Saturday, 6 March 2010


so the project is done and dusted now and all handed in.
i personally am extremely happy with the work that we have produced as a group, i am also surprised at the work that i have done as it has shown that i can create work of a high standard.

i feel that i have played an integral part in the team from the ideas stages right through to the end result whether it be through producing my work on time or through supporting the group technically or artisticly. i was given the main job of modelling the mine which was a great challenge for me and gave a lot of time to work and expand on my skills. i then also proceeded to create the model of the mine shaft and door aswell, which provided further technical expansion.
at the uv and texturing stage of our project i took it upon myself to show my fellow group members my methods of uv and texturing this was to ensure that they understood the process and to also retain the continuity within the film.
our group showed a lot of passion through our decision in the last 4 or so weeks, before deadline, to come into college everyday and work later than timetabled to make sure we were meeting our own personal deadlines. this showed me that team havoc was committed and determined but also professional.
we met problems such as rendering with to the point decisions. rendering on maya software did not suit the render farm but mental ray did not suit our film so we decided with plenty of scheduled time to render locally on our own machines. this decision although taking longer gave us more control over what was happening and the guarantee of a known output.
the group itself is well balanced, although we each had our moments where we had had enouh of maya crashing. the group kept to deadlines due to bens initial schedule which was used as a very rough guideline but was surprisingly accurate.
the only thing i would have changed would be to enforce project setting and correct use of maya folders from the outset as i knew that this was an area that alex and chris had not payed much attention to before, but through our textures dissappearing and being reassigned to other peoples desktops i think we have all learnt the importance of a proffessional workflow.
i have thoroughly enjoyed this project and admire the professionalism of my fellow team mates and as such given the chance would happily accept to work with them again.


Wednesday, 3 March 2010


i have been using a program called terragen for years now, as it creates great quality landscape with an easy to use interface. it also gives a great level of control over the atmospheric colours, fog, sunlight and direction, clouds, water bah the list the goes on and on. anyway this software is great for creating a quick matte painting and at a high quality. so i did a 360 render of the generated and tailored lanscape, by doing this i was able to create a painting that lined up at both ends and could be used in so many ways. so after collecting the rendered images they were stitched together and completed in photoshop to create a nice big square texture. this image was created in order to fit the colour scheme of the lighting system created by tom so planning and communication within the group was key.

the eliptical door

so i have now modelled and textured the door and the mining shaft, this was a cool model to build as it was in between organic and man made as the rocks are remnants of the miners and obviously the door is made. the challenge with the door was, well the door... the opening of the door is unusual but is also a nod to some classic sci fi doors, such as the air locks in alien. the sheath eliptical door was created using a duplicated instance with set pivots which were then controlled via one master handle. to me this door is one of the more technical aspects and for that im proud of it, even though its only in one shot and probably has the shortest screen time.


so the shots a re coming along great at the mo with the group pulling together, feeling stronger and stronger every day.

here is a link to toms comp of my model land matte painting with alex's environment, this is a taster of whats to come, looks and feels great. this comp is a target render i suppose and is a goal for the rest of the short film.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


so we had some issues today as a group and it was all due to projects not being set correctly as such we were set back a whole day in order to correctly set project folders and re-find textures. an annoyance that the group has now learnt and hopefully the guys will enforce a bit stronger on their part.

Friday, 19 February 2010

building lighted renders

some lit renders of the textured exterior model. yeah its banging

lighting renders

here are some lighting renders to represent the lighting in our final scene although looking at these pics now i think the lighting is too dark and needs tweeking

here are a couple of renders looking at the textures i have applied , the stretch of the tex on the above model has been rectified.

model progression

so here we have a breakdown of the model at key development stages. as the concepts of the actual mine facility were very limited in the sense of detail and perspective i was pretty much left with silhouettes to work with which gave me both a lot of freedom but also a lot of problems. the problem side came in the form of depth and body of the model as i was given free reign to flesh out and design the model. after the main body of the building was produced i then turned to chris' storyboards to discover which shots we would need and as such which parts of the model needed to be more dressed and heavily detailed. so it was the runway and main entrance which needed the main attention. so i went in and dressed the inner hallway with pipes barrels and metal plates which with added lighting creates a great scene. the pipes on the outside of the structure were problematic to texture and uv due to their curvy nature. all of the textures were customised in photoshop and added with bumps to create a realistic sense of depth. there are probably around 50 - 60 shaders with textures and bumps applied. i do realise now that we needed to leave more time and preparation for texturing as it is a much heavier task than i first anticipated. overall i am exceptionally pleased with the result that i have achieved and i am also pleased with my level of learning as this is a vast improvement on anything i have produced up until now.

rough models

so i started figuring the mine out by using the concepts provided by chris and alex.

so i started with the rough square shaped model and fleshed it out to provide a better visualisation. it was then decided that the square shape was not desirable, so we progressed onto different shapes more akin to alex's concepts.
then i went ahead and pushed the pyramid shape, which got the thumbs up.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

so here are the air vehicles, had fun with the silhouettes on this one picked one out again and pushed the design. the design includes unburdened and laden with the resource cargo.

so here are some concepts for land vehicles, resource transport primarily. the silhouettes were done to gain some ideas and then i went forward and pushed one of the black outs. design is pretty cool i will just have to learn how to animate the tank treds in maya

so this is snow environment concept as i have mainly focussed on desert scapes. snowy alpine icy environment, harsh and unpredictable.

colours are nice but to model and texture snow with correct deformations would be very difficult

a quick idea i had with the desert landing pad and mine entrance. the idea being that the mine entrance was huge and built into the cliff elduding to a massive underground mining network.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


so this was to show a possible entrnace to the underground mining system with a big crater opening and a landing pad in the middle. the buildings around the edges are accomodation for the miners.


after looking into a piece called the unfinished swan which is basically an interactive game world environment which is completely white until you throw balls of black paint around to reveal the shape of the environment. from the idea of having an environment revealed by colour i had a thought of having our environment ( the mine) based underground in a dark cave where the architecture of the surroundings is revealed by light from the character moving through the tunnels.


ok so this was inspired by a piece in an art book called exodyssey the original was done by patrick desgreniers and features a similar situation. i enjoyed the idea of having some huge machine chasing after one of the workers for whatever reason.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

concept 02

so this piece again represents the atmosphere and environment but also includes some structural aspects. i quite like this one mainly due to the heavy contrast


so this pic was done really early on and i did it to try and explore the landscape of the the environment rather than the architectural side of things, so it is a desert environment with little shade, rather baron, but on the waters edge so can be used as an access point.

the backstory

so i compiled ideas with other groupies and sat down and wrote the backstory for our project:

Earth's resources are depleted all that remains are the low yielding wind, tidal and light farms. Yet Earth has been turned into a Galactic homeland for the rest of the EC (Earth colonies), in essence an expensive holiday resort treated like a pilgrimage.

With the introduction of inter galactic travel in 2098 Earth's answer for energy came in the form of Intronium a high yielding energy resource that seems limitless in supply. It is found on planets and moons with harsh weather conditions ranging in polar opposites and as such it was seen as a useless venture. 2120 the EC roles out space technology with increased enthusiasm and introduces Terra-forming, previously uninhabitable atmospheres are now breathable and the weather conditions on many moons have been greatly improved making Intronium accessible.

2142 Lance Carter, Earth's richest citizen, establishes Inter Planetary Mining (IPM). IPM uses the EC's imprisoned convicts to work his mines, conditions are too harsh to open to the general populous-no one would apply. The Galactic Defence Force (GDF) is introduced in order to keep control over the convict workers, some of the small mines faced rebel uprisings but Carter's answer to this was to glass the planet. The mines vary on the planet or moon they are working on and how the Intronium is reached, common ground usually being that of depth.

2214 our mine is situated on the moon Utor 8 which orbits a huge storm planet.
Utor 8 is under IPM hold and directly under the jurisdiction of Dr Fritz, his style of leadership is that of the iron fist – one foot out of place and you disappear. The GDF is notorious here as 3 years ago there was a rebel surge but Fritz insisted to Carter that he would deal with it, and so he did a huge death toll that fills one of the abandoned mines on Utor 8. So the GDF use this as an excuse to exact their own authority.

Given enough food and water to survive and worked long 10 hour days in deep mines the convicts are given no choice over the situation. The convicts live in temporary buildings set up in and around the mines, as there is no money trading is essential and what is traded is either stolen or scavenged.

A small rebel force is amassing amongst the convicts, who are slowly gathering weapons and vehicles along with usable technologies and supplies, with the aim of overthrowing the GDF and claiming the planet for themselves.

the sketch book

so here are all the pages from my various sketchbooks from the beginning of the project the pages have lots of info and ideas which i have scribbled down.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

HALO and the big german tank train

so yeah halo is huge and mainly due to the story and the artistic creativeness involved throughout the game. so i was doing some research work and came across this pic of a german cannon mounted on a train and then drew the similarities to the halo pic of the vehicle. who knows they probably have nothing in common at all to the designers of the game but to me they have a small similarity. the tank train is great because it would seem that if the turret turned to either the left or right of the train and fired it would de-rail the entire carriage. impracticle but cool and thats something that designers must think about is whether or not their design is practicle or whther the point of it is to be darn crazy.

Ships, ship breakers, planes and a roller coaster

so the ships are great because they are commercial vehicles and as such have a purpose as far as they have a job to do, not only that the construction of the ships can seem very formulaic yet blocky almost like beinig put together by a child with lego/duplo.
the shipbreakers are in there because of the deconstruction, they have chewed away at the ships and have left amazing shells which do not represent ships anymore and can be a great starting point for some crazy buildings.

the plane with the opened nose cone is cool due to the interaction with the vehicle the way it opens up is reminiscent of a draw bridge, once again a cool idea for doors and entrances to our mine.

the roller coaster is in there because of the way that old mines have been reinterpreted in amusement parks. the mine carts instead of carrying resources now carry people on ridiculous twisting tracks. ideas a plenty with this one as we can include some interesting transport devices for both people and the resource.