Saturday, 30 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess' Character Biography

Production Designer Profile

Mise-en-scène Film Programme: The Shining (1980)

Figure 1: Movie Poster [Still Image]
The Shining (1980) is a psychological horror themed movie directed by Stanley Kubrik. It was a movie based on a novel written by Stephen King of the same title. The film is on a subject of Jack who undertook a job as a caretaker at an isolated hotel. His young son, Danny, had a supernatural capability. He had a third eye as he was able to foresee the future and look back in time at the past, encountering with ghosts who resided at the hotel. After some time during their stay at the hotel, the otherworldly presence had successfully managed to influence Jack’s conscience. This drove him into the path of insanity as he made an attempt to commit a homicide against his wife and son. 

Films directed by Kubrick have substantially shown the love he had for one point perspective and a balanced shot. In one of the scenes, Danny was riding his tricycle at the corridors of the hotel but stopped on his tracks when he saw the twins was an example how Kubrick brought this one point perspective, balanced shot thought further as he incorporated characters in it. Ager summarises this point accurately when he said “The most unconsciously powerful form of mirroring in the film is Kubrick’s use of visual symmetry.” (Ager, 2008)

Figure 2: Danny's Corridor Scene [Still Image]
Following the previous point about the visual aspect, trapped and isolation would be one of feelings that could be derived from this film. An example of this would be the iconic scene where Danny was playing his toys on a hexagon patterned carpet flooring of the hotel. Another would be when Wendy chases Danny in a maze and in the hotel, Jack was looking at a maze as he took a break from his writing. As he looked at this maze, what could be seen at the center of it was two tiny figures that appears to be of Wendy and Danny.  Henderson interpreted this scene with precision when he states "It's a memorable summary image for their situation—even given a foreshadowing moment of seeming omniscience, Jack can't free himself from his family any more than his family can escape the sprawling maze” (Henderson, 2007)

Figure 3: Danny Playing With His Toys [Still Image]
Figure 4: Table Top Maze [Still Image]
The immense tension that was created with the help of the sound effects were a perfect match to the visual elements in general. For example, in a scene was trying to avoid Jack, the pitch started to increase creating an intense feeling leaving the audience to have an adrenaline rush, keeping them at the edge of their seats as they anticipate for something terrifying to happen. As Henderson points out in his review, “…the complex musical textures of György Ligeti and Krzysztof Penderecki don't even offer room to breathe, and the disorientation causes the mind to grasp for gravity” (Henderson, 2007)

Figure 5: A clip from the film the illustrate the use of sound [Video]

When The Shining is watched multiple times, it gives the audience new information that was not noticeable in a previous screening. Hence, a statement from Eskstrom  perfectly concludes this film when he states “Everyone has that one film, the one they constantly return to for entertainment, joy, terror, mental stimulation, etc. The Shining is that one film.” (Ekstrom, 2013)

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 The Shining (1980) [Poster] at accessed on 30 November 2013

Figure 2 Danny’s Corridor Scene [Still Image] at accessed on 30 November 2013

Figure 3 Danny Playing With His Toys On The Carpet [Still Image] at accessed on 30 November 2013

Figure 4 The Table Top Maze [Still Image] at accessed on 30 November 2013

Figure 5 The Shining - Best Scene (1080 HD) [Television Programme Online] Tyrion Lannister Youtube (1980) 4minutes  accessed on 30 November 2013

List of Bibliography: 

Ager, Rob
The Shining
Accessed on 30 November 2013

Ekstrom, Matthem
The Shining (1980)
Accessed on 30 November 2013

Henderson, Eric
The Shining (1980)
Accessed on 30 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess' Lair Progress

With reference to my concept art,  I modelled my lair.

Final Concept 
Basic Layout
Elements Added
UV Textured Lair

Since I've got my lair laid out, I can now focus on adding details like the clock and the chains for the ground.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess' Props (UV Textured)

In my lair, I have this chair and the lamp as part of the props that I have UV textured.

Chair UV Textured

Lamp UV Texture

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Hero Prop

Taking my drawing of the hero prop as a reference, I went on into Maya to model it out. I like how the stand turned out to be but I may revisit it to make it better.

Hero Prop Drawing

3D Model

UV Mapped

Life Drawing Lesson 5

For this week's drawing class, we used colours again. I started of using chalk and I think the outcome was great was it was a soft medium.
2 Minute Poses
The activity was to do quick 1 minute sketches and I used a marker. I don't really enjoy using the marker as it was a harder medium in comparison to chalk and it was not flexible in terms of changing my marks after it was drawn.
1 Minute Poses
In a 25 minute pose, we were told to focus on a feature(s). This is my first attempt in doing some kind of portraiture. I feel that it was a good attempt in trying to get the different tones of the face.

The arm wasn't much a success though.

We continued the lesson in trying to focus more on limbs.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess' Chair Model

Here's my other prop for my lair which is the chair. I did minor changes to the stage of the chair but the rest of the model was in accordance to my drawing.
Chair Reference Image

3D Chair Model

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess' Lair Lamp Model

I began to model my props in my lair which is the lamp. I am very satisfied with the outcome as it is exactly like the drawing I had for it.

Lamp Reference Image

3D Lamp Model

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess' Lair Column Ideas

After the feedback from the 2nd OGR, I have decided to model out new ideas for the column that I am going to have in my lair. I like 3 though it has cylindrical body in comparison to the one I have in my final concept art. I like 2 too but I think I should extrude the body to give in and outs like the one I have in 3.

Mise-en-scène Film Programme: Repulsion (1965)

Figure 1 : Movie Poster
Repulsion (1965) is the first English Language film made by director, Roman Polanski. It is a psychological horror film on the subject of a female protagonist, Carol, who was in constant fear over intimacy and breaks down when she was left alone in an apartment she shared with her sister and her married boyfriend. 

When Carol’s sister left for a short break with her married boyfriend leaving Carol all alone in the apartment, her insanity started to unfold. Polanski brilliantly portrays the change of the character’s mental state through the environment and situation she had placed her in. Firstly, he had the scene where Carol was supposed to have the rabbit for dinner but unintentionally left and forgot about it by the phone, as she got distracted answering the phone call. Then, the character saw the small cracks in her apartment expanding. In a review written by Bradshaw, he emphasized this point when he said, “Small cracks in the walls of the apartment flow into crunching indicators of the heroine's crumbling mind.” (Bradshaw, 2013)
Figure 2: Decaying Rabbit [Still Image]
Her fear of intimacy and of men could be seen right from the start of the film when she walks past by them on the streets really quickly and avoids eye contact. This fear was accentuated when she imagined the walls in her apartment to transform to flesh and was forced to touch it. In a later scene, there were hands extended in every direction from the walls in her apartment, reaching out for her. In an attempt to pull herself away from the hands that were touching her body and avoid them, she went on all fours. The dramatic lighting to the scene despite being a black and white film was visually captivating as it showed the intensive emotions. Instead of being terrified by this constant raping occurrence, Carol seems to be in acceptance of her fate. The scene to support this statement was when she put on a lipstick and showed a small sign of vanity that was not previously present before. This action of hers might be the turning point of which she realises that she has lost the battle to stay away from being sexually assaulted and welcomed this madness instead. Bradshaw wrote in his review to highlight this point further when he said “her fear of sex develops into a neurotic fascination and horror of dust and dirt of all kinds, a condition that escalates into agoraphobia and paranoid episodes.” (Bradshaw, 2013)
Figure 3: Hands Appearing From The Wall [Still Image]
Figure 4: Carol Putting on Lipstick [Still Image]
Not only was the visuals of this film kept the audience glued to their seats but also the music score by Chico Hamilton . The flawless integration of the typical horror sounds and the deafening silence had successfully build the necessary tensions and putting the audience at their edge of their seats. This is supported with Scheib’s statement when he said “Sound effects are used particularly well throughout" (Scheib, 2012). In a scene where Carol was sexually assaulted, no sound was audible except for the ticking clock suggesting how Carol wished this nightmare will be over and done with. 

In conclusion, this film has become very influential since the time it was released. Not only did this film gave a new meaning to the psychological horror genre but it has also influence other parts of the media industry like fashion. Elle, a Fashion Magazine, took the scene where Carol answered the phone after being assaulted to be part of their horror themed photo shoot. It’s black and white visual style was definitely a success that it was able to inspire other aspects of the media industry. Like Renkovish said in his review “The direction from Polanski is minimalist, yet extremely powerful. This film is a must see for cinephiles. It will stay with you for days afterward, and you will never forget the images that it plants into your mind.” (Renkovish, 2011)

Figure 5: Carol Answering The Phone [Still Image] 
Figure 6 : Elle's Photoshoot [Still Image]

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 Repulsion (1965) [Poster] at accessed on 23 November 2013

Figure 2 Decaying Rabbit on a plate [Still Image] at accessed on 23 November 2013

Figure 3 Hands appearing from the wall [Still Image] at accessed on 23 November 2013

Figure 4 Polanski. Repulsion 1965 Teljes film [Television Programme Online] Zoltán Komka [2012] 100 minutes  accessed on 23 November 2013

Figure 5 Carol answering the phone [Still Image] at  accessed on 23 November 2013

Figure 6 Elle's Photo Shoot [Still Image] at  accessed on 23 November 2013

List of Bibliography: 

Bradshaw, Peter
Repulsion - Review
Accessed on 23 November 2013

Renkovish, Steven
Accessed on 23 November 2013

Scheib, Richard
Accessed on 23 November 2013

Animation- Zoetrope Project

For the zoetrope project, I have decided to have an elf with a detachable head :)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Life Drawing Lesson 4

In today's life drawing class, we went from using charcoals to colours. I started with using oil pastels.

For the following activity, I tried using different colours to determine different tonal values. It wasn't much a success when I used oil pastels.

In my second attempt to use the colours and depict the tonal values, I used watercolour and I think it was better but there's always room for improvement.

For the final exercise, I used oil pastels to sketch out the quick poses at the stipulated time. I am slowly getting comfortable using this new medium.

In Blue - 2 Minute poses
In Red- 1 Minute poses
In Green - 30 Seconds poses

Secret Lairs' OGR 2

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Hero Prop Further Development

From my previous hero prop thumbnail, I further developed it by making it more personal for my character. Hence, I added her initials and the stand of the scepter to have more sharp edges as it is her weapon, accessory and torch all at the same time. I also tried different colours to see what suits best for my lair and to me, 15 works best. 

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Concept Art Further Development

I went back to adjust the lighting to my scene and this art is going towards my final piece for the lair. I am happy with all the props that I have placed in this lair except for the chair which I am considering to revise.

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Thumbnails (65 - 67)

In this set of thumbnails, I tried pushing further in terms of colours and highlights. Comparing 65 and 66, I added more light coming from the clock and I like how it looks like now. With thumbnail 66 and 67, I tried adding reflections to the ground as I my lair's ground will be made of glass. I am struggling with this so any advice on how I can achieve this will be much appreciated :)
Thumbnail Development : 65
Thumbnail Development : 66 
Thumbnail Development : 67

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Thumbnails (59 - 64)

In this set of thumbnails, I tried doing colour compostions for it. I like 60 as the colours are dark and rich which is what I am after.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Secret Lair: Clockwork Priestess Thumbnails (54 - 58)

I had difficulties with the perspective so I modelled out the basic shapes in Maya before painting it over. After speaking to Jordan today, he said to experiment and be brave when lighting my scene as it is a bit flat for now. I like the reflection off the surface from thumbnail 57 as my ground is made of glass with gears and chains underneath it. In terms of lighting, I like 58 but I will experiment with some other lighting colours to see what works best for my character and the lair.

Introduction to Modelling - Dirt Mapping for Old Alley Digital Set (Final Render)

This is the final render of the Old Alley Digital Set. The finishing touches to this scene was adding dirt maps to make it look more realistic.

Brick Dirt

Ground Dirt

Support Dirt

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Secret Lair: Hero Prop Idea 3 after Development and Inspiration

When I went to the Science Museum over the weekends, there was a hall of exhibitions that had elements of machines and clockwork. Taking those photos and keeping Phil's feedback on creating the scepter using real elements in mind, it has helped me produce my following thumbnail of hero prop.

I like number 14 as the scepter- torch idea I intend to make as my hero prop has both the touch of clockwork and priestess.