Imaging and Data Visualisation: Reflection

This was by far the most challenging module for me.

I find Maya extremely difficult and this module was extremely maya heavy. Despite how stressful it was I have enjyed it a lot.

I enjoyed the research task where I was reminded of the reason why I wanted to be an animator. To be able to create beautoful models and beautoful landscapes.

The Foating City tas really pushedmy ljmited Maya knowledge. However, I learnt a lot of new techniques during that assignment, from modelling techniques and texturing to camer amovement and rendering. This project was exciting to work on.

My least favourite assignment was the head model, however this was due to the haste I was in to get it done. I failed with first several models, and my finished model is far from perfect. However for my first attempt at modelling a head, I am extremely proud of it. The topology is another story. I actually found it relaxing in the beginning, but I beloeve that my lack of knowledge about why models get retoplogised hindered my ability to retopologise my own model.

Overall, this module has definitley been the most challenging module. It was a constant uphill struggle, however I truly enjoyed it. I beleive that I have learnt a lot from this module, as well as having information about myself revelaed to me. I know I have a lot to work on over summer. And I’m really looking forward to learning all of it.

Head Model

This was an assignment from hell. However, it was fun.

I am not proud of this model. My first models were all failures, I think I made about 4 or 5 before this one, all needing to be scrapped. And this one is rushed due to the deadline.

I found this assignment to be extremely challenging. I find Maya to be terrifying. I am not skilled in it. So being faced with this daunting task is why I did so many models. I would panic, and then not be able to work out what went wrong and end up having to restart.

After the failed attempts at mudbox, I turned to Maya, having become familar with the polygon based modelling system. I then bought an extended version of this tutorial after several more modelling failures:

I did very well with the actual face. I am very proud of the face as I spent a long time cutting the polygons, trying to keep a simple typology for animation purposes. I also think it looks a lot like Molly. I had her reference photos open on two image planes on Maya.

It’s the back of the head which I despise. I was running out of time and rushed the back of the head, ears and neck. It looks fine, but I know that there are a lot of topology mistakes which I am disappointed at myself for allowing myself to make.

As stressful as I found this task I am excited to revisit it during summer without the pressure of a deadline. Is trive for perfection in everything I do and for a head model that was made (ashamedly) rather quickly I am pleased with it.

I had to render using Maya software

I used this tutorial for the retopology:


I’m going to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing with re-topology. My re-topology is very messy, espceially on the right side of the face. I got so conufsed that I had to restart the topology several times, but alas I could not get the ears perfected. Unfortunatley, I had to let it be as I couldn’t finish the right ear.

Topology is definitely something I’ll have to reserach over summer and I’m extremely disappointed with the outcome I have produced. I do not feel that I fully understood the purpose of topology as I brushed it under the rug in favour of the model. Which I am extremely diappointed in myself for doing.

However, overall I feel that I have learnt a lot, and its really motivated me to push myself over summer so that I can prove to myself that I can do an assignment like this.

Head Model Artists

I couldn’t think of a pun that would make sense.

Continuing with my artist research for the head model.

Isaa Coster

Isaa Coster is an artist with a fascination of all things mechanical. You need to scroll down his website a little before you find any head of human models, however they are definitely worth looking at. Clean models and iticrite detailing. His work is phenomenal.


He’s also posted some tutorials on his website, and although I love his stuff I’m not sure how much inspiration I can pull from his work, due to the mechanical nature of  lot of his models.


Frank Tzeng

Frank Tzeng is one of the lead character artists at Naughty Dog. He most noted for his work on the character models in Uncharted 4. I decided to look at modellers who have a more realistic style as a lot of the artists I have looked at thus far would be rather stylized.


As you can see from his artstation his work is very realistic. His understanding of the software he uses allows him to create wrinkles and hair to a very high standard. So much so that I often can’t tell whether cosplay images are real people or reference images from the game.

Frank Tzeng.jpg


A Head of the Game

This week we were given our final assignment by Alec for our Imaging and Data Visualisation Module. We have to create a 3D model of our parteners head.

Although I love realism I also love stylised so I was relieved to hear that we could go either way with our models, as long as the stylised version was inspired.

I decided to do some research into some 3D character modellers and head sculpters.

Eugene Fokin

Eugene Fokin is a senior character artist at Ubisoft. If you go onto his artstation, you will find that his page is littered with head models.


He has worked with several game companies over the years, and you can see that with every change he has learnt something new. However, his style has not changed.


Despite the more advanced textures and more realistic sculpting, you can still see that element of his own style coming through. Its real but its not real. And I adore how over the years he hasn’t lost that unique style.


He is proficient in many softwares as can be seen by his resume on his website. Honestly I don’t even know what half of them are, however his main sculpting tools would be Maya and Z Brush, It makes me excited to ee the things he creates. But also to curious as to how he gets such clean models.

Hai Phan

My name is Hai Phan, and I am a character artist currently based in the southern California area, USA. I’ve always been fascinated by fictional worlds, and helping create believable experiences is gratifying work. Although the focus of my work is often characters, I enjoy and appreciate all aspects of interactive art.

A completely biased choice as he worked on one of my all time favourite games ‘Overwatch’. He modelled the heads and bodies for several characters from the game as seen on his artstation.


I love how stylised and polished his work is and could honestly look at it for days. However, along with his professionl work he does do a lot of personal projects as seen on his website.


He even does tutorials! Some are free and some you hhave to buy but they look as though they’d be extremely useful. He even posts them on his youtube channel!

I feel like this tutorial will be very helpful even if its for a more intermediate level of Maya practioners. He as well has a great artillary of software under his belt, but the ones he views as most important are Maya, Z Brush and Photoshop (Need to up my photoshop game).

Here is an interview with him:

Adam Sacco

With over 5 years experience in the geming industry, Adam Sacco has found that creating 3D characters is the most rewarding for him. I do not know much about this guys work, as I haven’t played the games he has worked on. Hoever, his work is phenomenal.


On both his artstation and his website you can just feel the talent oozing out. He can do both rrelaistic and semi-realistic designs, using the impressive array of tools he has mastery of.

adam-sacco-3d-yolandi-visser-12 (1)

His work is simly stunning, and if you had shown me a render of his Yolandi model, I would’ve thought it was a picture.

Final City

This is our final presentation:

Credits to Nuala for animating the sequence in After Effects, to Molly for editing it and adding the statistics and to Viola for the glitch effect.

Here are some progress shots from our time working on the project:

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And some renders of the final city: Belsfaria

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Credit to Nuala and Molly for the rendered shots.

Idea behind the city:
Inspired by Bioshock Infinite, it follows along the lines of segregation and discrimination which was and can still be visible in Belfast today. We had a city that on the surface, looks ideal with the perfected vision of how civilisation should present itself, but as we delve into its implicit meanings, all isn’t what it seems. For example, the large eye in the centre of the dome is a method of surveillance on the city for the corrupted government. Residents must live and act a certain way in accordance to a set of rules the government has set as to not be imprisoned in the other, less pleasant, half of the city below. With a more dystonia approach on the Titanic quarter, we had the idea of making it resemble a prison for those who were banished from the idealistic top half, for committing crimes or opposing the government. Fitting in along the lines of discrimination, civilians who do not follow the status quo are also segregated and isolated from the upper society, for example if you look and act in a way that is not uniform to the government.
(Credit to Nuala for typing the idea out)

Taken from Molly’s blog.

Overall Feedback and Feelings on the city:

If I’m honest I feel like I should have done more, I feel like I should’ve pushed myself into more roles and pushed myself harder. Instead of giving 100% I should’ve given 200%, but I’m more determined than ever to prove myself. Overall I am happy with our city, I’m glad that I can see how the statistics influnced our city, as well as how you can see everyone’s influences and ideas in how the city finally turned out. Feedback from the class was good, they loved our colours and the whole vapourwave tone we were going for. I loved my team for this project, we all did  our best and the final product shows our effeorts, however I think the genreal consensus is that we would’ve liked more time so we could’ve refined a few things and made even more buildings.

Our presenatation can be found here!

The rest of my team are Nuala, Molly and Viola!

Floating City: Presentation

With the city having been rendered and Molly putting together a video for our presentation, we all worked on separate slides on our presentation. Adding bits of photography, or interesting facts and pictures to each others slides. Using notes to explain to the rest of the team the slides.

My slides were the history and archetecture of Belfast so I decided to dump the majority of my research here:

  • Belfast from Irish ‘Béal Feirste’ meaning ‘Rivermouth of the sandbanks’.
  • Granted city status in 1888 by Queen Victoria.
  • 1901, Belfast was the largest city in Ireland.
  • Belfast’s nickname, Linenpolis, came abiut after becoming the world’s fastest linen-producing area.
  • Latin motto ”Pro tanto quid retribuamus”, means ”For so much what shall we repay”.
  • Belfast has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The 5000 year old henge is located near Belfast and an Iron Age hill fort ruins are nearby.
  • Small settlement in the middle ages, played a a large part in the Industrial Revolution.
  • An ideal location for the shipbuilding industry, Harkand and Wolff, who built the Titanic.
  • The Belfast ‘Good Friday Agreement” of 1998 was seen as the end of ”The Troubles”.
  • Original settlement of Belfast was little more than a village based aound the marshy ford where the River Lagan met the River Forset, where High Street meets Victoria Street.
  • Stle Carrickfergus’ trade in 1640 thanks to Thomas Westworth.


  • Georgian to state of the art bulidings.
  • None of Belfast’s original buildings are still standing.
  • Georgian- Clitlon House, Exchange and Assembly Rooms
  • Victorian- Botanic Gardens Palm House, Lanyon Building, The Headline Building.
  • Edwardian- City Hall, Waterfront Hall
  • 21st Century- Victoria Square, The Titanic Quarter
  • The Lyric Theatre and The MAC are “two of the most stunning new British building of the century” and “startlingly inane”.

Victoria Square:

  • On 24th November 2013 a carbomb detonated outside of V.S. Carpark at 11:15pm. No injuries.
  • Over 6,000 jobs created, with 17.2 million people visiting per year.

The Titanic Quarter:

  • Built on Queen’s Island, on land reclaimed from the water in mid-19th century, however the decline of ship building had left the land derelict.
  • The building’s design is intended to relfect Belfast’s history of ship building and the legacy left behind by Harland and Wolfe.
  • Recalling ships ‘prows’, its main ‘prow’ is angled down he midde of the Titanic and Olympic slipways.
  • Nickenamed ”The Iceberg”.
  • 807,340 visitors in its first year.
  • Stands at 126 feet tall,same as the Titanic’s hull.

Samson and Goliath:

  • Largest free standingcranes in the world.
  • They are official historical monuments.

City Hall:

  • Originally known as the ”White Linen Hall”.
  • After the flag facade, Loyalist and Unionists attempted to storm City Hall.
  • Constructon began in 1888.

Waterfront Hall:

  • Generates £10 for every £1 of operational costs.
  • Hosts many important events every year.

Albert Clock:

  • Erected in 1865 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert.
  • It stands at 113ft.
  • It leans due to an unstable foundation.

Floating City: Camera

Whilst I had been finishing models and stuff Nuala and Molly had been hard at work adding the assets we’d all created to the final scene.

Whenever this scene was finished, Molly passed the scene to me and asked me to draw a camera path using the curve tool and the aim tool.

I did this successfully, however it was a little jerky and so I passed the scene back to Molly so she could touch up the camera path and prepare the scene for rendering.

Floating City: City Hall Porch

Whilst I tried to get the complete city hall done, on top of the other work I had, I just didn’t have time unfortunately. However, the porch which I did have done was impressive enough that I wished to include it in our final model.

Porch render
My Porch

It was quite detailed, I didn’t manage to get every detail, but I was extremely proud of it and it was such a shame I failed at every attempt to make the actual city hall. However, I plan to actually make it when I have the time. I’m still learning after all.

I wished to include the City Hall because after Belfast became the main trading capital of Northern Ireland (sorry Carrickfergus) and after the Lienen Exchange what was orginally called the ‘White Linen Hall’ became City Hall, a polictical building. And since the polictical history in Northern Ireland and Belfast is such a key part in our development I felt it was important.

Floating City: Waterfront Hall

I needed help with the Waterfront Hall, which is why it wasn’t finished until now. I needed help getting the windows to curve around the building itself, which Alec very kindly taught me how to do using the curve tool.

Wterfront render
My Waterfront Hall

Although simple, I was extremely proud of this model, I think it looks slick and attractive. I would’ve liked to add more details, but I am very happy with this model.

The waterfront hall is important to Belfast’s economy, generating £10 for every £1 of operational costs and hosts many major events.