Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Secret lair - Initial Thumbnails

Just a few starter thumbnails

I've started out doing a few initial sketches of weapons and animal character representation. Although they aren't environmental It is apart of my process. I've done key word map on the characteristics of my character and an accessory/inventory one too, next on the list is Environments so that I can start placing these items into their space. This process is helping me shape out my environment because when I start it I'll already have load of objects that need to go somewhere, so the space will come accustomed to the objects rather than the other way round.
However I do feel that I really need to start chiseling away at the lair rather than focus on his weapons but it is helping me in the long run. I think i need to up the pace abit too though.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Secret Lair - Hero Prop Research

Totem Poles
As a potential candidate for my Hero Prop I've done some research into Totem Poles. After doing this I  started to think how I could incorporate this into my work. This element fits in seamlessly with my character, who is a fearless Amerind Warrior fighting against the evils that fester in the lands of his forefathers. he also possess the supernatural ability of a Shaman (someone who connects with the spirit world) making him a powerful Shaman Warrior. So by using a totem pole, it can somehow be the source of his power that he must keep secret from his enemies. Totem poles tell stories about past events, spirit guides and can be used to describe something monumental. So I could have it as being supernatural (like what he uses to recharge his power) and maybe sybolic animals on his totem pole that represent his characteristics and empower him. Using a totem pole fits in so well with all the elements around my character. I can link it with the spritualistic aspect of the Amerind people and with my character being a Shaman it makes sense using it, because he will be strongly influenced by his Spirit Guide.
Totem Dictionary Definition:
 A natural object or animal believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and adopted by it as an emblem
Totem Pole Information:
  •  They were never used as an object of worship
  • If placed in front of houses, it was to show the success of the family that lived there
  •  Made out of Western Red Cedar but means they decay in less than 100 years
  • Before the arrival of Europeans, Totem poles were made much smaller
  • The emergence of metal tools made the creation of Totem poles easier and on a grander scale
  • Started to be made around 1700
  • Totems were raised were for several reasons, To show the great number of rights a person has acquired over their life time, to record an encounter with a supernatural being, to symbolise the generosity of a person who sponsored a Potlatch Ceremony
  • A sign of wealth and power
  • Often painted but don’t have to be, traditional colours include black, white, red, yellow and blue-green
  • Animal symbolism on totem poles represent a trait/person
  • Totem Poles can represent that person’s spirit guide
  • Linked to Shamanism

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Secret Lairs - Research

Animal Symbolism
After doing the research mentioned in the last post I stumbled upon a list on a website that describes the symbolic side of animals that the Native Americans believed in.
I will definately Be applying some of these into my character because I want him to have a spirit guide in the form of an animal, almost like an alter ego or a shadow.

Secret Lair - New Ideas and Research

More Ideas
I have so many ideas rolling around in my head now that I need to post this as more of a note to myself, as well as notifiying everyone about my development in ideas.

Today I've been looking at Totem Pole meanings, Native American spirit guides, Animal Symbolism meanings and Shamanism. These aspects will help make my hero prop, characteristics and back story.

After doing some research into these elements, I started to get a few ideas about hero props, character traits and environment.
This new research is helping to shape out my idea more now.

My hero prop idea at the moment is a totem pole that possess supernatural energy that the character can use. It could also have carvings of the animals that represent my character, like a wolf for ferocity for example.

For characteristics I'm already thinking of a fierce warrior but to add the element of magician into the mix I've started to look towards the "magic" side of Amerind, which I found out is called a Shaman. I could use this as his source of power (that links with the totem pole-hero prop)

For the animal symbolism I'm going to use this to give my charcter the traits that build him, so I can design the hero prop accordingly, i.e if he is strong than his symbol would be a bear lets say.

I've still got a bit more to do research for weapons, environments and magcian objects. Then I will do thumbnails for all the idea I have researched and thought of that are relevant to the creation of my character, heror prop and environment.
I'll upload the research soon.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Photoshop Tutorial - Layer Masks

Layer Masks

Layer Masking is a technique you can use to help build textures into your images. Gor example you could create an old film poster and by using this method you can make it look like like it is worn, torn and ripped by using layer masks. You do this by dragging in a texture that suits the style of the work you wish to achieve and play around with the settings in the layer mask menu, then it eats away the image of where the texture is placed on top off to leave you with rips, tears and texture.

This was my influence.

After adding textures from external imagery, I could make it start to look more reaistic.

I definately want to expand on this technique and will hopefully be shown how to.

Photoshop Tutorial - Tiling


For this tutorial we were shown the method of Tiling. A technique used specifically for texturing on Maya.
So in order to make the pattern repeat successfully, we learnt tools like 'offset' and how to make the patterns in the image blend in well. Also we were shown how to use things like the Marquee tool to cut, copy and paste over any blemishes to make our tile more repeatable.

This is the original photograph I used: 

This was after it became a tile, once the offset had been made, I then had to edit the seam line that ran down the middle by pasting over it with the clone bruch and copy and pasting certain bricks over the line.

This is what it looks like when the tile is repeated over and over again. 

Secret Lairs - A Character Idea and Hero Prop

Supernatural Native American Warrior
Since doing my character profiling research for each component I've finally come up with an idea on how my character could come into apparition.
Using the strong, fierce, soldier like aspects of a native American Warrior, bleneded with a powerful, maybe dark wizard/Shaman gives me an exciting buzz.
I can build a really strong character with supernatural abilities. Matching this person with a suitable hero prop and environment should be equally as fun.
As this character will definately be a warrior, at first glance I think a totem pole may be a good hero prop as this could represent his charateristics (by using amerind animal symbolism) and maybe possess mystical powers?
(maybe not accurate to the pictures, but a rough visual reference. I want this charcter to be a good one, not evil, so ignore the obvious "qualities" of the picture on the right. It was the closet thing I could find of a kind of warrior wizard character.)

Secret Lair - Magician Character profiling

Matt Lair Presentation

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Secret Lair - Character Profiling

Amerind Character Profiling

Secret Lairs Research - Amerind History

Summary of the Amerind History
Pre Colonial Period:
The early beginning of the indigenous people of America dates back to roughly around 12,000 years ago. This started with mass migration of humans from Eurasia to the American continent travelling vast distances. It happened with the use of a land bridge, now called the Bering Strait, that had connected the two continents. This is a major factor in pin pointing when the first migration took place because of the specific dates of the creation of the land bridge. Scientists say that this bridge was created around 60,000 - 25,000 years ago due to falling sea levels as a result of an intensive glacial period. As the glacial period was 60,00 years ago, the creation of this land bridge cannot not be any older than that and ultimately meaning a passage to migrate from Siberia to Alaska on foot has to scientifically be in that time frame. Earlier migration periods to this continent remain undetermined.
According to linguistic and genetic research, three major migrations took place. The first group to arrive were the Paleo-Americans. They are the earliest known people to have entered and in turn inhabit the American continent. they followed herds of large herbivores deep into Alaska as small hunter-gatherer groups. They eventually crossed the land and headed down South and spread out into the vast lands and diversified into many of hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes. Many indigenous oral histories claim that the Paleo-Americans were living there since their genesis and told many creation stories about it.
The next big influential group of migration was the Na-Dene speaking people. They started to enter America around 8000 BC and finished migrating along the Pacific Coast around 5000 BC. The Na-Dene spread across to many places in America, including Alaska and Northern Canada. This group of people are the earliest ancestors to the likes of the Navajo and famous Apache people. During this mass migration of America, small groups conflicted with others and warfare drove many tribes and villages to head west to the Mississippi River.
Colonial Period:
After the expedition into the exploration of the new world, led by the Italian Christopher Columbus in the 14th century, Europeans became increasingly aware of this new continent. So in the 16th century England, France, Spain and Holland launched major colonisation programmes in the east of North America. Other expeditions to the Americas like the 1513 one led by the Spanish Juan Ponce de Leon insited upon "saving the barbaric, pagan world by spreading Christian Civilisation", often forcibly.
The early colonial attempts often disappeared, notably like the Lost Colony of Roanoke who in 1585 lost contact during the Anglo-Spanish War. The death rate was extremely high when the first settlers tried to colonise, however, successful attempts soon became established as waves of attempts flooded in just as quickly as an old one failed. Due to the various European countries settling in the continent this brought many diverse social, political, economic and religious styles into America. Amazingly enough this didn't cause any major violence against the inflicting views but occasionally one colony took control of another as a result of wars between their European parents.
The major violence was between Britain and France, with France eventually being defeated after many conflicts in 1760. The result of this awarded Britain to seize control over all of France's colonies. After the eventual colonisation of America, the land had been organised into four main distinct regions; New England,  The Middle Colonies, The Chesapatre Bay Colonies and the Lower South.
However, this radical and extremely forced change of the Native Americans homeland did not go unnoticed and various wars against The White settlers were enraged upon the colonies, some earned them famous victories throughout the centuries like the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.
It wasn't just the political change that affected the Natives but also the social change. The influx of settlers in the 1600's had a catastrophic effect on the balance of the population. The emergence of new diseases from Eurasia wiped out villages at a time and drove the population figures down as the Natives struggled to adapt and to immunise to the new diseases that had never encountered before.
Other impacts that cut the number of Native Americans were War,
With increasing casualties many tribes who were once enemies joined forces to banish the White Man from their lands and rid it of all the evil that plagued it. Some tribes agreed to the terms of the colonists in exchange for weapons, security and money. they were pitted against the non compliant tribes to help the colonists defeat them.
As the influence of the colonists grew stronger and stronger, tribes were pushed back to the outskirts or allowed to stay in special reserves set up by the newly founded United States Government. The Natives were slowly fighting a losing battle with the indigenous people eventually snuffed out by the 20th Century.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sectret Lairs - Word Map Influence Maps

What Is a Magician?
Having a component like Magician is fairly obvious as to what it means, but I've still researched it because it is important to not just know but to understand each component. So I started looking at the definition of Magician and then the different disciplines. I did this research to heavily influence the character side of this project so I will have a strong reference to look back to when I'm designing the character's Lair.

Definition: The "official" definition of Magician is a person or being that performs acts of a supernatural nature using variety of disciplines like Slieght of Hand, Illusion and Hypnotism, or appears to do so. They can posses a supernatural ability but is mostly claimed claimed by fictional characters.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Secret Lairs - InitialResearch Definitions

The first things that come to mind when I think of Magicians are a blend of the Classic example of Merlin mixed with Harry Potter. When I researched what a Magician means ideas started flooding my head with all the different magian examples and wide range of possibilities.
I don't feel limited in anyway with this component as it is so rich with content and there is a massive visual database of previous concuctions of Magicians. In my research I hope to cover the vast number of examples so that I have every angle covered and understand them when it comes to creating my character, which will ultimately help me create my space.

Secret Lairs: Word Map Influence Maps

I created these two Influene Maps from the key words I researched earlier. These are more broader images to represent the word, rather than specific to the project. I included a few cliche items like a Totem Pole, Head Dress and Tipi's. I made them quickly to go hand in hand with the written text of the last post. they will help me to stay on track with the deeper visual research into the environment.


Secret lairs - Initial Research definitions

What does Amerind mean?
I was already aware of what this means but after doing some research I quickly realised that there was a lot of information I didn't know. So with this I started to create a word map of key phrases and words that relate to this component.
 Amerind is basically the "Formal" name of the original, indigenous people of Old America. Various tribes who inhabited the vast land of the USA. These people were mostly hunter-gatherers with a strong spiritualistic ideology of Mother Nature and peace, however there were many wars between rival clans but some did join forces especially at the arrival of the first European settlers where they defended the land of which they insisted was theres.

New Project - The Secret Lair of The Amerind magician

Intro: Space and environment - Secret Lairs:

For our new project, briefed to us on Monday 29th October 2012, we were asked to produce a 3D environment specifically designed for a character. We were randomly given two key components that will help us mould our charcater, which will be crucial in order to design a well thought out space for the character.

The two components I picked out were Amerind and Magician. Two completely different things in comparison. I'm excited about the broad possibilities of these two components being mashed together.

The first thing I've done is researched the correct definitions and related words of both Amerind and Magician to make sure my knowledge on the two are correct and I don't make mistakes in later research.

Cinematic Spaces - Final Crit Presentation

Space and Environment Crit Presentation

Friday, 2 November 2012

Cinematic Spaces Scene 1 Final

Scene One Final.
This one is a wide shot of the house and it's environment. I wanted to show the space that the house sat in. I like certain aspects of this piece but feel other elements were rushed. I enjoyed creating the sunset texture but struggled with the cliffside and water.