Saturday, 23 January 2010


I started looking at colour, and experimenting with dark tones to get the desired outcomes i was looking for in a visual concept. Conceptual work is not my strong point, so i have decided to rely heavily on source imagery for colour work, and to produce orthographic drawings of each of my final visual ideas, and use textures to show colour studies

Here is a quick painting i did on photoshop to try to show the desired colours ill be looking for in a window. The lower is just a general colour mood i got from a church graveyard, just all visual ideas in a very early development stage which i will look back on and develop when finding my textures.

I also produced a series of short animatic block outs to show what otherwise could be shown in a storyboard, i felt this was a more visual way to describe what i wanted to the group rather than in a storyboard.

My duties within the group and group update

After talking through all the duties needed to be completed in order to get the project finished, we discussed what our individual duties would be. We decided on taking on the task of doing small aspects of one job, and larger aspects and sections of other jobs.
My duties are as follows.

- Stained glass windows and window above front door
- Door
- Altar
- Lecturn
- Graves

For each of these i recognise i will need to first do research, and from there develop concept drawings and TOP/SIDE/FRONT drawings for each. After doing this i will need to consult with our director, Depa, to ensure continuity and get the go-ahead for modelling.

I have taken responsibility alongside Guy to texture and UVmap the finished model. Guy will do the inside of the church and i will do the outside.

Me and guy will be putting everyones models together within our own respective scenes and then passing them on to be lit, animated and rendered.
Me and Steve will then be taking on the task of compositing after we have rendered our piece, we will use after effects to adjust levels within the layers, to get the perfect finished look.

We will work as a group, between the four of us to ensure we are rendering correctly and to a finished level. This is a joint duty.


I am fairly certain we have split group responsibilitys fairly. We as a group had a discussion and meeting about the importance of sharing responsibility, and we all agreed that if we were to come across any problems we definitly shouldnt be scared to ask for help from other members of our team. If later on in the project we run into any difficulty within our respective areas of duty, we will help eachother out to ensure the project gets finished in time. A group blog will be very important in ensuring the smooth running of our pipeline, so that we can all regularly keep eachother updated with problems/progress. We also all decided that we would speak on MSN if we ran into any problems when not in college, so that we wouldnt have to leave it to a later date to resolve any problems we run into. I personally think we are currently working very well as a group and the group are definitly bonding very effectivly, at this stage after sorting out research and initial deisng concepts/ideas, we all seem to be in sync with eachother and very much so 'singing off the same hymn sheet' in terms of what we want the projects final outcome to look like.

Artist reference- 8 rooms 9 lives

When Jared first told us about the 9 lives, 8 lives exhibition in London, i was instantly interested in it, and went online to see what it was all about. It drew my attention as it sounded like something i would have wanted to go and visit outside of the project, even if we wasnt doing it. I read up on it and saw about how it was about 9 different people who had had remarkable and somewhat outstanding and differnt lives, for exaple one room was dedicated to Francis Galton the man who had researched so deeeply into fingerprint technology, and the room along was dedicated to Alec Jeffery, who 100 years later became the pioneer of DNA profiling. The exhibition was really all about Identity to put it simply. I found it more appropriate to psychology rather than animation with the way the exhibits were seen to be obsessed with physical identity and the way they were viewed by others, and media attention. I felt this exhibition would have been a lot more appropriate if we had a more developed character within our scene, so maybe that is something to think about? I can definitly see how it could be appropriate in development of a character, however, our scene is more geared towards the development of environment which i guess in some way is related, but not as specific as i would have liked. I do feel that our character development is far too basic (spirit) for this exhibition to have had any effect on our character directly.

This does not mean to say this exhibition was very interesting to me, i gained a lot from the experience, and i can definitly seeing this helping me in the future, and as i said i can see how it would be appropriate in development of character to some degree, but it just wasnt for us in terms of this project this time around...Thinking about it, maybe the Barcelona trip would have been more apropriate to our group for research, in terms of architecture and time period, it is a shame none of us went...

Research- Westminster Abbey visit

This visit to westminster abbey gave me a different insight into my research. Where as prevously i have been gearing towards researching the more stylistic side of the design, for exaple looking around graveyards to get a sense of the mood and atmosphere, this visit was purely for the architectural side of my design research. Westminster abbey is in the center of a built up area of london and that is where it differs immensely from the other churches i have visited. This backs on to a busy London road, where as the churches i found in Bexley backed on to rough areas of woodland and parks, allowing for overgrowth and decay to build up within the areas in and surrounding the church. This is a strict contrast to that, in the way it is perfectly maintained, and is more geared towards tourist attraction and is most definitly not neglected. These are some of the reasons i felt it was important to only take away the archietctural side of this research visit. Despite all this, i found some good source material, which i can most definitly benefit from. the shapes of windows and doorways are particularly interesting, although they are maybe a little bit too extravegant and grand for what we are looking to produce, i still feel that they can be used as reference when modelling and designing my own.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Research- Bexley

This is the selection of imagery i took at a local church in Bexley which i refered to in an earlier post. i managed to get a good range of photos here, and it has really helepd me establish the layout of a church firstly, as well as things like colour pallette, which i will be exploring later on with the texturing process and design process. This church is from around the same period as what we are looking to give to our church, so i feel these images can be of good use not only to me, but of to all of the members of my group, in particular Steve who has the responsibilty of modelling the outside of the church. I definitly feel he could take something from these images, and i have told him about them and given him notice that they are on my blog for him to use as reference. At this stage in the research process its really important for us all to come together, even though we are all doing our separate research, we are going to have to all come together at some stage, and by sharing information widely between members i feel we can all benefit. The next stage in my research will be to get some images of Westminster Abbey, as i am going up to London soon and i may as well take advantage of my home city, with all it has to offer as inspiration for this project.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Research and initial idea


As well as looking on internet search engines, i felt it was important to take my own images of stained glass windows and textures from different types of churches we'd be needing to use within our design.

Research is possibly the most important part of the project, i needed to get a range of research, and after finding out what things i would be modelling and what tasks i would be uptaking within the group i found myself researching in a more direct way rather than looking online for things. I felt it was more appropriate to go out and look for myself, i went to a couple of churches in Bexley near to where i live, and also went to one near College in Chizelhurst, this one was particularly good as i got to look inside it to get a real sense of the place and establish a real sense of atmosphere. It was interesting as at the time i was inside, there was a Benediction taking place, so the whole place was in silence with quite a few people inside, it gave the church a very weird feel to it, being amongst people during a ceremony allowed me to get a better feel for the place in some ways. During my first hand research i also found myself walking graveyards which sounds very strange, whilst doing this i remembered back to my Art GCSE when i had gone to a graveyard to get source imagery and i went back to the place to find it near enough exaclty the same as it was when i had been there a few years previously. This particular graveyard backs on to a church similar to the one in our concepts, and going back there and finding it still in the same neglected condition as when i had previously been there really gave me an insight into what i wanted to produce inn terms of the graveyard lay-out and mood within the graveyard. The graves were obviously uncared for and most of them had started to weather where they had been there for so long, some of them had been unearthed too so they were all at cantered angles, and lop-sided. Some of them had overgrowth on them and a lot were fully covered in plants and moss. I knew this would be very hard to transfer into my models as the level of detail would have to be very specific opnce i got round to doing it, however i did some quick sketches of them, and i had a feeling that it might be easier to portray the feeling i wanted by the way i layed mny graveyard out, and the textures i applied to the grave stones. As well as going to the church and the graveyard, i made sure i went to something very similar, yet very different at the same time, and i took advantage of being in London one day and went to Westminster Abbey toget a range of imagery i could use as inspiration and reference for things i was going to be modelling for exaple the church doors, and the church windows, all in all just getting the general feel for the layout of a church or in this case a cathedral which is basically a grand version of a church. The Internet also played a role in my research for things such as artist reference, and photograpy by other people, and how they had represented the light and mood within the church and the graveyard, a few of the pictures are above. i wanted to gather inspiration and other viewpoints of how things as broad of a topic as churcheds are, can be represented in so many different ways. I dindt want to just rely on my own viewpoint, and i felt it was important that i did get other inspiration. I feel like i have done a wide range of research and it has definiely helped me understand what i need to do within the concept stage which is next to come.

Analysis of research

I noticed a few things whilst conducting my research, that the rest of my group also obviously noticed as we all seem to be thinking along the same lines in terms of ideas and concepts. There is an identifiable contrast within a church scene which is underlined by Stained glass windows. the church can be as eerie and dark as you want, with the graveyard being as gloomy as anything, but all the same, stained glass windows are always bright and shining even in dim light settings. This has presented us with an excellent opportunity in terms of lighting and forcusing mood. We can focus a lot of the attention of the scene around the stained glass windows and the way the church is lit as a direct result of them. Many reference images i found had dramatic lighting as focal points within the image which was always due to the stained glass window. I personally would love to encorporate some sort of dramatic lighting as a result of light shining through a stained glass window, i feel this would give the scene a great sence of mood and atmosphere, whilst a great snese of appropriate contrast between the dim graveyard and the bright shinging windows.

I also found some trends within the research i collected from other peoples paintings of graveyards, and churchyards. The colour pallette is generally dark, usually dark browns, dark reds, and blacks/greys are used in abundance rather than any of the primary colours which are regularly used in stained glass windows.

The Idea

This is the layout of the idea we have come around to deciding upon. We have taken into consideration our research as a group and we have layed down a basic floor plan of what we are going to do. I feel that it encorporates many of the things i want to achieve, i particularly like the idea of having the camera from the perspective of a spirit, as it gives a real sense of narrative, however we may find the animation is lacking in the scene, so we may have to encorporate interactive areas to our scene, for example flickering lights and doors which open etc. Reflecting on this idea, i feel that the layout of our idea is solid. I really like the way we have decided to transition from one scene to another, and i definitly feel that it has potential to work well as a narrative. However at this moment in time i dont feel we have established 100% the final narrative concept, and i am of the opinion that it will be tweaked somewhat during the stages of production to suit our ongoing ideas, however i dont think this would necessarily be detrimental to our narrative, as it has so much potential to be messed around with, as we are dealing with a spirit, and not a human character, so the way we interpret its point of view does not need to be confined to a certain criteria.

2. Long Shot: The opening scene will be taken from a bird’s eye view of the church and surrounding area. Mist slowly disperses as the scene opens to reveal the top of the building.

3. Panning zooming in: Slowly, swiftly we flow down to the church in circular bird like motion. As the church gets nearer and nearer so does the detailing.

4. Mid Shot and Close up: As the church is introduced the camera, (spirit) pans around the building to establish Identity and narrative. The camera/spirit is looking around the exterior of the church and taking in its character and detail. The relationship of the spirit via the audience is established with the sound of breathing. This is so the audience does not forget that it’s viewing the scene through the eyes of the spirit. To create mood and atmosphere the scene will be gloomy and misty.

5. Close up:The glow of streetlights that illuminate the stained glass dances through the glass as the magical colours manipulate whatever form or plane it can get hold of.

6. Mid shot: The camera/Spirit dances around the gravestones. As the gravestones lie still the mist disperse over the hard edges. The camera/Spirit takes the audience in a short dance through the graveyard as it hovers in and out of gravestones to lead to the front of the Church.

7. Close up:Stop….. Anticipation dictates the huge church doors as the camera slowly pans from the top of the door to the bottom emulating weight.

8. The doors slowly open as the spirit enters the church IT GOES DARK!

9. Close up: Then a candle is lit.

10. The camera zooms in on a close up of the candle swaying in a ghostly motion then flickers as if some one is blowing it. Again, to remind the audience that it is viewing the object through the eyes of the spirit. Then the camera pans out revealing a futuristic Church.

The concept is a mixture of old and new. Our group’s interpretation of what the church looks like before and what it will be like in the future.