Thursday, 28 October 2010

Some Scans from the Jurassic Park making of Books

 Here are some scans from the making of books of the first and second film of the Jurassic Park series which have some sweet images of early designs for the landscapes of the film and I'm sure that these will play a part of influence in my work.

Concept Art

Concept Art is a love of mine which I have always been extremely interested in especially in the Video Game region. I will sadly always play certain games to the utmost and earn the ability to look at the unlockable concept art of the environment designs and and character designs through the development where possible.

I have found some concept designs for a game that I literally played to death because it is so filmic. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is mostly set in Amazon jungles with many crumbling architecture and luscious rainforest environments. Here are some of the designs:

Quick Painting

Here is a quick Photoshop painting of one of the Key scenes I have looked into which is in the ninth day of leaving the canoes. It is where the expedition takes a trip through a thick Bamboo forest. It's a pretty quick painting about 25-30 minutes

A quick post before bed

I went onto google images and had a look at Amazon Rainforest images. From this I found an incredibly peculiar tree which I really liked and which I decided to have a go a creating in Photoshop in the form of a quick sketch. I'm not used to drawing landscapes to be honest so I feel that this project will be a challenge for me but I feel that for a first try in building up shades and things that the image I have produced in a short period of time is not too bad. I will continue onward and fill tomorrow with more practises of landscapes for friday.

Here is the image that I used which is actually a screensaver in which birds and things fly out from directions...
Here is my image which took me about 20-25 minutes:

This I feel would make an excellent development of the many forest scenes in which the expedition find themselves in. More developments in the key scenes tomorrow with influences and research to follow suit.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

My Unit 2 Folder

In my folder I found that I would be creating the concept art of The Lost World written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The story is based around an expedition to a plateau in the Amazonion section of South America where prehistoric animals are still roaming. The book has had many adaptations including an effort in the shape of a mini television series starring Bob Hoskins. A novel which has spawned a sequel and a series of three films which links heavily to The Lost World storyline adding a twist of modern genetic reasons is Jurassic Park written by Michael Crichton. I have taken out books to do with the making of the film adaptations to Jurassic Park and will be looking at the portrayal of the landscapes that the concept artists have used.

Although I haven't started much of a delve into drawing up ideas yet I decided to take the approach of writing down the key scenes from the descriptions in the samples from the text given. From this I have gained around 12 different scenes in which I can play around with and interpret in my own vision.

The Book is based in the Amazonion part of South America therefore by taking in examples of Amazon vegetations and such images this will help me to understand the nature as to how the plants grow and the colours that they have. Other key scenes that I have looked into will involve me looking at volcanic areas and look at the way that the lava cools to create rock formations. On top of that there will be research into cliffs and hilltop views of South American landscape to get an idea of the colours and shapes I will be working with.

Now that I have gotten this part out of the way I feel very confident into designing the different scenes and will work towards producing many different thumbnails and quick digital paintings and tomorrow I can easily crack on to researching into plant life and characteristics of the Amazon.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Metropolis review


Metropolis is set in the future in which society is divided into two groups: the thinkers and the workers. Freder the son of the leader of Metropolis finds himself visiting ‘the depths’ where the workers are stationed and is introduced to Maria a peaceful leader who spreads the word of a mediator who will join the thinkers and the workers. However after Maria becomes kidnapped she is replaced by a robot with her features who spreads the use of violence in a ploy for her creator to become the leader of Metropolis. 

For a 1920’s film Metropolis is a masterpiece the set design is incredible and very inspirational and the plot is even relatable in contemporary times. The differences between the two groups of society are well put together, in which all the tasks that the workers are doing to keep the city running are choreographed and from what we are shown is that much like a machine if one part fails the whole of the system generally fails with it. This choreographed movement of the workers mirrors that of the machines in the sense that it is repetitive, slow and jarred at times removing individuality in which the thinkers seem to have. Kimberly Gadette also looks into the workers movement and writes: ‘Filmmaker Fritz Lang gives us a shockingly prophetic view of armies of downtrodden workers, all clad in the same baggy uniform, their capped heads bent, shuffling in perfect choreography as they descend to the depths of their workaday hell.’

The set design of Metropolis is beautiful, mainly made up of miniatures, it is a genuinely believable Science fiction setting and works so very well. The buildings and technology are so far ahead of the time and linked with the German expressionism which was all the rage at the time in which plots would deal with themes of madness, insanity, betrayal and other themes rather than that of hollywood’s action-adventures or romantic films. Even though this was one of the most expensive films of the time Metropolis used the technique of painted background to create some of the incredible settings which make a much better alternative to proper city scapes and enhance the realism of the portrayal of ‘future’. Dan Jardine makes note of the surreal images on screen by saying: ‘Director Fritz Lang's HG Wells-inspired tale is a surreal and occasionally incomprehensible storyline (though many narrative problems have been solved by rediscovered footage) is sometimes overwhelmed by a visually spectacular exercise in German expressionism. Master cinematographer Karl Freund fills the screen with an array of stylized shadows, oblique camera angles, geometric images, and nightmarish labyrinths.’

The Machine-man robot is a brilliant spectacle of the film as the actress who also plays Maria nails the movement and jars of a machine brilliantly. The ever lowering eyelid, freakish hip movement and genuinely terrifying smile create a believable performance and adds a slight horror to the character. This design again is an incredible feat for its time and has influenced the character design of C3P0 in George Lucas’ Star Wars series. The machine-man is not the only character to influence cinema through the years, Rotwang’s appearance has become a cliché for that of evil scientists by the gloved hands and such. Sean Axmaker makes a relation to Dr Caligari in comparing the machine-man’s movement and states: ‘Brigitte Helm’s robot incarnation of the fake Maria seems to be channeling John Barrymore’s Mr. Hyde by way of Dr. Caligari and Renfield, all twisted and contorted and gnarled, her face twisted and her body arching and her hands becoming claws in her mania. She stands out by body language and performance alone, a creature not of any human providence.’

In a nutshell Metropolis has now become one of my favourite films and is outstanding in being able to compare to modern day films because of its contemporary style. I have wanted to see this film for a while and it didn’t disappoint, even being in a silent movie format I was still compelled to inhale the spectacle that it is and admire the superb cinematography.

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari is a film about a crazed doctor who opens a stall at the local carnival who displays the somnambulist Cesare and explains that he will answer any question that he is asked. However when Cesare predicts the main protagonists friends death, Francis finds himself involved in the Doctors schemes.

The film although very tough to get into had some amazing perspectives and amazing set design. In comparison with the films of the time Caligari was very dreamlike and the set design made this evident. Inside the rooms the structure is very disorientated and slanted making the audience have a similar feeling all linking in with the idea of dreamlike imagery. This could link with the mentality of Caligari himself or as we find out in the conclusion the sanity of the protagonist. Jeffrey Anderson agrees and writes: ‘Rather than attempting to capture "realism," which was the general method of the time, Wiene went the opposite route, slathering the screen with forced perspectives and all kinds of bizarre diagonals and slants; there is hardly a right angle to be found in this film. It results in vivid, dreamlike logic and a terrifying lack of control.’

There is a good use of colour in the film with Cesare being very dark and black, huge black eyeliner to frame his eyes, in use as a signifier of his constant sleep state and his dark deeds. In comparison of this the damsel of the film is coated in a flowing white dress and when kidnapped she is taken from a well lit white room caped in another flowing white material. The use of white could be a symbol for her innocence and that she is a good character while the colour black for Cesare and Caligari would connect with the sinister deeds that they act. Donald Levit also takes note in the use of colour: In familiar genre pattern, the monster-murderer will come for the heroine, too, in her filmy white bedroom, where either her innocent beauty or his innate conscience stays his dagger-hand.  Androgynously slender in baggy black, Cesare proves a powder puff, anyway, quickly tired when pursued and giving up his slight burden and seemingly his own ghost.’

The Plot twist at the end is extremely contemporary and reminds me heavily of the twist at the end of Shutter Island in which all that the audience has been made to believe is true is in fact a twist in the mind of a mad man. This massive twist to the end really fits in well with the madness factor of the film and is a brilliant addition to the disorientating scenery as they complement each other well. John Nesbit agrees but compares the plot twist to that of the sixth sense in saying: One is a great plot twist that doesn't play as simply as the one trick wonder of the recent The Sixth Sense. Although it may shock first time viewers, it doesn't feel manipulative or forced, and subsequent viewings reveal just how well its creators have developed the themes of madness; hence, the common association with Poe.’

Although a film I found extremely hard to get into in looking at the set designs the film was amazing and the scene where Cesare kidnaps the damsel the disorientating climb is incredible. A very confusing film and although not something that I would consider a favourite the film was a worthy experience and worth noting about its design.

Monday, 25 October 2010

For Alan to easily see all Maya tutorials

Maya Finished Desk

Here is the finished desk with all my tutorials imported onto the desk. The Maya tutorials, although I began them feeling extremely frustrated because of a certain tutorial (Dice!!!), have been extremely good and from alan's videos I have been able to grasp the screen of Maya and I am understanding what is what. I look forward to the next Maya tutorials!!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Fan Tutorial

After worrying about this when I watched Alan I thought this was going to be extremely hard however the more and more I've used Maya the more and more I'm getting used to it. Here is the final render for the fan

Maya Bottle Tutorial

Well here is the bottle render for the bottle tutorial. Not a big tweak here but wanted to change the label beacuse I love skittles

Poker chips Maya

Here is the render for my poker chips decided to sway a bit this time from the tutorial for once and make them a bit individual so here they are:

Maya Common Shaders tutorial

Here is my attempt on creating the common shaders in Maya

Friday, 22 October 2010

Robot And Rocket Maya Render

No embed video but here are a couple of images to show I've done them.

Final Piece (Finally)

Here is the Final piece. It's been a tough week making sure that everything is done but I am really pleased with the knowledge of Photoshop that I have gained throughout. I am looking forward to using photoshop more in our next unit but for now here is the development and the final piece itself