Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Colour Pastel Heart

I came across an old photograph that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. I decided to do a pastel study to at least get some of the stirred emotions down on paper. My drawing has a lot more colour than the original photo, I wonder what that says about me? Sometimes a person stays with you forever.

Monday, 23 April 2012

My Sunsets

Something a bit different today. I was looking for some inspiration to start some work and found myself looking through some old photos. I love sunsets and used to take hundreds of pictures of sunsets when I lived by the sea. Every sunset is unique and the colours you can see are always gorgeous. Here are few a pics from various different albums that I really enjoyed seeing again and felt it would great to share a post about it. The image with the railings is actually of my friend who I asked to pose. I tend to abuse my friends into posing for my photos a lot! The other image with a couple walking along was caught by accident. They happened to be walking up the beach as I was taking pics of a fiery sun. It made for one of those rare happy accidents. Sometimes being in the right place at the right time allows you to capture something magic.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Goldeneye Black & White

I've spent the day doing lots of rendering and experimenting on some 3D stuff so I took a break from that this evening and spent an hour playing around with this poster again. I was looking at some 60's portrait photography earlier and it inspired me to take a different approach with this piece. I also had some great feedback which was to try removing some of the elements. I was also given the idea for the tagline which is just fantastic (thanks Andy!). I took it one step further and tried to see what was the bare minimum needed to sell the film. It was painful to lose some of the other portraits, I really enjoyed drawing them. I also tried the poster with just the tagline without the film title which I thought was great but it probably wouldn't appeal to most. This image excites me a lot more than my previous attempts. I love the classic look and I think it now looks like a poster that could actually be used to sell the film. There is no way the advertising people would have used something as minimal and arty as this for such a major movie but I think it's an enjoyable image. Trevelyan could probably do with some more work and detail. The poster relies a lot more on his likeness and presence than it did previously. So not quite finished, not sure I'll ever be completely satisfied!

Monday, 16 April 2012


Adding the final elements to this scene now. The tree in the foreground spoils this view but everything else seems to be working well. I'm thinking of building another type of tree to add variety to the scene and fill some of the empty space. I also think adding some subtle grass pieces around the fence and graves will help tie everything together and ground all of these elements.

Last push to finish this and then I can start something new. I'm thinking I may choose a shorter project like a vehicle to keep things fresh. I also keep thinking about doing some more z-brush work but I'd like to have more practice with hard surface modelling first.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Rebuilding A Tree

I'm reusing the tree I built for my Lancia scene. However I wasn't satisfied with how it look so spent some time today rebuilding and recreating the texture maps. I still isn't perfect but it's a vast improvement on the original and it's has a more efficient use of polygons.

You can see from the images that I've also added a sky and treeline. I wanted to see how everything was starting to feel together. I've still got to finishing laying out the gravestones properly and add a front fence. I would like to add some ivy to the surrounding wall and some of the graves to add some variety.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Building A Graveyard

Today I finished texturing the gravestones and started building my graveyard. It's tricky trying to create a unique looking area using limited pieces. You can see from the pic that it's looking alright so far. The stones still need some moving to create tilts and leans that would appear over long periods of time. I was hoping the grass tile would look less like a tile and more natural once the stones were in place but unfortunately it still has a flat repetitive feel. I'm not sure there is anything I can do to overcome that. Creating a unique texture for the entire area would be costly requiring a huge image and file size to generate enough detail. I'm also concerned the polygon count is going to be huge for this scene once all the gravestones are setup. I've still got trees and an outer fence to add. My poor PC will struggle when it comes to rendering the final video I'm sure.

Gravestone Sketches

Here are some sketchbook studies I created to help building the gravestone assets. I spent some time colouring the top image and I think it turned out really well. I could use it as a portfolio possibility.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Farnham Royal Church

As I was rendering these screenshots for this blog post I noticed a few areas of the texture that wasn't quite working correctly. Three hours later and I've finished tweaking for now and feel happy enough to move on to the next piece of the environment. I find myself losing track of time when I'm engrossed in something creative and hours just pass by in an instant. I just noticed the roof is very dark when compared with my reference photographs but that's a tweak I'll save till tomorrow.

I have started building some gravestone assets to populate the churchyard. Texturing these should be a far simpler and quicker process. All that will then remain is to create the large ground areas like grass and gravel, add a skybox, a fence and import some of the tree's I've already built.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Texturing The Church

This church model is nearing completion now. You can see from the above image that most of the texture work is done. I still need to add the stone detail and texture on the hall section shown above and also need to texture the second hall building is behind which isn't visible. This shouldn't take too long and I can finally call this piece finished. I'm excited to start work on some smaller elements for the scene. Working on this large piece has involved a lot of time and patience but thankfully it's beginning to show. This should make for a great portfolio piece!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Church Update

Progress is starting to pick up with this church piece. I've been working on it whilst working on my poster work to break up the projects.

The tower is finally textured and what a massive jump the piece makes having this in place. I find the modelling aspect to be slow going at times but find myself getting really absorbed with texturing often spending hours tweaking and rendering.

I'm building the church in three major sections; the tower, the main hall (shown above) and a second hall which is still to be built.

I have been spending far too much time revisiting the real church and wandering around the graveyard this week getting new photos for reference usually for specific windows and also taking pics of interesting graves that catch my eye. Frustratingly, most of the windows are unique taking similar elements and shapes and using them in different ways. This slows me down as I find myself wanting to accurately capture the variety in the architecture. I'm sure I would have to sacrifice this variety if this model were used in a game engine to enable it to be built in a more efficient manner.

There is one more window to be built on the main hall, and some smaller windows and a door on the rear side.