Work is boring so WHY NOT BLOG?! 

To be honest, I’ve come into this with absolutely no idea about what I’m going to type XD.

I’m currently snap chatting Maxx a series of videos and pictures of me at work doing stupid shit, and all of this is rather irrelevant.

Hmmmm

I’m going to soon come up with a bunch of projects that I’ve either not finished yet, or really want to do in the new year. Whether they be 2D, 3D or hand-made, I’m going to endeavour to complete them and keep this page updated on their progress! Yeah!

Motivation and all that! Woo!

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2016 and such

So for those of you who follow me now, expecting a blog of purely animation-related content, stop that. 😀 I’m going to try and blog here more and more about everyday things, feelings, opinions, blah.

Essentially, I want to really make a change to myself this coming year, and I feel that writing things out here will really help me keep on track with everything I have planned. Now of course there will still be animation-related posts/content! So don’t stress about that (Were you anyway? Nah.), but I want to talk much more about random things, and this blog is as good a place as any to start that.

Alrighty, I’m going to lay out some goals here that I’d like to see accomplished for 2016, and I’ll also first outline goals that I laid out early 2015. Why? Because I actually managed to achieve more of my 2015 goals than I expected, and I’m seriously very happy about that 😀

Here goes.

2015:

Unaccomplished

  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
  • See my Siblings More Often
  • Accept Yourself guuuuurl
  • Finish Cave In The Sky

Accomplished

  • Buy a Jeep
  • Get a Distinction for at Least One Class
  • Finish my Studies
  • Get an Internship (and pass)
  • Focus More on my Studies
  • Quit the Cafe
  • Don’t Stress About Life as Much
  • Lose Weight
  • Battle the Sads.

So, going by this list there are a few things that definitely need to happen next year. My siblings are 4, 2 and almost 1. I need to visit them more, especially now for Indya, because this is where she’ll start having proper memories of me in her life, and I want to be there. I love my siblings to death and would do anything for them all, so this has to be rectified. Studies are out of the way, so I have no excuse anymore.

Accepting myself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle go hand-in-hand I think. While during one period of the year I did manage to lose a significant amount of weight, I didn’t keep it off, and I definitely didn’t do it in the healthiest way possible. I definitely want to lose weight again, but this time in a way that is much better for me and easier to keep up.

Cave In The Sky was a bust. And I sadly didn’t get to cross this off my list (Should NOT have put it in there to begin with). Oh well.

Achievements! They were great! Definitely proud of myself this year for doing things I set out to do 😀 During the CITS times of uni, I had some very bad, very unstable moments. There was a lot of stress with uni, and a lot more with work, which led me to a very bad place in my mind. I visited a doctor who tested me with severe depression, anxiety and stress. SO, that was fun. Anyone who saw me during that time might have noticed, but I tried to keep it pretty hush-hush around those who weren’t super close to me. Thank you to everyone who reached out during that time to keep me sane. XD

One thing that definitely helped me pull myself out of my emotional/mental funk was buying me JEEEEEEEEP. MUCH HAPPINESS. AWW YISS. NOTHING MORE TO SAY OTHER THAN A BIG OL’ FUCK YEAH.

2016:

  • Lose Weight and Maintain Weight Loss
  • Live an Active, Healthy Lifestyle
  • Get a Full-Time Job
  • Focus on my Art More
  • Make Animation my Hobby and Passion Again
  • Save for a House
  • Save for a Vacation
  • Cosplay More!
  • Love Yourself guuuuuurl

Thankfully, I’m already taking steps to have this list checked off before the year has even begun! I joined a gym a few weeks ago, and have been going at least 3 times a week (aiming for at least 4 from now on). Christmas may have ruined any progress I made, but that’s to be expected so I won’t let it get me down.

I’ve already almost completed two pieces of art since Christmas, so that’s exciting too! Hopefully I can continue this as I go, because good gods I have let my art flop recently.

I’ve already started making some amazing cosplay plans for 2016, and with the weight loss planned out and already in progress, this should be awesome!

I’m not allowed to say much just yet, but with regards to a Full-Time job I may already have something lined up and that’s super exciting, because that ties into my house and vacation saving plans! HOORAY.

LIFE IS COMING UP MILHOUSE.

 

Peace out everyone, hope your 2015 finished on a high note, and your 2016 is amazing!

 

 

JOTUNHEIM HAS ITS TEMPORARY LOGO. YAY!

logo process

Logos!!

Definitely not an easy thing to design, definitely not easy to constantly think about, DEFINITELY NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE CONCEPTED AND DESIGNED IN A FEW HOURS. SO DON’T TAKE THIS AS A TUTORIAL.

Our team needed a logo, and so I decided to jump on that ASAP. Essentially, Jotunheim originally means ‘Land of the Frost Giants,’ so blah blah blah, of course I’m going to think of mountains and snow XD.

My idea was essentially to piece together the snowcaps so that they looked like icy stalactites hanging down… etc.

Honestly not sure if I achieved that, but sometimes simplicity is best. lelelel 😛

ALSO!
I wanted to make sure that this logo would be easy to see on both a dark and light background, while also being minimalistic, simple, and just in general not too outstanding (Mostly keeping this in mind for when the logo is in the same picture as say, a game title), but also pretty.

SO I FINALLY CAME UP WITH THIS:

JOTUNHEIM_LOGO

HUZZAH!

Works on both dark and light backgrounds, gets the point across kinda, annnnd only took me a few hours. Woohoo!

Moving on to sleep now. 🙂

SUPER QUICK HANDY TIP FOR Y’ALL

OKAY. So I know I haven’t posted a blog since last tri, and that’s simply been because I’m a lazy turd.

However, I’ve been going strong with Utangard things now, and would just like to give you all a helpful tidbit of knowledge that I discovered.

Have you ever had troubles in 3DS Max, trying to render out your model with normal maps applied, only to find that it isn’t doing even close to what you want? It still looks completely flat and BLEH?? That’s what was happening to me. I’d apply the maps, add lights, everything, but it still wouldn’t look good.
YOU KNOW WHAT I REALISED?!
You need a different coloured light. (A red omni is what I’m using)

So now, my once super flat renders of my objects are looking MUCH better.

This the the final texture for the axe:
bumptest_11bumptest_09

And this is a super quick test texture for the shield, definitely NOT finished. Just wanted to see how convincing I could make the middle look. 🙂

bumptest_01

SO YEAH. JUST REMEMBER TO ADD ANOTHER AWESOMELY COLOURED LIGHT TO YOUR RENDERS GUYS. MAGIC.

~ PEACE.

Showreel is up!!

So while my home internet struggles to upload my 2gb video of the starting scene in this showreel video, the actual showreel video is up and ready to view! Yay uni internet! XD

This tri was definitely a test for me, but I’m glad I can say that it’s over now and have something to show for it 🙂

The iconic work of The Grand Budapest Hotel

To venture a (tiny) bit from my usual composition studies, I wanted to try and understand exactly what made the film, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ such a highly awarded, iconic piece of cinematography today.

It seems that Wes Anderson is a big deal in cinematography these days XD. He’s iconic with his work, creating quirky, interesting films through an incredible use of colour, composition and cutting.

I started collating some screenshots of various scenes when after a short while, it hit me. The use of symmetry in this film is incredible.

pDBfGa_oYHix

Wes Anderson is known for his effective use of planemetric shots in many of his films, so much so that it’s become his main, iconic composition. When done correctly, the viewer is able to focus exactly on the object at hand.


gsbQhP77RU6x

Not only does his use of symmetry perfectly highlight the focal points of the shot in the middle, but his use of colours also helps draw the eye towards it as well.


GrandBudapestStill__121

The reason symmetry is effective in cinematography, is because it’s effective in real life. Take the golden ratio for a face. Humans find beauty in symmetry, it’s just mathematically pleasing to us to see it. So of course, scenes shot effectively with perfect symmetry are going to stand out to us for sure.

beautymaskGolden-Ratio_Face_Mask

image004_1I’m more and more astounded at how incredible these stills are as I find them, I think I truly need to watch this movie. XD

GrandBudapestStill__014

So far as story goes, I’m not too sure how iconic this movie is for it. However, I know that one of its most noticeably incredible aspects is the meticulous compositional planning of Wes Anderson and his cinematographer, to create such shots that truly captivate the audience the whole time.

I hope that at some point I can use planimetric shots to try to make my own work stand out in an interesting, effective way. But for now, here is a compilation video by kogonoda, highlighting just how much Wes uses symmetry in his films.


http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/5-things-you-can-learn-from-wes-andersons-symmetrical-style

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/02/16/inside-best-picture-nominees-deep-dive-grand-budapest-hotel

https://library.creativecow.net/wilson_tim/VFX_The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel/1

http://www.zimbio.com/Beyond+the+Box+Office/articles/aJkOolL4DY6/7+Deep+Thoughts+Grand+Budapest+Hotel

http://www.theperipherymag.com/the-grand-budapest-hotel/

http://www.photogenie.be/photogenie_blog/blog/too-pretty-eat-grand-budapest-hotel

http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2014/03/26/the-grand-budapest-hotel-wes-anderson-takes-the-43-challenge/

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/18/5521442/the-perfect-symmetry-of-wes-anderson-films

Lighting Solutions

For my final viking trailer I created, I had to make some serious decisions about what kind of mood I wanted to portray with it. And of course, lighting plays a big part in that.

How does it make you feel?
Ideally, I’d have asked a lot of people, but I only got to ask my family what they thought of it, to which they all replied ‘Oh that looks awesome! Cool’ – Thanks pals 😛

In my mind, I wanted to create a story with this short piece. I wanted to look at this scene and think, ‘something is about to happen today, I wonder what it is.’

My decision-making started with our team’s original idea that, above all else our game is about Glory. No more, no less. And that’s originally what I was going to do for my trailer with the viking character, but due to technical difficulties I had to change my mind. SO, I went with the next best thing:

MovieFrame00045

‘The day looks hopeful, yet uncertain.’

Initially, my scene was much brighter. I had a sunset bloom that gave the camera every lens-flare possible, along with multiple other point lights and such to make various things pop out. Due to my random decision making during this construction process, the pictures vary quite a lot. This also plays into how often I changed my mind about a composition idea after I looked at it through the camera view port.
UE4_2
UE4_4
UE4_1
UE4_3
UE4_5
But once I narrowed down the idea of what I really wanted to portray, I realised that warm, comforting lighting wouldn’t quite do the trick. It seems to easy. Our game is about Viking heroes battling each other in the names of their respective Gods, to win their favour and crush the opponent. That doesn’t particularly scream ‘warm, fuzzy light’ to me 😛

So with that in mind, I went with something a little more apprehensive. The initial idea was to just have the scene as it was, with no real highlight on the shield/sword/altar, but in the end, that didn’t create enough of an impact on the viewer. Without that point light highlighting that focal point, the picture was just dark and uninteresting.

Therefore, the addition of the random point light! Now, you’re probably thinking what I was at the time of adding this ‘This looks weird, it has no source, it’s just a random spotlight in the scene.’ This is correct, however as I said, it truly just didn’t look right without it. Having the light there made the red on the shield stand out, bringing the viewer’s eye more towards the point of focus that I intended. Not only that, but it shows that these pieces are going to play a big role in the game (warfare, yep defs), it’s a tiny bit of a teaser of what’s to come.

Personally, I think I did an okay job with this composition. The background isn’t too intense and the midground is easily the focal area of the shot. The only thing that I can now look back on and say is that I should have perhaps added something to the foreground in the bottom-left hand side, to further push the viewer’s eye to the shield.

Example here:
retouched menuscreenI feel like just this addition alone would have really helped to frame the entire shot. Phooey.
Other than that! I’m happy with it, and proud of my efforts for sure 🙂 I’ve still got a lot to learn about composition, lighting and colour, so perhaps I’ll focus all of my future projects on planning those out in meticulous detail 😛 Or maybe not …. huehuehue