Thursday, 29 January 2015

From Script to Screen: Character 1 Design Revised

So with Phil's feedback, it has been noted that my character's previous costume was a bit over the top. Phil sent me this image as inspiration:


So I'm hoping I've toned it down enough, but not too much. Let me know what you all think :)


From Script to Screen: Character 1 Design Idea

Here we have my first leading lady for my tightrope walker story! Despite the lack of name, she still has her personality! I was hoping to make this character rather girly and prim, a sort of snooty character with a competitive edge, but still loveable/memorable nevertheless! I'm hoping to make her counterpart contrast with her "princessy" manner.

I was rather inspired after having been linked this video, with many thanks to Julien :


I also want my style to be quite cartoony to emphasise the comedic atmosphere, so I took inspiration from designs such as these:


 



So looking at the blocky shapes and sharp eyes, and taking influence from the lack of outlines in the art of the video sent, I came up with this! Below is a basic shape of what the body and proportions of this character looks like, and then the actual design of said character, including a potential costume design too. I wanted to make the proportions rather exaggerated, such as the tiny waist, but to also have some relevance to the athletic body type.



I really like the white hair :D

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Artist Toolkit: Life Drawing - 28.01.15

Essentially, today was my first time drawing a female model, as of this term. It was enjoyable to draw a woman, although I can't help but feel that my downfall was using colour. I guess I'm just not used to using colour, but this session was about being experimental, so the results are still pretty good, if I do say so myself :) 





Tuesday, 27 January 2015

From Script to Screen: Character Face Shape Ideas

So I've been sketching out a few ideas as to how my two main characters could look, my leading ladies need a face after all! These are just some basic face shapes that I thought of, and hopefully the body designs will follow up shortly! Time to get back to work!


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sketchbook Pro Practise - 23.01.15

So on Friday we were introduced to a new design program known as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The session was then essentially just testing out the features and experimenting. I did find it similar to Photoshop to a certain extent, but admittedly I found it easier too.

The symmetry tool was pretty fun to use!


So, as well as experimenting, I also took the opportunity to start jotting down ideas as to how the character of my story could look. They are merely just scribbles but it's the start of something! At this point, due to the manner of my story, I was thinking of creating a cartoony style character to emphasise the comedic aspect; think Tom & Jerry style.

Hopefully I will bring you more sketches and updates as we progress, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

From Script to Screen: Online Green Light Review

From Script to Screen: "Like-for-Like" Storyboard

Here is my Like-for-Like Storyboard! I based this off of the scene " The Death of Sandman" from the animated film, Rise of the Guardians.

From Script to Screen: New Idea for the Story

After speaking with Phil today, he managed to help me out with where my story could possibly be taken, which has made me feel more relieved and inspired. Thanks Phil! :)

Story idea:

There are two female tight rope walkers, both in the circus, that are constantly competing for the limelight and to see who the better performer is. Their catty squabbles and fiery attitudes have lead then to certain extremities when performing on the trapeze. Show by show, each stunt became more radical by the act, until one day, stunts and disputes went too far. Ridiculous manoeuvres have lead the two leading ladies to become hospitalised after a major accident. You would've thought that they would learn, but both are still in dispute, even if they are trapped in their body casts until recovery. Old habits die hard, will they ever learn?

I like the fact that this idea has more of a comedic atmosphere to the scenario, with a somewhat moral ending, even if the characters never learn (Again, that could add to the comedy) Also, Phil suggested introducing a second character, which was interesting as it gives more depth to the story, seeing as a tight rope walker can be quite linear. Also, bringing it back to the circus rather than completely basing the story in a hospital gives excitement to the atmosphere as different changes in scenery can alter mood.

Let's see where this story takes us!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Film Review: Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope" (1948)


Figure 1. ‘Rope Movie Poster'

What has to be one of the masters of suspense filled movies, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” (1948) is certainly a theatrical performance that will draw the audience in, push them away, and draw them in once again.

Figure 2. 'Viewing the killing' 

Based on a single set of a lavish apartment, “Rope” (1948) is a rather audacious film about a subtly-hinted-about homosexual couple who commit the act of murder within this apartment, and then host a dinner party with the victims loved ones whilst the corpse is hidden in a nearby chest. The terms ‘theatrical’ and ‘audacious’ come to mind when watching this film, as it is portrayed to the audience with an exaggerated manner, acting-wise, much like a play production being executed on a live stage. By live, it is also being referred to the fact that there are no jump cuts within the film (or so it may seem), just one prolonged take. The cameras movements are hardly smooth, they are somewhat unsteady and have a tendency to waver. As Pamela Hutchinson observes, “This clunkiness can be part of the film's claustrophobic strength though: the coffin-chest is rarely out of shot, and the camera follows the actors around every square inch of the confined set. They're trapped, and so is the audience.” (Hutchinson, P. 2012) 

Figure 3. 'Brandon and Philip being questioned by their former tutor'

The audience is certainly made to feel a bit on edge, but that is what Hitchcock wants to achieve in his work. Hitchcock wants to torture the audience and have the suspense ‘kill them’. The effect of creating this piece using (or creating the illusion of) real time is daring, therefore it leaves the audience constantly waiting until the point where they shout towards the screen, “They’re going to find out!”. As Vincent Canby states, “In ''Rope,'' Hitchcock is less concerned with the characters and their moral dilemmas than with how they look, sound and move, and with the overall spectacle of how a perfect crime goes wrong.” (Canby, V. 1984) Much like the main character Brandon, who was one half of the pair who committed the murder, Hitchcock thought himself to be rather clever. He and Brandon thought of murder as an art form that had to be executed perfectly, hence ‘the perfect crime’, and all just to prove their intellectual superiority. In a way, they both may have possibly wanted to be discovered.

Figure 4. 'The ending shot'

Although it may not be Hitchcock’s most popular piece of work, but it’s the technique of how it was plotted that grabs the attention. When discussing the genre of murder mystery, one is compelled to normally think as to how the crime was committed, but less so to think of the consequences and the aftermath. As Robert Snow observed, “The difference is, it is a murder mystery seen from a different perspective – that of the perpetrators – and so the suspense in the movie is not generated by a lack of information about the killers, but by whether or not the murderers will be found out.” (Snow, R. 2011) By viewing the crime within the first shot, and then gazing into the private lives of the criminals, we discover what could possibly be going on from the committee’s point of view. Their thoughts and emotions are displayed within the private moments between the two main characters, showing the audience an experience that’s not usually displayed in features such as day time crime drama television. Even the subtle hint of the flashing neon sign facing opposite the window of the infamous apartment triggers the audience’s brains to then think of the danger of the situation when the murderers are caught by their former prep school tutor. 

What’s special about this feature is that it’s allowing us to consider that there are indeed consequences to our actions, and that not everyone can get away with committing a crime, even if it was ‘perfect’. An overall impressive piece by an inspirational director.

Bibliography:

Canby, V. (1984) ‘Hitchcock’s “Rope”: A Stunt to Behold’ (03.06.84) In: http://www.nytimes.com/ (1984) [Online] At: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/06/03/movies/hitchcock-s-rope-a-stunt-to-behold.html (Accessed on 16.01.15)

Hutchinson, P. (2012) ‘My Favourite Hitchcock: Rope’ (27.07.12) In: http://www.theguardian.com/ (2012) [Online] At: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/jul/27/my-favourite-hitchcock-rope (Accessed on 16.01.15)

Snow, R. (2011) ‘Reviews of Classic Movies: Hitchcock’s “Rope”’ (17.08.11) In: https://robertsnow.wordpress.com/ (2011) [Online] At: https://robertsnow.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/review-rope-1948/ (Accessed on 16.01.15)


Illustrations:

Figure 1. ‘Rope Movie Poster' (1948) [Poster] At: http://lans-soapbox.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/rope.jpg (Accessed on 16.01.15)


Figure 2. 'Viewing the killing' (1948) [Movie Still] At: http://cloud.lomography.com/576/435/d6/26fc9a9cb140c0fe7347d5d93fe9b4dcf9850a.jpg (Accessed on 16.01.15)

Figure 3. 'Brandon and Philip being questioned by their former tutor' (1948) [Movie Still] At: http://culturewars.org.uk/images/Rope.bmp (Accessed on 16.01.15)

Figure 4. 'The ending shot' (1948) [Movie Still] At: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-2L1y3ZWliYg/TYj-5xlkhqI/AAAAAAAAAAY/7SNk1ittU5U/s1600/rope_ending.jpg (Accessed on 16.01.15)

From Script to Screen: Story Idea Summaries and More Thinking Out Loud

So I've been trying to take in to more consideration as to what my 3 key aspects are and how I can utilize them. I've mainly been asking myself questions to help my thought process move along, such as:
~What genre will the story be? Comedy? Tragedy? Action/Adventure? Suspense-filled thriller?
~How significant is each aspect to your story?
~What's your inspiration? Could it come from the objects themselves? Perhaps an author, or director, or a character that already exists?

Story idea 1:
The main character is a tight rope walker and then becomes unwell in some way (illness or injury? Terminal or temporary?) and resides in a hospital. But one day, the hospital catches fire (purposefully or accidental? Man made or technical issues?) and as the fire spreads and puts lives in danger, the only way for the character to survive is to use his talent of tight rope walking and a fire extinguisher.

Questions: Will their current state get in the way of escaping? Will they make it out alive?

Story idea 2:
As a child, the main character wanted to aspire to become a tight rope walker and join the circus, but they were then forced to repress that dream to then pursue a more "successful career". They then become a  fire fighter, but secretly keep practicing tight rope walking as a hobby. Then suddenly, a fire breaks out at a hospital. The main character must then go there to save the civilians and put out the fire, but to do so, they must pass many obstacles, one of which truly tests their skills as a fire fighter and a tight rope walker.

Questions: Will they succeed?

Story idea 3:
The main character is admitted to, or lives at a psychiatric hospital after having a traumatizing experience at the circus.

Questions: What was the experience? Was it to do with a tight rope walker, or a they the tight rope walker? How are they suffering (type of condition they have)? What do they do at the asylum? How will you link the fire extinguisher into the story?

Animation and Character: Blob Character Test

Drafting of the sequence:

Character model sheet:


Graphing the position of the character in the animation:

video


So currently in Meg's class, we are creating a blob character to animate over the course of a few days, adding new elements each session. This session we are trying to have our character complete an obstacle. As this is a test, my character doesn't have many features yet, but at the moment I just wanted to see how the animation pans out before I finalise the frames.

Meg is going to help me make adjustments as there are a few things I need to improve. I will be re-drawing a couple of frames as the character loses volume somewhere when he jumps towards the box, and then I will be prolonging some other frames to create a more dramatic sequence.

Edit:
video





Monday, 12 January 2015

Soundscape: First Thoughts and Sound Experiments



So for this project, we are tasked with creating x3 30 second sound clips, each sound corresponding to a set of images that we were given during briefing, thanks to the mysterious blue box. Here are my images:

Image 1:
 Initial thoughts: Head lice, crawling, scratchy, scuttling little creatures. Cause an irritating itchy sensation, therefore I want to make the sound clip in a way so that it makes you want to grind your teeth and scratch your arms from the illusion of irritation.









Image 2:

Initial thoughts: An explosive burst of colour. Bright and powerful. I'd imagine some zing-y like sound effects with a possible base tone to emphasise the eccentricity of this image.









Image 3:

Initial thoughts: These unrecognisable objects, I imagine, would be floating in water, or some liquid form. They appear rather alien, so I may include the subtle metallic tone, but overall, I would like to keep the sound quite muffled and watery, as if little tadpoles were swimming through the reeds of a pond (but instead of tadpoles, this seems to be more microscopic, so to speak, like bacteria.)



First sound recordings:
video

My current progress:
video

Intro to Pre-Viz: Camera Part 5 - Dolly Shot

video

Intro to Pre-Viz: Camera Part 4 - Pitch Shot

video

Intro to Pre-Viz: Camera Part 3 - Roll Shot


Half Roll:
video

Full Roll:
video

Double Roll:
video

Intro to Pre-Viz: Camera Part 2 - Pan Shot


video

Thursday, 8 January 2015

From Script to Screen: Just Thinking Out Loud

And so 'twas the beginning of a new project, and briefing began on Tuesday. For this Script to Screen project, we are tasked with essentially building up all of the necessary components to "construct a 1 minute animation"; to "pre-produce".

So to get the ball rolling for this project, at the briefing we were asked to select 1 thing from these 3 categories:

- Character
- Setting
- Prop

Because these components came from the infamous mysterious blue box, no one knew what they were in for! Here's my selection, I received:

- A tight rope walker
- Hospital
- Fire extinguisher

Now, it may all seem a tad random, but then, who doesn't like a creative challenge? So I got to thinking, what sort of story can I create from these 3 things? I started questioning all of the aspects of what I thought made a story. Why a fire extinguisher? Could it have any form of significance towards the character or the hospital? Will the character start out as a tight rope walker, or develop into one? Did they have a tragic childhood which lead them to join the circus? Could the fire extinguisher link to their initial career plan to be a fire fighter? Did they start out as a fire fighter that changed career plan because they had a passion for show biz? And why a hospital? Do they have a tragic accident? Or could they be a hero? What if, the fire extinguisher is used to help save the innocent trapped inside a burning hospital building, and the fire fighter uses his tight rope walking skills to cross a perilous fiery pit to reach a trapped individual?

So essentially, my thoughts so far lead to adventure and exciting events, with an individual who may not come across as a hero but typically saves the day, nevertheless, but I'll try not to make it too much of a cliché! But who knows what else my brain may have in store, I'll keep you guys posted on what I come up with next :)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Artist Toolkit: Life Drawing Session - Back to the Drawing Board!

So it's our first life drawing session after coming back from Christmas break, and I still love it! Admittedly, I was a little rusty with my technique today, but I'm excited to get back into the swing of things. Bring on the projects!






Film Review: Chris Marker’s “La Jetée” (1962)


Figure 1. ‘La Jetée Movie Poster'

Chris Marker’s “La Jetée” (1962) is the sort of film where you would need to keep an open mind in order to understand the events happening and why. Only thirty minutes long, this film isn’t video recorded with moving images, but rather, it is a photo montage that portrays scenes and the being described by the narrator.

The story is based around the concept of time and memory, and opens on a view of Paris. We are then taken to a pier, where we are then introduced to the main character whom the story focuses on. Although we do not discover the names of any of the characters, it is required that one makes a mental of the opening scene. As a child, the main character remembers viewing the pier, and running down the boardwalk, only to be greeted by a man dying. But what stood out to him the most was a woman’s startled face, her reaction to this man’s death, creating the most impressionable memory that will stay with him throughout his life.

As the story progresses, the scenes develop into what we now understand as a post apocalyptic Paris, where little traces of life remain. Those that do survive are taken as prisoners and experimented on. The techniques used within the film are notable for having a meaning and a reason behind them. As quoted on filmslie.com, “La Jetée repeatedly uses dissolves in order to create the feeling of elapsed time in an otherwise still visual atmosphere.” (N/A) With each transition of the scenes, our minds are lead to interpret the measurement of time through the different types of dissolving. This is also emphasised by the illusion of movement, but as we are mistaken into taking the still images for moving images, this then results in us perceiving that the scene is prolonged due to it’s lifeless stillness. We are then able to experience the emotion behind the film. To be trapped in what feels like a dream, never being able to have the free will to move, much like the animals in the taxidermy museum.

Figure 2. ‘Man being experimented on’

That is noted to be one of the memories the man experiences. The reasoning behind capturing these prisoners was so that they could be experimented on to find a way to travel through time. The main character, being the one with the strongest memories, is taken in for experimentation, which lasted for a prolonged amount of time. Through the power of his memories, he was able to construct a world, to which he meets a woman; the same woman that he had seen on the pier that day in his childhood. He creates a bond with this woman, visiting her frequently through using his memories within the experiment. This continuous process allows his memories to become stronger to the point where he almost feels as if he could control himself. But he can’t, for it is all but an illusion of the brain, warping his memories to create a world resembling that of the previous one before the war. That was the reason of the experiment. All of these events lead up to one moment. The man, after completing the experiment, was released. He stood at the beginning of the boardwalk on the pier that he remembers from his childhood. With a sudden realisation of what could happen, the man runs towards the end, is desperation to see the woman’s face. He gains speed and closes in on her, but was then stopped in his tracks. A scientist working on the experiment he was involved in had shot the man. He was no longer needed. As Patrick Samuel states, “His choices will complete the circle of events he first witnessed as a child. If time is real, as many believe it is, then once an event has occurred, it will always occur and can never be undone or escaped.” (Samuel, P. 2013) At the end of the experiment, the man had managed to reach the people of the future. They were waiting there, welcoming him with open arms to their world, but he chose to live in the past, thus leading him back to the pier. And he is now dead. The death that he had witnessed as a child was his own, but he didn’t realise it up until the very moment it happened.

Figure 3. ‘Man at the moment of his death’ 

This film is rather symbolic in a lot of aspects. The historical context included in the film was influenced by the current events of time in which the film was made. In one review, it is noted that, “The film was shot during the Cold War, when the fear of nuclear annihilation was a major source of concern, and the post-apocalyptic setting of the film demonstrates this, among other themes.” (N/A, 2011) Sound was what stood out within the film, with it representing different things such as using sound effects to display airports, footsteps and the whispers of the German scientists. Music was also relevant to shaping the transitions of mood from each scene.

The black and white imagery as well as the emotional theme put with unemotional imagery deserve to be noted, creating an atmosphere of which the audience begins to question time and space itself. Overall, it was a very thought provoking film.

Bibliography:

(N/A) (2011) “La Jetée Film Analysis” (04.05.11) In: http://filmandhistory.blogspot.co.uk/ (2011) [Online] At: http://filmandhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/la-jetee-film-analysis.html (Accessed on 07.01.15)

(N/A) “Chris Marker’s La Jetée Analysis: Mortality and the Illusion of Time” (N/A) In: http://filmslie.com/ (N/A) [Online] At: http://filmslie.com/chris-marker-la-jetee-analysis-temporality/ (Accessed on 07.01.15)

Samuel, P. (2013) “La Jetée” (03.01.13) In: http://staticmass.net/ (2013) [Online] At: http://staticmass.net/world/la-jetee-1962-review/ (Accessed on 07.01.15)

Illustrations:

Figure 1. ‘La Jetée Movie Poster' (1962) [Poster] At: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f7/La_Jetee_Poster.jpg (Accessed on 07.01.15)

Figure 2. ‘Man being experimented on’ (1962) [Movie Still] At: http://s3.amazonaws.com/criterion-production/stills/3638-17f9fe315ecf2a7fea2c96036271f6ba/P_original.jpg (Accessed on 07.01.15)


Figure 3. ‘Man at the moment of his death’ (1962) [Movie Still] At: https://cosasquehemosvisto.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/la_jetee_4.png (Accessed on 07.01.15)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Maya: Intro to Maya - Animation Part 2 - Using Motion Paths



Maya: Intro to Maya - Animation Part 1 - Using Rigs

Well,  it looks like we will be starting to animate certain models in Maya now, which is pretty exciting. So, to kick things off, here's my first completed tutorial of the term!