Saturday, 10 March 2007

Day65 Elf and Shrek

Watched both the Shrek movies in full today - the improvements from 1 - 2 are marked and impressive. Both do an awesome job of character realisation, even if the animation is awkward or floaty in places (though this is major-nit-picking).
The films are simply outstanding really, from the voice cast through to editing. Probably the most impressive CG stuff are the backgrounds and environments - breathtaking.
I have to play with Bryce or similar soon to see what can be done by someone like me.

Shrek3 is also coming soon (May I believe) - should be a blast.


Started colour work on my elf-male sketch using photoshop. I tried using the smudge tool rather than the burn and dodge tools I usually use. This took alot of getting used to - until I realised that is should be used in conjunction with lots of paint tool work to get the transitions smoother. It should be finished tomorrow - by way of a preview here is the sketch:

[journeytime = 3.5 hours]

Friday, 9 March 2007

Day64 WoW return

WoW time again - in there doing the thing with Ogroin. The rest of the gang were off doing their thing all grouped up and cosy - I was having a blast out there doing the solo warlock dance again.

Did a little more sketching to finish off while resting the knee.

[journeytime = 1 hour]

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Day63 DAZ, lost coast and more

Played through the HL2 Lost Coast download. It defaulted back to easy - so it was a little too trivial difficulty wise - but still very nicely put together adrenaline-wise. Going through on Normal was tougher, but the surprises were gone. The 'chappel' area with the volumettric lighting was beautiful, with the glass distortions and the adjustments after you break the glass etc. It did take me a little while to work out how to get past that room though - seems so obvious once you do it :-)

The whole level design is breathtaking - the scenes, textures, models, transitions, pathing, characters - everything. It really is the pinaccle of this sort of thing that I have played. I also liked the 'gun' firing over onto the village and the sound/shaking that went along with that - a nice way to introduce some urgency and stress in the player.


I popped into WoW again briefly - though I didnt achieve much but for a quest handin really. I like that the tower quest is repeatable, could make for some fun for several levels to come. Still not 60 yet though.

In looking at the new online character view tool Blizzard have made - I feel rather under-powered in comparison to the 62 lock in the guild. Can 3 levs make that much difference?? The idea of the site though is very clever - linking better the game to their web presence.


DAZ - well I bit the bullet and fired up DAZ Studio for the first time since I ran through the built-in tute (which was uber-basic). It took me a while to get the hand of things again and though I was only working with the free downloads I have had thus far I did end up making a little render. Some of the tools work kinda-strangely or are in tricky places to find. My pallet of plug-ins is very limited - so all that is present is Aiko3 with a skinmap and the setting from the tute. All I really did was the pose, lights, camera angles, shirt material and little things like eyes and hair etc.


I watched a bit of Shrek (before I needed a sleep to rest my knee :-). Obviously a ream landmark in the whole 3D animation genre. It dates of course - some of the animations are stiff and marionette-like compared to what is done today.


I read through the tutes on digital painting by Theta on Renderosity. The idea of using SMUDGE for everything is a nifty one and I will have to give it a real try for my next one. No fear of me achieving the results he does at my first go though...

[lovely photoshop-painted obiwan by Theta - see links for tutes]

[journeytime = 4.5 hours]

Day62 sketches

Did some more sketches of various things - though with limited computer-time I am feeling a bit left out of the modelling/rendering/colouring side at the moment.
Watched XMen3 - the story is still shocking but plotwise isnt as engaging as I was hoping. I am wondering if after a few more viewings its subtlety may come out for me. The computer effects work is there of course in lots of ways.

[journeytime = 1.5 hours]

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Day61 Sketches

While recouperating in front of the tele (nothing too special though star wars did seem to feature once again) I did a few more pencil sketches. I like my Knightess of the Outer Ring she may well be a good one for my next bit of photoshoping.

[journeytime = 2 hours]

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Day60 SW

Well another recovery day and more Star Wars Ep3 - love this movie. Watching it more times you can see the astounding amount of background work that went into almost every shot. The incredible layers of creative effort involved in bringing the whole together. Simple things like the number of people who might 'play' a character, from the actor, stunt doubles, digital versions, sword specialsits with digitally replaced heads, shots of effects peoples hands and so forth.

Have started reading Dune, Frank Herbert in scant few pages has already revealed a truly living world (not just Arrakis, but the the interplay of planets and houses etc throughout the galaxy). It is similar to SW in that respect - having a deep and living environment in which the story unfolds. I am looking forward to seeing it all unfold.

[journeytime = 1 hour]

Monday, 5 March 2007

Day 58 59 DVDs and pigfrogs

Well while recouperating I got to watch StarWars ep4, Van Helsing again, Pirates of th Carribean (isnt Johnny amazing) and a few other scattered tidbits like Battlestar Galactica, H2O, Kim Possible and Heroes.

In amongst these I did a bunch more sketches/designs for my pigfrogs. Even over this short time they are evolving and becoming far more 'real' - not sure if that is where they should go yet of course.

I got my Masters of Digital Media at COFA acceptance the other day - just have to send the signed copy back and I will be all set for an important part of the journey to begin.

[journeytime = 3 hours]