Into the woods – Thesis Film – Lighting Research

Looking at what lighting I want to achieve:

I spoke to Debra the other day about what research I should do for the blog, as I felt as if I needed to do some more research for the film but I didn’t know where to focus it. She told me do Visual Research into the environment of my film and talk about what I could include, what inspires me, why I want to include it, etc… as well as talk a bit more about the lighting.

Image result for firewatch screenshots

Campo Santo. 2017. Campo Santo. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2017].

As I’ve said before the lighting I wanted to try and replicate is something similar to that of Firewatch. They have a nice Orange/Teal colour palette going on, and the lighting complements the outdoors theme of the game, but I feel as if it doesn’t quite fit the style of the characters that I have, unless I add a bit more detail to them which I don’t want to do.

Image result for firewatch screenshots

Beautiful Pixels. 2017. Firewatch — Pyromance • Beautiful Pixels. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2017].

Image result for adventure time woods

Adventure Time Wik. 2017. Image – Bg Stock Woods.png \ Adventure Time Wiki \ FANDOM powered by Wikia. . [Acessed 12 November 2017

So I decided to have a look at other examples, and eventually ended up looking at some images of the woods of Adventure Time, and seen as my style is very similar to AT I figured it’ll be a good example to replicate, and it looks easier to achieve as well.

Image result for adventure time woods

Adventure Time Wiki. 2017. Image – Hair Fall-Off Path.jpg \ Adventure Time Wiki \ FANDOM powered by Wikia [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 November 2017].

Reference of people walking through Forests:

To help with how I’m going to make my trees as well as how dense I want the woodland to be, I going look at some examples of people walking in forest and woodlands just get an idea of how my characters are going to journey the woodland of my film.

Image result for people walking through the woods

A Walk through the Woods | SOLETOPIA. 2017. A Walk through the Woods | SOLETOPIA. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2017].

One way I could approach is have them walking straight through woodland, have the trees very tall and skinny with a lot of bushy areas to block their view. But I feel as if this would be unnecessary and would take too much time to do.

Image result for characters walking through forest

Fanpop, Inc.. 2017. Post a character walking in as well as strolling through the woodland or forest – Anime Answers – Fanpop. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 November 2017].

Another way I could approach it is a path cutting through the forest that the brothers can walk down. This was my original idea, and I’m going use it, but thanks to looking at some examples I know how dense to make the forests and what style of trees I can use.



Everybody FREEEEEEZ!!!! – Thesis Film – 3D Modelling/T-Poses

NEW-Shay T-Pose

Shay T-pose

Between my sessions of doing my Storyboard I’ve been drawing up the t-poses for my characters. This, in my opinion, is the best T-Poses that I’ve done so far as I’ve managed to level everything up to one another e.g. the front face shape and features being level to the side face.

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With the T-poses done I’ve made a start to modelling Shay’s body. I’m by the time I’ve managed the basic shape of Shay’s full body I can use it to cheat a little bit and re-scale it to Kodi’s height, so it would save me time of having to create another model from scratch.

NEW-Kodi T-Pose

Kodi T-Pose

sdraobyrotS – Thesis Film – Storyboard

After completing my Story Beats for my film, I began to put together the Storyboard for the film. I started with the opening as it’s the most concrete, no need for additions, scene for the film. Blog-SB01


This is only a rough Storyboard but I’m quite happy with what I’ve got so far, I’m managing to convey the scenes well, as well as establishing the relationship between the characters, and I’m managing to keep a steady pace of cracking these out.

Tall trees – Thesis Film – Environment Creation/Lighting Tests


Render Test

So after creating the scene I made yesterday I decided to have a go at lighting, and see what it looks like. I spent a bit of time talking to Rob about what I’ve done and we couldn’t really get a great result. This was mostly due to the fact the trees being too bulky, which lead Rob to discuss about changing the designs of the trees to more tall skinny tress that will compliment the style of my characters. He told me to think about the what time of day it will be in the film, as the time can help set the mood of the characters. For example because my brothers are setting out on a journey, a morning setting would be more suited.


Making different sized trees 

Here’s some re-designs of the trees that I still need to work on. Not to say they don’t look good but they’re not really tall, skinny trees.


Looking at the tree textured 

Welcome to the FOREST!!! – Thesis Film – Environment/Modelling


Forest with Sky

I’m going to start making the environments for my film, seen as the story is near completion. I first started with the woodland in which we start the film.


Maya view. Tree split into sections

So far it’s been an easy process, just a lot of simple modelling and duplicating, but it’s looking good so far. I need to throw some lighting in there and see what it looks like, but yeah…

Related image

An Idea of what I could try to achieve with the Path – CGTrader. 2017. 3D asset Summer Forest | CGTrader. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 October 2017].

I’ve also had a look at some examples of forest environments. I like this one because as much as it has a simplistic it has a lot detail to it. If my current environment doesn’t work out I may try and tackle something like this.

Story BBBBBBBBEEEEEEEEEEAT!!! – Thesis Film – Storytelling/Story Beat/Research

For past couple of weeks I’ve being trying to nail down the structure of my story for the film. I’ve been bouncing around with how the story will start, what trials the brothers will face and how many? And how will it end. I’ve always known what I wanted to happen in the film, but nothing really linked together. So to help this we were told to do a Story Beat of our film and list the key events and split them into Acts and list where out Turning Points/Climax/Resolutions, this way we could look at what our story was at, and where we could improve it. Which worked because I managed to sort it out and I now a strong Skeletal structure to my story:


  • Shay and Kodi have set out on an adventure
  • Shay leads the duo with a map, while Kodi trails behind (Shay seeks for adventure and reward but has to reluctantly bring his brother along, Kodi wants to prove to Shay that he is capable to join him)
  • Kodi trips over a branch
  • Shay sighs and returns to map
  • Kodi feels ashamed and hangs his head
  • Kodi then trips down a slope
  • Shay runs after him
  • Brothers stumble onto the temple (Turning Point)


  • The two enter the temple
  • As they enter Kodi steps on a pressure plates and sets off a chain-reaction
  • Brothers are faced with temples first challenge
  • Shay is confident to do this without Kodi, and pushes him aside
  • Shay overcomes 1st Challenge
  • Temple’s Second challenge arrives and is slightly more difficult
  • Shay demonstrates some nervousness but is confident and keeps Kodi back
  • Shay Overcomes 2nd challenge
  • Temple’s Final Challenge arrives and proves to be too difficult for Shay
  • Shay wants to retreat
  • Kodi has a plan
  • Both overcome the challenge (Climax)


  • Brothers are rewarded and leave the temple
  • Shay embraces Kodi
  • The brother walk back towards the forest, Kodi slightly ahead of Shay (Resolution)

I also did some research into story structure such as Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero Journey’ and Chris Volger’s Adaptation of JC’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ – hero’s journey. 2017. hero’s journey. [ONLINE] Available at:’s_journey.htm. [Accessed 28 October 2017]. Which talk about and outline the structure of a story, something similar to what I did back in college, from it’s basic form of hero’s call to adventure. This helped me out because I could look at my story and see what I already had and then add it to my story.

Image result for joseph campbell narrative

Hero’s journey – Wikipedia. 2017. Hero’s journey – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 October 2017]

Back to the drawing board… Kind of – Thesis Film – Concept/World Building/Shay Modelling

I had a discussion the other day with my tutor Andy, regarding my post from Monday (Let me Inspire you – Thesis Film – Inspiration Research) and it’s connection to the style of the characters I’ve created (Gimme a Hand – Thesis Film – Modelling Shay/Kodi. Finished Concept.).

Within in my last post I talked about what my influences were in the terms of what of characters style and the lighting I wanted to achieve. And Andy brought up how the characters I made, had no connection to my influences, which was “a shame” because he thought that the influences that I used were really good. He then moved onto understanding the world I was trying to build asking me When is it? Where is it? How does it relate to your characters objective? etc… Which I really couldn’t answer because I didn’t really build up the world fully. I knew that the area that my characters grew up in was to be in the countryside, but besides that I haven’t done much.

After some awkward realisation silences, Andy told me to do some world building as well as to re-style my characters, not to change them, but so that they look like they’re taking influence from my inspirations.

List of ideas for the World

So I started with the world building and I began to look into some of the popular era’s of the world from western to eastern culture, and I got pretty fixed on the middle ages as I felt it was best suited for Fantasy element I wanted for the world, but it was something that was done a million times before, and so I kind of wanted to push it into the future a little bit, a time just before the industrial era, and perfect era was the renascence, I won’t dive too much into it but I’ll say I like the idea of having magic and the science of the time influence the early stages of the industrial era, plus I do like some of fashion of the time period, also some country landscape and villages are good references for building the boys Home. Andy also gave me a suggestion of maybe looking into Greek mythology to relate it to the “Hero” aspect of my film, which is a good area I could explore, like for example I could have Greek myths carved into some of the walls of the temple.


My attempt of drawing some of Noelle Stevenson’s Art

Looking towards redesigning my characters, I first needed to have a go replicating the style. I started by drawing some of the art that Noelle had already done.

Trying to replicate the style with different characters

After this I then began to draw characters from some of my favourite characters from Anime’s and Shows in her style. I even did a drawing of me.

Re-Designing Shay and Kodi 

Once I was comfortable with drawing her style I then began to apply the style to my two characters.

Re-Designing Shay and Kodi 

So far so good I’m not 100% happy with the look of Kodi, as I’m trying to replicate his clothes to the two era’s that influenced my world, as well as change his hairstyle, though I might just got back to a buzz-cut. As for Shay I’m more pleased, I’ve given him a new haircut as well as bulked him down, he still has the same clothes, but that’s not much of an issue. I’m continue the re-designs until I’m satisfied. Which will hopefully be done before the Pitch on Friday.

Let me Inspire you – Thesis Film – Inspiration Research

Over the weekend, I completed a small assignment that our lecturer Jeremy asked us to think about. We had to think about what we want to do in terms of the various areas that will go towards the film E.G. Animation Direction, Art Direction, Cinematic Direction, etc… So when I was coming up with answers to the questions, I figured I might as well talk about some of the answers to the question in a blog post as part of research to project.

Image result for Lumberjanes

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Lumberjanes | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 2017. Using Graphic Novels in Education: Lumberjanes | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Lumberjanes Style: I have used Lumberjanes style to influence the look of my characters Shay and Kodi. It has a very simplistic style, similar to Adventure Time (Mostly because the writer and artist of the Comic Noelle Stevenson, worked on Adventure Time as well) but they have more detailed within the characters, plus they have exaggerated expression and poses similar to AT.

Image result for Lumberjanes 2017. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Image result for Firewatch

Firewatch. 2017. Campo Santo – Firewatch. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Firewatch: I’ve been thinking the lighting for the Film. I’ve not been 100% committed to the lighting within some of my last projects, mostly due to the fact I didn’t really give much thought into them. But for this project I wanted to change that, and so I looked at the environment that I wanted to create for the film and the world it is based, which I’ll discuss more in future blog posts, but to simply it the world that film is based is set in a fantasy world during a time after medieval times but before the industrial era. The boys live in the country, and thus the Sun is a prime light source throughout the day, so I want to have the lighting to have a warm look to it. Something similar to Firewtach, which have some of the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a video game, and it compliments well with the simplistic environments. So with this I want try and achieve something similar to this.

Image result for Firewatch

PCWorld. 2017. Firewatch review: Lots of smoke, but no spark | PCWorld. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Gimme a Hand – Thesis Film – Modelling Shay/Kodi. Finished Concept.

Update for Modelling Shay: I’ve finished modelling the hand of Shay. It fits well and it looks good smoothed. Though Debra raised up an interesting question about the positioning of Shay’s arm, and whether it was better positioning to an actual T-pose. I argued to say that I have seen 3D characters in the similar pose, so I assumed it would be okay either way, if there are any problems when it comes to rigging I can always go back and change it.

Shay and Kodi Final

Shay and Kodi Concept Art

Shay and Kodi Concept Finished: I’ve also finished up the concept art for Shay and Kodi. I’m quite pleased with it the combination of the Line Art, Colours and Shading have complimented each other well. There’s a bit of missing shading on Shay’s right foot, but I’m overall pleased with the end result. I’ve also emailed the file to my lectures to see if they can put it up in our 3rd Year wall, seen as they’re in desperate need for art.