Friday, 30 November 2012

Meeting With: Ryan Locke #2


Just a quick blog update of my first proper meeting with my supervisor,

So yesterday we had  a meeting, I had written down an agenda as to what to talk about, These being:

  1. Project Proposal
  2. Blog Grouping
  3. Ethics Sheet
So my project proposal as quoted by Ryan, "Is like a cracked pavement, you can walk on it but you have to mind your step" 

As my 2nd or so draft of it I take it as a positive. He says im pretty much their just need to fill in the cracks with more references etc. 

also got to clear up what it is you reference, and that is pretty much everything that is related/helped you into writing your proposal which is a relief as I have alot of references just not many I could actually quote from.

as to my 2nd query:

I need to talk to lynn or brian about that as he isnt too sure.

Ethics sheet, I was considering in doing a questionaire to see what other people think when they see pixel art. I feel this would help me solidify that my project has some value to gamers experiance. 

Anyway its a good start my proposal is at about there:

abstratction: leaving that tiill the end
Introduction: 568/500 words, give or take and pretty much fully referenced and structured only the aim and objective need to be re worded and fixed
Contextual/literature review: 1193/1500
Methodology: 109/500 this is probably the section that needs more work to it.
Conclusion: leaving that untill i have completed my contextual review

Anyways thats me for today,

David M

Friday, 23 November 2012

Pre-Production Portfolio: Skyscraper and truck Part 2


Well firstly you may (or not) have noticed that my skyscraper has changed and looks less blurry, I used a 'Sharpen' Filter in photoshop to recover the lost pixels in the Anti-aillising. however this has made some of there lines get coloured oddly which will needs further fixing, but its better than what i originally posted. So I shall re edit that post with what i was intending to talk about after its been completely finished.

I was intending on creating timelapse videos for these but I cant get VLC to work anymore and my computer is enjoying crashing on me.

So, today my next part in my little project is to create the truck, 

So, thats the finished model.

I am thinking of creating different models for the crashes as it gets deformed by the explosion.

Anyway, I enjoyed this part, pixel art is great for making sure things align properly, I am starting to realise why most 3D pixel art has basic geometry suits the style perfectly, however I am still adiment that I can find my own style so I dont just get told I am cloning minecraft or whatever.

Anyways next up will be making the street, might do alternate skyscraper textures to make the environment look more varied.

but yeah going to try get VLC working for the next parts as I really found it helpful to look back and examine my own technique.

Anyways hope you like,

     David M

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Pre-Production Portfolio: skyscraper test part 1


I am not sure actually what this goes under (yet) but right now i think its close to a pre-production.

So what have I been upto? Well aside from slaving away at my proposal  (2000/3000 words) I have decided to do a little more practical.

The idea

Well, I want to do a pixel art animation that looks 2D but is actually 3D, the sequence I have chosen is a truck crashing into a skyscraper which came from a midnight think before bed and a chat with my flatmate.

The animation is not going to be too long, 30 seconds at max. 

The camera is going to have to rotate to show that the animation is 3D.


Well I havnt gotten far, thanks to my computer crashing, but I have finished off the skyscraper (near enough) heres the 3D model for you to have a look.

How'd you do that?

Simple really, but I shall go more in depth for you.

As you may have read before (if not go look, i'll be waiting) I have textured 2 cubes, 1 looked like Fez and the other looked like Minecraft. I also decided to get really ambitious and try and texture a team fortress 2 model but failed miserably.

So This is why I chose a skyscraper and a truck they are both fairly rectangular.

I then used the same technique as my minecraft cube, but blew it up from 512x512 to 1024x1024.. However I seem to have made a catastrophic Pixel Art error that I have only just realised.

I appear to have made the rookie mistake of accidently forgetting to tick maintain hard edges on the scaling up.

Not to sure how to fix that!

Well i was going to take close ups of each part so you could see what was going on, on a pixel level but that would be kinda pointless now since everything been AA'd and blurred out...

Well thats something im going to have to make sure i dont do for the truck...

Hopefull i find a way to fix this and upload a new one tomorrow.

Typical, well that was a real downer to thee old moral, ahwells

till tomorrow,
     David M

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Something: notes project proposal progress

Hello, not sure what to head this blog entry as...

Well unfortunately it is another annoying wall of text entry for you to read.

Finally think I  have made significant headway into this whole Proposal nonsense decided to rewatch the pixel art documentary i posted up before but make notes from it take interesting quotes etc. its good to know other people out there have the same opinion as me on pixel art, and the video says most of the things in my head that I couldnt get quite coherent enough for anyone else to understand.

other things its made me realise and need to look into

  • mosaics
  • tapestry
The parallels pixel art has with its music cousin chiptune and the similarities between the two how that chiptune is considered as a backlash to the ultra clean ultra processed glossy electronic music and that pixel art could be considered a backlash to the super realistic focused game industry however chiptune seems to be more widely accepted and mainstream in its respective industry whilst pixel art still considered as crude.

also, got a good quote from a book "understanding comics by Scott McCloud" talking about the benfits of abstraction over realism.

anyways thats me for now should hopefully have my first full draft done by the end of this which al send to one of my lecturers..


David M

Friday, 16 November 2012

Concept Development: Pixel Art Documentary, project proprosal

So yeah I found this a while ago but never got round to posting it, this documentary by Simon Cottee pretty much mimics my views on pixel art which is good. I don't know how credible he is for referencing but I feel the video is too important not to reference.

So yeah unfortunately I havn't been doing much practical as after the presentation I feel that I need my theory up to scratch which hopefully along with writing out my proposal and this documentary is helping.

anyways, thats me for now will probably do some practical stuff tomorrow though for a break between all this writing.

David M

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Meeting With: Ryan Locke


So yesterday I finally managed to get a meeting with Ryan who turns out is also my supervisor for my project.

The meeting went well I managed to clear up a few of the questions he had for me after my presentation which I feel helped alot in him catching upto where I am at.

Essentially what we did was throw ideas and such at each other to get the ball bouncing and just told each other what we knew about pixel art and why we like it.

Because of this I didnt manage to take down as much notes as I was hoping but I did try to get down the more important points, which are:

Abstraction - What is it? Is pixel art abstract art, if so how can we prove it? Why are we attracted to it?

Nostalgia - What is it? why do people feel its important and have to replicate it?

Why are humans attracted to the building blocks of things we played with lego to create houses, scientists discovered the cells, DNA etc. there has always been an interest in discovering the building blocks to things, can that be related to the attraction to using pixel art?

symbolism, semiotics

there was also an article that ryan unfortunately forgotten the name of but it was "connecting: Abstraction and applied meaning" or something along those lines, If i find that and be able to fit pixel art in somewhere It should help me a great deal :)

Presentation: Reflection


Well this is us onto our 9th week, which means last week was our crit presentation week (slides to follow) So here is what i think went well and what didn't quite gel...

First off, I got very nervous at the beginning of my presentation I don't know why it got me so bad but I did manage to get over it by the end but it did have a negative effect on my presentation.

My feedback from lecturers were still rather positive however Lynn and Ryan both mentioned how they were worried that I didn't seem to have gotten much further in the theory side of things than where I was 4 weeks ago. This has alot to do with the misunderstanding of what we were to show, my nerves and not being able to convey my thoughts well enough. Both Brian and Ryan both said afterwards that I didnt seem that enthusiastic, which is right in the sense that my nerves and such dont make me ethusiastic when it comes to talking but I am ethusiastic about the project.

Anyways, I just need to make sure that in 3 months I have a solid understanding of where I am at.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Concept Development: 3D failings

today/tonight was another day of rhings not going to plan,

Despite what supervisors have told me I decided to do a texture on a properly modeled character, however i do have reasons for doing this. Mainly I wanted to see if a pixel art texture would work on a character as it looked interesting when I smoothed off the minecraft block I did before,

This interested me mainly because the 3d pixel/voxol games like minecraft or 3D Dot Game Heroes are still angular and basic but this cube gave me the idea that maybe the model doesnt have to be angular for the pixel texture to work...


Since my falling out with maya the other day, i didnt want to model my own character and UV it as that would take me time so I borrowed Valves Heavy model from the game team fortress 2 of which they allow all steam users to borrow and play about with.

I chose the heavy mainly because hes bigger and the most sqaure out of all the characters and hes my favourite, in design anyways. 

I got as far as having a basic texture on the vest only,

My problem with it (other than it being messy right now) is I dont think pixel art suits the style of the character, which isnt too surprising since Valve had no intention of pixelating them (sorry valve) I might come back to it later depending on how things go.

I did find these videos though,

Minecraft parody of the popular gangnam style song by PSY


Minecraft parody of paradise by Coldplay

I liked these because although they are using the original models of the ones in the game, they are rigged and geometry to give them more complicated animations.

which has given me the idea of doing something similar but with slight more complicated models. However this will lead to me having to model them myself.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Meeting With: Lynn Parker #4 & Concept Development: 3D me


Well on Wednesday I had another meeting with Lynn and it went pretty well,

I have managed to make somewhat of a start on my proposal and she went over with me what I could possibly talk about and how to structure it. We also talked about my practical stuff worryingly we realised most of the things I have done is for my personal development rather than what i thought was my concept devlopment which has me worried also that next week is crit week so should have alot of new stuff to show =/ time has sure flown past *gulp*


Think I am slowly climbing out of the rut i was in and feel more on track just gotta have stuff to show for my presentation.


So after that i made a start on my 3D pixel test, its not finished I dont think I want to do something 3D anymore but thats yet to be decided.

So here I am in my untextured form, the bit i am not happy with is when I went to mirror the geometry I had to delete intersecting ploys this then created a hole, I have no idea how this happened as i was being careful when i was modelling. this irritated me quite a bit.