Monday, 8 March 2010

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.

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