Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Video

Dreams of the Sleep Cycle from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Here is the video. It looks pretty cool when it's being projected on the side of a building. I was rather pleased and surprised how well it worked for the big showing.

On a side note, Thank you everyone for a great class... and for not killing me after a week of having to hear that Ratatat song

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Idea

I talked about my idea earlier, but I feel that I should go into it a little more as somethings have changed. When people ask, I explain that my idea as an abstract representation of a dream about a dream cycle. I'm interested in how shapes found in minimalistic and Russian constructivist work convey a feeling or idea and I wanted to explore that. I researched sleep cycles and tried to portray each cycle in its own way. In the first part it starts off slowly to follow the N1 stage where drowsy sleep occurs. Then into N2 where conscious awareness of the external environment disappears the animation speeds up a bit. When N3 occurs I start to use a faster pace and sharper shapes. Then back to N2 where it slows down a bit. Then going into REM where I use more rounded shapes. I timed it to a song and tried to match it to the beat. That is basically the idea behind the animation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Screen Shot and Another Picture

Inspiration for Ideas.

Here are a few shot of images that I found that helped me get some ideas. I'm interested in Russian constructivist and abstract minimalists. I find the use of geometric shapes quite interesting in describing a certain tone.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

mez log

3:42am June 9th

All sanity has been lost, I fear the worst. The Mez lab has claimed another. I wonder when it will finally get the best of me, or perhaps it already has...


12:06am June 9th

I have become unsure over the last few hours about the decisions I made. I fear the outcome. Supplies are, at this point, non existent. I hope no rash judgements will come from the lack of nourishment. I am losing my sense of awareness but must continue on for success. Time has become scarce and I know that once the sun rises, I will have one day to reach my goal. The summit looks so far away from here...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Pictures of PROGRESS!!!

It's a geometric party up in here.

Mez log

1:50pm June 8th

I have sat in solitude for many hours. My company has left me to my own devises for the time. After many hours of contemplation I believe inspiration has struck. I will pursue it to the fullest and hope the outcome is favorable.

Mez LoG

2:08am June 8th

It's late and ideas are becoming scarce. I can tell that my compatriots and I have become weary and I fear we will have to retire before we have reached our desired destination for the night. However, moral is still high.

Monday, June 7, 2010


9:53pm June 7th

After replenishing our rations, my comrades and I are back at work. With the warm night ahead we are determined to continue on. Perseverance is all we know.


Here are some pictures from the animation, well actually only the last one is still in the animation. The first two were from an idea that I was trying but decided to go work with. I still liked how they looked so I decided to put them up anyway.

Mez Log

6:55pm June 7th

I believe something of a breakthrough was made. Spirits are high, though there are many more obstacles to come. Rations are low.

Mez Log

3:45pm Monday, June 7th.

Currently in the mez lab. going on hour 4 for the day, no end in sight. difficulties have arisen. Some have been conquered while other still persist. I am determined to continue. With any luck there will be some sign of success, however that is doubtful.

Animation Idea

So I realized that I never talked about what my animation is about or where its coming from. The idea comes from the subject of dreams, which was one of the prompts that the class was given, that and absence. Now instead of making a dream narrative I decided to look at the idea of the dream cycle. My plan is to make a minimalistic geometric abstract animation that describes the sleep cycle. Using the shapes I'm taking the animation through the cycles of sleep, N1, N2, N3 and REM. In N1 it's a slow simple start where the viewer eases in to the subconscious. In N2 the grid of conscious awareness starts to break down and disappear. N3 is when things like night terrors happen so I will start using sharper shapes like triangles to express this feeling. Then the longest part of dreaming happens, REM, here I will explore the most vivid part of dreaming. Then it's the waking up part. In a way the animation is a dream about the dream cycles, if that makes any sense.

Screen Shots

Here are some shots of my animation. As you can see I am playing with very simple geometric forms.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stupid Black Square

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong but I can not for the life of me get rid of the square plane and keep the red dot on it.

Blogress in Sketch Form

So here are some sketches for my final project which is based on shapes found in Russian Constructivist work. What I want to do with this animation is play with the idea of dreams by use the shapes to bring the viewer into an area where there is no constant spacial plane. It might not look like it but theres a lot of information in these sketches. I hope this works out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Text Animation

Cloud from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Here is my animation involving text. There were some difficulties getting what I wanted done but I 'm rather pleased how it turned out. The text is made out of two random phrases that I thought used interesting words and created imagery, at least for me.


Here are what the loops look like,and here is what they look like on the vine. The next step will be to animate them along with the growth of the vine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Updates for the Future

So I have been working on perfecting the vines, as I have mentioned several times in other posts. Once that task is finished I will finish up the vines and place donut loops around the bottom of the vines and make them move the at the same pace of the vines as they grow. In this group I seem to have become the overseer of the vines. I know the vines and they know me, we are one.Loops, like this one here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Update on the Project.

So the idea for the project has changed a bit, or a lot, at least the ending. As a group we decided to go in a slightly different direction. At first we were going to use an orchid that I modeled in a tv screen that loads up and does some other things. That idea is no longer happening. Sadly the orchid is no more. So instead of working on that I have become the editor of the vines. Making sure that they don't overlap, go behind the wall, grow before they are meant to, and look smooth and finished etc. This is what I have been up since the job I was originally doing is no more.

The Mez lab, she is a cruel mistress, like the sea.

I Forgot to Put this up, so here it is

Robot Arm

Robot Arm from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Vines that Dont Overlap

Part of my job in this group is not only modeling but putting the finishing touches on the models. Here is a shot of the work that I have been doing. Below is a short animation of the vines. I've been going through everyone's vines and making sure that they don't over lap or go behind the wall. You can't really tell with the animation but the vines are not going through each other. I still have a few more things to fix in this area, as I now have the wall to work with.

Untitled from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Orchid Model

Here is the model for the final part of the animation. We decided to use an Orchid because they look menacing and beautiful at the same time. I also added a few new elements to the orchid, they usually don't have pincers coming in from the side.


A model of a cup that may be animated to interact with the animation.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Match Moving Test

Match Moving Cube Test from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Match moving test. This is something I'm going to have to work on.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Armature Test

Cat Hippo from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Here is the first attempt at building my own armature. I meant for it to walk but it just kind of wiggles.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Follow Through and Anticipation

follow through and anticipation from braeden cox on Vimeo.

A short video looking at some of the 12 principles of animation.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Toxic Array

Here is the third version of my array. I changed the shape and the colour. There were some trials to get it to match up with the sound but I think it's pretty close.

Toxic Array from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Array II

The second test of the array.

Second Array Test from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Array Test and Still

For the next project we I was to animate an array. I made a quick and small test to see what it would look like and help get the movements down.

Array Test from braeden cox on Vimeo.

For my next Array video I plane to work along the same line and use a similar shape and colour. Here is a still of one of the forms it's going to take.

Paper Air

As part of a larger animation I made a segment that made a ball change into a paper airplane.

PaperAir from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Fisrt Animation Test

Here is the first blender animation test. It's not that smooth but it's a start.

Moving test from braeden cox on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A larger Image for Your Viewing Pleasure

Here's a much larger version. Though it's hardly noticeable, I took some of the comments from critique and softened some of the corners on the columns, as if they were sandblasted. I didn't do it to all of them because I still wanted it to have a slightly ambiguous time line of how long it been around.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Unfinised Narritive Finished

I present my final image.

I already talked about why I chose to use an aqueduct as my main focus earlier in the blog but I think it wouldn't hurt to expand upon that. To me the idea of the aqueduct has a lot of avenues story wise attached to it. Aqueducts, being made from arches takes knowledge in engineering, planning the path and the knowledge of how water works. I think that they are fascinating structures and hold a lot of mystery.

For the texture of the aqueduct I wanted something that had an ambiguous time scale to it. It's not crumbling, but its not pristine. There's no one around yet there was someone there once. For the ground, it's sandy with some grit, it comes across as dry and the fact that nothing could be growing in this area is obvious.

The shot that I chose was specific to enhance the mystery of the image. The aqueduct is obviously in a place void of water, so this makes the viewer ask where does it start, where does it end, who built it there and why. The shot being from a lower vantage point not only allows the viewer to wonder why they are in this place but in regards to the aqueduct, if there is even water in it and how would they get it. In the barren landscape, the water is close, but there is no clear way to access it. These are only a few questions a viewer might come up with when looking at this image in regards to the aqueduct and landscape.

Then there is the case with the symbols on the aqueduct. I made the choice to make the symbols look like they were painted on because I wanted another element of a human presence. The addition of the symbols adds on to the idea that the people who built the aqueduct have something to say about it, or believe in something important. It can be interpreted on several different levels. In choosing symbols I decided to look at alchemic symbols that I feel some how relate to water. As if the people who put up the symbols wanted the water to be influenced by the power of the symbols. I also added in a small symbol on one of the columns, its pretty well hidden but once its found it adds a little bit more mystery. Though the symbols do actually mean something I think that the viewer will still interpret it in there own way because the knowledge of alchemic symbols is not necessary to understand what I wanted the viewer to feel. Its the idea not the literal interpretation I was going for.

Now, I wont explain the Pteranodon, I think that this one is better left to the interpretation of the viewer but I will say that in the requirements to the project it was decided that there should be no unnecessary elements to the image. I feel that the Pteranodon is absolutely necessary to the composition and story of this piece, without it, the image feel like its missing something. Also being reassured that it had to be in there by several people helped, so thank you.

On a side note, one problem that I had was getting the ground to look how I wanted it to. When I rendered it in blender in the smaller format it would look great, but then when I rendered it out in the larger format the ground would get smoothed out. After several hours I figured out what was going on and how to solve it. All I had to do was pump up the Normals to the max and then when I rendered it out in the large format, blender toned everything down to the level I wanted. It took a couple of renders before I found the right level. I'm still not sure why that happened or if that is in fact what was going on but I think all the trial and error was worth it. I am quite pleased with the ground texture. There were other texture, modeling and composition questions that came up throughout the process, and for these I got feed back and help from everyone, all of which was helpful and appreciated. I don't think that my image would be like it is without the feed back that I got, so thank you everyone.

Here is another picture of the aqueduct form the top view, perhaps a Pteranodon perspective. As you can see, there is water in the aqueduct.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Almost There

My final "Unfinished Narrative" image is done, printed and ready for critique. I must say that vast improvements have been made since the last post. I fixed the mountains and textured them in a way that I fine works with the composition and highlights the parts that I want highlighted. I worked on the ground texture and the aqueduct texture to really push up details, along with adding some special features later on. There were several trials I had to go through to get the final image but I think I'll save those explanations for when I put up the final image (along with some others) after critique.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Improvment!

After spending several hours yesterday trying to do displace mapping and failing miserably, I decided to try it again after being shown how to do it, which took about five minutes. So once I finished fixing some texture issues I decided to try out the displace mapping again. Several hours later I was not happy with the affect. I got it to work, kind of, but it didn't look very good. Note the bad photo below, It looks like an ice shelf from a glacier in the middle of a barren plane.
That's when I got the suggestion to sculpt it instead. Which I think looks better. I still need to work on smoothing it out (note the hyper glossy part) but I like where its heading. I have a lot more to work on tomorrow but I think I'll have it at a pretty good place by Tuesday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Here is the next iteration of the aqueduct. Changes have been made and more are to come. I have some ideas that I'm working on to add some mystery. Also making those mountains is something that I have to do. I attempted to do that today, however after several hours of mapping, the mountains ended in disaster. So I'm going to try and do that tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Texture, Kind of.

Here is the newest version of the aqueduct. I tried to bump map some texture into it and came up with mixed results. one side of the lower columns are textured while the other side is not. I tried moving the lighting around but to no great results. Then for some reason the darker bricks just don't seem to want to be textured as much as I tried. Hopefully I can figure something out, in the mean time I hope to work a bit on the mountains and the sky. I feel that once I get the major parts formed and textured I can add more detail.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Progress is being made. I have some textures that I like and now I will go through and arrange them to my liking. I would also like to lighten them up a bit. I still needs to work on the lighting amongst other things.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So I have been searching the internet for a good image of dry barren mountains and realized it was a lot harder then I first thought. I was looking for a particluar type of shot and never really found it. So far the closest that I've found is the one pictured. I think it works but still needs some help. Along with that, I have been trying to find a way to give the illusion that the aqueduct is disapearing into the distance and so far have been unsuccesful. I hope to work that out during the work day along with my texturing. I am happy with how the modeling is going but I would still like to work on the positioning of the aqueduct. Another thing that needs addressing is the sky. Due to the angle of the plane the sky gets cut off. I'm going to have to find a seamless way to elongate it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Aqueduct update

Here is the design for the aqueduct. After several failed attempts at building an arch I finally made one that renders out fairly clean. It's nowhere near where I would like it to be but it's a start. I had some trouble with the bezier curve and as you can see some warping was created in the bend of the arch. Perspective is also a big thing that needs to be addressed, but I think I'll do that when all the other issues are hammered out with the basic design/form/positioning of the aqueduct.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sketches for Project II

Here are some rough sketches for Project 2. I decided to go with showing a section of an aqueduct because with an aqueduct the viewer is allowed the chance to wonder were it starts, where it ends and why it was built there, amongst other questions. The sketches are pretty rough and the perspective is off but the general idea is there. The last sketch is pretty close to what I envision for my final composition. I'm not to sure where I should start with this but I think I might have to use a lattice for the arches and weight painting for the mountains. Two things that I don't know much about, so the idea may change a bit depending on how well that will go.


After talking with the group about composition it was decided that the sundial/other element took away from the main focus and was unnecessary, which as our guideline's for the project decree, is not allowed. So, as it stands that element will not be apart of the final image.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project One Completed

A scanned version.

Above is the completed version of project one. The idea behind it is an investigation into old and new media. This is a subject that I happen to be interested in and wanted to explore. By using this idea, I chose a classic botanical illustration. What interested me in this is that due to that fact that we now have hi def cameras and video, the classic botanical illustration is an art form that is becoming obsolete. There is no longer a need for someone to draw delicate illustrations for the purpose of study. So, with that as a starting point, I chose certain areas of the illustration to build in blender. I took great consideration on what elements I would model, I wanted the models to be evenly dispersed throughout the image. I didn't want the image to be to heavy with either the real illustration or the 3D modeling. After modeling I used photoshop to place the models over the illustration and smooth out the edges a bit. Once this was completed I printed it out and used coloured pencils to go over the modeled parts. I chose to do this and not leave it totally in its modeled form because I wanted to make the viewer have to examine the image to find what was made with technology and what was done by hand. The idea came from wanting
a seamless combination of the two so that the viewer has to go into the image and investigate it at the same level as one who was studying a real scientific illustration for information. From the top I heavily colored the models and left a few traces of blender showing through, like the wire frame. The farther down the image the less hand coloring I did, and the more of the pure model can be seen. I wanted to have the wire frame element visible because I liked how it was clearly made in the computer yet it mimics the idea of the internal structure a plant has. For the background I decided to place a close up of the pure wire frame versions of the bud and pistils of the flower. I came to this decision after a conversation of why would you use a computer, what could blender do that the illustration can't, what was the advantage. By using the wire frame and placing the pistols inside, it goes with the idea of being able to see the internal workings of the plant, following the classic botanical theories but taking it further by doing it in a style that was never done. Then by making them lighter in colour and placing it behind the main image it creates another element, an image that the viewer may not have initially seen. I chose to present it like a classic scientific botanical illustration because I felt that it added to the idea of an old tradition that is not seen any more.
I'm rather pleased with how the whole thing turned out. I was worried about how my colouring would be because I hadn't done anything at that level of precision in quite a long time. I really enjoyed doing it and would like to continue making more in the same style. I would also like to experiment with printing it on different qualities of paper. This is an idea that I would like to pursue because I believe that I can push it further.

Here are some close ups of the image.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Final Stage

I printed my project out and proceeded to colour it in. It was great to see it printed and I was a little hesitant to start coloring on top of it because it actually looked pretty good as it was. However I stuck to my idea and went ahead. I actually think it did improve it and adds another layer of interest, also I really enjoyed using the colour pencils. Pictures will be up after critique.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ready to Print

Here is the latest version of the project, as you can see it has changed some since the last version. Parts have been cleaned up, smoothed out and finished. I also added something more to it that was not in the original. I think that the add really helps bring the piece together and pushes it to be more attention grabbing. The next stage will be to print it out and add the highlights/shadows with colour pencils. I'm rather interested to see how it turns out in the end, its been a while since I've done anything with color pencils, but I think it's a chance worth taking.