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Check out my Port Folio Site: http://www.bradleymj.com/

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Female bust Update

Just about there, no more time for this one!

This will act as a base for a 2D composite with all the ingredients for the Norwich Castle Keep Shots.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Something I am thinking about in my practice is 'Innovation', this has stemmed from my further education / ongoing masters degree and the recurring question of 'how' is your practice Innovative? 

One thing that has kept cropping up is how I have evolved my process 'work in progress / WIPS!..

This example of a current branding project for an upcoming restaurant shows how I combine my traditional sketch, digital development and referencing to develop my designs.

Overlaying all components in various iterations to fully explore all the options from the produced content:

07; Line work clean up / Design development #02_Inverse Test: 

07; Line work clean up / Design development #02:

06; Line work clean up / Design development #01:

05: Initial line work clean up:

04: Sketch studies / design development:

03: Traditional Thai style Artwork inspiration:

02: Specific reference:

01: Brief!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Fibre mesh test 01

My 1st exploration of the fibre mesh  feature in Z Brush 4R7 with my Current female character bust;

Going in with the Eyebrows & lashes. Following the Gnomon tutorial from Madeleine Scott -Spencer, Scott-Spencer refers to experience in 'Real' props for film where the layering of hair was arranged from the lowest point upwards, repeating this in Z Brush gives more accurate and manageable results.  I am also referencing to an amazing artist; Hossein Diba:


Beginning by masking the relevant area and blurring the edge of the mask in a lower subdivision, which then tells Fibre mesh to generate smaller / shorter hairs in the blurred area! Using the grooming brushes and sculpting tools to finalise the overall shapes.

This is a pretty straight forward entry point as I am just sticking to the eye lashes and brows, If I was to create the head of hair I would have to produce several sub tools to build up the hair accurately to suit the desired style. The working screen shot shows the varied modifiers which adjust every aspect of the 'fibres' which are then transformed into subtools and can be further manipulated with the programmes standard sculpting tools.

My next task will be to poly paint the face, although I may end up UV unwrapping to create a UV map I can paint and texture in

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Space Mining Engineer Concept Development

The following images show the start of my process for tackling this specific character development, beginning with collating references and moving on to thumbnail sketches which are diluted to the strongest three, refined and then montaged to a final concept which I will take into 3D and iterate as I work.

The bust development shown in a previous post is the characters bust and will act as a base for the 3D development of the overall character concept.

Mining Truck concept kick off

As part of my self negotiated unit I will be looking to develop my hard surface modelling skills by developing a concept for a giant mining truck based on an alien planet, to coincide with the female character posted below, this will be her vehicle and will help to give a back story to the character.

The reference sheet shows real world earth movers which will form the base for the concept, the idea is that I will use the wheel base for the foundation of the design as a feature production would be able to source one of these vehicles and use it for filming and projecting the CGI concept truck in post production, using a technique called match moving.

The initial sketch concept shown here was created prior to the main brief being finalised as a test piece or warm up for the work to come. The concept requirements are that the truck should have a substantial deck area with a large living quarters to the rear, an airlock must be introduced, but this will need to be at a lower level that shown on my initial concept to avoid having too much climbing to access it in the harsh alien environment.

My next task with this concept is to use one of the references as a base to create a more accurate concept to fir the brief before moving to 3D and blocking out the hard surface model.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Female lead Character Bust Wip 01

1st post for this current project, producing a 'Strong Female Lead Character' in a complementary acknowledgement to recent classic roles such as Ripley in the 'Alien' Franchise, this bust will be recycled for another upcoming project, the visualisation of the Norwich Castle Keep in its original period setting;

Bust Work In Progress, Z Brush BPR render and Photoshop Composite:

The main forms are in place but the eyes still need further adjustment, once the main issues are resolved I will add skin pore detail, wrinkles etc. I then will be experimenting with the 'Fibre Mesh' feature of Z brush to simulate the hair


Here are some progress sketches and 3D mock up for 'Bertie', pitch work for a small robot companion hand made by a minor based on a remote planet, for his young son back home...

The images in reverse order show a mock up of the head of one of the sketches from the 2nd sketch sheet, this was modelled in Z Brush and rendered in key shot, the final 3 texture variations were composited in Photoshop, balancing the renders with and without lighting in the eye areas. Further notes above each image:

Sketch thumb sheet 02: more specific 'Gargoyle' look explored as requested by the client, reference sheet below.

My initial sketch thumb sheet shows a range of possible approaches as per the reference sheet below, I was aiming for a child friendly companion robot as unfortunately the brief was very vague and had little information on the robots appearance or the child's age etc.

Friday, 29 May 2015

No Cigar...

No posts for a while as I have been collecting myself post hand in / short listing events recently.

I have decided to try posting interesting finds on here as a source of reference for myself as I look back through the blog.

This fractal shape fantasy blew me away:

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Spit Paint warm up_Captive mermaid

Gonna try and do regular warm up sketches, 'Daily SpitPaint' group on facebook is a good inspiration and some unbelievably talented artists on there.

Todays chosen topic was 'Captive Mermaid', felt great to do something different!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Interdisciplinary Group Critique_7th May

A positive critique and feedback session as part of the MA schedule, a key benefit of which, as the title suggests is the 'interdisciplinary' aspect where a mixed group of MA students from all disciplines review and give honest opinions to your work.

In a some what harsh but holistic approach I was asked to show my final production and receive critique from the group without being able to comment. As this was my first foray into the world of sound production I based my sound work on a slowly animated reveal of a fantasy environment.  The final submission piece can be seen here:

After setting up my work I pressed play and sat squirming for just over 2 minutes while the group silently observed my work.  After the animatic finished there was a deadly silence for a few seconds before Paul, the session leader offered up the work for critique.  Initial comments included:

'Initial calming feeling becomes more sinister with the progression of the soundtrack'

'the imagery and sound were matched'

'...left with a sense of expectation, wondering what will happen next.'

I was awash with a massive sense of relief as my general intentions were carried across and a group of commentators with no specific understanding of my practice clearly identified my implied concept. The concluding discussion was invaluable with my personal battle of searching for my place in industry nearing an end.  It now seems clear that my skill set is in the generation and development of concepts to brief, with my ongoing task being to continue to research top industry professionals and identify their ongoing developments in working practice and innovation, at the same time taking what is applicable and complementary to my own working practice.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

ECU & Wide shots

Close up and wide shots from the start and end of the final animatic production:

Monday, 4 May 2015

May the 4th

The deadline is looming and I have to cap my time on the environment visuals to leave me with this week to finalise my sound mix as well as a few other tasks...

I have tweaked a cropped image of the scene without the framing archway as that is more relevant to the moving image that will be submitted, I also realised the composition was slightly out with the arch and will have to adjust in the final cut animatic.

Below shows the cropped scene with the full scene in grey scale showing the frames for the short animation.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Audio Mix Session #1

After dabbling in Audacity by cropping my Foley recordings down to the most suitable clips, it was time to bring the final sound bites into Logic Pro to mix the track for my pre vis animatic.

As this was my first proper dabble in the Logic Pro Software I called on the help of the NUA studio technician Sam Barnes who was kind enough to hold my hand through basic editing and manipulation of the tracks.

I was referencing a personal favourite song of mine from 1995 by FSOL (Future sound of London) called Amoeba:

The track begins with a female vocal chord which has been manipulated and repeated to create a rhythm, I wanted to replicate this for the opening sequence of my shot to create an element of sophistication and ambience. Initially I had recorded my own vocal which I was hoping to manipulate to work, however it quickly became clear that it was not going to work.  Fortunately Logic comes with pre recorded female vocals that can be laid down using the key board, once I had overcome the interface I was able to compose 2 tracks of vocals which I edited to replicate the intro of the FSOL piece.

Once I was happy with the female vocal as a base I began to bring in the various Foley sound bites to layer up the mix.  by the end of the session I had imported and arranged the wind, water and stone atmospherics, these will need to be tweaked in order to break up the frequencies by adjusting the EQ levels, I was also advised to move the sound between the left and right sides of the speakers to help fill the space the sound is representing.

Below is a screen grab of the results of the 1st Foley session:

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Deity DD

The culmination of my British Museum Sketch Study combined with a life class session to match the pose.

To be composited into my scene as the ghostly Deity figure floating above the Sanctum Pool.


Monday, 27 April 2015

Temple Guardians_Update

Time is running out and this fella had to be sped up, although a final combination of test renders of 4 materials proved a good combination. I had always intended to try and create a Sci Fi variant finish to the original (reference montage below,) heavily weathered and patinated Bronze, this was a fairly educated test thanks to the previous rendering mock up.

With extra time I would continue to composite by painting more detail in Photoshop, this is unlikely to happen before deadline, will get it into the scene next and match in it with a colour and atmospheric pass...


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Goddess Temple_Inner Sanctum Concept Composite Wip 6

The latest work in progress of my temple sanctum, next elements to work up & include are the framing archway, guardians and Goddess deity.

Goddess Temple Sanctum_Wip Dump

Been busy beavering away on the temple environment mock up for my Goddess bust.

Took my time learning / getting the hang of the ZBRush 4R7 update, having a pleasant time putting together the pieces and mocking up in Photoshop.

My process to date has involved the initial rough sketch of the master-plan which was iterated in sketch form before the 4R7 block out and basic lighting / material render.

Using multiple 3D renders to composite in photoshop, painting and adding photographic texture, the intention being to frame the piece with the arch way from the initial concept framed with a pair of Guardians which I have been working on separately ( see previous ;D)

The composite WIPS (work in progress) shown below shows the stages from the 3D render / 1st pass to a more developed composite with photo texture and digital matte painting.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Material render tests and composite

Ran a few specific material test renders of my latest guardian work in progress.
Composited the varied finishes in Photoshop for a potential science fiction stone / metal finish - more experimentation to follow:


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Foley Session 02_19th March

The second round at Foley was specifically booked to capture a more specific water pouring sound to accurately match the imagery of the mirror pool / waterfall in my final scene.

I had sourced a metal tray / flower pot base to replicate the pools material, it was also complementary in shape which should help on some level of detail..!?

With the assistance of Sam Barnes, Studio technician, We captured four takes, the 1st of which being a test run to set up the recording levels and experiment with the pouring height and speed. I realised with the 1st take that we had to go back to pouring from the watering can used in the 1st Foley session as the bucket I initially used was to difficult to replicate a steady controlled pour.

The 2nd and 3rd run were a lesson in controlled water pouring whilst trying not to breath in the direction of the mic as well as not clanking the headphone cable against anything...

The 4th and final take was the most successful with 2 clear patches of smooth babbling with a hint of pour, next move is to look at audacity and start the editing process of all the suitable sounds captured in the 2 Foley sessions.

I have also sourced some royalty free stock sounds that will serve as layering for my editing process:


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Guardian Wip 03

Submission deadline looming has put the emphasis on getting a clean render of this ongoing piece: