Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Hi all! I just finished this quick image ready for Halloween. Here is a little break down of how I made the pumpkins...

....I first started with a sphere that I made into a pumpkin like shape.

Then I created a simple face from a section of the pumpkin - keeping the border edges intact.

Afterwhich I made some simple extras. The inside of the pumpkin was just the main shape reduced in size, border edges snapped to original and normals reversed. The stem was created from maya polygon pipe (the pipe is used as it has a natural bend already). I simply altered the base to match that of a pumpkins and gave it a fancy twist to match the character of the pumpkin.

Then i took the main shape into Mudbox. After some sculpting using the sculpt tool in conjunction with stencils, the wax tool to add shape and a fleshy feel to the model I extracted high and low versions of the model.

Using xNormal, I baked out a normal and ambient occlusion pass. The normal map plugs directly into the model in maya, whereas the AO map is used in photoshop to add detail to the texture. I painted in imperfections, bumps, scrapes and decay into the colour map.

I also generated a spec map from the AO and colour maps. I also painted in other details, as the other maps should not be relied on to be generated into a spec.

Now all of the generated maps come into one. I add glow and bump maps to the insides of the pumpkin, the bump in this case is a fractal node.

Now that my little pumpkin is ready to render he needs some company! I duplicated the main pumpkin shape and its stem four times then using the lattice tool altered the mesh so I have four new alterations.

The lighting in the scene is very simple. A set of point lights used for the main head only, one to highlight it against the other pumpkins and another to generate glow inside the mouth. I also had another point light to illuminate the scene and a direction for rim light.

Lastly I used the mia_exposure_photographic node on the lens of the camera. This is mainly used to control the gamma, but is good for controlling the levels of lighting in the scene.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Sorry about the big mix up there, the event will be taking place Sunday 8th at 2pm.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Medway Visions Film Festival

Hey all, I will be exhibiting some of my animations that I have made over the years at an event in Rochester this coming Saturday at 2pm.

The venue at 161 Rochester high Street is an up and coming hub for all things creative, run by a team of art and entertainment enthusiasts. Hopefully it will be full of fun art lovers! If you would like to come along it would be cool to see some friendly faces - it is free entry and donations accepted on the door.

The venue is an old bank that is used to rent out studios and general work spaces. It is situated at the Star Hill end of Rochester High Street, next to Charlotte's Bar.

The event is organised on facebook by Creatabot, who have a huge input of art around medway. If you have facebook, check out the event.

The other people I will be showing off my work with are:

Emma Windsor

"With a passion for the Gothic, the macabre and the downright odd, Emma Windsor specialises in stop-motion, embracing many techniques including pixilation and timelapse. Hailing from Gillingham, she studied for a masters degree in Time Based Media at the Kent Institute of Art & Design, Maidstone where she locked herself in a dark room for a year and began her journey into the weird and wonderful world of stop-frame. She collaborates with many other local artists to produce work under the umbrella of 'White Rabbit Animation' and can often be seen (but not heard) ferreting through the Kent countryside, armed with only a camera and audio recorder."

Darren Turner/Uglyboy London

"Uglyboy London are a creative trio formed from uni days way back in 2003. Since then, as a collective and as individuals, we have worked extensively within the areas of illustration, advertising and moving image.The video for Conquer the World stems from the song's solid continuous beat. That really stuck in our minds, so from there we created an infinite shot - no cuts, just continuous scrolling through ever changing environments. We wanted to create something that was really rich so that each time you watched it you'd spot something new."

Monday, 20 May 2013

Some creepy animation, cool music and an announcement.

Evening! How about some lovely weird and wonderful animations brought to you by Queens of the Stone Age?

One of my favorite band have entertained me with this animation, promoting their latest album.

What looks like some handy After Effects work, this animation shows the story of four psychopaths(?) and their story in some post apocalyptic world. Sounds cool? The animation is even cooler.

Aside from listening to alot of music I have also landed myself a new job! I will be working at Merlin Magic Making, which is part of the huge Merlin Entertainments Group. They own a majority of the UKs theme parks and attractions, such as Madame Tussauds, London Dungeons, Thorpe Park and Lego Land.

The Magic Making group take care of all things creative, from making wax sculptures for around the world to amazing lego models. Although I wont be making any cool wax or lego models (or even designing rollercoasters) my role is exciting enough, as it is my first big company job.

Friday, 26 April 2013

April Update

Hey blogger! After a nice long winter, I thought I'd come out and say hi.

After a long time of sending out CVs, showreels and talking to receptionists I finally got up to another studio a few weeks back now. A lovely (kinda huge) studio who mostly deal with marketing in film, print, mobile, social and most things that are digital. Fingers crossed, they will hopefully have too much work for themselves and so I will be called in.

Moving on, I have started some more little projects.

I came across this image when looking at the 'Portal' project. 

I love the idea of this 'Avatar-ish' floating scape of island. It reminds me of playing games like Guild Wars 2 and Zelda: Skyward Sword and Bioshock: Infinite.

I blocked out a quick scene in maya which I went on to paint over in photoshop to gain an idea of distance and level of detail.

Since then I have been trying to rig a bridge setup  So mostly experimenting with different systems in Maya. I intend to create a scene that floats with the clouds, so the bridge will be shifting its weight between the connecting islands.

I have also started a quick modeling exercise, I had a quick browse on deviantart to get some inspiration  I found this cool looking catfish, it is by an artist who goes by the name fabienmater.

From what I can gather in the images, the fish is huge, 30ft plus! So I thought it would be cool to look at this fish as a veteran of the seas, a true mythological creature. Like I imagine the giant squid, he is intelligent, wise and fierce  He has battle scars proving himself to be something of a lone warrior. Yet he is friendly and majestic looking, he is a alley to the lead character of a story, a legend in his own.

Here is the model I have been working on, it hasn't taken me too long. Just a few evenings after work.

I am looking to get this textured/rigged and perhaps adding in some additional details like scratches and scars.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


2013 has now come along bringing new opportunities and hopeful futures! I have gotten sick of smelling like an abattoir, so I made a few calls and I am now working a few days at Texture in London. However this is only work experience, but exciting nether the less! 

The studio is only small. The are currently only showcasing a small region of work, but I am still to find out more about this company. Here is a link to their site, They are part of a much larger company that has been running for a considerable amount of time. Factory is an award winning audio studio that is widely used for advertising, but has worked in radio, tv and music. There is also SIREN, which is a audio composing and producing studio. Here is the gateway as it were to all of the websites,

At Texture they deal with a lot more than 3D based works, they seem to mostly use 2D elements, which is something I have always been keen on. Though I have never had the opportunities to flourish as I have done in 3D (aside from photoshop).

I am quite certain that all of you know that all studios use different software packages, therefore if you wish to work for them you may need to adapt your skills/knowledge. I have started learning Cinema 4D ready for my work placement.

Now I don't want to let this turn into a full blown review, so I will try and keep things short and sweet.

I quickly found staring at this new interface somewhat daunting  but after a couple of tutorials I have become at peace with the frustrations. I find so far, that the interface is lacking a tiny bit in comparison with Maya. there is also a few tools that I miss, but it has its plus sides too. The hot keys are also all over the place, which will take some getting used to, and I am sure annoying when it come to switching between software.

I find the move tool very nice, and the program seems to be somewhat filtered to be more understandable. I am still eager to dive into the depths of this CG suit and find out a few more pros and cons.

For now I have settled on making a small object as a 'test'. I love the reflections in the textures, they are very easily controlled and bring out some great results, however the other material attributes and somewhat daunting at this stage. Yet, practice makes perfect!

Thanks Santa!

I hope everyone has had a brilliant christmas and new year! I thought I would bring a little update to the blog.

Santa has brought me a few little gifts this year, a 'brand spanking new' Wacom Intuos 5, which is utterly brilliant! I love i!. I will save some time to update the blog with some personal works that I have been doing which resolve around the tablet. Secondly I also received a Joby Gorilla Tripod for my camera. Its something I have always wanted, as it is almost ready to use on any surface it is also small enough to carry around, which is perfect.