torsdag 28. mars 2013

too much books

So er the book project. I have drawn so much for the book project, I am honestly a bit embarassed. It's not even specifically for the project anymore, I just like drawing and painting a bit in between working on the group project, I suppose, and the imagery this book and these characters put in my mind are just easily accessible and fun to draw.

This is my final piece for the project. It depicts a scene in the beginning of the book where Crowley the demon and Aziraphale the angel get drunk in the book shop backroom. Crowley is talking Aziraphale into helping him stop the impending apocalypse.

I wanted the scene to seem quite mundane at first glance, but then maybe at second glance I hope it could give even a person who hasn't read the book a bit of an idea about the characters and their personalities.

The angel being a bit of a bastard and the demon being quite nice is an important thing in the portrayal of these characters, so I tried to put that across in the picture as well.

Crowley has yellow snake eyes and I tried to give Aziraphale's eyes a look that was a bit uncanny with a very bright blue colour, but resized like this I am not sure it comes across very well. Combined with the feathers it might hint at the character being an angel. Albeit a scruffy one who molts everywhere I guess. All the other colours in the picture except their eyes are quite muddy so I hope it seems striking and worth noting.

But to contrast that and to make their ambivalence towards good and evil apparent, I tried to make Crowley look a bit pensive and worried and insecure. I didn't want him to seem threatening or persuasive or demonic of any sort. On the other hand I tried to make Aziraphale seem calm, a bit sly and confident, contrasting Crowley's state of mind, but he tips his wine glass and drips wine on the floor, reflecting the careless nature he exhibits in the book. Crowley tips his wine glass dangerously too, but he doesn't spill and does it more because he is deep in thought.

Over all I am pretty pleased with this picture. It's not perfect, but I think it's interesting to look at and I am happy with the composition and the execution and the perspective was challenging to work with.

Here are some more doodles relating to this I suppose?

This one is super simple but I really like it.

Even I don't know what this is. 

This is actually a tempera grassa-painting whoa traditional media amazeballs

tirsdag 12. mars 2013

Generalist or specialist?

I’ve heard that big companies hire people who are specialists and that small companies prefer to hire people who tend more towards being generalists, because they need people who are adaptable and can take on more than one job. Sooo what should you be?

Maybe the answer is "both."

Valve’s handbook for new employees has been floating around the intertubes. I read it because I was curious and am super smitten with Valve. It’s a very interesting read on how Valve functions, as Valve has no apparent structure or binding roles people conform to. People apparently just sort of… do what they want, and it works because the people who work are amazing or something.

Apart from that, it also has segment about what kind of people Valve hires (”part 5: Valve is growing”).

When Valve hires, they look for a person who is “T-shaped.” This is not a skinny person with broad shoulders as I, er, first thought, but a person who has a broad range of skills combined with a deep expertise in one area.
Their reasoning is that a person with a too narrow skillset can be difficult to collaborate with because they have little understanding of the other fields, and a person who has general knowledge of many things but no deep expertise might end up not contributing much of value.

I want to aim to be T-shaped because then I’ll be employable both as a specialist and a generalist, and I want to be a part of many things. Trough this course I have learned a lot of general skills that I can keep building on, but I don’t really know what I want to specialise in. I think in the very first post I wrote in this blog, back when I started this course, I wrote that I wanted to be a concept artist. I’m not sure I stand by that any more. Maybe I do. I guess it would be cool, but I really like doing character art. I also find myself enjoying environment stuff more and more. I don’t know that much about level design but what little I’ve learned I think is very interesting and I would love to learn more about that. I don’t even know if I want to specialise in 2D or 3D. Maybe that’s okay, if I just keep working on stuff I enjoy, I’ll become good at that and maybe a deep speciality will show itself in time. I don’t even know if I want to work with games or if I want to draw comics.

I understand I can't be everything but I am scared that if I start specialising this early, I will loose out on opportunities to learn other new things.

Interaction design

"Ideally, products would have no learning curve: users would walk up to them for the very first time and achieve instant mastery. In practice, all applications and services, no matter how simple, will display a learning curve." - First Principles of Interaction Design by Bruce Tognazzini

My grandparents own a Wii. Apart from serving as grandchild entertainment, they use it to play golf-games.

There are golf-games for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 too, but I really don’t see my grandparents playing those, very simply because of how differently golf games would be interacted with on those platforms. On the 360 and the PS3 you play golf with your controller, mashing buttons like you would control any other game. On the Wii, you swing the remote like a golf club. Granted, it doesn’t always work or respond the way it was supposed to, but it works.

For my grandparents, swinging a Wii Remote is a much more intuitive way to play the game than using buttons and thumbsticks. How to interact with a computer is not something we instinctively know, but something we learn as we use it. The aim of interaction design is to make human-computer interaction as intuitive as possible; it should aim to minimize the learning curve before the software is mastered.

I think the very different and more intuitive way of controlling the Wii is the reason it is so popular with people who otherwise would not play much games. The more intuitive something is, the more accessible it is. For example, an iPad is so intuitive in its usage it is perfectly accesible for my toddler siblings and cousins to learn to use and navigate on their own.

I definitely see the value of developing interaction design. Right now, most game accessoires just seem superflous, clumsy and broken to me, but I think the Wii demonstrates that intuitive interaction design is definitely a key into a market outside the usual "hardcore gamer" audience.

I play a fair amount of games and know approximately how to interact with a game when I start it. All console games tend to have the same sort of control scheme. Move character with the thumbstick, move camera with other thumbstick, A to jump, etcetra.

Portal 2 elegantly introduces how to jump. To experienced players it is not a tiresome way to be told again, and for new players it does the trick.

Games today are a lot more complex than the games I grew up playing, for better and worse. They let players move in three dimensions intead of two and the game play options can be very complex and diverse. Naturally, interaction design has evolved with them and it's really easy to see when you look at old consoles and controllers and compare them to what we've currently got. 

The 1988 Megadrive's controller and the 2005 Xbox 360's controller.

I really like the game Skyrim, but I think the overly complex gear system is frustratingly disruptive. I often find myself forced to have to go into the interface in the middle of a battle and navigate trough menus to select the item I need. I don’t remember this being as frustrating issue in its predecessor, Oblivion, so clearly something went a bit wrong there.

Another game I enjoy but play really rarely because of what I perceive to be poor interaction design, is Batman: Arkham City. I just can't be arsed to pick this up because I have to start from the beginning to relearn how to play the game every single time and it’ll take a good while before I feel like I’ve got the hang of it and I’m ready to pick it up where I last left it. The game allows the player to use loads of bat-gadgets and stuff, which is really cool, but it’s so overly complicated and I just think I would’ve been fine with a few less gadget and a game that was a bit simpler to control.

Seriously even using the zipline is like brain surgery in this game.

onsdag 6. mars 2013

Pixels pixels pixels

I have always had a little crush on pixel art and it just flared up like mad after I played Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery, I mean just look at this pretty baby. They use non-pixel effects as well, especially for otherworldly objects and beings and the effect is really cool.

So it made me want to try my hands on pixel art as well. I've never actually tried doing any pixel art before so what I learned from this is pixel art is harder than it looks but also crazy fun and I definitely want to try it out some more. Also I am a pixel baby and placing this here after that amazing Superbrothers thing is like shooting yourself in the leg but who cares.

When I try to learn something new I always turn to Jake the dog and it makes me feel better.

Also it has the same colour scheme as my pixel thing hahaha

fredag 1. mars 2013

1 hour speed paintings

I think doing speed paints is my favourite thing. These are from this academic year, oldest first and newest last. Thought it would be cool to put them after each other and see if there was any visible improvement.  

"A shining character rides a cycle"



"Frozen" (I don't particularly like this one)

"Power" (I think it was)