. David Fletcher

Game Art

He-Man Original Artwork
12th January 2017

I've bought and documented lots of lovely original drawings from the He-Man and She-Ra 1980s TV series.

Starship Troopers Storyboards
14th November 2016

In October 2016 Propstore auctioned a large collection of items owned by the movie director Phil Tippett and from it I bought eight storyboard pages from Starship Troopers.

27th October 2016
Researching Devon Drawings

Recently I bought two unidentified nineteenth century drawings from eBay and wanting to find out more, I set out to discover who they were by and where they were drawn. Read about the exciting discoveries I made here.

28th July 2015
North Hall Manor, Widecombe-In-The-Moor

Recently archaeologists from Dartmoor National Park Authority set about digging in two fields at Widecombe-In-The-Moor looking for the lost manor of North Hall. When I read about this in one of their newsletters I contacted the NPA archaeologist, Andy Crabb to ask if he would be interested in some drone photographs and photogrammetry of the site. Andy jumped at the chance so I volunteered to come along and record their dig.

The excavation aimed to locate the medieval manor house of North Hall and they believe they have now done so as reported in the Western Morning News. Previously features have been seen in one of the fields from aerial photography dating to the Second World War. Andy was keen to see if anything can be seen from the air today and whether photogrammetry might shed any further light on the potential locations of the manor.

I flew my DJI Phantom over each field with the camera pointing straight down and taking photos every two seconds. I then took close up photos over each trench. The photos were then processed using Autodesk Recap and Agisoft Photoscan into large 3D meshes and textures. The full data set has been uploaded to the Heritage3D section of my website for all to view and use. It shows the main field where it is believed that the manor was situated. Photogrammetry for the second field has proved trickier and I aim to get it complete and uploaded here as soon as I can.

I will leave the interpretation of the data I produced to professional archaeologists and I hope it is of use in their understanding of North Hall.

16th October 2014
The (British) Museum Of The Future
What should a museum of the future look like in the digital age? Broadly that was the question posed at the British Museum on Thursday night. Amit Sood (Director of the Google Cultural Institute) was right in my opinion to say in his closing remarks something along the lines of "I'm not so interested in what digital happens in the museum itself, I'm sure it will be great. What is more interesting is what happens digitally outside the museum. London is not the World".

This for me is the key point. The museum has limited money and resources. In my opinion they have an immediate obligation to be distributing high resolution 2D and 3D versions of their collection as fast as they can. Currently if you follow the links to the Rosetta Stone on the British Museum website you find the highest resolution resource available is a 750 x 1069 pixel photo. A 12 year old kid with a smart phone could create a high resolution 3D version of the Rosetta Stone tomorrow.

There's some brilliant projects emerging within the museum to digitise in 3D some of their objects. For example the Micropasts website is using photogrammetry to make available 3D scans. I also believe they are purchasing more licenses of photogrammetry software so as to get more staff involved in producing 3D content. That's great news and I hope the museum throws its full weight behind these projects and scales them up quickly.

Secondly is the question of distributing the data. On this website I have made humble attempts at showing 3D versions of interesting heritage sites. There is nothing stopping the British Museum adding 3D content to their website using a simple Webgl 3D viewer in not much time at all. I'm sure they are already trying to implement this kind of feature but I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.

Lastly and possibly most importantly is that they have a critical decision to make. Do they make all high resolution 2D and 3D data available to download and use by the public and also commercially? I strongly believe yes to both. Of course other people will be making money from copies of the objects in this wonderful collection but so what! They are our objects anyway. Let's get them out there, let people 3D print them in Mumbai, let kids upload them as giant totems in Minecraft and let people play with them on their own terms and in their own digital world.

This decision should have been made already because there is nothing stopping someone wondering around the museum with a GoPro on auto photo mode and turning all those photos into 3D content back home. It's probably already happening (I've seen some examples on Sketchfab) and the museum needs to openly embrace and lead this digital distribution of what are ultimately all our treasures.

7th October 2014
Forts, Anti Aircraft Guns and Tudor Jetties
Recently I returned for a second visit to Cliffe Fort in Kent on the banks of the Thames Estuary to take some aerial photos. I've visited this incredible building before but refrained from flying the DJI Phantom quadcopter so as not to disturb the people in the nearby sailing club. This time I arrived at dawn on a sunny Sunday to find the surrounds deserted except for two workers in the neighbouring sand ballast works. I had a chat with the workers and checked they didn't mind me flying the quadcopter nearby and they kindly obliged. I also found that the fence to the west of the fort has now been repaired so access onto the fort structure is impossible. This is a good thing as it is fairly dangerous on the roof area. Instead I found an elevated position to the south where I could safely take photos from. All the photos and the 3D model generated from them can now be seen here. I've also sent the 3D model off to be 3D printed and will post the results here when I get them.

This month I also drove to a field near Waltham Abbey called Monkhams Hill. On top of the hill is a World War 1 anti-aircraft gun emplacement that is now badly overgrown. I've uploaded all the photos I took at the site and the 3D model here. It may be worth returning in winter and taking more photos when the vegetation has died back.

Lastly I trudged around in the mud of the Thames foreshore at Greenwich to take some photos of an exposed Tudor jetty.

Cliffe Fort, Kent.

September 2014
Heritage in 3D
I've moved all my 3D archaeological and heritage content to a new section of my website called Heritage3D. You will find new drone/quadcopter captured data from:
I've also produced a video compilation of landscapes in North West Scotland shot from my DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter.

Calda House, Loch Assynt, Scotland.

June 2014
New Archaeological 3D Content
I've added two new sections to my website. The first is called Roman3D and is a collection of 3D models and photosets showing interesting Roman sites from around London. For example you'll see parts of the original London wall, a Roman pavement, a bathhouse and more.

The second is called Dartmoor3D and is a collection of 3D models and photosets of archaeological sites on Dartmoor in Devon, England. These have been produced using a Dji Phantom aerial quadcopter (drone) carrying a Gopro Hero 3 camera. So far I have added two locations, an engine shed near Western Beacon associated with the clay mine at Redlake and the tin mine at Whiteworks near Princetown. I hope to expand this section of my website each time I visit Dartmoor and document as many places as I can.

In these two new sections you'll see interactive 3D models for the sites that are produced using a process called photogrammetry and displayed using a simple WebGL viewer. To produce the models I use a combination of Agisoft Photoscan and Autodesk Recap. I then simplify the data to a size more appropriate to the web using Autodesk Maya.

Whiteworks tin mine aerial 3D model.

September 2013
The Walkie Talkie Hotspot Simulation
(Disclaimer: The following is very approximate and not for serious consideration.)
After seeing this story on the BBC about how the new Walkie Talkie (20 Fenchurch St) building in London is heating up a nearby street, I wondered whether the effect could be simulated.

Using a 3D modelling package (Maya) and a renderer (Mentalray) I created the simple images and animation on the right in about an hour one evening.
The Walkie Talkie is the red structure at the top of the animation and the view is from above looking straight down. The animation shows the time from 10am to 6pm on 4th September. The hotspot can clearly be seen moving along Eastcheap and reaching its brightest at the exact point where the melted car was parked. Although the simulation does not predict the intensity of the hotspot it does show that without building the Walkie Talkie the hotspot could potentially be predicted.

Here's how I created the simulation

- Downloaded the elevation and plan images for 20 Fenchurch Street from Google.

- Created a simple 3D model in Maya based on the elevation and plan images.

- Coloured the building red (so the caustics cast from it are obvious) and gave it a highly reflective material.

- Used Open Street Map to position and orientate the 20 Fenchurch Street building.

- Used Open Street Map to model and position nearby buildings.

- Created a directional light in Maya and accurately orientated it using this site and the location from here. Keyframe times in the animation were set at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

- Rendered the scene and animation using Mentalray in Maya.

Animation of Eastcheap from above showing 10am to 6pm.

The hotspot at 1pm and the parked car.

July 2013
Drawing The Sea And Ugborough Fair
This month sees the opening of Stephen Walter's new exhibition: Anthropocene. The solo show contains a collection of all his well known maps of London and Liverpool as well as other incredibly detailed landscape pieces. As you enter the exhibition you will see his latest map: Nova Utopia which depicts a modern-day reimagining of the island from Thomas More's book. Last year I spent many evenings over the summer period working as an assistant to Stephen and, during that time, drew the sea for Nova Utopia. This comprised of half a million 2mm long dashes, each painstakingly drawn by hand. I highly recommend taking the time to visit the exhibition as it's very rare to see all of Stephen's work together. The exhibition is open until 28th July at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London.

On Saturday 13th July I will be setting up stall at the Ugborough fair in South Devon. I will be selling new A3 and A2 prints of my map of South Dartmoor as well as greetings cards and prints of some of my other work. Hopefully the weather will be sunny and the Ugborians will like my work!

While on the subject of my Dartmoor map, there's one detail I want to mention. Right at the bottom of the map is the word "compligarret". This refers to the room above the entrance to St Peter's church in Ugborough and could well be the first time it has appeared in print as "compligarret" doesn't seem to exist as a term outside of Ugborough. "Compligarret" describes the place where the visiting minister would retire after Compline (evening service) rather than returning home late at night. If anyone knows more about this or uses the word in other locations or contexts, please do let me know!

The people of Ugborough may also be interested to know that I have added to my website photos of the whole village taken from the church tower.

Some of the artwork I'll be selling at the Ugborough Fair.

Stephen Walter and myself standing in front of Nova Utopia.

June 2013
New Website Sections
I have added a couple of exciting new sections to my website so as to combine different threads of my creative life.

If you look at the links above you will firstly see a Game Art section. This shows some samples of 3D and 2D work I have created for various video games while working at Sony Computer Entertainment. This work used to live at www.cgfletch.com but from now on will be here instead.

Secondly you'll see a link to a new Photos section. This is a very large and ever expanding collection of photo reference I have gathered from around the world. Each thumbnail image on the page will take you to all the photos of that location. Many of the locations are photographed in a 360 degree panaromic fashion so that they can be used in 3D photogrammetry software. To see where the photos were taken just mouse over the thumbnail on the main page. Please feel free to download and use these photos for your own reference but please refrain from reselling them without my permission.

May 2013
South Dartmoor Map
The full colour version of my new map of South Dartmoor is now finished and available to buy as a print.

The map has taken about four months to draw and many hours of research. The colouring was done digitally using a style in keeping with traditional maps. It contains a mixture of local history, geography, wildlife and personal anecdote. There is a huge amount of archaeology on Dartmoor and I've tried to include every verifiable stone cross, hut circle, tin mine, burial and more. I'm particular pleased to have included the locations of some little know plane crashes across this part of the moor. Thank you to Paul Rendell for pointing me towards these.

If you'd like to but a copy of the full colour A3 size map then please head over to my prints page where you can see some close up detail of the map.

My new colour map of Dartmoor.

December 2012
It's been a while since my last post but this year I have been busy getting married! In the world of art I've been up to two main things. Firstly I am very excited to have spent several months helping well known London artist Stephen Walter with his latest project. He has been creating a new map of Utopia and it required a large area of sea to be drawn. The sea is made of hundreds of thousands of small dashes and for this repetitive but fun task I volunteered. It was a very educational and rewarding experience and as well as learning a huge amount about how Stephen goes about producing his beautiful maps I'd like to say a huge thank you to him for giving me this opportunity.

Secondly I have started a new drawing. Partly inspired by my work with Stephen Walter I'm creating a map of my own. It will be of the southern half of Dartmoor in South West England and cover an area from Princetown in the north to Ugborough in the south. The style will be a semi-isometric aerial representation of the key landmarks and features of this fascinating region. I'll be adding as many of the local historical landmarks and places of current interest as possible in an attempt to represent the complicated and quirky nature of this part of Devon. Mostly there will be lots of pubs!

One last thing, please note I've changed my twitter name to @artfletch.

Work in progress on my new map of Dartmoor.

November 2011
It's finished! After two months of blood, sweat and sketching, my drawing of The Natural History Museum London is complete.
I'm very pleased with how it's come out and that I've managed to squeeze in so many details without losing the scale of the building. The central theme for the drawing is the varied flora and fauna of the museum, with allusions to terrible monsters lurking out of sight in the basement store rooms and passageways. As with my other drawings, I've included stories from the news of the past few months, with crashed satellites, protest camps and wayward asteroids.

I am hoping that the picture will make it into an exhibition next year, so watch this space! In the meantime you can see it here and, of course, enquiries from buyers are always more than welcome. You can contact me at cgfletch@gmail.com or via twitter @artfletch.

Pickled nasties at the Natural History Museum, London.

October 2011
It's begun! I'm about an eighth of the way through drawing the Natural History Museum. I've gathered lots of reference photos from every nook and cranny of the NHM, I've grilled the Museum guides for info on what lies beneath and I'm reading China Mieville's "Kraken". I even managed to sneak into an unlit side passage off the main hall to get some photos of the backstage areas of the museum.
The picture is going to contain giant squid and other unimagineable horrors escaping from the bowels of the basement. If anyone has suggestions for scenes to include in the drawing, then please contact me. Ideas are more than welcome!

In other news I recently met up with Stephen Walter after finding out he has been commissioned by Transport For London to draw a large map of underground London. He was kind enough to give me an early preview of the drawing and, despite the monumental task he has set himself, it's looking incredible.

June 2011
The Summer Exhibition is now open! I attended the non member's vanishing day and strolled up Piccadilly to the sound of steel drums. Given that my drawing is about the destruction of two well known-London cathedrals, I found the traditional church service a little strange but it was fun being involved in all the history of the event. Afterwards, we enjoyed drinks and a preview of the exhibition where everyone scampered off to find their artwork.

I've been back twice since then and each time I spot something new that I wouldn't mind owning myself. As always, my favourite room is the architecture room as I love the amount of attention and detail that's put into the models.
Soon (with any luck) the renovation of my house will be near enough complete, so I can get back to my drawing board and start a new drawing.

Vanishing Day and the Small Weston Room.

May 2011
I'm very excited that my drawing "St Pauls v Westminster Cathedral" has been selected for this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. A link to the RA website is below.

The exhibition is on from 7th June to 15th August.

More of my drawings of London can be seen here.

April 2011 - I'm currently planning locations and ideas for my next drawing. I have a secret list of landmarks I'd like to use but next up is likely to be the Natural History Museum, London.

As I'd love to gather some reference photographs of their basement and behind the scenes areas I've contacted their Customer Service department but so far they've only replied that it would be a security risk.

If anyone has any further ideas for how I could gain permission to visit the unseen parts of this fantastic building then please let me know.

All images David Fletcher 2016