Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Pixel Party!

A world Unknown
The Importance of..
Last week got off to an brilliant start with the focus on key fundamentals in art practice. Iain Talked us through the importance of composition and the many variants in which it comes, such as:

-  The Rule of Thirds
-  The Golden Ratio
-  Leading Lines
-  Implied Forms - The Circle
-  Implied Forms - The Radii
-  Implied Forms - The Cross
-  Implied Forms - "L"
-  Implied Forms - Iconic
-  Camera Tilt (to add a dynamic feel)

The quick run down of the key to creating a successful image if the first i have received from formal education. I made sure to draw out basic examples of each in my sketchbook for later referencing, this is so incredibly important for me to understand, as it wont matter how good of a draftsman i become my work will always look wrong without the correct perspective and composition to complement it.

After the quick run down of the fundamentals we quickly moved onto the basics of PS, this to me was both new and old. I have never been shown anything in PS before as i taught myself and gleamed pieces off the internet over the last year or two, so one of the techniques such as "Masking" was entirely new to me but has now become the core of my working process.
As the focus of this session was painting at speed i aimed for recreating each image (assending in difficulty)
 as quick and as accurately as i could. This lead to me at first becoming slightly irritated as i like to spend time on just about any piece of work i do, but i forced myself to continue onto the next one. On a few of the images i couldn't help but spend more time on them, so i had to continually check myself as this is CRUCIAL for me to become a successful CA. Speed, Clarity and Strong, these are the new words i have plastered into the front of my sketch book for me to memorize and fulfill every time i do a silhouette, a thumbnail or painting. I HAVE to get across quickly the whole message of the image so from a glance anyone can understand it and especially for the silhouettes for it to be memorable and different!

Colour Theory
This was a subject i was most interested to learn about, the brilliance of colour! Yet again this was a case of not being shown anything other than a sheet of paper with a colour wheel on at GCSE (no one even attempted to talk about it in my Illustration Degree). So Iain walked us through subjects such as Value and tone, Tint and Shade, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colours. This was so immensely useful to me and im really grateful to Iain because now i can see when i look at my old work the lack of knowledge i had of colour is blatantly obvious. I now always have a colour wheel up using the inspiration from "Triad Colours" while i work.

 This was the day of the greatest importance to me as it covered everything i need to know to create and become a successful CA. I cant lie and say that i fully understood and absorbed everything but i will say that i will try my damnedest to understand and use all of the compositions at my disposal aswell as extensive use and study of colour. As Iain said some artist dedicate their lives to the understanding and experimentation of colour and now i hope by Zeus's great beard that i will soon have a correctly functioning use of it.

Some examples of my work over this day:

The Dawning of the Second Day!
The second day was dedicated to how to create colour thumbnails using existing images for colour references and mood. I found this at first to be quite challenging as i was just getting us to using colour it compliments but i gave it my best shot, i felt this was very similar to the game we had on the first day of drawing an Apple 16 diffrent ways. I feel there is some that work nicley as the colour and the composition work well together, here is what i did in the first part of the day:

I feel a real pull to the Mermaid image (No 3) as the Suggested circles draw the viewer in, I tried to use a mix of the Golden Ratio and The Rule of Thirds. The bottom right hand corner of the thumb does feel a little exposed and out there, the use of coral in the foreground might help frame the image better.

The shoal of sharks was an attempt of getting the mood of the light and fun bay and flipping it on its head, but not leaving the lighter colour pallet. i tried to do this by having the darker blues coming from the depths up to the lighter sun soaked waves with the highlights of light beams coming through the water. For this image i tried to just use The Rule of Thirds as for a simple image i thought this would work best. I added the two other Hammer heads to give a sense of distance and depth to the basic image .
Most of my time was spent on working out ideas to paint which was the most frustrating thing for me so i quickly adapted to selecting a colour and painting until my eye see's a shape that i like then i went from there. I think this was the least useful thing i could have done as planning is so important in making an image.

In the last part of the day we focused on doing quick colour studies using the "Grey Box" method. This was really fun for me as i wasnt allowed to use the colour dropper and had to rely on my eye to make sense of the colour and for me to pick the out using the HSB sliders in PS. Iain told me that i have to do a few of these every day to increase my off hand knowlage of colour and how well it works in other peoples work. So here are two examples of what iv been doing, one is from the other day (30th) and the other from the thumbnail class.

So ill finish here as im tired and i have class in 9 hours! 

Monday, 23 September 2013

And We're Back!
So today has been my fist real day on my masters course at Birmingham City Uni and im so freaking PUMPED! 

Break down of my day and what iv learnt.
The day started with a Power Point just to show us the dates of our terms and what we will be covering in them, as well as a in depth chart of our next few weeks day by day. I found this really helpful as it helped me realize how intensive this course is really gunna be, im super excited for tomorrows lineup!

We got set a challenge abit before lunch in a group of 4 we had to draw an apple 16 times in 16 different ways. This at first i thought was a bit odd, but as we progressed through the challenge i quickly realized that it was a simple way of addressing a common issue in the games industry (that being the over saturation of games in every genre). To me it basically said here is what people have done before you with the genre now what can you do different with the same thing? Its a really difficult challange and had us scratching our heads quite a few times. When all the teams gathered together at the end and put up their 16 images there was alot of the same refrences/pictures, but what stuck in my head is the creative and original ones that stuck out like the Crab Apple and Granny Smith. These two images where just a play on words of type of Apples you can get but the humor and creativity stuck with me more than say the images of Apple trees and Apple Mac logos. So out of the 80 images from all 5 groups only 2 stuck in my head and that is what we aim for as game designers that magic 2.5%. Well this is what i took away anyhow.

The second part of the day we had to Evaluate two games out of eight in our new groups, we had Space Inversion 2 and Retro Dust. SI2 and RD where made by the same developers and that shows mainly through their home screen. Our sheet looked like this:
-      Unit Types Behaviors
-      AI
-      Difficulty
-      Controls
-      Style
-      Mood
-      Enviroment
User Interaction
-      User Interface
-      Controls
-      Ease of use
-      Layout/Placement
-     Style
-     Atmosphere
-     Setting
-     Quality

I found this really helpful as it breaks any game down in to clear and concise sections, hopefully i will use this layout to look deeper into other games throughout this year.

The final part of the day was spent discussing our new project! yes we have to make a game in ten days! as this is my first attempt at a game out of my comfort area (the art style is Pixel Art) i am strangely really excited at the challenge. So before i get ahead of myself, our project is to create a Space Invaders style game within 10 days, this clearly ties in with the Apple exercise we did earlier in the day as SI is very much the Apple of games history, done to death re-imagine hundreds of times in many ways but i want to have a game that is that 2.5%. Our tutors have given us a sheet of what we need to have in the game and what is optional, we was given about 45 mins to quickly come up with themes and decide on one so we could present it infront of the other groups. My group settled on a Halloween theme scrolling game with R.C cars as the ships as its close to that time of year but thats as much as we have right now. I did get a bit overexcited though and start drawing some cool Halloween themed pixel R.C cars on the train home today.
Some feedback that we got from Oliver was that we needed to come up with a key mechanic as a selling point which is very true as we dont want to be just a re-skinned SI iv been trying to think of some good ones but im going to have a chat with my group tomorrow about the possibilities as we didnt get chance to think about that today, ill keep you updated!

I was going to post a study i did but my tablet just died and i cant finish it off but i will upload it asap!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Quick Draw!

My little red book

So it appears that iv disappeared into the world of adults for a couple of months, what with moving house, going to London and working 50hr weeks in-between. Anyhow I bought a new travel sketchbook as my new sketchy companion, so here is a collection of my work from said book.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Train Life

Well today i was going to show you what i have been doing in these past two weeks, but since i haven't updated in a while i will spread it over a few posts. 
So i will start the new wave of posts with a collection of sketches iv done while on the train to Leicester these past few weekends.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Greyscale Knight
I would like to discuss a point within this little segment, as some of my friend groups have been talking about Game of Thrones recently, it happened to bring us onto the topic of why do a lot of games companies focus a little too much on the "lack of armour" of their female characters. There are many examples of bad-ass female characters in GOT armored or clothed and they manage to carry that subtle allure, but this is only a hint compared to their obvious inner strengths. Would this be so difficult to implement into a game? We obviously boiled it all down to the simple fact that sex sells, but in this new era of gaming should company's be relying on that this much to sell their games? Every day i log onto my Facebook account (on my phone) and see ad after ad of fantasy "Anime" games with more bosom than there is monsters/weapons/magic (take your pick) in the game. Now don't get me wrong i love drawing women just about as much as i love drawing robots, but lets say "over generous" artists could easily achieve that effect with a reduction to the extreme proportions and the addition of cleverly designed Armour that actually would protect all that you need to live! 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Heads up!
I love statues of all forms, more specifically the Roman ones. This quick sketch i have done is one that will be coupled with a study i have done on Photoshop, i have tried to sketch out exactly where the light from my lamp and the counter light from my tv cross throwing shadows over the face. One of the more common techniques i have come to realize that is in most art nowadays, is the double light source effect. One that i am physically trying to study rather than pretend id know exactly where the shadows fall. 

All I Can See Is Thumbnails!
Well i hate not being able to do things, more specifically art things. I quickly realized that my landscapes are lacking some well deserved time and attention from me, so i decided it would be best to spend a couple of hours doing them.