Modelled scenes- other than saloons

So, I wanted to have a look at other scenes, than just saloons.

Church Interior- from Sketch Fab

I love the windows in this. They give such beautiful colours into the empty church. One thing that I thought was interesting was the lack of tables below- even if this was used in a teaching environment it would be a small class. I think it’s cool the way the elements draw the attention away from the actual use of the settings.

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Church. (Sketchfab, 2016).

Abandoned Warehouse- sketchfab

I thought this would be useful to look at for our scene due to the whole abandoned element in our own scene. I think the whole random object placement gives to this- the chair lying on the floor, by itself.

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Abandoned warehouse.  (Sketchfab, 2016).

Really liked he array of items in this scene- the trinkets in jars, things hanging from the ceiling. I think we should really explore this hanging aspects for our own scene.

A room design by Fabiola Paredes. (Facebook.com, 2016).

Van Gogh’s bedroom

I really like this scene! The recreation of the bedroom is spot on. I also like the feeling of clutter in such a small space. Something that we have to consider when doing our own layout.

Fantasy Games Inn.  (Sketchfab, 2016).

Flat No. 312

I absolutely love this scene. It is gorgeous. The character standing out is really nice, the colours vibrant against the grey, plain set.

(Sketchfab, 2016).

References

Facebook.com. (2016). Fabiola Paredes – Timeline | Facebook. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/101223077002568/videos/167317170393158/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].

Sketchfab. (2016). Van gogh Room by ruslans3d – download 3D model. [online] Available at: https://sketchfab.com/models/311d052a9f034ba8bce55a1a8296b6f9 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].

Some of my own Renders

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A quick render with lighting by Jakub.

I wanted to create some of my own shots, following some of the research I had looked at earlier and based on some things I found online. These are below.

I found this post on Ten Thousand hours by Travis Davids, depicting a bloodied scene on the floor. I love this so much – showing the story with no words. You get the relationship and emotion of the character from the photo- crossing off his comrades, killing himself to avoid the pain of loosing them.

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I included the images with no text to show how the emotion still is there, despite the context being missing. (Facebook.com, 2016).

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Two of the shots based on the image above.

A lot of the shots I had looked at in Western films had involved the use of one point perspective- using what Tarantino still implies in his own films, giving the idea that the camera is you and you are the person.

Tarantino’s view- from below.

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I had the idea of putting the camera between the stair spindles, gas if looking down to the scene below.

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The old man at the bar- we originally talking about a regular having a sort of reserved spot at the bar with his special seat and his own bottle of drink. I wanted to demonstrate this through using the camera  to focus on the assets involved, creating the below shot.

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Inspired by the scene from Preacher- I wanted to show the piano in a way that it guides are view.

 

 

References

Vimeo. (2016). Tarantino // From Below. [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/37540504 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].

Facebook.com. (2016). Security Check Required. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tenthousandhours/permalink/533247076870985/?pnref=story [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].

Adding everything together and extras

We started placing everything together in our scene and noticed a few added things that would make the scene looking more cluttered/ themed towards the cowboy inhabitants.

The landing- We thought that this still looked a little plain and so wanted to add something here. I liked the imagery in Rango, adding niceties to the interiors despite being dingy themselves. I thought it would be cool to made a little table and vase to place between the doors on the first landing. Ryan then suggested we don’t use a table, instead, we use crates or barrels with a cloth on top to look like a table. I think this is nice as it visually fits with our thrown together interior.

Tag team effort here. I modelled the vase. Ryan modelled the crates and Phoebe did the cloth. Below is my vase model

 

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Book- the corner with the glasses and individual whiskey glass was a bit bare still- Phoebe suggested we add a book to the counter, to show that the person sitting there was the intellectual we claimed he was.

Nails- we realised there were no nails in the walls to hold up the lanterns. Oops.

N-Cloth- after looking at a few other groups, we realised we wanted to add a few clothes other than just those at the bar, like we had previously discussed. We thought of having one where Ryan had placed his shaving set, and one draped off the table.

Saddle- I mentioned to the guys about modelling something to make the scene more relevant to the type of person we have in our bar. As we are basing it on ranch hand/ cowboy clients we wanted to vary the antlers and include a horse saddle on the walls.

We also had to fix/ change a few things as we went along too. Andrew’s poker chips were proving to high poly, so I used his chips and some references to remodel a few.

15786449_2More basic designs. (Antiquegamblingchips.com, 2016).

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Poker chips I used for reference. (Antiquegamblingchips.com, 2016).

My own models are below.

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After completing all of these we’ll add them into the scene, creating the added mess to what we already have blocked out.

References

Antiquegamblingchips.com. (2016). 2 steel chip molds — casino and poker chip; Antique Gambling Chips. [online] Available at: http://www.antiquegamblingchips.com/steel_mold.htm [Accessed 1 Nov. 2016].

 

Hip Flask Modelling

While modelling the bottles, I thought it would be a good idea to include a hip flask into our designs. Hip flasks were traditionally made of pewter silver or even glass.

Having found a model on sketchfab of an mixed material flask- leather and metal- I thought this would be cool to replicate. When texturing the flask, I could use the same model and alter how it looks i.e. have one of mixed material, and as a more expensive model, and the other, banged up and old, made of just pewter silver.

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More of a fancier hip flask. (S-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com, 2016).

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Engravings on the hip flask make it look like a family heirloom- with a crest, I could replace this with a ranch name or brand.

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Something  a little more distressed gives a story behind the flask, it has been on a lot more journeys. Maybe adding an indent to make it look like bullet damage could give an idea of the danger of the life its owner lead. (Devonbuy.com, 2016).

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Old specimens. (Devonbuy.com, 2016).

Below is the model I created. I kept it fairly simple, and would really like to texture it.

 

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References

S-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. (2016). [online] Available at: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0f/d5/ba/0fd5baf57d737971e127357243ec4b20.jpg [Accessed 30 Oct. 2016].

Devonbuy.com. (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.devonbuy.com/wp-content/uploads/hip-flask-2.jpg [Accessed 30 Oct. 2016].

 

Blocking together the room

As most of us have finished our UV mapping today, we decided to start placing the main objects into our room, so that the walls could be added and the smaller cluttered objects later on.

We worked together- sharing the files through onedrive, placing were we thought certain things should go, and altering where these things may need placed based on our feedback.

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Adding the stuff together- making it look more like an actual scene.

So far we are very happy with how it is looking. We talked about maybe modelling different variations of the horns to add to the vibe that it is a saloon primarily used by cowboys.

We’ll have to wait until Monday to see how it will look once finished!

 

 

Visual Storytelling

Our task is to create a scene which has a narrative, although we already agreed on our overall theme of a bar brawl, I wanted to have a look at how we can ensure this narrative is obvious. Therefore, I looked into how this is created in film.

 

Human beings are unique creatures in the way that we are able to process information to create a story or narrative. Each day we are bombarded with the images we see; places people. But, in film, it is the manipulation of these images from information into a story.

Screenwriter Bill Wittliff, who wrote “The Perfect Storm” and “Legends of the Fall,” once said: “You do not want to explain to the audience, because that makes them observers. You want to reveal to them little by little, and that makes them participants, because then they experience the story in the same way the characters experience it.” 

That proves what this story telling it about- no words, telling the story solely through images. However, visual story telling does not just really on the eyes to guide us. It requires all 5 senses to aid the story itself- as we visualise and identify what is going on.

To create this, we have 4 main tools to use; Framing, Lighting, Camera Movement, and Editing.

Framing

Director Martin Scorsese-“Cinema is a matter of what is in the frame, and what is out.”

This is the most basic visual information that a director shows- what is in the frame and what is out. The artistic freedom creates the mood that is needed. For example; a tight framed shot can give the sense of mystery through confinement whereas a widely framed shot gives the feel of freedom.

Lighting (this may not apply in our current scene but it will later on)

A crucial element in visual storytelling, what is lit and not lit has a decision as to why. Lighting can create stark, contrast and shadows that can reveal the psychology of a character or even the genre of film. Lighting can force the audience to focus on whatever detail the filmmaker wants them to see. Colored light can indicate a character’s mood, the time of day, or even the theme of the film.

Camera Movement

The process of camera movement can change the tone drastically in film. Pans/tilts can give control of information reveal, creating mystery and building tension. Using a dolly to push in on a subject gives a more intimate feel. The point is to get the audience to be in the film, as if they are part of the story.

Editing

Visual storytelling does not end after a film wraps up. The editor must piece together the bits of video in an order that makes sense, responsible for how the story is conveyed to audiences. Most films are shot out of order, beginning with a scene from the end, then going back and working forward. The editor, along with the director, must know how all the parts fit together, and how they fit together in a way that serves the story best. The editing also effects the pacing of the story; the choices can do things like cause tension within the scene or building suspense or excitement, or reveal information to the viewer. (Medium, 2016).

Hitchcock talking about cutting in editing. (YouTube, 2016).

I found the video (below) also very useful when discussing visual storytelling. It talked about an effect called the Kuleshov Effect.

Visual storytelling. (YouTube, 2016).

The Kuleshov Effect

Russian film maker Lev Kuleshov (1899-1970) conducted the below experiment with audience members.

Watch the video and try the experiment. (YouTube, 2016).

He placed the same shot of a well known actor, cutting to slips of soup, a woman etc. Audiences in 1921 identified the expression of the actor as hungry, lustful etc despite the shot showing the same, bored looking face.

What does this actually mean, you ask? It shows that in film, the tone and meaning can both be controlled. This is based on two things; the material itself and the series in which the shots are sequenced and organised. They can be manipulated to create new meanings. Tell new stories.

Kuleshov effect explained by Hitchcock. (YouTube, 2016).

References

YouTube. (2016). Visual storytelling in film. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOM5QSvKejU [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Medium. (2016). Visual Storytelling in Film and Television. [online] Available at: https://medium.com/@ken.aguado/visual-storytelling-in-film-and-television-4f2d176c17cf#.493uhror1 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Hitchcock explains about CUTTING. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG0V7EVFZt4 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Kuleshov Effect / Effetto Kuleshov. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gGl3LJ7vHc [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). El efecto Kuleshov explicado por Alfred Hitchcock. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpxYzs8hj3A [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Significance of Western Saloons

As we re modelling a western saloon, I wanted to explore the historical significance behind these buildings. If found a quote that sums up basically what these structures were about;

Sometimes too much drink is barely enough- Mark Twain

These bars were already in existence in cities such as Taos, Sante Fe and New Mexico, known as Cantinas. They soon spread to the Americas, becoming popular in cities of labor communities as a place to unwind and drink. These were very different than our own perceptions of the buildings- usually tents thrown together for a few nights before workers or soldiers moved on.

The first place to become to hold the name saloon was Browns Hole on the Wyoming-Colerado-Utah border. It was popular during the fur trade era, opening in 1822. The establishment grew immensely, for example one existed in Santa Barbara (California) in 1848, but by 1850, there were 30 saloons in total. The type of clientele varied considerably on location;

  • Soldiers e.g. Bents Ford, Colorado
  • Miners e.g. Santa Barbara
  • Cowboys e.g. Dodge City Kansas

These saloons didn’t just appeal to the everyday folk, mainly single working men. They were used by many historical famous figures. George Washington said goodbye to his officers in the Fraunces Tavern in New York. Andrew Jackson planned his defence attack of New Orleans for the British by meeting Jean Lafitte in a grog shop. John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices planned President Lincoln’s assassination in the Surratt Tavern.

The drink in these bars was strong. Strong being an under exaggeration estimate, look at some of the combinations below;

  • Whiskey- raw alcohol, burnt sugar and chewing tobacco. It received names such as Tangle Foot, Forty- Rod, Red Eye and Coffin Varnish
  • Cactus Wine- a mix of tequila and peyote tea
  • Mule Skinner- whiskey and blackberry liquor

Drinking wasn’t the only pass time in these bars, gambling was also a common activity. Poker tables littered the rooms, card games like Faro and Brag were popular. Other games, three card monte and dice games were also player. These included high low, chuck a luck and grand hazard.

Regarding the interior of the saloon itself, this varies with the general industry and area that the saloon exists in.

In almost every  saloon, one could depend on seeing the long paneled bar, usually made of oak or mahogany, and polished to a splendid shine. Encircling the base of the bar would be a gleaming brass foot rail with a row of spittoons spaced along the floor next to the bar. Along the ledge, the saloon patron would find towels hanging so that they might wipe the beer suds from their mustaches. Most  saloons included some kind of gambling including such games as Chuck-A-Luck, Three-Card-Monte, Faro, and usually an on-going game of poker.

Decorations at these many saloons varied from place to place but most often reflected the ideals of the customers. In the cowtowns of the prairies, one might see steer horns, spurs, and saddles adorning the walls, while in the mountains, a customer would be met by the glazing eyes of taxidermied deer or elk. Often, there was the infamous nude painting of a woman hanging behind the bar.  (Legendsofamerica.com, 2016).

Our own bar, we decided, would be located in a cowtown or prairies, so therefore would need decoration such as antlers and other ornaments.

A really cheesy video on the western saloon history. Enjoy. (YouTube, 2016).

References

Legendsofamerica.com. (2016). Saloons of the Old West. [online] Available at: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-saloons.html [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Old West Saloons history. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW-UL90xMzw [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].

 

Inspiration- Looking at Sketchfab

Alec introduced us to Sketchfab and I had a look to see if I could find.

I found the below scene, after hunting through a large list of assets under the name Not_Lonely. The assets themselves were actually quite simple but are textured really well. I love the scene below, when the assets are put together they really give to that messy, cluttered atmosphere.

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The scenes together. (Not-lonely.com, 2016).

I really like the layout too here- maybe something to consider in our layout.

Hip Flask

Another thing that I looked into- this hip flask by playdagaimz. I really liked the textures in this flask- the crack leather and worn look to the hide and metal. I want to experiment texturing my own flask, if I get time.

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Barrels

I feel like I’m having a secret love affair with barrels. I liked the one below by Bababay. The grooves look sculptured into the mesh itself, something I may consider, given the problem I am having with UV mapping. Creating a simple cylinder as the base mesh would make this a lot easier than having to map each individual wooden beam.

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References

Not-lonely.com. (2016). HQ WESTERN SALOON. [online] Available at: http://not-lonely.com/assets/hq-western-saloon/ [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016].

UV Mapping- Who What When Where and Why

During this modelling task, we also had to UV map the objects in the scene.

I have never really UV mapped before, therefore, had to have a look into it.

I found really good series on Digital Tutors, which explained the basics behind UV mapping, and explained a bit about why we do it.

UV Mapping

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The UV Map- the process of bringing the 2D and 3D together.

So, UV mapping is the process of putting a texture from a 2D object onto a 3D one. It is the resolves between applying a texture in a 2D space, to one in a 3D space. UV’s act as a bridge between both 2D and 3D. In the maps themselves, each vertex is assigned one UV. The UVs themselves need to be evenly distributed, otherwise they show distortion. A way to check this, is by using a checker board texture (in Maya).

Another thing to keep in mind is the seams- or were the pieces of the UV map join together. These are normally kept somewhere they are hidden, or occur naturally, like on clothing.

Basics of UV Mapping

In the UV editor, there is a viewport. There is a U and a V direction in the part where the texture is displayed.

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The UV editor view.

The tutorial explained that the easiest way to map this cube, or simple objects like it, would be to cut along the seams and lay it out flat. Seams are the areas were the UVs are disconnected.

Planar Mapping

Planar maps are normally used when there are a lot of flat parts in an object. To do this technique, you would open the UV editor and select the options box on the planar mapping box. Selecting the faces you want to map, you then select which axis these faces lie along. In the options above you select the below if;

You are mapping an entire object- us bounding box

You are mapping just selected faces- select best plane

After the faces are mapped, then you have to fix the cubes until they are undistorted/ not stretched. Once this is complete, in the UV texture area, click on the corner of a few of the vertexes and shift select shell. You can now rotate it to the correct orientation in the UV texture editor, and scale it to fix the distortion.

In the example in the video, the locker object, there was some distortion in the way some of the UVs were laid out, at an awkward angle. For these, the axis to project would be “fit best plane.”

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Mapping awkward planes.

Any objects with square sides or regular shaping, you can select “keep width/height ratio.” This keeps the ratio to the area mapped.

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Spherical and Cylindrical Mapping

The example used to map here was a microphone. The tutorial started with the middle part, selecting the cylindrical map. Then, like before, adjust the size of the map so there is no distortion.

The top of the microphone used spherical mapping. It can be edited horizontally and vertically to achieve the correct UV map.

After this is the process of cleanup- cutting the geometry to ensure that the map isn’t smashed together.

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Cuts need to be made along the top of the map to prevent stretching.

Automatic Mapping

In the menu set for automatic mapping we have to focus on the planes, which the amount of projections used. Using 6- this makes it seem like a cube, a projection from each side.

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Selecting the right amount of planes.

One this is mapped, it should look like this. The next step it so rotate the pieces to the correct orientation. The next part will be to fix these pieces together, to form a better map.

Before concluding, the tutorial showed us what difference altering the plane number would have. Increasing to 12 created more shells, however, this would result in less of a distortion.

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The automatic map of the face.

Editting UV Layouts

To start laying out the UVs, we must shift select the shells and move them to the LHS of the UV editor. We then arrange some of the UVs that are easiest to recognise that fit together.

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Laying out the shells that obviously go together.

Instead of using the sew option (it stretches the UV) we have to use a different tool to join them to create the look below.

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 14.22.35.pngSewing shells together again.

Once the pieces are sewn together, there is a lot of overlap which occurs. This can be shown more clearly through going to Image- then selecting shade UVs. To stop this, you have to unfold the UVs.

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Overlapping UVs are evident.

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 14.34.08.pngUnfolding the UVs.

Continue this process of attaching the UVs and unfolding them, to remove the uneven spacing (shown in areas around the eyes).

Once this is completed it should look like this;

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Relax and Unfolding UV’s

Some of the UVs are not yet evenly spaced, and so we need to edit them further.

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In the relax UVs button, set max iterations to 5, and tick both the pin UVs and the pin borders boxes. Once applied, it evens out the UVs.

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I will use all these processes myself when UV mapping my own assets.

 

Modelling the Spectacles

I really liked the idea of creating  sub plots in our film, adding items to tell stories of the character who once occupied it- giving the feel that there was a community in the saloon. We had talked about the idea of a local drinker- always there and is as much furniture in the bar as he is a person.

I wanted to help recreate this- when Phoebe went to model her bar stools we talked and she modelled one that was slightly fancier than the rest. This would be the man’s (I’m going to call him Doc). This man would have been the person the townsfolk trusted in, for advice on just about anything. Therefore, he would have had his own risk of passage in the form of a drink.

To add to this, we decided to give him a few props, adding glasses, a book, a empty whiskey glass, to show he was of an intellectual background.

I went online to look for antique spectacles, and found a type I liked instantly. They had no legs so to speak, attaching solely through a chain, perching on the nose.

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The main image I used for reference, I liked the added details, including the turtle shell on the nose bridge. (PicClick CA, 2016).

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I liked the bridge at the top on these glasses, quite unusual. (PicClick CA, 2016).

Below is the unsmoothed version of the glasses I created. The team were happy with these, and I’m glad. Now to move on to the next thing…

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References

PicClick CA. (2016). Antique Pince Nez Eyeglasses Glasses Pinch Nose Spring Bridge Old Spectacles • CAD 42.28. [online] Available at: http://picclick.ca/Antique-Pince-Nez-Eyeglasses-Glasses-Pinch-Nose-Spring-191933554993.html [Accessed 21 Oct. 2016].