Module Reflection

The pace of these assignments is a lot faster than last year, I feel more capable to deal with the challenges whilst still feeling I could do so much more. My team seemed to jump straight into the modelling project which was great, once we had our idea and narrative down we quickly started making our assets. I enjoyed the Harem setting it’s not like anything I would have attempted before and it brought up a lot of opportunities to model a large variety of objects from pillows to lantern chandeliers. I feel as a team we all worked well in tandem with each other, bouncing around ideas and trying to solve the issue we were running into, there’s still so much I see that we can do with it if time weren’t a factor.

We also had the walk cycle and body mechanic, I’m quite interested in animating I had fun with it last year in our short animation and for me this assignment has been about learning how to create a good workflow, I found it easy to get lost in key frames and movements but towards the end I started to grasp more how to streamline what movements I was making and how to tweak the keyframes I had instead of adding more. I understand that I need to improve my process of creating so in the future I can add the extra detailing and finish things to own desired standards.

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Walk Cycle and Body Mechanic

Jill Rig Character walk cycle

This is my walk cycle based of the end sequence of FlipFlappers.

Looking back I think it wasn’t as great as an idea to animate them walking forwards instead of in a single spot, it made it slightly more difficult to get some of the repeated movements. I think to the movement and timing worked out pretty well, I could have used some more exaggerated poses but I didn’t want to stretch the Rig so much, I think it would just end up looking uncanny. Though I do feel I could add more of  a bouncy swing to the movement if I had more time .

Jack Rig Body Mechanic-Sword Play

I broke this action down into four parts, the step back, the lunge, kick and pose at the end, this helped to concentrate one movement at rather than blocking out the entire motion because each came with a shift in the direction of movement and weight.

The diagonal movement cause some issues with figuring out how to place his feet and what direction their facing, I was finding that my Rig was twisting and distorting a lot once I looked at it from a different direction. I had to think about the arches of movement with the kick and how the rest of the body would act to counteract that, which I feel I’ve accomplished or he doesn’t look like he’s about to fall over at any point.

One thing looking back I would have done was change the rigs on the hands to IK instead of FK, the arm movement was mainly fast sweeping motions which I feel I could made them hit harder and stick better with an IK control. For this I simply constrained the sword onto the hand control.

Overall this project was really interesting, it could be a bit tedious at time watching the movements over and over trying to figure out what needed changed, though the end result is satisfying to see and I feel like I need to improve my workflow for animating better, but I feel I’ve a better understanding of how to work with key frames and when to place or remove inbetween’s.

Our Harem Bedroom

This is our Final scene, it feel so good to have it all together, working for so long on individual assets you’re not so sure how it’s going to all come together in the end, but I pretty pleased with the result.

Looking at it finished now , there are some details I’d like to change and experiment a bit with the composition.

from early on we had a pretty clear idea of what the room was going to look like and I do feel this is outcome is a good representation of those ideas but if I could I’d like to go back and experiment with the composition, I think it’d be nice to have a few variations to see what I can create from it. Even now I’m still thinking of more things I could model and place in, though going from research it’d be a lot of smaller pieces like jewelry and such which wouldn’t really stand pout within the whole scene.

I had hoped as well to get into some bump mapping to create some really high detailed pieces, which I may go back to in my spare time. The problem with this was that everything in a Harem has delicate details and painted patterns and writing on it, this made us reluctant to begin the process because we knew we didn’t have time to make everything up to the same level of detail and it would leave the scene looking half done.

I suppose I could spend weeks polishing this and experimenting with it, but I’m happy with what we as a team could achieve with this project, it was easy to just get stuck in and begin creating our ideas, I’m even considering creating another scene for my personal project.

These are some Wireframe stills Lauren took of our scene.

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Camera Work

We had always had the idea of making the video from the perspective of an attendant discovering the room and that our Courtesan had escaped, so I tried to emulate that with our camera movement. This of course was more tricky that I first thought it would be, there was a medium between displaying our scene and assets coherently and incorporating this narrative that I had to find. In the beginning I had a lot of the camera turns be very quick and sharp as if it was someone quickly looking around the room, but this meant missing a lot of our scene and also the walking through the room was too windy and jumpy. I showed my teammates this version of the walkthrough but we weren’t satisfied with it,  Lauren suggested having the ‘attendant’ walk straight through the room whilst looking side to side, based off this I started again using a camera and an aim and tried to keep it more streamlined and smooth. I’m not sure if I should also make a video a pans through the scene allowing a closer look at the models.

UV Maps

I’m still getting used to uv mapping, it’ll take a while before I’m fully confident, it can be hard to tell what is a good uv map and what isn’t. I may test out some textures to see if it’ll work alright.

I haven’t uv mapped everything I’ve modeled, some pieces can get very small or I know that I’ would be using a single colour/material on them (for example the chains) so it won’t matter. Also for some reason the uv maps of my books didn’t save properly, I’m not sure what happened, so they’ll have to be redone because I really want to get a nice decorated covers on them.

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Lighting Experiments

Having our scene complied together and waiting on rendering out our video I decided to try some lighting within our scene. This is mainly because I modeled the lanterns in the scene and I wanted to see what sort of atmosphere I could create with them.

I watched this tutorial and a few others as an introduction to lights, I’ve used lights before but only in an experimental way and not being overly sure of what I was doing.

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Some of my first attempts using point lights, spotlights, and area lights. They came out extremely dark, or at least darker than what they looked liked in the render view, which is disappointing as I was quite happy with how it looked. This version actually crashed and I was able to save so all the lights were deleted and I had to begin gain, though this isn’t all bad, it was taking a long time for these images to render out and since they’re not what I hoped it’s not much of a loss, except the lanterns which had taken some time.

light2lights3lights4

These are my next experiments with lights, I had these spotlights coming in through the window which I liked, almost like moonlight shining in. The timing for our Courtesans escape isn’t actually something we’d thought through incredibly, I imagined it in the middle of the night (hence the above stills being so dark) whilst Charlotte imagined it at Dawn, so I kinda took that on board and made the whole scene brighter, change moonlight into a sunrise. I didn’t have time to do more lights with the lanterns but it’s definitely something I’ll return to, possibly even model some candles.

Turkish Object References

It isn’t particularly easy to find examples of furniture from the Ottoman Empire (1500), so as much as we can we’ve been looking at museum displays and Turkish artifacts and ornamental pieces. We have already discussed roughly the objects we would like to have in our scene which focuses our search.

Debbie took some great pictures in a Sahara shop.

Topkapi Palace

This was the Palace of the Ottoman Empire within Istanbul, it was the administrative, educational and art center of the Empire for nearly four hundred years. Within the Palace there was also the Imperial Harem which had around 400 rooms which included the Sultans family living quarters as well as housing all the Sultans courtesans and Eunuchs as their attendants and protectors.

The Palace is now a museum, we’re quite lucky that a real life Harem has been up kept so well and has been a fundamental resource for our project. We can see the basic room layout and structures of the Harem.

I’ve been collecting as many images as I can really of the interior, this is sample of them. Anywhere you look in these photographs you can see patterns everywhere, I believe it’d be near impossible to recreate so many patterns.

Comparing to some of our inspirations from Brothel art they don’t seem to match at all, of course these are the rooms stripped bare really but also the colour scheme surprised me, no over kill of red. I do enjoy the use of gold, blue and greens and the sparse use of red, it makes the space feel more fresh. Perhaps it’s the difference in locations or to show of the detailing better.

references and other resources

http://topkapisarayi.gov.tr/en/content/harem

http://istanbul.for91days.com/2013/06/28/the-imperial-harem-of-topkapi-palace/

http://www.worldwanderista.com/topkapi-palace-harem-istanbul/

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/inside-harem-topkapi-palace-istanbul.html

https://photos5.com/photo/23003/Decorative-Lantern-in-Topkapi-Palace.html

http://www.teresathetraveler.com/harem-at-topkapi-palace.html

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-twin-kiosk-apartments-of-the-crown-prince-in-the-harem-topkapi-palace-68897562.html

Modeled Environment Presentation

Harem Environment

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One week before our final deadline this presentation was to show everyone what we’ve done so far and get feedback and also for ourselves to begin to finalize our scene and really to only have slight touch ups left.

Stills from our Environment

These are some stills I took of our environment, Alec mentioned liking the composition in the bottom right still so perhaps we can work that into our final video.

Feedback

Alec gave us the suggestion of having the curtain ripped and torn, this makes sense for the Courtesan to create the rope from. We’re also planning to add in more nclothes as drapery and silks around the room, sort of in the style from the orientalist painters.

In general I think we’re going to work more to make it look more messy as she’s in a rush to leave, ideas we had like the chest open and clothes pouring out and food scattered around the floor.

I think we also have some more ideas for some quick models we can create to place in the center of the room as it’s looking partially bare at the moment, I’m going to try creating more pillows to sit on and possibly and instrument.

It’s really starting to come together which is great to see, there’s still a lot we need to do before the hand in so hopefully that’ll be achievable.