Showing posts from April, 2015

Film Review: Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)

Figure 1. 'The Blair Witch Project Poster'
Do you dare to enter the woods, and delve into the suspenseful world Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s film, “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)? This immensely chilling feature will leave your hairs standing on end and have you chilled to the bone.
In the chilly month of October in 1994, three students set out to Burkittsville, a small town close to nowhere, to inquire about the legend of the Blair Witch. Entitled as “The Blair Witch Project” (1999), this raw movie is scripted to be an unfinished student film, the term ‘unfinished’ being utilised to depict the plot of how these students, unbeknownst to the consequences, meet their impending doom for searching for the Blair Witch. Lloyd Rose describes this feature as, “A movie within a movie, "The Blair Witch Project" is presented as interrupted, unverifiable cinema verite, a patchwork of the actual film work on the students' documentary and a simultaneously video-recorded …

Fantastic Voyage: Animation Test with Backgrounds

This example was mainly just so I could to see what I needed to do to make the animation. As this is just a quick playblast, the final product will be of a much better quality. I think I need to now decide whether I should have the back grounds move, or the character, and then see if I can make the movements slightly rigid to keep in tune with the 8-bit theme.

Fantastic Voyage: Background Environments

So these are hopefully what I aim to use as the backgrounds for my animation. Each environment will represent a different stage in the "game". I also decided to use a marshland sort of environment for the mosquito stages as that is one of their known habitats. Admittedly, the liver environment was the most difficult to design, but keeping things simple has helped.

Mosquito Midgut

Film Review: Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (1992)

Figure 1. 'Reservoir Dogs Poster'
Quentin Tarantino’s work usually involves some form of violence, and “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) is not shying away from his style. This mafia-esque film features Tarantino himself starring as one of the main characters of a hitman group on the run from the law. 
Sharp suites and sharp tongues create character for the film and for the actors playing the roles. Despite being outlaws, the film creates empathy towards the “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) as it shows how they have perceived the events within the film. Naturally appearing as outlaws, these colourful character have certainly a colourful vocabulary which in some ways contribute to different events and emotions portrayed. Almar Haflidason notices that, “Many modern directors are too weak and feeble to explore suggested violence. Instead they employ effects-loaded frames of brutality to make their point. Tarantino exploits audience savvy, preferring to build anticipation, mesmerise, and then cut away…

Fantastic Voyage: Merozoite Animation Test

I took a similar approach to the sporozoite animation with this character, but due to it''s shape I had to tweak a few elements to make it look more natural. I subtly moved each cube for this animation, rather than making it exaggerated to fit with the short and stout shape of the cell.
Test 1:

Test 2:

Fantastic Voyage: Sporozoite Animation Test

The idea for this little test was to make it as 8-bit and pixellated as possible, so to achieve this look, I created two different positions/frames for the character and repeated them back to back to have that rigid movement. Below is a short clip of how the animation moves in Maya and underneath that is an animated gif to emphasise what I hope to achieve.

Maya: Deformers Part 1 - Non-Linear Deformers


Maya: Deformers Part 2 - Blend Shapes with Inbetweens


Fantastic Voyage: Character Textures

Texturing was quite fun to do today, and although I may of had to tackle some image size problems, I think I've managed to fix them and created my models to what I wanted them to be.
Model A: Sporozoite

Model B: Merozoite

Model C: Mosquito

Fantastic Voyage: Character Models

So that's my characters modeled and ready for texturing! I'm just keeping it simple to keep in tune with the pixelated theme of my animation. It took A LOT of extruding faces but all models are made from cubes in Maya. Model A: Sporozoite

Model B: Merozoite

Model C: Mosquito

Film Review: Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" (1975)

Figure 1. Jaws Movie Poster
Based on the equally best-selling book, Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1975) is an adventure that will shock and entertain. When a great white man eating shark surfaces and feasts on the residents of a small town called Amity, it is then up to a police chief to help capture the creature and save the bay.
The thing about “Jaws” (1975) is that it can be perceived as quite an honest film in a sense that it doesn’t include many camera gimmicks and special effects, other than the giant mechanical sharks. Spielberg uses more simpler techniques to convey tension and suspense. Almar Haflidason observes, “This includes a fearless use of long shots (not popular in Hollywood) which helps convey both isolation for the victims and endows the shark with seemingly god-like hunting powers.” (Haflidason, A. 2001) What’s interesting about this is the fact that by using low-fi techniques, Spielberg has still managed to create such dynamic sequences when encountering the underwate…