Monday, 23 December 2013

The Castle

It's so close to Christmas now I'm buzzing. This will not be a Christmas themed post, that's for after Christmas has come and gone, so I thought I'd just post a couple pages of various sketches I did whilst at Cardiff Castle.

I did a selection of objects inside the castles, my favourite being the staircase. I can't explain, I think it has something to do with the composition. The majority was capturing the outside environment though, a lot of trees and a lot of buildings (or castles if you will).

Hope you like. Next post will be my Christmas post, be on the look-out!
Until then.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A Study in Cuteness

Sorry about that, I couldn't help myself...

First of all I really am sorry for the title. Its a mix between me thinking I'm a genius and the countless amount of times I've watched BBC Sherlock, A Study in Pink this week. I've stopped now after it lead to some very disturbing dream involving a hillbilly Jabber the Hut look-a-like cabbie driver kidnapping me and taking me back to his shack and hanging me on a coat hanger... his wife and kids were terrifying too but I shan't go further into that, my head is a scary place in dreamland.
Anyway, as the Christmas season has crept in I've found myself missing home a little more than I usually do. Something I've found that helps is flicking through my photo albums and drawing a few little sketches of the two cutest babies in my life; my nephew, and my puppy. Does that make me slightly pathetic? Yes. Do I care? Not particularly.
I've finally got around to finishing a couple of pages so I thought I'd share them.

My nephew. You see he's cute (obviously) but what you don't know is that he's hilarious. You're missing out, really. I feel sorry for you all. You can tell which sketches I spent a bit more time on but there's nothing wrong with a rough sketch or two

Now onto my baby.

The sketch on the middle right looks wonky but that's because I started it one night and came back to it the next day, only to realise when I'd finished that I'd been drawing from a different picture each day! And that is why sleep is good for you.

Aren't they adorable? Meh, I guess I'm a little biased, sue me.
But which one is more adorable? ;)
Until next time!

Friday, 6 December 2013

11 Second Project - Rough Animation

I've been meaning to post this for a couple weeks but I've been holding off because there was a slight snag when I filmed it that I hadn't noticed before I'd finished filming, which I have fixed now. It is only a rough animation but I'm hoping to fix all irritating mistakes, clean up the animation over summer and then colour it 3rd year for my piece of mind. And because I can't wait to see it in colour.
Here's a link to the animation on vimeo, because for some reason, every time I post a video on here the quality goes shocking. Enjoy!
Until next time :)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Long (and Fulfilling) Week of Illustrator

but I got there eventually...

So, still in the middle of that background project I mentioned before. Last week however, was all about familiarising ourselves with Illustrator. Way back two weeks ago when I was an uneducated peasant in the ways of Illustrator I thought 'oh, its like Photoshop but without pixels'. Except it turns out, no, its not. Definitely not. It took me a while to get used to how un-Photoshop-like it is but once I got the hang of it, I decided I will be crying when my trial version ends. Sobbing, really.
After getting used to the program, we had to create our own background. I tested out a few backgrounds that I wasn't very happy with but this is my final Dungeon/Tomb that I'm quite happy with. I'm not too sure about the light of the candles but at this point in time, me and gradients on Illustrator are not simpatico. When I've had some more practice that will be the first thing I change.
I was in a bit of a dark, pirate/adventure mood. I particularly liked creating the tombstone and the shiny jewellery at the front. I'm like a magpie.
And lastly, in the spirit of all things cold and Christmas-y, here is a penguin.

Because I can.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Photoshop Discoveries

OR 'How I learnt I've been doing things the long way round'

I'm in the middle of completing a module in university where we've been learning to use a few different types of Adobe software to create backgrounds to an industry style and standard. First, we used Photoshop. Now this took me by surprise because I thought I knew how to do certain things, and now I've realised I was doing it either all wrong, or the long way around, so this has been a massive eye opener. We were to copy a background from "Frankenstein's Cat" by A Productions and given the line work in order to do so. I'm really pleased with the turn out and I surprised myself again by enjoying it. Well, once I got used to it anyway.
We also completed a night time version of the same background; a really useful and easy process that will save me a lot of hassle in my future background endeavours.

So I know we established that I didn't create the line work, but you see those swirls on them trees? Yeah, that's all me...
Not impressed? Well, you should've seen how beautifully organised my Photoshop file looked. In fact:
I'm not sure how necessary that was but it IS a very organised looking file... Look at it.
Until tomorrow.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Student Gifts

Once upon a time, I was at a point in my life where I was too poor to buy one of my amigos a birthday present. So, I had to improvise. My advantage point was knowing that all of friends had this thing (most people do; Dean Winchester, guilty) where they favour, because obsess is slightly too stalker-y a word for me, a famous person/TV character. This particular friend's happened to be Damon Salvatore. They also had this thing about drawing each other presents. I jumped on the bandwagon and sometimes, I regret it. Now I'm a student, I'm always poor so I thought I'd share some of the sketches I've done over the past 2-3 years.
This A2 sketch was the outcome of that, the sketch that started it all. I'll admit, I had forgot how much I actually enjoyed sketching then (GCSE art tends to do that to a person) but when I started I might have gotten a little carried away. I spent a good 12 hours on it. I was pretty proud of it, although I cringe every time I see that hand on his stomach and I itch to go back and re-do it but alas it doesn't belong to me anymore. I think that was another thing that really got to me once I'd finished it. I'd put a lot of, forgive the expression, soul into it and it threw me out of the loop when I gave it away. It was almost the One Ring to my Gollum. Isn't that a scary thought?
So to get over my heartache, I drew some more...
Avengers had just came out in cinema, I couldn't resist. I did originally draw this for myself but it now belongs to my 4-year-old superhero obsessed nephew because I can't deny him anything. He's slowly wriggling an entire Marvel collection out of me.

This was last years Christmas present. I'm still thinking of adding a bit of background and colour, it feels empty. James Bond was for my sister but I regret everything about this sketch, not only the quality because I was slightly burned out last Christmas for drawing but also that her Daniel Craig phase passed so quickly. Next time, maybe this Christmas if the urge hits me, she's getting a Dean Winchester. I know that's a phase that won't pass for a long time coming.
And Damon Salvatore strikes again! I really started to get sick of his face to be honest. I put a ban on Salvatore sketches because of it. I'm thinking of lifting that ban come new years, its been over a year. Anyway, even though I hate his face now, I think my favourite thing about this is the splash of blue for his eyes. I'm not too fond of the shoulder of his shirt or the accidental shadow on his nose that makes him look like he has a double nostril but you live and you learn right?
That's all the sketches I've managed to get pictures of. I really should keep a record or something. You should try it out though, it'll eat up 6 or so hours of your time but if you're short on money and have friends and family like mine, it's a life saver.
Until the next time...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Kids Are Like Dr Seuss

So basically, kids are weird.

Our lecturer sent out a handful of 11 second sound clips to a group of first school children to listen to. They pick a sound clip and create a character based on the clip they chose. Then, we come in. We make that character animate-able but as close to the original drawing as possible before we animate them to the sound clip. My kid, sent me this back -

Now, when I said kids are weird, I meant AWESOME weird! Not only does she have wings, but look at that chimney. Look at it. And that sun makes me happy. Saying this though, I was slightly confused to how she made the connection between a man shouting about playing a video game to a girl with wings and a house with an amazing chimney. But hey, it was a challenge. So I began my quest.

I put as many different ideas down as I could think of before I decided to choose one. There was a lot of builds I would have preferred to animate but eventually I chose the bottom right one but it still needed a few adjustments. The eyes need to be closer together and the wings more round, like a butterfly.

Now the character is finalised its time to draw a few hands, because it can only help.

Before I moved on the action and expression sheets I thought it'd be best to draw out my turn around first and pick my colours.

Then finally, we move on to the expression sheets!

I thought about the character in regards to the sound clip and took out the key characteristics before I decided on expressions. The character in the clip is energetic but still seems to hold a certain amount of naivety and that type of frankness that all kids have so I decided she'd be very bold and exaggerated in her movements and expressions.

Now onto the action sheets!

The hair, if anything, was a pain for me to draw. I think it has something to do with the hairline but it took me a while to get used to drawing it and that is why in certain drawings it could look slightly off. I am, overall, quite pleased with how this turned out.

I do have to say though, my favourite part of this character is the wings. Not when I think about animating them (yikes) but I like the way they look. With a glass texture and 60% opacity; I like.

So this is my progress so far, and I'll leave the animatic of what I have geniously named 'Head in the Clouds' until I post the full rough animation.