My Portfolio Presentation

I’m back blogging after Christmas (merry Christmas) and I’m going to do a post about my portfolio I presented earlier this month to Matt, and how it went.

For my portfolio I included work from all of the subjects we cover, and on the presentation they are categorised and titled in the top right of each slide. This is my portfolio. It was quite difficult to decide which work was best to put in and how to present it as I’ve never done this before, but I was happy that this was my best attempt at doing it alone. Now I have a lot of feedback on areas I need to work on as well as areas I did well on to improve it for the end of year portfolio.

I’m aiming as high as I can get and i am working hard and I’m pleased that at the minute I have been told I could get a pass showing this at the end of the year, arguably a merit and that if I follow Matt’s advice it could help me reach a distinction grade in the future. If I focus on perfecting work I have more interest in, and then keep working on building up skills in ones I find difficult, I should end up with a better grade. For example if I focus on my animations, instead of doing lots of average ones I could do less of them but with a higher quality to show I can incorporate as many skills as I can into just one or few pieces of work.

Also in the presentation itself I don’t need to worry as much as I did about time limit as what I had to say went by quickly even though I thought I’d go over-time, which means I can space out my work onto more slides to show it better and pace myself. I need to present more work I do outside of college and show I can use the skills we learn to make my own projects too.

Another pointer I would love to showcase more of (which I was lacking in my presentation) was to include my thought processes behind my work; concept art with notes on and the developments up to a final piece, notes of ideas for a game, storyboards for animations etc. I like showing my thought process so I will be including far more of this in a way that makes sense next time.

Finally another bit of advice was to make sure all work on paper is scanned in to improve the quality even of it’s early concepts, and to work on my lighting and rendering to get better images from Maya to show my models more clearly.

The feedback I got made me feel confident that I’m on the right path, and I’m very happy I know where I need to improve and how to do it.


Dystopia/Utopia Brief

Tony gave us a new brief last week to look at some dystopias for concept art. He showed us some of the concept art for Blade Runner, and talked a bit about 1984 (and their ‘Big brother is watching’ lifestyle in the movie), and suggested we take a look at some of the other stories we could think of for inspiration; as after this we will be thinking of our own dystopia (or possibly utopia) and invent a vehicle which would fit into that world and serve a purpose.

For me a dystopia would be ideal to design for, as service vehicles are usually used to be correctional, and there’s less to correct in a utopia as they’re near perfect. I do, on the other hand, think that services may be the reason for a utopia’s success.

I don’t know of many utopias- I could say the world in ‘Invention of a Lie’ could have been one since everything ran quite smoothly in the world full of honesty, but since the main character hated it and the world still needed to be ‘fixed’ it suggests it was not perfect all along.

I haven’t put as much thought into utopias yet, but did create a moodboard powerpoint primarily based on fictional dystopias which came to mind. Hunger Games particularly interested me as I can see the utopia lifestyle of the Capitol feeds off of the other districts, and by District 12 life is dystopic and the people are controlled entirely. I think this idea makes a lot of sense, that a world may only be a utopia under massive stress and constant supervision, possibly causing life to be the opposite elsewhere. I think my idea will feed off that one.

Christmas Animation: Week 2

In week 2 we learnt what animation blocking (pop-through) is in more detail and what passes are.

A Pop-Through can be made by editing your graph editor by setting the tangents to ‘Stepped’. This eliminates the curvatures between key frames and lets the animation ‘pop’ between key frames, letting you see the timings of your animation and the positions of your rig in a block fashion, with less confusion. The animation can disguise which frames were manual when playing through, so without the automated movement you can only see which frames you have made and how naturally they transition. This is also known as blocking, which seems appropriate for how stiff the movement is and because it’d the first step to building your animation, like the building blocks.

We also watched videos of some movie animation passes. We watched one of Tangled, where mother Gothel and Rapunzel are interacting, and one of Anna from frozen as a child. The Tangled one showed more in depth processes, including the acting, so I’ll link that here:
As a huge fan of tangled and every part of the production of the movie, it was really cool to see that video as I hadn’t before.

I finished my model textures for now, the Santa claus and the box are textured, not exactly how I’d like, but good enough for now as I’d like to focus on my animation next lesson and tweak what I need to at the end.

I made my model into a rig by using hierarchies and moving my pivot points.
I made the belly the main parent and dragged the head, arms and face in to be its children. Then I made the hands the children of the arms, and the hat and box separate entities.

This should allow me to make the rig into a character set to make animation smooth when it comes to it.

My ‘Calendar’ Christmas Game Menu

In my last post I wrote about how my class were supposed to make a collaborative Christmas themed game full of mini-games. We chose to do 25 so everyone could make their own separate games ideally and we’d bring them together in the end.

I offered to do the opening menu for the game as well as my mini-game. The menu idea was to have it look like an advent calendar, with 25 doors for 25 levels. I designed it and layered the design so that if we couldn’t do all 25 games I could delete the layer with the doors on, move the ‘Merry Christmas’ down, and add a little bit more to make it into a regular menu.

I did the design in Adobe Animate where all the games would be, with the same resolution we’d decided on (1920 x 1080) so it would fit into the game easily. I wrote the words, numbers, and drew the holly with a graphics tablet, then used the mouse and tools on Flash to draw the rest of the simple design. I re-used the snowflake dotting the ‘i’ in my mini-game too.

Unfortunately right now this menu isn’t being used, but I’m still happy with how it turned out.


My Christmas Mini Game

I created my Reindeer character to go into a Christmas themed mini game. As a class we intended to make a WarioWere-esque game full of minigames. We assigned 25 mini games out, with a few boss levels, and I was given the task to make a game where you had to find Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in amongst a crowd of regular reindeer (which was one of my ideas, so I was happy to do it).

My design for the Reindeer was quite simplistic, and translating that onto the computer and animating it wasn’t too difficult either (Here is the post on that). From there I had to turn it into a symbol and duplicate that symbol to create a scene full of reindeer where I could later disguise Rudolph.

To create the symbol I had to duplicate the reindeer and also copy all of the animation frames and layers into the new symbol. For Rudolph I made a red circular nose and placed it over the regular reindeer nose frame by frame and made that into another separate symbol. Then I created a scene ready to fill with reindeer. I pasted the symbols facing each direction to make it look a little more natural over the full scene.

When all of the reindeer were in (including the hidden Rudolph) I made sure you couldn’t see any of their noses by covering them with each other, then a decorated fence for the front row.

I added in code to the game which made the animation I created play whenever I scrolled my mouse over any symbol. This made the reindeer look up and down again so if it had the red nose you should spot it, but usually other reindeer would still be moving too to distract your eyes. As this was intended to be a mini-game lasting only a few seconds the fast paced aspect will make you scroll over multiple reindeer at once, and should throw you off just enough to find it slightly challenging in the space of time you would have.


On the right are
game2.jpg 2 screenshots of the game, the first is the default position of all the reindeer symbols, the second is a gameplay screenshot where a few reindeer including Rudolph are in action, but you can see Rudolph’s head above the rest with the bright nose clearly visible; if the mouse was clicked at this time (as his head is highest, meaning the mouse is over his symbol at the time the screenshot was taken) he would be the one selected, moving you on to the next level.


The code to make this was simple, but since I didn’t know Flash I needed Ant’s assistance to programme it. He showed me the code to trigger the animation on my symbol on mouse over, and so it wouldn’t loop:

function animate(m){

Then since, for the time being at least, we don’t have a collaborative class game yet, I wanted a conclusion  to happen when you find and select Rudolph, so I made a frame which would only be played when he is clicked which says ‘Correct’ just so the game would feel a bit complete on it’s own.

This is the code added into my scene which triggers the 5th frame (the one I decorated) to play when you win:
rudolph.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, fl_ClickToGoToAndStopAtFrame);

function fl_ClickToGoToAndStopAtFrame(event:MouseEvent):void

So, this was coded in to pop up when you ‘win’.

I am happy with how the game runs, and I like how it looks too, it’s exactly what I imagined it to be so seeing it actually become a reality was great. I hoped for it to become part of a game, but if it doesn’t I’m happy I finished what would have been my contribution to it anyway.

‘If’ Statements

We learnt about if statements in unity in Ant’s lesson. If statements are used when something is conditional in a game.

An example of a situation could be if a character needed to walk on an icy surface in a game where temperature fluctuates, if the ice was cold enough he would walk, if the temperature was higher and the ice was still just water, he would fall through it.

To write an if statement you needed the statement, a condition, and a body.

e.g. if(number==1){

This code would work in a coin toss to say out of 1 and 2, if the number was 1, you would get heads as a result.

To get tails you could write the same code and change ‘1’ to ‘2’ and ‘Heads’ to ‘Tails’.

Christmas Animation : Week 1- Planning

Last week I began planning an animation for the I’m Awesome project. Mine is Christmas themed, as it will be a story of Santa Claus and his present. To begin the process I researched some TV  idents- such as the ones from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and E4. These idents are all only a few seconds long, and show examples of how simple characters can interact in that time.

I also researched some simplistic characters from TV shows, like Eve from Wall-E, Olaf from Frozen, and some others. In the character research I also looked at some 3D Santa Claus figures because I intended to take the style of what I looked at and use it to make my own Santa rig.

I then did a storyboard for my animation. It included Santa finding a present under his hat, trying to reach out for it, and the present backing away from him, then choosing to come closer itself.