Friday, 30 October 2015

Animation | Bouncing "Tennis Ball" and "Rubber Bouncy Ball"

Todays task was to learn how to use a ladder to help judge how slow/fast a ball should be falling when dropped from a height. For my animation I decided to animate a tennis ball falling with a rubber bouncy ball attached via a string. I liked the way this animation turned out, although I would possibly like to add a few more frames and increase the fluidity of the animation. I'm very much looking forward to next week when we turn this into a character.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Animation | Morphing Animation *Second Attempt*

This is the morphing animation which has been improved upon since last week, I really like this version more. But this is simply because more time went into it's creation and more frames were introduced to the animation, meaning that it flowed way better.

What If? Metropolis | Thumbnails 8-16

After looking further into Romain de Tirtoff's work, it has become clearer to me that i need to find a way to stick to the high amount of curvature going on in his pieces whilst enrolling some art deco aspects into the buildings also.  To try get a feel for how some buildings in my city will look with a lot of curves and somewhat sticking the the female body structure, i have created 3 more very rough thumbnails and some silhouetted thumbnails.

This is to essentially find a way to put in an art movement that is usually very symmetrical and straight into a world filled with curves and wacky angles. I think to help with the way Art Deco looks and the mood it gives i will look further into how Art Deco works and at some strong examples of where it has been used. With the next set of thumbnails i will try to incorporate some colour and use some crisper lines as i have used too much scribbling to get down ideas, whereas that doesn't really match up with Titrtoff's style at all...

Life Drawing | Halloween Special

In todays life drawing lesson it was a Halloween special. This involved drawing a lady in a 'Day of the Dead' style costume, we had sessions of focusing on key areas such as: Hands, Face, Dress or Arms. These were split up into quick drawing sessions and extended drawing sessions. I feel like i definitely have improved since the last life drawing lesson but proportion is something that needs to be improved. I also think that i need to get quicker with making the shape of the body. Maybe something to improve upon ready for next week.

What If? Metropolis Thumbnails 1-7 and Influence Map

First of all the artist that i picked from the mysterious blue box was Romain De Tirtoff. After researching into Romain's work for the What If? Metropolis i discovered that he specializes in creating art deco style fashion pieces. A majority of them feature curvaceous figures in poses of letters, numbers and sometimes even represent things like the signs of the zodiac or the seven deadly sins.

After looking at loads of the pieces of art by Romain, i decided to give a stab at creating some thumbnails for how the buildings in my city would look. I'm quite impressed with the outcome of thumbnails 1, 2, 5 and 6. First of all i have listed the images that i have used as a reference for my first few thumbnails.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Space Oddities | Film Review | La Belle Et La Bette

                                           Fig 1. La Belle Et La Bete Film Poster 

Jean Cocteau's "La Belle Et La Bete" (1946) is a fabulous spectacle that focuses upon the gloomier side of the fairytale story that involves a young woman called "Beauty" (Josette Day) falling in love with a man who has been transformed into a tremendous yet fierce beast (Jean Marais). Unlike the Disney remake which instead focused more on the love and the magic side of the story. 

The way Beauty falls into Beast's clutches is via her selfish father, this is because he was caught stealing a rose from the Beast's garden for which he had to pay for with his death or allow one of his daughters to be taken hostage by the Beast. Beauty was the daughter who allowed herself to be sacrificed. It's not until Beauty is with the Beast that we soon start to realize that the ferociousness of the Beast is only on the outside as in fact he is a kind and gentle being. 

Fig 2. The hallway filled with candles held by human hands 

Throughout the film it is suggested that we are in some sort of magical dreamland, this fact is backed up with "When bodies appear through walls or fly up into the air, it is almost as if Cocteau's camera has miraculously recorded a dream." (Peter Bradshaw 2014). Many props within Beast's household also suggest that everything is not of this world, for example the candles on the walls are held up by human hands coming out of  the wall, the gates and doors shut automatically and also there is people who are alive within the Beast's fireplace and there is never anything said about them, they could be controlled? This question is explained with "The statues are alive, and their eyes follow the progress of the characters (are they captives of the Beast, imprisoned by spells?)."  (Roger Ebert 1999). The house that Beast owns makes us feel uneasy with a terrific use of  contrasting blacks and whites, a great example would be when Beauty is walking down a hall and the curtains are glaring bright white and flailing in the wind. The final thing that gives us an impression of nonsensicality and that we are in a dream world is the flamboyant costumes which "are exquisite affairs, glittering and imaginative, lacking only the glow of colour," (Crowther, 1947) The costumes are noticeably more theatrical when we enter the Beast's household.

Fig 3. The scene where Beast asks Beauty to marry him

After Beauty lavishes in the Beast's company she returns home to visit her Father, for she misses him. Beast agrees to set her free but for only one week for if it was any longer he would surely die of grief. When Beauty finally returns home it is clear to her family that she has gone up in the world and shows that she has richer clothing over her body. This drives her sister's bitter with jealousy causing them to create a ruse to steal the golden key which is for the treasury, and the two princes set out to go kill the beast. After some unforseeable events one of the princes climb in through the skylight for the treasury and is shot by an arrow coming from Diana. Afterwards the Beast is transformed from almost dying to a perfectly healthy prince that resembles the same appearance of the prince that died in the treasury. Beauty accepts the new prince's hand in marriage and they both float off into the sky, backing up the fact that we were surely viewing a dream this whole time. 

Fig 4. The scene where both the new converted Beast and Beauty float to the sky

This adaptation of the renowned film, is certainly one that will go down more in history as the one that has more reality behind it's meaning. The meaning of this film clearly reiterates that greedy people never prevail and that the Beast all along was trapped under a spell because of his greed.


Image Sources 
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Monday, 26 October 2015

Photoshop Tutorial | Production Art | Whale and Bed

For this Photoshop tutorial we were challenged to create pieces of production art from a prop and an animal which were picked from a box. The idea was to mix the two to create one final outcome. We also looked at some examples of places like Double Fine as examples of how production art would be developed in the company atmosphere.

In terms of my thumbnails i feel like some of the ideas are quite good but good have been developed a little bit further as most of my ideas were different examples of placing a bed into/onto a Whale. If i took the idea of a bed being an icon of sleep i think i could have come up with some greater ideas.

The Art Of Baucis | Invisible Cities

Inivisible Cities | Thumbnails (1-100)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Invisible Cities | Baucis | Exterior Low Shot

Invisible Cities | Baucis | Exterior Establishing Shot

The idea behind the city is that it relies on Nuclear waste to thrive, this waste is extracted from below or generated via their own power stations up top. It is necessary for the power station to exist so that the nuclear waste remains at a constant. Not only does the civilization use the waste for power but also to grow their food, as it works like steroids but for plants...  How does everyone feel about the use of clouds and the overall look of the city, bearing in mind it's supposed to be inhabited by a race unlike us in almost every way?

***FEEDBACK PLEASE*** Invisible Cities | Baucis | Interior Shot

These are the images that i intend to use for the Interior of Baucis for the final crit, although i'm having some trouble, should there be more on the floor around the globe table or would that be overkill and would it clutter up the scene?

Monday, 19 October 2015

Space Oddities | Film Review | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Fig 1. Original movie poster for "2001: A Space Odyssey"

Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is a wondrous piece of cinema that tells the story of the evolution of man and cleverly tells this story through the use of a lot of one point perspective shots, dramatic scores and the use of silence to build a lot of tension in the audience.

Kubrick instantly puts us on edge as we are greeted instantly with a black screen that pans out for quite a large amount of time. This is technically the first appearance of the "Monolith". Afterwards the first scene begins which goes by the name of "The Dawn of Man", in this part we are shown a collection of ape-like men who are fighting over water. Soon after the second appearance of the "Monolith" happens, when it does all of the ape-like men are fascinated by it and begin to stroke, poke and prod at it in an attempt to figure out what it is (See fig 2). With the "Monoliths" one ape-like man is able to figure out that bones can be used as weapons, as tools. This is when they use the bones to frantically beat another ape-like man. It's almost as if the "Monolith" inspired the ape-like men to discover the use of tools and ultimately evolve into a smarter race of humans. Kubrick shows us the vast evolution of humans with a very intelligent split second jump shot that shows a bone (tool) thrown by the ape-like man skipping straight to the wide shot of a spaceship. Which suggests that man, with the use of tools have become so technologically advanced that we as a species can now use tools to make machines to lead us to space."" It is also clear at this point that the "Monolith" was sent by a higher race of intelligent life to somewhat inspire/force the evolution of man.

Fig 2. This is the image of the iconic scene where the "Monolith' is seen for the first time by the ape-like men.

Once it appears that man has perfected space travel, we are introduced to Dr Floyd who is personally taken to the Hilton space station which is a research facility on the moon. At this stage of the film we discover that the intelligent alien life forms have intentionally buried the "Monolith" beneath the surface of the moon. We see the researchers gathering round the "Monolith" and taking pictures, to support the mysticism of the "Monoliths" presence a creepy score is played that dramatically intensifies the scene, before bellowing an ear piercing noise, it when one of the researchers places their hand upon the "Monolith" we are transported forward in time again to the most important part of the story. 

Fig 3. This image shows what HAL 9000 looks like

At this point we can see that a huge space ship has been constructed to explore Jupiter and what lays beyond it. It was the "Monolith" that sent forth this information. Man has also created a machine that has artificial intelligence called HAL 9000 that controls the ship, this machine is in charge of running the ship (See Fig 3). Although HAL 9000 has been modelled in mans image it is capable of experiencing emotions, which is shown through the fact that we see HAL 9000 experience many different emotions like pride, affection and most importantly betrayal. Kubrick also makes HAL 9000 feel even more alive and sinister by always zooming into the "eye". The idea of betrayal comes up when Dave and his friend and colleague on the ship admit to each other about their lack of trust for HAL 9000 and plan to disconnect him. Kubrick, masterfully creates an atmosphere just before the intermission by showing Dave and Frank talking from his point of view, this scene's iconicness is backed up by this quote "The way Kubrick edits this scene so that we can discover what HAL is doing is masterful in its restraint: He makes it clear, but doesn't insist on it. He trusts our intelligence." (Roger Ebert - 1997) This is pretty much the point where HAL 9000 becomes crazed and starts killing off everyone other than Dave. Dave becomes crazed and hellbent on revenge and breaks into HAL 9000's control room despite ignoring HAL 9000's pleas for him not too, we can see HAL 9000 has begun to feel remorse and regret. Once Dave is inside he starts disconnecting HAL 9000, this where we can finally tell that HAL 9000 can truly feel emotions, as in this scene we hear HAL 9000 admit "he's afraid" and that he can feel it. It can be said that HAL 9000 was beginning to surpass human intelligence and would become a super computer capable of functioning on its own somewhat like an ultimate tool. But as Dave has destroyed HAL 9000 he has to longer rely on it, he is now alone, back to the natural state of humanity. He doesn't have to rely on tools, he has essentially surpassed his own nature and left with only himself. As this quote can reassure: "Appropriately, all the evidence of transitory technology is absent, leaving only man's vision, perpetuated in eternity."(THR Staff-2014)

After the scene of HAL 9000's deactivation is finished there is a broadcast plays and the person on the screen announces that there is intelligent life out there. This backs up the fact that there is indeed superior alien life out there (See Fig 4). After this we see the "Monolith" for the third time travelling across space, after travelling it settles in alignment with many other planets. 
 Once this scene ends we are propelled straight into a wormhole that has a psychedelic style to the design, it gives the impression that Dave is travelling faster than the speed of light, it's this point where We are shown vast landscapes ridden with off scale and strange colours. Also we are shown Flashing images of Dave struggling, or somewhat denying what is happening to him, but towards the seems to have a realisation. Almost as if he has been granted new powerful knowledge.

Fig 4. The image above show Dave removing HAL 9000's core memory

Once Dave has passed through the wormhole he lands inside a Victorian era room, inside this room he sees a older version of himself standing opposite his space ship. Kubrick fantastically transitions from the point of view of current Dave to older Dave by using a Montage technique so that there is no appearance of any fading whatsoever, this gives the impression that something is deliberately manipulating time whilst Dave is confined to the artificial room. Once we are in the viewpoint of older Dave the camera pans round a door and we notice another, yet older version of Dave sitting down at a table. Once again at this point Kubrick uses astounding camera tricks to give the impression that Dave's life span is now speeding through the years of his life at an alarming rate. This Dave that we see then goes to the doorway towards the camera and discovers that nothing is there, he returns to his table and sits back down. Shortly after he knocks a glass and looks up to see the oldest version of Dave we will see. This Dave is dying, and is very nearly dead in point of fact. Much like earlier we are transported straight to the viewpoint of this Dave, with his last breath he cannot talk but instead only points at the "Monolith" that has appeared at the end of his bed looking almost like a doorway to another place. The fact it looks like a doorway that can transport Davecan be supported by "it's no coincidence that the towering figures bear the likeness of a doorway, in the final act sending Dave beyond the infinite of space only to return him back to Earth, born again."  (Rob Humanick - 2007) It's almost as if the "Monolith" is there to convert him and push him forward into the next stage of evolution. This can be backed up by the fact that Dave now appears as a "star child"  entrapped in a foetus on the bed. The "Monolith" transports Dave back to earth to leave him there as a "star child" floating above the earth watching over his ancestors. (See Fig 5)

Fig 5. A shot of the "Starchild" Floating above earth

Overall it can be said that this film is arguably one of the best films to fall under the sci-if genre. Kubricks use of symmetrical compositions make the film intense and hard to take your eyes off of. It's marvellous how he creates tension by using this composition and essentially only brings actors onto the screen when they are needed close-up. The tension also comes from the fact that Kubrick loves to make his audience wait.


Image Sources

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Invisible Cities | Baucis | Interior Shot | Refined and Upgraded

So far i feel like the interior shot for Baucis is becoming closer to being completed, i've tried to give it a sort of villain-esque feel. Another point i enjoy about this shot is the faded hologram map that has been added to the windows of the globe room. The idea of the Globe table is that it is a touch screen and is synced with the map on the windows.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Illustrator Practice | Pen Tool Exercises

 Today we were introduced to the pen tool on Illustrator, fortunately I had previous experience with using the pen tool prior to todays lesson therefore it made things a lot easier to do. The part I enjoyed experimenting with was creating the Batman logo. Overall I feel like my attempts at using the pen tool was a large success.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Maya Tutorial #5 | One, Two and Three Point Lighting

(One-point lighting)
 (Two-point Lighting)
 (Three-Point Lighting)

(Final Render)

I quite enjoyed this task. At first it was hard to place the spotlights into the correct place to ensure that the light was used evenly onto the ship. But after working at it for a little while i was able to do it with no trouble. I'm glad i have learnt how to using basically lighting in a variety of ways now.

Invisible Cities | Telescope/Spyglass Thumbnails

These telescope/spyglasses adhere to the idea of Baucis being an alien civilisation. This is why i ave gone for a silver/green mix of colours, this is because i think it gives the impression of everything work on an unknown energy source like nuclear power etc. Thumbnail #1 is the telescope/spyglass that i have designed to be placed inside the building, mostly the map/globe room as with the seated area and the control hub it is better suited to be indoors. The power of this telescope/spyglass is also more powerful than the rest therefore more valuable, so objects like this would be safer indoors on Baucis. The second and third thumbnails would both be telescopes/spyglasses that would be used outdoors on Baucis, these would most likely be located near the edge of the city so that any residents can look straight down onto the ground below. Both of these telescopes/spyglasses have a large rotation so that it is possible to use them to look further up into the sky or right down to the floor.

Invisible Cities | Interior Concept Design Ideas

The above image is a little experiment i did after receiving my OGR feedback from Phil. The main idea is revolving around the fact that the residents of Baucis look down upon the ground below, therefore they would need some sort of Map/Globe room as the main hub for viewing the ground below. I would like to take the idea that the Map/Globe room is the main building of Baucis and that all of the other spyglasses, telescopes and other structures/ Buildings are built around it. I think it's also worth considering the map/globe room as one of my final concept drawings as the interior shot. 

This is another interior shot of a structure that is designed for hydroponics, the idea of hydroponics was given to me when i hadn't thought of a way of how the residents of Baucis would eat. So hydroponics to me was a good idea as it is a sustainable source of food. Next i would like to explore into what sort of food they eat, what they drink and how that is obtained. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Maya Tutorial #4 | UV Layouts

For a while i struggled to complete this task as when i was trying to cut the shape and move it in a shell format it wouldn't because soft rendering as still on. After turning this setting off i found the tutorial very good and very easy to get to grips with.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

OGR Feedback | Next Steps | Baucis | Telescopes & Food

For Baucis it was recommended that i looked into better ways for the residents to view the world below them. I was given a few example images to spark some inspiration for telescopes, spyglasses and binoculars. I am aware that the images of telescopes are very vintage looking, but to make them match up to my idea for Baucis i plan to add some other shapes onto them and experiment with the core structure to hopefully make a few telescopes that have a very science-fiction feel to them. In order to give this feeling color wise i want to be able to make the telescopes out of silvery colors and some green aspects too.

In terms of food i have followed the idea given to me and gone down the route of implying that the residents of Baucis use hydroponics in order to eat. Although it is possible for the residents to live off of vegetation i would like to explore into the idea of the residents catching any flying animal and using them as food, things like geese, eagles maybe even some pigeons.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Photoshop | 1, 2 and 3 point perspective exercises

Flash Animation | Morphing Experiment

On Friday we were assigned the task of creating a self-portrait which morphed into a vegetable of our choice and then into an animal of our choice. The vegetable i chose was a carrot and the animal was a dog. There was many problems that i encountered when making this animation, the first being that the computer wasn't being that responsive and therefore the graphics tablet wasn't working to it's full potential. But despite these issues i still managed to finish my animation enough to be viewable. I do however want to go back onto flash and re-create this animation because i do like it, but feel like it definitely can be better.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Illustrator | Logo Design Practice

On Friday as a class we learned some of the basics for Adobe Illustrator. The reason for this is so that we could design ourselves a personal logo, but in this lesson we learnt how to create a banner, create something a duplicate it on a pivot point and how to place shapes together and trim away anything that is un-needed. I really do like my overall practice logo (Far Right), but i would like to put the skills i have learnt to greater use and maybe create a logo that looks more aestectically pleasing to the eye and something that represents me more as an individual and shows who i am as an aspiring animator instead.

Zoetrope Animation | Rocket Ship

When given a mini zoetrope to use, our task was to create a 12-frame animation that would work in a loop on the zoetrope. As seen in the video i have made a rocket ship that takes off from the ground and rises until it disappears from view. I do like the way it turned out, although with the rocket ship i could have re-worked the wings a little to try maintain the same shape throughout.

Life Drawings | Set-Up and Finished Drawings

The images provided are from our classes first taster session in life drawing, the set-up consisted of a medley of ribbons, hoops and bamboo. I found the lesson to be quite interesting as it allowed me to try to get to grips with hand drawn perspective, i must admit i found it a little difficult and agree that there is still room for improvement. Although i do enjoy the work of mine where i have worked on black paper with chalk to create a "negative" effect.