17.10.14

Life after University and before Graduation

Long time no post !

In this post I will talk about what I have been up to recently.

Straight after University I went to Double Negative to take on internship. It was exciting times. I was full of energy for the fact that I will be working on a feature film by Ridley Scott !
That's right ! Ridley Scott's upcoming film is an "epic" biblical story which has Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, and many other famous actors.



What did I do in this exactly ?
To put it simply was to have as many slaves and soldiers whipping slaves everywhere. To really make it seem like Ramesses had the largest work force in history.
I had 7 shots to do in the span of 8 weeks. So I had 1 week to learn how the company, production and 'Crowd' workflow. There was a lot to learn and they really chuck you in the deep end which I love.

I enjoyed my time there and Double Negative has such a nice open building.
After that I had a little break and now I'm back job hunting. I've actually expanded and looked into some games studios aswell as I have quite a broad range of skills but with a specialism in rigging and scripting.
I have quite a few interests already and hopefully I can tell you guys soon where I'll be working at !

I've had a few people ask "why have I moved from film to games" or "which sector do you want to go to ?"
I prefer to keep my options open as the both industries are quite similar to me. Some of you may or may not agree. There is no difference for me because I'm always learning how to tackle different problems. In rigging I guess you have less polygons to play with and it has to run throughout the whole game. Whereas in feature films you're often replicating real life and need the highest quality, you could also treat each shot with different rigs and just adjust the rig or model to the camera.
This isn't the only difference but I'm saying that you'll be always solving problems that are specific or broad in this industry.
Which is what makes it so exciting. If you don't keep up you're going to be left in the dark and become rusty quickly. Young people learn quicker and come up with creative stuff. So the fact that you're ever learning is what really draws me to what I do.

Anyway whether games or film or experimental. Doesn't matter how you do it.
We are essentially creating beautiful motion pictures.

What I particularly love about games is that you can have this immersive interactive action.
David Cage is one of the innovative people in the games industry as he tries to engage the audience with his cinematic story games. Some people like it and some don't.
I really didn't like how "Beyonce 2 Souls" panned out but I guess it was a good experiment for industry to see. "Heavy Rain" was the more popular one as it had something much more unique and tangible. (Also the story wasn't as long and stretched out)

That's that.
I leave you guys here with my recently updated CV.
Whether you are someone who wants to know what kind of CVs are out there or maybe a potential employer :)
CV Link

Also here is my updated reel.


All of the above was my "Life after University and before Graduation".
Why before graduation ? Well I still haven't had my ceremony or certificate yet...
Not because I failed in anything just because it happens in November for Bournemouth University.
Some Universities are pretty late and I guess it's to wait for the master students to finish their degree.

I hope to update you guys more often with technical and creative content that relates and interests me.

Thanks !




13.5.14

showreels



It is that time when a graduate has to produce a showreel for studios / companies. I love editing and making the reels but it takes a lot of time and effort !
I hope you enjoy my generalist showreel. If you'd like to see more then I have a lighting/compositing demo reel and a programming/scripting demo reel.

At the moment, I'm busy with major project and exam.
Also I have an exciting live action project on the side. The director is Jamie Stone, and he's been BAFTA nominated in 2014 for his British short film called "Orbit Ever After". I look forward to actually getting on with it in the summer !

http://awards.bafta.org/award/2014/film/british-short-film

27.4.14

photogrammetry test

I made a look into photogrammetry and how it could be used in a pipeline for games/visual fx.

I have done a few tests before however they were not done in proper lighting conditions.
Even this test had a few problems but they weren't anything major and they can be delt with some TLC.

So 1/2 months ago I did a short course in life sculpting. It was a great and relaxing experience.
Here's a short timelapse of my last session.


So using this as my object example. I took a images around the object. I did two methods.
I moved myself around the object 360 degrees at the same height. I did rotated the chair that the object was sitting on aswell for good measure.
This needs to be done in controlled lighting rooms to get best results. However I had a sharp sunlight coming from one side so the object would be half in darkness and half in light which isn't that great. So if I had to shoot outdoors, a cloudy weather is best.

After shooting, I took the pictures to Autodesk 123D Catch. It took several minutes to create the 3D scene.
It's a pretty good construction out of the box.




So initially I took the images all at the same height. Well that was the wrong method and I should have varied in height in some shots so I could get the top and bottom data. However cleanup would be needed no matter what. I doubt you would get a perfect outcome but at least if we make the best of the shots then cleanup would be less.

You can do cleanup in several programs, I'm not going to mention how but as 123D catch exports FBX and OBJ. It means you can get the mesh obj and the cameras aswell. So through FBX you can aswell obtain the texture for the mesh, which is pretty neat. 




Just a quick comparison of how well it's captured the form of the original object I did some quick lighting on the mesh.

HDRI :)

Original Sculpture

Digital Sculpture

It's got a lot of bumps however take note that I have not cleaned it at all apart from deleting floating meshes and obvious bits, like the nose and the chin. But overall its captured it pretty well.

For the games side, I have tried importing the mesh with texture into gameplay3D and it seems to like it :)
I was thinking of future plans of using photogrammetry for our cave environment. So making a mini set environment made out of clay. Take these as tunnels/caves and flip the normals so that we get the inside of it.
Then using the hi-res clean mesh as a normal displacement map for the low res mesh.
I think games could utilize and populate realistic objects quickly. However the process of actually capturing the objects can be time consuming. So a controlled lighting environment is a must to get optimum results.






31.12.13

happy new year 2014

Happy Year New 

:)

Some pics over the Christmas hols'

My family 

Some of my childhood friends



19.12.13

1st term

Been a "busy" bee over the past few months in my first term of university.
I have 4 projects going on :-

"Cave Game"
A puzzle exploration game that involves the Oculus rift. I won't say too much but it's going to be a very cool experience if played with the oculus. My role is technical artist, but I've been dabbling in a lot of modelling and pre-production side at the moment. Hopefully I will get into shaders and helping more out on the technical side.

"Project Space Face"
For this programming assignment I am with 4 other people creating an interactive experience with the kinect.
The process of the program will allow the person to pick an animal face (one of the zodiac), then the person's face on the screen will shed and become that animal. The kinect will track and retarget the head to a 3D object on screen, mimicking whatever the user is doing. I've been researching a lot into this and it's pretty hard to get good facial tracking on the eyes and mouth. Hopefully I can mock up something soon to show.
Using FaceOSC example

"Innovations - Camel Studies"
Not really creating anything new or beneficial but more of a exploring something new and experimenting in this project. I'm doing a factual "mockumentary" of Camels. So I'll be looking into true facts of camels and making it fun to watch. I'll also be rigging and animating a camel. Research into their anatomy and structure is important.

"Framestore Masterclass - Lighting Integration"
Integrating simple 3D object into a live action place. This is just learning a new set of skill which is lighting and rendering. Even though you are supposed to do something you are already good at but there wasn't any rigging masterclasses which is a shame :(
These are my chosen night and day shot. I need to composite a 3D object in for 10 seconds each footage.


Other things that happened during this term ...
- Visiting London Zoo for Camel reference A_A
- 2 Internship interviews in London
- A lot of Catan (board game for those who don't know)
- Bouncy castle
- Film projection in our small garden
- Sigur Ros Live (amazing)
- Ludovico Einaudi Live

Living in town is pretty awesome this year. I definitely don't regret it. Last year I lived in Winton and it's super boring. Old people is all I see and the town there is really uncreative....
However downside is that I spend more because of Christmas food stands.... 

Also recently watched The Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug in High Frame Rate. The footage felt sped up and like a TV Soap/Drama feel to it. Wasn't very fond of it but I could get used to it. Action scenes are much better as I can clearly see what's happening now :D
At the end of the film I usually watch the credits till the end, and it was nice to hear Ed Sheeran's singing.

My last day in Bournemouth for this term before I head out to Portsmouth tomorrow !
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year A_A

1.10.13

celebrations :)

Had an award ceremony night and it was very well organised by BFX/NCCA.
We won 4 awards in total.

Best Lighting
Best Compositing
Best Digital Environment
Best Pipeline/Workflow

Pretty happy with these results !

Awards that actually look and feel good !

My Producer(Lighting/Shading TD) and Director(2D Animator)

The whole team :)

BFX Awards Night

3.9.13

lighting with mental ray

I finally sat down with lighting and shaders with maya mental ray for personal usage.
Can't always seem to rely on playblast to showoff haha, anyhow this a rough 3D recreation of my room.
I roughly modelled it according to scale. I think it's a bit wider than the real life version but oh well.
Physical sun and sky, portal light to enhance FG for daylight interior lighting. In portal light I used a mib_blackbody to give temperature lighting.
Area light with physical light was used for the chandelier light.
In this video I animated day to night. I pushed the animation to nuke as I didn't seem to have enough rendering power/time to do gobo's or animate lighting in maya. Poor man's lighting animation :(

video


Much prefer daylight lighting as it shows much more form and gives a nicer feel to the interior environment

Need so much more work on shaders but I think I shall stop for the time being.

Some links that really helped
Also thanks to Michal for pushing for the chandelier shader and helping me on rendering settings :)