Thursday, 28 April 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Into The Void


Fantastic Voyage - Final Presentation Storyboards

Fantastic Voyage - Deluxe Art Of 'Into The Void'

CG Artists Toolkit - Maya Tutorial Submission

Intro To Maya
Modelling Digital Sets
Lighting And Rendering
Texturing And Shading
Pre Vis
Modelling (HS And Organic)
Rigging And Skinning

Fantastic Voyage - Into The Void - Updated Animatic


Maya Tutorial - Skinning Method 1 And 2


Maya Tutoiral - Biped Riggin Parts 1-4

(Left Arm Fully Functional)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Film Review - The Blair Witch Project

"By now, the word legend applies as much to the making and marketing of this extraordinary film as to the fictional backstory that haunts its characters" (Thomas, 2000), legend, a word that aptly describes the cinematic whirlwind Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick's 1999 cult classic The Blair Witch Project has whipped up over the years since its release. Whether it be the horror classic hysteria that surrounds this film or just a sheer desire to be petrified that attracts you to The Blair Witch Project, you will have experienced a master class in amateur filmmaking ingenuity and your film trivia will be all the better for it. The film itself truly stands as an example of just how much a group of ambitious and creative individuals can achieve if they put their minds to it, without a doubt inspiring countless numbers of budding filmmakers over the years. Now, The Blair Witch Project could easily, and most probably, be a simple show of creative achievement, however it does offer up some areas of fan and critic speculation, as surely the parallel between the fact that this is amateur filmmaking at its best and the idea that the film is almost based solely on that cannot be accidental, can it?

Fig 1: The Blair Witch Project, Movie Poster

The Blair Witch Project follows the story of three film students as they set out into the woods and surrounding towns in search of material for their documentary depicting the tales of the Blair Witch, a mystery that has engulfed a number of murder cases over the years. The students soon find themselves in hot water as the woods and their nocturnal demons seem to be proving too much for them to handle, individually picking off members of the crew, eventually leaving them in a state of deterioration. From the very title of the film, the idea of witchcraft and the supernatural is present,  the rest of the film certainly follows suit as the cast are forced to undergo the demonic dwellings of the forest that ultimately leave the three students in a broken down state that makes for frustrating and anxiety fuelled viewing.

After one of the crew goes missing, marking the point of supernatural no return if you will, the film really steps up a gear, preying on this vast amount of 'hide behind the sofa' moments, leaving other critics to state that "It's what you don't see in The Blair Witch Project that pumps your adrenalin and, in the best Hitchcock tradition, keeps you hanging on" (Travers, 1999). As the cast is whittled down to a measly duo, this paranormal mystery effortlessly takes over, in a way that makes the audience feel as if it was inevitable the entire time, which is one of the greatest aspects of this movie, it sets up the tone instantaneously with the combination of the found footage technique and snippets of interviews with the townsfolk that all have different opinions on the Blair Witch, ultimately making the whole experience extremely natural, never once feeling forced.

Fig 2: The Blair Witch Project, Screenshot

There is no doubt in the fact that this idea of The Blair Witch Project existing as a visceral experience played a huge role in its initial attraction, drawing in countless audiences to witness the phenomena that was a potentially the closest an outsider will get to a paranormal happening. Now this is surely something that the directors intended from the get go, as it is impossible to imagine that this found footage approach was only intended as a style choice, it seems obvious that the creators chose this technique to ensure a sense of inclusion amongst an audience, ultimately serving as a cinematic theme park ride designed to enjoy a paranormal experience.

Now whether this is the only indication of the filmmakers putting their mark on The Blair Witch Project is debatable, as surely the main characters have some correlation or connection with the duo's experience of being amateurs, possibly hinting at this idea of over ambition that the film itself holds. This idea is backed up a number of times throughout the film, namely when apparent director Heather Donahue, played by Heather Donahue, states that she has been extremely na├»ve, possibly marking a potential moment when this genre definer seemed too ambitious or out of reach. Now this remains purely on a speculative level, however it does seem entirely reasonable that there is some relationship to the directors own personal experience as they tried to break into the film industry.
Fig 3: The Blair Project, Screenshot

Whichever part of The Blair Witch Project initially attracted an audience to the film, has surely managed to continue to entice viewers ever since, remaining a solid 'bucket list' film that fans of cinema and its history simply need to see. Over the years gaining descriptions such as an "extraordinarily effective horror film" (Ebert, 1999), which it most definitely deserves. No matter how long the horror genre continues to evolve for over the years, this duo of amateur creative genius certainly managed to craft a staple of cinema, and horror, that will go on to inspire for a very long time.


Ebert, Roger, 1999, The Blair Witch Project,, Accessed on: 19/04/16

Thomas, William, 2000, The Blair Witch Project Review,, Accessed on: 19/04/16

Travers, Peter, 1999, The Blair Witch Project,, Accessed on: 19/04/16

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie Poster, The Blair Witch Project,, Accessed on: 19/04/16

Fig 2: Screenshot, The Blair Witch Project,, Accessed on: 19/04/16

Fig 3: Screenshot, The Blair Witch Project,, Accessed on: 19/04/16

Friday, 15 April 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Shot 1 Render Test Experiment

So I tried adding a few different layers and effects in Premiere to get the same texture going as seen in my concept paintings, pretty happy with it so far but I need to add light fog in Maya too!


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Film Review - The Sixth Sense

"One of the rarest of movie treats, a thinking person's thriller that is genuinely haunting." (Common Sense Media, 2004), just one of the many positive opinions attached to M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 chiller masterpiece The Sixth Sense, an opinion you would be hard pressed to disagree with. Following his 1998 film Wide Awake, Shyamalan well and truly came up trumps with Bruce Willis fronted twist fest The Sixth Sense, a film that sees Willis tap into his more emotional side, that had until then, gone unnoticed as the star had pretty much stuck to championing action films such as Die Hard (1998) and The Last Boy Scout (1991).

Fig 1: The Sixth Sense, Movie Poster

The Sixth Sense follows the story of child psychiatrist Dr. Malcom Crowe, played by the afore mentioned Bruce Willis, a successful doctor who is shot by a patient who has grown to resent Crowe. The film then skips ahead a number of months, a time that shows Dr. Crowe's marriage in a deteriorated state and the doctor working with a new patient, Cole Sear, played superbly by Haley Joel Osment. All is not well with the young Cole as he appears socially awkward and all together detached from society, issues that Dr. Crowe has faced before and can surely work his renowned psychiatrist magic on. Just as the film enters its middle act, it subtly slips into the more eerie aspect of its existence, with Cole delivering the tagline to end all taglines, "I see dead people". The film now fully embraces what the audience has been waiting for, as an explanation to Cole's odd behaviour leads Shyamalan's creation into its jump scare induced final state. After countless 'hide behind the sofa' moments and a beautiful telling of an emotional piece of writing from Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense finally ends in one of cinemas most beloved final acts, leaving audiences in a teary eyed perplexed state,  earning the right to be associated with statements like "one of those revelations that make you mentally unpick everything you've seen" (Newman, 2015). After an initial viewing, The Sixth Sense feels like an accomplishment, an accomplishment that has lead to the director being given the green light to take on future projects such as Unbreakable (2000) and Signs (2002), but could the 1999 thriller be hiding an underlining message? quite possibly.
Fig 2: The Sixth Sense, Screenshot

The entirety of The Sixth Sense is beyond enjoyable to watch, it actively grips the viewer, giving them no chance to switch off as each scene offers up a delightful combination of jump scares and vital information that gently furthers the plot. Each scene showcases both lead actors incredible abilities to not only provide genuinely heart felt dialogue, but a sense of unease in the most normal of situations, culminating in some of the most gripping and eerie moments in filmic history. Not only does each scene showcase both lead actors skill, but every moment offers up another reason for The Sixth Sense to creep and scare its way into your favourite films, as not only does each sequence offer something new to the ever developing story, it begins to force the audience into a state of doubt, wondering if this creation will ever culminate into a satisfying ending, which it most definitely does.

Whilst watching The Sixth Sense you would not be criticised for viewing it solely as a cinematic master class in writing, as Shyamalan truly does deliver a script that easily surpasses the inspirational, but it could also be said that Shyamalan was quietly trying to usher in an undertone that carried a message. Throughout the entirety of The Sixth Sense, the film deals with the idea of loss and suffering, something that is apparent in the majority of peoples lives at one point or another. Not only does this film show characters actively moving on as it were, it preaches the idea of metaphorically moving on, which could be associated with a number of experiences in a persons life. Whether Shyamlan was trying to teach this idea of letting go or not remains purely at a speculative level, however one cannot argue that this theme is more than apparent throughout The Sixth Sense, jump scaring its way from scene to scene.
Fig 3: The Sixth Sense, Screenshot

M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 chiller masterpiece The Sixth Sense, carries a blinding script, a incredible story and mind blowing performances throughout, all aspects that have no doubt resulted in this 'twistaphon' cementing its place in cinematic history. When searching through the cinematic history books, there isn't really an existing way to bypass The Sixth Sense, as not only does the film revel in this idea of the unknown, it relishes in it, leading to others describing it as a film that "has a kind of calm, sneaky self-confidence that allows it to take us down a strange path, intriguingly." (Ebert, 1999). The Sixth Sense is a master class on a number of different levels, writing, directing, acting and most importantly, thrilling.


Common Sense Media, 2014, The Sixth Sense,, Accessed on: 12/04/2016

Ebert, Roger, 1999, The Sixth Sense,, Accessed on: 12/04/2016

Newman, Kim, 2014, The Sixth Sense Review,, Accessed on: 12/04/2016

Illustration List

Fig1: Movie Poster, The Sixth Sense,, Accessed on: 12/04/2016

Fig 2: Screenshot, The Sixth Sense,, Accessed on: 12/04/2016

Fig 3: Screenshot, The Sixth Sense,, Accessed on: 12/04/2016

Life Drawing Exercise