FMP: Evaluation

Research

Mood-boards: I was able to get a good sense of the type of look that steam-punk is known for by making a large variety of mood boards, based on different vehicles, games and especially, buildings.

This also allowed me to get a better feel for the different colours, tones and technology that’s most prevalent in Steam-punk

Architectural research: Using and researching different examples of London buildings I was able to use the different styles in those buildings to give my art pieces a greater sense of authenticity.

Influences: I took influence from video-game concept artists such as half-life’s artist Viktor Antonov, and the sketchbook work of Leonardo Da Vinci. I also took influence from video-games such as Dishonoured, Codename: Steam and Chrono Trigger.

Direct observation: To base my drawings more realistically I went about sketching buildings from life, However, I think I could have drawn  a bigger variety of different types of architecture such as sky-scrapers, apartment blocks and grander, church buildings.

Time management and planning

Deadline: Due to my skill at time management, I was able to hand in my FMP on time. Sticking to my brief schedule helped with keeping the various stages of my project on track.

I am still an amateur when using Maya, especially with texturing and creating textures, so modelling the 3D street for my project took longer than expected despite the fact that I managed to obtain and import the textures I wanted.

Developing and modifying work

Changes: At the start of this project, I originally had the idea of creating and drawing various characters for my game concept. However I found I could get enough art pieces and research just out of the concept of a Steam-punk city, and time constraints wouldn’t allow me to look that deeply into my concept.

Ideas: I had a few ideas on how to display my art pieces. An idea I initially had was to convert my 3D Maya model into a 3D print, but by the time I overcame my problems I had with Maya I had to stick with a photographic display for my end-of-year show.

Colour experiments: For a while, I experimented with the various colours you would find in a steam punk city, for example, shades of yellows, browns and more metallic shades like blue-grey and and dark grey.

Concept development: If I had more time, I could’ve given my concept a more fleshed out story rather than just the story of how London became a steam-punk city, for example, giving it characters and various other settings. However I didn’t have the time for these initial concepts, so I thought that rendering the city and giving it an identity would be enough.

Materials, techniques and processes

At first the materials I used to develop my initial sketches before going into Photoshop, is a set of pencils and a sketchbook. With these I drew different perspectives of my city, and  used different shading techniques to render these sketches.

I think scanning in these sketches to Photoshop helped me create the final pieces closer to how I originally pictured them.

Using Maya was useful as I was able to get a sense of one of my images in a 3D format. However, adding textures proved to be a challenge, as at first, I wasn’t sure how to save them with the model itself. I overcame this problem however, and I was fairly happy with the result.

I decided to do this as I thought that having a 3D model of my city design gave a different dimension to work in in my project.

Final outcome

I decided to present my project as a selection of A3 images as if for a gallery. I did it like this because I felt it fit the project I was doing. However, I had to display my 3D model in a 2D format using screen-shot based photos as I didn’t have the time to fully create a 3D print of it.

I felt it fulfilled the brief as it made the images easy to display and it was the most professional way to show them.

Conclusions

If I undertook the project again, I think I would pay more attention to the research section of the project, so I could have more context to what I was drawing and sketching. To do this I would aim to obtain more primary research by going to London and getting some photos of various building as well as the Shard and the Gherkin.

I learned more about 3D modelling in Maya and texturing using images in Photoshop, especially about texturing (in Maya) and using Arnold for rendering shaders. I also learned how to display my art pieces and having a display set-up in a professional way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FMP: Steam-punk city 3D model

To take my project and sketches further, I decided to re-create one of my art pieces in a 3D space using a combination of Autodesk Maya and Photoshop.

3D logo

  1. In Photoshop, I began to create different city block layouts, to establish where the buildings will be placed.
  • Set up a new page with a 300 PXL size
  • Select a square brush
  • Using the marquee tool, select the whole page and fill it with a beige or tan colour
  • Select the pen tool and mark a vertical and horizontal line across the page meeting in the middle
  •  Using the pen tool again, draw out where the foundations of the buildings will be within the blocks
  • Create at least three separate layouts like this, with different foundation placements

However, after I created these layouts, I realised that the way I was creating this model wasn’t time-sufficient enough for the project, so I decided to begin modelling from scratch, basing the model off of one my art pieces, namely this one:

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 18.50.51
Street view piece
Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 18.35.42
Model progress

I began with a few basic shapes, laying out where I want the buildings to be placed, and how I want them to be situated.

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 09.22.10
Background shard model

After adding the basic shapes, I created a background model based off of my depiction of a steam-punk shard building, along with the train-track bridge.

The result was this final polygonal model

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 09.39.04
final model

Then the time came to begin adding texturing to the buildings and the various details on their surface.

I began testing out the texturing system using the hyper-shade page and began to get a feel for the various textures and seeing which ones went best with the steam-punk look I was going for.

Eventually, I went for a dark red brick for the buildings, and a dark, industrial bronze for the pipes and various other details.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 12.21.22
Using the Hyper-shade panel to test different textures and shading

I then begin applying these textures to the polygon using “apply existing textures”- “Phong”.

I then used the “attribute editor” panel to go to “colour”, “file” and then selecting the texture/photo file I wanted to use from the desktop. Then I had to make the textures visible by turning on the “textured” icon in the top bar.

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 09.56.26
icon menu

 

 

 

After various tweaks selecting the different faces on the polygon models and editing the texture’s placement using “planar”, my model began to look like this

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 14.36.04

 

I then started a bigger variety of textures such as glass/window for the shard and managed to achieve a smoke/steam effect by using a series of sphere polygons and applying a smoke texture in the attribute editor.

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 10.06.21
A basic smoke texture
Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 12.22.10
Final model with smoke texture

When I had finished editing the smoke’s texture, I then played around with the different Arnold shaders eventually settling on one called “ACES RRT v0.7” as that’s the one that looked the most industrial to me and fit the steam-punk genre the most.

This is my final model

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 10.56.13.png
My 3D steam punk street

 

FMP: Steam-punk moodboards

To give myself a better idea of different vehicle and mech designs, I created many different mood-boards with steam-punk based mech and air-and sea craft images I found.

With these, I discovered different textures, colours and shapes I can use in my designs.

steam-punk air and sea tech moodboard copy
Looking at different air-ship and marine designs, along with Neil Gaiman’s Stardust book
Steam-punkFMP mood-board 2
Different steam-punk mechs and vehicles
Steam-punkFMP mood-board3
Air-craft designs and pilot design

 

Steam-punkFMP-mood-board
Offensive-based mechs and potential vehicle designs
LDV-MB-Screenshot
Getting inspration from Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings and designs

FMP: Sketches and Digital drawing techniques and development

For the second part of my project, I started sketching out different layouts for my city, trying out different perspectives and using isometric grid paper.

FMP-SteamCitymainstreetview
Street view 1
FMP-SteamCitystreetview2
Street view 2
FMP-SteamCityairview
Air view
FMP-Constructmechs (1)
Construction Mech designs

Photoshop stage

I imported my sketches into Photoshop, ready to be painted, however, before I began this process, I decided to learn more about digital painting in Photoshop, as I needed to improve on my skills in that area.

Using various magazines and YouTube tutorials, I found new ways to paint with Photoshop, such as choosing a pallet and having it at a corner of a page for easier access and using the smudge tool.

Digital drawing practice
Digital drawing practice
FMP-SteamCitystreetview2 copy
Blocking in colours

Using textures

By selecting different textures from photos on my mood-boards using the lasso tool, I was able to transfer them to my drawings and fit them using the scale and warp transform edits, into the buildings and other parts of the scene, to give each of them convincing textures.

Using Image- adjustments- exposure, I was able to blend each texture into whatever surface I was using it for by adjusting the Gamma correction and exposure levels until the texture looks natural.

clock face texture
Giving the tower a clock-face texture

 

 

 

 

 

 

road with textures
Road with textures

For some of these textures, I used different images of London buildings such as these

FMP (Final Major Project) Architecture research

For the course’s final major project, we were asked to propose a project based on the theme of modern times, change and value. For my idea, I am creating concept art for a film or a video-game based in a Steam-punk city where the value of nature and wildlife has fallen.

Potential Project names:

City of Steam

Gears of London

Age of Steam: London

Britpunk

Gear City

Steam-world

FMP Digital Design – Proposal 2018

For the first stage of my research, I will taking a look at old Victorian architecture as well as modern London architecture such as the Shard, and the Gherkin.

architecture examples:

  • 20 Fenchurch street: Located in Fenchurch street on the top floors of the Walkie-talkie, this building quickly grew popular when it was first built-in 2015. Many people now go to the Walkie-talkie for the spectacular view of London at the top of the building, which is also mostly composed of several floors of South-American and Mediterranean inspired lush garden made up of plants and flowers from those parts of the world, dubbed Sky Garden. Also on these floors is a terrace, a bar and two restaurants.
  • Tate Modern - London | Housed in a huge defunct power plant. It's free of charge and has marvelous (and not too expensive) museum stores to shop in.Tate modern: The idea behind this building was to take an old, unused power-station and turn it into a building where modern art could be displayed. It was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott as Bankside power-station, who was also the architect behind Battersea power-station. The Bankside power-station shut down in 1981, but 20 years later, was re-purposed for a modern art museum, which became known as the Tate Modern.
  • The Shard: Because the Shard’s progress was made public early on in its development, even when it was half-completed, The Shard became a very familiar part of London’s landscape. Particularly famous because of its impressive height of 1,017 feet high, the exterior of the Shard is comprised almost entirely of glass, and contains a hotel, offices, apartments and the famous “View from the Shard” which is a large observatory on floors 68 to 72.
  • Blackfriars pub: This pub was originally built-in 1875, and eventually was completely re-modelled with an arts and crafts style, going further away from its design as a medieval Dominican Friary. Now regarded as a Nicholson’s the architects kept it’s Friezes, bright panes and carved slogans, along with a prosaic saloon from when it was built and a marble-topped bar.

 

 

Mood-board research

To give myself a better sense of how real and fictional buildings (in other concept art and fantasy drawings) look, I created a number of mood-boards with different types of buildings and architecture using photos and artwork.

Architecture-FMPmoodboard1
Classic victorian architecture
Architecture-FMPmoodboard2
Victorian architecture still in London
Architecture-FMPmoodboard3
Victorian architecture 2
modern architecture-mood-board
Modern architecture in London
Modernarchitecture-moodboard2
Futuristic and Modern London buildings
Modernarchitecture-moodboard3
Futuristic London buildings

 

 

Live action video game trailer: Presentation and feedback

For the pre-production process of our trailer, we created a Powerpoint presentation showcasing the different aspects and planning that is going into our trailer.

Presentation

 

 

Feedback

 

  • In our powerpoint, we were asked to elaborate a bit more on who will be operating the cameras and editing, to give a better sense of the roles each member of the group will be playing.

 

3D animation: Maya obstacle course log

 

Maya log 1 steps
Animating my character across the first step

Log 1: The first thing I had to animate my character across was a small step up to a slide-like structured polygon. Using the channel editor to create key-frames from the ‘translate’ and ‘rotate’ channels so I could quickly key-frame each movement by simply pressing the short-cut ‘S’.

Using both the 3D and 2D perspectives, I began animating the character jumping lightly onto the step as if it were a stop-motion figure, moving each piece of the ‘skeleton’ rig a frame at a time using the ‘ move tool’ and ‘rotate tool’.

 

Log 2: For this part of the animation, where the character is sliding down a ramp and then climbing over a barrier, I tried a different method of animation, where I moved the frame-marker on the timeline straight to 25 frames and moving each aspect of the skeleton an appropriate amount for the time-frame.

Rotating the arms proved to be a challenge, as it was difficult keeping them anatomically correct and looking consistent.