Art Book Sample – Bleak Manor

Today after I researched art books for reference, I did a sample of our own for Bleak Manor.

The team thought about it a lot, then when I asked their ideas on it they said they would love a brown paper background with ink spills on the edges.

To achieve that I used a brown paper texture, then painted- with varying opacity- a dark blue spill on the edges. I also added a subtle vignette and a yellow glowing the middle as though a small amount of light is hitting the page in the centre.

After that I decided to use my smoking chair as the example, because I had access to drawings of the whole process on hand. I put the initial concepts on the page and tilted them, adding shadows being to simulate the pieces hanging off from one pinned point. I think it looks realistic on the page this way.

I then used my chair concept, deleted the background colours and shadow, then overlapped it slightly on the page as a final, eye-catching object. I added a new shadow and set it in a large space. I think it looks good to have it with no background on the page.

Also the team wanted some fancy handwriting as a font. For the real thing this can either be neater or messier, but I tried to use neat but quick handwriting for this (with extra swirls). I was told it filled the space well, and it ties in the spilled ink with the page itself.


So far everyone seems happy with the layout. I was going to do multiple examples, but people said it was what they pictured, and the rest was what I pictured to look good; so this will likely be the sample we give to Matt next week.


Art Book References

To come up with a layout design for the art book our team discussed how we would all think bout what we wanted it to look like during our scrum. I went away from that and researched and compiled some interesting art book layouts.

I have the Zootopia book at home and think it is very aesthetically pleasing so I definitely included that here, but also ones such as Legend of Zelda, Alice Madness (time period similar to ours), God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn.

These games are very artistic and their books have similar traits but with quirks.


I like the ones with a balance between having the initial sketch the final art piece on a page. In ours we will likely include the 3D final render of the sketch too, and I like the idea of having the progression shown.

I also love the way the bird creature’s wings are overlapping boked drawings on the Zelda book. I love having assets unboxed and layering over those which are. For instance, the sketches boxed, the designs boxed, then the final drawing or render on a clear background free on the page, possibly overlaying corners.

I will use these to help me come up with art book concepts, especially as I am lead 2D artist and it should mainly be my responsibility, as the others have more to do to bring the actual game together in 3D space before the end of the project. I definitely want everyone’s input in how their work gets presented.

Skin Painting

Today I had a go at painting a girl from the top of my head today. I began by drawing a basic face shape with lighting and shadows. I then worked on it feature by feature to blend it out as best I could and create a semi-realistic image.

I used no reference pictures (though it seems like a mix of Meryl Streep and Bella Hadid in the end) so the anatomy won’t be perfect, but the point of this challenge was for me to attempt to use Photoshop to do the facial colours correctly.

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Afterwards tony asked me to experiment with lighting angles and imagine harsh sunlight was hitting her face from the side, so I did some quick shadow sketching on top of the face to see how it would look. This was fun to do. but as I had spent so long blending in the original soft shadows I didn’t want to use this as my final image. I definitely intend to experiment more with lighting and this was a beginning for me.


All in all this drawing took me 4 hours on the touchscreen computers to complete. I am challenging myself to complete drawings I start, and to try doing them in more speed (since I can take my time). I am happy with the outcome of this and it was a fun experiment.


Company Logo

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Our group needed a different logo after the MVP assessment with the lecturers. I don’t know if we’re changing the name from Anonymous Penguin yet, but I have made the logo brighter and drew it from scratch.

We needed something happier and something more similar to our company’s general vibe (action, danger) show in the trailer. The penguin is still anonymous, but he is a ninja, so he has a throwing star.

I drew some on paper sketches, then drew this up on Photoshop with a clear and a grey background so it can be inserted into the project however the group likes.

I am happy enough with the outcome, and especially like he neck colours. Hopefully the group like it too, so far they’ve given positive feedback about it.

Imagined Worlds Group

So far my team have been doing quite well with our Imagined Worlds project. We have done a lot of work for it so far and I believe we are on track.

Having said that, when the lecturers took a look at our Trello organisation they had some concerns about the clarity of our plans. The preproduction is all done, but we have not yet sorted it out. We need a play through of the unedited clips and all of the concept art could be put together in a clever way.

We all get along even though at times there are absences. Because of this the group will take on tasks that aren’t assigned to them to help get it all finished.


I look forward to the rest of this half term, finishing what we started, and I am excited to see the end results because we have a clear vision of what we want from our teaser trailer, Planet A.

My Essay Presentation

Motion ControllerPP watch as a slide show for full amount of fun transitions and animations and so it actually makes sense at all

For the past couple of weeks I was working on my essay about Emerging Technologies. My essay was about hybrid consoles (such as the Switch by Nintendo) and how they can steady the amount of motion control used in gaming, as motion controls have been a trend on and off since the dawn of gaming.

After we wrote our essay (which I based off these ideas) we had to make a PowerPoint presentation to do in front of the whole class. I linked mine at the top of this post, but it is mainly pictures as I talked throughout it out loud about everything I wanted to say.

I thought the presentation went alright. I followed some very good presentations which wobbled my nerves, but I wanted to do it anyway. I enjoyed speaking about everything I’ve learned and even shared some thoughts I had to do with my topic even after finishing my essay.

I don’t mind presenting as the class is patient and got involved with what I was saying. I never used to want to speak up in school whenever I presented as a group so doing this is always nerve-wracking, especially alone, but I have done it now- and I think my portfolios have helped me get used to it.

Diegetic Sound

Today we learned the difference between diegetic and nondiegetic sound.

Diegetic sound (aka. actual sound) is where you can locate the source of the noise in the scene. For example, a tree falling over and crashing; the crash sound will be diegetic as you can see where it comes from. In a way “diegetic” is where the visuals match with the audio, but don’t necessarily have to be in frame.

Furthermore, if the sound seems part of the environment, though you cannot necessarily see it, it still may be diegetic. Sounds such as wind, sirens, birds tweeting, or the TV in a living room, are all examples of sounds you may not see – but are definitely part of the environment, and are considered diegetic.

Nondiegetic sound is where the source of the noise does not come from the environment of the scene on screen. Noises such as a voiceover, or a musical score, are nondiegetic. These sounds do not come from any of the objects in the scene and are added on for effect, explanation, or mood. These sounds set a scene and control how you may perceive a scene, even if the visuals remain the same.


Quick Mario Storyboard

In one of Tony’s lessons we had to pick a game and draw a storyboard for it. I did a very simple one for a level of Mario, where you get powers, defeat enemies, grab the flag and run into the castle.

This was an experiment in game storyboarding as opposed to film. I focussed on the actions and general obstacles and goals of the level, rather than specific details and timings.

I drew this on Photoshop and enjoyed drawing an existing character without trying to draw a copy of the character’s style as it is only a storyboard.

I liked the bright outcome of this drawing.


The Future of Motion Control?

Motion controllers have been around since very early in the gaming game. The first gaming joystick was invented in 1967 for the Odyssey by Ralph H. Baer. These joysticks worked as motion control as you help them in your hand and where you moved your hand (though not far) was what controlled the character on screen.

The joystick developed. The Atari standard joystick had a button at the top to press with your thumb to fire in games. Eventually joysticks had the ability to calculate the angle and push power of a movement more accurately and were used mainly for flight simulators and arcade games, slowly going out of fashion.


When the Nintendo Wii came out in 2006 the Wii Remote (or Wiimote) debuted. You held it like a joystick, except it was wireless and ran on motion sensor controls. A lot of games were built to purely be powered by the controller’s unique functionalities, though it was equipped with button controls for a wider range of games. It sent signals to a sensor above a TV, rather than be mounted to a base with a  wire.


Similar controllers were made for PlayStation Move, which had motion sensors and were tracked with a camera. Since then Nintendo developed smaller motion controllers for the Switch, and a lot of developers have been working on a new wave of VR gaming. New headsets and better technology allow a player to immerse themselves in more and more realistic games all of the time and use handheld controls with their headsets.


When I look at the future I see people attempting to make more developments on motion controls. Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution have used your feet. Wiimotes and PlayStation Move used your hands. Eyetoy and Kinect use cameras. VR uses your head. What if someone made a combination of all of these to make the ultimate motion control technology, or stripped it back to only the best parts of previous control inventions?

I will use this information and the questions I have to write an essay about Emerging Technologies.

Job Roles

I’ve researched into my ideal future a lot of times, but it usually leads to places very far away. I would love to do concept art and animation for a game or movie company and I used to only look at Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks etc., but since then I have opened my mind to working in many other companies in Britain. Rare is a good example of a company I would be interested in, as they made some of the games I grew up on- such as old Donkey Kong games.

I always have wanted to be a concept artist, and aimed to do a Degree in concept art, but over the last year I have began learning something I never thought I would get to do- 3D animation. Art is still important but animation is new to me and is something I tried to not aim for when I was younger as I didn’t think I would ever be able to learn it- unless I did it at university- but I took the opportunity to do it now, as soon as I could. I am considering a degree covering those two subjects the best I can find it anywhere if no apprenticeships are available to go for. I am still in early days deciding where I want to be in a year and a bit, but deciding my specialisation for next year is a start.

I want to one day design for and/or animate for a game or movie production. There are different ways of getting there, some definitely require degrees in areas I am looking into, so I will likely do one, but that isn’t the only way. The Unis I have heard do courses I might look into are Sunderland, Teesside and Sheffield Hallam. I will look into more over summer.