Wednesday, 30 December 2015

[Minor Project] 38: Iron Character; Modelling & Texturing Complete

While I compile and sort my development images, these high resolution images act as evidence of the completion of my Iron character's modelling and texturing. He has been textured to look like a vinyl toy, which of course required a lot of tweaking! I have used a Mia_Material_X texture with a carefully customised Matte Plastic preset and a Maya-based bump map. My own small collection of vinyl toys proved extremely useful for figuring out the texture's attributes, especially my Bender figure. 

I have not made Iron's hands retractable because in 3D it feels like the extra complexity of having hand-alcoves in Iron's side would be out of place. If some form of sliding panel were used to hide the hands when retracted such an option would be stepping too far into robot territory.

Texture Influences
Bender vinyl figure

Saturday, 26 December 2015

@Phil [Minor Project] 37: Water Character; Thumbnails 15-54

The grayscale colour scheme is not representative of Water's final colour scheme, also her feet and hands have yet to be designed. If you would like to find out more about my Water character and view her Influence Map please click over to my previous post. My favourite thumbnails are 4349 and 47.


Water character thumbnails 15-34

Water character thumbnails 35-54

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

[Minor Project] 36: Water Character; Revised Influence Map & Character Info

During a previous tutorial with Phil, we discussed various aspects of Water's personality. Water will be female, she'll also be best friends with Oxygen in the sense of a Jack & Jill, Harry & Hermione, or head boy & head girl kind of relationship. Hydrogen may have a crush on Water, making him jealous of Oxygen's friendship with her. This jealousy would be the reason behind the argument between Oxygen and Hydrogen in episode one of Elements Academy.

Like Oxygen, Water will be a popular character because in reality water brings life; children also grow up with water and oxygen being a good thing. As well as popular, Water will be powerful, confident and courageous, whilst also energetic and sporty. She is not a "girly girl", nor drippy. Phil suggests that Water and Oxygen would be the characters that re-occur the most within the Elements Academy series.

[Minor Project] 35: Iron Character; Head 3D Model Development Page

The page's size is 41.05cm by 23.09cm, with a ratio of 16:9. This allows the page to fit perfectly within the Art Of presentation, and would transfer well into a physical copy of the Art Of. This image is intended to be viewed at a larger size, accessible by left clicking on the image, or right clicking and selecting Open Image in New Tab

Inspired by Tom McDowell's presentation during his visiting lecture, the Elements Academy logo will be visible throughout the Art Of presentation. As above, the requirement of the logo to be depicted on a black / dark background will be expanded into the full presentation; the use of font and its colour also stem from the logo.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

@Alan [Minor Project] 33: Iron Character; Modelling 02

FAO Alan
Since Iron's eyes aren't made up of spheres, what do you think the best alternative is for animating the pupil? After researching Sonic 3D models I came across the idea of using animated UVs, or animating a black circular plane moving over the surface of the eyes; would any of these be a suitable option?

On a separate note, I may have misheard one of my classmates last week, but is rigging (or building the skeleton?) now a significantly/completely different process in Maya 2016?

Iron head progress: smoothed mesh

First eyes test (to be revised)

Some Progress Info
Development of the head will be compiled and uploaded in a separate post. Here's Iron's head progress so far! 

See here for the models of his torso and feet so far.

I had tested out Iron's eyes but quickly realised that having them slightly bulbous did not work. I will experiment with flatter eyes and having them set deeper in the head.




Cross-section (Persp)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

@Phil [Minor Project] 32: Oxygen Character; More Hand Testing

In response to Phil's feedback on my previous post I have experimented with Oxygen hands H19 and H20 in combination with his body. My primary favourite is 12 and secondary favourite is 15.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

[Minor Project] 31: Oxygen Character; Hand Designing & Testing

I began with the top view of Hydrogen's hand and developed Oxygen's from there, since both their bodies are built upon a sphere. I had previously encountered the problem of the claw-like appearance 3 fingers can have whilst designing Iron's hands, so I decided to give Oxygen four fingers because it may further help the audience empathise with him if his hands are more humanoid. 

After producing 20 variations I chose my top 6 - H04, H06, H08, H12, H13 and H17 - and tested these out in combination with Oxygen's body. For 07-09 I tested out my top 3 of these with smaller hands. I was torn between 05 and 08, thinking 05's hands might be too big; I decided upon 05 as my favourite, which uses H13 as the hands.

Favourite Oxygen design

Oxygen hand thumbnails H01-H20

Oxygen (with hands) thumbnails 01-09

Saturday, 12 December 2015

@Alan [Minor Project] 30: Iron Character; Modelling 01

Alan do you have any feedback for me on my Iron modelling progress please? Such as whether you think the hard edges of Iron's torso are suitable, or whether the hard edges are too sharp on Iron's torso/feet.

Latest Progress





Foot Projections - Non-smoothed

Foot Projections - Smoothed


Iron's head will sit partially within an alcove inside his body, his hands with also be able to retract into an alcove either side of his chest, I have indicated these features in the front & side views via dotted lines and darker shading. The side view does not show Iron's facial features or his brow.


On Iron's foot I had previously performed an offset extrude on its lower part to create a hard edge, afterwards I decided to extend the edges up the foot on the 4 sides instead, giving the foot harder edges leading to the point. Curving in the bottom of Iron's foot in the front view did not look right so I decided to remove this feature.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

[Minor Project] 29: Oxygen Character; Chosen Colour

After receiving feedback from Jackie, Adam & Kayliegh I have switched to using CL08 for Oxygen's colour scheme. Turns out this isn't too similar to Iron's colour, as I had previously worried.

Back Row: Graphite (Carbon), Iron & Helium. Front Row: Oxygen & Hydrogen.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

[Minor Project] 28: Oxygen Character; Colour Tests 01-10

Taking Oxygen thumbnail 75 ahead, I have performed multiple colour tests. Feedback from Kayliegh indicated that her favourites are CL08 and CL02, meanwhile my favourites are CL09CL03 and CL02
Next up is designing Oxygen's hands...


Oxygen Colour Tests 01-10

Colour Influences with Swatches

Friday, 4 December 2015

@Phil [Minor Project] 27: Sound & Language Ideas: Gibberish, Simlish etc.

The inspiration
Jackie linked me to a really effective Character-based animation about some of the properties of Oxygen and its interactions with other periodic elements. This animation's reliance is on physical comedy, expressions and a voiceover. Similar to my Elements Academy characters, some of the periodic elements have been adapted as elementary school children. This animation got me thinking about my use of sound in my eventual Elements Academy animation...

Why not a voiceover?
Using a voiceover does not feel right for my animation, I feel it's too direct and could take the focus away from what's important about the animation, how the elements interact.

If not a voiceover, what?
Elements Academy will be so much more about what the characters do than what they say; this leads to the interesting proposal of rather than my characters speaking a specific language such as English, I'm looking to go the route of The Sims Simlish language, and Despicable Me's Minions by having my characters use a gibberish-based language. Using a gibberish-based language would mean characters body language, tone and expressions take centre stage.

A gibberish-based language, why?
If Elements Academy was a real web series, using such a language would remove the need for translation for viewing by non-English speakers, thus reducing costs and increasing its ability to reach a wider audience; in practice taking further advantage of the internet's multinational connectivity, thus increasing the marketability of the product and widening the dissemination potential of Elements Academy merchandise.

@Phil [Minor Project] 26: Oxygen Character; Thumbnails 56-75

After receiving feedback from Phil and Jackie about my previous Oxygen thumbnails, I have adjusted my tactic. The main changes include the moving of the facial features higher up the body, the addition of a button nose, and bringing back the mouth's horizontal symmetry. My favourite thumbnails are 75, 70 and 68

In thumbnail 75, to help fill the blank space on Oxygen's body I tested out a tie inspired by the Erlenmeyer flask, however it quickly became apparent that this wasn't really working and I removed it in the next thumbnail.


Oxygen character thumbnails 56-75

More influences

Saturday, 28 November 2015

@Phil [Minor Project] 25: Oxygen Character; Thumbnails 26-55

In response to Phil's feedback on my previous post I have adjusted my approach to Oxygen's design. My favourite thumbnails are 55, 49 and 43I quite like 49, however I'm unsure whether the off-centre mouth adds too much asymmetry to the design? This is why it has been shown as my second favourite, rather than my first.


Oxygen character thumbnails 26-55

New influences

Thursday, 26 November 2015

@Phil [Minor Project] 24: Oxygen Character; Thumbnails 01-25

There are similarities between the design of Oxygen and Hydrogen because it is important for the audience to believe that these two characters could combine to create the Water character. The large mouth and 'quiff' are important aspects of Oxygen's design, with the former connecting to breathing and the latter to Oxygen's kindly yet mischievous nature. The hands have not been designed yet, but I partly know how they're going to look. The grayscale is not representative of Oxygen's final colour scheme. My favourite thumbnails are 24, 14, 20 and 09.


Oxygen character thumbnails 01-25

Oxygen character Influence Map 01

Hydrogen character front view