Friday, 20 March 2009

Chew TV project over and done with!

Finally, the project is over! No more bad dreams of droning 'blahs' and grey slop. Not for a while anyway. I really enjoyed producing these idents with Kat, we had serious 'oh my God what just happened??' moments, and 'that's stupidly funny moments. I would do it all again, but more time? Yes please!

Ive learnt loads these last few weeks, mainly about all the different programs you have to use when producing an animation. In Premiere Pro, Flash and Soundbooth Ive gone from 'how do you open a file?' to being able to do some work towards different aspects of the idents.

The thing I'm most proud of about the two Idents is that we produced the sound ourselves without having a clue what we were doing. OK, they sound scary, scary sounds are the only sounds I can make, but I think they're alright.

Oh yeah, I found that I love concept art. Maybe that's where I could aim to work in the field of.

Well here are both of the idents Kat and I created, Enjoy:

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Live @ 5

Who would of thought a few weeks ago we were panicking about the opening titles and astons etc. (our group came out on top with that). Now it was the final day (I think :s) in the journey of live at five.

I did the astons for the day and as long as I copied the names right and rendered the movie files on the correct format Id be OK. Here's an example:

I thought there would be a load more work to do and wed be pushed to our animating limits but I don't think the broadcasting students really grabbed their opportunity of maximising their use of graphics. I understand that they were rushing around a lot and thinking about editing the filming together rather then the small group of animators up in the studio.

Watching the rehearsal and run through was really interesting, even though not very much of it seamed to of grasped the full potential of graphics. We sat in a room with a row of very loud scary people in front of a load of screens. Dennis shouted orders to his students and made me glad in an animation student not in broadcasting, I wouldn't be able to handle the pressure.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Concept Artists

A concept artist, or artists, are people that work on the design of characters, environments and objects for an animation, film or video game. The artist is given a theme or idea and they use their imagination to create an interpretation of this theme. It is their work that helps give you the feel for the animation you’re working on and helps iron out any problems before production.

The resulting images can be beautiful photorealistic pieces of art or simple sketches. Either way it gets the idea behind the design across to the person viewing it, even if it doesn’t make it to the final cut, the essence of it is there. Concept art seems to capture the mood of a setting because it can use a colour or style without having to worry that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the film.

Concept art can be done totally digitally or physical art materials on paper; whatever medium the artist is most comfortable with expressing themselves in. Now programs like Photoshop have become more popular you see more expressive digital concept art appearing that has become more difficult to tell apart from traditional methods.

I really like the concept art for the video game Fable 2, the lead concept artist was Mike McCarthy who currently works with Lionhead Studios for four years and has been in the industry for about nine years. He has also worked on concepts for Black and White 2 I really like the way he captures a feeling in his work, at it comes out in the final game too. He draws his work as a pencil sketch first, and then colours it in using a program called ‘Painter’. It gives it a grimy effect and looks like you could reach out and touch the rough edges. McCarthy said in an interview that “It’s common for people outside of the digital industry to be completely unaware of what exactly a games artist does,” and also said: “Ironically, I think people are under the impression that the computer does it all. The average reaction I get when I talk to people about being a games artist is, ‘Oh, do you actually have to draw, then?’”

Here are some concept designs of the Spire from Fable 2 by McCarthy:

The Spire is one of the main focuses of the game as a place that you are lead to believe throughout the story, is full of death and evil. However at the same time it’s full of magic and wonder. I think these concepts capture this because they are so dark and are made up of grey tones which make the glowing blues stand out so much more.

The perspectives in the concepts are just as important as they would be in art that is destined for the art gallery. The point of view is positioned carefully for the greatest effect, even though in the game it’s the player that positions the camera for the most convenient view. The low angle of the outside view it particularly effective because it makes the Spire more imposing as it towers over you, I think this shot was used eventually in a cut scene in the game.
Other pieces of concept art I like: