Saturday, 30 January 2016

Adaptation A - Static Test

A test of making TV "Static" from using a tutorial found on Youtube. I want to use this in my final piece
TV Static from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

Adaptation A - Stylisation

A picture of how I want my inforgraphic to look, I want it to look like a 70s sex education movie by a fictitious company.

The title will pop up and then the stop motion segment will occur.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Adaptation A - Stop-motion Character thumbnails

I am doing stop motion for my infographic, I aim to have small segments of stop motion maybe about 10 seconds each. The key thing now is to design the characters that I will use.

This presents a few issues however; I cannot use copyrighted objects or figures and in the small time frame left I am limited for options. Plasticine seems like a good option given that it can be moulded and used easily.

Some final designs will be appear later.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Base Diffuse Maps

The base diffuse maps, using the Burn and the Stamp tool was pretty useful, good for helping to make textures.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Ambient Occlusion

The tutorial of the Ambient Occlusion maps, made using xNormals. Some slight problems with the Photoshop part but still all in order.

Adaptation B - More ideas

After my tutorial and the narrowing down of some concepts it was suggested that I look into a more satirical side of warfare and war in general.

One idea I've is about the German Enigma devices during World War 2 and the Allied efforts to decrypt it, the idea is that after spending massive resources on cracking the code the Allies find out that they are actually just decoding Rommel's love letters.

Before I came to university I went to a show at Warwick University that was hosted by Tony Mendez, the man who performed the real-life hostage rescue depicted in the film Argo. He explained that the CIA had a program for investigating the use of magic for military or tactical purposes. I quite like this idea, seems like a nice blend of seriousness and idiocy. This could open up an array of oppurtunities for interesting designs and aspects of game mechanics for gameplay.

Alternatively things like the CIA's Project MK-ULTRA and the German Army's Wunderwaffe (Wonder Weapons) also open up doors for satirical or strange ideas considering the subjects these programs attempted to exploit (psychic powers, laser guns, etc).

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Adaptation A - Ideas about stop motion approach

This is just a quick storyboard of how I want my stop motion to play out, I have the idea of showing a scenario using figures and explaining it through motion.

Now its time to think about fonts and styles for the animation

3D Animation - Mudbox - Pepper

A pepper made using Mudbox, using the sculpt, smooth and other tools. I enjoyed doing this, looking forward to other Mudbox tutorials.

Monday, 18 January 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Rope Normals

Breathtaking view of a bridge with normal maps applied to the roaps. Slight problem with the anchor rope in that the texture did not come out properly so the shading is on the wrong side.

A complicated process in photoshop, will need to come back and practice.

Adaptation A - Research on the reasons...

In the last few days I have tried to research the reasons why people don't get laid by sending out a questionnaire (answered by a few brave souls), and also by communicating with my housemates in an effort to gain some realistic insight. So far I have come up with around 47 individual reasons many of which vary in both decency and frequencey. 

My research is incomplete and this is only a basic list, many of the 47 items can be condensed into categories or underneath specific titles which I will concentrate on.

Some of the ideas I want to focus on for my infographic are:

-Unrealistic expectations of how sexual encounters should occur and of what to expect from partners
-Physical reasons like being too intoxicated or interrupted (cockblocked) by various others
-Shyness or lack of confidence, this includes physical and mental confidence
-Bad hygiene (of either one or one's partner)

An important thing I've come to realise is that when it comes to sex the issues will always be sensitive so there is no point in trying to be cautious with the wording, lest the information becomes distorted and lose its meaning, it is best to be direct.

The key thing I am trying to achieve with this infographic is not to be vulgar or derogatory but rather to think about the reasons why people don't get laid.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Stone Normals

The normal maps for the bridge, nice idea, wasn't too difficult once the settings are all in order. Some minor errors like the hardness of the anchor plate but above that all good.

Adaptaton B - Vietnam, Gulf War and the Manhattan Project

Some more ideas, having soldier from either the Vietnam or Gulf war as toy action figures, the Gulf war being the "sandbox" and the Vietnam war being the "lawn" respectively.

These could be some interesting oppurtunities for some character design and production.

Alternatively the Manhattan project appeals for an animation point of view. I had the idea of adapting the bomb as being made either by a chemistry set or as a cooking recipe.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Adaptation A - Stop Motion

Stop Motion Test from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

A simple test of stop motion, this is one of the methods I would use for my infographic.

Adaptation B - Initial Ideas

I am currently struggling to come up with some ideas for Adaptation B amidst fears that my ideas will either be too generic or already done. For this project I want to engage in character design for games, partly because I haven't really done much character (especially human character) design yet and I want an oppurtunity to be able to do this now. The two ideas I want to embrace are either science-fiction or warfare.

These are my first ideas;

1) A human character from a science fiction book; Roadside Picnic. The character is named Redrick Schuhart, he is a scavenger/thief who collects alien artifacts from hazardous zones. His appearance and personality are described throughout the book.

2) A robotic/human character from another science fiction book; The Automatic Detective. A former war machine turned crime detective.

3) Soldiers from the book Stalingrad; Either Russian or German soldiers during different (and decisive) parts of the battle.

4) Soldiers from the Vietnam War; Vietnam was a war caught up in all manner of turbulent political and ethical themes which could be drawn on very well. The phrase "We had to burn the village in order to save it" appeals quite well to this war.

3D Animation - Mudbox - First trial

First tryout of Mudbox, tried out the brushes and layering tools.

Adaptation A - Reasons you didn't get laid...

My infographic centres on quite a sensitive subject, that being said the opportunities to create something quite funny out of it are big. I ultimately want an infographic that is funny in the sort of crude humor that surrounds issues about sex but makes people think about why they haven't lost their virginity.

A couple of the current "reasons" which I would like to touch upon are realistic and also funny, reasons like;

Unrealistic expectations - Sounds like a pretty realistic assumption...

Poor Hygiene - Yep, also sounds pretty certain.

Being too "creepy" - Misinterpreted actions or just plain weirdness.

Being ugly or not attractive enough - Do not despair, this varies according to each person

Having no idea what your doing - Pretty common.

Shyness or low confidence - Courage takes painful time and patience.

These are only first-idea questions, I will send out a questionnaire or survey to get people's answers or to discover new question and reasons.

As to methods of how I am going to create a visual design of the infographic I have thought maybe about using stop-motion animation as a method.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Low Resolution

The low-resolution of the bridge tutorial, learned a few nice things that could save time in modelling.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Film Review - Adapted Film - Doom

Doom is a 2005 action movie named after and adapted from the gaming series Doom by id Software, it features Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike. The film was a commercial and critical failure at the box office.

Doom proves to be a relatively disappointing adaptation of a game to a movie, this is the case for many game adaptations. According to Kirk Kjeldsen of Virginia Commonwealth University in Vancouver; "Translating a non-linear narrative into a linear three-act structure is like making a song out of a painting or a sculpture." (Kjeldsen, 2014), this is essentially true since video games follow a different visual path than films do, for instance games require a player to be the one to make the decisions about the plot and the course of the game to some extent. Doom fails to please because while it shares the violence of the game it's plot was nothing like the games and the actors gave underachieving performances. 

The original 1993 Doom followed a very simple formula; first-person-shooter, shoot enemies, collect items and find the exit of the level. What made the game stand out was the excessive (and often gory) violence and the FPS aspect. Doom was a controversial game for its time on account of its intense violence and the use of satanic imagery in the game.The plot of Doom (1993) was a space marine (affectionately known in the gaming community as "Doomguy") fighting off hordes of demons and horrors from Hell that have invaded a research station on Mars after a series of teleportation experiments have been undertaken.

In the film however the plot is very different, on a research facility on Mars scientists have been creating a type of super-enhancing formula that turns people into either monsters or superhumans and a team of special forces are dispatched on a rescue and retrieval mission. No mention is made of hell, demons or even teleportation.

The film was not without positive aspects, while the plot remains firmly disconnected from the games, some of the scenes and devices used in the film remained faithful. For instance the research group mentioned in the games; UAC, is also employed in the films. The creatures and monsters in the game such as Hell Knights, Imps and Zombies appear in the film as costumed characters rather than CGI creatures. The film takes place largely on Mars as does the games. During the later half of the film an actual attempt is made at a first-person-shooter sequence within a film with the protagonist violently dispatching monsters in manners similar to the game.

The film Doom didn't really offer much new to the series or strike a breakthrough in film production, the usage of costumes for some of the monsters instead of CGI was praised as was the violence which was reminiscent of the games. Ultimately the games violence proves to be somewhat the films' only positive aspect, the review site Rotten Tomatoes states that it's critics consesus is: "Sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers." (Rotten Tomatoes, 2005)

Kjeldsen, K. 2014, one-professor-attempts-to-explain-why-video-game-movies-are-always-bad/1100-6418987/ [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January 8th 2016)

Rotten Tomoates. 2005, m/doom/. [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January 8th 2016)

Figure 1, Andrzej Bartkowiak, 2005, DoomUS02.jpg, [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January8th 2016) 

Maya Pipeline 1 Submission

Lip Sync 1

Lip Sync 2

Lip Sync 3

Maya - Poses

Head - Image planes

Head - Minor blocking

Head - Refined blocking

Head - Final blocking

Head - Eyeball

Head - Bald

Head - Both sides

Head - Hair

Head - Complete

Body - Complete

Body - UVs

Film Review - Documentary - Dirty War

Dirty War is a 2004 docu-drama directed by Daniel Percival, the film portrays a dirty bomb attack on London from a realistic perspective. A dirty bomb is a bomb loaded with radioactive material designed to cause widespread contamination across a wide area.

The film follows three principal groups; the Islamic terrorist group responsible for carrying out the attack, the London police services who respond to the crisis and the fire-brigade who investigate the bombing site. Dirty War is a docu-drama in that it presents a scenario in a realistic interpretation, in this case it deals specifically with a radioactive bomb and the consequences of its detonation in an urban area.
The key themes of the film are the motives of the terrorist cell, the struggle of the police and fire brigades to cope with the immediate crisis and in particular the public who fail to cope with the extreme measures imposed on them by the rescue services and disintegrate into panic.

The beginning of the film starts with a quote by a high ranking member of the security services stating that a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) attack on the UK will very likely in the coming years. Radioactive material is smuggled from turkey into the UK disguised in containers of cooking oil, it reaches its buyers in a small rented house in London where a group of men create the explosive device. Despite some leads and raids by the London police the terrorist group manages to detonate the device near Liverpool Street Underground station. The explosions kills many and contaminates large numbers of the public and surrounding buildings, the police and fire services respond but find their progress hindered by overcomplicated response procedures, the media and the actions of the public that prevent other emergencey services from successfully rendezvousing at the explosion site.

The facts about the impacts of dirty bombs sometimes contrasts with the narrative presented in the film, for instance according to a fact sheet by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission dirty bombs would not possess enough radioactive material to cause widespread radiation related deaths, instead "an RDD explosion could create fear and panic, contaminate property, and require potentially costly cleanup." (NRC, 2012). In the films conclusion however the afflicted area of London is cordoned off and will remain hazardous for many decades, the ensuing aftermath has great economic and social consequences for the people of London. 

There are however more realistic scenes in the film such as the depiction of the public who quickly disintegrate into a panic stricken state and begin overwhelming hospitals and violently breaking through police quarantines.

The film has some grounds in reality, in 2004 a man named Dhiren Barot conspired to detonate dirty bombs near financial districts in the United States and the United Kingdom.

(NRC, 2012, fs-dirty-bombs.html [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January 5th, 2016)

Figure 1
Daniel Percival, 2004, dirty-war-4-1.jpeg [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January8th 2016)


3D Animation - Maya - Cartoon Character - Finished Uv's

 UV's for the body and head, makes life easier when UV'ing so much stuff.

Reasons you didn't get...

Reasons' you didn't get into Hogwarts
Reasons you didn't get a bears
Reasons you didn't get a date
Reasons you didn't get any sleep
Reasons you didn't get a PLaystation 4
Reasons you didn't get a friend request
Reasons you didn't get to go to heaven
Reasons you didn't get to any Christmas presents
Reasons you didn't get to into space
Reasons you didn't get laid

3D Animation - Maya - Cartoon Character 9

The body fully done.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Character Project - Presentation

Character Final

Character Project - Gameplay Design 2

This is another design for the gameplay, it showcases how the player must navigate the world. The player's character, the"operator", must move quickly across the terrain avoiding or disptaching threats as he goes.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Character Project - Sidekick Biography

Biography for the sidekick, officially named "Companion 12", nicknamed "Bill". Dressed up to look like a document or file from the fictitious "Nova Mining Corp".

Character Project - Spaceman Biography

Biography for the spaceman who now has a name; Captain Graham "Gray" Trent. Dressed up to look like a document or file from the fictitious "Nova Mining Corp".

Character Project - Monster Biography

 The biography for the Monster character, named rather, unoriginally; "Pepper". Dressed up to look like a document or file from the fictitious "Nova Mining Corp".

Character Project - Gameplay Design 1

The first of the designs for gameplay, it explains the usage of the Scale weapon.

The Quad-Ray can alter the size of the limbs of the Pepper monster, enlarging or reducing them, the ray doesn't actually kill and is only designed to incapacitate the creature.

The player can use this weapon to alter the size of their foe enabling the player to escape

There are constraints to using this weapon: it requires Uranium-235 pickups to function and needs aproximately 2 seconds to re-size a limb, the player must also stand still, this requires some tactical thinking when using the weapon.

The scene has been dressed up to look like a training video or still from a training booklet.

Character Project - Monster Turnarounds

Turnarounds for the monster. The back picture shows the drop-pod "Drones" or "Minions" being bred for use.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Character Project - Sidekick Turnarounds

Turnarounds for the sidekick, the last picture shows a bit of the jet booster beneath the body and the shape and design of the backpack.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Character Project - Spaceman Turnarounds

The turnarounds for the spaceman, this includes details on the back of his suit especially on the legs and some minor details on the back of the torso armour.

Quite pleased with these, came out nice and colourful.