Sunday, August 31, 2008

Smash Brothers Brawl Papercraft

I've recently got back into papercrafting, I find it nice to have something physical to get my hands on, rather than just digital modelling and texturing. I've just finished making Clank and posed the question of who I should make next, Wall-E or Falco. Tom replied that I should make Falco, and then follow on to make the entire cast of Smash Brothers Brawl! A daunting task indeed, and I don't think there's any way I could do it without help, but just for curiosity's sake, I'm going to find out how many Brawl papercrafts are actually out there.


This page has:
Samus/ Zero Suit Samus
Mr Game and Watch
Ice Climbers

This page has:

Here's a nice, official looking

Snake in a box (one of the simplest papercrafts there is, a nice beginner's one)
Part 1
Part 2


Toon Link

Meta Knight (this one isn't great. There's an amazing one out there somewhere but everything I find on it leads me to Japanese sites)


Donkey Kong

Lucario and instructions


Half successes

Pokemon trainer (Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard) Here's a Bulbasaur that could possibly be photoshopped to become an Ivysaur
I couldn't find an Olimar, but I did find Pikmin
No King Dedede but there are Waddle Dee and Waddle Doo

No Shows

Zelda/ Sheik
Pit (although there is one in the process of being designed)
Captain Falcon
Diddy Kong

If anybody finds one of the ones I couldn't, let me know. There's a lot of internet out there to look through, I'm sure I missed something.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summary of the Beeb: Part 2

In the second week we began work in earnest. We were given a script to Dinosapien – a CBBC show about some kids camping in Canada who encounter intelligent dinosaurs. I will give you a brief synopsis of what's happening in our videos. Eno (a dinosaur) comes into the camp and spots a picture of himself. He examines it, but gets scared away by Lauren when she comes in, carrying hot dogs. She sees that the drawing of Eno has been moved and wonders if he's been here. She calls to him, and offers him food. He shows up, but is wary and on the offensive, and ends up scaring Lauren away by hissing at her.

I probably spent about two days just acquainting myself with Second Life and earning Linden dollars so that I could buy props. The female outfit I managed to cobble together for free, but the dinosaur costume cost me 75 Lindens, so I had to fill out a load of stupid online surveys to earn some cash. I’m still getting spam to this day.

Surprisingly, I probably got the most done out of the three of us. I didn’t get round to dialogue, but that could have been done reasonably quickly as I had a script to hand. The framerates and resolution of the video are absolutely appalling. My laptop was definitely not up to scratch, but Second Life looks quite dodgy anyway. I got really tired of staring at all the terrible models in Second Life, if you want to make anything, you have to make it out of primitives distorted and sort of mashed together, it's horrific!

Alex had an even harder time of it than me, seeing as he had to use Moviestorm. Moviestorm cannot do dinosaurs, cannot do people holding things apart from a few specific props, and can’t really do outdoor locations very well.

Dean had the best result, using Source. His was far more cinematic and just looked a lot nicer. He did, however, struggle with the AI. At the end of the video you can just see the AI override failing on the dinosaur and it rushing in to kill Alyx.

At the end of the week we decided to drop Second Life as it really has no redeeming features whatsoever, but to try out a sitcom format for Source and Moviestorm. Source had done well at this test, but drama or sitcom style shows would give Moviestorm an opportunity to prove itself.

Mod Stuff

I've been helping Rez, one of Tim's friends, with a Rome: Total War mod. Now shamefully I've never actually played the game, but I've been helping out all the same. It's mostly been altering existing models and then texturing. It's been good practice for me and it's nice to have an external project set, I find it motivates me far more. It's also been really good to have a strict guideline for what each character needs, the mod is striving to be very historically accurate.

I know these aren't great but I'm not really very experienced at painting textures from scratch, so it's good to practice. I think the main problem I'm having is the folds in the fabric, I'm finding it tough to make my brushstrokes actually describe something, rather than just looking like random lines.

Bactrian Spearman:
(the screenshot is a little bit old, I dulled the colours down a bit because the yellow was a bit neon. The TP is current though)
Archer of Bactra:
Cavalry of Bactra:
I like this one, I think the colours came together really nicely.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summary of the Beeb: Part 1

Well, I finished my BBC placement the other week and I haven't really said that much about what I was really doing so I thought I'd better write it down before I forget. I have a posh shiny presentation somewhere on my hard drive, but it doesn't really give the full experience.

For accomodation, the three of us - me, Dean from the Game Programming course and Alex who'd just finished his IT computing course - were put up in the BBC hostel in Queensway, West London. The BBC hostel is nice, but has a few drawbacks. Firstly, it had no internet. Secondly, the kitchens were pretty unusable. We managed to cook a few meals in them, but you certainly had to struggle, either to find the right equipment or just to find a hob or oven that actually worked. But other than that it was nice.
It was certainly nice to live in central London, although I feel like I didn't really take advantage of my situation fully. In the last week I had my longboard and did some skating in Kensington Gardens and Hyde park, and I really should have done that from the outset.

We turned up at the BBC on Monday morning and were first sent on the tour to let us get to know the Television Centre building. It's suprising how little the studios are actually used at TVC, you can understand why they want to sell the building. We also learnt that the BBC rents out its studios to other channels like Channel 4 to earn itself more money. While we were on placement they were filming the Charlotte Church show in the studio opposite our building, so we saw the sparkly set in various states of completion. We were working in the East Tower, which you can just see in this photo:

After spending a few weeks working in a TV environment, I've found out that it's very unglam. We didn't really see any celebrities - we saw some kids TV presenters and the people off of Eggheads. We did see some rehearsals and sets for shows like Mock the Week, and lunch hour could be very interesting if you just went exploring and poked your nose in all the studio viewing galleries, but Television Centre is really very functional and boring. It's also a lot smaller than it looks on TV and in photos, the massive wall you see with 'BBC Television Centre' written on it is the side wall of studio one - the biggest studio in TVC. It looks HUGE but it's only about 4 stories high.

After our tour on the first day we were given our brief. What the CBBC production team wanted us to do was to generally research machinima and do some test projects to see how viable it would be as a way to produce animation sequences. We would each have an engine and work on laptops to escape the restricted BBC network. However, before any of that could take place, we had to complete a load of BBC training modules as we were classes as employees. These included: law, health and safety, competition fairness, child protection and editorial policy. All of these were extremely irrelevant to us seeing as we wouldn't even be touching a camera, but it did make you think about how things were produced behind the scenes and all the thought that has to go into a programme.

More to come!