Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Monday, 28 September 2015

Personal Work - ZBrush Sketch WIP

I started this a little while ago and she still needs a lot of work and smoothing out, but here is how she is looking so far. It's quite a dense model now, so I thought I would show how it started off as a comparison. Hopefully I will find time to carry on with this, although I think the projects will most likely keep me very busy.

Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 6

Quite a lot of tidying is required, but he is now the proud owner of a nose! It is crazy the amount of times you have to adjust the mesh to work with each addition, however it does make complete sense.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Narrative - Kung Fu Panda Review - The Hero's Journey

Fig. 1. Kung Fu Panda poster. 

Kung Fu Panda (2008) directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson tells the story of a lazy, kung fu enthusiastic panda named Po who despite being overweight and utterly useless at kung fu finds himself chosen as the Dragon Warrior who is meant to bring peace to the valley.

The beginning of the movie shows Po dreaming about a life in which he is a respected martial arts champion; his dream is quickly interrupted as he is woken up to help his father in the noodle shop. This scene illustrates Po’s dull life to the viewer, he thirsts for a more fulfilling life however he is stuck serving noodle soup to customers.

It is possible that Kung Fu Panda follows Joseph Campbell’s ‘the hero’s journey’ structure, the movie is set up in act one to show Po’s boring normal life and his desire for more. The first stage, the call to adventure is expressed by a poster that explains that it is the day Master Oogway will choose the Dragon Warrior. This causes Po to leave his normal life and head to the ceremony. The refusal of call is expressed as more of an obstacle; Po arrives late so the doors are shut on him, stopping him from being able to get inside. The supernatural aid or meeting the mentor could have two possible branches, for one it could be Master Oogway, as he is the one who chooses Po to be the Dragon Warrior. On the other hand it could be seen as Master Shifu as he is the one who will ultimately train Po.

Fig. 2. The training still.

It could be interpreted that crossing the threshold is Po being brought into the world of martial art experts, perhaps it is his first steps in the sacred hall in which he meets Master Shifu or more likely it is his first look at the training hall. This brings us into act two which leaves Po in the belly of the whale, he is now in a new world filled with characters that are gifted at kung fu and is made to train in front of them as shown in figure 2. This is an uncomfortable situation for our hero who fails miserably; this could potentially be the road of trials as the training exposes Po’s weakness at martial arts. The next stage is meeting the goddess, in this case it could be seen as the furious five as they end up boosting Po’s morale as he has always idolised them, even though they are relatively distant to him. Po’s temptation is food; it is what he uses to escape from the difficult world he is in, this is shown when he eats because he is sad. Although this also becomes his strength as Master Shifu discovers later that he can train Po by using food. Following temptation is atonement with the farther, this happens when Master Shifu accepts Po as the Dragon Warrior and takes on the challenge of training him. It could be that the moment of apotheosis is when Master Shifu is visually put on a pedestal and exclaims he will make Po into the Dragon Warrior. However it also can potentially be expressed in the scene, in which Po beats Master Shifu in training and gets the last dumpling, he refuses to eat the dumpling and the whole scene shows a huge transformation in Po. The ultimate boon is evidentially Po becoming the Dragon Warrior and learning kung fu. Following this is the refusal of return, this is when Po refuses to evacuate the village with his father and go back to his normal life, instead he chooses to go back to help Master Shifu fight Tai Lung.

Fig. 3. Beating Tai Lung still.

Act three is the stage for the magic flight; this is when Po fights Tai Lung to save Master Shifu and the valley. During the battle Po is knocked to the ground by Tai Lung and momentarily stunned, this allows Tai Lung to read the dragon scroll. It is possible that the rescue from without in this case is the dragon scroll, as it is a blank scroll that Po understands due to his father’s words. It could also potentially be his fat, as it saves him from being injured by Tai Lung. Po goes on to defeat Tai Lung which demonstrated crossing the return threshold; he is then accepted by the furious five and the villagers. This makes Po the master of two worlds as he is now respected as the Dragon Warrior and accepted by his father. The whole journey transforms Po into a better overall character; he masters kung fu and finishes the final step which is the freedom to live.

To conclude, Kung Fu Panda does seem to follow the structure of the hero’s journey, some of the stages may be a little hard to read however it appears that they can all be interpreted throughout the film. The movie has a positive message to display which is that everyone is special if they just be themselves; the hero’s journey makes that message easy to read and an enjoyment to watch.

Illustration List:
Osbourne, M & Stevenson, J. (2008). Figure 1. Kung Fu Panda poster. (Accessed 26/09/2015)

Osbourne, M & Stevenson, J. (2008). Figure 3. Beating Tai Lung still. (Accessed 26/09/2015)

Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 5

The eye took a lot of moving vertices and trying to figure out which ones were causing unwanted deformation. He looks more and more like Voldemort every day.

Character - Brainstorming Ideas

I made an influence map to help get my brain rolling with ideas, because I have found these three words to be quite challenging. However that being said once I started to look at games and thought more in depth I found a bunch of examples.

From this I thought of a quick concept for a possible game. It could be a side scroller game, in which you play as a character that can morph/stretch his limbs. The objective of the game would be to clear a path for a character in need, you can achieve this by using your body as tools to fix the mess in the way, or stretch across a surface to form a bridge, etc. The different characters could be popular culture inspired, so it could be Dracula needs to get back to his coffin before sunrise, or the princess needs to be taken to her knight in shining armor.

I am slightly unsure if i am using the 'Movies' card effectively, so any suggestions on how it could be used would be very appreciated and any thoughts on the other cards will also be welcomed.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 4

Added a lot more geometry to the mouth, it's starting to look pretty cool. I think I may need to re adjust some vertices but apart from that I am happy with how it is coming along.

Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 3

Lots of fun so far, time does flash before your eyes while modelling though.

Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 1 & 2

Today I did the first two tutorials in the head modelling section of the character pipeline, I struggled to find a couple of options to add to my custom toolbar in the first tutorial. I couldn't find the select Edge or Ring loop tools, so I left these of the shelf.

Here is the basic block out of the head, I am looking forward to getting deeper into these tutorials and having a whole character made.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Narrative - Initial Story Idea

This is a very rough base idea that I discussed with the team earlier, we have Love, In the Toy Shop and No Cuts.

I thought it might be a nice idea to show the love aspect in a different way, so instead of it being a love story perhaps it could be a story about a person who is making the toys for the shop, they loved doing it as a child and put loads of attention and care into each toy they made. However as time passes they lose their way a little bit and stop putting all the love and care into each toy and start mass producing boring toys that don't do well for the shop. This causes the shop to lose customers and become deserted, the person sees an old toy they made and realises that they love wasn't being put into their work anymore. They change their method and have fun with making toys again, which in turn gets the shop back up and running.

It could be done as a time lapse kind of video, as we have the No Cuts edit style, so maybe we could circle the person as they work, watching them slowly lose their way and then finding what makes them happy.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Character - Concept Cards

Theses are the three cards that I picked out for my Character project:

"Movies" - Television / Pop Culture
"Cleaning" - Tidying / Ordering
"Elasticity" - Squash & Stretch / Bounciness

At first I struggled to see how I could arrange these to start thinking of a game and characters but after talking with Alan I started to get some ideas flowing. 

I have the potential to play with different genres due to the movies card, so it could be a game in which you travel through different genres fixing them putting them back in the correct order, perhaps a horror genre has a fairy princess in it instead of a villain for example. The elasticity could be the method of getting around the world, the characters could bounce instead of walking.

This is the first idea, so I plan on thinking a lot about the cards and shuffling them around to get different results.

Narrative - Card Selection

These are the cards that we got for our group project, I'm quite happy with them as a whole, however I was at first a bit worried about getting the 'No Cuts' card. This however has changed since discussing it with the group and thinking about all the different options we have, it is still very early but we are all very eager to get this project under way.

A quick idea that I have had is perhaps to show a story that communicates how love is an important factor when creating something, so toys that are made without love are bound to fail, where as the toy crafted with care and love is destined to succeed.

Group Name ideas

We've been discussing names as a group now and are having a hard time deciding on one that will best reflect us as a group, we did stop on the name 'Sleeping Lighthouse' however after talking to Alan he suggested that the Sleeping part wouldn't look good for us as a group.

So here is a list of names that we came up with (I've shortened it because we had a lot to choose from):

Starry Arcade
Mostly glitchy
Night Hunters
Gentle Giants
Sleeping Light House
Black Diamond Productions
Dream jar
Soaring High
Poly Arc
Red Wax
Out of the Box Productions
Solid Line
Neutron flash
Quantum horizon
White flux
Irregular tear
Cupids Psyche
Poly Vision
Fantasy Chaser

We also did some thumbnails for Sleeping Lighthouse & Dreamjar, here are what mine looked like.

Any feedback would be very welcomed

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Personal Work - 3D Sketching 15/09/2015

Today I decided to get back into ZBrush and sculpt a random character, it was good to get back into the program and I really enjoy sculpting. This is the outcome, I focused just on the head, so no detail was added to the torso.

Next sculpt I will attempt to learn how to add clothing, poor naked man.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Personal Work - Learning ZBrush #2

I finished off the little alien/creature guy tutorial today and did some renders in ZBrush, here is what he looks like.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Personal Work - Learning ZBrush #1

Today I started a beginners ZBrush tutorial from digital tutors, this is the current progress of the sculpt. It was created using ZSpheres and DynaMesh, I am looking forward to learning more in ZBrush and expanding my skillset.