Thursday, 15 December 2011

Speed Model work in progress

Just a fairly random quick model of dining room I started,about 30mins,textures and chairs are just temporary.Will be adding some elaborate details,lights and some rich colours.

Modelled in Maya 2012.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Rant: The evolving Alien design...

I've been a massive Alien fan since I was 12,the alien design is without a doubt my favourite cinematic creature but over the years I feel like its gradually been chipped away at by people with little respect for the original.With the release of Prometheus (the is it/isnt it alien prequel) I thought I'd look back at some of the Alien designs.
The first Alien design by HR Giger was I think the most successful,tall and slender the creatures head was domed by a milky translucent cover,in the film hints of the ridges underneath can be seen and stills from behind the scenes show an almost human skull with eye sockets.The hands and feet are notable for there human appearance and the creature is clearly a biped.

The mouth / jaw hinge is covered with detail,hands are fused but human
By the second film James Cameron decided to make his own changes,removing the dome and exposing the pattern bones below,the alien looks similar but its hands are now fused into a 3 fingered monster,worst highlighted by the queens comedy monster hand grabbing at a trapped newt through floor grids in the films finale.

Slick black design,Stan Winston added his own touch with the hands
Alien 3 mixed designs,the dome is back and mouth is smaller and more human,here due to the plot the alien is quadruped.Depending which version of the film you watch the creature is either part dog or part bison,the design works but is let down by some bad blue screen/animation.

Alien 3's creature despite being more animal has a more human mouth shape
Alien 4 is where the bastardisation of the design begins for me, largely not because of the head (now with fangs) but because of buckets of goo,mangled hands and feet that look like they belong on a cow.Add to that the "newborn",the hybrid design that looks like Skeltor with a hangover and saggy boobs(and a vagina in his chest) and the alien queen who now looks like a gelatinous blob topped with a hovering UFO head.
Alien vs Predator seemed to follow this alien design closely (apparently the heads were simply repainted) but the film was so dark that most of the details were hidden.

Not only does the Alien 4 have new feet it now also spits acid..and the 'newborn"...
And then there's Alien vs Predator requiem...the work here is shameful,the neck now clearly fits a human head into it comfortably,the mouth has been carved and hollowed out and now looks like a flapping hinged door and the dome is gone.Things only get worse when we see the alien predator hybrid,a lazy mash-up features which couldn't have taken more than 5 minutes to design.I could rant all day about that film..(its about a pizza boy getting bullied by a jock!!!! alien film about a pizza boy!!!)

The rubbery Aliens jaw looks disconnected and you can almost see the stuntman's head in the neck and the Predalien..

EDIT:So what about Prometheus? I have mixed feelings about the film and the creatures but may get around to posting some thoughts sometime.Feel free to comment on what you thought and what incarnation of the Alien you think is most effective.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Game project - footage

Short video looking at some of the fantasy world I've been building in Unity3D,around 16hrs of work.Video is captured on "good" (medium) settings.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Game project: Day 6

Another 2 hours in Unity3D working on my fantasy landscape,adding lots of smaller modelling details and a second stone village.Updating / testing the skybox with free prefab asset I found online,will probably add my own later as well as moving clouds,fog effects etc..

Adding some details to the various paths players can follow
View from another angle showing the mountain town
WIP on stone village at the foot of the castle.
Click images to see fullsize.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Game project: Day 5

Project came to a halt due to other work over the last few days but managed to get an hour done today,mostly adding trees and smaller props.Needs a lot of testing to get a feel for the paths and where new elements should go in but its starting to look okay..a bit "Skyrim lite"

This is in game shot,you can see the top of the castle just in the distance.
Shot from in the program,trying to use trees sparingly
 though you cant really tell from above.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Rant..Look to the "sky"

Ever since blue screens became green screens and CGI backdrops became run of the mill something bugged me..the CGI skies. I never really got why if you are trying to create realistic fx would you fill a good portion of the screen with something so clearly digital when you could composite a real horizon.
The idea it seems it the the director can "direct the sky" picking and choosing his colour palette and time of day. If so why do so many make terrible choices!,I genuinely don’t think directors think much into it other than "its sunrise..beams of light" or "sunset..beams of light" because that seems to be the default.
George Lucas is a pretty easy example with the Star Wars prequels offending with every combination of sunset/sunrise with every actor in dire need of some gamma correction and every edge looking blurred out,if you look back to the original star wars you will see largely real sky’s (some matte painting) and the contrast is pretty interesting ,It grounds the actors and the fx in a real environment.

"I'm gonna look at that damn sunset"
"Anakin! lets stare at the unconvincing horizon"
Lucas isn’t the only offender though,Peter Jackson's King Kong remake is a prime offender with so much of skull island green screened. The trouble is that with all this visual control it all ends up looking contrived,in movie world an amazing sunset is so common that no one would ever stop to look,Luke Skywalker would never stop to stare at the sunset.

Skull island:Terrible monsters,great sunsets.
Spiderman 3, wasn't it night like 2 mins ago?