Thursday, December 05, 2013

FAO CGAA Year 1: 'Secret Lairs' Submission Checklist & Final Crit Requirements 13/12/2013

What follows are instructions for your crit presentations and reminders of what you need to present and submit. Please use your network of creative partners to ensure that everyone has seen this information and understood it. Any queries, please leave a comment and I'll clarify where necessary.

In response to the two design components allocated to you at time of briefing you are asked to design the ‘secret lair’ for a key character in a new cgi animation. You are asked to produce a single rendered image of a digital set derived from original concept art. Production design for your character’s secret lair and associated ‘hero prop’ should demonstrate clearly your understanding of the principles of production design and the ways in which environments may derive and communicate their visual concept through careful consideration of the mise-en-scène. Your digital set can incorporate matte paintings if and where appropriate. Aspect ratio for final scene should be 16:9 (HD 1920 X 1080). 

You are asked to produce a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your creative development during the duration of the unit. You should use the blog to reflect critically upon your own creative practice and the wider cultural and thematic context of the unit.

Important! Your blog must include:
  1. 1)  Your final scene.

  2. 2)  Your 16:9 concept art for final scene.

  3. 3)  Your final ‘hero prop’ concept art.

  4. 4)  Your set and ‘hero prop’ designs as orthographic design sheets.

  5. 5)  An illustrated character bible as a Scribd document.

  6. 6)  50 supporting thumbnails (minimum).

  7. 7)  Your matte painting(s) (if applicable)

  8. 8)  Your influence maps.

  9. 9)  Supporting research presented as a Scribd document. 
  1. 10) Your Production Designer Profile as a Scribd document

  2. 11)  Your creative partnership archived.

  3. 12)  Reviews of the Mise-en-scène Film programme. Please note – in addition to and support of your own critique, your reviews must include a minimum of 3 quotations from 3 different published reviews3 + poster art + supporting stills. Please note - Harvard Method must now be used for all quotations and all illustrations to be referenced correctly. Reviews are to include bibliography and illustration list.

    13)  Your digital set pipeline - Pre-Viz, Wireframe Model, Untextured Model, UV Maps, Texture Maps, Textured Model, Lighting Tests, Rendering Passes (Beauty, Ambient Occlusion, and Effects), 

    14)  Your submission disc artwork.
You will present on crit day from a blog-embedded Scribd document that should, in terms of structure, follow the order of slides as given below.
  1. Title page, giving your name, unit title and date of presentation.
  2. Title of your designated secret lair (i.e. The Secret Lair Of The ....)
  3. Definitive production design influence map
  4. Final concept art (environment)
  5. Final concept art (hero prop)
  6. Final matte painting(s) if applicable
  7. Orthographic drawings (set)
  8. Orthographic drawings (hero prop)
  9. Final Secret Lair render
  10. Build-up (Digital set pipeline)
  11. Final Secret Lair render
We expect a high level of professionalism from CGAA students, so please give the preparation of your crit presentation the requisite care and attention. Your presentations should be branded, spell-checked and polished. Think creatively about your slideshow, but don't clog your content with unnecessary typography etc. Your presentation should serve your content sympathetically. Keep it simple - and only include what you've been asked to include.

While you will present at the crit from your blog, you must also submit a submission disc to me, which must include:
  1. Final concept art (environment/hero prop)
  2. Orthographic drawings (set/hero prop)
  3. Final matte painting(s) if applicable
  4. Final Secret Lair render.
  5. Your final crit presentation as pdf
  6. PDF archive of blog.  For instructions on how to export your blog as pdf. go here.
You can purchase blank printable discs from the UCA shop, which can be printed with your artwork by a member of the technical tutor staff. Take your blank discs and Photoshop file to DM0 - but don't leave it to the last minute! The template for preparing disc artwork is available on myUCA/Space&Environment/Teaching Materials.

Your submission disc artwork might derive from a striking thumbnail or digital painting and you should certainly be considering this aspect of your submission now. What I do not want come crit-day is a bunch of unmarked submission discs or discs pock-marked with scribbled stickers, or worse still, work submitted on USBs. Please don't glue paper artwork to your discs as this kills computers. You need to take pride in every aspect of your creative submissions and the details do count. In terms of branding, you should consider building a visual relationship between the submission disc and the crit presentation itself, so that everything pertaining to your project is clearly 'yours'.

Important: please note, your Secret Lairs crit starts at 10am sharp. Latecomers will join the 'back of the queue' in terms of crit presentations and will present their work at the end of the day in order of their arrival. Students who have been in attendance since 10am or before will be given the opportunity to leave the crit at this time. The order in which you'll be presenting your work will be randomised, which means any one of you may be presenting first!

If circumstances beyond your control* prevent you from attending on time, you must contact Jackie Andrew before 10am. Lecture Theatre 1 will be open at 9am. Students should seek to arrive in advance of the start time to ensure they are prepared. Your project management and professionalism counts. Please prepare for your crit as you would for an interview or pitch. For some 'Rough Guide' style advice re. the stuff of engaging crit presentations, please go here.

Important! Please note this is a summative assessment. 

Unauthorised non-attendance at final crit = non-submission = Fail = Resit

And finally...

And a note to any 2nd/3rd years - your input on crit day, as always, is welcome (as long as you're wearing your santa hat obviously!).

*But not issues in regard to last-minute technical problems (including writing of discs etc.) that reflect poor project management. No student should be printing/writing discs/rendering etc. on the morning of crit day.  Thursday is your deadline, not Friday.


  1. Hi Phil. I've got a few questions for you.
    1) Supporting Research presented as a Scribd Document (What do we exactly have to do for this one?)
    2) Do we have to do a Previz as it is not an animation? Are we supposed to create a camera in Maya and shoot 360 degrees of our Lair?
    3) As for the Rendering Passes (Beauty, Ambient Occlusion, and Effects), I am not sure what are beauty and effects passes as I think we only did an Ambient occlusion pass in the tutorials.

    Thank you! :)

  2. Hi Ayunie - okay:

    1) This is simply a compilation of all/any visual research undertaken during the development of your final concept (for example, Heidi looked at lots of alternate things before resolving her final story/visual-concept) - so it's all of that collated into one document.
    2) In this context, Pre-viz just means alternate camera set-ups and any explorations of your digital sets, including lighting alternates etc. It's not going to be video - it's going to be images of your set as you were trying things out before arriving at the final render - your pre-visualisatons prior to resolving your final set-up.
    3) Okay - time to speak to Simon/Jordan: I'll make them aware of this query - but talk to Simon in Maya tomorrow.

  3. 9) Supporting Research
    Is this anything that was influencing/inspirational but doesnt really come under a category, is this a 'must-have' part or only appropriate if necessary :S ??

    1. just read the previous comments. Not to worry :)