Friday, 30 October 2015

Animation: Bouncing Ball and Secondary Action

While the object was rather easy to animate, I had computer trouble regarding Flash hating the brush, pencil and eraser tool with a passion so I had less time to make the animation. Therefore I plan on working on it more but I'm happy with how it turned out despite having a shorter time to do the sequence. I especially want to sort out the movement of the red ball as is bounces up towards the end and make the looping flow better.

Fig 1: Without Secondary Action

Fig 2: With Secondary Action

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Maya: 4 Different Ways of Animating

Using Maya to animate in 4 different ways, with Rigs, Motion Path, MEL and Dynamics. The first 3 being good for character movements while Dynamics is better for the movements of environments and objects.
I found all of the ways of animating interesting, even though coding for the MEL type of animation is still a bit odd to me as I don't have that much experience in that area.

Animation 1: Using Rigs

Animation 2: Using Motion Paths

Animation 3: Using MEL

Animation 4: Using Dynamics

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Production Designer Research: Peter Wenham

Life Drawing 4: Halloween

This week it was a Halloween Themed life drawing based on the Mexican Holiday "Día de Muertos", Day of the Dead. Today I decided to bring my Copic marker pens out of hibernation and put them to use especially for the second poses exercise. I really would like to try inks and brushes next week so I'll go out and see what i can get before next Wednesday.

Fig 1: First 30 Minute Drawing

Fig 2: 2-1 Minute Drawings with Copics

Fig 3: 30-10 Seconds Drawings with Copics
Fig 4: Final 30 Minute Drawing

Life Drawing 3: Male Model 2

Experimented with chalk and charcoal for this session. All I can say it that they can be very messy and staining but they do produce nice results.
Fig 1: 20 Minute Drawing

Fig 2: 30-10 Seconds Drawings

Fig 3: 30 Minute using black paper and chalks

Film Review: 2001: A Space Odessey

2001: A Space Odessey is a science fiction movie, directed by Stanley Kubrick back in 1968, the film as been, referenced and parodied in loads of other media because of how memorable the events of the film and the premise of it was. The film, to the surprise of a lot of modern day audiences, was all done with Models, Minitures and Matte Painting, not one bit of CGI was featured in this film thats dated before the Moon Landing.

Fig 1: Film Poster for "2001: A Space Odyssey"

The film starts of with the prehistoric age, focusing on a pack of gorillas as they survive in the harsh wild until one day a giant ominous black box lands in their habitat. From there the apes learn how to use weapons from bones, clubbing a rivel ape to death before tossing the bone idling into the air. This leads to a jump cut to the space age, with many establishing space shots before landing on a Dr Heywood Floyd, who is planning a trip to Clavius Base, an American establishment settled on the Earth's Moon. According to his soviet colleague, a mysterious outbreak has occured on the base, to which he and a team go there to investigate. Only to find the mysterious structure that occured on Earth a million years prior.
Another jump cut, 18 months later, the spaceship, Discover One is on course for Jupiter, the crew consisting of 4 cryogenic hybernatated men and women, Dr Frank Poole, and Dr David Bowman, as well as the faultless AI computer, The Hal 9000. A status report is issued by HAL about the satalite on the outside of the ship's failure, which would reach 100% by the next day.  Frank and Dave head to the EVA pods, but upon reaching the "faulty" equipment, they find that there is nothing wrong with it. Upon asking HAL about the error, he says that it is a human error in his coding and that he is never wrong, going against what the back up of HAL reads to the two doctors read before their inquiry. They then discuss what to do with HAL inside the EVA pod, to prevent the AI from hearing without knowing that he could lip read everything they are saying. Soon after Frank and Dave leave the spaceship in pods to attend to a maintenance issue on  the outside of the side ship. Hal sees an opportunity kills Frank and the other hibernated crew members, in order to preserve himself to continue the mission. Upon seeing Franks body flying out in space, Dave uses the other EVA pod to go out and retrieve him. The attempt is futile in the end and Dave has to dump the body of his colleague to get back to the ship that HAL put into tight security to prevent his return, leaving him stranded in the pod, without a helmet. He resorts to the emergency manual exit, succeeds and then progresses to HAL main system. Despite HAL apologizing to Dave for what he's done, making up excuses of how he is sorry for his actions against the crew. However Dave continues onwards to the main controls for HAL and then proceeds to remove the memory boards as the AI protests as he is lobotomized to the point where all he can do is sing "Daisy" until he is disconnected for good. A message from Dr Heywood Floyd then plays, stating the reasons for why the journey to Jupiter was made, thanks to his findings on the moon base, Clavius. The way that HAL acts at that part of the scene all the way up to his death give him, an AI robot, much more depth of character then any of the human cast "Placing sympathy and humanity onto a machine character instead of the human characters is an effective way of establishing the dehumanising effect of the modern world."-Thomas CaldwellFrom there the movie turns into a massive drug trip, full of colours and lights while stills of Dave's screaming distort face could be seen. After the long segment, Dave arrives, aged and withered from the trip, to a Victorian like room. As he explores the room the viewer jumps to the perspective of Rapidly aging Dave's before it ends with him lying on his death bed staring that the black artifact, before then being reborn into a star baby.

Fig 2: A Shot from the film showing on Kubrick's One Point Perspetive Filming style

Thanks to the movie's ambiguous ending then film has many theories about what the symbolism of the final segments mean. If it's about rebirth or something else about the progress of the human species and of how even though we have progressed we are still primitive in our ideology.
"It's puzzling to me that 2001 is a film about the process of transcendence, but one which staunchly refuses to comment on why we as a race would deserve transcendence. In its uniquely closeted, cornered off, undemonstrative and aloof way, this brilliant albeit maddening film manages to jettison subtext in favour of cinematic spectacle." David Jenkins-
Also the way some shots were made, breaking the rule of thirds and making your eyes go to the centre of a symetrical hallway through the use of one point perspective (a favourite shot of Kubrick) which gives a sense of claustrophobia, that the walls on either side are about to come in on you. This sense of tightness, especially with how small the interior of the Discovery One really helps in bringing up the tension between Hal and the crew. The way the film is paced, too, adds to the tension for the majority of cases, sometimes the pacing drags on for too long leaving some viewers to become bored, wanting some action to occur.
"The special effects were mind-blowing back then. It was a trip just to look at the film, never mind think about it. (And I use the word ''trip'' to signal that for all the futuristic mood of the film there is simultaneously an inclusion of contemporary pop cultural style, especially in the final segment when the film becomes plainly psychedelic.)"- Ben Livant- djardine.blogspot

Friday, 23 October 2015

Invisible Cities: Influence Map

My Influence Map for Despina, it contains general ideas for all 3 shots of what I want in my city. Especially the lighting and the brightness as well as the shapes of the building I was going for. as well as the desert environment for the establishing shot.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Invisible Cities: Despina Art Of

Invisible Cities Crit Presentation

Interior Shot of Despina

This is the Interior of Despina. It is the inside of the building in the exteral low angle shot. I wanted the city to have a porting city like feel, which means that it would have lots of business going in and out of the city from both the sea and the desert. So I wanted to show the trading aspect of the city.
Feedback would be lovely :)
((I dont know what happened to the gif's quality but the indivitual frames on the psd file arent corrupted like that, so i guess its because there is a lack of background in those sections or something))

External Low Angle Shot of Despina

This is my External Low Angle shot of Despina. I tried using the blur feature and texture brushes to give more depth to the image. I also experimented with lighting and colours to show perspective and lighting.
Feedback would be lovely :)

Exterior Shot of Despina

This is my Exterior shot of Despina. I decided to draw it from the camels view, from the desert. It took me a while to sort out the colours and the where to place the buildings but I'm happy with how it looks so far.
Feedback is very much welcome :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Colour Comps Low Angle Exterior and Interior Shots

I drew some more colour comps, primarily focusing on the exterior low angle and the interior shot and the perspectives of each, with the help of Jordan, by copying the original image and scaling it down to include more of the environment. I wanted to have a more layered approach, by having a foreground, mid ground and background.
For the exterior low angle shot, I wanted to have the street lead to the market hall where the interior shot is based. Putting it near the ocean to give the sense that the city does lots of trading of the coast. For the final piece, for the interior I will included more items for the travellers travel in from the desert. Such as carpets and traveller gear for the harsh sun.

Interior Shot

Low Angle Exterior

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Maya Tutorials:Texturing 1: Common Shaders

I found this tutorial relevantly easy, and it was fun to see the robot model adapt to different materials, chrome and glass being my favourites. Maya didn't like working with the Lambert material so doing the glowing with and without object was a little hard due to the program crashing.
Producing the results as a gif through photoshop was the most challenging part of the whole thing in all honesty, I even had to get outside help from someone who posts their own gifs on a regular basis. Because of this inexperience with producing that kind of file, it seems as though looping is an issue even though I set it to loop more then once, so I have included some stills as well. Hopefully my skills with making gif files on photoshop improves for the final pieces.

Photoshop: Colour Composition Thumbnails

Below are my Coloured Final thumbnails for my city, Despina before I draw the Final pieces. There are a few things that I'd like to change in the Final piece. I might even do the establishing scene again from the sailor's perspective, from which the cities silhouette is a camel. But I still want to have the concept that the viewer is exploring the cities along with traveller. Also I will sort out the pespective and expand of the city seen in the second shot, to exaggerate the scene and give it more depth.

Photoshop: Buildings and Building Collage Thumbnails

Fig 1: Building concepts

For the buildings I decided to produce a lot of tall buildings with odd shapes. As this would of given the sense of how tall the city is. However when I was placing the buildings in a collage I had some trouble of where to place the awkward tops of some of the structures. So I have decided that for the final pieces I'd go for something a bit more simple but still have that depth and uniqueness that the buildings here have. 
I also really like the angle I put the city, in the first image of the collages. I most probably will have that angle feature in one of the final pieces to give a more dramatic feel, and to be able to give a sense of range for Despina.

Fig 2: Building Collage

Animation: Morphing

This an animation I did of myself turning into a carrot and then turning into a lion. I really enjoyed making the animation, it's been a while since I used Flash like this so it was refreshing to do something like this after a while of not using the program in ages.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Photoshop: Master Study and Abstract Thumbnails

Here is my Master Study works and the Abstract Thumbnails of Baucis with and without the lasso tool, then I merged them together. I enjoyed using the lasso tool but I had a few issues with merging the two, I feel as though I should of experimented with masking and some of the layer options a bit more.

Film Review: King Kong (1933)

Fig1: Film Poster for King Kong

King Kong, 
a 1933 action-adventure film directed by Merium C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsuck, tells the story of a film crew going to a mysterous lone island in the hopes of finding the beast known as Kong. The film is an intuitive special effects classic, using models, miniatures and layering on matte paintings to give Skull island a more immersive feeling, basing the idea in the films concept art of paintings from 100 years prior. Stop-motion animation was also used for not only King Kong but for the other giant creatures living on the isolated island, and with clever editing, it was possible for the stop motion and the live action scenes to be merged together.
"In recent years I have focused on the remarkable special effects, based by Willis O'Brien and others on his f/x work in "The Lost World" (1925) but achieving a sophistication and beauty that eclipsed anything that went before."-
Roger Ebert from the website
Fig 2: Promotional Image showing King Kong towering over New York City

However the film is also dated in its characteristic of women and people of colour. With the only woman in the cast being a doll like, more like a prop than an actual character who was more like a screaming prop, to be saved from the big strong male characters and never thinks to stand up for herself. The movie also depicts a racist view of other nationalities, regarding the stereotypical chinese member of the crew and the depitiction of the natives on the island. Making the natives brutish and animalistic in their ritual like behaviour for the big ape.
"Beyond its pure escapist value, Kong has been interpreted as a symbol for persecuted blacks and seen as a metaphor for man's destruction of the environment, natural order and other things."-Mark Chalon Smith from the Los Angles Times

The story starts with film director, Carl Denham, setting up a ship to go off to sea. Before they leave the next dawn he heads out to find his leading lady for his newest film, finding a young lady called Ann being stopped for shoplifting. He then takes the girl on board the ship much to the first mate's, Jack Driscoll, disapproval. They set sail for the isolated island named Skull Island in search for the legendary Kong. When they arrive they are met with the island natives in the middle of a ritual to sacrifice one of the girls beyond the gate that blocks their village from the rest of the island, but when they see Ann, with her blonde hair and white dress they are mesmerised and want to use her as the sacrifice instead. Even through the efforts of the crew getting Ann to safety by getting her back to the ship, she is kidnapped by the natives and strapped to two stone pillars as a gift for the mighty beast Kong, who turns out to be a giant gorilla. The film continously moves between Kong fighting many other creatures that inhabit the island and the crew of the ship, including Jack who had fallen in love with Ann and wants revenge for the ape taking his girl.
Fig 3: Shot of the big Finale of King Kong

Eventually Ann is saved and Kong is capture and sent to America and is part of a stage show, showcasing the "Eigth Wonder of the World". Carl allows a group of journalists to take pictures of the beast,  which angers him, breaking out of his shackles. Kong then rampages the streets of New York City until he happens upon seeing Ann again as he begins to ascend up the Empire State Building. Grabbing her, he continues up the building while Jack and Carl call for assistence from the police and the airforce, to shot the ape when he reaches the peak of the Empire State. The ape is shot down, letting go of Ann in the process. Jack and Ann then embrace, while Carl tells the police that it wasnt the airplanes that killed Kong but that it was"Beauty that killed the Beast".

The editting for the film is amazing, the way the shots of stop motion and live action were layered onto eachother so that they could play simultaneously, so that an action scene of the stop motion Kong versus a T-rex could happen alongside the live action Ann trying to escape from the apes clutches. The way Skull Island looks is quite phenomenal as well, the way of layering on matte paintings with props from the set gives the island a sense of vastness in such a tight space like the jungle. Even the range of camera movement is much more complexed then the likes of "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" and "Metropolis", with the use of closeup shots, long shots, establishing shots, and tracking being used.
"Through multiple exposures, processed "shots" and a variety of angles of camera wizardry the producers set forth an adequate story and furnish enough thrills for any devotee of such tales."- Mordaunt Hall from New York Times

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Life Drawing 2: Male Model

For these drawings I used a mix of pencil and fine liner for the 30 second and final pieces. I would like to try to experiment with ink or with brush pens so that I can have the freedom to make lines thicker and thinner without having to go over the same line loads of times.

Fig 1:5 Minute Drawings down to 30 Second Sketches

Fig 2: 30 Second Drawings

Fig 3: 1st 20 Minute Drawing

Fig 4: 2nd 20 Minute Drawing

Life Drawing 1: Structure

Fig 1: First Drawing of the Structure using pencils and colouring pencils 
Fig 2: Drawing of the Structure using black paper and chalk to fill in the negative space
For this life drawing I used pencil and coloured pencils for the first drawing and chalk in the second one on black paper. For the second drawing I focused on the negative space of the model, which ended up looking really abstract. It was also one of the first times I've ever used chalk in drawings.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Invisible Cities- Additional Thumbnails: Despina

Now then I have come to realise my mistake while I was writing up my OGR, and thanks to the feedback I re-read the description to Despina and saw that I only thought of half of the city's looks. So to combat this ignorance of mine I drew up some more concepts, from both the camel's view and the sailor's view. I also thought that the city would have different influences depending on what side you are looking at, from the sea you'd see more arabic inspired buildings, domed roofs with rusted reds and browns. While to the desert side it would be more modern day european holiday city like in my original concepts. I also need to look into the formations of Desert sand and of the Sea for futher research of their natural structures.

Fig 1: View of Despina from the ship, I wanted the main figure of the city from this view to look like a bactrian camel
Fig 2: View of Despina from the camel, I tried to make the main silhouette of the city look as much as a tanker as possible 

Fig 3: rough concepts of the second shot of the city, I need to use more of the perspective tips from the Photoshop Lessons to improve this but its a start.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

OGR: Invisible Cities

Scribd. seemed to enjoy resizing all of my slides, I have tried fixing it but it still messing things up.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Film Review: Metropolis (1927)

Fig 1: Metropolis Poster 1927
Metropolis (1927) is a futuristic distopia sci-fi movie directed by Fritz Lang. One of the first science- fiction and disaster movie of its kind. Metropolis dealt with issues of classism, showing a massive devide of the party lives of the rich to the hard working lives of the poor with its moral being that the Head (the Master) and the Hands (the Workers) do not work when the Heart (Love) fails. The film used a miniture set for the city, which has a mix style of both futuristic and art deco, and with the clever use of mirrors they were able to reflect the actors onto the set for big scenes set in the city roads. The editting in the film is much more apparent when compared to the likes of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari where the camera was mostly in a still mid shot, presented in a stage play like way. In Metropolis however there are more dynamic shots used, close ups, trakking, establishing and many more. This gave the film a much more theatrical feel and it shows a great improvement in cinematography over the course of 7-8 years.
"The film's futurism is still breathtaking, from its Art Deco titles to the neon spiral in Rotwang's lab: this is surely must be the first film to imagine people communicating by video screen."- Jonathan Romney from the Independant

The film is set in 2026 and focuses on Freder, the son of the master of Metropolis, Joh Fredersen, falling in love with a worker girl called Maria, who was showing children the ways of the rich before being forced to go back underground. He then follows her down into the worker class area below Metropolis into one of the machine rooms that power the city and witnesses a terrible accident of one of the workers collapsing from exaugion, leading to the deaths and injures of many. Freder then hallucinates the machine turning into a giant mouth, eating the poor workers in a sacrificial manner. The man then storms into his fathers office to question him about the goings on of the city and the poor standards for the worker below.

Fig 2: Still of a scene from Metropolis despicting Rotwang and the robot Hel/Maria

Through out the film, there are Biblical references that corrolate to the story, such as the Tower of Babel relating to the way Metropolis is a magnificiant city built on forced labour and suffering. As well as the tower, the Whore of Babylon is heavily reference in the actions and portrayal of the "evil" Maria, and so is Death himself and the Seven Deadly Sins in the Church towards the end of the film. The comparisons between the bible references to the story of Metropolis, helps in ellaborating on the plot and the meanings behind some of the characters actions, such as the "evil" Maria and the structure of the city and its history as well.

Due to lost footage over the years, the full 153 minute film of Metropolis has not been seen outside of its first audiances back in 1927. However due to findings of lost footage over the years the diced down 87 minute version gained over 30 minutes of additional footage over the course of 4 years of work with the lost footage. This helped on elaborating on sub-plots and secondary characters and their motives even if there still had to be frames of text explaining the still missing scenes.
"There are still some sections missing, but new intertitles sum them up, and a 65-piece orchestra fills in the original Gottfried Huppertz score on the soundtrack. It took the German restorers four years to ready this print using dupe negatives and old prints found in archives around the world. Their work speaks for itself. Each frame of this classic is drop-dead stunning, the more so now that the movie no longer hiccups its way across the screen."-Jami Bernard from The New York Daily News.
Overall, Metropolis is one of the first sci-fi films and one of the greatest in the sense of scale and crativity used for the minitures, set design and the design of the robot. In fact, her design is reference by the character C3PO from Star Wars and it was one of the main factors of his actor, Anthony Daniels, in taking up the role. As well as this, even though the pacing of the film is slow for the majority of the film, the way its filmed gives the scenes more off an impact, especially the action packed long shots towards the end of the film with the mob chaing Maria and the way the miniture of the city gives of a sense of being compact but vast is still very amazing to see, even when movies of the modern era depend more on CGI to achieve the same effect.

"Its scenes bristle with cinematic imagination, with hordes of men and women and astounding stage settings. It is hardly a film to be judged by its narrative, for despite the fantastic nature of the story, it is, on the whole, unconvincing, lacking in suspense and at times extravagantly theatric."- Mordant Hall from The New York Times.

fig 1:
fig 2 and Johnathan Romney:
Jami Bernard:
Mordant Hall:

Monday, 5 October 2015

Invisible Cities 82-101

I found the cities in these last 20 thumbnails to be very interesting, and I had fun drawing them, especially Marozia dual cities and Andria was enjoyable to draw aswell. I also did some more thumbnails for Despina just because I wanted to be a bit more sure of the colours I'd like to use, mainly being orange and blue along with white and red.

Thumbnails 82-91

Thumbnails 92-101

Invisible Cities 52-81

 I did these thumbnails in Photoshop, some are really rough and abstract mainly because I couldnt get a good idea of what I could do with that city, and I am still a bit inexperienced with the software, especially the lack of stabilising for the brushes.

Thumbnails 52-61

Thumbnails 62-71

Thumbnails 72-81