Strength and Weaknesses

Having recently being presented with two projects in which I had to both create and present oral performances of selected topics I felt this post was appropriate to make. Looking at myself and how I go about tasks I started identifying my strengths and weaknesses one example being how I struggle to talk in front of people and never know how to word myself. Even though this is a weakness of mine I find that when typing out what it is that I would like to say my message comes across a lot clearer therefore I would say that academic and formal writing for me is a strength.

This has not always been the case though where as during my studies in school my English both in writing and oral was below the average standards. Outside of language abilities and communication I found that I have a lot more strengths and weaknesses about me. Coming from a creative background and studying from a fine art perspective I always try and achieve this hyper realistic finish to my work and pick out faults. This has both up and down factors such as how I feel I am never finished on a piece of work, once completed and reviewing I will find a slight detail out of place and want to start over again although because of this I find myself working to higher standards. In a sense this could be a set back when working within the game industry as an animator/ artist because of the high demand of work and deadlines to meet along with having to accompany one style of work with other team members. This again is a skill I am hoping to develop on.

Briefly looking into a few more strength and weaknesses of mine and only naming a few I find that i tend to steer off topic a lot within all fields of my work this again relating back to meeting a brief and deadlines. I’d like to think of myself as hardworking and constantly creating pieces although sometimes this can be too much where as I could focus on the one piece for an extended amount of time. A final weakness that I have noticed within myself is how I struggle to concentrate on written pieces where as I would much rather be hands on with my work.

Overall I believe it is safe to say that even if something is a weakness there can always be a plus side to this and room to improve, all strengths come with a downside and all weaknesses come with a positive.

Desert Conceptualisation.

Following on from the rock observations needed within the group project I have began working on concept ideas and further observations of desert scenery, using a range of mixed mediums but again narrowing down on using the Pitt pens to create a more illustrative finish on the pieces.

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For this observation I have used acrylics paints, although they appear very thinned down and semi transparent no water was used. However I believe this could be the result of scanning the image under a strong light, only wanting to do a rough observation and not spend much time on the painting I decided I would take on an impressionistic style and approach to the final piece.  The brush stroke are very loose and the mixing and blending on the paint was done directly on the paper leaving this rough finish.

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Following on from the previous observation piece I chose to create a technical drawing that would be used when transferring the work digitally, having previously done the piece in paints I was able to see the defined lines a lot more when overlaying the layout paper. I quickly sketched out the image in a pencil altering the placements of some of the rocks and where they hit the horizon line. I also wanted to show the direction the ‘sand’ would be moving or blowing therefore I placed in various weighted lines across the frontal body of the image.

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I decided I wanted to start looking into the idea of line weight a bit more within my technical drawings. To start with exploring this I chose an appropriate point of lighting in this case being a back light. Everywhere the strongest light hits was a thinner line, contrasting to this, where there was no light touching would be a thicker line. Once again I started drawing in the shapes and directions of the rocks although this could have been done with a lot more attention to detail. Separate to the desert I also experimented vaguely with brush pens and taking on a more simplified style this can been shown within the  cactus of this. After reviewing the theme for the project (Steampunk, Dystopia) I decided that the cactus would not fit in although experimenting with the shapes a bit more to attempt and alter these into nails or screws.

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Taking two of the previous rock drawings i started composing a new image together using both the Pitt pens and pro-markers. For the highlights a white gel pen was used this also accented the texture withing the distant rocks in which I struggled to capture the shape of. I find that this method was useful towards achieving an end result within my work knowing how these two image played together I learnt that the framing of the concept piece would have to larger and aspects such as the foreground rocks would have to be reduced in size. Therefore allowing room for other elements such as the city or blimp.

Rock Observations and Ideas

Within the past series of weeks I have been working in a group project on my Game Art Animation course at SAE Institute. The theme for our project was a steampunk, dystopian society in which I was placed as the environmental artist. Before working digitally to create the conceptual pieces I produced a series of hand drawn illustrations and observations. I felt that rocks where a good starting point for the concept pieces as we had already decided the main environment shown would be a desert scene composed of a Victorian era city, blimps and an open desert.

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My first idea was to experiment with this idea of crystals within the scenery but realizing this would be too out of place I came to the decision not to go forward with this plan. For the drawing element on a lot of these I have used Faber-Castell Pitt Pens and a Pentel Sign Pen, this is so they where easier to identify while scanning in as well as making them a lot more defined. This will be an advantage during the digital stages of the project because i will already have the base idea and line shape of the items I want to place throughout the world. This will also help me if I was to rearrange the composition before adding colour and details.

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Again using the same materials on this technical concept piece I started looking into the rock formations within deserts and tried to show the jagged edges of the rocks. Although I was trying to keep my technical drawings relatively simple I still feel that more detail could be added to define the directions and shape of the rock.

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Unlike the other rock ideas I used acrylic paints for this observation, studying the tonal values of the rocks in a simplified form again this is going to be a help when composing a digital image.  However in saying this I believe for a wide shot desert scene this tightly packed close image would be too detailed and feel out of place with not only the rest of the composition but also the other elements of the groups project.

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Starting the use layout paper more within my drawings I felt that I was able to achieve a cleaner finish to my lines and tonal weight, within the above image I started by exploring the various types of rocks.  When looking at the end result now I find that more details could have been added once again to identify what kind of rocks these where although I have briefly defined where the shapes would be and the angle of light.

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The final three drawings I believe will be the most successful and useful when composing a final concept piece together in some very little detail is shown therefore I would have to add more when working on the pieces digitally, this also applies to the scaling and placement of the rocks. As for the larger composition of rocks in order to be used throughout my work I think this would be better suited as a background or “filler” rock.

Group Project

Starting within a main group project composed of four people including myself we first began brainstorming ideas.  From this our outcome and chosen theme was a ‘dystopian steampunk.’ Within this group we had the base roles for game art; Character Design, Creature Design, Vehicle Design and Environmental Artists. For me my role within the group is the environmental artist, looking and researching scenery such as deserts, abandoned locations and Victorian architecture.

T0 start off my project I began in researching steampunk, already having some knowledge of the sci-fi sub culture however wanting to expand on previous knowledge. When initially thinking of steampunk within games I think of Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim (Dwemer race) and Assassins Creed Syndicate to name a few. Therefore I used these games as a basis to my research and looking at the styles used within the scenery. Once I had a general idea of the style I began looking up documentaries on Youtube. It was from one of these I learnt that steampunk is essentially all inclusive and goes ass far as your own imagination can take you with the base idea of sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction merged within the one.

For visual references I found that studying local museums would be the best advantage for me as well as the surrounding architecture examples of these being MOSI and Liverpool Museum both focusing strongly on the industrial revolution and early 19th century. Although references will be alternating throughout the conceptual stage for whatever is best suited to the story being told.  All upcoming works will be uploaded along with key references to the drawings.

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