Thursday, November 6, 2008

Modelling Jaz Part 08 - Complete

Jaz in 3D ~ Model Test from Dave Smith on Vimeo.

Introducing the fully modelled, textured, rigged and weighted, Jaz the Brox (Fox).

Had large deal of trouble with adding manipulators and controls. The guide I followed contrasted to Darren's notes, so I found myself have to make do with what I could achieve. Hopefully, there is enough there so I can animate him to dialogue.

Will need to create blend shapes, but that is not required for this class. The next stage will be for my own benefit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Modelling Jaz Part 07 - Texture nearly complete

Jaz, after texturing (including Sub-proxy)

Darren seemed pretty happy with the model. He recommended some extra geometry around the leg, shoulder, neck and base of the tail. I still need to fix up the textures, since they're fairly crappy (mainly in the shoe area). The luxury I guess is because he has flat colours, though I may need to add some forms of shadows, or creases, in the clothes for that added touch.

Front View

Back View

Monday, October 13, 2008

Modelling Jaz Part 06 - Model complete

Front view

Side view

Back view

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sketch Battle ~ Dave and Ben

It begins

Ben's reply

My reply

Drawn by myself and Benjamin Drake

The force is strong with this one.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Modelling Jaz - Part 05 - Nearly Done

Front view of Jaz - Smoothed preview on left, low-polygon almost-done rendition on right

Perspective View of both low-poly and high-poly model

Side view

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Modelling Jaz - Part 04 - The Body

Jaz, complete with shirt, pants and shoes (half

Side View

Next is lofting the arm and tail.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Modelling Jaz - part 03 - The Head

Jaz - Front

Jaz - Side

Jaz - perspective view (including Sub Proxy model)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Modelling Jaz - part 01

For the last assessment for CGI Modelling, I will be making Jaz, the main character to my series concept.

Revealed this drawing (and a few others) to Darren last Tuesday and he was happy overall with the design, since he's fairly animation-friendly already.

A consideration is the clothes, which are intended to be baggy. My choices are either to model him without clothes (nude rig, not anatomically nude) with the intention of adding cloth simulation later, or design the clothes to be more rigid.

I may go with the latter. I can always build another rig of Jaz, should I want to add cloth simulation, which would be interesting.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hunter ~ Modeled and Textured


At least, I hope its' done. Done enough, I guess.

The Hunter - modelled and textured...not very well, but not bad for a first try.

3rd Person view

Close up

Another view

Background modelling and texturing was done by my group member, Jessie.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Second Opinion

Ok, Maya doesn't suck....too much.

Sketches from today's class on rigging. We had a model to it's the first chance I've had at life drawing this year.

Talked with Darren about the Hunter model and he showed me again how to properly UV texture. I felt more confident this time, and following his demonstration, I was able to fully unwrap the model, ready for Photoshop texturing.

I was originally angry and frustrated cause of how complex UV texturing was. Despite having a lesson on the subject, I was unable to follow Darren's "quick-guide-to-UV-texturing-over-four-hours" and missed many steps that left me bewildered.

I'm quite grateful to Darren for taking the time to show me the process again.

So, Maya doesn't suck....completely.

Wall-E, Jaz and Eve

Edit 17th Sept

Textured face ~ Freaky eyes

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Maya sucks.

Nuff said.

Made this after class today, on the beautiful Wacom Cintiq's. Good to know I can always make things like this in record time, compared to modeling and texturing one character over the course of several weeks.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

CGI Modeling Game Concept - The Hunter

Concept sketches of the Hunter

Front and side view reference for modeling

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Scenes from a Journal II

Jaz - various poses (and an angry chibi in the bottom left corner)

Concept sketches from video game concept for class.

CGI Modelling is becoming confusing and frustrating. I imagine once things pick up, it should be fine. I am looking forward to eventually modelling and rigging my own character.

Just wish I didn't have to get up at 6am in the morning just to sit through 4 hours of talking.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scenes from a Journal

Jaz (after a decisive battle)

The techno genius, Andre, and his trusty tool, a monkey wrench. However, he does not use the wrench for battle. He believes it is a tool only for making and unmaking things, nothing else.

Of course, bad things can be built with it. But also good things as well.

Surfers Paradise, as of 14th August 2008. A McDonalds sits on the corner of the street.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chapter 2: The Revenge

The saga continues.

Commenced 2nd Semester of my Post-Graduate degree, Graduate Certificate in Visual Culture. Will be smooth sailing this time round with only one subject to attend (CGI 1 Modelling). So far, we've modelled a hand, a face, conducted a quick 300 word assessment and an exam.


The holiday break was a mixture of relaxation and freelance work.

Relaxation naturally entailed a large share of TV watching, anime/cartoon viewing, video game playing and procrastination. All of which for the sheer purpose of being lazy.

Freelance work has been interesting: I was asked by iOnline (the same company I did work experience with) asked me to assist them with a new project involving a Casino Game. It was a lot of fun, and looks to be in its final completion soon.

I'm also currently involved with the new $oopah Nin10Doh! Flash collaboration, a sequel to Nin10Doh! released earlier this year. The first one had been a lot of fun, and better yet, I was introduced to Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi, who wrote and animated the TTA (TV Tome Adventure) Flash series I really enjoyed. He asked me to assist in the sequel and I was more than happy to oblige. I'm looking forward to how this one will turn out.

Recently am working with Moket on a new educational game project. Jarrod, a former graduate, and myself have provided designs for the characters at this stage. While early days, I'm interested to see which designs they decide to go with.

Very exciting.

My own personal projects have been slow at this stage (procrastination, ha). I've yet to commence animating the Hospital film project I wrote for last years Visual Analysis and Critical Reflection class. I also do have a new draft for a potential sequel to Begone, Little Wolf, which I haven't titled yet.

I suppose without the feeling of urgency that University provides, my own projects tend to sit idly. I want to make a film this year, with the possibility to be entered into this years graduate screenings.

However, this may be unlikely.

Alternatively, I just need to make a film just for the sake of making a film. If I want to make a mark in the entertaining world, a fresh film is needed. We'll see how this pans out.

In regards to my own Series concept, a new updated draft of Episode 1 is in the works and feels more promising than its previous incarnations. With a bit more focus this time round, I should be able to construct a more solid bible for presentation.

More as this develops.

End of Chapter 2.

New Demo Reel

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Animation Ahoy!

The saga continues.

Presented my Genre and the Moving Image pitch last week, which I reckon went fairly well. I presented my investigations on the Science Fiction genre, and therefore pitched a concept for a 1950's Science Fiction parody animation, thusly named: It Came From Across the Universe.

Just a matter of seeing who would wish to assist me in bringing it to fruition.

For Visual Analysis and Critical Reflection, I have decided to investigate the spectacle of the Gold Coast Hospital. It was an idea concocted by myself and my mum (who happens to be a nurse), and would allow us to come up with an animated concept to detourn (divert) the hospital spectacle.

I paid a visit to her ward last weekend to do some sketching, observing the atmosphere, looking for symbols and such. The other nurses didn't seem to mind, and mum was all to happy to assist by pointing out various aspects.

It shall be interesting to see what we could come up with to detourn the spectacle (for better or worse).

CGI Animation is most interesting. We recently finished the task of animating a lamp rig, particularly Luxo Jr. made famous by Pixar Animation. Here's my submission:

It's a lot of fun bringing to life that in which has no life (or so we think). The movement still needs some fine tuning, and ideally I would like to put in a dust particle effect to create the look of 'debris'. Took me some time to fix up the light-linking though, since light seemed to shine out the back of Luxo Senior's head.

Amusing, but not the effect I required, so it looks better this time round.

It's both fun and frustrating to apply the principles of animation, for which I originally applied to hand-drawn elements, into a 3-dimensional universe. There are benefits and disadvantages with such ease and options, and I can see why it's important to spend the time needed to get it right. You can tell the difference when someone has just tweened two key frames in the timeline, compared to someone who's practically animated frame by frame.

Nonetheless, it's a good experience. Just hope it can score me a job.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blogged but not Forgotten

With my recently restored internet, I'm figuring it would be excellent (and a challenge) to continue updating my blog with my latest happenings, even if just for me.

For those who do read up on my blog, I thank you for your support.

As an update from my previous blog, I was wrong in assuming the extra task required would be a film project. In some sense it is, but it's meant to be apart of Genre and the Moving Image, which will be in the form of a second assessment for task 2 or 3. The third assessment is an audio-visual project (essentially a short film, or an animatic) to present to our teacher.

Since the audio-visual project is meant to be about our chosen Genre to investigate, Begone, Little Wolf 2 will not be scheduled as I boasted before.

So far, it's been merely keeping up with my required tasks: assessments, animation tasks, keeping on schedule. The usual hoo-ha.

I've had small inkling to do another short film, but with no major uni-based requirement, I feel no strong need. The ideas keep coming, but I'm hesitant to begin another short film project in the event that I feel it is too difficult and quit, or get side-tracked with other commitments.

However, with our CGI-Animation teacher encouraging us to improve, collecting video clips and pushing for that little bit more, I begin to wonder if I'm doing myself an injustice. Many of my CGI clips I have made seem...average. Adequate, you could say. Enough to get a good mark, but not fantastic.

I wonder if I should be pushing myself that little extra mile, just to see what I can do, what I can prove. I stare at the short animated lamp I have recently made and think "what more could I do? What else can I push to get more feel?" But quickly it is replaced by the same feeling, "Ah, she'll be right".

I guess the same could be said for my animation film projects; that while I feel the need to test my skills again, I feel safer by not doing one.

A portion of which is because of the anxiety I felt during last years movie-making experience. While this time, it would be made entirely by myself, there's still that worry, that possible stress of having to work on a film by myself.

Perhaps this is mainly superficial and will eventually pass and bring on that need to make a new film. Slowly but surely I find time to develop new ideas and concept, ones in which could be achieved by my lonesome.

I want to be an animator. Perhaps it's time I prove it.

On a side note, Visual Analysis and Critical Reflection is turning out to be an experience in itself. I illustrate with this drawing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Captain's Log Stardate 1108.1

Been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, so please excuse the nerdy blog title.

First week of university was successful: attended all the classes to get a basis for what is to be my mission objective for the next 6 months.

  • CGI1 Animation looks to be a fun course, filled with animating pendulams, balls and models in Maya.

  • Visual Analysis and Critical Reflection looks like a course intended at taking a look at one's self; one's inspiration, desires, artistic fluency, where it comes from, where its going and how it may affects one's art.

  • Genre the Moving Image looks to be fun, since it is hosted by Peter Moyes, a crowd favorite among my classmates.

Only complaint I have is the extremely large bill associated with this degree. Courses for this post-graduate degree aren't as cheap as they were in my undergraduate studies. A dissapointment.

Affordable, fairly painful, but a disappointment.

Originally it was intended for me to complete one of two courses of theory, both of which I had completed in my undergraduate degree, so naturally I requested another theory course instead, ie. Genre and the Moving Image.

However, it seems that is still not the case.

I recieved an email from the post-graduate administration office to be informed that I need to also complete a further post-graduate objective, as to be discussed with my supervisor (or my course convenor, since I don't have a supervisor). This has puzzled me somewhat.

Considering I am only required to do 4 "expensive" subjects this semester, it seems odd that the university would require me to conduct a further task for them. At which this task is undecided yet.

My initial thoughts considered the possibility of commiting to another short film idea, but am unsure if this would be the case. Perhaps this objective may be more subtle; a journal log, concept for a film, a thesis maybe.

I've set up a meeting with my course convenor tomorrow to properly sort out the required objective. I am already required to develop a project for Genre and the Moving Image as well as Visual Analysis and Critical Reflection. To be committed to a third project as well....I just don't know.

However, perhaps it is the push I needed.

While there is still some left over feelings from the completion of the short film I made last year, I have toyed with the concept of keeping the tradition alive by moving forward with a new short film project. For those keeping track, I had declared before to commence work on another animated piece to continue on from a work I did in Year 2, The Stone.

Instead, I have considered the possiblity of a better concept to concieve.

Begone, Little Wolf 2
For starters, this will not be the final title of the film, merely its production name for the time being. Some could argue its a vain attempt to take the same concept and try to relive (or enhance) on the previous film. Not quite so however.

The challenge for this film would be in its story and stylisation. Since its a sequel, its a continuation of the previous story, and thus would provide the challenge to see if I can create a story that not only continues from the previous film, but could somehow stand alone, for those who haven't seen the first film.
Artistic wise, I wish to deviate from the full animation I tried to focus on in the previous film and be more "arty". More shading, less movement, more character. A greater focus on the mood and environment to create meaning and feelings. Ambitious as always, but it would be nice to see if I can be capable of handling a far more direct, versitile (and more difficult) role.

If I am to commit to a project, this would be my choice. Once again, this comes down to whether this short film project can coincide with my other post-graduate project commitments or may eventually be filed under "to be considered".

And at the end of the day, it could make a nice couple of drawings to have in my folio.
I'll keep posting as to how this concept progresses.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

11 Second Animation

Just finished this recently. I'd started key-framing and planning out the animation well over 2-3 weeks ago, but sort of let it sit in the background as I dealt with other tasks, namely getting work.

With some animation jobs round the corner, I wanted to come back and finish this before things got too busy.

The concept was inspired from a nifty club called the 11-second club, designed to encourage animators (of all styles) to animate a character (or characters) around an 11-second sound clip from a film. I remember my friends Liam and Gemma doing 3D skits for the November entry, and figured it was worth doing just to simply test my skills.

While it's not traditionally drawn on paper, its drawn in Flash using a graphics tablet. I'm rather proud how this turned out all up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Comics and Cartoons

Greetings comrades.

I apologise for the lack of updates/submissions since after Christmas. For most part, I've been focusing on getting a bread-and-butter job to support myself while I attempt to breach the world of animation.

But I've been drawing though.

Started working on a short 11-second skit of my fox character speaking a line from some movie. Figured it would be good practice before I commit to making a sequel to my previous film, "The Stone". That project is currently in the planning stages. Unlike the previous one, I want to see what my skills from the last 12 months has granted me through planning and making an animated film.

Today's journal entry however, is centered on my experience today.

Cartoons and Animation Seminar

My friend Gemma had received a job invite from a nice fellow named Mark to help out with one of his children's seminar entitled: Cartoons and Animation. Basically, the kids guide to comics and cartoons.

I'd helped Gemma the week before on aspects of Macromedia Flash as she was required to use the program to demonstrate animation for the class. However, his laptop was not functioning for the day, so she asked if this friend who taught her Flash (myself) could bring his laptop and come along to the seminar (with the insentive of being paid).

Thus, I had a job for the day.

We eventually arrived at a community hall south of Queensland without too much hassle. We met with Mark, got set up and waited as the kids pile in.

The seminar reminded me somewhat of when I went to the South Bank Library to attend a similar cartoon teachings. Only difference was pretty obvious.

These kids couldn't care less.

They consisted of a small group of only boys, early teens, skateboards in hand (they were skating out the front when we arrived) and naturally very...boyish. While I didn't pay much heed, it did disappoint me somewhat that the boys weren't really interested in cartoons at all. Just skateboards. Go figure.

Mark had them create a collaborative character on the white board. The creature became a strange fat-monster with one funky ear, a cape, bear arms, an eyeball on his stomach, a cigarette in his mouth and a penis on his head...AND in the usual place (which both were gratefully removed). All of which followed with laughter and chortling. During that time, I did my own rendition of the creature:One such event however, made me raise an eyebrow. One boy, who seemed interested in my work, posed a challenge to me: draw a picture of love. This peaked my interest and took his request, taking the time to draw a picture of love.

And it came out like this:
Having been in a relationship, the aspect of love I portrayed was the warm caring bond between a man and a woman. Touching, huh? 20 seconds it took to draw.

We then traded drawings and I quickly saw the boy's image didn't seem to embody what I perceived to be love.

It was just a naked woman. She had speech bubble saying something, but I can't remember what.

While I can accept to some degree that he was a young boy, many years before the true concept of love, women and life would sink in, it made me raise an eyebrow that this boy, at such a young age, considered love as a nude woman, perhaps deriving the "sex" aspect of life we see in television and the media. That love, in his eyes, was merely a sexual act or image.

That, or he was just goofing off. Either way, I thought it was worth noting.

The attempt had been to get the boys to come up with their own character and background, for which we could scan onto my laptop and edit in Macromedia Flash. Sadly, it came down to me making a rendition of the monstrous character on the white board, and use a previous background drawing made in a different class, as provided by Mark.

The finished animation was their character riding up a skate ramp, doing a back flip and running down the other side. Surprisingly enough, this fascinated the remaining boys. They had me correct the animation by having their character ride a skateboard and were otherwise quite impressed by it.

After which the seminar ended and both Gemma and I departed with Mark to get some late lunch, talking about the class and about animation, cartoons and such. Despite the kids having learned little, Gemma and I learned a lot from Mark about potential job opportunities. Should Mark need our help again, it will be interesting to see how the next seminar turns out.

Closing Thoughts

While I mainly stayed out of the central doings of the seminar (as it was officially Mark's job), it was nice providing help with the animation portion of the class. Gemma provided her artistic talent with the whiteboard, and even took the approach to keep some order in the room.

In some ways, I felt bad I may have upstaged Gemma, as it was her initial job in the first place. She had since told me however, she was glad I was there to keep her company. And I was glad to have been there.