Year 1 contents section

This post is a contents section linking back to previous key submission posts from my first year of the Nextgen course.

Room project

Inside the Box: Final renders submission post

ImAwesome Ident

Original ident: ImAwesome Ident project: Ident submission post

Improved ident: ImAwesome Ident project: Improved animation submission post

Break the Cycle – Walk cycle

Break the cycle: Walk cycle submission post



The Vallake Guide – Tailor’s – Environment art + placeholder page layout

I spent the past few days working on a couple of things so that they would be done by Monday, so that I can be more productive in lessons.

Individual progress

The first thing that I sorted was some last minute organisation on the lanterns. I decided that I’d make the background lanterns on separate layers in case I decided to animate those moving too. I then made progress on the Tailor’s art, because I figured that if I got the art done at home, my time at college could be spent animating.

Tailor's - Corona art 3 - Environment.png

Using the photobash ready images, I painted and blended over them with specific colours and tones so that the room would look the way I intended. Ebonny said that the tailor’s is supposed to be quite dark and uninviting, so I made all of the furniture dark wood to try and fit this theme. I made all of the background fabric with desaturated toned colours so that everything looks dark by tone, and not just dark colours. I felt like this was too harsh, so I picked a fairly light colour with slight desaturation for the walls so that it would compliment it. I also used some of my insight to add shadows behind the front desk area on things, as precaution in case the animation causes that part to be visible.

Lastly, I made a mockup page for the artbook based on what Ebonny said the pages would look like, just in case nobody else made one yet. It may not be right, but I tried my best to follow what Ebonny last said she wanted. I don’t have any of the actual text for the casino, so that is lame placeholder text (ultra professional, I know right).


(Also accidentally left the guide lines in oops) The first thing that Ebonny specified was that everyone needed to have a box in the top right corner with the title in, so I made this first. She didn’t specify how the box needed to look, so I took a gold colour and used it as a border since it’s a nice accent colour. Ebonny also said that she wanted the maps on little sheets of paper like in a dungeons and dragons book, so I tried my best to make this look like one of the ones from the book. The book also has a sort of messy painted effect on some of the art, so I decided to try and replicate this for the page I made. Also chose a font that is clear to read and that looks aesthetically pleasing with the rest of the page, but might need re-scaling for readability. I am quite proud of this contribution, it will definitely look better once I get my hands on the actual text, but overall I like how it looks. If Ebonny works out how the pages want to look and it’s different, it is no big deal and not too much time wasted, but this was fun to experiment with. At least we have something to show if artbook contributions come up, because after all polish can change everything, so at least we have a starting place that is in the google drive for people to dissect and edit for their own art.

Group progress

Honestly, I haven’t talked with the group since my last post, but I figure everything is going well. Everyone was keeping their time well last I checked, so that is probably okay, and everything seems to be on track, so for now I have no quarrels. I think we need to start having Friday scrum meetings again, and I will bring this up on Monday, because one scrum meeting a week probably isn’t enough, but we’ll work on it.

The Vallake Guide – Luminos Casino – Layer separation for animation

Okay, so it has been a little while since I last posted, and since then some things have changed about our project. Our MVP deadline is fast approaching, and on Tuesday we had our first scrum meeting for a while to talk out what our MVP goal will actually be. Instead of making the pages like we planned to, we are going to be making an animated short similar to the Overwatch character introduction video for Brigitte, which uses parallax to make a cool animated effect on the art. It seems that our original plan of making a guide book might now be our artbook contribution, however we currently don’t even have a build for that, so over the next week I plan to prepare a rough build for these things with what I personally have, so that once a standard is made, it can be polished into the standard one

Individual progress

Since this hasn’t always been our goal, I for one did not make my art in a way that makes it easy to split into separate layers of foreground, mid-ground, and background with the intention of animation, so I have spent the last day or so splitting this up and making edits so that this will be doable. This didn’t require as much work as I expected it to, it was mostly a case of splitting layers into more layers so that the lighting effects stay with the characters, and so that the lights will be able to be animated separately. The biggest issue that I had was that nothing was behind the bar, so I got creative and put some really rough cabinets there in case it ever is on show.

Luminos Casino Animation - Background 2 (alt) layer.png

Other than that, everything else in that scene just got split into foreground, mid-ground, and background, so there is nothing worth showing to be honest. My plan from here on out is to make as much as I can that looks functional before the MVP deadline in just under two weeks time. This feels daunting, but I have a plan. I plan to spend this week doing what I can at home with the art so that I have time in college to animate some scenes so that *hopefully* we will have some good moving scenes by the MVP deadline. Since there is currently nothing for the art book (to my knowledge) I am going to throw what I have into a page structure that looks something like what Ebonny described so that there won’t be nothing when we are next asked about it. If Ebonny makes an example page with standard assets that people need to follow, I’ll change it to be as she asks, but until we have that, we need something or we are in trouble.

Group progress

We had our first scrum meeting for a while yesterday, and we talked honestly about where we were at. To be honest, our MVP product has not been brought up since the start of the project, so a couple of us were still under the impression that we were making a book, but now that it has been discussed we are on track to at least making a product. Everyone seemed to be productive over the holidays, so that’s good, even if communication wasn’t great. No-one seemed to have any outstanding issues that we didn’t talk out, so it feels good to be on the same page (pardon the pun). I am hoping that we can properly discuss how this animation is planned to look, because if everyone animates that parallax differently then it will look disjointed, so we should add something to the technical specification or style guide about it.

The Vallake Guide: Tailor’s shop – Corona art – Photobashing environment

My Progress

So, it has taken me a while, but I have finally managed to pull together some reference for one of the environments. I hate that it has taken me this long, but it has been a rough week and this was the best I could do. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn this around and actually finish some art before I get back to college. For now, here is the environment that I have put together from reference images so far.

Tailor's shop Corona art 2 - Photobash.png

I am trying to make sure the furniture looks consistent by having dark wood tables and shelves. I think that the turquoise colour on the back of the shelf image looks really nice, so I might use a similar colour for the walls. I hope to put some fabrics on the shelves and tables, but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.

Group progress

To be perfectly honest, I have not communicated with the group since I last said I would. This wasn’t the best way to handle working out where abouts the group is, but if the asset list shows any truth, we can’t be too far behind. I’ll probably communicate with the group later at some point because I need the character concepts for Corona and Ielenia (Ebonny said that she wanted to re-do Ielenia’s outfit). Honestly, my time management has been terrible lately, so I really hope that everyone else’s has been better, however I can’t be mad if it’s not because that’s just hypocritical.

The Vallake Guide: Remaining location maps

Okay, so this week has been packed for me, and admittedly I slipped behind personally on time management, so in order to keep the balance, I completed some simple tasks.

My progress

To catch up and keep the burndown chart on track, I managed to whip up the remaining maps for the locations that I hadn’t done yet.

Fountain map blog friendlyTailor's map blog friendly

This took me longer than expected, mostly because deliberately making neat art does not come natural to me. Never the less, I managed to make these maps neatly in order to attempt to keep continuity with the other artist’s maps. To be honest, there is really nothing more that I can say about this, but here they are, two completed maps.

Group progress

Okay, so admittedly, I made a boo boo and forgot to re-schedule the scrum call. Communication has been bad on my part, but nobody has said that anything is wrong, so I’m confident that things are okay. At some point I am going to have to talk to everyone about things, because it has been quite a while, but things for me personally were busy this week so I really can’t say much else about this because I just don’t know what else to say. I’m hopeful that things will get better next week, because I was bad and let things down this week.

The Vallake Guide – Location sketches

My Progress

Okay, so for my last post I was able to show significant progress on a single piece of art. Since then, I decided to get some ideas down. I had mental images for what I wanted to make for most of the remaining locations that I have to make art for.

Luminos Casino casino sketchFountain art 1 sketch blog friendlyTailor's shop art 1 sketch blog friendlyTailor's store room art sketch blog friendly

Lots of these sketches look like the ramblings of a mad man, but these will come together for sure! I’m thinking that for the fountain one, I might mix up the pose for Ielenia and the dog because at the moment it doesn’t look super dynamic, and has potential to look better. To be honest, this doesn’t look like a lot, but I kind of shocked myself after spending so long on the last one, so this feels fair to get a breath of fresh air into my sketches.

Next, I plan to properly photobash one of these. I’m thinking I might do one of the tailor’s ones so that it at least has something, because the fountain isn’t a priority one, so if I have two done properly it should be okay.

Group Progress

The group’s last call was a couple of days ago, and since then contact has been sparse. I’m blaming myself for this, because A) It was scheduled for bank holiday Monday, and two members were busy that day, and B) I never went out of my way to organise another one. I think that our progress is going well, so I honestly can’t complain. I’m doing my best to contribute my part and keep the burndown chart on schedule, and things seem good at the moment. Nobody has come forward and said that they have any issues, so for now I am confident that things are running smoothly!

The Vallake Guide: Luminos Casino – Bar Art – Finalised Art

The rest of this week has been devoted to finishing off this piece of art, because it has taken far longer than expected.

My progress

This week has been a busy one, as I have spent the time doing everything that I can to get this bar art finished. Last time I wrote, I talked about the process of shading two of the characters. Over the last few days, I have used the same techniques to finish off the shading on all of the characters. I then got to working out how the light from the bright purple fairy lights would bounce off the characters. I tried to think as technically as possible about how this lighting would effect this, and I ended up experimenting with it to make art that looks as charming as possible.

Luminos Casino Bar art shading and lighting

For the lighting effect itself, I used the same bright purple from the fairy lights, and used the marker tool to lightly sketch it in. I then used the mix brush tool/blur tool to make it hazy. I then experimented with luminosity layers, and decided that for the lights bouncing off darker colours, the luminosity layers looked good. For the light bouncing off lighter colours, I kept the luminosity layers off and instead drew the purple light on a normal layer. After all that, I used the lineart tool with white paint to scribble some extra light parts into the purple, to give it a more realistic looking light.

I then decided to work on the background, because only after Matt brought it up did I realise that it does actually look quite bare. Matt suggested putting some bar stuff behind the bar, and to look for stuff that would usually be behind a bar to put in there. Since most bars contain alcohol, I decided that some harmless looking shelves with bottles on would probably suffice. I scoured the internet for some fitting reference images, then photobashed it in. This was mostly just me picking colours from the bar, then scribbling over in areas that I saw fit.

Luminos Casino Bar art bar background

By this point, I was happy that this was finished, because the bar shelves really brought the scene together. I asked Ebonny what she thought about how it looked, and asked if there was anything that she wanted me to change about it, and she said that it might look better if I changed the colour of the walls to the same purple as the characters’ blazers, so I quickly made the changes and sent it back. Ebonny is happy with how this looks now, and I am very happy with how this worked out, so I am calling this complete. Here is the final product!

Luminos Casino Bar art new walls

I am super happy with how this looks now! I think that given a month ago, I didn’t know half of the techniques used to make this, I have done pretty well. I did plan to have this done way faster, but with having to learn so many new techniques for this, I really can’t be too mad that it took as long as it did. I am happy with the final product, so I cannot complain. I am hoping that the other art won’t take me as long, since I now shouldn’t have to learn as much new stuff for it. My plan is to move onto the fountain art next, since that one shouldn’t take too long to do. My overall plan is to try and get at least one good piece of art for each location that I have, and that once I have done that, I will prioritise making the second piece of art for the Casino, since that is my one, highly important location to do.

Group progress

This evening, we had our first of many, Friday evening scrum call. Most members were present, and anyone who couldn’t make the call just sent messages later that evening to catch the rest of us up. I think that the call went well, we all talked about how things were going, and it didn’t feel too different to the scrum meetings that we usually have at college. We planned our next call to be on Monday so that we don’t fall out of habit. The group progress seems to be going well, I am happy with how everyone is communicating, and everyone seems to be keeping time well. We are on track with our burndown chart as of the start of this week, so I am not too worried about the idea of us falling behind!

The Vallake Guide: Luminos Casino – Bar art – Character shading started

So far, this week has been quite productive! This post is a day later than I’d usually post, but it’s for good reason.

My progress

This week has so far, mostly been devoted to shading the characters. This is something that I rarely dabble with in my own art, so trying it out has been a new experience! Prior to this project, I had never successfully made shading look good, so I decided to follow Ebonny’s tutorials in the style guide in order to make it look like hers. Since most of the lighting in the bar is purple, I figured that the shading should be a more subdued, dark purple in order to look more realistic. I took the colour sample from the fairy lights, and on the colour scale, I made it darker. I then mixed it into the white backcolour on each respective character, and used the mix brush tool/blur tool to make it fade between the white and purple, so that it looked like it was fading into being darker.

Luminos Casino Bar art Eni and Mel shading

So far, I have only managed to do the shading for two characters, Enilias and Melody. I am happy with how this looks for now, because this time last week I would never have known how to effectively do this, and I really like how it looks. My next steps are to finish the shading on the characters (only Ren to go), and then work on the light bounce from the lanterns on the characters! Lecturer Matt also suggested that I put some bar stuff in the background so that it looks more realistic, so hopefully I’ll be able to give that a try later too!

Group progress

Overall, our group progress is way better this week! In Monday’s scrum meeting, we brought up that our communication is bad, and we talked it through like reasonable people. We have decided that we will have a scrum call through our discord server on Fridays around 7pm so that we can keep eachother up to date on the days where we aren’t in college. We also took a look at our group progress, and the burndown chart shows that we are on track.

Burndown chart wb 26th Mar

We just need to keep on this level of progress, and things should all be cool and good by the deadline.