Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Initial Ideas

I've tried to take components from my brainstorm and fit them together to create some story lines.

When I first think of pirate I think of the greed and stupid things they do to get what they want... oh and alcohol especially rum! So I started linking in the cellar as something similar to a wine cellar or the cellar of a pub where all the beer barrels are kept because this seemed a likely place a boozy pirate might end up in.

So far I've ended up with three story lines revolving around the beer cellar type environment.

1.  After a shortage of rum which puts a pause to the pirates' battle for the smelliest breath to determine who shall be captain they all head on their separate ways to find another stash of rum. They are all reunited when the journey leads them all to the cellar of a single tavern in a small secluded village. A battle of the drunken ones breaks out to reach the single bottle of rum and the pirates try to dodge obstacles- and each other- but the battle is eventually narrowed down to two. A fight breaks out but during the brawl one pirate gets his hook caught on a piece of rope hanging from the cellar's above trap doors which is used to secure them open when the cellar is in use. A sudden opening of the doors shoots the pirate out of the doorway but in the process knocks a stack of barrels flying and sending the bottle of rum directly into the landlord's dog bowl where the cork pops off and the final pirate watches in horror the dog finishing off the bottle's contents. The dog utters a loud bark and the pirate is faced with the foulest breathe he has ever encountered. Being as drunk as he is he elects the dog as the new captain.

2. A pirate is stranded in an unfamiliar modern town after his ship is lost at sea, mourning his loss he has been drinking, well more than usual. When his stock depletes he sets out to ransack the local pub stopping along the way to admire a group of girls who feeling disgusted each slap him on their way past. The pirate is taken aback and falls onto a sign which is then turned the opposite way now pointing towards the pub's cellar. He picks the lock on the cellar door and is heading over to the stock of of his favourite drink when a strange mechanical claw reaches down and starts picking up and carrying away the contents of the cellar. The pirate is transfixed and doesn't notice the claw carrying the crate of his drink high above his head and out of site until its too late. Without thinking the pirate attaches his hook to the claw, where my drink goes I go is his philosophy at that moment....

At this point I wasn't sure how the story would turn out, I knew I could either let the pirate get his drink or have something happen to the pirate but I'm not sure which so will come back to this idea if I  think of anything.

3. My final idea revolving around a pirate getting his drink was set during a storm where the cellar is gradually filling up with water while this pirate struggles to get to what he wants. He slips and his hook is caught in a dent in a barrel. When he detatches himself from it alcohol floods out of the barrel mixing with the water below. The pirate continues his pursuit but keeps getting caught on the barrels as he uses his hook to climb releasing liquid into the waterflow below. Eventually he slips again but cannot find anything to hook onto because he has destroyed his pathway. He falls into the water below but it isn't water anymore, more like a concoction of drink... an alcohol river. The pirate isn't even bothered as the river escapes the cellar and he is carried down the street because he is in luxury.

I have been thinking of how I can have a pirate within my story without it being a typical pirate and this lead me to thinking of my character as not a pirate at the start but somehow becomes a pirate such as looking like one.

4. A child's fancy dress party is taking place and but the father is down in the cellar looking for something for the party. His kid keeps appearing at the doorway asking questions and when he sends his child off after answering his kid keeps closing the cellar door accidently. After each closure of the door an unfortunatle accident happens such as the father knocking something and it falling on his foot causing him to hop around on one leg and stepping on a rubber plunger which then gets stuck to his knee in place of the hurt leg. The child is not aware of these unfortunate events happening down below because it is too dark to see. The father finally makes his way back up to the party in a lot of pain where as he steps into the room one his kid is hitting the pinata. The stick makes contact and pulls the pinatta down meanwhile the excess threads from hanging up the pinata get caught around the father's leg and lift him into the air in place of the pinata. The kids are too young to understand that this is the father because he looks like a pirate and start hitting what they think is a new pinata.

5. I also had the idea of my character being a pirate though reproducing copyright material and then attempting to escape with the aid of something resembling a grappling hook but I will have to look into this idea in more detail.

My final idea came about from a dicussion with Anita today where we were talking about how one of the opening scenes of the first Pirates of the Caribbean shows Jack Sparrow looking like he is atop a great ship but we soon find out he is on the mast of a small boat which is actually sinking. So I liked the idea of the story showing something which is revealed at the end to not be the truth, maybe some sort of dream sequence.

6. It could be a captain sitting in the hull of his ship which is a type of cellar really. However, this captain has not been successful in his adventures and has big dreams and ambitions. He falls into a daze and the story takes place in one of his day dreams where he is at sea during a storm out to seek his fortune when he faces lots of obstacles until he comes face to face with a competing pirate band. A battle breaks out between the two ships until a cannon from the enemy ship sends the captain's ship into a slow desent to the bottom of the sea. Using the brought up anchor he fashions himself a grappling hook and throws it to the other ship where he swings over only to collide with the side of the ship.... Back in reality there is a loud bang and the crew on the ship's deck look downwards towards the noise from the hull. They head to investigate only to find their captain sprawled on the floor beside a barrel with a makeshift mast from a mop and some of his shirts. The captain's hook is tangled in a heap of rope and there are drips of water coming from a hole in the ship deck celing and forming a puddle on the floor and hitting the captain's face. The crew members stand there in puzzlement at what their captain is playing at.

Initial Jotting

After the briefing I started making notes around my three components but focusing mainly on the character itself, making it have a back story and fitting the setting and prop in once this is established. I haven't gone into back stories just yet rather just jotting down possible pathways to get my ideas out and then applying these pathways to the other components for example, 'pirate' as in copying copyright material hidden out in his cluttered cellar, using a grappling hook to escape when he senses he has been caught.

Please excuse the rubbish picture I'm in between printers at the moment, mine's sitting there stubornly not working and laughing in my face while I wait for the postman so I can't use my scanner.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Unit 4: The Beginning

After a good rest its back to work! A lot of hard work but I'm up for it! The components that I lucky dipped for this unit are...

Grappling Hook

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Unit 3: Crit Presentation 20/01/2012

Unit 3 Crit Presentation 20-01-2012

Unit 3: Final Scene & Matte Painting

Here it is at last! My final scene and matte painting element. Really pleased with it! Would never have thought I could have created this at the beginning of the unit.

Final Scene

Matte Painting element

Digital Set Pipeline

Below is my digital set pipeline following the progression of my scene into a final model before adding the matte painting.

Wireframe Model

Untextured Model

UV Maps

Cobbled street and felt map UV Maps

House UV Map

Carousel and Horse UV Maps

Texture Maps

House Texture Map

Felt Mat Texure Map

Cobbled Street Texture Map

Carousel Top Texture Map

Carousel Base Texture Map

Horse Texture Map
(I have only included one because they are all exactly the same just with an overlay of a different colour)

Textured Model

Rendering Passes
(Beauty Pass)

Ambient Occlusion


Lighting Tests

From the start I already knew that I wanted a dark scene so my lighting tests were about trying to get the most out of the light from the carousel, making sure it did reflect off the cobbled street and parts of the closest houses to make the scene fully work.

I started off with an area light in the top of the carousel as I knew most of the light source would be from the lights in the carousel roof but this is just too dark, you cannot see anything else in the scene, barely seeing the horses here.

I tried out a directional light as well as lowering the area light intensity but now the cobbles seem evenly lighted and thats not how it would be unless there was more than the light source of the carousel.

This was a bit better, from moving the directional light and lowering the intensity but again the carousel is not lit up enough.

Managed to get some lighting reflecting off the houses in this one by adding another directional light round the back of the carousel.

Added a spotlight on the edge of the carousel to try and get more light round the front of the horses and onto the cobbles.

Added some fog to the spotlight to soften the sharpness of it and also played with the cone size to try and light up more of the cobbles.

Added some more spotlights around the carousel and rotated the direction of them so as not to expose too much of the cobbles to light but these spotlights are too solid, its obvious they aren't from the lightbulbs.

Got the spotlights to gather a bit so they look like they are coming from all over the carousel but still wasn't happy with the light on the houses.

Adjusted the spotlights and directional lights some more, caught some light on the lower brickwork of the houses at last and the horses are illuminated better.

Development of Final Piece (Up to finished texturing)

Below is the process of my final piece up until I finished texturing and was moving onto lighting, I'll post my lighting tests in the next post.

Setting up my camera and using planes to simulate the row of houses and ground to help me know where to start.

Modelling the components of the carousel, using a cuboid as scale for a human

Starting to UV map the carousel before I move onto modelling the houses.

Modelled the horses and added them to the carousel, fully UV mapped it.

Modelling the base of the house

UV mapped the house before duplicating to save UV mapping individually

Duplicated the houses and UV mapped the rest of the scene

Started to texture the ground and the felt mat..which I eventually got rid of.

Texturing the carousel elements

Textured the house then applied to the duplicated ones.

Textured the light bulbs, adding a glow to show they are a light source.

Textured the horses, textured one then changed the colours.

Fully textured scene ready for lighting.

Texture Tiles for Final Scene

Here are the texture tiles I made for my scene, some of my objects were not tiled as they had to go through other processes to get them textured.

Cobbled Street Tile

House Brick Tile

Curtain Tile

Felt Grass Tile

Preparatory Studies

Testing out possible colours and patterns for top and bottom of carousel

Experimentation with colour gradients for the side of my carousel

Experimentation with achieving realistic wallpaper.

Colour experimentation for wallpaper and curtain in concept.