27 Sep 2010

Character Design - Series Influence Map & Synopsis

I created this Influence Map to showcase what exactly is running through my head with my current Character Design.

Top Left:
This image showcases that I want war and confrontation in my series. A conflict that is consistent throughout, which means that along with a single story each week, there is also an underlying conflict happening on there borders.

Top Middle:
A young boy with a sword. In many Arthurian stories and Fantasy stories the main character is a young man, that is disregarded as some form of peasant.

Below Top Middle:
A fantasy forest. This image showcases the surroundings and kind of environments in my world. Based in the modern world but with a fantasy twist.

Top Right:
A mystical landscape with castles that peak through the clouds. This image showcases the surroundings and kind of environments in my world. Based in the modern world but with a fantasy twist.

Middle Left:
A young man being knighted for his bravery and courage. Many main characters either receive this title early or strive for it.

Below Middle Left:
Dragons are common myths in Arthurian legend, but in fantasy they are more a kin to commonplace. In the series, Dragons used to be commonplace until hunted to extinction, except for a select view.

Middle Right:
This image symbolises the fantasy aspect. With a horde of evil 'monsters' in the background and a scantly clad woman leading the attack, it shows a threat to an empire and a traitor leading it. Why scantly clad? It would seem that all fantasy needs to have a female character wearing next to nothing to draw in the teenagers. You can thank the Japanese for that...

Bottom Left:
The most iconic image of the Arthurian era. The sword in the stone is a story that everyone knows or is at least aware of. It may not be key to the series but something similar has to be used to ground the audience into the world.

Bottom Middle:
A robed man uses magic. Magic is always related to the Arthurian Legend, but with a fantasy twist, the amount and power of the magic must be amplified. The variety of the magic must also be greater to include all the different elements that are so common in fantasy.

Bottom Right:
A knight in all his fantasy gear. His armour is similar to that of the medieval era yet has a very distinct look of fantasy. In almost all Arthurian and fantasy tale there is a dark knight. It is essential to include the dark knight in the series.

It is the turn of the 8th Century. The citizens of Camelot have lived in peace before any could remember, all thanks to the diligent work and protection of the Drakon. The Drakon where a select group of young men and women who had learnt the ancient secret of taming the roaming, elusive dragons of England. Dragons are becoming fewer and fewer by the year due to a mysterious disease spreading though out there numbers. On the eve of The Joining, a ritual for new Drakon apprentices, a small but fearsome group of the Darg infiltrate the prosperous, thought impenetrable city of Camelot. The Darg are a savage race of humans, twisted in mind and body due to the vast amount of magic lying on the English borders, they seek only to feed on the flesh of what they consider abominations. Garz, a young man seeking to join the ranks of the Drakon, must hold up arms against the attacking force as his companions flee in terror...

Join Garz, the fearless Drakon Knight, and his companion, Vorrtai, as they journey to the edge of there great land and beyond in the search to find the missing oracle of Camelot, Moriasam, while there home is under constant siege from the evil Darg forces. But what has befallen the once loved Moriasam at the very edge of there world? And who is causing the continued assault across all of England?

Find out every Saturday at 10am!

23 Sep 2010

Lost in La Mancha Review

This one was frustrating. Not because of the quality of the documentary but because of the content. 

'Think about this Logically...'

That's what I wanted to shout at Terry Gilliam, the director. 
The documentary follows the director on his quest to produce the movie he has wanted to make for 15 years. But tragedy struck the production of the film in one of the worst places, Pre-production. Its at this stage when you have to take a step back and re-evaluate, just like the assistant director said. But Gilliam forged on and entered the Production stage, pushing his forward forward. It was during the FIRST week of production that the entire film was in jeopardy and finally canceled. Much to Gilliam's dismay, the financiers pulled out and with no money and no more main actor in the form of Jean Rochefort, the entire film was canned.

The whole emphasis of this documentary was disaster. At every possible opportunity, something went wrong, whether it be equipment washing away or actors getting Prostate problems. At so many stages, you couldn't help but think 'look at this logically'. Gilliam was so obsessed with this film he let it control him, not taking any advice seriously and in the end blowing millions of dollars. Its a case of not getting stuck in to one project so deep that you can't escape.

Character Design - Lets start this

Oh boy, writing on two blogs is going to get confusing.

Our second unit running parallel is character design, which to be honest, I was little concerned about. But not anymore. Our first lesson really allowed us to see the depth that we have to put into the characters. 

Its about simplisity as well as creating characters that look good. For example, a Hero must follow the look and style of a hero. This will vary depending on the given topic. All three characters must produce these elements. From analysing the character movie, all the characters have very distinctive clicks that suit them.

Here are the two pictures I drew in class:

This first one is 50 Foot Cowboy. I tried to go down the Godzilla route by making his eyes demonic and henceforth

This second one is a 'Pigmy Secret Agent'. I tried to one again make the face look tribalised and include different objects from both worlds.

The words for my characters are:
Fantasy Arthurian
Now these words are very similar in a way but it allows me to take existing Arturian archtypes, such as Knights and Wizards and really ramp up the fantasy aspect as opposed to making it realistic.

20 Sep 2010

(Temp location) Initial links to Narrative title

(Putting this here until I have author privilages on our Studio blog)

When I first learnt of our Title, a few movies and images came to mind. These encompass a wide range of genres and ages. Here is a few of them:

Attack of... and 50 Foot

The phase 'Attack of' instantly made me think of the 'Godzilla' series created by the Toho Company over in Japan. 'Attack' is obviously on a much smaller scale then 'Invasion' so an attack on, say, a city could be well suited. Godzilla is also a towering being overlooking the city he strides through swiping skyscapers away so 50 ft applies here too.

Maybe its because Halo Reach came out last week and its on my mind, but with the mention of Aliens, came the covenant from the Halo Series. An alien race hellbent on the destruction of the human race. But then the next topic changed that...

From Toy Land:

Alien + Toy... who doesn't think of the Toy Story aliens. While clearly looking like aliens, they still retain the look of a toy. This is attributed to the way they move more then anything I believe.

As I said before, these were just the first, split second images that popped into my head when we recieved our title. These could be used as initial references for our project or not. Simply my first thoughts.

Year 2 - Retro-Fest Narrative unit

Attack of the 50 Foot Alien(s) from Toy land

That's the title that we have been given. Who do I mean by we:

Earl (not sure who this guy is... I heard he is awesome)
Ethan C

And what do this super group of people make?

Void Canvas Studio!

With our initial briefing out of the way, I'm going to find some images and references that instantly came to mind when we received our trailer title. To follow all our exploits simply point your browser here:

After looking at the trailers that some of the classes before us have done for this unit, we are all expected to do a great job. I fully believe that our Studio can create an amazing trailer and blow those judges away. The work starts now...

(on a side note, Internet Explorer 9 Beta doesn't like the submit button for blog posts. Won't let you click it. Stupid Internet.)

19 Sep 2010

Personal Project - Star Destroyer

Over the past week I decided that I wanted to create a model for my own enjoyment and re-familise myself with Maya before our return. I decided to create a Star Destroyer from Star Wars. I found refernce files on the internet to use as a template and imported them into maya.

So far I have only created the basic geometry and started to add finer detail on the ship itself.

This video shows the basic blocking out of the model and its general size.

Further Model making:

Increased detail in the model making.

Summer Project - Compilation

Hi all.
Here is a compilation of the work that I have been doing for the summer project given to us:

Character Design:

(apologies for scan quality. New scanner being a pain, I'll get the hang of it)

This is the draft for 'Mr Friend'. He will later become Squib the Swig. The reason for the name change was simple really. While looking back at other references and influences for the project, I noticed that the names of the two most iconic platforming game characters are 'Mario' and 'Sonic'. Both names contain 5 letters and are incredibly simple. Coincidence? Maybe, but I decided to rename 'Mr Friend' to 'Squib' and the species of creatures that inhabit this world (the watery enemies and Squib himself) are all called Swigs. 

This is the draft for the enemies of the world. Originally titled 'Mr Baddy', this fellow become 'A Swog', the evil version of our lovable hero. Turned red with rage, the Swogs now follow the main antagonist in a effort to spread the red rage across the peaceful world. Simple enemy design in the same vain as 'Goombas' for Mario and 'Badniks' for Sonic.

This is the draft for Squibs nemesis, the then called 'Mr Evil'. Now named 'Swigger', this boss towers over our hero and appears in every level. Squib also gets past him though (obviously). Created to be a towering figure in the game, the music is meant to strike fear into the children playing it, followed by a quick boost of musical joy.

This is the scale of Squib and Swigger next to each other, the character of Swigger looks menacing at Squib that then runs swiftly past.

A spring board used in the game world to create extra height and distance for the characters.

Leveled out Playblast:

This Playblast allows me to see how I need to place out the level and the basic timing of the music 

Level Pre-Construction

This is the next step of the creation process. I added some basic textures to the enemies and ground and rendered through it.

Level after Construction:

This is the constructed level. I added coins to enhance that game world, as well as Mario and Sonic style blocks in the background for depth. I also added plain white clouds to go along with the simplistic nature. I also added trees into the part of the music that was quieter on the lead up to Swigger, to create some tension. I think the music helps pull this off.

Fly through:

Also, here is a quick playblast fly through of the level to show the scope and how it was put together.

Squib the Swig V1 

I call this V1 because all though it is 'out of Beta' it still needs a level of polish. Some sound effects are out of sync and the running is a bit 'iffy' at the start. I just need to flatten out these scuffles and I'll be be happy with the animation.

I believe it has caught the essence of what I was trying to create, an old school 2D platformer. When I give it it that extra polish, I believe it can shine.