Sunday, May 5, 2013

Done, done and...done?

It's kind of weird, but think I've finished this project... Hooray! All the progress images, PDFs, presentations and renders have been painstakingly collected (special thanks to Maya for crashing every ten minutes at four in the morning <3) and updated, and I think it's all good to go.

This project has been a lot of fun and I've enjoyed it SO MUCH. The visuals are right up my street and the cuteness of it all has made it a very positive project to work on. I think I set out to do what I wanted, which was to improve my 3D skills to the point where I can generate my own assets for game prototypes. I created lots of 2D placeholder art at Blitz when we didn't have an artist, which obviously was a huge help, and I'd like to think I'd be able to do the same thing with 3D assets now. Overall I'm quite pleased with this project (if I might say so myself...); I've improved tons and had a lot of fun. 

Sooo, unless anything major comes up, this is me signing off! As an extra cute way of ending this blog, here's a little jackalope baby:
Dawwwh. :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Otters everywhere

Otter steps:
I sketched this on paper; something I don't do enough. It's always so much easier...

Some reference images:
I'll obviously hand all this in, but I figured I'd post it here too just for the sake of it.

Foxes in fall

I wanted to do something autumny and something with a fox, and this is I ended up with. I like it! The whole keeping-it-loose-and-lovely thing went out the window pretty quickly though... OH WELL. I'd like to think it's still charming, just in a different way.

Some steps (huge image; right click and choose "view image" to view a bigger version):
And some reference images:
How GORGEOUS is that illustration from Fantastic Mr Fox?! Gaaah...

I'm going to post some steps and references for the otter image next. I have a bunch of refs and WIPs lying around; just haven't gotten around to putting them on a little sheet yet.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Degree show banner

I decided to include this project in my banner for the degree show! Ta-daa:
I need another render of the bunny in the lower right to match the angle in the concept, and I might add the third little diorama once I manage to finish it. But I quite like it, I think.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Otters with rainbow tails

Otters are playful, social creatures who want to live near water with plenty of fish. Plant reeds and other lakeside plants to make the otters feel at home and settle in your land!

I really need to learn to loosen up when I draw; I'm too careful and slow. This one took waaaayy too long for the amount of time I have left, bah :( Will do my bestest to keep the next one quick and sketchy, like the drawing from the powerpoint presentation.

I've also updated the PDF today, and the newest version can be found here.

Sleep time now, zzz...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scene improvements (I hope!)

I've made a bunch of changes to my lil' scene today, hopefully to the better!

I have...

- Stolen the jackalope's flowers and scattered them around the scene.
- Changed the tree to make it look more elegant; the trunk is neater and the foliage has been rearranged, re-coloured and gifted with some transparency. I also added some falling "leaves" in the air and on the ground.
- Wrestled with Maya to add a ramp shader to the hill. It also has a paper texture overlaid on top.
- Created and textured some leafy fabric plant things to give the scene some more interest.
- Desaturated the bear a little bit, and went over it with a speckled brush to break up the solid colours.
- Added a third stone texture.
- Made some general layout improvements.

I also put some paper textures on top of that render; quite liking the result...

Next I want to make some nice renders of the creatures to go in the PDF.

Oh, and the bunny render issue seems fine now? No idea what's going on there. Oh well.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Environment drawing

With title...

...and without. Not sure about the tagline. Hmm.
And some progress:
Phew! Stumbling into bed now...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Paper taking over

The patchwork hill was really bothering me; I liked the idea, but it was far too busy. I've changed it to something more papery-looking, and I think it looks a lot better. However, I'm worried that the style is moving away from the patchwork aesthetic... But on the other hand, the paper look still falls under crafting. Hmm. Hope it's OK. I'll make sure that the environment drawings I do have some patchwork in them.

I've also made some non-papery mushrooms:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Scene update

Carried on with the scene today:

I've desaturated the grass, sorted out the tree and made the rocks more papery. Also did a little paper cactus thing. These are just Maya printscreens because all the textures are still PSDs and won't render... Bah. More props next! Oh, and the layout of the scene isn't final in any way. It's a bit all over the place at the moment...

Cactus design by Papercraft Central (2009).
Full reference:

Papercraft Central (2009) Paper Model – Cactus Plant.
Last accessed 23rd April 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A little update

Right, I've finished the lil' creatures. Hooray!

Here's the bear:

And its texture:


Now, this is rendering oddly... See that line down the side of the ear? It's not supposed to be there. It's not in the texture and it doesn't show up in Maya. It just renders like that. :(

No idea what's going on there. Hmm. Anyway, here's the texture:

I've also started working on the scene. The animals now have a home as opposed to an empty Maya scene, and I've textured the hill:

I've made some TINY changes to the PDF, too. I was going to add some renders of the 3D models but I kind of like the creature concepts... While the models look quite polished the concepts are a little bit rough - in a good way - which seems to fit the presentation better.

Download the PDF here!

I want to finish the rest of the scene as soon as possible and then do some environment drawings. I need to figure out how to sort out that tree...Not a big fan of the blobby pink placeholder circles.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Texturing away

I've been in texturing mode all weekend and made some progress on both the bear and bunny:

 Both of them still need some little fixes, touchups and details, but they're getting there!

Will definitely have a look at the PDF next - just got distracted by the texturing... Again... :(

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Texturing the teddy

This is slooowly coming together:
Triangulated with hard edges.
Soft edges. Not sure which one I like the most!
The UV map is a bit of a pain; I've ended up with lots of little edges all over the place that need to be matched up...Arrgh! Oh well. Hopefully I'll get there eventually...
Also going to take a second look at the A3 pages as soon as this lil' fella is done!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A3 pages

Here we go!

First pass done. I think. The presentation is made up of two A3 pages put together:
...but it can be divided up into two pages, too:
I might swap out some of the concept art for final renders once they're done. Seeing it like this I'm also not sure about the green background for the "Creatures" section, so I might change that riiiight now!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sneak peek

Here's a little WIP screen of the A3 pages:

I want to create a really playful and bright infographic-inspired presentation with bold colours. I'm quite liking it so far!

I'm currently using Illustrator but will switch to InDesign once the final base layout is finished. The page is currently a little big bigger than two A3s, but once it's in InDesign I can set up a nice grid system and mess around with the layout. I'll also add some renders of the final models once I have some, and/or remove the backgrounds from the concept images.

This is really quite fun! It's like doing a scaled-down pitch document; lots of prettiness and nothing but the most important, high-level information. Me likey!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A stroke of genius

...I just had a look at those lovely low poly creatures and of course - those meshes are all triangulated! That's why they look so nice. (Well, that combined with the insane talent of their creators.)

...I think I like it!

And I almost forgot: he now has a little tail now, too.
I tried to make a more intricate tail, like in the concept below, but it just turned out looking messy and nasty and horrible. Simple is good.

...aaaaand UV mapped

I have UV mapped this lil guy, but couldn't resist throwing some super quick colours on him too. The map turned out a lot fiddlier than the bear because of the little flowers, the horns and the ears, but at least the mapping is done now. Phew!

I can't really decide between hard edges or soft ones... I didn't really make the model with hard edges in mind and it doesn't look amazing, so probably the latter. Hmm!
Soft edges...
...or hard?
And the map:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bunnywabbit goes 3D

Meep meep!

It still needs a few things - like a tail and a sticky-up ear - but it's getting there. I think it'll turn out pretty cute!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I had completely forgotten how soul-destroying this particular part of the workflow is. Oh well - it's done now! There's a little bit of stretching going on in places but I think it'll do.

I think I'll model and UV map the remaining creatures (jackalope and bird) before I start texturing any of them.I could quite happily spend a full year just texturing a couple of meshes, so I want to get the modelling done before I sink too much time into the painting.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Here's a little peek of the bear:

I think I'm happy with the model - I haven't really modelled much lately so it's hard to tell. Hopefully it's chunky enough without looking horrible. I'll UV map it tomorrow; now THAT will be interesting...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Meep meep!

I'll have a play around with patterns and colours when I texture the final model - this is just a little sheet to help me in Maya. Now that I have my little creature concepts and the scene layout I think I should be good to start modelling... I'll do a few sketches of the props too, but then it's Maya time! Whee!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A little bear

Rawr! I'm really going to enjoy modelling this, I think.

I'm also working on a concept for a little bird, as I'd love to have a flying creature in the scene:
I need to figure out how to make the wings look more simple and handmade... Will go hunting for some references before I carry on :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A lil' scene!

Here's a quick little render of the scene I'm building in Maya:

Now, these are just mega quick blockout models to give me an idea of the scene layout. I am very aware of the fact that animals aren't actually made up of a series of squished spheres... ;)

I'm slowly reacquainting myself with Maya and it's good fun! I'm slightly scared of modelling the creatures because I haven't done much of that, but I'm sure I'll figure it out as I go along... I found this tutorial which I think will be useful; I think I'll give that technique a go once I have the concept art done.

Even though I'm a bit rusty at Maya and pretty much a newbie at modelling animals I think I'm really going to enjoy this project. The game idea is right up my street and I'm going to have a lot of fun figuring out the visual style. Can't wait for the texturing...!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Some sketches:

A littil bunnywabbit! With antlers!
A bit of botany. I like the mushroom!
Aaand a TINY scene sketch.
I've downloaded and installed Maya today (CRAZY big file size...) and I'm thinking that I should use it to mock up the scene layout with chunky, simple models, rather than sketch in Photoshop. I kind of know what I want in the scene, such as:

One small creature (jackalope)
One bigger creature (fox/lynx/deer/squirrel/raccoon/bear?)

Flowers (wild)
Flowers (potted/planted)
Cotton plants

Background elements
Sun (rays?)

...etc. So it should be possible for me to create really rough versions of these in Maya and arrange them into a nicely composed scene, and then paint over it.

It's just that I've always been quite horrible at drawing environments and starting with a 3D block-out would help me visualise the scene rather than the individual elements. I used that workflow to create this image back in 1st year (awwh, memories) and it would have been all sorts of awful without the 3D base... But I actually still like it!

Let's just hope I still remember how to use Maya... Eeek!