Monday, 2 September 2013

Can't sleep? might as well Worldbuild.

Due to a restless night, I have started work on the literary side of my worldbuilding project. It is the beginning of a narrative that deals with the world depicted in the image below:

This first section is only just over a thousand words, and will most likely become the short introductory chapter, as it acts almost like a contents page.

Hullo, welcome, I am your guide to this world.
Look below and you will see a small planet, split into two halves of colour. See now, as we travel over the surface how the waters are dark purple beyond the upcoming chain of reefs? Those seas cover half of the planet. We will not cross the reef yet, but instead will turn around and rise, so that you may survey the more hospitable half of this sphere.

To the far north and south lie polar caps, from the north an arm of land extends towards a central Pangeal landmass. There is a dark crack at the base of the arm, running almost to the northern pole, It is the Great Break. We will observe it closely later.
The main landmass is split into three distinct regions, northern mountains creep down the centre a fair distance dividing the desertified and forested areas that make up the northern half of the continent. The southern portion is mainly marshes and plains, and the s coast is cloaked in a large cloudbank. Known as the Thunderstorm Cliffs this strange weather persists for most of the year, clearing only for a few days in high summer.

There are two large islands that are not directly connected to this landmass. One, south of the Thunderstorm Cliffs consists of harsh tundra that gives way to desertified areas closer to the equator.  Ruined temples and cities scatter it’s surface, most have been plundered by treasure hunters looking for offerings. The north-eastern coast gives way to reefs and extinct volcanic islands, home only to shipwrecks and gulls. The Thunderstorm Cliffs make sailing in the surrounding region treacherous.

The second Island lies close to the eastern coast of the main continent, south of the landlocked sea known as Ecros Lake. It is known as Deepwooden, for its forested land is mainly unexplored, save for a templed City on the northernmost tip. The Deepwooden forests are home to strange beasts that hunt anyone unsheltered during nightfall. Small paths have been cut to modest clearings used to cultivate local flora. Large crops draw the attention of the wildlife and perish along with their tenders.

The luxurious produce of the Deepwooden glades are shipped across the channel to the cities that share shores with the Western Ocean and Ecross Lake. These cities craft them into aromas, medicines and ingredients for the richest of households. They are transported to either the lake cities, across to the thunderstorm cliff territories or to the capitol itself in the Divine Bay. Only the most luxurious of goods are sold at the capitol, so the route it follows through the deserts, marshlands and plains are infested by unstable clans supported by thieves and smugglers.

North of Ecros lake is the Wrecker’s Coast, a stretch of desert coastline treacherous not for the currents or reefs, but for the wreckers who move beacons to confuse and ultimately destroy the sea ships reliant on them. Divers are the most respected and richest of the wreckers, for they can attain the most precious of goods in the deep wrecks that were not drawn to more accessible reefs. The wreckers are drawn into conflicts with whoever takes authority over the beacons or those that try to install more reliant signals. A deeply woven web of corruption within each of the nations surrounding the area benefit from black market trade, and so resistance is never strong enough to hinder the wreckers in their toil.

Of the materials shipped along these coasts, none are more precious and dangerous than the refined ores that are supplied to the industries of the Thunderstorm Cliffs. They are generally mined in the northern ranges, the deposits in the dividing ranges are generally inaccessible, or have been built upon by settlements not willing to tear their foundations apart to help build the devices of the south. These northern mines are generally run by families that reside in the capitol, their orders relayed to foremen who organise the miners. Several mines have a history of cutting corners with the infrastructure and support technology of the mines. This has lead to accidents, death and subsequently strikes occurring more and more frequently. The grip of the mining families on the political system is however tight enough to prevent reform.

The farmland surrounding the divine bay suffer a similar fate, the areas not left poisoned by the overuse of a Deepwooden pest control substance struggle to meet the requirements of the capitol, and face either harsh punishment for not meeting quotas or starvation. There are efforts by certain individuals from the Ecross Lake area to develop and sell a countermeasure to the poisoning that is plighting the area, but their efforts are met with harsh resistance from those who are able to make a great deal of profit from the high food prices the current situation generates.

Those too poor in the capitol and surrounding areas to afford the local crops have to resort to the imported northern food, mainly fish, cheap, and usually close to rot. The northern food has to be hauled across the mountains to reach the capitol, as the sea east of the fertile waters surrounding the break are saturated by deadly reefs, and the Ice gulf on the other side of the connecting arm is home to whales and other large sea creatures. These beasts destroy cargo ships and canoes alike, before returning to depths unreachable. Many northerners die trying to develop more reliable and speedy trade routes, but they still persist, as it is seen as a noble endeavour. Some have even tried to explore the deepest reach of the break, to find the source of the fertile substance that flows into the water. They believe if a more solid, or less volatile state of the substance can be found, it can be sold for a higher price than the mere food produced by its effect.

Explorers seeking new sources of food and wealth have tried to breach the reefs bordering the edge of the sea, but find the legends of corrosive, dark waters to be true. By this time they have no ship to sail back on. The few islands in the border reefs are piled with bleached bones and corroded wood.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Character Sprite Concept

Converting character sprite into a new segmented design that can be easily rigged in Spine

Monday, 17 June 2013

Recent 3D work

I have been working with Blender and Sculptris to create work that I find interesting and fun, even though I am new to the technology.

Bust, modeled and rendered in Blender

Bust, modeled and rendered in Blender

Mask and Bust, modeled and rendered in Blender

Bust, modeled and rendered in Blender

Mask, modeled in Sculptris, rendered in Blender

Head, modeled in Sculptris, rendered in Blender

Mask, modeled and rendered in Blender

Game terrain/map, modeled and rendered in Blender

I have a long way to go with these techniques, I hope that I can take them to interesting places,

Monday, 10 June 2013

Dragon Bull see the masks I made.

Apologies for the dreadful pun, here are the masks, made from cardboard, ice-lolly sticks, string and glue... lots of glue. Painted with acrylic and (In the case of the dragon mask) phosphorescent gel.



Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Digital A+D Software List

This is a list, in no particular order, of digital art and design software that I use/have used within my practice/study/spare time.

Free: Pencil

Animation software leaning towards hand-drawn animation styles.

Free: Rasterbator

Software that separates and simplifies images into sections that can be printed out and put together to make a large colour/b+w/monochrome poster.

Free: Sculptris

Free simplified version of Z-brush. A 3D sculpting software that can be used to produce concepts or fully fleshed out models

Requires purchase: Spine 

Animation software that allows you to create skeletons/spines to attach image sections and create animation patterns and cycles.

Free: Stereo Photo Maker

3D Anaglyph/Stereoscopic image software, used to create 3D images from a left and right image. Can produce gifs that do not require glasses

Free: Blender

Powerful open source 3D modeling software, strong community and many tutorial resources and plug-ins.

I will add more to this list in the future

Sunday, 12 May 2013

University Project: G2

Paper Faces

Face Paint Photograps

Earlier this month I tried out some face-paints for a self portrait photo-shoot. The pattern used works best with the more surreal and expressive compositions. Future shoots will work with themes, as abstract patterns seem to work well but are not strong enough.

Broken Images

During the face paint photo-shoot I had bracketed some images to produce HDR photos like this first image.

However when I loaded two images into a program that were not from the same group, the result were surprising, shown in this broken image:

I created several more broken images using the same process, loading different images into a program that thinks it is being given images of the same group. They are rough and random, but some have the potential to be developed more. Shadows and light seem to be important and can result in interesting combinations, similar to rules that influence double exposures in film photography.

I also tried combining a portraiture shot with the 'Day of the Leekids' cityscape image, the city came through strongly in the shadowy areas of the image, I plan to try out more of this completely unrelated combination technique.

I will explore this technique more later, with photo-shoots that contain compositions designed to blend together.