Friday, 26 October 2012

How rope is made

I'll be using this as reference material for the bionic arm.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

For Lack of a Better Comic :: Not Much has Changed

For Lack of a Better Comic :: Not Much has Changed

Click the link, yo!
Saw this and was like, YES.

Assignment Character

For my assignment, my Cyberpunk setting requires characters. I have designed a female character here, very much the Femme Fatale of Cyberpunk. As of yet, no name is assigned to her. The full body shot gives information about her, her cyborg arm which transforms into a weapon (in her case it will be a sword), her holster with a pistol and two spare magazines, dogtags, as the agents are essentially soldiers, then her Bionic eye. Designed like a camera shutter, it allows the user to relay data to HQ, share camera imagery with the squad and view the "Dataverse", how the cybernetic chip in each agent views the world.
I wasn't happy with her hair. I felt it didn't convey any particular style that matches her outfitting, tight fitting trousers and a tank top. Being a recon/stealth agent, she needs to be free to move, not burdened by a cumbersome uniform. The squad chips emit a beacon which is received by squadmates and relayed through the Bionic eye, reducing the risk of Friendly Fire. The uniforms will be shown on other agents, as they will be a prominent force in view of the public, much like the Police or regular army.
A covert agent, alas, does not want to have logos plastered all over them when infiltrating.

A reworking of the hair/face allowed me to show more detail around her. Her hair is a "punky" style, fairly short and tight, reflecting her outfit. There are cable input points on her temple for hacking security panels. 
The bionic eye is more prominent here (left eye, right of picture, duh!).
Her large smile shows that, even though her job involves a lot of risk and death, she totally loves it. 

Making a Fantasy Creature

Creating a fantasy creature is trickier than you might think. Combining two or more things to create something that would work is a tough thing.

My first idea for a creature to mix was, as always, A SEAGULL!
The beautiful majesty of the common Laridae was to be mixed with something. To start, it was going to be a lizard, but then, this big 'ol mellon came up with something. Why not take something we see everyday and make it GOOD?

I devised a plan to make... The Homolaridae.


I took a stylised female form (a kind of Shōnen manga body shape) and a drawing of a Gull (It was a Herring Gull)
By researching a bird's anatomy from x-rays, I devised a way of creating a creature that could be plausible... In a fucked up kind of way...

An issue arose, how could wings be attached to a human? They are attached via a kind of shoulder on a bird... So, how about if the shoulder structure of a human skeleton had a version further back, making for two shoulder joints, one for the arm, one for the wing! It's mad, but it may just work! I made sure the muscles around the shoulders would not impede the new bones. It would work! I replaced the human skull with a Seagull skull, having the neck join the skull much in the same way it joins to a human one, meaning the skull had to extend on the back (see top image).
The lower leg is the bone structure of a bird (which is much like ours, until the foot) making the feet that of a bird. The skin reaches down to just above the shin.
The body is feathered from above the breast to the thigh, hiding everyone's shame, allowing their grandmothers to see the image and not blush.


Adding appeal to characters is key to evoke emotion from the audience.
Using a computer Mouse, I created the idea of Scizzy!

He's the anti-hero, an Amiga Mouse (named from the SCSI ports on the Amiga), who has a hatred of new technology that replaces him, like Optical mice, wireless controllers, and mainly graphics tablets.
He's 27 (as the Amiga was first released in 85).
Using his roller ball (or Trackball, what's what mice used to have before funky optics, kids!), he can move fast, however it can stick at the most inappropriate times! (like the real thing)
His cord is broken, now becoming a cigarette, making him look tough.

His companions are the Amiga CD32 controller (C-Dez), a console controller with a superiority complex, as he was way ahead of his time, hence his smug grin.
And, Bug, a Cheetah The Bug joystick, neon green body, red eyes. Really garish to look at, but one hell of a guy! Using his twin port cable (so he can be used on the Spectrum), he can walk, or use them like Nunchucks, making him like a Ninja!

These guys are pretty badass, and they are the reason your new fangled tech keeps breaking.

When are you people going to learn? The older tech is the stuff that will last!

Creating a Parasite.

One task was to create a life cycle of a creature. Using a Parasite, I formed a cycle.
I wanted to ground it in real life as much as possible, so I looked into Parasitic Castration and Cordyceps.

I abandoned the idea of parasitic worms for something more horrible. The fungus (which led me to the Cordyceps). After the parasite infects the host, it (if female) becomes impregnated. I was going to add in Hyperemesis gravidarum, but thought against it, as a mark of respect to people who suffer this illness in real life. I'm all for reality in projects, but for a small task where I have designed something as sinister as what you are about to see, I had to turn it down. It is a very horrible illness. I personally know someone who suffered through this and has had two beautiful, healthy boys. 
Now back to the task!
The host dies in labour, leaving a child who is carrying the illness from birth. Females carry the parasitic fungus, whilst males carry the spores, which are secreted in place of Pheromones, spreading the disease through the air. This process results in the end of humanity.
We had to give a factor of, "Eww" if someone was to see it in a film. I thought, "What's worse than a parasite attacking a defenseless child? Well, attacking a defenseless child in utero," which is what is shown above. The Umbilical cord attaches to the fungus, which produces it's own cord into the child, passing on the illness.

All very nasty stuff, and I'm probably going to hell as a result.

Interaction between characters

This animation is an Interaction test between two characters. The blue character is assuming the role of a guard/soldier, whilst the other character is an intruder. His landing and jump shows a maximum amount of contact with the ground, as would be needed.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but I chose this animation because it's a part of my assignment film. I will be going back into this and redoing it from scratch, making it fit purpose.

I sketched out my main poses to convey on paper before making the models act out.
As reference for the punch and the jump/land I used two videos I found on Youtube.
One, by Stephen Brooks of Rubber Onion Animation

And a second which is a tutorial for Parkour/Free running

This video was found on Youtube, but they also have a website,
If you want to animate jumping/landing and other physical elements, Free Running/Parkour is a good place to see it done, since it is done in an Urban area and not in a gym, there is more realism to it, making use of objects you may be using in your animation.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Assignment Things!

For the second design of the APC, I came up with this! Showing how I want the legs to function, design drawings of them, where they're hinged and what not, a design for a Pilot/Driver (with helmet), a little detail about the APC and a little guy to the side to show scale. I realised it would be moving more like a crab that a spider, however.

I watched how ED-209 from Robocop walked for a design idea I had for the "Walker Class" droid, the Type 4.

This drawing shows different types of the battle droids. Type 4 "Walker Class" Battle Droid (as seen in a walk research piece above) and the Type 5 "Walker Class" Assault Droid. The Assault Droid has 3 "bones" to it's leg, where as the the Battle Droid has 2. My idea for this would be the Assault Droid would want to be fast moving and the 3 bones would allow for a sort of shock absorption as it moves fast.
I also went into alternate weapon designs for the Battle Droid. As it is more slow moving, heavy weapons would be stable enough to use, and as a Battle Droid would be used as mobile artillery, a lot like modern tanks, it would fight against other vehicles as well as troops. As such, I designed a Rail Gun (high energy), Las Cannon (Mid energy), Rocket Pods (with KRAK rounds) and the (as it seems for my designs) standard Vulcan Cannon.

Whilst researching my initial design for the APC, I studied Spiders, how they moved, their main features and what not.
I drew half of a spider (in this case, a tarantula) and made the other half a mechanoid/APC. This shows how I changed it's features into what I wanted, the Chelicera became Vulcan cannons, the Pedipalp became stabilizing legs and the Abdomen became the troop carrier.

I drew a rough sketch of the Tyne Bridge (Newcastle) and thought, how would it look in the Year 2076 if corporations took over the world? Keeping with the Cyberpunk feel, I looked towards Tron: Legacy art, which inspired the neon light sections, and the straight edges of the bridge. I wanted to keep the iconic Arch look, but take it into the future. It became a kind of pyramid, an indirect reference to the Illuminati, a symbol of power and knowledge.

Walk Cycle

Using the above video of me walking, I drew out the key poses, which I used to animate a figure walk cycle.

I am currently working on other types of cycles, like running and a walk conveying emotion, but as of yet they are unfinished. Once they are complete, they'll be uploaded.

More Drawing For Animation!

The above drawings were to demonstrate throwing an object, using Anticipation. On the leftmost picture, I used different shades to show certain areas of the movement, Ink being the middle movement, dark pencil being the end (the high point) and the light pencil being the start (anticipation) and the inbetweens. The inbetweens are further apart towards the end of the throw to show the acceleration of the arm. The right picture I annotated extensively to describe the movement, from the bend of the legs to the movement of the head forward.

This drawing has an example of Follow Through (PFFTT... Hahaha) using Walt Disney's Pluto, ripping some Fly Paper from his behind, spinning him out. Follow through is used on his ears and tail.

Front, Back and Side drawings of a classmate, James Ruston

Line of Action

This drawing features two lines of action 

Using a mannequin to draw a figure in a pose of movement, I attempted to keep scale between the images, lining up key areas like the hips, head and shoulders where possible, this helped get scale, despite the model being moved to different poses.

As above, the mannequin was drawn. In this pose, it is in the middle of a full run.

Part of our Life Drawing, I drew another classmate, Jade Willis. I was very happy with how I got the shape of her eyes.

Another example of throwing, featuring Anticipation.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Spider Mech walk

I made a bone structure for the "Spider APC" I have designed. Really, this design is more of a crab's walk cycle than a spider's.
It would be moving towards the right of the screen.
As I continue to work on it, I'll give it an even more convincing cycle.
Also in the pipeline I have some other Mech ideas. Bipedal sentry drones mainly, with alternate legs depending on their purpose. One is a Battle Droid, which does not need so much speed and is based for heavy weapon support, like Launchers and Rail Guns, plus an Assault Droid, which I may or may not have as a Human operated mech suit, which will be designed for speed.

Other design areas I have worked on include the designs for the above APC and some character aesthetics, like helmets and accessories.

Over the coming week I will be creating final pieces of concept art for landscapes and uniform designs for the human occupants in the assignment.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Spider Mech

Saw this and thought, "Hell yeah". The way it moves would work much better than my current design, so I'm messing about in 3Ds to see what I can make.

-Video from Youtube user, Danprater001 from the 2008 Burning Man festival

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Scanner issues.

Getting a bit grief from my scanner, so I'll be uploading some images at a later date, (Most likely next week), but to give you a heads up of what to expect, there will be some Life Drawing! Also, some designs for my final project, where I am focusing on Spiders for an APC, also some environments (one I have is digital, drawn on Flash which will appear on this message)

But first, a test animation of moving an immovable object! Dee returns to confront his arch nemesis, The Duck. It's giving him tremendous resistance, so Dee has taken to roping it and pulling the sucker!

It's a test piece which I am working on improving and will show you once it's done!

New Hessen, Europe.
An inner city area of former North East England. Ran by Van Laaq and under attack from Chigusa-Kamome (Former Japan, East Asia)
The roads are no longer Tarmac, instead they are a vented metal allowing for surface work to be performed more efficiently and quickly. A tram system runs left side of the screen, above the roadways. A mid city area of commerce where people gather to work and socialise. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

3D - Lifting a heavy object attempt 1

Dee returns to combat that bloody duck!
He's lifting a large duck, here. Upon reviewing, weight isn't really implied, as he is lifting it straight up, holding the sides of the duck. On the second attempt, I will be having him lean back further, to counter-balance and also have him holding the duck further down.


For the assignment, we are to create no less than 4 creatures/animals, no less than 5 scene assets or props and an ecosystem/environment for the film.

Within my film, there are warring corporations in a futuristic/cyberpunk world.
One of the corporations I am focusing on is called Van Laaq.
I set about designing logos that will be present on the corporation's buildings and uniforms. It went through several iterations until I found a version I liked.

Left side of the image shows corporate ideas.It started as a military style emblem with the initials emblazoned  on it. I knocked this idea back, as it was too generic. The idea behind these corporations are that they have replaced the government and need to have a recognised symbol of their own. Something I wanted was for the first word, "Van" to be shown. It became apparent that the best way to join the letters up would be vertically, allowing me to create an eye-catching design. So began trial and error, using line vector style, but I thought that it would not be easily read. When I began further experimentation, I found that adding an "N" would prove quite difficult. I came to a decent version with a diamond replacing the - inside the A. Still, I thought this was lacking the eye-catching design I wanted. I began to think about what the corporation would do. Why that would cause rivals to attack. They war is from breaching copyrights, something they take very seriously, similar to an act of treason or terrorism by today's standards. As it is cyberpunk, they deal in human upgrades. Chip implementation. So they deal in human science. The Double-Helix of the DNA became a design focus. I drew out a double-helix and thought how I could make it say "VAN". Using a thicker line I created the A. Now came the task of making an N. I thought that with them altering humans, possible the DNA would be altered? So I made a "mutation strand" which allowed an N to form, thus creating a logo for Van Laaq Science.
Next came the agent logo. I wanted it to differ from the main company logo to show that, although they are part of the same group, they are a totally different branch. They don't deal in human alteration, unless you count blowing of limbs and filling them full of lead as alteration. I used the DNA design with a previous iteration, but still didn't like the look. I took an approach with a Medic style symbol, making VAN out of snakes, but thought it seemed a bit "Life Saving". I kept the idea of snakes, though. I created an image of two snakes interlocking. Although I liked it, I didn't see how it would convey Van Laaq. But if I changed the order of the links, I saw that it would, in a way, spell VAN. One snake being the V, the other being the A, with the space inbetween being an N.


Character design is part of our project/assignment. So we were tasked with designing a scary creature. As I have a distaste of moths, I modelled my creature on that. And I must admit, I had a bloody good time doing it! I used a couple different sources to do quick research. Mostly, I looked at Mothra, a giant moth that fights Godzilla, the Giant Moth from Resident Evil 2 (by Capcom) and the Pokémon, Venomoth. They gave me a basis to create a rough sketch of my design (the top image) of which it is destroying a city, setting it aflame with it's napalm-dust, foaming at the mouth with rabies.
From here I wanted to ground the creature in a semblance of reality and looked for the biggest moth I could find. The Atlas Moth, the largest moth in the (actual) world. Looking at a photo of it, I was disgusted. It wasn't the horrible earth tones you see on a house moth, no. It was a disgusting blend of orange and red, with a dab of yellow, and a pattern that would make you swear it was going to maul your face off in a second. Urgh... That was the worst part of it.
Regardless, I powered through, laughing about Mothra and my original name idea of "Fucking Huge Moth", something I would abandon and later call "No Gusta Heterocera", then gave a brief, ambiguous back story, which can be seen on the bottom image.

Drawing for animation pt5

Arcs, squashing, stretching, timing and spacing.
Three examples of arcs. Two of a laptop and how it would arc from open to closed, pivoting on a hinge and a clock and how it would arc around it's central pivot. This also shows examples of spacing.

Using a pendulum example, I have shown timing and arcing.

Timing and spacing, squashing and stretching. The image shows this as a step by step process. Imagine the view as you would see it whilst onion skinning the animation.
The video shows the ball bouncing, which I made on Flash. I made the Key images, then manually "inbetweened" the ball. But it's not quite right, is it? Although the ball would maintain a constant mass, it should still squash and stretch, right? Well, depending on the material, yes. So here is an example of the ball, as though it was a rubber bouncy ball, with added easing, or cushioning. All done frame by frame.

I was tasked to show the timing and spacing of a hand waving. As I finished it, I found that the hand didn't move as it should through the arc. The hand would move further, around it's own arc, as gravity draws on it. I started a new attempt, as seen below.

Drawing for animation pt4

The posing and angle of your character is important, as it can add a sense of urgency, mystery or any other emotion you wish to convey in your animation.

Here are three examples of the same pose but from different angles.
The left side image, the character is pointing behind the viewer, adding a sense of mystery and possibly fear, showing that they can see something that the viewer doesn't. The use of foreshortening is needed here to show they are reaching out to the viewer.

Upper right image, a profile shot. The partially obscured face adds a sense of mystery by not showing us the entire character and their features.

Lower right image, 3/4 view. I feel this is the most effective shot. It gives a sense of action, using both foreshortening and obscuring the face. The hand being closer to the viewer in the way the angle falls draws you into the scene more.

Drawing for animation pt3

The use of light and shading to create a 3D effect.

The above examples demonstrate the shadowing caused from a single light source. The surface that the object is on reflects a portion of the light back, which lightens the lower edges.

Drawing for animation pt2

In this post, I will be showing muscle structuring, with examples of the human anatomy and animal anatomy.

Four examples of the human muscle structure, focusing on the upper body.

Using an anatomical model, we had to draw what we could see from whatever angle we were at, here I was on the back left of the model. One side of the model showed more muscle mass than the other, which displayed the skeletal structure more clearly. From where I was sat, you could see examples of the bicep, tricep, latimus dorsi, trapezius, deltiod, sterno mastiod and the external oblique. 

This view was of the front right of the model, allowing view of the facial muscles, and the muscle groups named above.

A drawing which should have been larger, to allow for more detail to show, a dog. Firstly we were to draw it's skeletal structure, and on top of that, in a different pencil, the muscles. When we drew this, we noticed that the bone structure is similar to that of a human, with a few differences in size, some slight shape change and the lack of the collar bone. The same was with the muscle groups. The muscles are in a very similar set up. I added the drawing of Trudy, because she's great.

Our next challenge was to mix the bone structure of a couple different animals to create a totally outrageous animal. With my example, I drew a horse, but gave it the lower jaw of a whale. Although this would stop the horse from eating, I held to the notion that this creature gains sustenance through blood, stabbing it's prey with it's insane jaw. -oh, my imagination! 

This lovely little chap (or chick) is a drawing I was quite proud of! Drawn firstly by boiling the shape down into basic shapes, then added to to give it detail. This dog is covered in fur, which covers the muscle mass, making it appear less defined.
Whilst drawing this, I discovered the importance of negative space, to get the spacing and size correct.

This big beastie looks fierce, but I'm assured it's a really well mannered dog. She's a whippet that was born with a rare affliction which gives it double muscle mass. It's truly an impressive sight. The cranium of the dog seems a little too large on this drawing, but the definition of her muscles I felt came out very nicely, conveying the tone nicely.

Drawing For Animation pt1

Below are some examples of drawings for animation that I have done.

We have been practising drawing complex shapes, like this gorilla, by breaking them down into simple shapes, like squares, circles, triangles and so forth. This allows you to form the basic shape of the subject.

This rhino was done in the same way as described above.