Friday, 14 January 2011

The rise and fall

overall I was very pleased with our final piece and believe we all did very well and that our final submission reflects that though personally i felt as though i could have done more as my modeling skills and my final models weren't great and that will be a personal goal of mine to improve this as i was quite slow at times when it came to creating models. Though i do believe I have learnt a great deal also as before i found it incredibly difficult to even get my head round modeling though i know that I want to stick with more pre production aspects of animation as i find this much more enjoyable and less frustrating which for me is a must because i occasionally became very agitated when I couldn't work maya or find a reason why it didn't work. Also if there was more time i would like to have done more animation in the environment and also improved the animation that was done though this is something that wasn't a major concern as it was always the environment that i knew had to take centre stage and the whole group managed to produce a great piece of work.  


The music was a bit harder to find then expected as we all knew it needed to fit perfectly otherwise it would have spoiled the atmosphere we were trying to create so i took some time over it trying to find something that every one would like. I found spotify to be the best choice for looking for music and the selection is massive and its free to listen to meaning i was able to source a wide selection. the first song was easier to find as that song had to be something of the time and i already had some knowledge of music from this era so it was just a case of finding something that fit the mood  and the best i found was Tommy Dorsey : OPUS ONE which was written during the time period and fit the swinging feel we were going for for the opening.!

the next song was more complicated as it was much harder to find something that worked well to keep the mood and i went through quite a lot of music to find something but in the end it came down to simple trail and era and when i got to last chances and i knew i wanted something with a film noir feel to it. When I typed those words I got what i was after, Alexander Lasarenko-On the courner which fit perfectly.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Lighting in the animation

Since we want to create a particular mood and atmosphere the lighting of the characters will need to be dark and create sharp shadows to help give that film noir feel which is what were going for so having low lighting will help with this. I used spot lights to pick out certain areas to light which allowed for some great shadows especially on the groggy rig.

A cold stare from an unknown individual 

a darker side of max

at this point i had also done some basic texturing of max to help him fit in as he was looking a bit naked before hand.


Testing the water

I made some play blast to test out some animation before adding them to the final scene so i could get a rough idea on how it would look in the final scene.
max kicking door

max kicking door full scene

max full scene with hat parented

groggy peep hole scene

Animation start

My next task was to start animating and originally we were intending to have a more animation but due to time we felt it was best to cut it down to something that works and just added that little bit of interaction with the scene so se settled on 1 sequence starting with a knock at the main entrance to the bar followed by the door being kicked in. for this there wouldn't be time to create and rig an original character so used the free rigs available of creative crash, those being max and groggy.



Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Only the finest

Next i move onto helping others texture there models which i found to be a much more enjoyable thing to do as it gave me more time to find better textures and in some cases create my own.

Cigar box & cigars
Rob had modeled a nice cigar box so firstly i used a basic wood texture which was obtained of Deviant Art which was another good source of material that people were will to share without asking for money which is always a plus in my book. The cigars were a bit trickier as i wasn't able to find any good textures so i knew it would be easier to make one myself so i found a free paper wallpaper for a desktop which i then edited in photo shop to make it much darker and add a tint of brown to give it a more cigar texture
old paper texture

From that i then duplicated the texture and place them over each other a t a diagonal to create the cigar look and finally finished it off with a band around the top to really give it that expensive look.

Final texture

Coat stand & Stool
next was some basic texturing on a coat stand and stool which were very simple wood textures with some slight bump mapping just to add that little extra texture them.

Table lighter
This was a bit trickier as it was a completely shiny object mean i spent some time tweaking the textures to get the right look between the chrome and the marble. luckily at the trip to the Tate Britain Rob took some photos which helped with texturing.

Wall phone 
Finally was Harry's wall phone which i textured by simply adding a low reflective blin and bump mapping stone to which came out looking very nice and just goes to show that sometimes just experiment can come out with some good results. The numbers were done by just making font in photo shop and then adding each number to the correct hole by using plannar mapping and the UV texture editor.


aaah modeling my nemesis we meet again...

Next i was tasked with doing some modeling which is neither my strong suit nor is it some i remotely enjoy  doing but sometime i guess you gotta do what you gotta do. First i design a filing cabinet which was to go in the  back room which we felt was need to add that little something extra to the bar. i found a website ( which had a nice selection and this was the best and best suited the style.

I used this a my base for my cabinet.

this is the model i came out with which i was quite pleased with, especially the wood texture which I found at ( which proved to be a useful site for finding tillable textures and the brass was made from a tutorial found on creative crash I mealy copied the values for the colour spectrum to create it using a phong texture.

next i moved onto a revolver which was initially going to be held by our character but since we decided to cut most of the animation as it wasn't all necessary for the animation but i did start modelling the revolver in part so it would be usable and while in the end it didn't matter i felt it was still worht while as it would make gd practice for future projects as i'm 100% sure i will create an animation where firearms will be used.

Webley schematics 
perspective view to help with shape

I decided to make my revolver around a webley revolver, a common service pistol during that time and one which i felt has a slight art deco look in itself so i felt it was most fitting. The thing i found most hard was trying to find a front view of a revolver as it would have made modeling a lot easier but sometimes we can't always have everything that easy. This has made me come to the conclusion that it would alway be easier to design of make my own scimitars for objects as it means i can do that extra view to help speed up and make modeling easier. 
Final outcome and will make the note that i would have liked the texturing to have come out better though i found with this that really i should have created my own textures as anything i found didn't look completely right but with the time frame and not wanting to spend too much time on it this was the best attempt and it came out fine and it worked for this as it was only place on a table rather then being used by a character and therefore would have been in view more.


Hopefully this is self explanatory, the idea is to have a character that interacts with various elements of the but this is an idea that my be scrapped or altered depending on time.  

Final layout

From the initial plans i came up with one design which took the good element and made them onto one design.
this was the final idea a smaller L shaped design which kept all aspects we wanted in the bar and made it feel much more intermit. since art deco was the style of the time i though i'd add that into the layout of the design so the stage and private booth are symmetrical to each other and the seating area follows the same curve. the booth is still situated where you could be able to see everything and even incorporated a door which could be used as an escape route or even be used to ad an extra room like an office or interrogation room later on in the development if we felt we had time. the bar is also set on different levels and ceiling hights to give the impression of that it was once 2 room that had been knocked together to create the bar by its owners. 

this was the final design and what we will be using as our layout for our 3D environment.  

Floor plans

I came up with a few initial ideas trying out different ideas to see what worked and what didn't so we could create something that everyone liked.
We knew we wanted to have the bar underground so to give it a concealed feel to it and also have it down an alley for that sleazy feel to it also so these featured in all designs.
As for the interior we knew we wanted it to contain a bar, casino/gambling area and a stage.

Idea 1
My first idea was to have separate areas for different aspects of the bar so in this one the gambling area is separated from the rest of the bar and the first thing you would see as you enter is the stage which i felt could be a good opening shot.

Idea 2
This idea was my largest design and was more a dining theatre then anything what with the very large stage and amount of tables so was thrown aside early on as it was not suited to what we wanted .

Idea 3
idea 3 was much more suited to what we were going for and i liked the idea of having a booth where if you were sitting at it you would be able to see every part of the bar. this came from thinking if i was a mafia boss where would i want to sit in a bar and of course somewhere where i was able to see everything.

Idea 4
this was my final idea and out of all initial ideas was probably the best. the idea of a small corner stage was liked and made the place feel a little more desecrate and intermit and the small bar made the place feel more private like a place where only members of the family could meet and discus matter out of reach of prying eyes and ears.


What is a speakeasy?

Speakeasy's was the name giving to the illegal bars of prohibition america during the 1920s. they were a place where those who could afford it could still live the high life and and party like it was 1899. They were a place where organized crime could always be found as it was this which brought the illegal licker in and as with most things in crime, where ones being committed there usually another dozen or so being committed as well. Its this which we will be using for a bases for our speakeasy so while it will be an illegal bar we wan to also include gambling to that as well so things like card tables and slot machine perhaps but these things don't really on there own suggest there's something wrong so we want to include things like firearms around the place maybe even the odd body or two who knows.

A swinging speakeasy full of life and flowing with alcohol

Most would have been a lot more lo-key but this i feel would have been less fun to create and why hide what your doing when you can just pay off the ones trying to find you ...

As for the size of the bar we want it to be of a decent size though we don't want to over do it and make something so large it becomes difficult to keep it full and create an atmosphere similar to something seen in the film noir genre.

We want to create somewhere you can visualize and picture the seedier side of life gathering to drown out sorrows and the high rollers throwing away there money and discussing there next hit.

we will also be drawing ideas from films such as Bugsy Malone and The Untouchables. Bugsy Malone is a key example as it features fat Sam's speakeasy which can be used as a refrencing point for out environment .
From these ideas and ideas of my group member i will try and come up with a layout and design which will fit with these philosophies and make it a convincing environment that people will hopefully believe and understand.


From humble beginning

A great comedian once said "The mafia people appeal to your intellect:You're an intelligent person aren't you ? So you realize it's very difficult to walk without knees" (The late Richard Pryor)
My idea to do a prohibition bar came from having a great interest in organized crime and all things that are associated with it most probably from watching too many gangster movies and reading stories of great bank robberies. I felt a speakeasy was a gd idea to draw from this as it was a place which could be filled with with many aspects of organized crime like the illegal gambling and drinking but also have that elegance and wealth that came with it.  

Rave Animation year 2-Digital environments

I'll be working on a group project for digital environment and will be creating a 1920s/30s speakeasy which were illegal bars during the days of prohibition.
Our group consists Alex Richie, Richard Eglinton, Harry Bonadio, Rob Bowles and yours truly of course.

We are the made men and therefore untouchable by all.....