Monday, 29 September 2014

Thin Cities 3 - Armilla

These are my first 16 thumbnails for Armilla. With regards to the drawing side of things, I think I'm getting there. Through a little bit of help, I now know how to work with light/tone a bit more and I also now use a brush that suits my style. I'm not anywhere near the standards of other people in the group, but at least I'm making progress. Anyway....I quite liked the idea of this city as it allowed me to not worry about making perfect shapes, so I could be free with the pen. Even the thumbnails that aren't well-drawn have a good idea behind them. I like number 3, especially, as the "Pop. 0" sign tells a story, and it can also be worked on a lot more. For the last 4, I tried to use my new knowledge of using light and I think that came out quite well. They feel like a deserted/abandoned world, and they have a sense of scale.

Cities & The Dead 4 - Argia

Here are my first 16 thumbnails for Argia. Like my thumbnails of Anastasia, I used one quote throughout, but this time it was the fact that the city has earth instead of air and that the city is full of dirt. I struggled to come up with different ideas for this, so it may be quite clear that some of the thumbnails are pretty much the same. However, they do follow the original extract and are quite abstract. I think I should have worked with light and darkness more because, underground, there isn't much light but these thumbnails don't show that.

Cities and Desire 2 - Anastasia

These are my first 16 thumbnails of Anastasia. It is quite clear that I used the water/canal aspect of the city for these. I also tried to create a small garden for number 5. From reading my previous post, you'll know how I feel about my drawing skills using a graphics tablet and photoshop, but I won't get into that and will instead mention that I am quite happy with some of the ideas behind them as they have a good concept. I, personally, like the thinking behind number 14 as the buildings floating on the water is quite an unnatural thing and can be worked on a lot more.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

CG Artist's Toolkit: Animation & Character - Mini Zeotrope

During our first Animation & Character lesson, we were asked to get into pairs and make a quick animation, using a 10 frame disk and a zeotrope. A zeotrope is spun round and reflects the frames on the disk, and at a certain speed, it looks like an amination. I started off the frames. I did a small house and changed it a little each time, and in one frame I included a little character, then it was Marion's turn. It was quite fun making these and discovering another quick method of creating a quick animation.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

First Photoshop thumbnails - Brushes.

These are my first 16 quick thumbnails that I did using a graphics tablet. I started this page with no experience of drawing using a graphics tablet or using photoshop's digital painting tools. I found it reasonably difficult, at first, that we were only allowed a minute on each thumbnail, but as it progressed I didn't necessarily care how bad they were and just moved on, with little time for thinking about how the next one should look. I know I shouldn't beat myself up too much for this as this was my first time using many things and we didn't have much time and that we should expect to suck at first, but it annoys me how bad they are. Before this course, and I still do, I consider my skills of drawing buildings, cities etc. quite high, so it irritates me how bad some of these are. They don't look like cities and the buildings are just awful. Obviously, I will improve over time, but I honestly didn't expect to be so bad at first. I will continue practicing in order to be as good as the other students.

First Photoshop lesson

Above is my first little play around with photoshop. I tried to use as many of the more detailed/unique types of brushes for this one, so that I can see what effect they can create and how useful they may be. Some of these brushes may be of uses, e.g. the chalk style brush, as it can be used to make interesting textures or create a unique style of tone. Some of these brushes, however, weren't at all good/useful, e.g. the leafs  brush, as it just looks very unrealistic and doesn't look that great. This was my first time using the digital painting tools on photoshop and it was quite fun experimenting with it's tools.
Below is a quick image that I made. I didn't necessarily go into it with any idea and just continued experimented with the brushes. I used the first two brushes, on a solid black background. I firstly used a brush that faded out from the middle, in white, and put it right into the middle. I then decided to see what it would look like if it was covered with a solid circle of black, and it reminded me of an eclipse. I then carried on with that idea and added some clouds, to make it look a bit more realistic. I know it may not look like much to some people, but as this was my first quick picture that I made on photoshop, and using a graphics tablet, I'm actually quite pleased with how it looks.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Film Review - Le Voyage Dans La Lune

"...suddenly we have the cinema - that glorious mutt art." - Josh Larsen, Rotten Tomatoes (2013)

"Le Voyage Dans La Lune" Movie Poster (1902)

 Georges Melies' Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902), translated to "A Trip to the Moon", is a short silent film that follows a relatively small group of astronomers, who travel to the Moon via a bullet-like capsule that is fired towards the Moon. Upon reaching their destination, they explore the Moon's surface before encountering some of it inhabitants in a mushroom filled cave. The astronomers manage to escape from danger and return to Earth, by falling rather comically, it has to be said. 

Le Clair De Terre (1902) "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" Concept Art

The film draws inspiration from the works of Jules Verne, in particular from From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and Around the Moon (1870). These sources of inspiration helped the film to tell a memorable story, regardless of it's short run time. To the modern audience, it may be quite comical at times, whether it's due to the manner of which the astronomers returned to Earth, the fact they were able to breath on the Moon without any kind of oxygen source or just because of it's poor effects, by today's standard. The film demonstrates the lack of knowledge of Space and the Moon in the early 20th and late 19th century. This therefore highlights Melies' level of imagination as he managed to create a story with a very little amount of understanding with regards to traveling to the Moon. The special effects used in the film were rather revolutionary, for that period, and helped create a foundation for all films, not just sci-fi. Melies proved that any world could be visited and he helped inspire later film makers to push the boundaries as to what could be created. 

The Moon's underground cave of Mushrooms

The modern soundtrack, that can be chosen, seemed a little out of place as there were sections which didn't reflect what was happening on the screen. One example was when tense music was being played while the astronomers were having their meeting, at the beginning of the film. No clear sense of tension was shown and so the music felt misplaced. It has to be said, however, that it did have a whimsy rhythm, at times, and did work perfectly with the rather silly movement and actions of the characters. The setting wasn't created through a big budget, that we come to expect with modern sci-fi films, but was primarily created through a painted board that showed the distance. 

Astronomers sleeping on the Moon's surface.

Le Voyage Dans La Lune is known to be one of, if not the first, science fiction film and it is clear how it has affected the great Sci-Fi films since. The film has all the elements that are still in modern sci-fi films: travelling into the unknown, encountering aliens/mythical creatures, big special effects etc. "It has all the elements that characterize the science-fiction genre: adventurous scientists, a futuristic space voyage, special effects such as superimpositions, and strange aliens in a far-off place." - Filmsite review. It is a clear pioneer for the genre and will therefore always be considered as one of the greatest.


Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) Directed by Georges Melies - France: Star Film Company 

Larsen, John (2013) Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) Review - (Accessed 23/09/2014)
 - (Accessed 23/09/2014)

Filmsite Movie Review - Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A trip to the Moon) (1902) - (Accessed 23/09/2014)

Le Voyage Dans La Lune Movie Poster (1902) - (Accessed 23/09/2014)

Le Clair De Terre (1902) "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" Concept Art -  (Accessed 23/09/2014)

The Moon's underground cave of Mushrooms. Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) (Accessed 23/09/2014)

Astronomers sleeping on the Moon's surface.  Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) -  (Accessed 23/09/2014)

Neyland, Nick (2012) La Voyage Dans La Lune: (Accessed 23/09/2014)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Final 3 Concepts

Left it a little late to upload, but here are my three concepts that I took further.

I am quite happy with how the life-form turned out because when I first created it, when doing the 101 drawings, I didn't mean for it to look like that but it ended up looking quite good, I thought. I decided to give it a bit more of a character by putting it in a suit, but I kept the overall design intact as I wanted it to still look like the original object.

I am not too pleased with most of the machines I did, but the one I chose looked quite realistic, I thought, as it looks quite like a pump machine. I couldn't think of many ways as to how I could take it much further because machines don't have much detail and style anyway. I improved the cogs slightly to make them look a bit more functional.  I could have tried to make it look a little more industrial by adding more detail to it in places.

I am not at all pleased with my structure, mainly because I think I rushed it slightly. Not much thought went into ways to take it further and improve it. Instead, I just kept repeating the same design, making small tweaks here and there, which don't make much of a difference. I think I should have made it look a bit more realistic, even though realistic isn't necessarily what we're aiming for.

I would have liked to do these on the computer, but I don't have any kind of drawing software, that's why I stuck with the same style as my 101 small drawings and that is also why I did a few smaller drawings around them so that I could experiment with my ideas a little more.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Let me introduce myself...

Hi! I would just like to introduce myself and let you know a little bit about me. My name is Daniel, but as most people call me Dan, that is why Dan is the name on my blog - It's up to you what name you chose to call me. :) I am 18, so I may be one of the youngest in the group, but I have been going to Rochester UCA for the past 2 years, so if anyone has any questions about the university or the area around UCA, I'll be happy to help.

My favourite colour is blue and I am a big football fan. I believe my interest in animation came from my childhood as most of it was spent watching Toy Story, Nightmare before Christmas or The Iron Giant.

I am very impressed by everyone's work and I hope that I can improve, personally, to reach the levels that you are all at.

I will also be happy to accept any friend requests on Facebook and I will follow back anyone on twitter (@dreason23). :D

I look forward to meeting you all.