is the steamy mixing chamber in the heart of Ace Chemicals where
Scarecrow is creating his fear toxin. I was given the enjoyable task of
bringing this madness to life. Key focal points to the room are the
control console and the coolant receptacles where the player must stop
the chemical plant from blowing Gotham to bits.”
Ronan Mahon Senior Environment Artist || Rocksteady Studios
Uptown Hillbrow is an
artist portrayal editorial styled by Johannesburg born artist Beezi Flybynyt.
Shot in the notorious district of Hillbrow. The editorial interconnects
the relevance of artist interpretation in this age of influx, and the rise of
the “me-too” product.
It highlights the
complexities of being a new media artist and interrogates whether new media art
actually exists. Subsequently the environment it’s shot in represents the
crowded market share in the creative industry, as we know it. The
hi-jacking of buildings is a common occurrence in downtown
Johannesburg. Gangs take over buildings, chasing security out and putting
themselves in charge, claiming rent.
Making reference to
the 2008 gangster flick, Jerusalema. Andile Phewa depicts Bambatha Jones as an anti-hero
taking an unflinching look into the monotony; exploitation and the
transgressions faced by those looking to survive in the increasingly suffocated
arts and fashion industry.
I kinda went a little long on this chapter so enjoy!
ALSO PLEASE DON’T BE MAD. I don’t know how to collapse the story so it doesn’t show up as long. I apologize! If anyone knows, PLEASE TELL ME!!
Please let me know what you guys think, or if you have anything to say at all. I love hearing feedback! Thank you to everyone who has been reading this series. It means a lot to me. Xx
Genre: Fluff, Angst, and a little suggestive.
Jaebum/JB (GOT7) X Orginal Character
Warrnings: May cause slight heart break, and rage towards characters.
May contain: Brief mentions of BTS members.
Groggily I moved my arm, swinging it around, trying to blindly feel for my phone which wouldn’t stop beeping. The new semester meant waking up at 6am every morning for a 7:30am class; though luckily my classes ended by noon. Every ‘day one’ my first class was at 11am, and classes only lasted until 3:15pm. The only problem, I’m not a morning person. I get grumpy and agitated really easily until about 9am, then I start to properly wake up and join society as a happy person.
I got up after about 10 minutes of pep talking myself, chanting things like “if you get up today, you can see that cute Barista Jimin before class” and “If you don’t try to attempt murder, you can let yourself get ice cream from the convenience store after class.” After that I jumped in the shower, got dressed in some comfortable clothes, and did a little bit of makeup. I made a deal with myself to start letting my skin have a break on the days that I have class early. No more early morning cake-face, because once you get to university you start to realize sleep is extremely important and no one actually cares how you look early in the morning because everyone is just trying to stay awake to get their money’s worth out of the classes.
Around 6:45 I was almost ready to leave to the coffee shop; slipping on my black doc boots, when I notice I was basically monochrome dressed. Black skinny jeans and a grey shirt. Maybe I should try adding some color to wardrobe like Amie? She always wears such cute and colorful clothes. Maybe I could get more attention from boys if I was always cute like her and… What am I saying? Oh God maybe I’m getting jealous of her? Ugh, stop it. I’m fine the way I am, but… Okay, maybe some color in my wardrobe wouldn’t hurt. It would be better than looking like I’m going to a funeral all the time. I switch out the black jacket for an army green one, hoping that maybe I would look a little more approachable.
I slipped my contacts in last minute, and then grabbed my stuff before locking up. I was lucky now because this semester I have more time in the morning to get to my class. Living a little far away from school meant I got up around 6am for my 8:30am class, so this time it was nice having about half an hour to walk the equivalence of 2 parking lots. I could stop by the coffee shop, chat up the cute guy Jimin, and then head to class without worrying.
The little bell over the door rang as I walked in, a big smile on my face when I saw Jimin. I had gotten to know him a little better once he started working here 3 semesters ago. His dad owned the local coffee shop on campus, and he worked here almost every morning before his classes. He, unlike myself, was a morning person and didn’t mind waking up at 5am to open the shop at 6am. I would rather bathe in boiling water.
“Good morning Jimin!”
“Good morning Micah, you’re here early?” He smiled brightly.
“I moved on campus so I’ll probably be here a little more often, and a lot earlier than usual.”
“That’s cool. I’m glad to see you not as rushed and panicky like last semester.”
“Don’t remind me. Anyways, can I just get a Caramel Latte?” I said, biting my lip while thinking.
“Are you going to drink the whole menu this year as well?”
“We’ll see… Oh can I get a bagel too?”
Jimin ended up giving me the bagel for free as a little gift for being a very frequent customer. He wrote my name on the cup before tucking his light brown hair out of the way, and then resting the marker behind his ear. I sat down at the bar stool beside Jimin’s station munching away on the bagel as we continued to talk.
“There sure are quite a few customers in here already and it’s only ten minutes after seven…”
“Yup, we get some really interesting people here when we open and when we close. Like that guy in the right corner hiding under his duvet with his laptop? His name is Taehyung, his friends call him V. He’s been in here every morning for the past 2 weeks right when we open. Even before campus properly opened for classes. That’s his third cup of espresso in two hours, and if you watch closely… He only blinks every 20 to 30 seconds. Apparently, he’s retaking a class and is trying to prepare so he does well. I don’t think he’s slept in a few days. He keeps mumbling something about plants.”
“Maybe he’s doing something to do with plants?”
“He’s a visual art’s major…”
“Yeah, I hope he’s okay though. He’s the reason I put emergency services on speed dial on the business phone,” Jimin laughed pointing to the phone by the register. I finished up my food before grabbing my bag and I was just about to head out the door when I heard Jimin call out, “Hey Micah, are you free this weekend?”
“Uh I think so?”
“Want to go see a movie or something?”
“Yeah, sure! Are you working tomorrow, I can give you my number then? I’ve got to go to class right now” I yelled.
“I’m always here, of course. If you show up, coffee is on me.”
“I’ll be there, bye Jimin!” I darted out the door and started rushing towards my class. I was a language major, my strongest second language being English. My first class on day two was advanced English language and grammar. Which I felt would be a little easier for me, but boy was I wrong. Who knew that American’s were so weird dropping the u in words like colour and neighbour? As well as having words that are spelt the same, but sound different? Live and live, read and read? What is this?! We also established partners for any class activities, which I went to my usual partner throughout the first few semesters we had together. Thank goodness Namjoon was in another one of my classes, because he was really good with English. Where he excelled, I didn’t… though where I excelled cough pronunciation cough he wasn’t AS great. I was better at pronouncing words, and talking without an extremely distinct accent.
After what felt like forever, my classes were finally over. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep but I guess the universe had a different plan because as soon as I got home Amie was hosting what looked like a party. Though it wasn’t any of her new friends, it was JB and the guys. Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, Yugyeom, and BamBam. All 6 of JB’s close guy friends were in the living room packed around the built coffee table eating. It was a typical sight for me, just usually it took place at JB’s house. Youngjae was kicking everyone’s ass at video games like usual, while the others cheered him on. I saw Amie sat on the couch, pressed between JB and Yugyeom, with a bowl of chips in her hand.
“What the hell are you guys doing here?” I yelled over the TV. The game paused in an instant, all their eyes darting over to my position by the front door. No one had even noticed me coming in.
“Micah! You’re home, how are you?” Jackson smiled getting up from the floor and coming to give me a hug. He was the only one who really made an effort to come and greet me, which was a little unusual. Normally the guys were pretty excited to see me since I don’t get to see them often.
“I’m doing good. Class was boring… Amie how was your first day on campus?”
“It was fun. I went to that little café and got a coffee. The barista says he knows you!”
“Ah that’s Jimin, yeah he’s my friend. Oh by the way, we’re going to catch a movie this weekend. Do you want to come too?”
“Micah, that sounds like a date. Did you seriously just ask me to third wheel your date?” Amie smirked, raising her eyebrow.
“Micah has a date? With someone other than Jae…” Yugyeom announced before Jinyoung gave him a solid elbow to the ribs.
I rolled my eyes, “It’s not a date. Anyways, can you guys explain why you are all here?”
“You didn’t tell us you had a cute roommate who could cook!” BamBam, placing the controller down.
“I just got her yesterday, and I didn’t know she could cook.”
“Well she’s great, you’re going to be seeing a lot of us if she’s here and making food. Try the pork buns!”
I sighed, walking over to the rest of the guys. I was going to sit down with them but with the 8 of them taking all the chairs and carpet space, it really didn’t seem like a welcoming environment. Amie shot me a small apologetic smile before answering the question in my head. “JB brought them over to surprise us. He said they are your friends too, and also thought it would nice to introduce them to me in the meantime.”
“It sure was a surprise…” I huffed. I threw my bag in my room, laying down on my bed for comfort. I just wanted sleep, or death at this point. This was starting to get a little annoying. I’m the kind of girl who likes a plan, and I don’t like drastic changes. When things don’t go the way as planned, I start to get agitated. My theoretical plan would be moving in with my childhood best friend, going to school, having this place as my relaxing safe space, and then JB’s place would be where I go for socializing. Now JB is here and brought the looney toon bunch with him…Plus my roommate is too much of a socializer to say no and turn them away.
“Micah? Are you coming back? Youngjae wants to verse you too!” Mark called from the doorway.
“I don’t have anywhere to sit” I exclaimed as I paced over to the group.
“Just sit on my lap, I don’t mind. I have strong thighs. Though I can stand if you want to sit down,” Jackson smiled sweetly. Some people would take that as a dirty suggestion, but Jackson was actually just a genuinely sweet guy.
“That’s not happening, Micah can sit here. I’ll stand…” JB interrupted, getting off the couch and moving to the side. I slid beside Amie, who still looked a little uncomfortable.
“So, what are we playing?”
“It’s a Grand Theft Auto death match,” Yugyeom replied passing BamBam’s controller over.
“Oh, you’re back playing this old game? I thought you guys would have been playing something new like Overwatch or something.”
“Hey why doesn’t Amie verse Micah?” JB asked. All the guys seemed to really like the idea of us playing.
“Okay, but just so you know I’m great at playing games” Amie replied, grabbing Youngjae’s remote.
“Getting cocky, are we? Care to make it a bet?”
“The winner gets something that belongs to the loser. Winner’s choice.”
“I should warn you Micah, I never lose.”
“Neither do I” I smirked.
Saturday rolled around faster than I anticipated. Even though the guys said they would be over frequently, I hadn’t seen them since Monday. Which was a good break I guess… At least I was able to focus on school more, and I even got to hang out with Amie. We went shopping together a little bit, she got her nails done while I watched. We just had some free time to reconnect and get back on the same page as before. We both had changed a lot, but the chemistry was still there for the most part. She told me stories about living in the UK, and in Sweden. Apparently, she felt kind of lonely and awkward being part of the minority compared to when she’s home in Korea. The world has differently beauty standards, and here… She’s considered model gorgeous, like one of the most glamourous looking idols.
I woke up a little late on Saturday morning to the sounds of Amie making breakfast. She was busy trying to make crepes, but she dropped the pan before it made its way to the stove top. I ran in to check on her, reassuring myself that she was okay.
“What the hell happened?”
“I was holding my phone and the pan in one hand, and then it buzzed which startled me and I dropped the pan” she said, lifting the pan off the floor, “thank goodness there was no crepe batter in there yet.”
I picked up her phone off the floor, the screen lighting up with a message, “Who’s Jae emoji peach?”
“Oh, it’s JB. Get it Jaebum? Jae-bum. As in peach emoji, because it looks like a booty.”
“Yeah, I-uh… I get it. So, what’s going on with him?”
“Are you guys like…?”
“We’re just friends for now. He is going to come over soon though, he said since you’re busy maybe we could hang out and go for dinner” she smiled into her phone, “You’re okay with that right?”
“Yeah why wouldn’t I be? I have a date with Jimin anyways.”
“Thank you again for being super cool with all of this. I really like JB, and I think he likes me too. I hope you don’t feel awkward about this…”
“Me? Awkward? Psssh. We’re history, done, the past is the past. I have absolutely no romantic feelings for him whatsoever.” Amie put a crepe on my plate, decorated with strawberries and crème. I instantly shoved it in my face, trying to keep myself from talking because this could go really bad, really fast.
“Hey do you want help getting ready for your date with Jimin? I obviously love doing makeup and hair for other people. I could help with an outfit too?” Amie suggested.
“Oh, I don’t want to burden you…”
“It’s not a problem at all. I mean I saw Jimin, that guy is the most aesthetically pleasing guy I’ve seen in a very long time. He’s super attractive and would look really cute with you. You should doll it up a little an impress him.”
“If you want to… Please don’t make me look too uncomfortable though. I still want to look like me” I begged.
At first, she tried to dress me like her. A white crop top with a floral skater skirt, and sandals. Which was a huge “nope” in my books. We argued a little bit over my outfit, and then she finally went to MY closet to look for clothes. We settled on a black tank top, light high-waisted shorts, and my army green jacket. Once the clothes were settled she finally submitted to making me, still look like me. The makeup was neutral colored, and she added more body into my hair.
“Now you have that more intense beach wave look. It suits you, and it’s cute” she smiled, letting me finally look at myself. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling pretty damn confident in myself right now. The best part was that I still looked like me, just a little cuter. “You’re a work of art, now hurry up Jimin is going to be here in a little bit. JB should be here in a few minutes as well.”
I texted Jimin, letting him know I was ready. He replied that he was almost at the campus, and that he’ll be here soon. A knock at the door brought me to my feet, rushing to the door with excitement. I was really hoping for a good reaction from Jimin, since he usually sees me sleep deprived and not at my best. “Hey Jimi… Oh it’s you.”
“Well nice to see you too ‘Best Friend” JB mocked, giving me a slight hug while entering.
“Sorry I’m just waiting for Jimin and he said he’d be here soon so I assumed it was him.”
“Wow, I’m hurt. You’re not even excited to see me anymore. What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment?”
“You keep coming over uninvited?”
“That’s not the point,” he laughed. He gave me a quick scan before returning his eyes back to mine, “You look good. Trying to impress a guy I assume?”
“Well now that I’m back in the dating game, I guess I better put some effort into it.”
“Admit it, I ruined you” Jaebum laughed, shaking his head side to side in a joking matter.
“You completely destroyed me, I’ll never be the same now” I rolled my eyes, cracking a huge smile.
“Seriously though Micah, you look good. I’m happy for you.” I felt a blush creep over my cheeks before adverting my eyes to the front door as the knocking sound protruded from it.
“Well I better go, I’ll see you later. Have fun with Amie, not too much fun though!”
“Same with you!” He called after me, as I closed the door behind him. He only caught a glimpse of Jimin’s face, the two of them sending each other a small smile.
Jimin was a kind guy, and was super sweet. You could tell by his little actions that he was super careful with every move, and he was also very caring and adorable. We saw a puppy running around in the parking lot after it escape from its owner, and oh my Lord, I’ve never seen a man act cuter with a puppy before. It made me want to plant a huge kiss on his plump lips, and squeeze him to death. Jimin was so kind to every person we met, making sure to say thank you and respectfully greet the people we came in contact with.
I got to know the little details about him and his life. His family had been running the little coffee shop his grandmother opened, on the side of their everyday jobs. Jimin had offered to basically take over as manager for the mornings because of his classes, and the pay was really good because of number of “hangry” students that stopped by. The most interesting thing I had learned about him was that he was actually a contemporary dancer, and could sing as well. Though he was too shy to sing in public, and promised to sing for me another time.
The date as a whole was really good, I enjoyed myself. Though there was a tiny piece of me who also couldn’t deny that we didn’t really have the relationship chemistry. He was an amazing guy, and he was really attractive, but we were also, really different. He was a morning person who cared so much about other, and was this bubbly ray of sunshine. Myself on the other hand, was a night owl who would cause murder if I was awoken too early for my own liking. I also had the tendency to be a little bit of a moody person and sometimes I can act like a total jerk. That was kind of the reason JB and I worked well together. We were always watching out for each other when our personalities were at their worst. We also understood how each other felt because we both know how it feels.
Maybe I wasn’t acting being sarcastic when I said JB ruined me, because there was a little bit of truth to that. I was always kind of comparing guys to JB. I realize now that maybe I just need to talk to JB about it. We never really had a proper conversation after the break up. We just instantly went back to friends, and just swept the feelings under the rug. Maybe it was time that we talk about things, especially if the two of us feel it’s time to properly start moving on. I couldn’t do that to Jimin anyways. That’s the worst thing I could probably do; starting a relationship with him before I even properly figure out my feelings for my best friend.
Jimin dropped me off at my dorm, which was still empty at the time. I invited him in for a little bit to thank him for taking me out and share some of the cake we bought from the bakery before we arrived. In the end, the evening was really nice. I had fun, and promised that we’d hang out a little more… as friends. I gave him a big hug before saying goodbye. It hadn’t been more than a minute or two when I noticed he had left his headphone on the counter. I grabbed them, slipping on my shoes and swung open the door. As soon as I lifted my head I was stunned to see two bodies in front of me. JB and Amie, planting a deep kiss on each other.
Hey guys! So basically there’s a post going around about how people can use Google Sketchup and 3DSmax for 3D reference with environments and characters. That was mostly just made for incredibly basic shapes and characters, just blocking out the shot so you have a good reference to work off. I’d modelled quite a bit of an environment for something I was working on myself, and just wanted to show you how having more complex models (just slightly) and setting up a bigger scene for you to use in the long run can also help!
Starting off with the model I have atm (which IS unfinished, but I’m just gonna use it as a demonstration).
(I really hope these can be clicked for full res)
So let’s say I use the above shot. It was modelled after a drawing I’d done, but we’re going with the assumption that it was made first and I wanted to use it as drawing reference instead. Taking into account im by no means a traditional artist, I quickly just drew this:
I sketched over the shapes to attain the look I roughly wanted to go for, then I could just add the details in after. It saves a LOT of time spent thinking, estimating perspective that could REALLY be wrong, and is easily flexible to explore.
Doing Low-Poly modelling is easier and quicker for long shots of environments, and close up shots if they’re basic or cubic. High poly things, I would say Hire someone if you wanna do that unless you already know how to 3D model a bit yourself. If you have a 3D model, you can turn it to every angle and have The Best possible reference for your object/character, and if you’re lucky you can even pose it and make a scene to draw from, giving your drawings more life, and applying the texture and aesthetic you possibly otherwise couldn’t in 3D software.
This is still relatively low poly, but it’s not just basic cubes done in 10 minutes. I’ve laid out the scene and posed the camera taking into account composition with the Rule of thirds, as well as keep hard edges on the trees so it’s known what kind of texture I want them to be! Same going with the stairs, I’d add some extra bumps or slants into them to know I want them to be worn or broken a little.
The only thing that isn’t in here are the details I WAS going to be working on such as the leaves above, and rocks littered around the scene. (The Model of the character up there is actually a high-poly rigged and weighted character I can pose that I made myself, but it could easily be made p quickly in its neutral pose)
It took what like 20 minutes to just quickly sketch these up? It can REALLY help, you just fly around the environment, take a screenshot, sketch over it quickly to get the roughs down of how you want it to look, then you can actually put the detail and colour over it. It also is a great tool to understand how contouring works in shapes.
So you know what angle things are, the curvature of the surface etc.
However, even though this is a greatly beneficial process to use, you DO need to understand how to do basic 3D modelling and how to draw. If not and you have a lot more expertise in only one of the fields, this is a really great technique to use in benefitting someone else. You could model the environment for somebody to good detail and provide them with the model to explore for reference (or if they don’t know how to use the software, ask them about a desired angle and screenshot it). On the other hand, if someone can model but can’t draw, you could also help with that too!
It’s something that you could potentially get a job in doing too, if somebody is looking for an environmental modeller for their graphic novel or webcomic for example, if you don’t have enough experience to use it fully in movies or games.
I’m in the position that I have quite a bit of 3D modelling experience, but I really can’t draw at all, so this also serves as a great tool for me to use personally to improve my understanding of environmental perspective!
I hope this helps C: If you have any questions, feel free to shoot.