hello_world // dead_parts #001

I know, I know, It's been a while...and if I'm honest, in these strange times, I'm not one for being on the internet. It's fucking horrible here. All these ironic memes and hashtags are just too much for me to handle. Hence why my instagram and twitter and website are dead places for dead people. I've been holed up in the real world, trying to stay alive and pretend everything is fine. 

Despite these horrors, I plod on. And in an attempt to plod on with more vigor and excitement than before, this marks the first of a weekly blog post about what's been happening in my part of the world. Welcome! This is going to be great. You are going to love it here. Let's call this the pilot episode for what will hopefully be developed into a fully funded Netflix original. If this were a tv show, it would be called dead_parts and it would probably star Paul Giamatti or Jack Nance. So, where to start?

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Well, Easter came and went, and between teaching and a few extra jobs, I've largely been trying to develop an animatic for this little film idea I keep coming back to. In doing so, I'm trying to decide whether it is indeed a good idea, or rather, a terrible bag of shite. I'm still in the decision phase, but whatever the answer, there are some interesting discoveries along the way. Without showing too much, here is a very rough painting that came about this week.

As part of this project exploration, I've also been pissing around in Maya in an attempt to explore art direction. This part is always fun, when the pressure is off and you can begin to figure out how things may look or work. The two art tests so far look like this...

These both use vertex painting. It is an old and simple technique available in Autodesk Maya, and in short, it allows you to colour each specific vertex of a model. It obviously has huge constraints, most notably that textures can only be as complex as the model itself, but it is so immediate and low-fi that it has its own simple charm. It's lovely isn't it. I'm sure instagram are going to love it. But that doesn't mean it is a good idea. Lovely, does not equal good.

This film idea isn't supposed to be charming or lovely. These tests feel too clean, too cute and too CG. The dreaded triple-C. Clean, Cute and CG. The worst of all things. And so, I need to do something different. Something more painterly and expressive. But at least this is a start. Now to try some different approaches.

This week, I've got a few other commitments, but I urgently need to finalise the character for this film. For me, this is always the hardest part. This isn't really a film for anyone other than myself. There is no simple solution to this stage when you are trying to make something expressive. So, I normally just sketch and sketch until the character comes to life infront of me. Here are a few of the sketches so far...

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Outside of this, I also managed to get some time away with friends in Bristol and Eastbourne which was great for the head. A chance to get out of the basement office and into the daylight is always welcomed. Between that, I've also been doing some design work, most notably these little illustration things which will be finished soon.

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Anyway, that is enough from me for now. Tell your friends and family. I'm here with words and pictures for your pleasure. Link them to this page and they'll have a top time. I hope the world treats you well this week. Keep that head up, keep working hard...it gets easier. Here is some Frank Ocean to keep you in good spirits.