Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cinematic Spaces: Metropole Thumbnails (17-28)

I see improvement after comparing this set of sketches to my first one. I am getting comfortable using different brushes and changing their properties as I work on it. I've also used different perspectives in my sketches. I see myself progressing which is definitely great and I hope by completing all the thumbnails needed for this project, I'll be more confident and comfortable in doing thumbnail sketches for future projects.

Cinematic Spaces: Metropole Thumbnails (1-16)

Here's my first 16 sketches for my book Metropole. Some of the thumbnails are repetitive because I my thoughts of the same scene were different so I decided to pen it down. As can be seen from my sketches, my perspective are all similar which I have to try to experiment with other angles to make my sketches more interesting. Aside from that, I am still trying to get the hang of the different tones.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Animation Lesson 1- Praxinoscope

Today in class, we were given 10 Minutes to do 10 continuous drawings to place on a praxinoscope. I am actually very happy with this simple animation of the fingers moving for a start to the class. More interesting animation to come in the upcoming weeks! ◉‿◉


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Cinematic Spaces: Metropole Influence Map 2

So this is my second influence map. In the excerpt, the character described what the church looked like so I went on researching for images that will help fulfill this description to a certain extent. I searched for both the exterior and interior of it. While choosing the images, I paid attention to the textures of it. After piecing the images together, I find that an atmosphere has been established. An atmosphere of extensive devotion to the religion because of the detailed interiors as described.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Cinematic Spaces: Metropole Influence Map 1

Based on the excerpt below, I came out with the Influence Map of the city that my character was set in. With what is written and what I imagine the city in a bird's eye view and the street of it, I went on the research for images. In other parts of the book, there was a description of the traffic and the pedestrians were stuck in a bottleneck suggesting that the streets are narrow. What I focused on when researching for the images are the architectural side of the city because it was foreign to the character. While at it, I was also looking at the lighting because I imagined it to be dark, misty and gloomy but with a little bit of sunlight to lift the mood of a busy city life.

Space Oddities Film Programme - The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

Figure 1

The film Das Cabinet Des Caligari, 1920 is a great movie to begin with. It is definitely one of the primary sources of inspiration for most movies especially horror related in this current time.  Personally, the movie poster depicted in Figure 1 reminds me of Exorcism of Emily Rose. Perhaps, the illustration of Cesare placing his hand on Jane’s body gives me the impression that he had her under his control. 

Figure 2
Figure 3
As the movie was made post war, the feeling and mood was projected onto the film. It was subtle but impactful. What it means by the feel is that the director is trying to bring the dark, sad and emotional side of this film with dimly litted sets that were shown in the entire film. These were the emotions that the Germans felt during that time experiencing war.

Noticeably, the whole feel of this film was out of the world. With sharp edges of the building, zigzag pathways as seen in Figure 2, distorted proportion and paintings that is used as matte painting in the sets in the entire film does not make sense in the real world. With that being said, the film set was heavily relying on the matte paintings that was used to help create the three dimensional space that was lacking as can been seen from Figure 3. An example of this is the bizarre construction of the town where houses were cluttered together on a steep hill, which made the scene chaotic. I could not agree more with Roger Ebert when he said “The visual environment plays like a wilderness of blades; the effect is to deny the characters any place of safety or rest.” (Ebert, 2009).

Despite all these, the use of this disoriented and different style gave this film its uniqueness.  The use of colour filters in certain scenes is able to create different types of mood that the audience quickly catches on. For example, the use of blue filter in Figure 3 is used during the night scenes to create mystical, suspicious feeling.  It also keeps the audience at the edge of their seats anticipating for something “bad” to happen. On the other hand, sepia filter as seen in Figure 4, is used as a representation of the flashback Francis had while trying to tell the story.

Deep analytical skills are also put forth when this diamond shape filters, as I would call it, were used in some parts of the film which I especially liked. It is simply because the audience will divert their attention by either reading the facial expressions of the character or focusing on the certain actions (depending on the scene) giving a better understanding of what is happening.  In addition to that, a quote from Open North Blog summarises what I am trying to say. It reads “The camera becomes the eyes of the character, which creates an emotional perspective as it navigates an edgy, crystalline city that plays with perspective to stereoscopic effect.” (Open North Blog,  2013)

Figure 4

Figure 5
The first scene was set in a garden where Francis began to tell a story to an old man seated beside him. it could be seen that he was storytelling because a flashback happened the scene after.  During those times, movies were made in a chronological manner so having a flashback was a new element introduced to the film world. This new element is used in many films to date to act as a representation of the character trying to remember what happened previously. As the story progresses, it is let known to the audience that Dr. Caligari wanted a permit to have his exhibition presented at the fair. His exhibition was to awake Cesare, a 23 year old Somnambulist, which is also known as the Sleepwalker.  However, after the awakening of Cesare, strange things begin to happen in town where people were murdered, including Francis’ close friend. Not long after that, his fiancé was abducted. This affected Francis tremendously leading him to investigate the murder and having Caligari in his top list of suspects. 

For 70 minutes, Robert Wiene, the director, had successfully made the audience believe that Dr Caligari was the insane one. With that being said, Julia Merriam emphasized the point of believability was achieved which she said “The effect of Caligari’s character is stunning: the creation of a world in which the lunatic reigns, in which a madman pulls all the strings” (Merriam, 2008). The unexpected twist was good way to end the movie because as audience watches it, there is always a thought of what is going to happen in the next scene and when it happens, it makes the movie uninteresting to further watch it. Who would have expected that Francis is the mental patient and his imagination is what the audience followed through. This unpredictable ending influenced the film industry and can be seen on movies you watch within the last half-century. A twist is always good to have in films as it adds flavour to it and also because having a predictable ending would have been boring. 

In conclusion, the use of colours was very effective in conveying the mood and the feel of the movie. The addition to the sound score was also great to keep you up with the tempo of the story itself. However, it appears to be that the exaggerated acting that was seen throughout the movie were too much. A a silent movie is where actions are the main source to get the message across but the overacting can be seen as a little comical instead at some point of the movie. On the contrary, if audio was being inputted, it will be disastrous to the whole movie because words are not as powerful as actions. Audience in general receives the message put across more effectively through visualizing it than listening and remembering it. This movie has brought together a fresh new style to the film industry especially the German’s as it the first expressionism film made there.

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 Das Cabinet Des Caligari,1920 [Poster] at accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 2 Caligari running up the stairs [Still Image] at accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 3 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) [Full Classic Horror Movie HQ] [Television Programme Online] Classic Movies HQ [1920] 71 minutes at accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 4 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) [Full Classic Horror Movie HQ] [Television Programme Online] ClassicMoviesHQ [1920] 71 minutes at accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 5 An Image of Jane afraid of Cesare [Still Image] at accessed on 24 September 2013

List of Bibilography:

Open North Blog
20th Mar 2013
A haunted screen: Martyn Jacques and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919)
Accessed on 24 September 2013 

Ebert, Roger 
3rd June 2009
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
Accessed on 24 September 2013

Merriam,  Julia 
13th October 2008
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)
Accessed on 24 September 2013 

Space Oddities Film Programme - Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)

The movie that was screened was titled Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon), 1902, directed by Georges Méliès. As a French Illusionist, George always had the eye for creativity. This explains the elaborated set design that can be seen throughout the movie. He had a vision of what he wanted to present to the world of cinematography. Christopher seems to be accurate when he said “Méliès is quite rightfully considered a pioneer in this particular field of film-making and deploys his illusions in Le Voyage with the glee of a master magician.“ (Christopher Preston, 16 October 2012) because it was him who introduced the world what science fiction movie is like.

Figure 1: Movie Poster
The famous, iconic and well- known shot of the rocket shell hitting the “man in the moon” right in the face and the how the life forms from the moon turn to dust once they were killed made the film a memorable one till this date. Though these shots seemed to be super easy to replicate by today’s standards, it represented a hallmark in film back in 1902. 

What can be observed from the film was the use of stop motion.  In the scene where the teacher killed the life form from the moon and it turned to dust, the camera had to stop recording, and the character was removed from the set and an explosive dust bag was replaced. So once it was hit, it turned out to be dust giving us the illusion that the character was dead. This is what we call special effects in the current day. A century went by and blockbuster movies like The Mummy Returns (2001) adapted this technique and it could be seen in several of the scenes one of which, could be seen from Figure 3, the man was turned into dust. 

Figure 2: A scene on the moon [Still Image from the Film]

Figure 3: Still Image from The Mummy Returns (2001)
Apart from that use of dust, George was creative and had huge imagination when he substituted the large-scale elements he needed with something more practical to use when making the film. An example of this would be the scene when the rocket plunges into the ocean. He used a fish tank so that the viewers could visualise what was happening when it was underwater. 

Figure 4: A Fish Tank [Still Image from the film]
In conclusion, this film may be a short one but it was the start of the special effects revolution. The film in general lacked of content but it did not make the film a bad one because it left the audience with the amazing exposure of graphics that inspired the cinematography world of today. 

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 Le Voyage Dans La Lune, 1902 [Poster] at accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 2 A Trip to the Moon / Le Voyage dans la lune - 1902 [Television Programme Online] Mittinscat1 (1902) 10 minutes 30 Seconds at
 accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 3 The Mummy Returns (5/11) Movie CLIP - The Mummy Attacks (2001) HD
 [Television Programme Online] Movieclips (2001) 2 minutes 20 Seconds at accessed on 24 September 2013
Figure 4 In the sea [Still Image] at accessed on 24 September 2013

List of Bibliography:

Christopher Preston
16 October 2012

Accessed on 24 September 2013

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Photoshop Tutorial - Brushes and Thumbnails

 So today in class, I used Photoshop to another level that I didn't really take time to explore. I am so used to just use the rounded brush and only adjusting the hardness of it. My digital paintings have always been made up with the brush. Exploring the different brushes and their presets opened up the doors to endless creation with correct usage of it. I am excited to learn and apply this new knowledge in my future thumbnails sketches and concept arts.

Having the canvas painted with smudges and made the background looked "dirty" has actually made thumbnailing a little less daunting. I definitely agree with Jordan when he said that having a plain background to start your thumbnailing can be very intimidating.

I am still in the midst of creating my thumbnail. This above image is just me trying out with the different tonal values. Still trying to get the hang of it where black is the foreground and white is the background. 

Any advices or feedbacks are definitely welcome! :)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The beginning to becoming a Concept Artist

So this will be my read for the weekend in preparation for Tuesday's class. As I read it, I can imagine how I want my blank photoshop canvas to turn into a concept painting. I am letting my imagination run wild and picturing the scenes. Hopefully my concept art pieces will do justice to my imagination!

Await for my progress in the upcoming weeks as I translate the words from this excerpt to several pieces of visual art! (。●́‿●̀。)


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Summer Assignment: Final Drawings

From my 101 drawings, I have chosen these objects below to be a representative of the respective category.

Since I did the traditional art form of using pencil and paper when I did my 101 developmental drawings, I tried using my tablet to do my Final Drawings.

Honestly, it was hard for me to imagine the side view for the objects under the Lifeform and Machine category. But I tried putting my object in a 3D Space and did a turntable in my head, it became clearer how it would look like. I believe that this is an effective way to do my work.

Lifeform :

Structure :

Machine :