Monday, 27 November 2017


Project Overview

The brief is to do an adaptation of a Nursery Rhyme, with a focus on exploration, with that in mind, I have reason to believe the project can stray as far as it so pleases from the initial Rhyme with the Rhyme mainly initializing a point of research and discovery.

Beginning of this year I've found my motivation and willingness to learn and study distinctly lacking. I've spent time stressing over projects and wasted time that I've taken some time to step back away from University and re-contemplate my life in general and aspirations. Its taken me up until this week (25/11/17) roughly 9 weeks into the year, to remember what it was I aim to achieve.


I've chosen Hickery Dickery Dock as my rhyme to adapt, something about this rhyme just clicked when I saw it during research. Though I have fairly little interest in the Mouse currently, I've been looking into clocks and how they look, though the true point at which everything started to click together was when I got the chance to get footage of the inner workings of a grandfather clock, both inside and outside the clock frame itself.

Though I'd looked up images before, something about experiencing it first hand and using my own reference images that really helps me ground my designs. I've noticed a lot of small details, almost unimportant on a symbolic level of drawing the clock but essential to creating a design that is grand and believable. Details such as the window not being a perfect rectangle, the location at which the pendulum pivots from and understanding how the chimes work.

Generally I found the a physical clock has been significantly more beneficial than those googled and on top of all that I've got some great content regarding the wear and tear of the clock. With the new found knowledge and reference I can use that to know what details I am looking for when I am looking at internet reference.

Reference Images & Video

I've got a lot of Video and Images so here are a select few that I found particularly useful. What is nice about these references is that they are quite nostalgic to me as I've always been a fan of my Grandads grandfather clock.

Prior to getting reference images and footage my initial drawings of grandfather clocks had been very basic and somewhat lacking in design.


My initial exploration was through horror, not necessarily to horrify my audience but to convey a sense of relatable horror from the perspective of a mouse. A lot of low angle shots and use of sound as a mouse will have good hearing and be much more afraid of things that us as people would not be afraid of. Starting with some thumbnails to initialize some ideas. I wanted to try some high contrast concepts as I felt it would be great to convey minimalism and focus the senses specifically onto the sound and a clear visual as to what it happening in each scene. This transitioned into some other tests with more gray scale and a concept that almost mimics a clock graveyard. The graveyard idea definitely resonates some interesting ideas in my mind but I've yet to find a manner it which to express these ideas to explore them further. A relation to time and how it is simultaneously infinite and finite.

Here are some drawings based on some of the photos that I took of the clock. Capturing some of the smaller accent designs and overall shape. I also decided to do a close up study of some of the engraved wood and the numbers as I felt those were important to understand how I may design them my own way.



Taking what I had learned from my sketchbook studies and still referring back to my reference I used the new symmetry tool in photoshop, along side some minor asymmetry to create my own clock design. Utilizing some of the concepts for the engraved wood, which I noticed was almost a mirror of natural shapes such as leaves and flowers. The Symmetry definitely made this quite a satisfying experiment and I definitely look forward to using this tool to create initial concepts that I can later imprint into a more 3 dimensional rendered painting.

Thursday, 10 August 2017



Finally got around to creating a short showreel of some of my work over the past year. Theres some work that I've opted to take out of this as I start to learn more about what kind of work is best for my showreel.

Though there is some work I am proud of that did not make it into this showreel I wanted to keep my showreel themed toward animation and thus a lot of modelling assets aren't present here.

Can't wait to see how I improve over the next year. Hopefully I can put this showreel to shame.

Showreel 2016

Friday, 4 August 2017

LudumDare 38

Ludum Dare 38
TLDR; Timelapse Video

Ludum Dare comes around again, right before my university submissions, I considered not doing it, but I love doing these and I learn a lot, especially tackling new problems with barely any time to figure out how, definitely developed a whole bunch of skills to create assets fast this time around. Once again this Ludum Dare will be 3D and done in Unity, really getting to grips with the software.
With this being our second attempt at a game in Unity its now a matter of refining workflow and learning new parts of the software small pieces at a time now that the basics are starting to become second nature.

Day 1 - Theme Release

The project kicks off with the theme being Small World, as always I open Photoshop, grab my pen and start sketching ideas for game-play, characters or environments, whatever sparks ideas. Initial thoughts for the project were along the lines of Super Mario Galaxy, as an artist, its easy to forget the difficulty of programming said ideas. My thoughts coming into the project were that of wanting to create a combat system with some combat animations, but again, perhaps didn't quite have the time to fit these functions in. Trying to simplify the concept down to something less spherical because, programming. Any kind of curvature landscape was planning out to be quite difficult. Settling on a Starboud style looping world.


Once we establish what the game is and how it will be played, its time to create the character(s). Creating sketches in different styles, trying to keep my initial process varied, male, female, evil, good etc. just anything.


Because of the initial idea of combat a lot of these had the idea of weapons or enemies in mind. Moving on to deciding what character was working and felt interesting was this one at the bottom. Reminds me a little of the characters from Dustforce. Then taking these characters on to further development and making them 3D ready. Some proportion sketches, get a feel for what kind of body shape she'll have.

Fully aware that the skirt will likely be a difficult aspect of the character creation, mainly when it comes to rigging, I decided I'd roll with it and figure it out. With new found skills, Unwrapping and Modelling shouldn't be as difficult and should also be better quality than last LudumDares Alex. Haven't focused heavily on any paint weights and thus Alexa hasn't got the best deformations.

Character came out alright considering the speed at which I tried to complete her. Doing the character first worked out well as it gave me the time to focus on other assets as I knew the character would take up the largest chunk of time.

Just before heading off for the day I created a structure that would act as a hub location for the world.
Drew up some concepts for shapes and ideas both for the structure I intend to create and potential for others across the world if needed.

My initial design didn't go so well when I began to model. I decided to sleep, refresh my mind and approach the construct in the morning.

Day 2 & 3 - Creating the World & Other Assets

Here on its creating the world, assets and various gameplay elements to fit the world. First starting with the structure that I was unhappy with the previous evening and recreating a new version keeping the same overall design.

I realise covering all the assets individually is going to make for quite a long post so I'll keep things in list format with brief notes on each asset if needed. Each of the zones is broken up into modules with each module having its own set of assets. With some minor crossovers.

Starting Module / Hub
  • House - Turning Windmill to add some liveliness to the environment.
  • Bushes - Just Spheres really.
  • Spirit Tree - Extruded cylinder and use of Mash to distribute floating crystals
  • Spirit Tree Sapling - Including Seed
  • Well - Extruding bricks to show depth and using different gradient shades to texture bricks
  • Bed
  • Table
  • Teleportation Rock

Plains Module
  • Bushes
Forest Module
  • Pine Trees - Some Variations
Desert Module
  • Cactus - Some Variations
Snow Module
  • Snow Pine Trees - Retextured Pine Trees
  • SnowMan
Spirit / Curse Module
  • Spirit & Curse Trees - Similar to Spirit tree on house, using MASH for floating spheres and changing colour pallet to differentiate Spirit/Curse - Some Variations.
Spirit & Curse tree concepts

Character Texturing

After finishing a bunch of location items it was then time to go back to the character and finish up the textures. I experimented with various colour schemes and changed between black and white to make sure the character colour values read well.

UVs & Placeholder Colours

Final Texture

Gardening tools

Created Shears, Watering Can, Shovel, Axe & Seed for the player to pick up and complete various tasks with.

Finally, the last element of the game, HUD. The minimap system uses transparent textures that are rotated and cropped to fit the minimap accordingly. Here are a few examples of how the minimap may look.

Objective & Location Icons

Ingame view of Minimap


This is one of the biggest projects I've done to date, not only was it ambitious but there were a lot of assets to create in a fairly short period of time. Design choices of course could be stronger but being such a short timespan there's little room to stop and think about small design choices, I give it my best shot with a small amount of concepts and choose the next best thing on my mind. Texturing could have been a lot of work, but thanks to some research sources I managed to find an effective and fast alternative method for texturing.

Sadly due to some troubles at the end of the project we didn't quite manage to get a working build out to the public. With a lack of publicity and working build the game was un-rated in the event. I have however, learned a lot from the event and it really puts in perspective how much work can be done if you put your mind to it.

**Will try to get some gameplay footage here for closure and to eventually add to my showreel**


This is the entire process over the 3 days from my perspective.
Just over 24 Hours of Footage in 16 Minutes (x90 speed)

Friday, 19 May 2017

Painting Studies

Digital Painting

Been doing some digital paintings as relaxation, quite satisfying really, its like doodling except, with colours and its pretty. Did a couple different painting approaches here, one using a brush to explore shape and seeing what I see in the shapes, whilst the second being a refinement process. Using Gradient maps in different ways to get different effects, definitely great to get a feel for colour and also helps with building depth into shadow. Further enhanced by using contrast curves.

Kept things fairly low resolution as it forces me not to go into too much detail and I still have the ability to upscale later and work further.

Flipping the piece horizontally shows I still have a habit of creating my drawings in a skewed manner. Not a huge issue digitally as I can flip to check, but definitely something I want to try my best at training out of. Perhaps a grid may help.

Been doing some more of these to experiment with composition.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

MASH Experimentation


MASH is pretty fun to use so I've been doing various smaller tests to get used to how different elements work and attempting to apply them in a manner that is visually pleasing and generally improving my knowledge of how I can utilise MASH nodes.

Used music: Killing Spree 8-Bit Yoolip by Sonic Picnic to create this experiment.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Narrative Final

Taking the project Solo

Due to my partners awful time management and lack of commitment to getting any work done I've have to take it upon myself to create the entire storyboard by myself, this isn't too bad, the main detriment being the colossal waste of time my partner has caused me with constant updates of "I'll be there soon" and still never turning up, which has partially affected some of my other units. Ranting aside, I've enjoyed working on the Narrative and to make up for a lack of partner I've been getting feedback from colleagues.



My planning takes some aspects from the previous scrapped ideas, such as the Love Tragedy. Experimenting with the abstract concepts works well on an illustrative level but becomes difficult when bringing in cinematography rules and creating interesting dynamics. This has been a good challenge.

Look Development

These are some illustrative concept pieces I created in Animate to get an idea of the aesthetic style and colours I may use, mainly to keep in mind during the animatic process. This also lead me to the concept of using little droplets to convey mood and add interest to the world.


Final Animation

This is the final animation, sadly I didn't manage to finish the entire story with any closure after the characters begin to interact with one-another.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Animation Principles 2 008

Bee Animation

Use of perspective and relative spacing. First steps were developing a bee character in preparation for the animation.

Then creating a layout and doing a test of the movement.


Further tests for the bee itself doing side and front views and a small test of how I may rotate the bee in space with a primitive shape.

Started doing the bee and movement.

Did a test without the wings because changing the timing would affect the wing cycle. Added holds and drew up the new timing on to the frames that have been changed. Sadly I've yet to get around to finishing this animation with the wings.

Animation Principles 2 007

Bouncing Ball

Seems we're going backwards a little, another bouncing ball exercise.

Just a bit too much squash & stretch.

Perspective Walk

Now this I can get behind.
First test on 2s


Should have put more slow in and out on the arm swings.

Animation Principles 2 006

Perspective Bouncing Ball

Found this perspective much easier than dealing with a solid object as the ball has much fluidity but given the rigid frame count of 27 for each arc made the spacing quite difficult, notably I keeping smooth spacing at the peak of the bounce. I likely should have put more emphasis on each contact so that the frames wouldn't cluster too much over the top of the arc.

Used a off-center punched piece of paper to extend my work-space so that I was able to fit in the vanishing point of perspective, allowing me to better orient the other aspects of the animation and how high the ball is bouncing throughout the duration.

Animation Principles 2 005

Telephone Pole Perspective

Perspective exercise using a telephone pole. I did want to use 2 point perspective for the ruts on the pole but was advised against it. Though I understand the concepts of perspective I find it difficult to keep consistent volumes and lines when animating, with frames being so close together the precision in which the lines are to be drawn can become quite difficult, making the object appear to wobble.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Animation Principles 2 004

Run Cycle

This animation was fun to do, simple, few frames and satisfying to draw and watch.

First test on 2s, really liking the motion. Strobes a little, but I presumed this may have been solved with inbetweens.

Inbetweened on 1s.
Though the animation is now much smoother, the strobing appears much more prominently with the long legs. The animation on 2s gives the eye more time to register each frame thus looks more appealing to me personally. Using Youtubes functionality to view the animation on 1s at 0.75% speed makes the animation read much better, though the arms equal spacing is more noticeable and would need to be adjusted.

Animation Principles 2 003

Double Bounce Walk

More Walks, glad to be doing more character animation, these are my favourite to work on because of the many intricacies of movement and potential for posing.

First tests, frames 1 to 33 cycled by moving the paper while shooting and using Dragonframes light-box function to align the feet.

Second cycle tests, fixing the head movement so that it turns fully to the other side and not just 45 degrees.

Final animation applying the tests to a walk across the page. With the arms full animated the lack of backward swing is heavily noticeable.

Further Digital Animation

After enjoying animating this walk I did some further tests using the cintiq's, these are great for doing rough experiments fast as I can view the animation immediately and rectify changes or mistakes easily.

Started by doing an exaggerated character walk with a double bounce.


Then tried a larger construction of a character, this time deciding to reduce the amount of bounce in his step to emphasise his weight. The double bounce in this is barely noticeable but does have an impact on the perception of the animation.

Because I liked how this animation looked I decided I would continue and inbetween this on 2s.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

False Alarm

Wrong Deadline Date

So it would seem I was wrong with my deadline, giving me an extra whole day to complete some of my animation. Still not finished in regards to rendered but I want to focus on my animation and posing skills as rendering is something I am quite comfortable with.

The story has developed introducing one of the other characters, Blue Icecream is attempting to go to Pink, but gets perhaps a little too cocky.

It has been a long day. Can't seem to get transparency rendering in Maya Hardware 2.0 and I don't currently have the time to do any Arnold rendering, even if I did, I'd also have to spend the time taking the scene lighting, materials and textures into account, none of which are finished, sadly.

Though this has been a terrible turn of events in regards to the productivity across the project being lackluster I am genuinely surprised at the speed I have been able to create this animation, still very rough and definitely wish I had done this sooner to have time for polish.

Welp, hopefully for the next project to come I don't make the same mistakes.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Other Experimentation


Was asked a question about how to go about rigging a BB8, so I thought i'd give it a go and do a little animation.

Legs rigging & double bounce

Legs rig experiment and double bounce walk animation based on animation principles classes.

Bathing in self Disappointment

What happened!?

Its roughly 8 hours before deadline and I still don't have a finished animation or idea that I am happy with. Clearly there's been some time management issues and somewhere down the line a reduction in workload. What made me slow down? I've no idea, but hopefully I can learn from these mistakes.

Making sure to also give myself enough time to document my work, this leaves me with 6, even less, hours to create an animation, the premise, the Ice-cream wants tea, the obstacle? The kitchen.

Kitchen Sketchfab

To get an idea of how and what I wanted to model for the kitchen I went and took various pictures of my own kitchen, I also took a couple different exposures of some scenes to create a HDR image.