What’s Next?

So… thats it. I am officially finished University. So whats next?

Well, something i don’t talk about too much on my blog is that i have a major heart condition. I had my last surgery when i was 11 and it has done me very well, but as the years go on it has declined and so at the end of this year i am having two surgeries.

My recovery time in 2004 was a few months, and it will be the same this time. Due to this fact, i don’t want to go out now and start working for a studio and when i’m a few months into it say “hey i’m away for a few months, bye!” i am always feeling tired and struggling to get work done, i don’t want to start my professional life this way. I would much rather wait and begin when i am at the best health i can be, and can produce the best work i can.

So for now, whats the plan? Sit around and wait? HELL NO.

I am an artist and illustrator at heart. It’s what i enjoy doing, and its probably what i am best at. Through the past few years i have gotten the odd commission to do paintings of peoples pets etc and sold some water colour illustrations also.  So i am turning this into a business.

The Crafty Cat

I want to do all things craft (paint, draw, design, tapestry etc) and so i wanted the word ‘craft’ in my business name somewhere. My name is Emma Catherine, and it was my close friend Mark Lisk who said “What about the crafty cat?” and i was sold. Being an animal lover as well, it was perfect.  I got straight to work designing a logo.

I knew straight away i wanted the logo to be a cat. Due to my dear love of water colour painting, i came up with this…

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I simply took a basic cat silhouette from google and then started playing around with splats of colour with my paints, I combined them and made this, and for once, i actually love it. It embodies everything about me and my designs. Colourful, playful, delicate and usually involving an animal.

For the font i knew i wanted something quite natural, but since my own handwriting is pretty rubbish, i found this for free on Dafont.com and i think its perfect. It is called ‘Jellyka- Estrya’s Handwriting‘.

Although ‘The Crafty Cat’ has not been announced to the public yet, everything has been set in motion. I have made a Facebook Page…

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And an Instagram Account…

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Although as you can see, both of these are empty as i don’t want to start uploading to them until i have announced the business and the pages are ‘live’ so to speak.

I have also ordered business cards, once these arrive i will officially be ready to roll…

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Even though this venture has barely begun, i am very excited and hopeful for the future. If it goes well i will eventually start an  Etsy store too.

Building a Website

When it came to building my website i decided to go with Squarespace, for the simple reason that they had a basic theme i liked, and it was cheaper to buy a domain name i liked with them.

I ended up becoming…   emccdesign.net

I wanted to go with a very plain theme, as i knew my portfolio would be full of colour, and didn’t want to take away from that. When you first go onto my site it opens directly on my Portfolio as you can see in the Screenshot below…

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My Portfolio is categorised into folders such as ‘Renders’, ‘Character Design’, ‘Watercolour Work’ etc. This is makes it easier for anyone who wants to browse my work, but specifically one part of it.

Once a folder within the portfolio is clicked into, it will display them  in a scrolling system, as can be seen below…

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What i found most difficult about my website was writing my Bio. I am not a good writer, especially when having to talk about myself, but i did my best. I also inserted the same image of myself that has been used in my CV.

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The next page of my site is my CV. Writing a CV is not something ive ever been the best at, but after one of the talks we had with Greg, i had a fair idea of how i wanted to display it. I will discuss it further in the next blog post.

To Display my CV, i simply placed a jpeg image of it to take up most of the page, then at the right hand side i placed 3 buttons, so that the viewer can download my CV in either PSD, PDF or Word Doc format.

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The last two pages of my site are my ‘Showreel’ and my ‘Contact’ page. Which is pretty self explanatory. One simple has my video of my Showreel for the viewer to watch, and the other has a contact form to fill out along with my contact information.  This can be seen below…

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The Final Animatic

Today we presented our final animatic, as in just two more weeks, we will be handing in our final film.

At this moment in time we have a lot of animation done, but no animation is completely final, and most still needs a lot of work. However, within the next week of hard work i don’t see this as being our biggest worry, i know we can do it and achieve it.

Our biggest worry at the moment is our scene has a lot of noise (which has finally been fixed in the past 24 hours)  and it takes a lot of time to render. Whilst Niamh and Shelley focus on animation, i will be focusing on researching baking lights, shadows and ambient occlusion.

Once i understand what i am doing, i will implement this research and add in our ‘god lights’ through the window from After Effects. This will effectively give us a much shorter render time.

Hank Animatic

Teeth!

A main discussion from our presentation was that it would be good for our turtle to be without teeth in his normal model, but when teeth are needed they should appear. we had actually already discussed this and Nathan had already modelled teeth for our turtle. It was good to hear that out tutors have been thinking in the same wave length that we have.

 

As you can see from the images above, Daffy Duck in his normal pose, does not have teeth. However, when teeth are needed for comedy effect, teeth appear. That is the same principle we need to follow for our turtle character.

Alec mentioned that our turtle resembled the worms from the game “Worms” which i agree with. What is good about this is that these characters also have teeth that only appear when they are needed for comedy effect.

We need to look at these principles, understand why they work and when to use them, and input this into our character.

 

Matte Painting

Currently i am working on painting what will be out of the apartment window. We know already that we need to see lots of city buildings and apartment buildings, but we also need to decide what type of lighting will come from the window too. I already have a pretty strong image in my head that i will work towards, but below are some images i may use as inspiration or to help make the window view more convincing.

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I will be working on this in Photoshop and paint using my Cintiq, i will be spending the weekend on this and hope to have a finalised matte painting by Monday.

Modelling Style

In our last presentation we got mostly good feedback, the only negatives we heard were that we are not quite there with the style with some of our models. I understand what the tutor was getting at and have done some research into the style we want to aim to achieve and what it is about it that makes it that ‘style’.

 

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My basic thoughts are that anything that is not a parallel line, should be exaggerated in its curving. If an object is already curved or round, then exaggerated it once more. If its round, make it rounder! The image above is very exaggerated, but if we can get the essence of this, then we have done well.

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As you can see in the images below, that also, if a line it straight, and it needs to be straight, make it straight. My way of thinking towards this is if its an object that serves no purpose, it can be curved. If its a countertop, chest of drawers that needs to be straight, make it straight. The sharpness of these edges against the curves of the rest of the room makes it dynamic and contrasts well.

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Below are examples of, if something is naturally big, (like an obese cat or a cooked chicken) make it even plumper. This adds character as well as style.

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In the image below of the dog with the shoes, the shapes and look of the environment is pretty realistic, however if you focus harder you will see that the shoes are actually quite elongated, if the dog was not in the shot, this alone lets us know that this is not a realistic world.

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Below is an example of both points i have made, if something is round a chubby, make it rounder and chubbier! If it an item that serves no purpose such as a speaker, you can the play around with the edges as they do not need to be parallel.

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Basically the points i want to hit on when we are modelling are…

  1. If the object is naturally round or curved, exaggerated the curve, and emphasise the plumpness.
  2. if the straight edged object serves a purpose, such as a shelf, keep it straight and parallel, but if it doesn’t serve a purpose such as a speaker or a lamp, then the edges can be curved or changed.

Updated Animatic

Turtle Animatic

Today, Tuesday 14th March we presented our updated animatic. The animatic is now fully 3D and was put together by Niamh with the song “best friend”. I feel our animatic has come a long way in the past few weeks and is now much closer to the film we envisioned.

The type of slow and painful humour we want to achieve is readable and successful within the animatic, our next task will be making sure this also works when it comes to animating the turtle in these gags in the final film.

Our main criticisms of the film are to remove the shots of the clock, and to only have the turtle in the owners arms at the end of the film. I felt quite uneasy that this was the only feedback we got, but we were told that no feedback is good feedback. This has made me feel much more positive about the film and that if we pull it off, we will have a good film if we can animate the turtle successfully and edit and time out the film correctly.