Thursday, 31 October 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Thumbnails (1 - 12)

Here I have my first 12 thumbnails of my secret lair. Not quite there yet as how I am imagining it. But I am constantly sketching, trying to get the design I have in my head on to the canvas. 


Secret Lair: Another possibility of Hero Prop

At this stage, I am still uncertain of what my hero prop would be but what I am certain that my character would be a priestess cum assassin. The clockwork bit would be incorporated in the design of the the hero prop and the lair.

Hero Prop Influence Map 2
I would only be certain of my hero prop once I am done with my character profile which I am currently working on.

Introduction to Lighting- Whimsy House (Night Lighting)

Here is the assignment from the night lighting tutorial. Apart from adding lights to the light up the scene in general, I had added specific point lights near the window to create illusions that there are lights coming from it. I have created the night atmosphere as needed. 
Light was set up before putting in the sky
Sky was added into the scene
Scene complete after bringing in to Photoshop and did the necessary adjustments

Introduction to Lighting- Whimsy House (Romantic Lighting)

Here is the assignment from the romantic lighting tutorial. I have added colours to the lights in this scene to create the romantic atmosphere as needed. 
Light was set up before putting in the sky
Sky was added into the scene
Scene complete after bringing in to Photoshop and did the necessary adjustments

Introduction to Lighting- Whimsy House (Sunset Lighting)

Here is the assignment from the sunset lighting tutorial. . I have adjusted the colour of the lights in this scene to create the sunset atmosphere as needed. 
Light was set up before putting in the sky
Sky was added into the scene
Scene complete after bringing in to Photoshop and did the necessary adjustments

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Influence Maps

After I broke down the words, I came up an Influence Map for each of the words. For the Priestess' influence map, I looked at the different representations in different culture and what actually represents this character of mine. I looked into these to better understand how I can put my character in an environment that suits her characteristics.

Priestess Influence Map
This was a challenge to come up with clockwork because I was trying my best not to be generic. These images has definitely helped with my thumbnails.

Clockwork Influence Map
I am thinking of having my character be the exact opposite of what she is supposed to be. Hence, I am making her a Priestess cum Assassin. Her hero prop would be something similar to a set of bow and arrow.These images has helped get an idea how bow and arrows are kept and how I can incorporate these in my lair.

Hero Prop Influence Map

Life Drawing Lesson 1

This is my first ever attempt at life drawing. I am actually quite pleased with the outcome because I surprised myself. I was initially worried for this lesson as I had not done it before but all is good now :D
Warming Up to the Class
Here, I have the 6 poses we had to draw within a minute each. 

1 minute sketches
The next challenge of this class was that 30 Minutes challenge. We had to draw the model for the first 15 minutes before she changes her position that we had to draw later. Initially, I thought I have troubled myself for not drawing this a little smaller so I would have enough space for the second drawing. It was a blessing in disguise because I had to draw the second drawing over my first which requires more concentration. In animation, I know that there will always be overlapping drawings to stimulate movements so this was a good practice for me :)
15 Minutes to the 30 minutes Exercise
After the 30 Minutes Exercise
The last challenge was to sketch 16 different poses given the time of 30 seconds each.

30 Seconds Sketches

I really enjoyed today's class as I continuously learn to do quick sketches that will help me with all my projects. 

Introduction to Lighting- Whimsy House (Midday Lighting)

Here is the assignment from the midday lighting tutorial.  I have added lights into this scene to create the midday atmosphere as needed. 


Light was set up before putting in the sky
Sky was added into the scene
Scene complete after bringing in to Photoshop and did the necessary adjustments

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Secret Lair of....



Clockwork : 
(Noun) A mechanism with a spring and toothed gearwheels, used to drive a mechanical clock, toy, or other device
(Adjective) Repetitive and predictable:


Priestess:
(Noun) A female priest of a non-Christian religion.

Introduction To Modelling - Lamp & Crates for Old Alley Digital Set

This is the model of the lamp that would later be imported in the final Old Alley scene. I enjoyed doing this tutorial as I learnt to use new tools in Maya :D

Close up of Top of the Lamp
Close up of the bottom of the Lamp
Final outcome of the Lamp
Apart from the lamp, the other prop in this scene was the crates. Here, I have modelled one of the crates that would later be duplicated in the final scene.
Final outcome the modelled Crate

Introduction To Modelling - Old Alley (Digital Set Modelling)

We kickstarted Maya's class yesterday by modelling this Old Alley. I am pleased with the outcome of this scene :)

Orthographic set up for the Old Alley Scene
Modelling of the Old Alley Set

Mise-en-scène Film Programme: La Belle et la Bête (1946)

Figure 1: Movie Poster
La Belle et la Bête (1946) was directed by the multi talented Jean Cocteau. He was a French poet, novelist, designer and a filmmaker. This film was based on a novel entitled Beauty and the Beast, written by Madame LePrince de Beaumont who was also a French novelist but from the 18th century.

Produced after the end of World War Two, this film was a huge success in France. This was because this film gave the audience a chance to break free from the harsh reality of life by believing in a bit of magic and miracle. This can be seen when Belle, who was very certain that she did not want to marry Beast at the start, fell in love with him at the end of it.  In a review written on Frocktalk, it was mentioned “La Belle et La Bête is a soothing balm of a fairy tale, engendering hope in the promise of new beginnings and restoring faith in the compassionate spirit of humankind. It is a story about breaking free from imprisonment and breaking forth into freedom. It was a message that people needed to hear then, a message that continues to resonate today.” (Frocktalk, 2009)

Figure 2: Beauty and the Beast in the Garden [Still Image]
The role of Beauty in this film does not defer from Disney’s Cinderella (1950) because Beauty too, had two older sisters who mistreated her. All they wanted was to be rich and to live the high- class life. When asked by their father what they wanted before he left to settle some business related stuff, Beauty had asked for a rose reasoning that it was something that was not available in her village. Her father, who landed himself at a castle as he was lost on his way home, took shelter there for the night had left the place by plucking a rose from the garden. This upsets the Beast who threatened to take his life away unless he awards the Beast with one of his daughters. Beauty willingly volunteered to take over her father’s place after finding out what happened, as she felt guilty because the gift she asked for brought huge consequences to her father’s life. Upon arriving at the castle and entering the doorway of castle, the place was lighted with arms holding on to candelabra. She later fainted when she first encountered with Beast of whom that visited her everyday at 7pm while she had her dinner, asking for her hand in marriage. As the film progressed, she found herself more attracted to him. It was not because of his physical appearance that captured her heart but because of his kindness towards her. This projects the well- known idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Figure 3: Beauty entering the doorway [Still Image]
Apart from the plot, the set designs played an equally important role to make it a successful film. The use of actual humans arms holding on to candelabra, observing statues and the following eyes made the whole set more tensed and keeps the audience in suspense. Even Cocteau mentioned this in his diary. “The effect is so intensely magical that I wonder if the camera can possibly get it. These heads are alive, they look, they breathe smoke from their nostrils, they turn, they follow the movements of the artists, who don’t see them. Perhaps, this is how the objects which surround us behave, taking the advantage of out habit of believing them to be immobile.” (Cocteau, 1972)

Figure 4: Statue's Head [Still Image]
In addition to that, the costume worn by Beast would have been a Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) if advance technology was available. But Cocteau and his production team did a spectacular job in dressing up Beast that made the audience believed that it was real. In agreement to Roger Ebert, he points out Before the days of computer effects and modern creature makeup, here is a fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal.” (Ebert, 1999)

Besides that, the film uses camera tricks called the in-camera special effects. It is basically stopping the camera from rolling and replacing an object with something else before the scene continues. This technique was used as early as the start of the 20th Century and could be seen from the film Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902). An example of using this technique in this film would be shooting Beauty and the ex Beast rising into mid air. They were photographed at high speed as the fall to ground and in post production, the order was reversed.

Figure 5: Beauty and Beast floating in mid air [Still Image]

In conclusion, this film was not only visually captivating with the amazing set and costume designs but also a film with meaning. As Grunes put it, Today, it is almost universally acknowledged as one of the greatest of cinematic masterpieces, virtually unrivalled in its intense lyrical power and sumptuous visual artistry.” (Grunes, 2004)

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 La Belle et la Bête (1946) [Poster] at http://i.imgur.com/s1wYU.jpg accessed on 28 October 2013

Figure 2 Beauty and the Beast in the garden [Still Image] at http://bp3.blogger.com/_uwgefwgTLwc/SH5IhKMfFnI/AAAAAAAAA9w/-b0lESBoUJM/s1600-h/500bellebete3.jpg accessed on 28 October 2013

Figure 3 Beauty entering the doorway [Still Image] at http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Wai0KpzGIPQ/SCG2U8OyXHI/AAAAAAAAAzM/PEr4-2H6lgM/s400/beautyandthebeast_cc_03.jpg accessed on 28 October 2013

Figure 4 Statue’s Head [Still Image] at http://www.burningsettlerscabin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/La-belle-et-la-bete-still-2.jpg accessed on 28 October 2013

Figure 5 Beauty and Beast Floating in mid air [Still Image] at http://louis.chatel.free.fr/images_blogs/stars_cine/belle_bete_6.jpg on 28 October 2013


List of Bibliography:

Cocteau, Jean.
1972
Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film.Courier Dover Publications

Ebert, Roger
1999
Beauty and the Beasthttp://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beauty-and-the-beast-1946
Accessed on 28 October 2013

Grunes, Dennis
2004
La Belle et la Bête (1946)http://frenchfilmguide.com/movies/FFG_La_Belle_et_la_bete_1946_review.html
Accessed on 28 October 2013

Frocktalk
2009
La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast)http://frocktalk.com/?p=1520
Accessed on 28 October 2013


Monday, 28 October 2013

Introduction to Autodesk Maya- Animating using Keyframes (Updated)

I managed to shift the pivot point from the wrist to in between the fingers. This is the new render of my arm animation using keyframes :)


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Still Life Drawing Lesson 3 - Practice

Installation
In last week's class, we had a colourful installation before us. As I used paint in class I have decided to use colour pencil instead.

Installation in coloured Pencil
However, I was not really satisfied with the results so I went to use marker over this drawing of mine.

Installation in Markers
I am pleased with the outcome now having trace it with markers. It is visually more enhancing and pleasing! :D Now, I am going to practice these colours in photoshop.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Introduction to Autodesk Maya - Animating using MEL Scripting

In this animation, I used the MEL scripts to get this robot moving. It was an interesting tutorial as Alan explained in his video how the math we learnt back in high school is applied here.

Introduction to Autodesk Maya - Animating using Motion Paths

Here, I have the Rocket animated by using the motion paths. This was an easy tutorial to follow :D




Introduction to Autodesk Maya - Animating using Rigs

Here, I have animated this car using rigs and have rendered it using batch render. I did not use playblast render because I was quite disturbed having to see the nurbs curves and the film gate that I turned on just to see if my animation was in place.

Introduction to Autodesk Maya- Animating using Keyframes

The knowledge that I attained during Meg's Animation class in regards to using keyframes comes in handy when doing this tutorial. However, I had problem with moving the pivot of the arm from the wrist to the fingers as there is no insert key on a mac. I will upload a newer version of this on Monday.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cinematic Spaces: Final Concept Painting (Scene 3)

Here's my third final concept paintings from my book excerpt - Metropole by Ferenc Karinthy.

Concept 3-- Distorted City

Cinematic Spaces: Final Concept Paintings (Scene 1 and 2)

Here's two of my final concept paintings from my book excerpt - Metropole by Ferenc Karinthy.

Concept 1: Train Station 
Concept 2: Church

Still Life Drawing Lesson 3

It was an exciting lesson for today's drawing class. We got the chance to use paint and it was just not painting over your drawing. You still had to apply what have been previously taught - Forms, Light and Dark. I am satisfied with my piece as I learnt to focus on a specific part of the installation instead of wanting to translate everything I saw on canvas.

Drawing

Paint

Space Oddities Film Programme - Alien (1979)

Figure 1: Movie Poster
Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) is a film that has been categorised as a classic science fiction and horror. The film is about seven astronauts, who were on board a huge but dimly lit spacecraft called Nostromo. They were heading back to Earth with the mineral ores they have extracted from one of the planets. While on their way back, their machine on board, Mother, began to detect some distressed signal. The spacecraft detoured and headed towards the planet.

Upon reaching the planet, they found an enormous abandoned spaceship from a group of astronauts who were there before them. A dead alien was also found in it. Kane who was exploring the lower deck of the spacecraft discovered a huge incubator filled with several large alien eggs. He approached an egg that was cracking open for further inspection only to have been tricked by the alien.

A baby alien leapt out of the shell and attached itself to Kane’s face, knocking him unconscious. His fellow mates came to his rescue and brought him back to Nostromo. Ash permitted them inside the spacecraft despite Ripley’s rejection. The crew’s attempt to remove the alien from Kane’s face proved to be unsuccessful because of the alien’s acidic blood. Later on, the alien detached itself and the crew panicked as they tried to search for it. Ripley’s concern became true when Kane reproduced an alien that ripped him from the inside. Charles Cassady Jr. wrapped up the plot of the film beautifully when he said The crew struggles to kill the fast-moving, fast-growing, unwelcome visitor before it gets them.” (Cassady Jr., 2005)

H.R Giger, a Swiss surrealist artist, was the amazing creator and designer of Alien. His concept of this creature was scary because of the constant change in form and the fear of the unknown that he was able to successfully relate to the audience. In agreement with Eggert, he highlighted this in his review “Made with uncommonly crafted skill to unsettle the minds and bodies of its audiences, Alien is a profoundly influential work and a lasting classic.” (Eggert, 2012). This effort of Giger and his team paid off when the film won an Academy Award under the category for Best Visual Effects.

Figure 2: Alien design by H.R Giger [Still Image]
Like most sci-fi films made before this, the world depicted in Alien also used miniatures and extended sets. This was successfully projected on screen. In comparison to Kubrik’s 2001: Space Odyssey (1968), it was also able to achieve realism that made the audience believed that this is an existing world in outer space. Ross sums up this point accurately when he said “A truly remarkable film that hasn’t aged a day, thanks to the horrific and inspired Giger design work, miniatures-based special effects and the tone Ridley Scott created.” (Ross, 2012)
 
Figure 3: Extended Set of Alien [Still Image]
Figure 4: Behind the Scene of Alien [Still Image]
Not only was this film a great combination of sci-fi and horror, it also had several cultural context behind it. One of it was, at the time when the film was made, the sexually transmitted disease was an epidemic. The alien creature was the parasite that penetrated on Kane, the host. Ripley gave out orders for Kane to be isolated and quarantined fearing that he might have been infected was ignored blatantly by Ash. When Kane reproduced an Alien that later killed the rest of the crew was a representation of how fast an infection spread and affected others. In an article written by Franco, he agrees to this point by saying, “Audiences would relate to the need for quarantine and sterilization, noting how this sexually transmitted parasite goes on to destroy the crew it resides with.” (Franco, 2011).
Figure 5: Kane reproducing [Still Image]
The more prominent cultural context was that a woman played the main protagonist role. It was one of the critical moments in United States history as women organisations fought for Equal Rights that was a law later enforced.
Figure 6: Ripley in Spacesuit with a weapon at hand [Still Image]
In conclusion, this claustrophobic film was able to keep the audiences at the edge of their seats throughout the film. As Derek Malcolm puts it It is, in fact, an audience reaction picture par excellence.” (Malcolm, 2009)

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 Aliens (1979) [Poster] at http://www.blankmaninc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/alien-movie-poster-1979.jpg accessed on 22 October 2013

Figure 2 Alien [Still Image] at http://derekwinnert.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/alien___h_r__giger_pitch___by_adonihs-d2xjobm.jpg accessed on 22 October 2013

Figure 3 Extended Set of Alien [Still Image] at http://www.blastr.com/sites/blastr/files/styles/content_panes_media/public/e48fd41c-4ac8-03a4-46b2-19747f75c636_large_0.jpg?itok=FGwwY5-5 accessed on 22 October 2013

Figure 4 Behind the scene of Alien [Still Image] at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MBhiF3q3ycc/UhUY0SExSVI/AAAAAAAApao/bKxKMvu2MbA/s1600/2aabd499-4bcd-8a51-ed9c-71cab00f2c47.jpg on 22 October 2013

Figure 5 Kane’s Scene [Still Image] at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/- http://www.horror-movies.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/alien-610x258.jpg on 22 October 2013

Figure 6 Ripley in Spacesuit with a weapon at hand [Still Image] at http://borgdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/alien-space-suit-ripley.jpg on 22 October 2013


List of Bibliography:

Cassady Jr., Charles
2005
Alien
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/alien
Accessed on 22 October 2013

Eggert, Brian
2012
Alien (1979)
http://www.deepfocusreview.com/reviews/alien.asp
Accessed on 22 October 2013

Franco, Hector
2011
Alien (1979)- Film Analysis
http://ryuhawk.hubpages.com/hub/Alien-1979-Analysis
Accessed on 22 October 2013

Malcolm, Derek
2009
Derek Malcolm’s Alien Review from 1979
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/oct/13/derek-malcolm-alien-review
Accessed on 22 October 2013

Ross, Jim
2012
Alien (1979)- Movie Review
http://moviefarm.co.uk/2012/05/28/alien-1979-movie-review/
Accessed on 22 October 2013