Friday, 26 February 2010


More detail. More science.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


The lab is coming on wonderfully, although the lights are being a bit tricky.

(I know it's lobotomy but then the pun doesn't work.)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Full Lab

Here's the basic layout of the lab, empty but there's going to be more consoles and science. MUCH more science.

I don't like making interiors, they always feel claustrophobic. I might need some reference for this place.
I love that little thing in the tube. It's going to have some lovely cables attached to it to.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Student Voice Designs:

3 sheets summarising the design choices in the characters.

The diatom had a lot of initial designs but once I chose the design from the page it didn't take long to develop it, which is why the above sheet looks so bare.

In my original design, I wanted to have a mitochondrion function as the mouth, as they are sort of elongated and even have internal cristae that look a bit like a smile. However, when I tried using this as a mouth it just didn't look right.

Like the diatom, the bacterium was simple to design once picked off the page. I think perhaps the reason I chose purple was that there is a test that can be performed on bacteria to test if they are 'gram-negative/positive' which involves staining them with a purple dye.

here are the initial designs for the the characters:


One of the scene items, a 'science console'

I'm not going to pretend that the holograms aren't inspired by those found in the game, Dead Space.

I love that game.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Under the microscope...

It's coming on nicely.
I managed to get a cool microscope effect on the subjects by adding two 'drop shadows', one going up, the other down. It gives a sort of unfocused, water surface tension sort of look.

I'm also thinking of adding a short (5 second-ish) live-action sequence of someone looking into a microscope just before the animated bit. That should be easy to pul off.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Student voices.

I've decided to do a voice clip somewhere in the first few minutes and I've chosen 3 microscopic critters to act this out:

So here we have, from the left; a diatom, an amoeba and a bacterium.
I chose these because there's a bit in the clip where one of the girls talks about being 'freeform', and I thought of a wibbly amoeba. There's also a second bit where the guy says 'you can write in first person, second person and third person' and I imagined a single celled thing dividing.





Wednesday, 10 February 2010

An improvement.

I learned a valuable lesson in MAYA yesterday; Model FIRST, rig later. It's not a back-and-forth process, as I assumed. So after many MANY hours of arduous weight-painting, I have to do it ALL again.
Still, at least this gives me the opportunity to really perfect the model, which looks much better now.
I'm not looking forward to more weight painting, though...

Monday, 8 February 2010

Here are the backgrounds I done did.
I perhaps over-used the green.

Also, needless to say, I'm glad I managed to finish that essay. I actually enjoyed putting a few views across.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Life drawing, Arrow-tongue and some spooky stairs

We've started life drawing again this term, so here are the fruits of today's efforts.

Basic stuff, just getting the outlines. For some reason, today I think my work was really sloppy.

Here I tried using a technique that Derek taught us about weighting out the figure with block of shadow before moving in with detail...I just couldn't get it right.

This was a negative space exercise, but it was really interesting. Instead of drawing the figure, basically we draw the space around it. It's a good practice because it helps you see character silhouettes AND it stops you drawing from your memory and drawing what's in front of you.

I also managed to find some old life-drawing studies:

This is a study of a skeleton I did a while back.

Procedural poses.

Woman pose with a stick.

The background project is finally going somewhere decent. I have a plan for the exterior and I've taken some photos for reference of the interior, which is a flight of stairs in a dark room.

Initial thumbs:

I used some game boxes and a mini reading torch (which has an amazing robotic arm... best cracker present EVER ).

I thank videogames for this.

And finally, the arrowtongue. I'm still having some difficulty in painting the deformation weights for the bones. It's the looking forward to getting this finished that keeps me striving on. The tongue now shoots out, and I'm going to try and make a slider (like cubey's antenna controls) to lock it's length and make it easier to control. Also, I need to put some sort of handle on the tail (I think it's a spline IK handle) to get that to waggle and bend nicely.
Again, I'm going to need to get the skin to deform properly first.

Menacing isn't it? Just remember that black thing is 8 meters tall and like all Darwin IV predators, hunts with SONAR.

Making this alien makes me wonder why I haven't yet made any of my own creations. I think it could be because of the Alien Planet documentary, which showed some of the creatures moving around, which may give them more of a sense of form. Also, Barlowe's sketches are more detailed and consistent than mine (although, annoyingly, the arrowtongue is the least consistent, with the 2 spikes moving further down the body as the drawings progress through the book). That and a lot of the designs I want to use aren't quite fully developed yet.

Now I shall stop using this blog as an excuse to procrastinate, and I shall continue working on these backgrounds. I would work on the essay, but I need the library and it's a bit late for that.
I'm writing about the representation of the aliens in 'District 9', and so I've got lots of racism and media spins to read about.

"Fookin' Prawns!"

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