So I have been hard at work (at most times, I swear) over the past couple of months on StylePixelStudios stuff.
I have been slowly chipping away at my projects, starting new ones, finishing much enjoyed ones, doing a fair bit of admin work (
yaaaay) and at some stage I even went to my 9-5 job. Truth be told though I have had a very busy couple of months at my normal job, which to a degree has effected my design work; getting to work early, staying back late, having it on my mind etc. Hopefully this will ease up soon and I can concentrate a bit more on my design work.
In any case, here’s a round up of what I have been working on in the last 2 months!
The original design was delivered in early April, however after a post-prototype manufacture review, it was decided that the mat would be revised to make it more child-friendly. In addition, this was done as it was found that the smaller details on the original design were not coming out in the manufactured mat, which is basically a carpet. This has meant that some minor revisions have been made to the mat, but it still looks incredible and kids will absolutely love. Adults I am sure will love it as well, seeing real life circuits portrayed on a play mat, which usually contain a hodge-podge of roads, intersections, racing roads etc. Good for young and old!
The founder of SpeedScenes is currently trying to sort out licensing issues, but is hoping to have the mats on sale very shortly! I would love to be able to show everyone what it looks like because it is really, super dooper cool!
SIC – SUNBURY INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT
I have taken some big strides with regard to the design of the Sunbury International Circuit. More and more these day I find myself referring to the circuit as the Sunbury International Circuit instead of, say, the Australian International Motorsport Centre, for example. I think it has a better ring to it! The reason for this is that the circuit will be located close to the town of Sunbury, near the outskirts of Melbourne metropolitan area.
Since last time, I initially concentrated on the conceptual design of the main grandstand and pit building, feeling that the circuit layout was fairly finalised. However I thought about it and felt I needed to ‘drive’ the circuit before I signed off on the layout in order to get a feel of the flow and the characteristics of the circuit. So I entered the realm of racing simulation gaming.
I modelled the initial circuit layout in a program called Bob’s Track Builder which a circuit-modelling specific program that is very powerful. I then used a racing simulator game called rFactor so that I could actually drive the circuit. To see the circuit in the game, with the right elevations, circuit widths, corner sizes, it is a real pleasure to see and experience. To see what I had only seen as lines on a page be transformed into a virtual but usable world was amazing. I have taken some videos of me driving around it, but more on that a little later.
ADD BTB PHOTO
My decision to use this as a tool to develop the circuit was incredibly justified in that immediately there were modifications to be made. Turn 1 and 3 became a bit looser, Turn 5 opened up and Turn 18 was brought much more closer to the preceding section. It also allowed my to fine tune some corners and make them more interesting. The original design had largely constant radii corners leading into straights, however with BTB and rFactor I was able to experience what the circuit was like, and how the circuit characteristics were and how to enhance it.
Below is the latest graphical look at the circuit, complete with red/white ripple strips, pit building, run off areas and starting grid. Truth be told, seeing it just like this is incredibly exciting for me!
Circuit layout of the Sunbury International Circuit inclusing ripply strips and run off areas.
As alluded to earlier, here are some circuit prototype video recordings of me driving around the circuit. The first is a ‘hot lap’ of me from start to finish, while the other is a race start with AI opponents demonstrating the effectiveness of the circuit width in that area. Pay no attention to the skill of the driver (me) as I am not fantastic!
Flaying Lap of SIC performed by yours truly
Race start of SIC performed by yours truly
As you can see, the circuit doesn’t offer fantastic elevation changes as one might see in Spa-Francochamps, but what I really enjoy about the circuit is that it sort of takes the driver on a journey. At the lower end of the circuit you feel so far away from the pit building, a bit isolated. This is something I wanted to achieve as a lot of the newer circuits sort of feel stadium-esque, where you never really feel too far away from the pit building.
The work for SIC in the future will be to fine tune the circuit a little more, and to develop the circuit on a virtual level, including adding in barriers, run off areas, and later buildings, grandstands. Having the circuit in a virtual environment will enable me to build the circuit up as it would exist in real life, enabling people to view the circuit in many different angles and areas that would not be possible by simple renderings. The outer circuit areas will also need to be planned, including access and entry/exit roads, which all will feed into a circuit plan.
Other aspects to complete include the pit building and main grandstand design, as well as branding for the circuit (which may be the next item on the list given the above videos and the like).
My work for 2Mar has been sporadic up until about Easter as the team were working on ensuring the internal detail of the arm was absolutely spot on. Around Easter, the team were preparing to display the prototype to the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs, a big meeting indeed! I was brought in to design a new set of covers for the arm for the meeting based on the new internal structure.
Photo of the prototype taken from the 2Mar Robotics Facebook page. The arm is i use through the iPad being held by the child in the wheelchair.
The covers were 3D printed due to the quick turn around time required. The covers proved challenging given the constrains of having space for wiring an ensuring arm moveability, as well as a totally new skeleton. However it is an absolute joy to see the covers on the arm in action and I hope people found the look really excellent and interesting!
The arm is really incredible, being able to be controlled via iPad or iPod, and will really help those with limited mobility. The arm has been demonstrated (as seen above) to be able to pick up items, move them around and set them back down in another location.
2Mar work will likely slow down for the second half of the year as the team continue to work on the internal arm components and looking for opportunities to provide the arm to those who need it.
Give 2Mar a visit at 2Mar.com to see the arm, including some really great videos of the arm in action!
QUALIFYING WORK AND CARS LINE UP
Last blog post I posted up some images and information on a side project I was working on to do with Formula 1 qualifying results. The idea was to graphical represent the distance between the top 10 cars given their qualifying times, assuming they started at the same time and location.
Qualifying results from Australia 2013
Since then I decided to try some 2014 results, revising the entire range if cars to match their 2014 counterparts, as well as updating the graphical and layout side of things.
All 2014 Formula 1 cars and drivers
2014 Australian Grand Prix Qualifying results (click for bigger!)
I love seeing these images as it really shows how close these laps really are!
I am aiming to have all of the 19 rounds done, with the circuits matching the actual circuit layout (so Monaco will have walls on both sides, Circuit of the Americas will have the pit lane on the left etc.), and all fitting together to make a big poster! At current resolution it is looking to be about 2 metres wide, which is just awesome! I will not likely work on updating all the rounds until after the final round is finished, then release them all in out hit!
Top Wings is a game for iOS much like Flappy Bird, except you control an aircraft and have to dodge buildings and clouds.
I was approached to perform some pixel art work, initially to design 8 different real life aircraft designs, and now I have been approached to perform a general update to all the graphics, including new buttons, backgrounds etc.
Not much to show at all on this as it is a Work in Progress, but I am liking what I am producing!
I ventured into r/worldbuilding for some reason and found some posts that dealt with the creation of worlds through the designing of tectonic plates.
What. Adam, don’t get into this!
Tectonic movement is the movement of large plates in the crust of the earth. Tectonic plates make up the surface of the Earth, and the theory is that the movement of these plates is what has caused large oceans, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes.
What the heck does this have to do with design?
More as a side project, I was inspired to make a world of my own! The project I have dubbed ‘Creation of a World’ will involve the research of tectonic plates, the design of tectonic plates and the creation of a world (land, mountains, oceans etc.) based on those plates. I will also include climatological and meteorological aspects as well, creating a full world.
My aim is to create a world as I have always been somewhat interested in geology and geography. But also, the design of the world will feed into a n eventual concept music album I will be creating that will use the world as its setting. I didn’t really want to use the real world as it gets a bit to realistic and restrictive, so I have decided to make my own world as a result.
That’s it from me this time! Many exciting things to do in the near future, and so much to look forward too!
I would absolutely love to hear from, get feedback, or even talk about projects! Give me a buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have an online portfolio currently based in Behance. Check it out at https://www.behance.net/stylepixelstudios.
Thanks for reading,