Friday, 28 November 2014

Film Review - Repulsion (1965)

Fig. 1 Repulsion (1965) Movie Poster

Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) is quite a disturbing film that demonstrates Carole's, played by Catherine Deneuve, phobia of men, and although she attempts to live her normal life, working at a beauty salon, it is very clear that not all is as it seems with Carole - Mystery surrounds her. It's complex story asks a few questions as to why this phobia exists and why the apartment that she appears to be imprisoned in begins to haunt her. Variety magasine calls the film "a classy, truly horrific psychological drama" - (Variety, 1964)

Fig. 2 Carole

Carole is a beautiful, young Belgian woman living in the heart of London. Surrounded by men and the busy streets of the 1960s. It is an impossibility for her to escape her fears and so must confront them, even though it's a big struggle to do so. Elaine Macintyre went as far as to call Carole " a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown" - (Macintyre, 2014) Due to Carole's beauty, there is no shortage of admirers for her, whether it's the cliche idea of builders admiring a young woman or a possible love interest of Colin, played by John Fraser (See Fig. 4). Despite Colin's clear admiration for her, she does not display any signs of trust towards and appears scared by his presence. Carole's fear, unfortunately, haunts her even at home as her sister Helen's, played by Yvonne Furneaux, screams of sex run through the building and so prevent Carole from getting some sleep. Carole is working within the beauty industry and so is surrounded by the idea of the beautiful woman, which consequently creates more of a challenge for her as it would lead to more male admiration. 

Fig.3 Carole walking through Corridor of hands

When Carole has to take care of the apartment, strange occurrences begin to happen. Walls start to crack. Shelves fall off the wall. Hands burst through the walls (See Fig. 3). We have no clear understanding as to why this is going on. Is it real? Is it a dream? These scenes create confusion within our mind and we have no clue as to what could be causing it. It is clear that the building is causing Carole stress and so the presence of the landlord and Colin do not lead to an improvement in Carole's attitude and behaviour. 

For the time, the scenes of the building breaking and collapsing would be very hard to perfect, but through Polanski's expert camera work, it does produce quality results, especially for the lack of resources available in 1965. No CGI effects would be necessary, however, as the scenes were all done practically. The scene of the corridor of hands (Fig. 3)  create the impression that the house is alive and haunting Carole and is using her fear of men against her.

Fig. 4 Carole with Colin

Repulsion is therefore a very abstract film and it plays off Carole's phobia, and imprisoned her in her own home. The confined apartment is Carole's prison and it does not allow her to escape her fears. This tight setting is brilliantly praised in Tim Robey's review: "It's been an inspiration ever since for films about claustrophobic hysteria." - (Robey, 2013)

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Repulsion (1965) Movie Poster - (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Fig. 2 Carole - (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Fig.3 Carole walking through Corridor of hands (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Fig. 4 Carole with Colin (Accessed 28/11/2014)


Macintyre, Elaine (2014) -Repulsion Review - (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Robey, Tim (2013) - Films in brief: Hors Satan, McCullin, Chinatown, Repulsion (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Variety (1964) - Review: 'Repulsion' - (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Film Review - Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Fig. 1 Edward Scissorhands (1990) Movie Poster

Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990) is a wonderfully imaginative American Romantic Dark Fantasy film that has a story similar to that of Jean Cocteau's "La Belle et La Bete". Walter Chaw also notes the similarities between Burton's films and "La Belle et La Bete" by saying: "Burton's movies are fairytales " - (Chaw, 2006)Edward is an enigma that the town are more than willing to solve. The film's incredibly touching story will leave you sympaphising for Edward from the moment he appears on screen.

Fig. 2 Edward

When we are first introduced to Edward, played by Johnny Depp, he acts like a frightened child. He has no idea about what is happening and due to his segregation in the dark castle he has no idea what normal life is. Owen Gleiberman refers to Edward's child like behaviour in his review "Edward Scissorhands, is a shy, spectral boy " - (Gleiberman, 1990). We can see from Fig. 2 how scared and how child like he is. This introduction to the character immediately makes us feel sorry for Edward as he has not been able to interact with everyday life. Throughout the film, we learn more about Edward and his origins. When we discover the tragic experience he went through early on his creation, we can't begin to imagine how traumatic that would have been as at that moment he was no different to a young child.

Fig. 3 Edward at the Barbecue

The setting of the film is magnificently created. The town is very organised, very clean and very colourful. Each house is identical in terms of shape and size, and so the colour of the house is the only difference to the next. This composition hints at the fact that Tim Burton believed that suburban towns and cities were designed in a way to look very closed in and were organised like a prison, and the people had no view as to how it should look. Roger Ebert goes as far as to say, when talking about the town, that "he lived in a more hospitable world" - (Ebert, 1990)Towering over this town, is a dark, mysterious Castle, where Edward was hiding. What would normally make us believe that the Castle is the most dangerous place to be, we later start to believe that the Castle is the safest place and the town and it's people can be a lot more frightening than the mystery of the Castle. This is an incredible idea as it is the opposite to what we would expect from films, horror films especially.

Fig. 4 Edward and Kim

Like a child, Edward is attracted to anything that he sets his eyes upon. When he first he enters the town, he attempts to go over to something, even though he's in a moving car. It, therefore, isn't much of a surprise that when he first sees Kim, played by Winona Ryder, she is his main center of attraction. Burton uses close camera shots of Edward to demonstrate his love for Kim and also due to the slow theme, created by the genius of Danny Elfman, we sympaphise even more for Edward as, in a normal world at least, a girl of Kim's beauty wouldn't be attracted to the Beast of Edward.

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Edward Scissorhands (1990) Movie Poster (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Fig. 2 Edward (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Fig. 3 Edward at the Barbecue - (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Fig. 4 Edward and Kim - (Accessed 28/11/2014)


Chaw, Walter (2006) - Edward Scissorhand (1990) Movie Review - (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Ebert, Roger (1990) - Edward Scissorhands (1990) Review -  (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Gleiberman, Owen (1990) - Edward Scissorhands (1990) -,,20609141_318762,00.html (Accessed 28/11/2014)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

CG Artist Toolkit: Final Zeotrope

Final Idea

I decided to continue with the "Breaking Bad" Zeotrope idea. I felt that the "Breaking Bad" and "Batman" zeotrope ideas were the best, but I couldn't quite work out how I'd be able to do the Bat-signal, so I opted for this idea.

I created this by drawing an RV on Photoshop. I drew it by continuously looking at images of the RV on google, and was trying to get as much detail in as possible, but was trying to still get the cartoony look that I wanted. I then printed out about 30 of them, just in case some printed badly or broke. I then cut each of them out and stuck them down, once I finished the background.

RV I made on Photoshop

I made the background by drawing similar hills that I did in my own Breaking Bad drawing, and used water colour paints to give them a wash like effect as I wanted the background to look a little blurry and not have any clear detail to them. The background has a cartoony feel to it with it's bright colours and lack of tone/detail, especially in the sky as it's just the same shade of blue.

My own Breaking Bad drawing

As I had finished this 2 weeks ago, I was able to test it last Friday, for the first time, which was a bit of a risky move as it might have looked awful. Fortunately the fast sped of the RV and background movement actually looks quite good and with the main characters in Breaking Bad being criminals, it looks like the speeding away from something and so the fast speed of the animation makes sense, even though I didn't create the background correctly.

This isn't a very festive idea, but as I am a fan of Breaking Bad, I felt it would get me more excited about making the zeotrope.

Apologies for the poor picture quality.

CG Artist Toolkit: Zeotrope Planning

Here my original ideas that I thought of for my zeotrope:

My thinking behind this one was that the footballer was volley the ball, it would hit the bar, go over the goal and it would fall to the player like how it did originally. Although I think it would work as animation, it would be quite difficult to animate the player's body movements and for there to still be enough frames for the rest of the animation. Also, it wouldn't make sense in the real world, unless it's a very long pitch that they're on.

The idea behind this one was that the UFO would drop the person off, fly away, then come back and pick him back up again. Like the first one. I think it would have worked quite well, but I felt it needed a bit more to it and was quite simple.

My final two ideas are the same with regards as to how they'd look. The car would be in every frame and the background would be the thing that would change.

The one above is based on Breaking Bad, as it has the signature RV and have the desert landscape of Albuquerque in the background. I think that as the RV is the main thing in the animation, it would have to be more detailed than the background, which the drawing shows. The background would need to be framed correctly, otherwise it may go too fast.

The one below is based on Batman, with the Bat-mobile, the skyscrapers in the background and the bat signal. The Bat signal is the only real difference between these two ideas, and  it would make it a lot harder to create as it would need to move around slightly in the air.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Film Review - La Belle et La Bete (1946)

Fig. 1 La Belle et La Bete (1946) Movie Poster

Jean Cocteau's La Belle et La Bete (1946), translated as "The Beauty and the Beast" marked the beginning of fairy tales being shown at the cinema. It's wonderful style has been the source of inspiration for many classic films and it's emotional story is something we can relate to. 

Fig. 2 Belle's Father in the Beast's house

The film is one of the first, if not the first, in cinema to have a deep message about romance and love, as it tells us that Beauty can be found in anyone. What starts of as a story about fear towards the Beast, it later develops into us caring for the Beast and hoping for his safety, rather than the well being of Belle's family and friends.We continue to sympathise with the Beast as he continues to insult himself and believes that no one will love him due to his appearance. We see through his menacing face and bear-like hands, and see a man who adores Belle and would do anything for her. Unfortunately for the Beast, however, it does take time for Belle to really start to see his true side and not the monster that her eyes see.

Fig. 3 Belle 

The Beast's house is extraordinarily designed.  It has arms as candle holders, men as fire place pillars and a labyrinth of a garden. All of this, therefore, creates the impression that the house is alive and it has an equal amount of magic behind it as the cursed man of the Beast. This incredible setting increases the level of mystery behind the Beast and the amount of fear that Belle would have when first encountering the Beast. This magical set piece has inspired many fairy tale films since, especially that of Disney's adaptation of the film. Roger Ebert spoke in his review about how wonderully complex the setting is and how difficult it would be for the director to create. "Cocteau was not sure he had the technical mastery for such an ambitious production" - (Ebert,1999). It can be argued that without the magic of the house, the film wouldn't be quite so unique for it's time and would now just be regarded as another story about romance and maybe wouldn't have lead there now being several adaptations of the film. Jeff Vice refers to the film's excellence and it being a great source of inspiration. And this magical adaptation of the much-filmed Jean-Marie Leprince de Beaumont tale clearly inspired much of the imagery for the Disney version.’ (Vice, 2007).

Fig. 4 Belle with the "Beast"

Although the film, arguably, has it's odd cheesy and quite far fetched ideas, especially the very last scene, the film is a true pioneer for all fairy tales. It's incredible environment's magic has been demonstrated through the years and it's message will hold it's place in cinema history. And as Tom Milne greatly summed up in his review "Cocteau's fairy tale set standards in fantasy which few other film-makers have reached." - (Milne, 2006)

Illustration List:

Fig. 1 La Belle et La Bete (1946) Movie Poster - (Accessed 26/11/2014)

Fig. 2 Belle's Father in the Beast's house (Accessed 26/11/2014)

Fig. 3 Belle (Accessed 26/11/2014)

Fig. 4 Belle withe the "Beast" (Accessed 26/11/2014)


Ebert, Roger (1999) - La Belle et La Bete (1946) Review - (Accessed 26/11/2014)

Milne, Tom (2006) - La Belle et La Bete (1946) Review  - - (Accessed 26/11/2014)

Vice, Jeff (2007) - Film review: 1946 'Beauty and Beast' is enthralling (Accessed 26/11/2014)

Life Drawing - 26/11/2014

These are my drawings that I did in today's life drawing session. I only used blue ink today. I have used ink when doing life drawing before and it always creates some interesting results. I quite like the style that I create as it looks quite sketchy, in a way, and I think it looks quite good because of this. In the past. I do quite like it when the ink runs down the page so maybe next time when I use ink, I can use it in different ways.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Lighting & Rendering: External - Mid Day -Tutorial

Here is my attempt at the Lighting & Rendering: External - Mid Day tutorial. I got a little lost when we moved onto photoshop, which is why the building is a weird shape, but everything on Maya worked fine.

What If? Metropolis: Final Concept

This is my final concept. I really liked the city that I had from the lighting tests, so I took it into photoshop and added detail/tone. I used the same brushes that the original thumbnail had and will continue using the same techniques for future compositions. I really like this result as it is incredibly dark and it isn't clear what is happening.

What If? Metropolis: Bridgtet Riley City Lighting tests

I wanted to put together a quick little city inspired by my 85th thumbnail. I chose this thumbnail because I like it's simplicity, but it also has an interesting Riley-esc style to it through the building design and floor. I uploaded this as a scribd document because of the amount of pictures. I based the buildings in the city on my travelogue as it has the lighthouse and theatre that I described. These buildings are obviously the most detailed as all the other buildings are just simple polygon primitives that I played with slightly. I wanted the lighthouse to be the main supplier of light for this city as I want the city to be quite dark and mysterious, and so a good way to show that, I think, is through a lack of light, which is also why there isn't any colour. I did however add light to the theatre to make it look like something is happening inside the building. By the end, you can see I also started playing with the render regions and this gave me some interesting results. By doing that, the light looks very linear, and it also matches the style of some of Riley's work where certain shapes fade into the darkness.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What If? Metropolis - Influence Map 2

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I’m not too sure about what the overall look of my city, I do think that it would look best black and white. Quite a lot of her work is Black and White, and it would work better with the tone of the city that I’m talking about in my travelogue. I also think that the black and white thumbnails that I have created look more relevant to her work than the ones in colour.

What If? Metropolis: OGR - 19th November 2014

What If? Metropolis: OGR - 19th November 2014

What If? Metropolis - Thumbnails - 76-91

For these thumbnails, I wanted to take the methods that Jordan showed me as they looked a lot more helpful for me as I've had a slight lack of ideas, but these have shown me how I can create the Bridget Riley city that I was talking about in my travelogue. I really like 85 to 87 as I used brushes that I have never used before and they have come up with interesting results that resemble some of Bridget Riley's work. They work well with my travelogue, also, through their abstract compositions and lack of colour.

Life Drawing - 19/11/14

In today's life drawing session, we continued drawing the same model but we were asked to do slightly different things, compared to the last session I went to. Below are pictures of all the drawings that I did today. My favourite is the one I did in my sketch book because as it was a long drawing and we could do anything we wanted, it allowed me to work with my own quick pen drawing style. We were also asked to do 10x 10 second drawings and as you can see from the picture, it isn't clear what it is. It has therefore produced a very abstract style and so there are interesting shapes within it.  

3x 10 minute drawings

5 minute drawings + 1x 1 minute drawing (Bottom left)

1 minute drawings + 30 second drawings

10x 10 second drawings

Pen drawing in sketch book

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

What If? Metropolis: Thumbnails - 70-75

These are some thumbnails that I did a few days ago that I forgot to upload. Unlike my last set of thumbnails, they are not all black and white, as you can see. I wanted to see how it would look using a variety of colours, like 70 and 72, or just one colour, like 71. I think that 71 looks interesting because it looks like it's melting or like some sort of liquid, and because it has elements of tone and light it has 3D forms within it. I want to take these and the previous thumbnails into my next set as they will be quite helpful as they will give me ideas as to how I can create structures.

Monday, 17 November 2014

What If? Metropolis: Thumbnails - 51-69

Following on from the methods that Simon showed me, I have created some more thumbnails. This time, however, I have only done them in black and white. The reason for this is because I imagined the city to be quite dark and gloomy, and so I thought the best way to do that was through not using colour. These thumbnails have created some interesting forms, and I think certain thumbnails, like 58 can be interpreted into a city through it's complex composition. My favourite thumbnails, though, are the ones that include spirals and circles, because they have interesting uses of tone and are very unique in their design

Digital Sets: Part 1 - Modelling - Tutorial

Here is my attempt at the first Digital sets Maya tutorial. The alley went well, but I had a few issues with the lamp especially as whenever I wanted to make the edges smooth, it would freeze the computer and would close Maya. 

And below is the final "Old alley" including the lamp and crates...

What If? Metropolis - Thumbnail help from Jordan

In today's lesson, Jordan showed me how I can use different methods to get thumbnails. As I have stuck to the same method for previous thumbnails, this is of great help. I hope I can continue creating thumbnails using these new methods. I really like the composition of these thumbnails as they look like Bridget Riley's work, as well as working with some of my own thumbnails.

Monday, 10 November 2014

What If? Metropolis: Thumbnails - 38-50

Using the same techniques/tools that Simon showed me, I created these Bridget Riley thumbnails. I think these work a lot better than my previous thumbnails as they aren't the same old blocky buildings. These thumbnails have created some interesting 3D forms and can be interpreted as structures. Although, I don't think it's too clear that it's a city to some, I do think that they work quite well with her style. I really like number 40 because it uses different lines and shapes well and creates some interesting forms.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Introduction to more Photoshop tools

As I need to start changing my approach to thumbnails for this course, I got Simon to teach me how to use some more tools on Photoshop that I can use to create thumbnails in a Bridget Riley style. He showed me how to use the marquee tool, gradient tool, liquify tool and snap tool. Below are the three he quickly created. I really like these as they were quite easily done, but have quite 3D forms to them and you can see forms being created within the images. They really do work in Bridget Riley's style and so I hope I can now continue using these tools to create some more thumbnails.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

What If? Metropolis: OGR - 5th November 2014

What If? Metropolis: OGR - 5th November 2014

What If? Metropolis: Thumbnails - 25-37

Here are more silhouette thumbnails for my Bridget Riley inspired city. I admit that they look quite similar and a little rushed, but I'm really struggling to come up with ideas as to what different types of thumbnails I can create. These do create some interesting shapes, though and can be very useful when design buildings.

Life Drawing - 05/11/14

Below are my pieces that I did in today's life drawing lesson. I have done life drawing like this before so I'm familiar with what we were asked to do. My favourite is the one on the right on the second image. It was only a ten minute exercise, but I managed to get the proportions almost completely right and I like the style of tone that I used with the charcoal.