Self-Portrait


This is more than a little bit outside my comfort zone: It's really very rare that I post photographs of myself anywhere online. I've been half-wanting and half-afraid to post this for a while now though, and the indecision is starting to seriously frustrate me. Ultimately, because I like to think of this space as a personal account of all the work I do, and because I want to try this project and more self-portrait-ish projects when I have more time, I've decided to go ahead and post it. So, tentatively... here's a (rotoscoped) portrait of myself. Click through to see the original photograph. Consider yourself warned. 





Emily | Portrait


Here's another assignment from last semester: a digitally painted portrait. Once again, the wonderfully willing Emily (actress) helped me out by becoming my model. There's a chance you'll remember her from past projects, including Race Against Time and The White Lady of Kinsale. I actually asked Emily to help me with this one in particular for a number of reasons, which influenced the overall look of this project.

Firstly, we met in secondary school, where we took art classes together. At that stage, Emily occasionally tried her hand at painting, and frequently leaned towards more abstract looks. For this reason, I built the portrait on a background of acrylic-style brushstrokes. I picked the sepia colour because Emily, like me, has a fondness for all things vintage (especially old film-memorabilia, I think), so I wanted to capture an old-film kind of look. I also added gold because Emily is always classy and elegant, so it seemed fitting. I also appreciated the connection to film awards such as the Golden Globes, which is another link to Emily's personality.

Emily's personality and our shared interests also influenced smaller details within the image. In school, we were always hopelessly ambitious (we still are, to be honest) and it was her ambition to become a part of the acting world, for instance, which inspired the film reel border. Because she is a self-professed coffee-connoisseur and tea-lover - and the fact that when we meet, either coffee or tea are generally involved at some stage - I added the coffee stains to the background. Finally, I added some French phrases in a scripted font for a few reasons. Emily and I shared language classes for many years, and we both share a love of travel. Emily, I believe, is particularly partial to capital cities, like London and Paris. We also both share a tendency to use elaborate handwriting wherever possible. And finally, Emily has a very distinctive way of speaking, which is usually pretty entertaining, so I wanted to include language in some way.

And so, the portrait above is a result inspired by the ever-lovely Emily (actress), to whom I am so, so grateful for! Below, you can see the original photograph I took of Emily for reference in all her Irish-sun-drenched glory.


Photography | Tones

Last semester, I also studied a photography module, which was something completely new for me. Yes, I have taken photos before, but I had never taken the time to really get to know how to use a DSLR to its full potential. So, photography class was a bit of a learning curve, and its a skill I would love to develop further. These shots were taken for a photography assignment in the past few months. Click to embiggen them!












Flash Game | The Getaway

BIG post today! I spent a solid chunk of last semester working on this interactive programming assignment. Weeks and weeks of drawing, animating, and coding, all working together to create a short and sweet little game called "The Getaway." Click HERE to play the game yourself!


"The Getaway" is a single-level flash platform game, which I made with my friend Kirsty. What I'm showing you today is the game bible, which basically shows you every element of design that became a part of the game; including character designs, environment layouts, user interfaces and start/finish screens. I also wrote a short(ish) backstory to give the game a bit of meaning, and added a few of the early sketches. Be sure to click on the images below to make 'em bigger, and click HERE to play the game yourself! :D


WIP | Kinetic Text | God's Away on Business



Every now and then, I'm also going to post a few works in progress. This one is a college assignment for my Video I module, which I'm going to be working on for the next ten weeks or so. It's a kinetic text project based on the song, "God's Away on Business" by Tom Waits. From the suggested list, I chose this one because a) I like the song, b) it has a good, solid beat, c) it stood out to me as intersting and quirky as soon as I heard it, and d) I liked the visual imagery in it.

So, here's my very, very basic/rough plan of the lyrics (remember to click to enlarge)



And with added notes on camera moves and transitions:


From there, I moved on to pulling style sheets together:




And I have just about started to work on a few very quick test shots, just to get a further idea of what I want some of these shots to look like. I want to make changes to the ones I've done already, but the ideas are there. Sort of. :)




Animation | Lightning Bolts

What's this!? A new blog post? With many more ready and waiting to come very soon!? How shocking!



Sorry. It was a bad joke begging to be told, and I didn't put up much of a fight.

In all seriousness though, while it's not a strict resolution for 2015* I am going to make a conscious effort to give a little more time to my work and my websites from here on out. This community and network is hugely important to me, not least because I worked hard to develop it, but between the twists and turns of everything else that's been going on in my life, I let things slip. So, I've done the work, and I've gathered the files, and I've made the promise. Posts are on the way! Concept art, games, animation, photography, illustration; the works!

So without further ado, here's a short animated set of lightning bolts, created in Toon Boom Harmony last semester. I actually really enjoyed the controlled chaos of it, and also the fun glow and after-burn effects. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope ye come back here next Tuesday to check out one of the biggest projects I've completed to date. See you then. :)


*Long story, short: I don't believe in waiting for a new year, or a new season, or a new anything to make positive changes. If you think something needs improving, start working on it as soon as you can. "Don't put off until tomorrow, that which you can do today" and all that jazz. And thus concludes that tiny tidbit of my brain, as encouraged by my secondary school assembly speakers...

Don't Starve - Wednesday

Have any of you played the PC game, Don't Starve, by Klei Entertainment? If you haven't, you should! One of my assignments in college this term was to create a new character to be placed within an existing universe, and while some of my friends picked things like Adventure Time and Valiant Hearts, I picked Don't Starve. And I am so glad that I did!

So the first step in the process was research, research, research. I studied the game itself, paying attention to the the line weight, the colours, the shapes, and everything in between. I made some interesting discoveries that I might not otherwise have picked up on; almost every character in the game wears red, for example, and the males only have pupils, while the females only have whites in their eyes. The playable characters, as a set, are incredibly unified, right down to their names: almost all of them start with the letter W.

I also researched different types of characters that I might like to design; and eventually settled on a Horologist, whom I named Wednesday*. Then I was able to sketch out some ideas (throwing away most of them!) and eventually figured out how I wanted my character to look. Below, you can see how I drastically I changed the character from the original sketch into the final lineart.

The next step was colouring, which was a LOT of fun! We were taught a technique of colouring that I had never used before, which allowed for easy changes later on. It worked out quite well, I think! I experimented with different hues and things, but nevertheless I stayed true to the game's styling, and went with a predominantly red colour scheme, with a lot of black scribble detail.

The final part of the assignment was to place the character in different lighting situations, which was my favourite part, by far! We were given five different themes: 01) Mid-day sun 02) Dark rainy day 03) Moonlight 04) Sunrise 05) Haunted House. We weren't asked to design the backgrounds, per se, but I got a little carried away with them... 

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the end results. What do you think? Does my character fit in with Don't Starve? Do you have a favourite lighting condition?

*In honour of Wednesday Addams, whom I love, and think would fit in with the game perfectly! I also watched The Addams Family recently and remembered how much I loved it all over again.