Ever since the first LEGO Star Wars game came out, I’ve been trying to make a 3D recreation of a LEGO minifig that has the same range of movement – bendable legs, arms, hands, that sort of thing. Then I found this custom LEGO model of a Dalek by Flickr user kaptainkobold. I thought “why not?” and with the help of the LDraw library (open source virtual LEGO pieces) made a virtual version.

The result was a homage to the Doctor wailing on a Dalek with a wrench in a recent episode:

The Daleks aren’t having much luck with serving tea, are they?



My first of many showreels, which will be shown at my final year exhibition this week. It includes a couple of bits of never-before-seen animation.

For some reason the video’s frame-rate has ended up as 22fps instead of 25. And yet it plays at the original speed. Odd.

Character Project

Just to show I have actually been doing something, here’s a progress report for my animation project. Visualisation will have to wait till I can get the stills from Ed (and after we’ve done this blummin’ presentation – am I the only who finds having one group doing Victorian architecture and another doing Industrial Revolution architecture (my group) to be a bit silly and redundant seeing as they’re around the same time period?).

I started off with this:


Didn’t get very far with modeling it as you can see, because it felt rather… safe? Uninspired? Anyway, I’ve filed it away for future use – I’m particularly fond of the rough sketch in the bottom left. I also quite liked the quick (and unfinished) speed paint I did:


But after watching Jojo in The Stars in our animation lecture last week, my brain took a decidedly weird turn, and I ended up creating this guy, who is now almost fully modelled.

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Things got odder when I found this little flash app called SCRIBBLER – which takes a drawing that you create in it and makes it scribbley (is that a word?).





I ended up playing around with it when I really should have gone to bed, and came up with these… things.


It’s like walking the pencil on steroids. And when I started to use some as a basis for extra designs, things got decidedly weird.


I’m starting to think my subconscious goal for this project is to see how much I can creep everyone out.


And this was me doodling when I should have been listening to the lecture yesterday afternoon. Although apparently they’ve proven that doodling actually helps you concentrate (not sure if it still works like that when your mind starts thinking about things like plot and visual style mind you). In case you’re wondering, they’re sized relatively except for the one on the far right.

Memo to self: Look at some other themes because this one is a bit on the narrow side.

Work Outside of Uni

Aside from the unsurprising amount of time I spent absorbing ridiculous amounts into my brain (damn you Wikipedia), I did do something constructive other than Uni work, if a bit sporadically.

Sorta surprised myself with just how much I pulled from my sketchbook and hard drive (memo to self – make list of stuff that needs revisiting).

Scattered amongst the dragons (hey give me a break, I hadn’t drawn any for ages) are some attempts at human figures – mainly Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, since there’s a popular concept from that series that won’t leave my brain alone (it’s from the fandom itself actually, but still annoyingly persistent) – and some sketches from an afternoon in the Arboretum next door to our Uni building; which reminded me that drawing animals is incredibly tricky since they won’t keep still. I may need to bribe the squirrels in future. With the dragon sketches, you can actually see one particular idea evolving – there are 3 sketches of the same subject; two are very similar (the computer doodle came first), one has a reworked composition.

There’s also the black and white beginnings of a map, which might be recognisable from my Showcase last year (I might post that again, I quite liked that map), and a very strange mash-up of Lemmings and Doctor Who – I drew a Lemming version of the 4th Doctor for a laugh, and now I’m working on the set.¬† I hope they won’t be too long with Matt Smith’s costume shots, because I need to work out how to make him a Lemming.

3D work was much of the same – the 3D minfig, of which there are two versions, one for full bones animation, the other being a virtual equivalent of a real one (I’ve inadvertently discovered WordPress’ weird way of handling galleries it seems, the images I wanted to post separately have been added to it. Oh well, you’ll just have to guess which is which from the thumbnails [good luck on that]), and a 3D Lemming. That last one was, honestly, purely for fun and done (mostly) in one afternoon. I amazed myself with how accurately I’d modelled it, because I was working purely from memory – I might rig it and see what I can do. A friend asked if I was going to make a 3D Lemming Doctor – one thing at a time mate.

Games Design Overview

Okay, finally got round to putting this on my blog – btw, posting the modules in alphabetical order wasn’t intended, it’s just that I haven’t got all the files for Visualisation on my mac (that’s the problem of working on two different platforms, it’s a nightmare keeping things synced).

Anyway, my game was called (imaginatively enough) Ragnarok, since I’d based it on Norse mythology. I ended up with a kind of hybrid between a card game and a board game, was certainly fun to make, if problematic in getting it to work.

So, here are the scans from my design journal (which I’d better be getting back at the start of term, there’s still 70 odd pages left in it to use up) and some photos of the final game (excuse the poor image quality, my camera phone lacks a decent macro mode). My game testing notes are notable by their absence, since I didn’t get a chance to scan them.

I did artwork for all 14 of the cards – and thereby broke my record for speedpainting, I hardly took more than an hour on each. The level of detail varies wildly, and in one instance the original version of the speed paint was lost after I hadn’t saved and turned off the mains extension by accident (don’t ask). In one of them I think I must have been channelling my mindset in the run up to the deadline, because it’s kinda unsettling. Also, my horse anatomy sucks. I’m seriously out of practice.

Visualisation¬† should be up later tonight, then I have some of the stuff I’ve been doing in my spare time in the past term.

Proving that I still know which way to hold a pencil.

I finally have done at least one painting video – but due to SnapzProX being insanely on processing the file and the fact it’s going to take nearly the same time as it did to paint this to import it into iMovie, you won’t see it till later today. Thankfully I was not impeded by my latest moment of clumsiness that almost resulted in broken fingers (good job I’m not left handed). I do have a lovely bruise and cut knuckle to show for it.

My geekiness knows no bounds, as I ended up painting a little Adipose from the first ep of the current series of Doctor Who (the cutest creature I’ve ever seen). Despite them being simle looking, they are not easy to paint (three false starts on this painting are testament to that). Having said that, the times for the two halves of the video add up to 90 minutes, so it’s officially my quickest time on completing a painting. I’ve also come to the conclusion that while I can’t seem to sketch for toffee with my tablet, I can block things out and ‘sculpt’ them brilliantly.

I’ve also been paying some attention to one of my personal projects, which is a fantasy setting (at risk of descending into Steampunk and turning into a train wreck if I don’t research that area properly and make sure it slots in) and decidedly dragon orientated. It’s the only thing I’m working that that features them so heavily, so ‘don’t deny me my whimsy’ as Hayley would say.

Most drawings for the different kinds currently inhabit my sketchbooks, but a couple have made their way into Painter, with this one being the most realised:

Ignore the patchy skin colour, I need to look at the workshop on Dinosaur concept art in ImagineFX and see how they did the skin texture (I really need to stop doing this from memory). There was a sketch reference for the head that can probably still be seen if you squint and tilt you head sideways.