Wednesday, 29 September 2010

First Film Post Of The 2nd Year: Post-Modernity vs Kill Bill

Okay, so after spending so much time last year writing up (what seemed like essay long) film reviews, detailing stuff that was of course relevent, but tim consuming I'm just going to keep these 'Short & Sweet' cutting straight to the chase.

During the theory lecture, we started to cover Post-Modernism, soon after learning what it 'may or may not have' been about, we were shown Kill Bill, in an attempt to relate and understand an aspect of the subject in film.

Quentin Tarantino uses a 'Mash Up' of different gere's, manipulating the boundries they lay in, and creates new foundations for them to co-exist. These are the 'splices' I have noted:

Intro: Black & White filter, with a high contrast bewteen the two, simmilar to westerns. This style can be also found in the shots, used, for example the close up of the walking footsteps, played to Nacy Sinatra's 'My Baby Shot Me Down', made in the 60's.

Begining: Based in a suburban town, used within in a simmilar context, such as 'Blue Velvet', where not all is quite what it seems, for example, the shoot of the two fighting, with the open window behind them, as a School bus parks up. This is futher shown as the child comes in, and they 'pretend' nothing happens.

Middle: After this, the scene is suddenly narrated by an Asian male, who helps the transition from the 'American Surbubia 'style, to a Japanese animation based around a character who past is explained to us via this technique. Through the events that play out in the stylised Animation, we slowly begin to 'splice' into more tradtional japanese environment, of both morals & beliefs, with shots that reflect a 'comic book/manga' style, through composition.

End: towards the end, there seems to be alot more reference to the eastern culture, with both the 'over-exxagerated' fight scenes. and the settting (such as the outside garden scene). There alos a nioce touch to the suit 'The Bride' is wearing, paying some homage to Bruce Lee, and other traditonal Kung Fu films.
All in all, both a fantasic film stylistically and theoritcally, merging the boundaries between a great mixture of classic elements from traditional genre's. :)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Maya Tutorials....Lip Sync Stage 1

Ahhh, so we finally got round to the maya stage of this year, and here's the first installment of the tutorials....I'm actually quite enjoying this section, hopefully I'm picking it up well...This time, we are only moving the jas, so we can get the movement of speech down.

Here's Generic Lip Sync Guy, doing what he Ron Burgandy's Voice

Ninja Influence Map

Here's my basic Influence Map for My Ninja Genre

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Character Archetype Notes

So in our first character design class, we went over some generic characteristics that can be found within three different archetypes, particulary found in Disney...

Hero's usually have a broader frame, and phsyically fit within reason, so they don't come across as too overpowering. This also acts as a way for us, the audience to relate to their 'Humanity', and connect on a more 'personal level'. They have, or aquire throughout the story, some sort of high status in society, such as Knights, Princes' etc. following the theme of purity and being a 'protector'. Their colour pallet, usually involves alot of lighter/primary colours, to futher encompass their goodness. Thier body language usually consits of long strides, chest out, and tonally quite 'serious'. I'm not to sure wether this is specifically a 'Disney' style or not, but the generally also seem to have a fine lock of hair, and a cloak!

These generally appear as a tag along, and are usually petite/smaller in height, in comparison to the Hero. There style is usually quite 'animal' like, in the sense that could either be an actualy animal, or have characteristcs of one, i.e cute, funny, even their movement, which is quite rubbery, flexible.
They carry alot of 'busy' body language, always moving, exciteable and as a result, come across more commonly as the 'comedic element' in the story. Their design is also alot more simplier than other, to futher highlight their 'unimportance' in comparison to other characters.

A Villans body is possibly the most interesting out of these three 'Archetypes' I found. They genreal appearence usually tend to consist of very dark, dull colours, such as greys, purples, blues, conveying very cold hues, to give an obvious relfection of their personality.
Their clothing seems to be very dark also, hanging/draping from their bodies, which makes it very difficult to 'see' their identity, another relfection of the 'sneakyness'.Their bodies itself, have very 'exaggerated features, that appear elongated and 'drained of colour' to unatural tones. It seems paramount that a Villan go through some sort of 'transformation' during the story, into somthing darker/detestful and animal like, making us less and less relative to them, as they become less and less 'human'. Maleficent (From Sleeping Beauty) for instance, changes into a black dragon.
Body language is key when it comes to Villans, as they are very 'decieving/cunning' they use alot of 'hand gestures/slight of hand', with twisting them slowly, in such a way, it is as though they are concealing somthing from us carefully.

I found, that whilst searching for traits in each different character, that there was indeed a simmilarity between them, somthing of which I wouldn't have realised unless I was told there were some.

All in all, a very interesting lesson :)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Logo Designs for 'Void Canvas Studio's'

Okay, for most of the week, it's been my job to help with both the name, and image of the company, meaning the logo is possibly the most important of this section, so I've sketched up a few possible designs, so I could show the basics to my collegues....with paying to much attention to detail.

From these, I tried to touch upon the name of our company, focusing mainly on the shape of a 'Canvas' and some of the things we assoicate with them, for example, and easel, or the fixings holding it the same time trying to stay true to the 'Void' element. Although the 'Studio' section of the design isn't as important as our name, there still holds a significance, and I feel, the use of subtle 'lining' on either end, is enough to highlight this point.

Visually however, we agreed that the first idea, was the best possible choice, as it is indeed 'A Void Canvas', however there seemed to be a certain element lacking from the equation, somthing quite subtle, that would just add that more...So I started experimenting with some Symbols


The main inpspiration for the symbols, was the number four, somthing that is pretty obvious within each, this is beacuase I wanted to reflect the people behind the group, and us coming together, to create.

Although my favourite was the top piece, overall, we choice the...and in conjuction to the design we chose earlier, this would work extreamly well with the text, altering letters, and replacing them with this symbol. Both normal, and flipped...this can act as the letter's V, and A.

My next mover will be to take the chosen desgins futher, and other more variation, in both colour and compostion, at the same time exploring different font types, that will support our 'Tonality', and design sufficiently

The Moment You've (Me) Have All Been Waiting For.....Character Design

From a young age, all I've ever wanted to do, after playing my first 'Final Fantasy' (VII I have you know), is become a Character Designer, somthing I've been obsessing over ever since, which spurred me into the Art Direction from a young age, and only recently has become more of a reality then ever, and the first point of this realisation, was one of the first days of last year, when I walked into the base room, and saw the same Character Classes I've now begun taking, so you can imagine the excitiment all year round....

Todays lesson, was nothing more than Random, however intresting, for example, watching through the many 'Disney' dipictions of the three main character's type's, 'Hero's, Side-Kicks and Villians', the noted simmilarites between them again interesting, somthing I'll touch upon in a later post...

Although these are from Disney's view of how a 'Hero' should appear, these have remained and integral part of Mainstream's Aesthetics ......of course, not taking into account Anti-Hero's and other simmilar 'unconventional' aesthetics...

After watching the main elements of the three 'Archetypes', we began the Character Excersise, involving the randomization of 2 different characteristics, and combining them into one 'being' (Once again through what seems to be this courses favourite deployment method lol), quite the task....

Holy Clown:
Attempt 1

Attempt 2

Robotic Gorilla

Once we had become use to this method of trying to evenly balance certain characteristics, we were faced with the brief, and another randomizer!

I'm not too sure wether this will infact work in my favour, but I was lucky enough to get this combination:

LOL, ok not quite, I actually got Ninja vs Ninja.....I couldnt make that up, but it does give me alot of freedom with the concept, as well as being able to involve both past, and present in my work....

So for next steps few step will be to firstly, research heavily into the traditional background of the Ninja, such as Clans, Clothing, Weapons, Technology, Decoration, Location, Class, 'Ninjitsu' etc....just to get a wider understanding, from this point I will then begin to draw together a Mood Board, to help visualize the direction for Charcter Design

And I'll Leave On This Note....

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Narrative at the Retro-Fest!

Okay, so although I wasn't expecting a 'B-Movie' inpsired project for my first day back at Uni (Though I can't say I'm that suprised lol), I was however aware of the Group 'Styled' unit, somthing I was both excited, and anxious about over the weekend, not that there's anything wrong with my class mates, (diggs hole deeper) it's just one of those things I guess lol, though I pretty pleased with my group I must say, and I am looking foward to getting down the creating process and seeing how well we merge our styles of together.

My group is as follows:


So our randomly self 'delegated' title, and now subject matter is :

The Attack Of 50ft The Alien From Toyland
When it came to deciding a name, unfortunatly Earl wasn't able to make the first intial meeting, just after our breifing, so Me, Yola and Ethan were brainstorming some idea's to try and find somthing suitable, an summed up both us as indivduals, as well as what we do in the industry. I thinkwe all agreed on the poin that we wanted somthing quite strong, and we were headin in the direction of horror, epic sort of branding names, (I was going off on a 'Latin' spree) but eventually, we thought these were too strong for what we were doing at this point, so we stuck to somthing creative, but with a twist, and our end result....

Void Canvas Studio

A nice play on words, at the same time hinting that we do indeed work in the 'Digital Industry'.

Because we didn't have Earl in our 'Creative Clutches', we couldnt sadly delegate and talk about the future of our project to the desired extent, as well as the up and coming few days consisting of new starts to projects.

Although, we have planned out some work over this week, which involves us coming together at the end of it, with Individual Synopsis', and backing Storyboards, so we can all have an input into the direction of the story, by combining relevant elements.On top of this, I've been faced with the task of heading up the logo side of the group :)

I hope we can however get down to the knitty-gritty after our Theory tommorow, and take the bull by the horns, and properly delagate and crack on full speed with this work.

In the mean time, here's the link to our Blog!

New Start, Clean Slate.....New Unit :)

It's good to be back at UCA, it truly has been to long! I'd never thought I'd say this, but I missed the push, and pressure of deadlines lol, whilst working on my own perosnal projects during the summer, as well as having pleanty of free time, I much motivation, perhaps it was the  but I did pick up alot of technique and confidence with transfering my 2D styles, into the digital work, somthing that remained a thorn in my side throughout the first year sadly....

And I would just like to thank everyone who helped me along the way with my work , especially in the last few week of the final unit, and even more so those last few crucial days...and although I feel behind in my work quite frequently in my work throughout the first year, I don't particular like making excuses, but I did have alot of personal problems at that time, as well as finding the course quite frustrasting due to my lack of knowledge with the software side of thing, so with that in mind, I'd rather not be refered to as a 'slacker' as such, but with someone who found that year quite difficult to manage given the circumstances.

That aside, I'm definitally looking foward to this year, although it's going to be a tougher one, I feel I'm ready for it :)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sion First Development

Okay, so here's my first development for Sion, working with a Standard pose I found on devart, which was actually quite a hard thing to find when searching for poses, as they seemed to range from either being too bulky, or too much penis lol, so I adjusted this drawn pose to fit my wanted charcters physique......

I attempted to try and get a good mix of both andriod, and human features, without trying to over-complicated the anatomy too much. I wanted there to be an almost rawness to the build, hence the well as appearing 'battle-ready'. The Lines and plates in the actual body, I wanted to portray as 'pieces' of synthetics, slotted into the body to replace, and enhance of sections....

I think for my next pose, I'll create a more 'bulky' figure, perhaps taking on a more 'armoured' state, in comparison to the streamlined one below...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sion (Artisitic Reference)

I've always found when it comes to the mix of sci-fi, and fantasy, I've struggled, since all i can really think of is the hair first? Jokes aside there is some really good work out there that i've been trying to track down for what seems forever, in the area of anrdoids/synthetics/bio-mechs/cyborgs.

I don'y quite know what my obsession with the above is, wether it's the evergrowing reality of them, or the fact that they once were human, but become somthing more...that said....I love them...and find them wholly interesting...and I think that creating Sion is the most of the reason, I can't help but project some of my own qualites into him, wether that's a good, or bad thing im not sure, but maybe 'alter ego' isnt to far of the mark here.

That said here's some artwork that I've found quite intresting to reference from:

MichealO - Amalgamate 2,3

Metal Gear - Raiden

Charlie Bowater - Remember

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Erin Vis Decorus.....Character Development

Finally....I've come to a satisfied stage with this piece....and it's been one hell of a rollercoaster ride with this peice....taking the long way around to do sections, then fiding there was actually a much quicker route just after finishing, then redeveloping certain area's, such as the facial features, and then adding other elements such as the bandanna, just to give it a little more narrative

I feel from this piece, I've learnt so much in terms of portraiture, as well as the art of digital media....

The Struggles:
I had a lot of trouble with the hair, which the first section I drew, carrying on this technique for the majority of the picture, by blocking, and erasing...which ultimatley didnt work effectively, resulting in more work fixing the problem....Strong reference, in terms of both sketching, and photo's of pose I found are I must from the start, somthing that set me back quite dramatically.

I wanted to give Erin more character, she was looking just too bland.....simply put, I didnt really see much point in 'just' drawing a woman, it's not enough......adding the eye badanna, as well as the jewellary/beads, alongside the stylised hair, I felt gave more depth, with a sense of mystery for example, what's her background, what happened to her eye, ...etc.

The background, I was going to leave white, due to some diffculties with the flattening of the image, luckily, 'richard' was on my case giving me his opinion, which resulted in the dark, smokey texture, coupled with the dark red ribbon, tattered and worn, almost greek like, complimenting the 'Latin' referenced in the name, rereffering to both Vis (Strength) and Decorus (Graceful/Beautiful).....I felt was quite a nice reflection of Erin.

Im at a pleased state with Erin at this time....I do feel as though she has plenty more potential as a character, and hopefully will re-visit her at another stage soon, with more development in looks and narrative

Thoughts and Opinions?