Tuesday, 30 November 2010

29/11/2010 - Monday's Lesson

Not a lot happened in today's lesson, but I got new ideas about how to go forwards with the concept work.

Mike came round and took a look at how we are doing and introduced me to a few new artists that might help with working out the style for Smitten.




All of them are amazing concept artists and I'm going to take a leaf from their books with help in designing the concept for this film.. What has particularly captured me in all of them is the lineless style with odd shapes and angles.. it's not photo-realistic proportions.. I want to mimic this. They also have simple yet effective colour schemes which would be nice to try and work towards in my backgrounds too.

and other images Matt has suggested that might help;

Also spoke with Matt about the look of the film. He doesn't want the style too abstract or overcomplicated, the same as my last concept piece but with slightly simpler tones is the next look we are going to attempt.

Thanks to Yuki I now have SAI on my laptop, so I'm going to give it a try working between both programs for the next few pictures and playing with perspective where I can.

So now I'm off to experiment with drawing trees :) Mood pieces ftw!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

27/11/2010 - Concept Art

Here is the completed forest scene concept piece;

The style for this will probably not be used in the final as Matt wants a more 'wonky' look and the colours are a little bright, but this shows that we have explored different angles the look of the film could go down.

Also have an updated version of the Banquet Hall which has more depth to it;

Rather than continue to try and improve this piece when I could be working on other areas, I have asked my friends for more critique by uploading it onto my deviantart account and taking their comments into consideration I will use it as a stepping stone the next time I attempt to draw this scene.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

25/11/2010 - Thursdays Lesson

Today Dan took a look at our work from the past week and set us some new goals.

-Continue working in SAI but build the backgrounds using blocks in Maya first to get a grasp on layout design.
-Continue to push the perspective in pictures...
-In all future concept art consider how the characters will interact with the background (i.e. in my banquet hall picture below there is not enough room for Don to slide down the table as he would hit his head on the chandelier)
-Should also look into the Prince of Egypt layout book for ideas and talk to Frasier, a visiting lecturer who arrives next week.
-As a group try to have one test shot done by Christmas, ideally the most complex one to get it out the way and boost our confidence.
-Consider using 3D for the backgrounds in the final and whether it will make things easier for us.

In other news, started a new exterior concept piece yesterday..

But, as Dan pointed out, I must think about where the light is coming from and
Once this one is complete I am going to make a start on the Princess Tower, using Maya as a layout builder first!

The next concept piece I want to attempt is the Princess Tower. Here are some images from Matt's blog that will help me design the look;

Also finished the colour palette;

At least.... as close to the finished colour palette that we can get for the moment. Matt and I have agreed the concept art will be a lot more important to determining the design than these small thumbnails, but it is a start.

Also Warwick Castle research reference for Matt! (scanned from my Warwick Castle tour guide book);

22/11/2010 - Monday's Lesson

We had a special guest joining us in our lesson on Monday, Dave Bull, an artist who has previously worked for Aardman and other famous animation companies. He came round to each group and gave advice on story, colour etc.

He suggested a slight change of ending for our project as the animation does not make clear the princess' condition of having Agoraphobia, so instead we might knock out a few of the Knight's teeth and make them black so that she is disgusted by his smile and kicks him out of the window (making her problem that she's too picky rather than afraid). Either that or she really likes to sleep and resents anyone trying to take her away from her bed!

In the afternoon he gave us an interesting lecture about the 10 different types of stories, using WALL-E as a prime example. Aparantly, every story has the basic formula of one of the above, what keeps ideas interesting is how you order the events or mix the story types together. This is something we can keep in mind for the ending..

Also improved my picture from last week with advice from Mike on 2-point perspective. Original image with perspective reference;

Improved image;

Perspective is haaarddddd =__=

Matt also told me he wanted the table to be white with the shading being a reddish hue like one of the examples in the interior moodboard, so I quickly did a version with a white table for him as well;

I think I need to make the walls look less blank by adding candle holders and maybe some wallpaper patterns.

Mike also spoke to us and said we should think about the time period our piece will be set in and then research things for the decor accordingly. He gave us a few starting points to look at;
-The Austro-Hunagarian Empire (and the Museum of the Decorative Arts)
-Museum of the Applied Arts
-The Victoria and Alvert Museum - looking at Ceramics
-Maybe think about using the banisters on the stairs to lead the eye of where the action is heading
-Art decor

We are determined to finish the colour palette by the end of this week and I will also go through that tomorrow with Matt and get it done once and for all, we hope!
I have also started another concept art piece of some areas in the forest for practice..

19/11/2010 - Background Concept Work

As part of my goal of learning SAI I tried doing some concept work using it this week. Here is the finished result, a possible shot of the banquet hall;

There are a few things wrong with it, particular the lack of textures, the walls are positively boring but it's a start... If I get time i'll change it a tad.

Now then, compare it with a background concept I made in Photoshop for fun over the summer;

My thoughts so far? SAI is amazing for colouring, it really speeds up the process especially with tones, but I am not completely used to it yet as a lot of its functions are different to Photoshop. I am sure over time I will get better at this program and have knowledge of it equal to my knowledge of Photoshop.
The main things I miss are the 'dodge' and 'burn' tools which I use a lot in Photoshop for deep shading, as well as the ability to easily change things about the layers (add gradients, patterns, inside/outside lighting). The 'Water' tool in SAI is great for blurring though so it makes up for it in some ways.

More about working on the painting...


Pictures I was inspired by for this painting;

I think I liked the warmth of these pictures and the lighting so I tried to re-enact it in my own piece. I think I've made mine a little too simple with not enough background things going on though...

Also had some help from Matt who sent me useful tutorials on composition and perspective;

And here is the step-by-step progress I took completing my painting. Overall it took me between 15-20 hours (I lost count...);

After talking with Dan about maybe having to animate backgrounds, I was trying to think of shortcuts to get round this, so bending the background in this way would work really great in a pan shot of Don sliding across the table.

The smaller paintings hanging on the wall are all based on real paintings that i traced and simplified for decor, here are the originals;

Although I wouldn't want to use these in the real thing.. It was just a method so that the walls in the background didn't look too blank.


Now to do more work on the colour palette!!