Today is our last day of scheduled lessons in Next Gen. It doesn’t feel like it, and these 2 years have flown over.

I didn’t intend to join the course as I was told I wasn’t going to be good at it since first year included a lot of technical and mathematical work, and I didn’t do computer science in school; but the second I realised A levels wouldn’t be right for me I tried this course and am so happy I did.

This year has been less about learning, and more about applying our skills. For me, this was concept art. I have used it to develop skills and techniques in digital art, as well as decide what I want to do in university. I have made great friends and memories during this time and think going with my gut was the right thing to do.

As well as that, I made great stuff too- being a part of people’s group projects made me feel as though my art was needed. I am still learning a lot about how to achieve what is in my head on the screen in front of me.

I am beginning to get excited about what is ahead of me now, university, jobs and experiences. I hope to have as much fun there.



Art Book Completed – Bleak Manor

Yesterday I fully completed the art book for my synoptic project. I am still working on a couple of pieces related to it for my portfolio, but these are completed pages showing where the models were developed from.

I included everyone’s artistic contributions, focussing on 2D, including my own to show the variety of styles and ideas that went into the project. I think it has turned out nicely. I made the background format a brown page with blue ink splatters and handwritten titles and commentary. I then layered pictures and shadows to accompany them, and asked the group to make sure they had their favourite renders done with no backgrounds and with shadows.

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Overall I am happy with how it turned out and think it looks quite professional (hopefully); showing off as much of the art as I could in our ten pages.

Deer Hunter’s Trophy – Bleak Manor

This is a concept for my Synoptic project that may not end up in the final game due to time limitations, but I was proud of anyway.

I designed a deer head to be mounted on the wall. I do not yet have the pencil sketches scanned in for the art book, but they were crucial for the design of the antlers and face shape.


After this I drew a diagonally-on picture of the head in Photoshop with the colouring of the fur I would like to be replicated if it gets modelled.

deertrophyWe agreed it is sad the deer is cute since its dead, but I’m glad managed to get some character across. I think got him to look slightly disappointed/afraid instead of emotionless. I didn’t redraw the antlers here as I had already designed those and just wanted to focus on the deer’s face and fur.

Gramophone Concept – Bleak Manor

During the week off I completed a concept piece for the gramophone asset in the escape room.
I used Photoshop and a technique of not blending, but layering colours to create a metal sheen on the instrument to draw this. It’s shape is slightly exaggerated, but as gramophones go, they already have quite extreme characteristics (huge speaker, small box).
I am quite happy with the design and have begun some pencil sketches of it. I still need t design a pedal/handle to match the silver-gold design for the side.

UI Book Page : Bleak Manor

Yesterday I designed a book page-style game menu. I kept all of the assets on the page separate and have put it on the group trello to review what they like and dislike about it.

We decided on a logo and I edited it slightly for the page, but as a group we raised hands for our favourite logo. Unanimously the team voted for the recent logo I did, which I was happy about.

I have used the logo and penned 3 options to click for now as Kelly is sorting what buttons she needs. On the left is the page when not being tampered with, and on the right it is being hovered over (only one button would glow at a time). Also I left each with different levels of shadow so we have options. These aren’t final designs unless the group wants them to be.

I drew 3 things to add to the page; a quill feather, a wax seal, and an ink spill. I think they add colour and life to an otherwise quite straight-forward page. I really like the wax seal.

20s Chandelier : Bleak manor

On Sunday I was wondering if any colour concepts had been done for Adam’s chandelier model. He has started some pencil sketches, but I didn’t notice them on the trello until after (just the dimensions as a cover picture on the card). I thought it might be useful for me to put an idea in before I knew, and it is still there as concept on trello now, though it looks as though he has went for a ‘swirlier’ design.

I looked up some 1920s chandeliers and they all seemed to be these waterfalling glass chard designs. This totally changed my idea of what a chandelier looked like in my head and felt more modern than my original thoughts. This is about as new as the light in the house could be, as the house was abandoned around the 20s, but older designs would be fine as the house was old.


I drew this up on Photoshop and made the light quite dim against my new wallpaper design. I added some sparkles to show the light was pretty glass and the colour was warm. The light wouldn’t be very bright because of the age of the house and light bulbs.

Overall I am happy with my idea, but I have seen Adams model forming and it looks very ornate and lovely, and I certainly like the more intricate chandeliers a lot.

Improvements and Fixes – Bleak Manor

Lately I have improved on older designs. Firstly I have come up with a logo I am quite happy with. It is currently waiting to be peer reviewed by the team, but compared to my logo concepts I think it fits well with the game. I used a font fitting a 20’s speakeasy, rather than an extremely old fashioned font, as that is closer to the setting of the game. I then drew a contrasting looking TRAPPED. I included my favourite idea of having the ‘in’ trapped in ‘trapped’. I think it is a subtle play on words based on the spacing.


I then played around wit this idea and sorted some of the spacing. I wrote my own ‘IN’ and liquified and scruffed the font up. I also used a filter on TRAPPED and embossed the lettering to look 3D. I think it looks almost metallic, getting away from the out-of-place blood in the concepts (as there is not blood in the game).



I have also listened to Tony’s advice on my portrait. He said to add dark shadows on the dress to bring out the detail in the characters’ faces. At first I was hesitant as this was an early photo of a seemingly now estranged couple; they should be surrounded by light, happy, yet eerie lighting. Once I balanced the black with some on top and it looked more like a vignette I can see the effect on the mood of the painting. I like how it brings out detail, but also adds mystery to the picture. I considered this before, but never did it as I was afraid it would look too harsh.


I like how it looks like the lighting was focused on the couple’s faces and distracts from the background somewhat. I hope the team like it this way as it is yet to be added to the game as an object.

Key to the Puzzle – Bleak Manor

I’ve produced some keys concepts for the Synoptic project. Nikki is modelling them, and I have been working on some final designs.

I firstly came up with some quick ideas. I then Worked from that to create a final key I like. Now I have re-drawn that concept as a final concept; a golden-metal key.

Today I drew a darker rendition of the key with some different features as another key for the game, possibly a decoy. I know they need multiple keys, so for now I have made sure to design a working key and a decoy key.

Logo Designs – Bleak Manor

Today I began UI concepts for the game. I have come up with a few logo concepts I think could fit the theme already.

I used old Style fonts and my own handwriting, mixed with red splashes. I am not sure if the gory reds fit well with our game as there is no indication of Danger, but it would add to the mystery if it were in the book.logo1logo2


I like that the final logo is all free-handed, and that the “IN” is technically trapped. I do like the instantly dated feel the others give. I would like to take pieces from these logos to finalise one. As they are just concepts my team will hopefully choose what they would like in the UI also, as it represents their game.




Additional Sketches for the Frame and Desk – Bleak Manor

I finally came up with a frame design I would like to go over the portrait for the room. It is bronze-gold in colour and very large, to cover the safe.


I also completed my concept for the desk, as I have drawn a sketch of the back corner. I wrote on the dimensions from that angle too.

Adam had the idea to add detailing into the edges of the desk. I wasn’t adding extra details into models because I didn’t know how long the modellers wanted to spend on each model, and didn’t want to add unnecessary tasks to the model. As it turns out they are welcoming details in the concepts and want to add more. They’re already doing cool stamps etc. so I will take that in for further designs.