Friday, 16 December 2011

More Maya texturing: pirate cove barrel

 Colour map for the barrel, with minor tweaking to the top rim
 Bump map created from the same image by adjusting levels.
 Specular map done using levels again.
The barrel's looking a lot more realistic now than before.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Unit 3 OGR

Unit 3 OGR

Visual Concept

 I gathered several images that I could use to get an overall image for my final piece. At the top is a nuclear testing town from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, to me they just seem strange, built to life-like perfection and just filled with mannequins. Second down on the left is an empty street in Yokohama, I like the idea of experimenting with lighting for my scene and neon's can add a good variety. To the right of that is Joe Collier's photo from a mental hospital with a baby's chair which sounds like a weird combination together. The two images below are from Daybreakers (left) and Mirrors (right), the Daybreakers image uses a nice shot of a pitch black area within the house (working on fear of the dark and unknown) and the Mirrors image works on the uncanny of mirrors and also shows a nice setting for light since uncanny can be created with lighting alone. The bottom image is from 1408, a really disturbing film, and the classic shot of the long hallway in an old hotel creates an unsettling atmosphere for me.

Partnership archive WIP

 Gabriel B said...
Hey creative partner, this is a pretty good influence map but you need to put a little more backbone to it. Some concrete research (a paragraph or two breaking down the images) about "why" these pictures are uncanny and how they link to our fears etc. Ill start posting soon too so any comments would be welcome. Lets get this project on the road :)
  George Whiley said...
Hi Gabriel! cheers for the comments on my thumbnails, and image map. They are a bit loose, just wanted to produce something creative within all the research going on atm :) Hows your project going so far?
  Gabriel B said...
Good just putting ideas down on paper first then gonna upload a few posts. Also trying to knock out a review at the moment. Week 2 should be more productive hopefully :P
George Whiley said...
Nice tiles man! That last one looks like it may of taken some time :)
Gabriel B said...
Yeah the third one was a bit tricky, I had to use a different method to finish it off.
 Gabriel B said...
Very nice thumbnails, I can see your ideas clearly :) Number 1 could in fact be a real good one because there's a lot of potential for strange lighting in the pool area. These are good in terms of getting your ideas out but you shouldn't be so locked in with the pool idea. Get some more influence maps out there on different scenes and try to get as many different uncanny places as you can think of. You can still go back to the pool idea after but at least you'd have explored a broad range of the uncanny valley.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Notes on Freud's Uncanny Essay

After reading Freud's essay I can really begin to get a grasp of the uncanny from his well written explanations and examples. Freud opens up the essay with a general definition of what uncanny entails,

"There is no doubt that this belongs to the realm of the frightening, of what evokes fear and dread. It is equally beyond doubt that the word is not always used in a clearly definable sense, and so it commonly merges with what arouses fear in general."

This however isn't a general gruesome fear, it's more of an intellectual uncertainty spawning from our own life experiences.

"I can say in advance that both these courses lead to the same conclusion - that the uncanny is that species of the frightening that goes back to what was once well known and had long been familiar."

This is saying that fears for example from our childhood can act as the root of the uncanny. So fears such as fear of the dark, small spaces, being followed, etc. can initiate the feeling of uncanny and also things which we do not want to encounter as Schelling states,

'Uncanny is what one calls everything that was meant to remain secret and hidden and has come into the open'

We also have deep fear for the unhealthy because it brings up fear of malfunction of our bodies,

"To these he adds the uncanny effect produced by epileptic fits and the manifestations of insanity, because these arouse in the onlooker vague notions of automatic - mechanical - processes that may lie hidden behind the familiar image of a living person."

This is why scenes of mental hospitals and also abandoned ones give off the feel of uncanny because it is where or was where people were not acting as they should, instead seemingly being controlled. (Thank you Alan for the tip on Hellingly Hall, the place does have a strange atmosphere to it.)

Photoshop: Creating signs

In last fridays photoshop lesson we learned a variety of new techniques for use in texturing. Among them were how to lock in layers so that imported texture images only showed up on a drawn object in another layer and how to use alpha masks and they way they can subtract or add from a layer and even imposing textures to them. Combing those techniques I created this simple sign, nothing too fancy but it showed me what's possible and how it could be used within maya.
Also the 'AZS' in the corner was an experiment to see if I could pick out letters from an image of an old type writer and use them as font. This was done by going into the channels and creating a copy of a channel, then just working into it to make it dark so that finally the letter can be picked out and copied. Success

Maya: Camera Rig and Texturing

Perception essay out of the way, now I can finally concentrate on unit 3 and start posting properly

Lately in maya we've been looking at composition and texturing. We learned how to rig a camera with a handle that can be imported into any scene file.

We've also been working on texturing a pre-built scene that's been fully uv-mapped. We're learning how to create textures in photoshop working from source images and applying them to the uv maps.

work in progress

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Exploring the uncanny: 1

Unit 3 explores creating a digital set comprised of Maya and Photoshop that gives of a sense of the uncanny or unheimlich. The uncanny is a unique topic as it's neither a style nor genre per se, it more of a sense of the human psyche. It is not however a horror depiction or something scary even though sometimes it could seem like that; it is when we see something we are familiar with and it lacks normality, the suggestion that something is wrong.

David Hilliard explores our subconscious fear for mirrors in this picture, Tepid. Uncanny plays on our deepest fears of abnormality.
 Joe Collier - Deserted buildings which normally should be bustling with activity but are barren are a favourite of Colliers' as he chooses them for his projects for their unusual look.
  Joe Collier
  Joe Collier - Here we 'know' we are in a room but the door up high out of reach isn't something we're used to and makes up feel trapped.
  Joe Collier - Another uncanny effect that works on our psyche is when objects related to children or children themselves are put within an environment that has been destroyed or ruined.
 Again the use of mirrors to change the mood of an otherwise normal scene is used in the photograph by Melanie Pullen.
Melanie Pullen - An everyday staircase that one would be familiar with, ends at the bottom with a very unfamiliar site. Death and ruin are not normally part of our lives so when we see it within a scene it instantly makes it unheimlich.

Photoshop Tiles

In this weeks photohop lesson we learned how to create texture tiles from photos.

The photos had to be edited for major blemishes that would make it stand out when its tiled. Then an offset is applied to check that it loops properly.