Obstance Course: Project Initiation / Research

Chosen character: Bugs Bunny

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Evolution of BUGS BUNNY (1940-1990). Retrieved from

Early era Bugs Bunny was delineated by the cartoon styles of the 30’s and 40’s age, reminiscent of the walk cycles of the then-defining Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released in the late 30’s (1937). Barrier writes, “His Disney pedigree was evident in his contour, an awkward merger of the lean and streamlined Max Hare of The Tortoise and the Hare and the round, soft bunnies that Thorson had drawn for Little Hiawatha,” (2003, pg. 361).

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With the release of A Wild Hare in the July of 1940, the iconic style and movement of Bugs Bunny finally solidified as the precursor for the modern version seen in revamped versions of the Looney Toons franchise.

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Porky’s Hare Hunt (1938) is noted as one of the first iterations of Bugs Bunny, then-nameless. Whilst the rabbit in this film is “a rural buffoon: very loud and oppressively zany…He is somewhat magical, as if he were a magician’s white rabbit: he pulls himself out of a hat…” (Barrier, M., 2003, pg. 359), he evolves into a much cooler, graceful and controlled character, other “far more insinuating,” (pg. 360), “stand[ing] more nearly straight and is sleeker and trimmer,” (pg. 361).

His upright saunter, run and walk is a stark contrast from the swagger present in his older iterations. His running cycle mimics the following walk cycle demo; although with variants to his arm position depending on the cinematic and situation Bugs is presented in.

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Retrieved from http://www.theugandatoday.com/life-hack/2016/12/10-master-principles-of-animation/

In most examples, his arms remain upright and outstretched when being pursued by an adversary. It could be possible to incorporate this into the project; to give Bugs a “reason” to be running / escaping through the obstacle course.

Wells (2013) writes of several iconic Bugs Bunny gestures:

Bugs Bunny’s laconic sense of superiority is established by his carrot-munching proposition, ‘What’s up, doc?’, or his call-to-arms when his current adversary temporarily gains the upper hand and he confirms: ‘You realise, this means war!’ (pg. 39)

It could also be possible to incorporate Bugs’ tendency to “break the fourth wall,” as many of his sequences play “directly to the audience, wink[ing] at them, and call[ing] them to witness his embarrassment, but does not shrink from asides,” (Bazin, A. as cited in Furniss, M., 2009, pg. 67).

Other potential movements aside from typical running and walk cycles can include:

  • Jumping into a rabbit hole
  • Saunter / slow dance cycle
  • Sliding (particularly down the “ramp” area of the obstacle course
  • Idle motions (e.g. classic chewing of the carrot).

Thumbnails:

Obstacle Course A:

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Overall:

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Obstacle Course B:

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Overall:

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References used:

Barrier, M. (2003) Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from

Wells, P. (2013) Understanding Animation (Second Ed.). Routledge. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books?id=tkEYAgAAQBAJ&dq=bugs+bunny+animation+technique&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Furniss, M. (2009) Animation: Art and Industry. Indiana University Press. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/saemulti/detail.action?docID=1977963

Other resources / videos:
Model Sheets / Stylistic guide:

 

Feedback:

  • Improved idle animations (e.g. thinking, tapping feet, chewing on carrot)
  • Delay more before acting
  • Exaggerate animation (particularly jumping sequence at the end)

Will most likely be using obstacle course A for the final animation.

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Aftermath: Post Mortem

For this project, an assigned group were tasked with creating a small-time interactive environment, rendered in real-time, following the basis of the narrative; utilising an iterative, modular workflow as established in the bootcamp project previously undertaken. This environment, moderated and reiterated upon with the addition of lecturer feedback, takes into account an aesthetic established during the pre-production stages to maintain a recognizable style consistent throughout the entire project.


1     Personal Contribution

1.A     Pre-Production

As some team members were unavailable partially for the duration of the pre-production stage, I assembled the major aspects of this phase. This mainly included the outline of the Work Breakdown Structure, elements of the Operations document, the Work Breakdown Structure, the environment and story description, team ethos , risk management, updating the trello board with a few resources and preliminary project research (detailing modular asset/construction workflow, modelling techniques, whilst another team member researched the dimensions), in addition to compiling the visual influences that had been gathered by other team members into mood boards (all files with the prefix moodboard_.png).

Compiled mood boards

Other additions include environmental concept images, the presentation layout for the pitch meeting (and subsequent updates), first pass on the Gantt chart, more recent updates on the pre-production documents (e.g. Operations) and sole compiling of the art bible.

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Environmental concept images.

For the layout iterations, the team decided to each do a first pass on their take of the environment space, before coming together and iterating on a final version to be incorporated into the final pre-production documents.

My first and second layout iterations.

For the final level layout, I iterated on my second bar layout and, combining the feedback from other group members, used this as the final pass, included in the art bible and presentation.

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1.2     Production

For the beginning of the production stage, I sequenced and rendered the Pre-Vis Showcase video.

My primary contribution to the production stages were a series of assets that expanded on the modular kit first established by the pre-vis / greybox stages.

As adhering to the stylistic guide, we chose to implement a series of pipeworks distributed throughout the level. I made the base modular kit, including modelling, unwrapping and texturing.

Some implementation within the level; basic albedo texturing within 3Ds Max.

Other modular assets include the bar stools, tables, booth table and lights. For the bar stools in particular, we determined that their placement in the level was far too uniform for an aftermath scene, especially when considering the narrative put in place. To remedy this, I made several variations of the same model; bent out of shape.

For the light assets, I originally had planned to employ three lighting variants to the level. However, due to shifting priorities and time constraints, it was determined that my time would be better spent focused on the creation of other assets.

Modular kit kitchen used for the back room. Several assets (namely the shelving) were reused .

For smaller, more detailed assets, I contributed a series of “propaganda” posters to be distributed throughout the external area of the level, variants of an alpha graffiti plane and various iterations of bottle and glass assets used for the area behind the bar.

Several examples of the textured posters & their implementation within the level.

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Wireframe of several bottle and glass assets. As there was a pre-constructed glass master material, I did not need to texture the glass assets.

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Bottle assets. Modelled and textured.
Implementation within the level.

I implemented all the audio aspects of the level, and found all audio resources (bar the Jukebox music, which was an addition provided by an audio student). In addition to adjusting each attentuation radius and placement, I provided blueprints of several audio triggers which occur when a player overlaps the designated radius.

To prevent the heavy external fog from leaking into the building once the player has entered, I constructed a blueprint to reduce the fog density.

The robot animation, as well as its assorted blueprint. This animation, after being exported alongside the skeletal mesh, was linked to a blueprint and box trigger for when the player entered the last area of the level. As the animation was completed prior to the addition of sound, the audio cue was matched after its implementation. (Detailed in the final product showcase; ending sequence; 1:36).

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Although I had originally planned to create refined particle systems for steam bursts, the bar tap “flow” and a steady drip for the sink in the backroom. As I discovered earlier on, (using a modified drip particle system) dense particles tend to look a bit tacky. tapparticles

As another team member was also receiving errors with their end of the task (unable to import bar tap animations) we scrapped that idea and focused on other areas of the project.

The hero asset that I focused on throughout the duration of this project was the Jukebox. A blueprint was assigned to this asset so that distorted audio played once the player entered a certain radius.

A modified instance of the hologram material was used to create the “error” screen on the jukebox and the trim; which was placed around the lowered ceiling on the bar (detailed below)

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2     Reflection

2.1     Project Management and Teamwork

The majority of the production stages were of the positive sort. Bar one team member, we all communicated regularly and effectively on the Slack channel, with various status updates. The bulk of the project was a smooth experience, with multiple daily updates between team members, during and outside of class time. The high level of communication allowed for changing circumstances to be noted and accommodated for as per requirements.

Assets and other tasks were completed to a high standard, mirrored by the three main group members. We were able to reallocate and change the duration of tasks as necessitated, and group members were happy to accept new tasks.  The dedication demonstrated by team members meant that, even with later complications, the level was completed to a very high standard.

The primary obstacle during this process was being restricted to singular use of the master file, particularly during the later stages of the project. Although we had the luxury of simply having one member importing then-assets and uploading the project during their allocated time, as we progressed, more important aspects (e.g. lighting; triggers; audio) were assigned to specific members and could only be completed once the member with the most current version of the file had uploaded the file. With the complications mentioned above, and being pressed for time, the last few days of the project prior to the final test were hectic, and did not reflect well on the time management skills of the group. Although the time management of the first few weeks was of a high standard, it did waver towards the end of the project. If we had maintained the same ethic throughout, it is possible that many of the intense final days would have been less so. In the future, we will endeavour to plan more elements in advance, as well as allowing for fallback / additional times if the circumstances arise.

At one point there was an error regarding the upload / download of the master file, and after I had passed the most updated version onto the next team member so they could handle the lighting, we unfortunately found that all my implemented audio had been erased from the level. To stay on schedule for the incoming final presentation, I stayed up reimporting all the sounds, etc. We have not yet determined what error caused this (unlikely to be a user error, as the member made an effort to redownload the entirety of the master file) but it is assumed to be an error with Google Drive, as we have had similar, smaller incidents mirroring it in the past. It would be possible to remedy this by using an alternate method of uploading / downloading files, perhaps an alternate site, etc., but, as it was a requirement to use Google Drive, it is unlikely we would have been able to.

Another flaw in the organization of the project was poor management of where the bulk of our energy was directed towards. Although everything required was completed, certain desirables of the project were not implemented in time (namely the bar tap trigger, implementation of first person mode). This level had a stark amount of attention-to-detail, particularly regarding the numerous variations of bottles, etc. which were all textured separately. It could be argued that the time spent on these meticulous tasks could have been better spent working on other areas of the project (most notably FP view). Once again, this could have been remedied by allowing for more fallback time.

Unfortunately, due to some technical errors (associated with the packaging of the .exe file, and receiving unknown errors (later fixed with the help of a lecturer)) the team member with the most current copy of the master file was unable to package the project and upload it where other team members could access it (mainly due to slow internet and uploads being interrupted).

One concern for the project was the lack of solid contribution by a particular group member. Unfortunately, even with the assigned assets, many aspects rendered the models unusable within the level (improperly scaled, unable to be unwrapped due to overlapping / complex UVs, textures not on par with the rest of the assets). Even when assigned alternate tasks, such as texturing (as modelling was not their strong point) textures were exported using the wrong format and could not be used, in addition to poor textures that were not appropriate for the assets provided. Other group members, including myself, had to remodel and retexture these assets, which put a strain on time that could have been used to complete other tasks.

Aside from that one hiccup, the other group members contributed an enormous amount to the product. Although I contributed many assets and tasks, there is always room for improvement, and it is likely that I could have maintained a larger workload than already allocated.

2.2     Plans and Pitches

The project management system was a primary aspect of keeping a consistent approach throughout the duration of the project. This structured method proved an effectual way of keeping track of current tasks, as well as being able to look at the bulk of the project from afar to determine which elements of the project needed attention. The Trello board app was a step up from the previous Kanbanchi app, with more accessibility, etc. The app allowed for team members to track and update their current status on tasks, etc. in real time, which not only helped to track personal progress but also allowed other members to note what stages they were at.

Even though the Gantt chart was a requirement of the pre-production stage, we found that the Trello board was all that was needed to keep track of the assigned tasks. We allowed for “back-log” columns, and in many cases, planned the estimated completion of tasks ahead of time (though not officially recorded).

During the first pitch, although we had a solid foundation of the intentions of the project, as well as an extensive pre-production document assortment, it is possible that it could have been communicated better. Although well-prepared, many aspects of the presentation (mainly speaking elements) were spontaneous and could have been approached with more care had we been provided with more time to review changes & assign speaking roles.

Because of this solid foundation, the team did not venture too much from the original vision of the project, rather adding and modifying the level when given feedback, etc. to create a more completed version by the end of the project duration. We maintained stylistic consistencies and narrative, only adding to what was already planned.

The play-testing stage, however, proved a much better “pitch.” With the actual level constructed, volunteers were given the ability to play through the level and assess its current status and provide feedback. The majority of the feedback received was positive, and most players could understand elements of the narrative. Other feedback, particularly related to the design and atmosphere were taken into account and later implemented during the production stages.

Due to an external error, we did not have enough time to set up the VR, and thus we had to simulate the environment and fly around in the Unreal Engine. It is likely that the level might have had a better reception had we allocated time to set up. The showcase method also unfortunately did not allow for triggers (mainly audio) to be displayed (as this was a solely VR project, we could not simulate the environment in first person).

3     Conclusion

Even with setbacks and time constraints, the team collaborated to a high enough standard that we were able to produce a level adhering to the majority of project requirements. The project management system, which was expanded upon from the previous trimester, allowed for a structured, efficient approach to many tasks. In hindsight, certain aspects of the project could have been improved upon / implemented had we allowed for more time or had an additional team member. Overall, given the circumstances, most team members collaborated efficiently to produce the final product.

Aftermath Bootcamp Project

For this project, we were required, in addition to establishing the basics of an iterative, modular workflow, to create and moderate a simple environment in Unreal Engine to familiarise ourselves with the basics of our future Studio project.

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The modular workflow for environment modelling and construction is to maximise usability of minimum amounts of assets and textures. This pipeline relies heavily on working in iterations and prefabrication options so that a variety of ideas can be explored before the final construction during level assembly (Mader, 2005).

Much of this workflow is dedicated to pre-production, with categories of textures and assets decided during this stage. This is to ensure that pieces can be repeated and prevents errors further on in the pipeline.
Pieces of the pre-fab kit are regularly exported to the editor early on in the workflow, before texturing etc.,  to ensure aspects such as composition, overall form, ease of use and repetition comply to the project brief (Klafke, n.d.). These pieces consist of modular assets that can be repeated and may be accompanied by accessory or “hero” assets later on in the pipeline.

For ease of use, projects must adhere to a specified file structure. For this Bootcamp project, we adhered to the following:

    • _FBX Exports
    • _Modular Kit Working
    • _References
      • Pureref File
      • Other images as required
    • _Textures
      • Working
      • Finished
    • _UE4 Project

The master material technique allows the “master” shader to cover a variety of shader attributes (most commonly normal, albedo, ambient occlusion, metalness, roughness, and allows the user to swap out maps in material instances rather than recreating similar materials everytime a new one is required.

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Example of a master material and common shader attributes.

In complex projects, a number of master shaders may need to be created for materials instances needing new functions.

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Additional master material for more complex objects.

Albedo, more commonly referred to as a colour or diffuse map, defines the colour of diffused light, and is commonly paired with an ambient occulsion map (Wilson, 2015) (which dictates the intensity of light shining on a particular surface).

Normal mapping is almost universal in the 3D modelling scene, particularly for projects made specifically for game engines. Rather than relying on a high-poly count for resolution, normal map creates the illusion of extra detail on the surface of an object. The surface normals provide the application with shading information conveyed using RBG information (Pluralsight, 2014).

In addition to the most common shader attributes, I incorporated an emissive material as an alternative to area lights. Emissive materials emit light across the surface area of static geometry within the scene; which suited my current project, since the majority of the geometry within the Bootcamp scene was also static. Emmissive materials serve as an alternative to area lights, contributing to bounced light accorss the entire scene (Unity, 2017).

Works Cited

Klafke, T. (n.d.) Creating Modular Environments in UDK. Retrieved from http://www.thiagoklafke.com/modularenvironments.html

Pluralsight (2014) Eliminate Texture Confusion: Bump, Normal and Displacement Maps. Retrieved from https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/bump-normal-and-displacement-maps

Mader, P. (2005) Creating Modular Game Art For Fast Level Design. Retrieved from https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130885/creating_modular_game_art_for_fast_.php

Unity (2017) Emissive Materials. Retrieved from https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/topics/graphics/emissive-materials

Wilson, J. (2015) Physically-Based Rendering, And You Can Too! Retrieved from https://www.marmoset.co/posts/physically-based-rendering-and-you-can-too/

Project Initation Report

 

For this specialisation project I want to direct my efforts towards organic modelling, specifically humanoid and / or character modelling as an extension of my work from previous trimesters. This high-quality organic character model will be constructed using a modern character pipeline, with emphasis on digital sculpting and use of physically-based rendered materials.

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Visual examples of project goals.

  1. Gromokovskaya, I. (2017) Fishermen. Retrieved from https://www.artstation.com/artwork/EWG1v
  2. Zabala, R. (2015) Cartoon Troll. Retrieved from https://www.artstation.com/artwork/6wPQ5
  3. Gillet, L. R. (2015) AURECH. Retrieved from https://www.artstation.com/artwork/1wr8X
  4. Saint-Martin, B. R. (2017) Stylised Body Basemesh. Retrieved from https://www.artstation.com/artwork/AKK6X 

The bulk of my in-depth research for this project will be focused towards topics that accompany organic modelling. More specifically, I aim to alternate between high-poly sculpting (as noted in the pipeline), texture pipelines (baking, creation, etc.) and lighting and presentation if the time allows.


Current Skillset

Prior to attending SAE for a Bachelor of Animation, my main passion was creating character concepts (specialising in humans, humanoids, anthromorphic, etc.) for my own original projects. Although I am still far from a professional level I have mastered my own style of character / art design to a degree that I’m content with.

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Star Wars Character Concept. 12th September 2017.

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Original character concept. 17th July 2017.

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Character concept for potential webcomic project. 8th June 2017.

As the majority of my personal art is directed towards similar ventures in concept / character design, further exploring concept art as a specialisation would likely rob me of the opportunity to improve in other areas I struggle with, namely 3D character modelling or UV mapping.

 

 

Similarly, I have taken some of my personal time to delve into digital painting techniques, and have already secured many of the fundamentals. I mainly need to practise and hone these skills rather than consistently seek out resources to help aid the process.

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11th September 2017.


Goals for this project

Over the course of the next few weeks I have set some specific goals that pertain both to my interest as improving as an artist and to ensure quality of the final product. 

The quality of textures was a major downfall in my first and previous character model. Due to personal circumstances, the textures themselves were sub-par and only relied on an albedo channel. During this project I hope to expand on previous knowledge gathered and apply different channels when needed. If possible, I hope to apply digital painting knowledge in order to enhance facial features (and perhaps other areas of the model).

During the first two trimesters our standard program was 3Ds Max, and although it makes for a great basic program for specialising in hard surface / environmental assets, I would like to expand investigate a modern pipeline route of character modelling: digital sculpting. During my preliminary research I found that three main popular sculpting programs, Blender, Mudbox and Zbrush were common amongst artists and industry professionals. As for a set goal, I aim to increase my familiarity with at least one of these programs and create the majority of my character model within it.

Although I aim to be as diverse as possible with my skillset, for this specialisation course I want to pursue my interest in stylised character modelling, if possible.

To achieve these goals, my main aims are:

  • To enhance the model, in addition to relying on maps generated by Quixel, Substance painter, etc. I aim to learn how to enhance normal maps manually, especially when regarding the face of a character model.
  • Expand on my current skills as an artist and focus on dynamic turn-around sheets rather than my usual forward-facing reference sheets.
  • Further research use of physically based rendering and texturing within character modelling and its wider application within the animation industry.
  • Become knowledgeable on my chosen program; utilising provided literary resources, as well as PluralSight and Lynda online tutorials.
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Visual style example references. Use of PBR shading noted.

Sources:

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/8dEEm
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/2xzbK
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/md5ad
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/o9AZW
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/B2B8r
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/aGm52
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/xvlEY


Preliminary Research

Sculpting Pipeline
Although it would be natural to assume that the character modelling pipeline would be an identical copy of the ones made use of in previous trimesters, with the addition of sculpting the process changes slightly.

In the modelling pipeline as described by Tironeac (2013), the first pass before sculpting is to create a low-poly base model with good starting topology to then be expanded on for higher poly sculpting within the chosen program. During this stage, it is useful to implement image planes within 3Ds Max to block out the main shapes within the character’s form, mainly with basic primitives and stitching, allowing for a more solid look at the character’s proportions and may outline any changes to be made during the early stages (Ward, 2011).

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After then importing the mesh into the program (in his example, Zbrush) to be converted into polymeshes, as within Zbrush only meshes of this kind can be sculpted.

The main methods of sculpting from this point forward are generally restricted to four key tools, namely 3D brushes (categories include sculpting, smoothing, etc. and are open for customisation), masking (to create details and mesh subcomponents) and deformation (Tironeac, 2013).

*If this project was catered towards a game engine, it is likely that the artist will have to convert the model back to a low-poly standard for game use. To retain the look of the high poly model, a normal map with the impression of the high poly model is baked onto the lower poly model to adhere to game engine parameters.

Physically Based Rendering
For this project, the incorporation of Physically Based Rendering, or PBR, is suggested. This rendering / shading technique allows for a hyper-realistic representation of light interaction when compared to standard rendering (McDermott as cited in Sketchfab, 2017).

PBR extends on common shader functions such as the following:

  • Diffusion and reflection (reflective light and scattered light (external and external)
  • Translucency and transparency (further taking into account the width of the object, e.g. if thin enough objects can have light scatter out the back and can be almost entirely transparent)
  • Energy conservation
  • Metals (takes into account physical properties; such as electrical conductivity (which influences reflectivity), etc.)
  • Fresnel (refers to differing reflectivity dependant on the angle)
  • Microsurfaces (real-world surfaces have imperfections, flaws to prevent uniform surfaces)

(Russell, 2015).


Potential sources for further investigation:

Project

Video Sources:

Literary Sources:

Internet Sources:

PluralSight / Lynda Tutorials:

Research Topics


Works cited

  1. Tironeac, G. (2013) The Pipeline Behind Modelling and Animating a Game Character in Zelgor. Retrieved from https://assist-software.net/blog/pipeline-behind-modeling-and-animating-game-character-zelgor
  2. Ward, A. (2011) How to create character models for games: 18 top tips. Retrieved from http://www.creativebloq.com/how-create-character-models-games-18-top-tips-9113050
  3. Sketchfab (2017) Materials (PBR). Retrieved from https://help.sketchfab.com/hc/en-us/articles/204429595-Materials-PBR?utm_source=website&utm_campaign=pbr_landing#general

Russell, J. (2015) Basic Theory of Physically-Based Rendering. Retrieved from https://www.marmoset.co/posts/basic-theory-of-physically-based-rendering/  

Social Networking as a Creative Media Specialist

When I first began my artistic networking as a young artist several years ago, it kickstarted a calling that has brought me to formally pursue a career in the creative sector. Moreso than simply a means of communication; social networking is first and foremost a universal market space for media consumption.

After generating enough interest to build a relatively minor audience; I opened services and commissions – and to my own surprise, people were interested. Although the side income was still relatively sparse, reaching out onto a media platform actively changed my role from just “artist” to “paid artist.”

My own experience is reflected by other studies, such as a 2017 report by PwC’s Strategy – revealing that the growth in digital content has led to the “emergence of a cultural renaissance” – promoting growth in digital creative sectors. Furthermore, there has been an increased consumption of both traditional and digital creative media, “almost entirely due to the internet,” with more time dedicated to the industry, according to the same report. Australia is a particularly special case; with an annual increase of 11% of average hours spent consuming media between 2011 and 2013.

Whilst it is a common misconception that consumers favour traditional art, sales of digital art reveal quite the opposite; with emerging artists reaping the benefits. The trending growth of creative occupations, according to Professors such as Stuart Cunningham, is being propelled by the wider digitalisation of creative economic sectors: “Australia’s creative services are mainstream, thoroughly embedded across the economy, and growing rapidly.” It’s quite obvious that the key to successful digital sales on content is a proactive, engaging social media presence.

So, how exactly does one go about creative social networking?

Broadening connections to the likes of industry professional (whilst not necessarily contributing to a potential income) is one of the foundations for successful networking. Whilst a reply isn’t guaranteed, there is potential for genuine conversations about industry and its standards. Reaching out into the realm of professionals means being exposed to new standards; new techniques.

Michael Cuffe lectures on the foundations of an online artistic career and how to hone effective social media techniques:

To summarise:

  • Self-promotion is essential to successful social media networking.
  • Market to your targeted demographic.
  • Give a little, get a little. Provide attention to receive it.

Other benefits of social media include exposure to new influences; new techniques. Frans Johansson in The Medici Effect writes that “when you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary new ideas.” The idea of collaboration arises; as many industry professionals are required to engage in cross-disciplinary partnerships for projects. Mark McGuinness writes that a refined, professional account is a “happy hunting ground” for potential collaborators on future projects.

As the digitization of creative media continues to expand, the application of these techniques become increasingly relevant to emerging artists. Social media, first and foremost, is one of the most useful tools available to creative media specialists when it comes to promotion and exchange of content.

Further reading:

Digital creative industries claim a growing share of the Australian economy

Content democratization: How the Internet is fueling the growth of creative economies

Image references:

Header retrieved from http://ivent.com.au/ 

Data: the Artform

The idea that art is separate, distant from its mathematical and scientific counterparts is a myth that is being readily disputed by new radicals in the creative industry, responding to an increasingly data-saturated culture (Urist, 2015). These artists unify creative mediums with technology – using everything from self-tracking apps and their application in pieces to the reappropriation of information to form increasing abstract data and associated concepts (Grugier, 2016).

Any available data can be repurposed into artistic concepts; images, sounds, objects. Figures can be collected from databases, raw data, search engine data, statistics, and calculations from geographical, political, climatic and financial sources (Grugier, 2016).

Similar to political pieces, David McCandless transforms data such as military spending budgets to simplistic and conspicuous diagrams – an extension beyond “reducing human beings to numbers,” but more so “achieving greater awareness of complex matters in a modern world,” (Urist, 2015), in this case, allusions to the rampant military-industrial complex manifesting in higher powers (namely the United States).

Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/apr/01/information-is-beautiful-military-spending

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Matt Willey, 2060 Poster. Produced to show the impact of human activity and subsequent destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/08/the-digital-age-of-data-art/

Art along this vein is more than visually communicating data, it’s confronting the uncertain – the morally grey areas of finance, military matters and politics.

References:

Grugier, M. (2016) The Digital Age of Data Art. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/08/the-digital-age-of-data-art/

McCandless, D. (2010) Information is beautiful: war games. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/apr/01/information-is-beautiful-military-spending

Urist, J. (2015) From Paint to Pixels. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/05/the-rise-of-the-data-artist/392399/

Preparation for work in the Creative Media Industry

As an artist, having a portfolio is one of the key elements of approaching a job offer / potential interview, with most of your skills as an artist measured by its content. A strong portfolio should encompass the most refined of your completed work, representative of potential for growth, proved abilities and should cater to the area of creativity being applied for – it’s no use showing photography when someone specialises in abstract art (JMC Academy). Whilst it is tempting to show off, you should prioritise strategically appealing to the employer demographic over showing off all your range of skills as an artist. When exhibiting a creative folio, The Creative Group at HOW recommends analyzing the prospective employer; their needs and objectives, before exhibiting your work. Are there certain aspects of the project that are particularly relevant; or significant? Ruth Bridgstock writes that students should have a solidified portfolio by the time graduation rolls around.

Strengthening your online presence as an artist is particularly useful for attracting attention to your content. Personalised projects, blogs, content all demonstrate passion for your career and discipline. Social media is a reservoir of potential conversations – an effective method of achieving and maintaining connections, a placeto “find and be found,” and a prime way to establish and share current work, the Creative Group writes. People are being hired entirely because of their online content.

But how does one get others to notice their online content?

Author Buchanan recommends a proactive networking approach when it comes to post-graduation career options. Getting in touch with old tutors, compiling a list of notable industry professionals and their contact details, attending industry events and contacting local career centres are “essential” for the likes of a post-graduate. This approach is useful for researching people and companies before an interview, and can be used to demonstrate knowledge about the industry.

Overall, some of the most essential preparation work for the creative industry begins with a well-structured portfolio, catered to your potential employer, but is not necessarily the solid foundation of getting a job. Work in the creative industry requires a proactive, enthusiastic approach to connecting with employers; with networking and research as its substance.

Further Reading:

How to Get a Job In the Creative Industry.

How to Present Your Creative Portfolio.

Image References:

Header retrieved from http://www.accesstomusic.co.uk/news_article_creative-media-course-in-bristol-267 

  1. Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-13126988-stock-footage-kid-boy-thinking-animation.html