I Love trees!

So it has come to my attention that I love trees, well not just trees but natural forms. They just look so damn cool. All the grooves and marks and interesting shading. With all of those put together it makes a really interesting texture. It is something that I find fascinating.

These are some sketches that I did at Bradgate Park, I really enjoyed using a fine liner. My cross hatching skills have actually gotten alot better and I am now so comfortable and confident with just using it straight onto paper. (As before I used to sketch in pencil and then use pen over the top)
I want to be able to do this within a landscape. Landscape scare the hell out of me, everything just looks wrong when I attempt one. But these have in a way given me a slight ego boost, they look good!
Maybe this is something to think about for a career...such as environments.

I have had this sudden passion for HGV, lorries. As I drive on the motor-way regularly, well everyday. I seem to get stuck behind a damn lorry and being so close to them it has made me look at them more, (yes I do still concentrate on driving) They are so damn cool! They are big and hefty in order to pull the heavy loads. They are just way cooler than these puny little cars that we all drive. It has made me think of a self directed project for myself over the Christmas holidays.
It would be perfect for me to continue with 3ds max over the holiday period as I didn't do anything last year and I want to keep busy and on top of things. Maybe just creating a Lorry front and a driver. It is weird how the lorry and the driver have a sort of similar style, they look the same in an odd way.

OW that wall is hard!

I've bloody hit that wall face on and I need help, maybe a hammer and chisel. (Please?) I have heard about this, about how there is this imaginary wall that people just can't get past. I really didn't think it would happen but it has. It is worse because I feel like I have lost my passion and creativity for the course, I WANT IT BACK! I think it is because I am behind in my work on practically anything. I wish I could just have a week off from uni and hibernate at my house and become a hermit and finish off all the unfinished work I have.
How do you get out of this?
I want a mind like a child again and be carefree! Everything is so much simpler that way, creation is simpler. I mean, if you drew a 6 legged horse with a whales tail and your brothers head, your mum would just say 'wow honey that's amazing' and stick it on the fridge. See it's just simple. Now I have limits and rules and briefs. My teacher says that your brief is your friend, but my brain is pushing me outside the box. * I am not a third year, I am not aloud this freedom of creativity yet!
Deadlines, deadlines, DEADLINES! It is just another brick to that wall, well about 3 layers of bricks. Deadline. The word itself sounds to be broken, damn my lazy and unproductive mind!!

This week's stuff... Composition (Task 15)

So this weeks lecture was about composition; What is composition? Well it is basically putting things together, a formation or construction. Just arranging chaotic elements into a pleasing and meaningful asset.
Composition is all to do with; line, shape, colour, texture, form, value and space.

Here is some of my own photography work, which is probably one of the few pieces of work I am actually proud of. Well I just love these. 

So I took these with a film camera. I miss taking proper photographs and having to develop the negatives and the photographs yourself. It is so much better than digital. You learn to understand photography and how everything is put together. The first image is just a simple black and white print. The black and white makes the atmosphere of the image seem more creepy. The sepia tone images is the same but it has a different atmosphere. I like how just one simple adjustment to the same picture can just change the viewers thought.

The somewhat idea of feedback and assessment has kinda been cleared up in my mind after mikes urm interesting presentation. In a way mike said; if you do everything that is asked then you pass but if you do more you will gain ninja-ness! It is all about becoming the ninja. 

Watch this!!

Ok so over the summer I watched a fair few films, but the film that I found full on amazing was this;

This film to me was amazing. Just because a film is in another language does not me you should just walk on by and find the latest comedy or what ever film you like. Go on and pick it up! Try something new!

For me this just made me purely believe in trolls. The entire film is a documentary like Cloverfield, but it has humour and reality. Like it really was a group of kids with their camera stalking some old man who believed in trolls. The whole aspect of the film is just brilliant, it for me, brings back that child-like element of fairy tales and believing in fictional creatures.
Starting to remember back on films I have watched, which is alot. I have realised I actually love films with subtitles. I mean they are different and they just seem a hell of alot better than english/american films. But this film is probably my favourite subtitled films.

The unknown Meercat...

So basically we were told to read this 'small' essay. Yeah right it was not small, well for me it was huge. We were asked to come up with 5 rules for creating a concept piece from reading this online essay. So these are some of the main thoughts or rules I found obvious for a concept piece;

  1. Reference; No matter what anybody creates or even says, everyone has to reference or use references to create something. You are using those images to generate ideas. It would be very unlikely that you just come up with this master piece from the top of your head. (yeah yeah, it looks amazing in our head but when we put it to paper it looks awful!)
  2. Time management; This is probably one of my main problems. I can never keep this at all, I always say I'll do this now but then it's two days before the deadline and I'm starting it then. So, if you start to loose time, you start to panic and stress. These reflect on the end product and people can tell. When you look back at it, you the artist can see that it is crap and that you could've done so much better, if only you had listened to yourself in the first place and started it with all the time ahead of you.
  3. Plan; Break everything down for yourself, yeah it might take that little extra time but you are making it a hell of alot easier for yourself. I mean food is easier to consume if you cut it up rather than stuffing it all in your mouth like that five year old you were and your mum yelling at you to take small bites. Everything is just easier if it is smaller.
  4. Reflect; Ok so your piece is looking good but there is that little something that isn't quite right, but you can't at all put your paintbrush on it. Stop! Take a break,(aha a kitkat) walk away from it and come back later, or it will haunt you and everything will start to look wrong. Coming back to after a while gives your brain like a re-boot for a computer. You might notice things differently. Also another way to find things is to rotate the image, move it about abit. 
  5. Briefing; If there isn't a brief then you are lost. I mean you can't exactly make something for the hell of it. You need to ask what the client wants, what sort of atmosphere do they want, ideas, colours. Just ask questions and keep asking until you have everything and anything that you need to create this masterpiece.
These are just little key thoughts I had through one of my lectures, which I will definitely be taking into account during my second and third year of university;

Nothing is ever finished. Well not to the artist anyway. Even if it doesn't look finished just leave the damn thing alone or you might ruin it for good. I have been known to do this in the past and it is an absolute heartbreak when you over work something.
Next. For God sake, leave the digital stuff alone! You still haven't fully got all the pencil and paper stuff down yet, you don't need to add more stress by thinking you are amazing at digital stuff when clearly you really aren't. If you suck with pencil and paper then you are clearly gobsh*te with the digital stuff. (it just isn't for everyone)
Another thing to do with breaking stuff down. Break everything down to shapes for basic sculpting. Like I said before, everything is easier and easier for you if you break it up. That is just how the world works. Well my crazy world of my own. 

New start, in some sort of way...

So... Yeah well that is the sort of thing that is running through my mind right about now. Start of a new year tomorrow, 2nd year of university. In alot of ways I am great full. I have been kinda going a little insane over the silly amount of time we have all had off, but the thought of going back into a routine is I guess, reassuring (is that even the right word?), yeah it sound's like I'm a little OCD but it's comforting. Getting up in the morning and knowing you have stuff to do during the day, stuff that makes you think and pushes you. Well that's what I'm hoping for this year, I really want to push myself alot this year. As of last year, well I can be honest and say I really didn't try and knowing that has made me stupidly stressed.At the beginning of the summer I had a feeling, like a panic or feeling like a small child being scared by a monster feeling. It just really wasn't very nice.

But this year, IS going to be a good year. Everything is looking up and I can see it staying that way for a long time. Ha sounds really lame but I'm looking at this new wall with a positive attitude and that isn't going to change.

During the summer I have been drawing, just drawing and scribbling anything and everything I can see. I also managed to keep my camera on me a fair deal of the time and have taken some interesting pictures. Especially on my holiday in Portugal. Everywhere you looked there were broken and damaged buildings. Yes it was a holiday but every-time I looked at things my mind was split between thinking about how good that thing could be a texture or telling me to relax and deal with that after. But no, everything is starting to be looked at differently. It is pretty cool that my mind is doing this on it's own but it is really getting annoying, yes I suppose in a good way.

First day back and I am hoping it will be good, hopefully get set work and just get straight into it. I can't really believe how excited I am about it, but maybe that's my nervous conscience thinking that I should of done even more work over the summer and I have been lazy, but who is to blame but myself. Nothing I can do about it now but to just think about everything I will and hopefully push myself to do with the upcoming year.

The Avengers

Must go and see this! I have seen it twice in the opening week and I am just... WOW! Yeah my sort of film, I adore the whole superhero's saving the world thing. For people who are going to go and see this I would recommend seeing; Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor, Captain America and maybe Hulk. Even if you haven't seen any of those films it doesn't really matter as it is easy to follow along.
My new favourite film. For an action packed film it is very unique. For one thing there is alot of subtle humour, not so much to make it a comedy, but I found that the amount of humour made the film more realistic. For me personally I would give it a 10/10 but in the real world I would give it a 8.5/10

A swear word could go here...

Hunting for lost files on your computer is an absolute nightmare, it's like looking for a needle in a hay stack, and with my organisation (which there isn't any), it is practically impossible. After going through 3 usb sticks over the time of just 2 semesters, I'm starting to think computers do not like me.
At this very moment, looking through my nice and neat folders of work, ready to be put on CD, I keep thinking I could have done so much more. Either I have done very little or I am very picky with what I want to do. I really should just do what I first think and told instead of leaving everything to the last minute and having a minor break-down and screaming at my cranky computer.

Looking back over this first year of Uni...It is nothing to what people say it is. Just before I started uni my parents told me its one of the best parts of life and it is so much fun blah blah blah, but in reality it is hard work and you end up with no life because of all the deadlines you have. OK it might be because this course is very over whelming and there IS alot of work. But I have fell in love with the course. At first it was like 'what the hell am I doing here?' and you think that everyone around knows exactly what they are doing, but after settling down and making friends, everyone had the near enough the exact same feeling. I have learnt so much through the short time that has been my first year. (It has gone too fast) I have learnt alot more than I have actually realised; Learning 3ds max from scratch and holding onto the basics, being aware with what a graphics tablet is and how easy they are to actually use and learning through my own time how to work around Photoshop.
3ds max is a completely new world to me and I am grateful that it has been shown to me. Yeah it's bloody scary but once you start to wrestle with it and tell who is boss, it starts to come together. It still gets me completely mind-boggled and wound up into a hissy fit when something doesn't seem to work that did work 3 minutes ago, but that's the program. Someone said it was made by a programmer, and that they will never use it so they didn't think about the people who would have to use it.
The enjoyment of drawing is something that I can just relax into, but when it's sat outside in the freezing cold or rain and with a drippy nose running down onto your work, is just cruel. (thanks Chris) I have done so much life drawing and I think this is one of my favourite parts to the course. Learning One-point and two-point perspective made my brain a little confused as you start to see imaginary lines that you hadn't noticed before. But it all helps in the end as everything lines up with each other to create the final picture.
I want to carry on. I am looking forward to the start of next year, where after, I confess a very lazy start of the first year, through the second year I can prove to myself that I have the motivation, talent and organisation  to create amazing and creative work. (That sounds so big headed, sorry)


Quite frankly I need to set myself some targets for the up coming year. (hopefully I am in the 2nd year, just a bit of panic there.) It's never too late to set yourself anything even if it is mid April. I Didn't realise how lazy I actually am and also very unorganised. Yes I am picking faults with myself, so targets are needed;

  • Laziness; It's not an option. Keep busy and push through things, add the extra piece of work. Not because it will maybe get you that little bit of an extra mark but because you WANT too. You are working towards something you really want to do and are passionate about...So pull your socks up!
  • Time Management; Well that is something that no one is good at. Do the work when it is set, not the day before, it stresses me out beyond what a stress ball can handle. It's really not worth it and your work just seems crap when it is rushed and not thought about.
  • Enjoy; Enjoy the work you are set, it's meant to be fun! It's something you enjoy but when it is something that you should be doing it does feel abit tedious, but make it enjoyable and think outside the box. There are no right and wrong answers...are there?
In some ways I am sick and tired of seeing digital art. Yeah it can be good but by looking at everyone's, it all looks the same. (of course no offence intended) It is like everyone has forgotten what they drew with and that there is this new gadget that every has to try. It is boring. Also I haven't really picked up the skills of Photoshop and to be honest it is embarrassing. I went with the traditional media's. Good old water colours, fine liner, pencil and then Photoshop to slightly neaten the rough patches. 

Who follows 'Rules'?

Take into consideration through the rules of my own...

-Reference; use what ever you can get your hands on. We have the beauty of the internet but primary sources are the best. Take pictures!

-Thumbnails; draw anything and everything, even if you don't have any paper on you, use that tissue or a receipt that's in your pocket. Quick sketches, it doesn't have to be a master piece, just a few lines to get the main frame and idea down. Fiddle around with the rest later.

-See with your senses; Make it believable, think about how something feels, smells, looks like. Try to capture all that is there. Yeah I find this hard but sometimes it gives you more than what you are just looking for.

-Over do it, you know you want to. Explore and express yourself, give something of you into what you are creating. Don't be scared, you are the controller, imagination is meant to be well imaginative.

-Mood; Create the mood of the area, make sure that the audience knows what you are trying to achieve.

-Atmosphere; I guess that comes under the same point as the mood. Make sure it is visible and understanding.

-Story telling; You are there to tell a story, to show the story through visual evidence. Setting the scene, helping the audience to understand.

-Colour; colour themes, different colours and lighting have different effects of things. Colours help to set the moods, lighting helps to show the genre. Darkness for unsafe and scary things, light for happiness and rainbows and bunny rabbits.

-Believable; why is reality, reality? Anything can be believable. You have to show and make it so. Express and create what isn't real. It is believable if you make it so. It doesn't have to be understood.

Getting along

Gladiator is coming along, having minor troubles with the actual program and my computer. For some strange reason its not letting me add an image onto another plane so I can start modelling the hands, as separate objects. Its taken me longer than I thought to model the head and facial features, my idea of time management is completely wrong and I hate myself for it.
Looking forward to life drawing again (as I always do), but its a bit weird as we are going to be learning portraits. I have never done portraits before but even as I try to draw faces I just can't, they always turn out like some sort of growth instead of an actual human being. The life drawing lesson this week was one of the most enjoyable lessons I had so far. Using chalk pastels and other media's we had, I had water soluble drawing pencils. A few of my sketches came out really well. I've noticed that my understanding of the human anatomy has improved greatly since Christmas. Its great looking back over work and comparing the differences between them all.

 I'm glad I chose blue, for some reason I work well in blue, even though it gives the model a cold look and feel. Trying to understand fore-shortening was very difficult when I first attempted it. Looking at the model and seeing it looked perfectly fine, but putting it down on paper, its like 'what the hell?' But as I've been told it all gets easier over time and practise. The two worst things in the world.
Amongst other things, uni seems to be more relaxed and calm at the moment, yes the work is still there and piling up quickly but everyone seems easygoing and not so stressed, its a very good vibe to be feeling. Although friends have been getting letters from uni about game production, like a warning or something. I haven't got one yet and hopefully I wont but seriously its scary thinking that we have about 6-7weeks left until Easter and that means our final assessments. Its gone so fast and TOO fast in some cases. Wow I'm not a noob anymore and proud, even though alot of the time some of the time I do feel like I'm lacking, like things don't quite add up and there you are sitting in class and everyone around you seems to understand but you.

Seeing things differently

I have recently started playing World of Warcraft again (yeah yeah I know, but I like wow, different people like different games). But anyways, as I was standing there in the game, I started to analyse my surroundings. Noticing how to create elements on 3DS max and also realising that the textures are all tillable textures. Game production has ruined my experience of games. I'm constantly picking things out and seeing faults such as the texture seems and how things don't match up.
I guess it shows i'm learning without realising and i'm happy about that, but one of my favourite games and im criticising it, it is kinda amusing though.
I've also noticed that within WoW there isn't any specular or bump maps within the environment. But there are noticeable specular maps on characters, such as; Armour, weapons, equipment and also companions such as elemental's. 

Sucker Punch review PEW PEW!

Ok, I really really really wanted to see this at the cinema when it first came out but I missed my chance. But that's what DVD's are for, so I can watch it when ever I want.
Sucker Punch is all about this cute blonde girl called baby doll. Yeah kind of a weird name but all the characters have weird names as its a weird film full of weirdness and strangeness.

A young girl (Baby Doll) is locked away in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather where she will undergo a lobotomy in five days' time. Faced with unimaginable odds, she retreats to a fantastical world in her imagination where she and four other female inmates at the asylum, plot to escape the facility. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Baby Doll and her four companions, as well as a mysterious guide, fight to retrieve the five items they need that will allow them to break free from their captors before it's too late...

The difference between reality and imagination is in some what obvious. When she goes into the asylum that's reality but then it flips to a imagination. The imagination of this young girl is fun and unnatural. Dancing her way through battles and obstacles (yes really). Well there is more to it but I don't want to give it away.
The graphics and concepts are beautiful and are very well done. To help show between reality and imagination the colour pallets differ. 

For this film I would rate it 7/10 

What is games design?

Thinking of something simple like an object, such as a pencil sharpener. Someone has to design that little thing that has one simple use...to sharpen a pencil. It might sound so simple but if you look closer, at each piece and angle, there has been some thought and idea. The groves on the side to help you keep hold of it whilst you turn the pencil against the blade. The blade as been cut at a certain angle to help sharpen the pencil without any difficulty. Yeah ok a little off topic but its just like a game. Someone or in most cases a group of people have put forward hundreds of ideas and designs to make a single game. Game design is about what makes the game itself. What makes it different from other games such as; the content, the background and the process of the game.

Hard to explain what specifically game design is. In my views its the aims and objects that help set down what the design is. take for example Space Invaders. Everyone has played space invaders, such a simple and original game. To be honest does anyone actually need to be taught how to play it...no. You just stick someone infront of the screen and they instantly know how to play it. The aim of the game is to shoot down all the little invaders without getting hit and before the time limit runs out.

Every game has the same basic quality as space invaders. Every game has aims and objectives to complete, otherwise what would be the point of the game, it wouldn't be a game.
Another part that helps to explain game design could be the environment, the colour, the realism. Making something realistic helps the character to believe in what they are doing. Games are not like space invaders anymore. Games have evolved so much that some people become part of the game, such as online role playing. Not so much the game being realistic as such but it has to be believable.

Life drawing...

Falling in love with life drawing, thins week we used simple black drawing ink. This was fun because if you went wrong you couldn't rub out the marks. I've never used ink before and it was nice to be able to use something new for a change. Receiving a compliment from Jack was funny because he thought I had used the media alot before, until I told him I hadn't, I must be doing something right then.

I produced a fair few sketches throughout the class, but I seemed to have picked up this style. I'm not happy about it, it reminds me of some sort of fashion sketches, they are too neat and tidy, i hate being so OCD about sketches and drawings. I want to print these out and work into them some more with traditional media's such as oil pastels and water colours. (how i've missed those)
The week before in class we also did something new. Unfortunately it was charcoal and it gets everywhere, especially to my horror we had to cover and entire A2 sheet of paper in it. *cringe* it was everywhere. Once away from the mess and looking and a grey page we had to use a rubber to sketch in the highlights of the body and charcoal for the darker tones. It was interesting as the grey of the page was the mid-tone and the highlights and shadows of the charcoal and rubber.
I am actually very proud of these, I need to work alot faster within the time limit. 15minutes for each sketch.


Within Game production we are given a new brief in which to to complete in 4 weeks, well that's what seems to be happening on the last 3 projects.
So i've just handed in my latest project; A Ford Transit Van... Yes slightly boring. Why did it have to be a Ford transit, supposable the most common van around, but when you actually need to find one its like playing hide and seek. Its the sort of traditional white van man that would cut you up on the road and you would end up being a grumpy mug the rest of the journey because of that one stupid... But anyway, it was pretty annoying walking around the streets trying to find one. Let alone finding one, I had to be able to take pictures of all angles to make it easier for further reference. Luckily the university has a fair few of these vans all over the campus.
Looking very suspicious I was there taking pictures of this van and of course a security guard comes over and starts yelling and asking what I was doing. Surly being a university you would expect students to be doing interesting things like this, its not as if I was going to give the van a ticket.
Completing the van felt like a weight off my shoulders, even if I do feel it wasn't the best and I could have done so much more and better. (self note, start doing projects when they are given to me)
Im noticing that im doing things within that  horrid program 3DS max, on my own, without thinking and just doing. I am becoming more confident and relaxed with it, ok maybe not so much relaxed, it makes me have a fit if something tiny goes wrong.
But having learnt the basics and how verts and polys and edges work, its alot easier to model and to enjoy the class.

Self thoughts

Tuesdays are beginning to become my favourite day, a full day of drawing, its great being kept busy. Oh how I have missed life drawing. Life drawing class started last week but this week we had an actual model. 
I had forgotten how relaxing it was to just sit and draw someone, even with a time limit and the complete concentration but it seems to help me focus. A3 size paper is not the best size for life drawing, need to go larger and express more. 
Been given a character concept project to do, the starter word is 'reef'. But we have to keep the character humanoid, ok so that has its limits but makes you think. Getting started on this has been more interesting than other projects so far, we actually get to create what we want (yay) and once we have the basic of our character and a final render its time to sculpture. 
Its really weird, we are no longer freshers anymore, well not really. The uni is now interviewing the next lot of students for the course, its amazing how fast this year has gone and to think we are past half of the first year. I'm really enjoying it and my time here even if the work load is full on, but it makes you realise how much work you can or should be doing in that space of time. Note to self: need to buckle down more.
Ok so today I had Game Production and we are continuing to model a ford transit van. They are so boring, I don't know how my lecturer can stand looking at 40 odd vans. But, ok I'm going to slightly rant here, we haven't had any tutorials on how to even go about making it, it would be nice to see how she would make a quick mock up of it. Anyway, I'm finding it ok, decided to go with strip modelling instead of a box modelling. Might take slightly longer but I am finding it a better way to model. 

Visual Design and we have moved onto life drawing, something I have missed and what to do, and its inside (yay!). Last week we learnt blind drawing, something I have done before and I find it really useful, its so much more free and easy to work with instead of intense drawing. Only slight problem, I need to work faster in everything, and just be more open to ideas and concepts, I'm too OCD and I think it shows in my work, I hate it. 
Yeah self portraits without looking at the paper and a time limit of 1 minute. Its fun and relaxing and you get the basic shapes, will be good to paint over and manipulate later. 


Amongst a new camera for Christmas, I received two very, well I think amazing books;
The Art of Alice, Madness Returns.

The art and the concepts within this book are beautiful. Every page makes me want to learn more within the game world and become more fluent with my drawings and ideas. The thing is, everything on each page is either weird and wonderful or strange and mind boggerling. Its pretty cool how the story of Alice in Wonderland has been twisted and turned into something of the opposite.

The other book that I got was Spectrum 18; The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. The book is completely filled with different types of artwork, its nice to see alot of traditional work from drawings, to water colour, to oils. I miss that, being able to just pick up a paint tube and splat it across a white page. But back to the book, it seems that every artist has their own style and its unique to them, but it shows feeling and emotions across the work, and aslong as that is there, the work comes alive and the audience can understand it.