Saturday, January 30, 2016

Smells Like Capstone

Sooo ... updating. That's been getting pretty slow recently because of all the time that's been devoted to working on the Capstone project. If you want to check out the development of Ley Lines - or any of the other Capstone games Cohort 12 has been working so hard on - check out the links in the new side gadget. You really won't be disappointed.

This is the first taste of creating a large scale video game for most of us. Last semester, we managed to create five rapid prototypes of games with different themes. Well, they were meant to be prototypes. Most of those video games ended up being finished mini games and that's fantastic. The Cohort is taking that same drive and applying it to their Capstone projects and the results thus far are amazing. As artists, there's currently the existing challenge of uniting our art styles while not being entirely sure what our end goal even is because the art style is still developing. Nonetheless, we're all doing extremely well and are already close to achieving professional quality in our work. The perfectionist in me is determined to push it each and every week until we get nothing but raving reviews.

So! What else has been happening? Game Lab. That's a thing. We're going to be making a small-scale educational game for that class over the course of the semester. The game I'm involved in is currently titled Dinopedia. As you can probably guess, this will be a game that focuses on teaching middle school students about dinosaurs, their different time periods, eating habits, physical attributes, and evolution. Dinopedia is inspired by that one awesome Nintendo 64 game: Pokemon Snap.

As the player character, apprentice to the Dino Professor, you get to travel through time to find different types of dinosaurs in the Jurassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods. You can lure out these dinosaurs with certain food so you can take a picture of them and record the information about the photoed dinosaur. There's more features to this game, but that may definitely undergo iteration once we truly begin work on it. For now, there's some concept art I've done for the game while practicing on some new digital painting techniques we learned from Ryoma Tazi. Also, I have a mighty love for the Cintiq. So mighty. Wow.

Other things? Animations! We're still making iterations on our quadruped walks and runs. Fortunately, we're all down to the stage where we just have minute details we have to fix. Jonathan's done a pretty good job at training us to have a hyper critical eye to our own animations! Especially with that blessing of each of us getting 20 minutes in class to truly dissect each and every thing we do. The perks of there just being three animators in that class. Teehee.  I'm currently working on finalized versions of my quadruped run and my take animation. Though, here are the last iterations of those!

Quadruped run. G2G FAST.

"OH SHIT". Pass number two.

I've begun on a side animation just to explore more avenues for Ley Lines. This is just a half-finished first pass at a dance for Vala's Prisima Tribe. During my iterations of design for those nomads, I've been heavily inspired by indigenous people - this time around, the Sami people and Ainu people in particular. This animation is being based on the Ainu's "Dance of Black Hair". It'll look muuuch better when I can put more time into it! But it's a decent base so far.

On the topic of Ley Lines, I've also been practicing merging the styles of Lara Croft Go and Moebius - our chief inspirations. After talking to Ryoma more about designs and whatnot, these are some current iterations of the Temple Guard designs. I've been taking the silhouettes I made last week and really trying to focus on that polygonal look we're aiming for.  

That's it for general updates! CHECK OUT THE CAPSTONE BLOGS FOR MORE STUFF.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy New Year!


2016 is finally here! With that comes the beginning of the Spring semester. Thiiis time around, I'm going to be devoting much more of my time entirely into Animation, learning motion capture, and the Capstone process! These are skills I'm definitely going to need to refine much better before we get deep into working on our video games (and everything becomes more hectic).

On that subject, we have continued working on our quadruped animations! We have been refining our walks and starting up on quadruped runs. Already, I've gotten a little overzealous and finished up my second pass of the run before the first one was even due. The good news? This leaves me a lot more opportunity to refine all of my other animations and begin some passes/practice for Leyline's main character.

For the quadruped run, I chose to do a rotary gait. When attempting to work on a transverse gait, the steps (as I was posing them) looked extremely bizarre and random. So that gait would probably have to be something I work up to for extra practice. In any case, the rotary gait isn't looking half bad right now!

This would be the fixed up walking animation! It's not quite finished, though.

For some more practice, I did a rest animation. My pup Nanna serves as the best sort of inspiration! 


The first eight weeks of Common Core art is going to focus primarily on crafting our Capstone project's artist style guide. The first step of that is picking three artist influences and making some mood concept drawings based off of their styles. For Leylines, our first two (confirmed) artistic influences are Jean Giraud (our main inspiration) and Hayao Miyazaki. Our third influence is more up in the air. Because I had issues animating today, I chose to do a drawing based off of Lara Croft Go's artistic style. For each individual drawing, I attempted to use every conception style Ryo showed us during our Digital Painting workshop. It turned out pretty neat! Though, these'll be techniques I'm definitely going to work more on developing.

A great thing is that open Motion Capture workshops have begun! Hopefully soon I'll be able to do it all without aid ... I'm gonna need to review Vicon Blade a lot better. orz. In any case, I made a current in-progress chart that details the motion capture markers. Some things are likely off, so I'm gonna need to go back and this graphic after a few more workshops. teehee.

In Technical Art, we have been working on some animation tips and tricks. I had a lot of fun learning how to use the auto-rigger (that's definitely going to come in handy later), which would give us a proxy rigged character in our game character's proportions. It's pretty nifty! Up until those classes, I was concerned with how animators would be able to work before anything we even close to being made. It'll definitely come in handy. Soon, we're moving on to classes about more refined rigging! I can't wait,. :3 

It's feeling good to be back.