Monday, 7 January 2013

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Intellectual Skills

"Investigate and synthesise visual research into the creation of original concepts"

The research for this module was based mainly around my own experiences from other video games, books and movies that had interesting and similar themes to my main ideas. The majority of the inspiration for any visual work I create comes from these sources and for this particular module I decided to mostly draw from science-fiction. The design and scope of games such as Halo and Deus Ex: Human Revolution have always been a huge influence in my work from their use of scale and futuristic technology. Halo in particular mixes the use of grand vistas and gigantic alien structures to create stunning areas the player wants to explore. It was this in particular that I drew from for the exterior design of the Alien Prison, seen mostly in the image below: 

For the interior pieces of the Alien Prison I took inspiration from the video game Manhunt, a dark third-person stealth game that relies on the use of shadows to progress through a game filled with psychopaths. The design of the areas within this game were incredibly similar to the look and feel I had in mind for the interiors of the Alien Prison, taking influence from the rusting, derelict and decrepit buildings, hospitals and cells that the player must explore.

For the character based work within this module I decided to design my Alien Prisoner designs around humanoid versions of animals. For this I looked into various internet and book sources to gather enough information and inspiration to create three different ideas based on a fish, wolf and reptilian creature. From this I changed and morphed these characters to suit a humanoid form, something which I now feel I could have taken further with more iterative design work. I took a similar approach with the design for the Head Warden of the Alien Prison, basing my research for the character off real-life insane asylum doctor's and mixing the uniform and props of prison officers. For this I also took costume inspiration from science-fiction films such as Moon as I felt the sleek and utilitarian design of both the set and the characters would be a great juxtaposition against the ruined and dirty environmental areas. 

"Evaluate and defend own work in the context of contemporary practice"

Immediately I feel the strongest pieces of work lie in the environmental side of my module work because of the lack of time and experience spent in comparison to the character design of my artwork. While I have loved the challenge of creating character design based work I know that it is distinctly lacking the drive behind it that I put to my environmental pieces. 

With the pieces of environmental art that I did create for this module I feel I have learnt a valuable lesson which can be applied to all aspects of character design, the importance of visual clues and representation that would hint and tell the viewer what exactly they were looking at. This is something I tend to forget and give up trying to push my work to that next detailed level. This was a great thing to realise at such an early time in my work for character design as I can hopefully apply this to all areas of my work from now on. 

The successes I feel in my purely character work lie mostly in the progress I feel I have taken. Not one piece in particular jumps out to me personally as a stand-out success, instead I feel certain aspects of the work that I have created for this (and my other two modules) talks for themselves in where I feel my character work is at the moment. The iterative process of the Alien Prisoners is one the biggest parts of this module that I feel there has been a distinct progression from very poor sketches to a much more presentable style that could be improved. In comparison to professional artwork in the games or film industry at the moment I feel that I have much to learn. However the positive side to this is that I now know what I need to do to improve. The basics of character design, such that I have looked into in LO1, have been set out to me and much like my learning process with environmental artwork, I must study and practice as much as possible to create more successful pieces in the future.

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