Sunday, 22 November 2009

How bad I've been.

Ok So I've had some terrible attempts at Blogging. And Due to a re-enforced sense of responsibility within' my course and a new direction in which I'm taking my Studies. A New Blog is called for. Find My new Blog at TomDowler.Blogspot.com.
Cheers one and all.
Tom x

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The 2nd Year and My (s)Lacking.

Georg's Face Model
OK So, I thought I would attend Georg's Advanced Maya classes, cause to be fair, I understand the software and I love messing around on computers, I started out with the Face model really enjoying it. It was really good fun for a while, and then the re-starts happened. I started over because my Polygon count was far too much and the way I had modelled it was horrific. So I went back a few steps to basics via my incremental saves. Again and again I looked at my face and began to resent the complications my own face began to pose, not only that but it's hard to concentrate on something that sometimes makes you repulsed and then you have to figure it's on your own head. haha. Well, OK, maybe not repulsed by it. But it's not as good as looking at a face that you actually find interesting.
I have done Topology before, but in 3DsMax, I had also tried over the holiday, but Georg revealed a very simple and very effect way of going about it which suited my style very much so.
I don't think Modelling is my Forte to be fair. My artistic side lays within music and writing, and modelling seems very architectural or sculpture based. Especially being in the house with Matt Luxton and Simon Acty, both of whom are brilliant at this kind of thing, It's kinda down heartening to not get it as quickly.
My Aim I guess is just to go on and understand the software a bit better, even though I find modelling monotonous, to get a bit better at it.

Cathy's Convocation Project
Now everyone know's me and Cathy's lessons are normally a massive accident waiting to happen, But I am giving it my all this year. Admittedly turning up to the Life drawing classes are like Death to me, seeing everyone else in there and all of them being like,.... really good. I guess this is because they're all well trained before, or very naturally gifted. But I have felt I've gotten better.
Georg being there has helped quiet a bit, cause even though his Drawings seem better than mine, It gives me a bit of confidence to know someone who's actually done some good in the industry, draws a lot like myself. I think I could put in a lot more effort if I didn't feel like I was the upmost rubbish person in the class. (I'll upload some of my efforts when I can get to a Scanner)
But back to the Convocation drawing thing. To be honest, it's a really good project, and I want to put more time into it. I really do. I've just had a lot of personal things on my plate recently and getting back into a correct state of mind is killing me, and I know that I'm no good being like this, I guess I should just emerse myself in things I really want to do. I'll get my Drawing face on later on today.

The Dee Conundrum - Walk Cycles and Box Lifts
Ok so this,... not so bad, getting back into the Animation side of things is nice. Using the Dee rig in Maya to accomplish a Walk Cycle to start with to get everything back into our system. And it truely has been EVERYTHING. I even Animated in 48fps by accident. Without time to change I went to Dope sheet and messed everything up. Oh god, I just don't want to talk about it anymore haha, the Lift WILL be better, I will spend as much time as possible on it.
But recently, I've felt like I've wanted to get more "hands on", So I'm thinking about getting myself not only into the music studio, but maybe throwing myself into some stop motion, and mine and Jakes Experimental project is going to get a lot of attention.

Experi-mental.
The Experimental animation I am SO down with! I can't wait to get this under way. Me and Jake Jones have decided to work together on this one. Both of us coming up with Ideas and having a massive laugh along the way. Our aim is to do Pixelation of the human body infront of a white/blue/green screen (yet to be decided) and then composite cut out animation in the foreground and background. Our subject is Dream and Silhouette, So we'll just wait and see how this pans out! I'll let you know.

My Musings of late.

TBC

Monday, 1 June 2009

RAWRRRRRR! That's how a Dinosaur would say "Yeah, I did it"

We Did It!

HAYLE PROJECT = DONE

to say it was a success would be too early to tell. To be honest, I'm sick of it already. I mean I think we got across what we aimed to do, But I can honestly say, I wasn't a fan of the project to start with, and hearing that same story over and over and over again, while you work with that same image, over and over again. It's nice and refreshing to have it all done.

I think in all honesty, It was a massive success and I was proud of my group and their efforts, especially Matt L who pulled most of the project together. It was also nice to see how the majority of our skills complimented each others and we came out with something, again quiet simple but effective.

The most annoying part for me, was losing the use of my Macintosh, and thus losing the use of pro-tools. I tried using Adobe Audition on the last couple of days. But it's such a neandertillic piece of software in comparisson to Pro-tools.

So What did I do.
- Took on Producer Role halfway through.
- Character Concepts
- Character Design
- Initial Environment Design
- Character Animation (Wave and Facial animation)
- Re-Modelled the Bus.
- Composited the scenes
- Colour corrected the whole thing
- Final Renders and Compression.
- Adding what little sound there was.

Thanks to My team for being great to work with and Congratulations on getting it done again, as if the Pizza wasn't enough! haha. Tx

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Mutiny!

Ok so. My Problems at the moment along with the goings on of the group project.

Problem 1.
The other day, some smart arse AKA ME! accidently spilt orange Juice all over my Mac, thus disintergrating the hard drive, & from there on in, disallowing my mac to find the operating system on it, upon further inspection and taking apart the damn thing, (through blood sweat and turmoil, litterally,.... I cut my finger open on a casing) I've come to the conclusion I need a new hard drive, costing around 70 - 80 pounds and then to buy Mac OSX Leopard costing around the same amount, Yipee.

Problem 2.
I haven't got this money expendable at the moment..... Should have thought about cherishing the Job a bit more,... but screw it, I'm happier this way by far.

Problem 3. All my Sound Engineering stuff was rigged to my Mac, and my PC's sound card is fudged, So I'll have to look into fixing that, Which is ever so tempting to decapitate my last internet life line just like that,. But alas, this computer means to much to me at the moment to go destroying it. Even if it continues to do Physical memory dumps at the most inconvienient of times. I wish I'd never been as stupid as to keep a drink near my mac, Mac's do not require as much attention as PC's to make them run at their best..... Or at least I find, I built my PC and Love it, it can do everything I request of it, and I thank Stu for all the rad bits and Peices he gave to me, but god damnit I miss the sound from my laptop.

Problem 4. No Mac, No Decent Soundscape for film, we have no access to Pro-tools suites yet....... ANDY? GEORG? O:) And It's my only way to work on sound, I despise lesser peices of Audio Editing software, because I'm stuck up like that. *turns his nose up at Audition*

Okay Problems aside.

I took over as Producer on the Group drama from Emma, as much as I disliked doing this to her, I felt it needed to be done, and I think other group members felt the same, Apart from Jonnie. Taking the leadership role I've managed to get a steady influx of work coming in consistantly, and I'm already pretty damn proud of everyone working on everything, Matt Luxton has been a god on the whole project and today we finally saw some fruits for our work, of which I may post up tomorrow after a few more editing sessions seeing as I have finally come about being able to do some compositing and post production. Matt has done the majority of the modelling and has tweaked bits and peices to make sure they all fit in with the theme and look consistent for example, both me and Jonnie made Busses, the one Jonnie made ended up being a bit too hard to use in the scene so mine was used and Matt just changed a few textures to fit the mould, This has been so with a few things along the way, such as the lighthouse etc, and Lighting in certain scenes. I am currently compositing and adding the adjustment layers in After Effects. And messing around with other Ideas seeing as we seem to have a lot of time to play with, Our Idea has been very Simple,.. but I feel it will come to fruition and look very good.

Peace out Hombres, I'm off to attack these computers a little more. And maybe sleep.......

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Legacy of Dave

Bonjour.

So,.... haven't blogged in a while, and To be honest I felt bad for a while for having done nothing, but what with the new group project, I've found myself doing more than expected.

The Hayle project, I'm not gonna lie, when I heard the breif,.... I was close to hanging myself, it sounded so horrifically boring, and I think a lot of people felt the same way, thus I've spoken to a few people who just aren't motivated with it. Anyway, after hearing the brief I went away with the same idea I usually do "whoever asks first" that night I recieved a Text from Emma and thus my group was formed. Myself, Emma Taylor, Matt Butler and Matt Luxton (For the Time being).

We started out and Emma said she wished to take the Director and Producer jobs herself, which to be honest was fine by me, at the time I was working and felt that if I took that amount of responsibility on the project I'd end up not being able to support my team.

We established then which clip we were going to do, all of us were content with the decission of the "Bombing of the Gassworks", so that was pretty easy all in all. Then we assembled the group into our roles.

Emma - Pre Production
Matt B & Matt L - Production
Myself - Post Production

This was Ideal for me, and I figured I'd help out with the production before all the compositing happened.

So we got down to it, a lot of the pre production time was spent testing modelling, and I thought during this time I'd have a lot of time to test the effects we'd be using, I was wrong, I ended up doing a lot of the concept work, I didn't mind too much, But I'm horrific at pre pro, my artistic skills suck on paper. But here are a few of the ideas I threw down and around and are now being used in the main feature.This was the initial Idea I started with, taking from the front cover of Biffy Clyro's Infinity Land album, I drew up the guy with the gas mask, I love this piece of art. The Elongated face and style was something I wished to convey in our work. The original Peice looks something like this.



So taking from this art style & incorperating a bit of the "Jack Skellington" character from Nightmare Before Christmas I started to come up with some Character concepts.These all started out, we were looking at creating a youngish looking character but with crooked features and a kind of gangliness to him, thus when we animated him his whole mannerism would convey what we were trying to portray.

(My Blogger has stopped allowing me to upload pictures, so I shall upload more as soon as possible)

I'm currently working on getting the right look in after effects and creating a worthy sound scape for the peice.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Home sweet,..... Falmouth?

Ok so Ident,.... I think it went really really well in consideration, My idea admittedly wasn't fantastic as I rushed it after wanting to use my original Idea of Zirra, Although in saying this I think I spent a lot of the time helping other people out as well, which to be honest, I enjoy as well, I like to know that my peers think I know something (When half the time, they knew it all along, they just panic.) But yeah, I think I achieved something good with my work and having shown some of my old tutors they're all impressed with the fact I've managed to keep my style flowing throughout, it may be true that I'm not a fantastic artist, but to have kept my individuality and the fact people can tell it's me, is pretty cool.

So my process in production was.
Photoshop - Create initial Texture backgrounds
Maya - Create and Animate the book I used. (using a tutorial it was quiet an easy feat.)
After Effects - Make the moving picture files, exporting them as TGA's (this took a few times to get right.
Pro-tools - Creating my Sound track. =D Recorded and edited myself, I really wanted everything for my Ident to be very personal and likable.
Maya - Texture book, table and pages, this took some time due to having used Nurbs planes, it textured both front and back the same which gave my little perfectionist mind a bit of a ball ache. Exporting again as TGA's
After Effects - Creating the starting and ending points and adding the 5 second hold. Exporting as a move file.
Adobe Premier - Putting it all together, easy as pie really, throw the clip in, and the music and voila!

All in all, I really enjoyed this peice of work and think I did fairly well. So here you go, here's a few Images and Pre-Pro I did before the actual peice was made.
This was my initial story board, just a few roughs done in photoshop, but in all honesty, I don't think I could have explained my idea any better.

And here is my final peice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpC-atzbI6A

(Ps. Sorreh it's on Youtube, I'll upload it to Blogger when I next have hands on the raw file.)

Friday, 27 February 2009

OMG IS ZIRRA!

Blatantly know the greatest Character ever concieved is Zirra & his mate Dave.

Zirra's one cute little Godzilla fella, only he has a mischievious disposition and is constantly doing things people probably shouldn't. He's well known for trying to stamp on things to proove he's the don of his so called work place.

Check him out..


video

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

*Is a Ninja*

Believe it not,.... I have been updating this blog in my mind,....

Ok so the things that I've done or achieved since getting back from Christmas.

- Modeling a 3D room
- Essaying
- 2D environments
- After Effectsy goodness with L@5

Modeling

modeling has turned out to be quiet fun. I think I tend to learn software and techniques quicker than I tend to gain any form of artistic skill. I really enjoy it in all honesty, and I'm always called upon by fellow students to give them a hand. The only problems I had with the room was LIGHTING, god damn it,.... such a bother. No matter how many times I re-linked Mental Ray, it wasn't gonna render that way, Ray trace shadows? Non exsistent on the copy of Maya I was using quiet obviously. I mean, I think that's the only place I fall down. But I'm looking forward to taking my modeling to the next stage with the Ident project, I've got some great Ideas etc.


Essaying

you know how Vampires melt in the sun, or cower from crosses...... it's the same with me and Essays. I literally go into hiding so the thing can't find me, I find it really hard to concentrate on the written word at the best of times,.... I'm more of a hands on person. I guess it's just something I lost out on doing a practical course in College, but I never really had to do much essaying that wasn't evalutations of my own work etc. etc. So it's like research and referencing is a killer. I hated it. haha, But I think everyone was pretty much the same from what I heard. Oh well. I can only hope for the best.



2D Environments

The dreaded 2D work, I mean don't get me wrong, it's fun,.... But I don't really thrive there. I guess if I could stylize it my own way I might have done better, but me and Realism = kicking jesus in the balls....... (Not a pretty picture). I think I might give computer 2D design a go,.... I hate looking at my work on paper. (Except for the greatest concept known to man..... ZIRRA, More on that later.)


AE goodness with L@5

LIVE AT 5 possibly the worlds most fantastic brief, admittedly, it was pretty easy, and Jess ran the day we did very well. I was pretty impressed, although I didn't work on the Live at 5 stuff directly I was set to do work for the world tonight, for a Masters broadcast student. Then helping out on other things, the whole idea of having a deadline was much easier to work with than I had first expected and the day went very well, although broadcasting seemed a hell of alot less organised than ourselves, which was quiet awe inspiring in its own right. All in all i think our whole group did an amazing job and we finished all of our work way before the requested time.