Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Mudbox | Modelling Activity | Normal & Displacement Maps

In today's Mudbox class we learnt how to export both normal and displacement maps whilst applying them to our models, along with how to apply weight and pose our models.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Adaptation (A) | Horror & Musical Assets

Here are the final two sets of assets for my infographic depicting the lifecycle of a background character, featuring the 'Lost Hunger' character and the 'Two Left Feet' dancer.



Friday, 27 January 2017

Adaptation (A) | Infographic Assets

Here are a few of the assets that I will be using for my infographic, I still have the horror and musical genre to add to these assets but the majority are complete along with titles and backgrounds.



Sci Fi



Thursday, 26 January 2017

Spirited Away (2001) | Japan | Film Review

Studio Ghibli's 2001 animated goliath Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is widely credited as one of the first eastern animations to really take the western world by storm, captivating the hearts of foreign audiences with a charm and story that viewers adored and have lovingly kept relevant to this day. Countless characters and iconography have stood a serious test of time and remain in the mainstream even now, with characters such as the popular no face retaining iconic status sixteen years on.

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Spirited Away

The story follows that of Chihiro Ogino, a young girl who moves to a new area with her parents only to stumble across what seems to be an old abandoned theme park. As the long trip to the new area has taken its toll on  the moving family they decide to venture into the forgotten area and stop for what seems to be free food, only for Chihiro to discover that the innocent family have in fact wandered into a land inhabited by spirits. As Chihiro's parents are punished by the spirit world for their greed, she finds herself trapped in this dangerous new land fighting for her parents freedom, meaning that she must make friends and enemies of all kinds to grow as a character and free her family.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Spirited Away

At its core, Spirited Away a film that focusses on growing up or rather developing as a person, with multiple themes centered on aspects of change or growth, both within the cast of characters and the environment. The film magnificently juggles a number of different social issues with a good hearted and gripping story line, managing to maintain its grounded core whilst the plot travels in a number of different directions. The entire plot of Spirited Away somehow manages to feel reserved and quite contained, possibly because of the way its setting physically contains its cast, whilst simultaneously feeling elaborate and complex. Because of this the film at times doesn't feel like a feature length animation (despite its 125 minute run time)but rather a soap opera or reality tv show, containing elements of the plot within a physical building has given the film a sense of inclusion that forces the viewer to rather look in and observe the events that change Chihiro instead of a linear plot that revolves around a journey.  

An aspect of Miyazaki's animated masterpiece that never goes unmentioned is the almost silent masked character No Face, a spirit that literally drifts through the plot absorbing the emotional energy around him and learning the traits of the environment he is in. Throughout the entirety of Spirited Away No Face seems to be the physical embodiment of the idea of youth, a young spirit roaming the land taking in the traits and energy of those around him, some positive traits and some negative traits. This idea of a wandering youth further lends itself to strengthen the idea of the bathhouse seeming like more of a reality tv show setting rather than a filmic environment, almost shifting into a playground type set with the different spirits and characters existing within the house learning to adapt and deal with each others differences. No mask also posses' the ability to create gold from thin air, a currency that is extremely valuable within the spirit world, almost making him seem even more like a youthful character who is simply seeking a friend, mimicking the traits of those around him whilst trying to supply them items that could win their affection.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Spirited Away

This idea of greed is a theme that runs throughout every moment of Spirited Away, from the very first act which sees Chihiro's parents taken captive due to their own greed right through to the bigger scenes which see No Face destroying the bathhouse due to the greed of the employees that work within it. This is potentially a piece of commentary focusses at audiences within its homeland of Japan, possibly commenting on the state of financial market at the time of its release, another aspect of this film that causes it to be remembered so fondly, Miyazaki seems to be able to craft cinema that not only captures the hearts and imaginations of its audience but also carries a strong message that viewers need to take away with them.

Studio Ghibli's 2001 animated hit Spirited Away has certainly managed to retain a certain sense of timelessness that not many other features can boast, ensuring that its sense of origin was never lost whilst still capturing the attention of foreign audiences. From its roots that shine through its scenes all the way to the issues that it intends to tackle or at least comment on, Miyazaki has ensured that audiences wont be forgetting No Face anytime soon.

Illustration List  

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Spirited Away, http://www.impawards.com/2002/spirited_away.html, Accessed on: 26.01.17

Fig 2: Screenshot, Spirited Away, http://metrograph.com/film/film/138/spirited-away, Accessed on: 26.01.17

Fig 3: Screenshot, Spirited Away, https://moviepilot.com/posts/2297900, Accessed on: 26.01.17 


Maya Class | Animating From Reference (Updated)

During todays Maya class I continued on with my diving roll animation, following a reference video and adding breakdown poses.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mary And Max (2010) | Australia | Film Review

Mary And Max is an Australian stop motion animation directed by Adam Elliot, released in the year of 2009. Elliot had previously directed shorts such as Uncle 1996), Cousin (1999) and Brother (2000) earlier in his long running career and gifted audiences with Mary And Max after he had built up a sizeable reputation as a director who knew how to work within the animation world.

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Mary And Max

Mary And Max tells the story of Mary Daisy Dinkle, voiced by Toni Collette, an eight year old girl living a rather depressing life within a small area of Australia, depicting an adaptation of true events that took place within the real world. After giving audiences an insight into the home life of Mary Dinkle, the viewer is introduced to a number of the individuals that make up Mary's existence, including a repulsive mother and a cast of characters that bring a darker tone to the story, one of those characters being a father who practices taxidermy in the back garden shed. After a chance address book leads Mary to Max, a forty four year old man living alone in New York voiced by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the pair strike up a friendship via writing to each other and the remainder of the film tells not only the story of their friendship but intricate details of their individual lives.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Mary And Max

From the very offset Mary And Max feels extremely grounded to its Australian roots, not only in its environment design but from everything from its humor to casting choices. The physical design of the set and props within the film feel extremely Australian, they riff off of a dusty 'outback' vibe that is without a doubt associated with that area of the world and allow it to define the tone of Mary's world. This dusty filter that seems to cover a lot of the Australian side of the film is almost given free reign across Mary's side of story and is dialed back dramatically to a more noir influenced look when the narration is focused on Max's story, not only giving Max's narration a much darker tone but literally defining the time difference using black and white and subtle tones, highlighting the idea that Australia can often feel like a far away land due to the time change, adding to the idea that Mary has trouble connecting with people as her personality is potentially mirrored in the time change.

As for the humor that runs through the course of the film, it definitely feels Australian in that it focusses on a more dry style of comedy that at times relies on a level of shock value, again potentially creating a gap that intentionally separates a foreign audience from the cast, creating a detached tone that gives Mary an added feeling of isolation, this style of comedy is also mirrored in parts of Max's story. This fashion of humor lends itself so well to this particular film as at times it is clearly focusing on delivering a strong sense of seclusion and a bold idea of difference, something that is mirrored ten fold in the comedy, altogether leading to an extremely successful production that was met with critical acclaim.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Mary And Max

Mary And Max has used its origins roots to an extremely successful level within a number of elements of its core, using a tone that is relevant to its values and homeland to create a sense of difference and seclusion and a dry style of comedy that focusses on shocks to form a state of isolation from its audience, whilst still keeping the story at an extremely personal level so that the audience remains connected to the characters at all times, meaning that the film has sense of character throughout and maintains a message that is mirrored in its artistic choices.  

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie poster, Mary And Max, http://www.impawards.com/2009/mary_and_max.html, Accessed on: 24.01.17

Fig 2: Screenshot, Mary And Max, http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0978762/mediaviewer/rm3857157632, Accessed on: 24.01.17

Fig 3: Screenshot, Mary And Max, http://www.aceshowbiz.com/still/00005171/mary_and_max17.html, Accessed on: 24.01.17

Mudbox | Modelling Activity | Walker Robot Model

Monday, 23 January 2017

Adaptation (B) | Music Choice Progress

As the current idea for my adaptation (B) project revolves around designing a backdrop of lights, effects and a mixture of graphic design and live action footage the music is going to give me the starting points for my designs.

If I cannot get the permission needed to use the music I would ideally want here are two options that I like the sound of so far.


Groovy Hip Hop


Adaptation (A) | Updated Infographic Progress

After feedback from Alan I have since moved my designs for my infographic forward, trying to simplify in areas and develop a graphical style along with text.

I'm going to use simple movements to potentially a voice over to explain the different sequences that portray genres, with objects moving in and out of screen as the script reads.

Romance | The Singleton

Action | The Innocent Passerby

Science Fiction | The Careless Fodder

Fantasy | The Epic Battle Crowd

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Maya Class | Animation From Reference

Mudbox | Modelling Activity | Vegetable Design

Character | Reflective Statement

Throughout the entirety of the character project I've felt as if my skills around design have improved greatly, Justin has consistently given me detailed feedback on my drawing and I feel as if his constructive criticism has helped massively.
During the character classes I specifically enjoyed the level of freedom we were given around the activities we were asked to complete, I feel as if that freedom has helped me work on creating more imaginative characters.
I also enjoyed that during the film reviews we were given the option of reviewing a film of our choice (based on the theme of the in class film), I felt an increased level of motivation around the reviews because I was able to talk about films that I personally enjoyed.
During the project I have found it difficult to contain the style in which I draw and convert it  to a more 3D friendly design, causing me to have difficulties creating turnarounds that suit a 3D world. However, with the advice and feedback both Alan and Justin have given throughout the project I feel as if I am moving in the right direction with my designs and I'm starting to mould my style to fit a range of programmes.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Adaptation (A) | Updated Infograph Idea

My working idea concerning my infographic revolved around Game Of Thrones, however after my tutorial with Alan my plan has shifted to not simply focus on Game Of Thrones but rather background characters from different genres, humorously detailing their daily lives.

 For the romance genre I plan on having a couple glide past this character who will be waiting at a bus stop reading a newspaper, only to lower the paper and vomit at the sight of the happy couple.


When the infographic is showing the background characters of the action genre I'm going to show this character moving along side other tanks, only to fall behind and be forgotten as the sound of a missile grows louder.

Science Fiction
As the science fiction section begins I plan on showing this alien character travelling through a space battle, only to be hit with a laser and fall to earth, leaving the battle to continue overhead as he gazes up.

Fantasy Epic
During the section that focusses on the fantasy genre I'm going to show this crowd gradually moving towards the audience, only to be hit with a barrage of arrows as they grow closer.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Adaptation (A) | Style Influence

In terms of style, I want my infographic to retain a partially hand made quality, meaning that the overall design and end product come across as relatively personal and a little worn, much like the designs featured in Game Of Thrones itself.

This piece created by Ricardo Cavolo demonstrates the level of imperfection I'm considering on including in my designs.

The use of a cutout technique featured in this piece created by Tinman Creative Studios for the band All Time Low's album titled Don't Panic has really inspired me to push this technique within my infographic as it could allow me to create simple designs that can be animated in after effects.

Original Work


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Adaptation (B) | Working Idea

The current idea I'm working towards revolves around the adaptation of a song into a graphically designed back drop fit to suit a live performance.

I'm hoping to adapt a piece of music into a short (dependent on the song) film that focusses on key lyrics and themes from the song being turned into graphically designed imagery to highlight points of the piece, with the idea of being featured during a live performance at its roots.

(The Neighbourhood)

I'm planning on combining pieces of short live action footage with graphically designed imagery and CG effects to create a film that not only suits the themes of the piece of music but is literally in sync with points of the song so that it could be played as a backdrop during a live show.

Adaptation (A) | Working Idea

The Lifecycle Of A Game Of Thrones Extra | Current Ideas

The current idea I'm considering taking forward is 'The Lifecycle Of A Game Of Thrones Extra', highlighting the numerous deaths and tragedies not only the main cast but the added cannon fodder go through.

Image result for game of thrones symbols

The symbols throughout the series that are used to depict the different houses are going to be a starting point for my idea, using similar style graphic design to show the different deaths and events the background characters go through during large battles.

The style of maps used in the show as well as on features such as 'The Lord Of The Rings' are also going to play a part in my infographic, serving as background or base layer for my various animations and movements to take place on.

 (Original Work)