Tuesday, 21 December 2010


So I finally got this finished from the summer....*note to self, never leave a painting unfinished* it really lost me when I went back to it, both the meaning, and where I was actually going with it style wise, PLUS, I lost some detailing of Biro in certain areas from rubbing against other materials during the gap I really struggled with this piece, because I went straight in again from a sketch, so obviously the proportions weren't right, making the same long mistake I made with Erin (which I started roughly around the same time) so it threw me off for a while, until I had the uncontrollable urge to paint again.

Basically, my initial thought for this piece was a representation a graveyard statue worn from time, but remains somewhat alive with her long, vivid red hair flowing and a slight lighter colour to the face, and eye, adding the life to her beautiful, crumbling face. The wing section is inspired by an Art Deco sunburst I once saw around a clock face on the train to London. I used a green background to portray a decaying of sorts, the vivid oxidization you find on some status, and the outer edges are to convey the detailing you would find around a Mausoleum or Gravestone, with bars connected to the figure to represent her trapped state.

Although I'm pleased with the outcome, I still feel it the idea itself hasn't reached it's full potential (such as the sense of 'flow' in her hair, and also the shape/proportion, and a more definitive meaning) so it's quite possibly and idea I'll revisit at a later time, perhaps in 3D :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Alpha Omega Blog Banner WIP

So I've been really wanting to brand my self for a while now, and it just so happens this would be the best time to do it....so I've spent a few hours a day working on it from the sketched idea's, and here.s basically where I've reached so far:

I still need to work out how to do the shading/lighting, and I also crack/distress it slightly more, especially around the outer circle, I'd like to make that slightly more 'Giger' like, but I'm liking where it is at the moment. I want something powerful, and texture that reflected my style more than anything, so I kind of crossed grungy metallic textures, with more a traditional stone look, inspired by Mausoleums and architecture. I could see the centre part perhaps becoming part of an Ident, interlocking/clockwork components. I'd like to put some artificial lighting in there somewhere, perhaps a fluorescent blue/green to give it more of a modern/tech feel.

Feedback is very welcome :)

Transcription Brief - Character Design Pipeline

Ok, from looking at the Transcription project, it's clear that this is the opportune step in the course where we begin to determine what kind of area we want to establish ourselves in the industry. Mine, has always been in character design, the main reason I took up art in the first place, although given the last project which focused primarily on Character Design, I didn't nearly do as well as what I should have. I cant quite put my finger on why, perhaps it's just because my character's were just too 'superficial' and not enough of the inner personality of each individual was shown, but it think this was mostly because I didn't explain them very well in the pitch, the thoughts were all there. Alongside this I may have been focusing on perhaps the wrong parts of the character i.e their image, but that's was just my 'arty' side coming through. Another thing that has puzzled me from the previous project was that It was stated my work was 'masturbatory' in the sense of style, however I'm all for trying different approaches to style, as well as that I thought the main purpose of the project and course was in fact, to project your own style into your work?

It has knocked my confidence somewhat.....and it's definitely an issue I need to address. I just seem to always fuck up and lose my way towards the end of a project, which frustrates me because I have alot of good idea's that never quite reach their potential, so I think my issue mainly is with time management, and the lack of a decent computer to work with (which should be sorted by January thankfully). That aside, this is the project I feel I can finally start to make a difference and start defining myself more as a CG Artist, but I'm going to me really annoying this time around and constantly ask questions about where I'm headed, and if I'm doing things right....and TRY my hardest to post my work up as I do it! Something I always neglect.

So from looking at the brief and choosing Character design, the choice for it's purpose was for either 'Film' or 'Game', keeping that in mind, I began thinking of a source material to 'Transcribe'. However, I've been itching to create something inspired from music, so I've began sifting through the 'huuuuuuge' archive I have on my computer of any songs that might fit the profile. Whilst keeping this in mind I attempted to draw up a 'Creative Pipeline' (something I feel I've been lacking in recent projects) adapting the example given on the brief, into a more detailed version of my own project. However I focused on the 'Pre-Production' section because I was unsure whether I was taking the right approach, in the right order, and I also had some questions regarding what might be expected from transcribing a character in this brief?

Here's my first first draft of what my Pre-Production Pipeline might look like:

Character Design for Game/Film Transcribed From Music

Pre-Production: Visualising The Character
  • Project Start: Song, Sounds, Lyrics
  • Source Analysis: Establish Emotional/Personal Response, Meaning within Lyrics, Sounds/Effects/Instruments/Technology, Genre/Audience with Society/Age
  • Material Purpose: Film/Game and it's Audience/Aim in the Industry/Society as a Company
  • Visual Research: Relation to Established Meanings of Piece, Imagery Evoked on Personal/Literal Level, Association with Art, Direction of Style, Analogy to Historic Imagery
  • Art Direction: Style, Colour Pallet, Shape, Time Period, World
  • Character Bio: Personal/Physical Description, Back-story, Relationships, Personality, Traits, Motives
  • Character Design Sketch's, Shapes, Body Development, Facial Development, Costume, Turnarounds, Props, Colour Pallet, Texture, Poses
  • Concept Art: Placing Character into Environment/Landscape with Action Poses to portray Character
  • Finalised Painting: Cinematic Pose with 'Poster-like' Effect, Company/Professional Branding quality
  • Modelling Orthographic's: Front/Side/Back/Top
  • Pre-Vis: Basic Model, Blocking Shapes

This is as far as I reached when I felt I needed to ask a few questions regarding the project direction....which are:

Have I got the right order of method?
I find it hard to determine what my own style is, so could someone point it out for me lol?
What is expected of either 'Game' character, or 'Film' and their differences?
In this brief, is just creating a fully resolved character in Maya adhering to the end product expected?
There was mention of the brief the 'animation' lasting 2-3 minutes. Does this mean animation is essential to the brief?
If so, what is expected in terms of animation, and how would I go about it?
What should I keep in mind for the production stage?

Sorry for all the questions, I just trying to learn from my past mistakes, and clear up any confusion I have and carry on :)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Frank Darabont/Steven King The Mist '2007'

Now, this was the third time Ive watched this film, and after the first time, I can't help but smile every time I hear someone say the name, I have no idea if that's a good thing or not, but I think it might be the initial shock of the ending I experienced the first time round i watched it by myself, sadly at home :(

When this came up in our 'B-Movie' genre, I was expecting to be taken aback, but it suddenly become clear there was clear inspiration from that initial period....I liked the touch's at the beginning.....using not overly known characters (apart from the 4 from THE WALKING DEAD?!?!?!? what was that about lol?)....something that felt quite reminiscent already when comparing to B-Movies along with such a the noticeable 'bad acting' at the beginning, when compared to 50's acting (finding stupid reasons to justifying leaving somewhere), however this was clearly changed once in the store. The general style of the 'town' where the film was set and a eerie reminiscence to a 50's styled suburbia, where everyone knew everyone., although suburbia often is the case for the 'Invasion' films, a constant reminder of America's paranoia of that time period. Even the film title itself, feels like it pays homage to some earlier titles, short and blunt, seeming somewhat 'unimaginative'.

A nice little Easter egg in the film,can be seen at the beginning, when 'Bigshot Hollywood Artist' David Drayton (main character), is painting a picture that actually was created by the designer for the poster of The Mist, and is famous for many others such as Star Wars, and Indiana Jones as well as many others, known as Drew Struzan.

This film contains alot of interesting questions aimed at humanity itself, I particularly liked how they conveyed how fear was a viable excuse for humans to fight one another, without law and order, and religion, we would literally kill ourselves from fighting none another, hence their 'invention'. There were quite a few strong, believable characters in the film also, making their 'survival' situation feel more relative and making more of an imprint, which just added to the feeling that these character were like regular people, in contrast to the 50's 'over-exaggerated acting'. It also had some strong religious aspects in the film, blaming the events in the name of god and he's 'end of days' judgement, which one religious nut insisted on using to control and bend to population of the store to her will. However, with it's modern edge the film made me feel uniquely satisfied when this was ceased :)

In regards to the monster's and the budget they were created on, especially considering how much the CG Industry has developed in the past few years, the effects worked very well, and catch you off guard 'enveloped in mist' with the essence of B-Movie horror has integrated into it perfectly, with the enlargement of insects and beasts that far exceed any normal size, with a scientific/military origin that seems so typical of how the things seem to go sour with experiments, although these beings have a fresh injection of fear.

Some scene's that stuck with me were the first initial contact with the beings, with the tentacles giving a taste of things to come......the scene inside the pharmacy with the spidery insects, and of course the ending, which surely will be one to remember.....and is defiantly a film to watch if you want to experience a piece that takes the best of B-Movie influences, and operates outside the generic endings were so used, of  it's just a shame it really hasn't got the credit it truly deserves :)


And here's a released section of the film with Frank Darabont's Black & White cut of the colour version, an element which the director wanted create in order to re-create a sense of it's roots in the 50's early 60's....and it works fantastic...definitely worth watching :)


Val Guest The Quatermass Xperiment '1955'

Well, this one seemed to have slipped under the review radar, possibly because I changed books halfway through but nevertheless, here's what I took from the British take on Sci-Fi in the Golden Era of B-Movies

From the beginning, this film appeared very faced paced, getting straight to the heart of what the base of the film would be about, starting with the cliche 'lover's in a field moment' intro, until a ship came crashing towards them.

I must say the ship prop (interior and exterior) was very well done for it's time, and has a very rich sense of the '50's style'. From that point on, after the police and rescue services appear to the scene, we are introduced to Professor Quatermass (who appears to be the token American, whose rash behaviour contrast the calm reservedness of British behaviour) leader of the experiment into space. Losing communication with the crew inside, it appear all have died, bar one who survived emerging drastically.  However, of the three crew, he appeared to be the only being aboard. From this point, the film takes a mystery turn, which works in it's favour, as it made me feel very curious, taken in by the events that began to unfurl, and what had exactly happened in space (after watching a suspenseful recording of the pilot deck inside the ship).

Whilst the only surviving character from the ship lay in an almost shock state in an infirmary, we begin to watch the slow, silent decent of his sanity, but in a way which never gave to much away until 3/4 of the way through the film, which we find that he is the victim of a host alien being, struggling to control himself. The host has the ability to absorb living organisms, and their abilities that make them unique, which is portrayed to us through his contact with a 'cactus'. Although this ability had alot of potential, it felt somewhat wasted on a 'cactus' only half imagined although was interesting to watch.

However, this was used to some advantage, as the spore effect of plants was also fused with the being, allowing an accelerated reproduction rate, making the threat even bigger. At this point, the curiosity element had died out completely, and had gained it's 'B-Movie' status, along with the 'exaggerated acting' for instance, the hosts constant emotional soundless gasps, followed by his shrill cry, and generic overpowering screams.

The ending howver, in contrast to begining seemed to let the film down, with it's abrupt ending in the church, exterminating the final being with a somewhat handy set of tools at the scene, along with the walk off down a street with the ignorant Professor Quatermass, that didnt quite reach the climax I was hoping for, though this could possible be because of the Britishness of the film that came staright to the point. All in all, a very interesting watch :)