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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Colour Scripting - initial thumbnail development

I'm working on thumbnails developed from my original set, looking at more dynamic and planned compositions with effective lighting for setting the mod of the shots.  Ideally I will end up with 5 thumbnails set up as layered value studies as a base for creating a colour script.

The goal for this task will be to accurately link my colour choices with the moods of the shots in turn creating a 'colour script', reserving certain colours for certain points in the story, using different colours to elicit different emotions.

Here are 3 thumbs which will need to be layered and coloured:

Feature Car_Wip 01

A key feature from my initial thumbs is the car shown in several shots, this would be a main feature of my masters project along with the character and environment design. I have begun by developing schematics as a base for the design. As I feature the car in several ongoing thumbs the design in turn gets developed.

Colour Keys - time of day

For week 5 of my Colour and light course we discussed the principles of colour, specifically for achieving cinematic effects. It was emphasised that Value is crucial to colour, it can be used to create distinctive contrast and is essential for helping to identify the focal point(s) within your composition.

The level of saturation should also be used to effect, when life and energy needs to be emphasised the colours can be saturated, in turn desaturated colours can make the image feel gloomy and dull which can be used to describe more sombre moments.

This specific task is to describe the same scene at different times of day, as an exercise it can be a good way to experiment with potential directions for a shot when the lighting is not already fixed. I chose to develop a shot from my previous thumbnail sheet, I intentionally chose a simpler shot that I would not develop beyond this exercise as I wanted to focus on the task of accurately colour keying the times of day as opposed to getting stuck on design elements.

The times of day I looked at were morning where the sky has a cooler colour with a warm light, creating below average saturation. Afternoon, with a more saturated, darker sky, offset with a hazy horizon to emphasize atmospheric perspective. Finally, I went for night as with my final project direction I will most likely have a lot of shots at night, it was emphasised that the sky should always be saturated as opposed to the ground being desaturated due to the lack of natural light.

The grey scale frame shows the shot template, layers were set up for all aspects, some elements had several layers, for example the car had layers for the paint on the front and rear sections, a layer for the chrome and the glass.  For more elaborate shots the layer set up will be the most time consuming aspect, this is also key to the success of the piece as you are 'locking' the design at this stage. Layers are used as a selection point for each object or sub object, when everything is cleanly separated into layers the rendering process is optimised.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

8 Key Frames 8 Design Principles

As a base for my Masters project direction I have started by creating these 8 key frames to show potential cinematic moments to develop into concept composites.

The 8 principles covered include: Big, Medium & Small - directly using 3 scaled objects to portray depth. Focal point, to highlight the main area of the image. Rhythm to show subtle but flowing complementary forms to guide the viewer. Golden third, the classic composition ratio. Negative & Positive Space, using graphic shapes to separate the key components of the image. Foreground, Mid ground and Background, to clearly define the 3 main areas of the composition to maximize the read of those parts. Flow using pointers within the image to push the viewers eye along a specific path. Scale by comparison to clearly identify depth, this should be carefully balanced with atmospheric perspective for maximum effect.

I will look to develop a few of the stronger frames to elaborate on:

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Wip 5 of 8

posting for a group crit - 5 of 8 thumbnails covering key composition fundamentals, full set to follow:

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Character bust_colour practice

Continuing on from my last post to finish this part of week 4, here is a rendered bust of a female character, a good test for my new direction for my final Masters project:

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Character Study_New Direction

After my Mentor meeting last week I had an initially difficult realisation, followed by gradual and increasing relief and enthusiasm!

In an unforeseen 'U' turn I have decided to create a scene with local reference as a base, using early 20th Century Deco / Nouveau inspired architecture as a base for a cinematic composition - this will in turn act as the set for a short animatic for my final Masters project.

A crucial aspect of the scene will be the characters and in a serendipitous turn of events the CGMA course I am currently taking (now week 4) includes character and thumbnail composition studies.

Starting with a referenced based female character study, the process begins with a stylised sketch study, breaking that into basic shapes and identifying the light source, then adding shadow and light pools to begin the rendering stage:

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Week 3 Colour Key

Think I was slightly over ambitious with this piece - look forward to getting it critiqued

Change of direction now for my Masters project, more to follow...

Friday, 6 November 2015

What a day!

Still taking in an epic 'game changing' day, very luck to be mentored by Stuart Craig, a multi Oscar and BAFTA winning production design Veteran - the experience really helped me identify my goals and priorities - feeling pretty blessed x

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Week 3 Preparation

Micro & Macro: Texture studies for close up elements & Matte painting for Colour Key composition paintings with reference boards:

_Thumb Nail Sketches:

_Worked up Composite:

_Textured Spheres showing 'Micro' studies to practice

Reference for Texture Spheres:

Reference for Colour Key composition painting:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Week 3_Micro / texture painting

Looking at micro here with 6 sphere studies of varied materials, looking to replicate the texture with a fixed warm light source. Going for Matte Plastic, Chrome, Candy Metallic Paint, Resin, Skin & Water, would love to noodle more on these but must produce a full 'Key' Piece showing rendered local colours in accurate lighting!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Colour & Light week 2

For week 2 of my colour and light course we have focused on core principles including key light, fill light bounce light and ambient occlusion as well as core shadow, cast shadow, contact points and local colour.

After some sphere rendering exercize's we picked a master painting to study, estimating the local colours and using the hue saturation and brightness sliders to estimate the tonal values.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Lady in waiting 3D print prototype

Here are some slightly delayed shots of the Lady in waiting prototype 3D print from my recent historical reenactment project of the Norwich Castle Museum.

Also showing the render composite from the Castle project and sculpt file bpr render.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Final piece of Paint out 15''

My final piece from this years local Plein Air event, I chose this handsome building from the 1800's for an architectural study of the entrance elevation.

Friday, 23 October 2015


Quick life studies of my man Lothar's profile and a close up of my desktop:

Paint Out 15" 2nd Sitting

For the 2nd day of Paint out 15'' I sat in the beautiful, Nouveau,  Royal Arcade for the morning sessions study.

It was a wet, cold and windy October morning with a chilly breeze funnelling through the arcade, after an hour or so my hands were fairly numb - this is my excuse for some questionable perspective.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Paint Out 15" 1st Sitting

For the morning session of this years Paint Out plein air competition (http://www.paintoutnorwich.org/) I decided to tackle the Norwich Cathedral, incorporating old and new by hinting at the swooping curve of the recent bridge over the river.

Special thanks to Lothar for the amazing Photography, as always! http://www.lotharzhouart.co.uk/

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


The second set of week one's task, studies of Moebius, Norman Rockwell and Andrew Loomis.

On to 2No studies from life and 2No from imagination to finish this weeks task.

Sunday, 18 October 2015


Kicking off the Fall term of this CGMA course, Here are the first 3 of the weeks value studies for assignment 1.

Given my Star Wars inspired personal project I have chosen scenes from Star Wars Episodes IV & V as well as an environment scene from the recent Rebels animation series, for the 3 film / animation references.

I will follow on with 3 master studies, 2 still life studies and 2 concepts from imagination to meet the 1st weeks tasks.

The emphasis from the 1st assignment is to develop value recognition skills, defining high, low mid and full keys. This will in turn teach us how value keys are used in production to emulate emotion and create immersiveness.

We are limited to the use of a flat Oval brush at 100% opacity and encouraged to use a limited range of 5 values with no  rendering / shading. Although I couldn't resist adding a little hatching to try and describe some of the subtle changes in value.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Character Wip 01

For my latest project / ASU unit I am creating an imagined scene to emulate and pay homage to the Star Wars franchise.  I have decided to take a lesser known species, the 'Twi'Lek' recently appearing in the Star Wars Rebels Series as a character named Hera, also seen for the 1st time in 'The Return of the Jedi' as Jabba's Palace dancer.

I have shown my initial reference Board with both the known characters and will create my own variation in the form of a star pilot as per the Hera ref, although in my own variation. The 1st WIP is shown too.

Friday, 9 October 2015

1 All Saints Green, Norwich

In anticipation of 'Paint Out 15' Norwich, I am trying to get a in a few studies in an effort to get back up to speed on the traditional front.

This is a 90 minute study using markers and fine liners on a mid tone pad with watercolour wash and chalk hi light.