My methodology

I would say that my methodology has changed from when I first started. I still look at YouTube videos and Digital Tutors first and follow along until I get an idea and feel confident with the programs I am using. My focus is primarily learning since I am new to this and have a lot to learn.

Nowadays, however I have become a bit more selective; I have an idea first then look up the relevant tutorials in order to create it. I have mostly been using Maya, Photoshop and Flash for my work and these are all applications that I have had little experience with previously. I had used Blender and 3DS Max before.

I tend to sketch out ideas in a sketchbook, or note it down so I can look at it when I get home or get some time to myself. A lot of my inspiration tends to come from other games or animated films. Sometimes it might be a piece of artwork. Then I work out what specific topics I need to learn in order to bring my ideas to life. I also borrow relevant books from the library and read up on them.

If I am using Maya then I look at modelling, UV unwrapping and textures. When I finish that process, I look at lighting and rendering the scene. Then I try and refine the scene, improve it further or change the camera angle. If I am using Unreal Engine then I am looking at the landscape tutorials, looking to import Maya models into them.  Photoshop is used to enhance final image renders, by doing colour corrections, etc. Before I would just use the rendered image from Maya, I didn’t know that I could Photoshop to improve the image further.

Of course then I had to go and learn Photoshop properly in order to learn how to do that, as well as how to clean up scanned pencil sketches for use in Flash. Then I had to learn how to paint in Photoshop all over again since my places of the mind painting didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

I know that I am “finished” when the final result matches or is as close as possible to the vision in my head or in my sketchbook. Sometimes it works out better than originally planned.

I also want to have a go at everything, because I am not sure yet what I want to specialise in. So that’s why I have been trying out 2D as well as 3D.  In the future I would like to try making a character, but for now my focus is on landscapes and environments.

I would say that my methodology could be improved further, once I learn how to do all these processes I can improve my speed and concentrate on efficiency and planning things ahead. I don’t plan ahead that much because I don’t know exactly what I am capable of and what I cannot do.  I focus on simpler ideas that I know I definitely can do and try and do it well.

On a more personal note, I need to improve my confidence a bit since I find myself comparing my work a lot to others, which is not exactly fair on myself as they have far more experience than me.


Music and Animation

I wanted to try out a scrolling background in the style of Samurai Jack, and I wanted the trees, rocks and stones to appear in time with the music. To do this I learnt how to use Adobe Flash. I just wanted to try out new programs and expand my skills and knowledge. The most difficult part of this was to try and get the music to synch up correctly. Overall, I am more pleased with the animation than the music. My idea was that it could be the background of a level that the player is forced to moved forward in, with no backtracking.

Shadow and Light

2nd render Final colour render Final_Correction

For the Shadows and Light project I tried to do an alien landscape done in a low-poly style. I really liked the strong contrast between light and shadow in the black and white render, and was disappointed with the colour render at first. However I learnt how to correct this in Photoshop and went on to try and improve the image a bit more. I was trying to aim for a strong contrast between the shadow from the rock and the harsh sunlight.

I am interested in exploring the low poly-style further, since it can give a game a distinct look  and feel, differentiating it from all the gritty, hyper-realism styles used in games today.

Places of the Mind

Unfortunately I was ill, and didn’t work on this as much as I would like, but I was inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, to create a level for a platfomer game, where the world is entirely made out of food. I did a pencil sketch and coloured it in using Photoshop. It had been quite a while since I used Photoshop and I couldn’t quite get the depth and shading correct. I would like to have a go at re-creating it in Maya or Unreal Engine.

places of the mind

Red Chases Blue – Initial Concept Sketches

Red Chases Blue - pg1 Red Chases Blue - pg2 Red Chases Blue - pg3

My initial storyboard was a chase sequence between the Blue Scout and the Red Pyro. I was trying to get a feel of all the camera angles and how I would use the Granary level as the backdrop of my sequence. However, I received feedback and it turned out I was drawing the storyboard for this all wrong! I was supposed to use some screenshots from Source Filmmaker and place it in the storyboarding format given. In spite of the layout being incorrect, these sketches still helped me to envision the movements and angles I would like to do.  I am aiming for something fast-paced with lots of action.

Brainstorm – Red Chases Blue


My first assignment is to create a 30 second animation centred around the theme ‘Red Chases Blue.’ It’s supposed to be a two week long project. I did a brainstorm of all of my ideas.

At first I thought I might be able to learn Maya and create simple models, but then I realised that I also have to provide concept art, drawing and sketches. I didn’t really have enough time to do that. Plus I had internet connection issues when trying to download and instalI Maya 2014. I also made the huge mistake of looking at projects made by previous students on Youtube. These projects were fantastic, however I was really intimidated watching them as I felt that my skill level was too low and that my brainstorming ideas had already been done.

In the end I decided to go for making a Machinima using Team Fortress 2 characters so that I didn’t have to worry about making models and assets quickly.

Hello World!

My name is Sashi and I am currently studying MA Games Art at the University of Hertfordshire. As you can probably tell from my chosen degree, I am passionate about gaming, art and animation.

The aim of this blog is to document my creative development, with the end goal of creating an awesome portfolio that showcases all the work I have done during my masters. I’ve done some simple animations using Blender and 3DS Max before, but I am hoping to advance my skills and try out new software.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for more updates!