Saturday, 19 August 2017

Planet Modeling: Refining Night-Time Lights

  Along with some other plans I returned to my planet. I'd say it is roundabout complete as much of the time was spent on Wednesday polishing the night map. Looking at the planet with the various layers such as mountains and rivers (which from space would be intensely lit up rather than these dark patches they were before).

  Climate, temperature and elevation might also affect where cities are built, and while I could not quite work out how to turn the illumination off when exposed to a directional light, the daytime illumination doesn't appear too glaring.

Although for them ore intense areas there may be some question as to why the valleys around various riverbanks are practically golden.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

YPGTTO: First Tasks on a New Role

In the past couple of weeks I've been brought on to a design team to help with creating an animation sequence for a film that will play alongside a performance of Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, which for development has been abbreviated to YPGTTO and at present is entering the sequence animation phases of construction.

My first task has been simple so far: Six animations for the two commuter types that have been designed to act as members of crowds. Nothing too complex so far but so far the work has been engaging, and more could easily come very soon.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Building Planets

Today I had some fun with some rather literal worldbuilding. Using the free visualisation Space Engine offers an immense variety and some very powerful procedural generation software. Seeing the rendering power of this engine I decided to experiment with Maya, taking some of its possibilities further, as although effective with natural phenomena, I wondered about using it as a springboard for some science fiction models.

After extracting the procedural generation of a particular planet into bump and diffuse maps, I took them into Maya and built a model out of three spheres - the base planet, a cloud layer, and a faux atmosphere with a transparency determined by its facing ratio to the camera.

Space Engine tended to crash when exporting a Mercator projection larger than 4096 x 2048 pixels, but offered a box projection option as an alternative where it would export a file into six smaller images. A box projection allowed for the construction of a more high-definition model and could be useful for close-up shots.

The world I used was rather dead, so using Mudbox I painted on bands of colour that would mimic foliage.

The night map - intended to show signs of civiliseation - was the most bespoke part of the project,.as Space Engine has no way of building this on its own. It had to be created from scratch and was used as an illumination map.

The techniques used to build the shaders and the textures could - with further practice - be built more from scratch, allowing for more custom-designed planets that can be built in the span of an afternoon.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

New Designers: Final Submission

Year 3 Major Project: Four from Mark Stamp on Vimeo.

A bereaved scientist finds love again far from home, but as he comes to connect with this new lease of life the company's plans must force him to let go.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Four: New Designers Approaching

New Designers is but a few days away, but this blog has been quiet so to alleviate that I present a few stills that I have prepared.

  Rendered in full HD quality, and what I have has been tested in a video sequence. Getting everything right and keeping everything clean well however has been nothing short of a monolithic task. This project started a long way, back, as far back as September and to see the outcome now feels exhilarating as the home stretch presents itself.

I also took some time to build a business card. Nothing too flashy, gets the job done rather nicely though.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Four: An Adult With Polish

  With progress done om the environment model I went back to the animation sequences. With the time that I have available I feel I can definitely push out some much cleaner and more lifelike animations. Currently building a library along the way. It won't translate easily into the juvenile - who has a very different style of movement - but the groundwork should speed up the pace.

 A rather diligent cutting of the animation down to four minutes has been a struggle, as there is always that question of what to keep and what to remove. But after some thorough examination, and the sacrificing of a few details here and there which in a number of cases could be supplemented by visual information, the video flows a little more succinctly and fits within that alotted time frame.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Four: Animation and a New Laboratory

I've been working to improve the animations for my project. Feedback has it that where the most improvement is needed in when Four runs or walks. However one of the larger complications has been that in order to smooth out the way hands moved about, the control around the wrist was re-parented so that it moves with the base and not the torso.

This has the added advantage that she can more easily grasp things, and the hand stays in position better when Four is stationary, but it does mean that all the hand positions need readjusting.

  One update that might have slipped is an improvement to the scale of the rooms. Everything was a little large and off-scale so one of the challenges has been to compress a few things so the environment feels less cavernous. This may have a knock on effect in that Four would need to be smaller. Part of what I learned while researching for the project is that grubs can be much larger than the insect they grow into, likely because the fat and material they store up is also what keeps them alive during the energy-intensive metamorphosis project. It might be a simple case of not making the size differences as drastic but at the same time, Four isn't a low-level predator, and animals whose shoulders may reach the waist when on all fours can stretch taller than an adult human when they try standing on their hind legs.