Sunday, 31 October 2010

Lack of posting....

Hey there, I just thought it might be a good idea to explain the recent lack of posts on this blog. I have just started back at uni this week and so there is a huge amount of coursework going on in my two Uni blogs. please find them here to find out more!

Industry Exercises:

Environment Project:

Hopefully soon I'll get time to work on my own personaly driven learning again, and when i do, I shall update!

See you soon!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

human anatomy - my favorite subject

Ok so many of you who know me will know i'm sort of obsessed with the female form, with sketchbooks littered with observations. So after a short week's break from producing anything big in maya, I decided to see what stage I'm up to with my modeling uv layout and texturing skills by attempting another human figure, with the emphasis on photorealism.

I'm really happy with the results, and now after a year of learning Maya's possibilities and limitations, I am starting to understand a lot more about the pipeline processes used in creating computer animation from the ground up.

If there is one area in which i am still wildly ignorant, its rigging. I did make a joint skeleton and curve control rig for this model, and for the most part, it worked. However the elbows would not perform as planned for, and i had forgotten to inset clavical joints in my joint chain before binding so i just left it for the time being.

So the last thing i plan to research and study before I officially start uni again on the 25th is rigging and muscle systems. Until then, enjoy this demo of my female model!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

global illumination and final gather.

today was spent learning the basics of global illumination and final gathering whilst rendering in mental ray. It seems like a whole new world of information is now available to me and I plan to continue with this area. Above is somthing I did to experiment with the possibillities of the techniques to create a photo realistic interior scene. Click the image so see a full resolution image.


Today i spent most of my time doing tutorials on texture nodes in Maya. It got pretty confusing towards the end but thank god i made notes. But after 8 hours of learning, i was eager to create. Below is a view of the earth I produced using just 2 un-edited Nurbs sphears with shader networks attatched. A huge combonation of nodes were used (probably quite in-expertly) so I wont try and name them now. The end result looks good enough I think, if i was to repeat this exercise i would focus on getting specific land masses formed so as to show them off with close ups.

Click this image to see full size render

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


This is the result of a good few hours labor. The funny thing is, even whilst doing it it didn't occur to me that all I'd end up seeing was something similar to the nights sky.

Monday, 27 September 2010


ok, so the last couple days have involved me filming myself doing strange things in the hope of composting them with some effects. These are the first two i have come up with:

Juggling Distant Suns:

Doppelganger Gunfight:

Thursday, 23 September 2010

petite le voleur: a 14 day project


So i've come to the end of this 2 week project and i am extremely pleased with the results! I started out with the intent to make a really nice piece of character animation, finnessed to perfection, but soon into the start of the project, i found my own skills to be a poor limitation. So instead i thought that i would make the goal of this project a learning based one. yeah sure the end result isn't great, but the resulting knowledge i have gained made it worth it.

By seeing a character through from pre production to rendering has taught me a huge amount about each of the stages:

-painting weights

I have found that of course i still have a huge amount to learn, but i've also proved that with only a year of learning maya, one can produce a satisfactory short film. I hope you enjoyed watching it even half as much as i enjoyed making it!

Friday, 17 September 2010


ok so just a quick update on the progress i made yesterday. I've completed 6 shots out of 18, and with friday here already i'm planning to extend my deadline so i get the work all done.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Day 3 - the story and enviroment

ok so not much of a story as suck, just sorta how it runs.

So today i worked on this animatic, concerntrating on timings of shots and what happens during them. Although this is an animatic, i would like the final outcome to look a lot different to this. this may sound confusing, but i am really enjoying the freedom i've given this porject so far, so if somthing else feels more right some where down the line, i'll run with that.

The next stage in this 5 day project will be to finalize the enviroment and prop models, then i can start completeing individual shots in duplicate maya scenes. I havnt seen or heard anything to make me want to work this way, its just what felt right earlyer whilst making the animatic.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Day 2 - progress so far.....

Ok so today i finished the rig and tested it a couple times and found it satisfactory. I haven't mentioned yet but i am planning a few scenes in which this character is a thief. Below is a test i did to re-familiarize myself with the basics of character animation and walk cycles. By no means a great piece of animation but i'm still pretty happy with it for a few hours work.

This week's task: make a character animation

Hey, so yesterday and today i have made great headway in my project for the week. It had occured to me that i dont really have any stong character animation within my portfolio/showreel. this isnt a major problem as i don't really want to be an character animator as such, however that dosnt mean i dont want to learn it as i think every area of 3D animation relys and depends upon knowledge in all of the other areas to make a good final piece. Below is a quick render i did to see possible problems when animating some simple movement. From this i can see i will need to re-address the painted weights around the shoulders and hips. other than that i am quite happy with this model. I'm not going for perfection first time or anything niave like that, however i have set aside 5 days for this task, so I've got time to improve certain areas.

Test render:

Here is the reference i drew up before hand. I read in some of my books that often you will be given a simple image as opposed to detailed blueprints of a character so i tried to model this way instead. over the process of modeling the character did change somewhat, but for the best i think. I had only spent an hour or so coming up with the concept and reference so it was a very mailable process.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Advertising Mock-up: Mini Cooper

I wanted to use a nice render of my Mini Cooper model in something and this sprang to mind. it was very simple to put together and I'm pleased with how it looks.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Loading Screen

why not.

Temple Music; A Conclusion.

So Temple music has reached an end. The client was very specific in their new boards, which i followed 100%. It wasnt a situation where i could add my own style or anything new so I do not claim ownership of the final piece. I still liked the old one. Heres the one they went for:

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Photo-realistic modeling project: Mini-Cooper


After a weekend off from producing, I decided to get straight back in with some photo realistic modeling. I choose the Mini Cooper for its personality and style. I'm pleased with the results and with the time taken; around 8 hours spread over 2 days.

I plan to make this an animated project and I am now working on an environment for this model to coast around in. Below is a test i did today to better understand the technical implications of this kind of project. Enjoy the Playstation1 Style renders!

Free desktop background: 1440x900





Tuesday, 31 August 2010

reasons are for chumps


Im not really sure why i did this, probably out of boredem. still. i like playing with lighting and rendering ok? :)

An exercise in conservation

Whilst I had some time before speaking to my current client this morning I thought I'd practice a bit of low res modeling. Sure i could have spent hours and hours on the model getting every curve right, however i think it is an important skill to learn to not fill your scene with millions of polys.

I may work into this model at a later date but probably not, Its usually better to just start again if needed.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

first showreel... before my holiday!

I am now officially on holiday, and i thought i'd end these few months of working with a very mish mash showreel. i know theres far too much going on in it but its just somthing i put together in 30mins or so. I just figured it was better to have 'a' show reel than 'no' show reel. Enjoy =]

Monday, 16 August 2010


Ok so if you've been reading my last few posts about temple music you will know that i've been developing an animation for a record company. Me and my director were very pleased with the results, however after showing them to the client, we have recieved the bad news that this isnt what they all...

But you can't get hung up on these things. I treat this project as a learning experience, and by developing methods it has taught me a hell of a lot more about software and the steps needed to approach a project efficiently.

So here is as far as this concept will be developed. I am very pleased with the results of my laboring and will now be jumping straight back into this new concept!

Grand noir


I was asked to provide a couple of models of instruments for a friend and fellow animation student at ravensbourne. His specifications wer that they be of a low poly count and without any textures. Each took around 2 hours to get to this stage and i really had to keep reminding myself not to add too much detail.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

getting there!

I have been working closely with my director's comments and amendments and have come up with this third draft of the Temple Music animation. This draft includes all of the best elements of the previous two, and has required a whole new method to produce. Rather than to go in to detail here, i thought i would wait until I've finished the project, then make an explanation montage of videos and play blasts.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Embers burning behind us...

when i was checking up on one of my previous clients i was astonished to see exactly what they had used my illustration for! pictures below from the motor transport awards website.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Temple Music, Responding to feedback

Ok so yesterday the feedback i got was the animation was too dark, there were a few strange shadows in there the logo was too close at the end, the camera movement needed to look more realistic, they didnt like it being on a wooden surface and to change it to marble and the notes should actually be blown off of the page!

I approached today feeling pretty confident and i believe i've made some good headway. it will take another day of work to get this next version right, but i sent the work so far off to the client to see if i'm heading in the right direction as there is no point spending another day on it if its not what they want!

ignore the strange lights by the way, i accidently left them in the scene from the last draft!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Temple Music, update.

I didn't have to wait long to get feedback, there's quite a lot that needs changing but I'm pretty happy. more work = more fun! :)

Temple Music (so Far?)

For the last couple days I've been hard at work on this latest project. I think its gone really well and i have pushed the work to the next stage of the project; Getting the approval! Always a tricky part, as is the nature of this work. I'll post up here in the next couple days to let you know how it went down with the clients! :)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

TempleMusic Idea Gen

 I have just picked up another commission and am straight back to work. yesterday i pitched these ideas for a 5-12 second Ident sequence for Temple Music. The client and i talked about a mix of the first 2 videos below. I shall add more as the project progresses.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

object modeling for practice

plain and simple, for fun and practice. polys.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

I promised myself i wouldnt touch maya today.

...and this is what happened. facial modeling, a go at texturing and aim constraints on the eyes.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Day and Night, Interior modelling and texturing

I have been working on very small projects for the last couple days, so i wanted to push myself for something ambitious so as not to stagnate.

I decided to model the bathroom in the house I'm living in at the moment as it would be close to hand for reference, and is both simple and stylish. Enough of bigging up my bog though. As it was a confined space it was hard maneuvering around my scene so i used layers and xray to help.

i modeled in nurbs, and polys, depending on the needs of the individual object, and i textured and lit as i went. it took around 12 hours to get to this stage and i dont think i'll go further. it has been a great experience and I am very happy with the outcome.

Due to flicker being money grabbers I'll have to upload individual photos later. check out the video atm :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

what can you make with apples, tomatos and eggs

food stuffs1

I wanted to continue with my experimentation with textures, as this is probably my biggest void of knowledge at the moment (apart from rigging ofcourse!)




I cant believe its not Tuna



i cant believe its not Tuna

fame is the perfume of heroic deeds





I've really enjoyed the workflow today so i decided to continue this evening/night and model one more object, this time just for fun. I used a lot of what i learned and practiced earlyer and i am very pleased with the result. i used illustrator and photoshop to make the labels, polys for the models this time, and phong for the glass.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

finaly replaced that broken glass.


playing with another bit of easy modeling but this time combining it with experimenting with phong refractions.


because you always need teaspoons

just had to. with nurbs.


Just a cup

I have been noticing my recent projects have been ambisious and i have felt that because i am not producing my best work. pushing youserlf is always a good practice, but i also believe that simple exercises like this remind you of the basics and show you the kind of level that you are working at. for these reasons i have spent a little time modeling a plain cup. no nonsence. heres what i came up with:
(nurbs, phongs, photoshop used to create the floral pattern from a photo i took)

real reference

modeled cup


cup pattern

Sony Vaio Mouse

for a break from tutorials today i just decided to try modeling an object....close at hand. sorry, i hate puns. anyway, i used a number of different techniques to easily construct the shape without throwing in millions of verts. bot polys and nurbs were used and the vaio logo was very un-expertly placed as i am still pretty clueless about texturing. i took some reference images, but i didnt actually bother importing them to image planes, as im not sure this is always the best way to approach a model.