Friday, 1 November 2013

Fundimental Research: Nikola Tesla

I have been researching a number of important historical figures, still in search of that spark to shed light on the path ahead. With the pun intended, I have been looking more indepth at Nikola Tesla. Tesla is famous for creating what we know as electicity, or the invention of the electric alternating current to be more precise. Based on his appearance, I have ideas of creating something powerful - and possibly evil - using Tesla.


Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born in July of 1856, in what is now Croatia. He came to the United States in 1884, and briefly worked with Thomas Edison before the two parted ways. He sold several patent rights, including those to his alternating-current machinery, to George Westinghouse. His 1891 invention, the "Tesla coil, " is still used in radio technology today. Tesla died in New York City on January 7, 1943.

Early Life

Famous Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in what is now Smiljan, Croatia. Tesla's interest in electrical invention was likely spurred by his mother, Djuka Mandic, who invented small household appliances in her spare time while her son was growing up. Tesla's father, Milutin Tesla, was a priest. After studying in the 1870s at the Realschule, Karlstadt (later renamed the Johann-Rudolph-Glauber Realschule Karlstadt); the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria; and the University of Prague, Tesla began preparing for a trip to America.

Famed Inventor

Tesla came to the United States in 1884, and soon began working with famed inventor and business mogul Thomas Edison. The two worked together for a brief periof before parting ways due to a conflicting business-scientific relationship, attributed by historians to their incredibly different personalities: While Edison was a power figure who focused on marketing and financial success, Tesla was a commercially out-of-tune and somewhat vulnerable, yet extremely pivotal inventor, who pioneered some of history's the most important inventions. His inventions include the "Tesla coil," developed in 1891, and an alternating-current electrical system of generators, motors and transformers—both of which are still used widely today.
On the AC electrical system alone, Tesla held 40 basic U.S. patents, which he later sold to George Westinghouse, an American engineer and business man who was determined to supply the nation with the Tesla's AC system. He would succeed in doing just that, not long after purchasing Tesla's patents. Around this time, conflict arose between Tesla and Edison, as Edison was determined to sell his direct-current system to the nation. According to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, Tesla-Westinghouse ultimately won out because Tesla's system was "a superior technology," presenting greater "progress of both America and the world" than Edison's DC system. Outside of his AC system patents, Tesla sold several other patent rights to Westinghouse.
At the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Tesla conducted demonstrations of his AC system, which soon became the standard power system of the 20th century, and has remained the worldwide standard ever since. Two years later, in 1895, Tesla designed the first hydroelectric powerplant at Niagara Falls, a feat that was highly publicized throughout the world.
Around 1900—nearly a decade later after inventing the "Tesla coil"—Tesla began working on his boldest project yet: Building a global communication system—through a large, electrical tower—for sharing information and providing free electricity throughout the world.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Research: Stephen's new film - Hawking

I happened upon this trailer for the newly released Stephen Hawkings documentary film whilst conducting research into historical figures. The thing I really like about this trailer is it's undeniable superhero charm and Hollywood movie feel, which comes down to the powerful choice of music and shots. It feels like i'm watching a trailer for the new Thor movie rather then Hawkings The Movie. The trailer has intentionally been made to portray that feeling of being super, and is in no way intended to make a fool of Hawking, which I like.

Stephen Hawkings is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmologyit. Some would come to say that Hawkings is indeed a superhero in his own right, which makes this trailer prove so promising as a great piece of source information for my project.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Motown Mum: Final Turnaround

Motown Mum

Here is the final model.

I had some problems with smoothing the mesh so decided to leave it without a smooth for now and render using smooth preview. 

Motown Mum:- Final Touches (w/Props)

Motown Mum is now complete, from modeling through to rigging and skinning. I have made some onstage props and the only thing left to do now is to add a few minor textures/shaders.

Fur Complete!

I have never really delved into the Fur texture attributes before this stage but I am happy with these results. I shall be revisiting the world of Maya Fur quite soon for future reference. :) 

Motown Mum - Slight Change Of Plan: Fur

The original idea was to texture the dress with a normal painted texture, but after looking at the reference material and thinking about it I've decided to use fur on the necessary parts.

A mixture of Polar and other Fur textures, still in early stages of development

I believe its a good choice and will help bring Motown Mum to life.

Progress: Texturing & Rigging

The model is now near enough complete! 

Time to start rigging and texturing..

Model Progress:- Working The Way Down..

Moving away from the head for a bit (before I get too critical and end up not making the rest of the model) and onto the arms..

Motown Mum Progression 5

Friday, 5 July 2013

Motown Mum Progression 4: Head

Things are starting to take shape now. I realised the back of the head was rather large, but wasn't too fussed as the hair will of course be covering that.

Motown Mum: Model Progression 3!

Starting to mould more distint shapes now. Got a bit caught up and paid more attention to the ears than necessary, but got them done in the end.

Motown Mum Progression 2

At this point I decided to stop sculpting the torso area, as most of it will not be seen under the dress accessory.

Moving swiftly on to the head..

Motown Mum:- Modeling (Blocking Out) Progression

Started off by blocking out the main and biggest parts of the dress.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Minor Part 2: Designs

Here are designs for the final character.

3 initial design, with the 3rd being the chosen final model

Front and side profiles (overlayed)

Final Turnaround

Final Shaded Turnaround

Minor Part 2: Motown Mum: Research

So with my final project going over well, it was discussed that I should try and redo my minor in the same sort of way: a semi realistic character based design project focused around a true story of someone I know.

My tutor Alan asked if I knew anybody else with a quirky/interesting/different sort of job/career/activity that I could possibly base the project on. I didn't really have anyone come to mind at first, but after a talk with Alan about it he managed to help came to a decision.

The motive of this project is Motown, where I will be creating Vanessa (my mother) as a Motown figure.

I already know a little bit about Motown music through my mum; she actually starred in the Motown musical "Dancing In The Streets" when it came to the West End some years back, and so naturally I have seen the show and had even gone along with her on the Dancing In The Streets tour with the rest of the cast. She has provided some useful bits of info and images to fill some gaps.

Here's some influence maps displaying image based research, I intend to follow these throughout the project.

Above are images of different music groups from the 1960's-70s Motown era. I have only included those that were relevant to my mum whilst she was in the show, so a looked specifically at Diana Ross & The Supremes, Martha & The Vandella's and The Marvelettes.

Show Flyer
Mum performing in Dancing In The Streets
Chosen dress

 Here we have images from the West End show. After doing some initial designs I decided on the white dresses worn in the map above. I have only been allocated a few weeks for this project and feel that I will get the best results with a more simplistic approach.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Mark Turnaround

Here is the rendered turnaround. Still need to fix the lighting and get it to render properly.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Major Project Proposal

Here is my project proposal (better late than never)

I realise my blog has been a bit "lacking" lately, but that will soon change as I will be posting my progress on this project thus far. I have made yet another attempt to fix it up a bit, so it looks a bit better then before..