yet I thought this could be an interesting plynth for the Lady of the Lake statue to stand on. Arthur will have to negotiate this aswell to reach his goal so does he jump across it? Does he stand in the water? Or neither?