Sunday, 25 November 2012

Meerkats... at an Aquarium?!?

Today I went with my family to St.Andrews Aquarium with the intention of finding and sketching some sea-life crabs, as research for some animation I will be doing as part of a visual effects project with fellow animation student Sarah Rettie:
However I only came across one Hermit crab, there were only a few others and they all appeared to be hiding from the world! Nevertheless there were lots of other creatures to draw:

One creature I discovered today was the Axolotl - I didn't even know they existed but turned out to be fascinating! They are a type of salamander and wild axolotl are actually near extinction! What makes them so wonderfully weird to look at is the external gills that branch off the sides of their heads like branches of turquoise coral or feathers. They kind of reminded me of Chinese dragons. Their head shape also is very reminiscent of the dragon character 'Toothless' from 'How to train your dragon'!

One of the most random animals that I was not expecting to come across today were Meerkats! Odd yes, but entertaining most definitely!

I even came across a crocodile! Dangerous research to the max!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

“By George, she’s got it!”

UV-mapping. After taking a week out to finish the first draft of my dissertation, it was back to uv-mapping and texturing the New Orleans town environment for ‘Krokodi’. Not really something I have been enjoying immensely, maybe because I am eager to do more work for my main two specialisms, rigging and animation, but the town environment needs finished! And now that a bit of colour is starting to seep it's way onto the buildings, it's starting to look a bit more exciting :) 
I had so much trouble getting my head around the process of uv-mapping, and then, during the weekend of week 7, after days and days of uv-mapping confusion, I had "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain"* moment, UV-mapping seemed to click in my head! That same weekend I managed to finish off the majority of the town props. 

After that I started on the buildings in the town. I have established a work-flow and naming convention system so I don't get confused with all the texture files I'm creating, colour-coded the rows of buildings and have also added each row of building onto a separate layer within MAYA, so that I can switch the visibility on and off, in order to not have too many fully textured objects visible in MAYA at the same time, as I have found from past experience that this slows down MAYA, or even prevents the file from opening at all.

Colour-coded and numbered buildings

Just trying to whizz through it all as quickly and efficiently as I can at the moment to keep our film production on track. :)

A more detailed insight into the last few weeks, and about the uv-mapping and texturing process of the New Orleans town environment can be seen over at the film's blog, just copy and paste the link:

*'My Fair Lady' film quote