Tuesday 31 January 2017

Environment/Asset Design- The Percussion District- Buildings

I have found it much easier to try and create the percussion district while baring in mind some structures in modern architecture. The varied instruments lend themselves to being deconstructed and then assembled with other instrument parts rather than constructing buildings purely of one instrument shape. I've tried to do some as construction sites and others as 'complete' building assets, which I could then tweak so as to be also 'under construction'

I saw the Chimes as a series of tall narrow apartment buildings and the Timpani as perhaps an elevated town hall sort of environment...

Sunday 29 January 2017

Environment/ Asset Design- The Percussion District

'This next sequence, which starts with a wide shot- shows Red being winched up very high, past cranes, scaffolding and industrial machines...'
'The hook deposits Red on a girder. Red looks relieved. Behind Red we can see a large construction site-style sign that reads: 'Caution! The Percussion District.''

The Percussion district is a rather complicated environment. Not least because a construction site is a chaotic environment, but rather as the Percussion section of an orchestra is not limited to one type of instrument. I grabbed this shortlist after a little research.

Bass Drum, Celesta, Chimes, Cymbals, Gong, Maracas, Piano, Snare Drum, Tambourine, Timpani, Triangle, Xylophone. (And the additional beaters or sticks used to sound many of the instruments)

Its taken me a while to just create some odds and ends because I hadn't quite made sense of the environment in my minds eye with so many instruments. I feel I may have had a small mental breakthrough over the course of the weekend and hope to draw it all up soon. 

I had been so focused on using the myriad of instruments to create random scaffolding segments, when it may be easier to design Percussion based buildings then 'deconstruct' them as though they are still being built. I shall follow with more soon.

Red Rig - Almost there!!!

My presence on the blog has been scarce... and for good reason. Rigging Red has been a bit of a nightmare. There have been times when I think I had something good to post, only for things to go a bit awry at the last minute. It always became a decision between posting something at the expense of causing more delays in finishing Red.

However, this time I made a promise that I'd post something. First up, here's an updated turnaround with Red striking a pose!

Next we have a short video which hopefully illustrates the complexities of the rigging process. Everything in Maya is represented as collection of interconnected nodes. The rig is made up of hundreds, maybe even thousands of nodes (I haven't counted). However if we were to draw the complete node graph, this is what it would look like:

( and turn the volume up for full effect! )

Lastly we have a video which demonstrates some of the key features of the rig. This is (I think) the second time I've recorded myself talking so you'll have to forgive me for any trip ups.

As the title of this post suggests, it's not the final version of the rig, but it is the first working version.

So there we have it. There are still some things which need finishing off such as:
- tweaking the control shapes
- colour coding the controls
- visibility of the controls
- tidying up the scene file and packaging it up etc

Of course, I can't forget that I'm only half way there! I still need to finish Yellow.
Yellow shouldn't take anywhere near as long as Red because I've already done the research. I've developed everything from scratch and tested everything on Red. What could possibly go wrong now?

Ethan Shilling

Modelling: The Horn District Assets #04

CAA & ONE is More @ Katowice, Poland / 27th January 2017

Filharmonia Śląska, Katowice, Poland

On Friday, January 27th, CAA's celebrated visualisation of Darius Milhaud's ballet, La création du monde was screened in Katowice, Poland, with live accompaniment by the musicians of the Filharmonia Śląska.  Milosz Kula was their conductor, and in the grand surroundings of their concert hall, our sixteen minutes-or-so cascade of shape, colour and form illuminated the fascinated faces of a full house. 

This is the sixth screening for our animation, which began life as a multi-participant speed paint challenge, in which the students, alumni and staff of Computer Animation Arts were invited to visualise Milhaud's jazz-inspired ballet as a series of abstract digital paintings. CAA alumni Tom Beg and Jordan Buckner then worked with the resulting paintings, translating them into moving image. In common with previous screenings, the experience of watching the animation accompanied by the full bombast and beauty of a live orchestra was magical and transformative. Many thanks to Keith Burden of Clever Projections, who ensures our screenings run smoothly.

La création du monde was screened in Katowice as part of the ONE is more programme: An Orchestra Network for Europe – ONE - is a distinctive network of classical symphony orchestras initiated by Orchestre de Picardie in 2003. Since 2005, it has received support from the European Union under the Culture Programme for 4 cultural projects. Its successive periods of activity have been called ONE, ONE - a new dimension, ONE step further and from June 2011 to 2015 ONE goes places. In 2010, under the title ONE is more, it prepared an application under the Creative Europe programme of the EU. For this bid, the University for the Creative Arts joined the partnership.

Inside the Filharmonia Śląska concert hall #1

Inside the Filharmonia Śląska concert hall #2

Inside the Filharmonia Śląska concert hall #3

The pianist practices in a quiet moment

The instruments await their musicians

Preparing for the first rehearsal

Milosz Kula conducts at the second rehearsal #1

Milosz Kula conducts at the second rehearsal #2

Milosz Kula conducts at the second rehearsal #3

Milosz Kula conducts at the second rehearsal #4

Milosz Kula conducts at the second rehearsal #5

Milosz Kula conducts at the second rehearsal #6

La création du monde / Tom Beg & Jordan Buckner

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Environment/Asset Design- the Harp District

Here I've envisioned a rather busy looking Harp district. This is the vista that Red sees upon exiting the lower districts.  I get the feeling this is possibly a tad too busy and the first concept was more of a disorganised sprawl than a district. I feel the second concept may have been a little more successful upon spacing out the environment. There's room to breathe here.

Concept 1

Concept 2

Saturday 21 January 2017

Environment/Asset Design- The Harp District - Buildings

I've begun working a little into the Harp District to add to the pool of existing Harp structures. I've opened with a a few conceptual building designs.

I need to approach this district in a similar way to the Violin. Red simply observes the city from one point rather than moving through it. I intend to investigate some broad vista shots of the Harp District next.

Modelling: The Horn District Assets #02

Thursday 19 January 2017

Environment/Asset Design- The Double Bass District

I have been working on trying to lose those more distant outlines leaving behind only smatterings of colour to hint shapes. Things only started to make sense when bearing animation in mind. 

The majority of this space will be communicated with a play on positive and negative space. Parts of the architecture will be lit by Red himself as he passes by. Further illumination will be caused by intermittent surges of power in the Double bass strings. And perhaps the values of the watery Cello district above. 

The double bass district is supposed to be very dark, which makes it hard to communicate what the overall space might look like. This is why I have concluded with a before and after take on the situation, when the strings are idle and then when active.

When idle, perhaps the only light is either Red illuminating the base of the structures and floor and the blues of the water above.  And outlines are limited to only what is lit. BUT during a power surge the cables ripple and glow a hot furnace orange, illuminating the almost endlessly tall room.

Idle                                                      Active

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Environment/Asset Design- The Double Bass District

Returning to the Double Bass District, I'm trying to replicate shapes and create expansive spaces. As a nod to the previous Atlantean Cello environment, I felt it might be nice to have the shimmering light through water dance on the floor of the subterranean Double Bass District.

At the moment I'm having trouble with what information to leave in or take out. Perhaps there should be less in the way of white outlines so that the coloured rim lighting appears bolder in the dark spaces.

With outline
Without (much) outline

It's certainly more abstract! Perhaps I need a more established middle ground between the two.

Friday 13 January 2017

Character: The Queen

Bit eclectic at the moment but this is what I have as starting points for her