Week 1 Reflection – Aims for the term ahead

GAM 701:

21/09/20

Task 1: ‘Create a gif of your avatar using items around your house.’

Initially, I thought this was a very exciting and fun task! In my spare time I have been watching a British show called Taskmaster. This assignment felt reminiscent of the tasks set in the show, so I was excited to do this straight away!

For my gif, I wanted to incorporate my interests and convey my personality. As I am a light-hearted person, I wanted to make a funny gif to communicate this aspect of me! I chose to include a frog statue that I had picked up at a charity store last summer, since I love frogs, and it felt like a strong centerpiece. I surrounded the frog with various potted indoor plants to create an environment that was more suited to a frog.

After doing this I found that some interesting shadows were created from the leaves, which I believe made the composition of my gif even more interesting and dynamic! To incorporate movement and humour into my gif, I used many of the worms on a string I own. (Worm on a String, 2017) I decided to drag them around the base of the frog statue to create a ‘wormpool’ effect, pun very much intended.

I created this gif using the stop-motion animation technique. In this technique photographs are taken to capture each frame at a time, and physical items are moved between frames. (Systems, 2019) I took photos as I adjusted the worms a few centimeters each time, and the worms made two laps in total around the statue before resting in a pile at the base.

After taking a total of 32 photos I uploaded these to ezgif.com/maker, adjusting the delay between images to my liking so that the gif felt well-paced and not clunky, but also not too fast that it was disorientating. After I was happy, I saved the gif and then uploaded it to giphy.com and submitted it to the learning space padlet!

Here is my finished gif!

https://media.giphy.com/media/tDFB7QyywNvwpxMhBw/giphy.gif

My finished gif! ‘Wormpool’.

I found this task to be a fun and quick thing to do to get me used to university work again, and it propelled me onto completing the other tasks assigned, such as creating this blog!

References:

knowyourmeme.com. 2017. Worm On A String. [online] Available at: <https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/worm-on-a-string> [Accessed 21 September 2020].

Systems, D., 2019. Introduction To Stop Motion Animation – Dragonframe. [online] Dragonframe. Available at: <https://www.dragonframe.com/introduction-stop-motion-animation/> [Accessed 27 September 2020].

Task 2 – Write a written reflection on ‘What themes and skills do you think you will need to focus on during your Masters and how do you think it might change your work?’

  • What? – descriptive, the facts, what is it?
  • So what? – shift from descriptive to interpretive. The meaning of the problem for you, the feelings involved, lessons learned
  • Now what? – contextual, seeing this issue’s place in the big picture apply insight into the future of this situation. How will it change you and your work.

During masters I would like to focus on 2D Character Concept Art and improving my storytelling technique through these characters. I want to be able to concept unique and interesting characters, which people can feel representation from.

Craig Elliot’s ‘Intro to Female Anatomy’.

To do this, I know I will need to improve my anatomy knowledge, something which I have always found daunting. However, recently I have taken steps into learning more, by watching an Artstation tutorial by Craig Elliot called ‘Intro to Female Anatomy’. (Artstation Learning, 2020) This was very informative, and I learnt a lot in only two hours. I believe previously I had just not sought out the correct kind of material to help me learn.

Moving forward, I will watch more videos like this from professionals as I have found that I learn a lot through videos. To accompany this, I will also practice anatomical drawing myself, using resources such as line-of-action.com and reference.sketchdaily.net.

In order to include representation of minorities in my art, I will seek out unique references and do as much research as I can to make my work accurate and respectful. I believe that through this research and practice I will become a much more accomplished and confident 2D Character Artist.

Freddy Ulate’s ‘Improving My Gestures’ Post.

Additionally, I am also interested in conveying personality through my work, as a way of storytelling, so I will also be paying attention to improving my gestures, following advice originally given by Alex Woo, which I first discovered here: https://medium.com/@freddyulate/gestures-5144585e5b2d (Ulate, 2016).

In my opinion, this will bring an extra level of interest to my artwork, whilst also incorporating the anatomy knowledge I will pick up throughout the year. Interestingly, I found that after submitting this response to this task on the padlet that I immediately started to compare myself with my peers. This made me feel less confident about what I was concerned with improving this year, and made me wonder whether it was enough, or if I could have thought more carefully.

Although I believe that this is a negative line of thought to go down, I do acknowledge that it also encourages me to improve and deepen my reflections about myself. I will try to redirect my feelings towards compare myself to others down the direction of self-improvement rather that berating myself.

After watching the `Thinking in Circles – Reflective Practice’ Module Introduction lecture on Learning Space, I learnt about the various Learning Domains proposed by Benjamin Bloom and a group of researchers in 1956. (Hogue, 2017) This deepened my understanding of the areas in which I learn, and the domains I am best at, such as the Interpersonal Domain. However, it also made me realise the domains which I am weaker at, and practice less, such as the Psychomotor Domain. This relates to the acquisition of skill through physical or manual processes. I believe that I struggle with practicing the skills I have picked up by watching or attending lectures, and need to increase how frequently I practice my art.

This will be another skill I will need to focus on during Masters and to do this I will make sure to practice my art as frequently as possible, whether it be my own personal work, some quick doodles/studies, or coursework. I will work towards developing a plan every week which allows time to practice my skills, while also keeping up with reading materials that the Masters’ course demands.

References:

Artstation Learning, 2020. Intro To Female Anatomy. Available at: <https://www.artstation.com/learning/courses/bk/intro-to-female-anatomy> [Accessed 15 September 2020].

Ulate, F., 2016. Improving My Gestures. [online] Medium.com. Available at: <https://medium.com/@freddyulate/gestures-5144585e5b2d> [Accessed 16 September 2020].

Hogue, M., 2017. (PDF) Three Domains Of Learning: Cognitive, Affective And Psychomotor. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330811334_Three_Domains_of_Learning_Cognitive_Affective_and_Psychomotor#:~:text=The%20domains%20of%20learning%20can,Bloom%20along%20with%20in%201956.> [Accessed 24 September 2020].

GART702

22/09/20

Today we had our GART702 introduction – I am excited to start. I need to come up with 2-3 concepts for a Hero Asset. I have chosen to develop a 2D Character Concept. I tend to settle on my first idea, so I believe that it is a good idea to come up with multiple options before settling. Additionally, it will be interesting to get feedback from others about my ideas, as this will broaden my viewpoint as I will see which concepts are more well-received than others and why this is the case.

I have started by looking into some of the suggested material relating to the presentation of concept art, such as fzdschool.com. Although it is early, I was able to gather some inspiration about how I may present my work at the end of the term, and this gave me ideas of the benchmark quality of presentation I should be heading towards.

Similarly, during the final year of my BA (Hons) Game Art course I curated an Artstation folder called ‘Benchmark’ where I stored various pieces of work that not only inspired me, but was also at a standard I wanted to strive towards. I will be referencing pieces from this throughout the year as a reminder of the quality of work I would like to produce.

Jenny Harder’s ‘Designing Characters with Personality and Expression’ Artstation Lesson.

Alongside this, in terms of scoping and time-scale, I will also be referencing an Artstation tutorial ‘Designing Characters with Personality and Expression’ by Jenny Harder, as this was a very useful lesson on how to manage my time and skill. (Artstation Learning, 2020)

Additionally, I have began building up my Pinterest boards in preparation to gather reference and curate mood boards.

Finally, I also came up with a plan on how to spend the rest of my weekdays this week. We do not have anymore lectures this week, so I thought it was imperative that I planned out the rest of my week, so I had clear tasks and structure to follow. This was to ensure I kept on top of work, and ensure that I have time for my own personal work and time to rest.

The plan which is pinned up above my desk on a corkboard!

Plan breakdown:

Wednesday

  • Reference gathering
  • Blog work. Summarise feelings.

Thursday

  • Go through learning space work

Friday

  • GART focus – Reference and moodboard building
  • Flesh out ideas

I plan to dedicate Saturday to personal work, and Sundays for rest. I am aware that throughout the year that my plans will fluctuate (as evidenced by me posting this on Sunday haha) and this is natural, but hopefully having weekly plans like this will encourage me to keep on top of work as much as possible.  

I want to keep Wednesday as a primarily blog writing day as this will give me a nice break from art in the middle of the week. It is also a good point to assess my thoughts from over the weekend which would have developed while not focusing specifically on university work.

References:

Artstation Learning, 2020. Designing Characters With Personality And Expression. Available at: <https://www.artstation.com/learning/courses/pDK/designing-characters-with-personality-and-expression> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

Posts so far:

Week 1 Reflection

Week 2 Reflection

Week 3 Reflection

Week 4 Reflection

Week 5 Reflection

Week 6 Reflection

Week 7 Reflection

Week 8 Reflection

Week 9 Reflection

Week 10 Reflection

Week 11 Reflection

Week 12 Reflection

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