Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Master Study | Photoshop | Digital Painting

This is my attempt at the 'Master Study' exercise that we first started inside our Photoshop lesson. The left images are the pre-made examples that we had to base our blocked images upon. The right images are my interpretations of the left images, at first i was struggling to get to grips with only focusing on the large blocks of colour and instead i was trying to get in ultra fine details. After being pointed in the right direction i feel i have made a slight improvement on my digital painting skills since the 'Still life' exercise which was undertaken in the first proper week of University. Although i would not rule out the fact that i certainly can do with more improvement on my skills.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Space Oddities | Film Review | The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Fig 1. The Movie Poster for " The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"

Upon viewing Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) it is quite clear to see that it has been the foundations that many successful horrors have built from, with excellent use of imagery, scenery and character design that elegantly forces it's audience to stay glued, it's hard not to see why. As Peter Bradshaw mentions
warped in all senses, fascinating and bizarre: this is the 1920 silent movie by Robert Wiene – now re-released in cinemas – that lay down a template for today's scary movies, noirs and psychological thrillers. (Peter Bradshaw-2014) 
Some examples that spring to mind that would certainly be inspired from "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) and "Shutter Island" (2010)

Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a very bizarre and dark film that is set within the small dainty town that goes by the name of Holstenwall. At first we experience the prologue section of the film where we see a young man called Francis discussing with a colleague about spirits being everywhere. The garden in which these two sit is a glimpse at what reality is like as the scenery has more of a natural and normal feel to it. This is soon disrupted as we the find ourselves inside a disfigured and obscure landscape. "The actors inhabit a jagged landscape of sharp angles and tilted walls and windows, staircases climbing crazy diagonals, trees with spiky leaves, grass that looks like knives." (Roger Ebert - 2009) This quotes back up the fact that this place we are transported too is clearly not of this world and it gives unique sense that it's like we as an audience have entered the realm of a darkened mind.  Wiene cleverly conveys the fact that we are somewhat lost within Francis' mind and that there could be anything lurking within the shadows waiting to pounce by confining the scenery to give a claustrophobic feeling. 

The characters in Dr Caligari do not speak within the movie but rather creatively express their emotions and actions with almost comical stature that still describe the mood and feelings of each scene. But it's mostly the costumes and make-up that truly set the atmosphere. Cesare is certainly the character that has the most mystery and confusion surrounding him, with his darkened eyes, black clothing and lack of words spoken from him which can be seen in fig 2, it definitely gives the impression that he is up to something but we as an audience are left somewhat in the darkness as what that could be. 

Fig 2. Image of Cesare carrying an unconscious Jane 

Once the events of Dr Caligari are rolled out we soon discover that the whole story had been concocted within Francis' mind whilst he was entrapped within the walls of a mental asylum. Some can discuss that maybe all along Francis was in fact the murderer and that Cesare was instead an image of a darkened doppelganger of Francis who re-conveys his previous actions that may have happened before he went to the mental asylum and before he met with his colleague in the garden. This could better explain the murder of Alan, this is because Francis could have murdered him in an attempt to take Jane for himself. 

Overall it can be said that "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is one of the best horror films to come out of that age in time, especially as it shows a large amount of German expressionism and darkness throughout Germany due to the events of World War I 


Image sources

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Maya Tutorial #1 | NURBS, Poly, SubD, PolySmooth | Egg Cups

Above you can see my attempt at creating four different egg cups. The red cup being NURBS, the blue one being a low quality poly, the green one is PolySmooth and the yellow one is a SubD egg cup. To create these egg cups i followed the first tutorial and come out with this as my end product. I enjoyed getting to grips with some of the basics of Maya but time was an issue. Hopefully in the future i can speed up the process now that i know some of the basic terminology and methods.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Digital Painting Tutorial | Photoshop | Still Life

In today's digital painting lesson i attempted to use Photoshop to replicate an image of three apples. The first was in black and white and the second in color, Despite this being my first ever attempt at doing digital painting on a graphics tablet on Photoshop, i'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I agree that there is still plenty of room for improvement, but hopefully that will come with the next lessons. 

Influence Map | Space & Environment | Invisible Cities

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Summer Project | Thumbnail (33-38)

33) I quite like this picture of a butterfly. The idea for it came from the broach like object from the summer project. I tried to draw a butterfly that looks dark, some parts of the wings are supposed to have some tears/rips on the wings. I think it could be better by adding more shading.                                                                                                                                                               34) The idea for this lorry came from the shaver, I tried to use the shaver twice within the picture. First of all it was used on the cab/front of the Lorry and the second was used for the trailer.                                                                                                                                       35) This idea was completely random and I still cannot comprehend how I manage to turn two pairs of high heels into a swing set. But nonetheless I still like it. To create it drew the pair of high heels twice and then connected them with two iron bars, then I added two swings. To make sure that the swing looked like it was some sort of climbing frame I added ladders onto the shoes. 
36) Going back to earlier this is my attempt at the dog with its body and head all in one piece. I really like this sketch as I I used the seed like vase  for its body and front paws and I did it pretty well (hopefully). 

Summer Project | Thumbnails (27-32)

On these two thumbnails I set myself a time challenge to see how quick I could draw my thought process.
27) This thumbnail is supposed to be a snake. The idea came from the shaver, once again like the horse from earlier, I decided that it works better as an animals head (life form). As said before these were very quick sketches, but I would like to re do the snake idea but with greater attention to detail.                                                                                                                             28) As bad as it sounds this idea came simply from the high heels. This is because I was thinking something with spindly legs would fit nicely into high heels, so I thought there would be nothing better than an ostrich. Although I could have done a better job with the wings.                                                                                     29) This thumbnail is inspired from the scissors, the lower arm of the scissors is the part that was used to create the trigger. The upper arm was used to make the hammer. After this I used the blades of the scissors to represent the barrel of the gun. I like the idea of using some of the objects on the summer project to make weaponry as there is no real limit on how the can be designed. I may attempt to draw more weaponry using different shapes and objects. 

30) For this drawing I used the singular flower vase and manipulated the base of it to create a swan like body. To make the neck of the swan I adhered to the shape of the neck of the vase, I just added a head on the top of it. Once again the problem I find is that the wings aren't so great... Maybe it's time to touch up on how to draw good wings :/ 

31) The inspiration for this piece can from the seed like vase, the main part of the bird that was based around that vase was its body. The idea was that the bird is supposed to be flying towards like its attempting to grab its prey or something. If the wings were a bit better then this could have looked better.

32) This thumbnail is based upon the lightbulb, it looks slightly like the character "newton" from the game Little Big Planet 3. I like this idea because in a way It has fuelled the fire for turning the light bulb into a characters face or something. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Summer Project | Thumbnails (19-26)

19) For this thumbnail i used the shaver as inspiration. It was a fairly straightfoward process as i still kept the main shape of the object. When viewing the shaver the first time ever, all that would jump off the page to me is that the shaver most definitely looked like an animal's head. I'm going to try some different animal heads and experiment with the shavers unique shape. The only problem i have with this horse, is that it somewhat looks like the horse in that one family guy episode.... Sugar cube anyone?

20) For the helicopter i started with its propellers. The inspiration for this came from the wheel/motor thumbnail in the summer project. Once the propeller was finalized and drawn, i went onto making a simple helicopter body and made it look slightly three dimensional by adding in seats for passengers with a open door. To make this thumbnail better i would probably add some sort of control panel for the pilot in the front window. Oh and possibly a pilot too.

21) The umbrella may not be a machine or life form but i figured it might count as a structure? Anywho, i used the image that stands out to me as some sort of fishing tackle and manipulated it to be longer and have a widened end. The widened end would make the top of the umbrella, then afterwards all that need to be added was a few minor details to make it that little bit more realistic.

22) In this sketch the main idea is to turn the machine part into a surveillance camera with a fixture that is supposed to connect to a wall. I would have liked to have incorporated more wires and possibly a better look camera fitting.

23) The idea behind this thumbnail came from the light fitting from the summer project images. It is basically a machine that is used mine underground, on the front are two drills and two lights to help guide the way.

24) To make this vacuum cleaner i took inspiration from the wheel/motor image.

25) To create the this sketch of the dog I combined the seed like vase with the valve. The valve was used to make the ears of the dog and the vase was used to make the body. In my mind the image would have looked better if I just used the seed like vase as inspiration and made the body and head as one whole thing.

26) This idea came from the wing like object from the summer project. I decided that the part at the top looked like an open mouth and the remainder was a body. I would say this thumbnail is basically a frog in a suit.

Summer Project | Thumbnails (10-18)

10) The flower thumbnail that can be seen was inspired by the singular flower vase. I made the shape of the flower by simply flipping the vase upside down and added petals around the top. The background flowers are there just to compliment the larger plant.

11) I got a bit carried away with this thumbnail. First of all i sketched out the head of the RoboDino and based it around the machine part. After adding eyes and teeth, i figured that adding the body would help visualize the size of the RoboDino. I do definitely need to work on hands a bit more though...

12) For this thumbnail i used the broach and flipped it upside down. Once the broach was flipped the first thing i seen was a bat in mid flight. With this thumbnail i only sketched out the bat and how it would look basically because i would like to go on and develop it. This could possibly include adding tears in the wings and maybe a bit of blood for good measure!

13) This was a combination of both the seed like vase and the machine part. This thumbnail is supposed to be a blimp/zeppelin with a minigun turret fixed underneath. I quite like this design, well the turret part. The inflated part seems too flat and instead looks like a whisk rather than the top of a zeppelin/blimp.

14) I used the valve piece in order to create this thumbnail which is a formula one racecar. To create this from the valve, i essentially used it to make the front wheels of the car. I repeated this for the rear wheels and then added the body on top. I quite like this design although i'd like to enhance and improve it by making the middle of the body work thicker.

15) In order to make a fish, i drew inspiration from the broach image on the summer project. This was pretty simple as i traced over the broaches outline then added lips to the mouth, scales and a couple of fins.

16) The idea around this thumbnail is that it is a sword that has a laser installed onto the front and is powered by microchips and motherboards. These are found on the handguard of the sword. With making the sword more futuristic i'm hoping that it makes it more of a machine than just a manual piece of weaponry. To make it look more futuristic i could add more mother board effects to the sword and potentially change the blade to make it look a little more extraordinary.

17) For this drawing i took the singular flower vase and split it into two pieces. that being the neck and the bow of the vase. With the neck of the vase i turned it into a jumping frog and mostly used the top of the vase to recreate the mouth and went from there. The bowl of the vase was used to create the fly, but i also used the thumbnail on the summer project that looked like wings to make the wings on the fly. The only thing i don't particularly like is the fact that the frogs eye's aren't really that visible

18) Once again this was a thumbnail in which my imagination went crazy! I started off with was the machine part. I flipped this 90 degrees and realized it looked like a robotic arm! So afterwards, i reflected the first robotic arm and then added a rocket launcher to one and a mini gun to the other. Things started to take shape nicely, then i added the chest and face in. For the facial features i tried to go for an angry look (although the butt chin doesn't help that). Once this was complete, i drew on the legs of the robot. This is personally where i think i hit a snag. This is because the knees of the robot don't look right to me, so i'm half tempted to go on and re-do this thumbnail but with clearer, crisper lines and with better knee placement.

Summer Project | Thumbnails (1-9)

1) For the first thumbnail i have tried to create a spider with human aspects. I used the seed like vase as inspiration to get the right sizes for the body. The idea behind it is that spiders are generally depicted as evil and creepy, therefore i figured if i added a human face it would give the spider more expression and in return make the spider potentially terrifying.                                                                                                                  2) This thumbnail is supposed to be a fighter plane, much like the ones used in WWII. This was created by using the valve image, i did this by extending the left and right sides outwards to make wings. Afterwards to make the tail of the plane i added two more wings onto the back of the valve. To finish it off i used the tip of the valve as the place that the propeller would be placed.                                                                                                                                                                3) It was the scissors that gave me the idea for this thumbnail. It is supposed to be a dragster from the side. What i did to make the dragster was remove one of the arms from the scissors and use the circular part to make the front wheel of the dragster. The length and width of the scissors is what helped me see the body of the dragster. I really quite like this design, i would like to explore more into potentially creating different designs of a dragster, with different viewpoints. 

4) This thumbnail was also created by using the seed like vase. The inspiration came from the black markings on the vase. This is because every time i would glance at the vase i would see a nose and two eyes that resembled the nose and eyes of a sloth. 

5) The inspiration for this thumbnail came from the singular flower vase. First of all i found out that snakes are born from eggs, therefore i tried to use the top of the vase to make a mouth and the bottom into a broken egg with a newborn snake bursting out. Although i would like to change the eyes on the snake and give the thumbnail another go but possibly add a better skin texture and have the egg being broken a bit more. 

6) Once again i have used the seed like vase to make this thumbnail (i like to use the vase as inspiration apparently) How i did it was using the feet of the vase as wings for the rocket and the flame came from the wavy part underneath the vase. Although i like this rocket design i feel i could do with an entrance otherwise that poor little guy is trapped in there!

7) After recently watching Aladdin for the humpteenth million time, i looked at the singular flower vase and it came to me that if i manipulated the bottom of the vase to be a lamp, then the remainder of the vase could be the stem of the genie emerging out of it. Although the genie should be a bit bigger.

8) For this design i dabbled into making a hot air balloon out of the seed like vase or the light bulb. I went with the idea of making the lightbulb the balloon itself. My only problem is that it doesn't really have any flair or creativity, maybe i'll make the basket out of the other objects just to make it that little more funky.

9) First of all with this thumbnail i used the wheel object and rotated it 90 degrees, that was then i realized that it could potentially be a really awesome cannon! But at first i stuck with drawing a traditional style cannon to try and see what the wheel object would look like as a cannon. At this moment i then decided that the traditional cannon was too plain and boring; therefore i made it snazzier by instead creating a futuristic laser cannon instead.

So it begins...

Hi there! I'm samuel, I'll be studying CAA at UCA rochester! It's been a bit of a nightmare getting this blog up and running due to Internet and photo issues back home. I'm in rochester now so that's a thing of the past! So now it begins... The eternal torment which is blogger! :)