Friday, 27 February 2015

CG Artist's Toolkit: Tweens and Motion Paths

In today's session with Meg, we continued working on flash. This week we were introduced to Tweens and motion paths, as they are an alternative, and faster, method. I had a bit of trouble using each and so my results are too great. However, I did learn about them and now know more ways to use flash, which is obviously a good thing.

Using Tweens
Using a Motion Path

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fantastic Voyage: Slime Mold

After a lot of thought about my initial ideas, I was thinking more about the slime mold idea that I had, in particular. Here is what I said below: 

A young boy scout is on his bike in a forest. He stops and looks at all his badges, he opens a book and we see that the only badge he has left to get is the Nature badge. He closes the book, looks round and goes to a tree, where he notices something. He takes a magnifying glass out of his bag and looks at the bark of the tree. The camera moves through the magnifying glass, and we then see the slime mold cycle. The cycle ends. The camera zooms out from the magnifying glass and we see the boy smile. He then pulls out a notebook takes a few notes and then gets on his bike and rides out.

This idea has a nice, cute narrative to it. It makes sense for the boy to be there and it can be very interesting and enjoyable for young children. I imagine a bright colourful forest/wood that is beaming with life and sounds of birds. As the sun's rays beam through the trees, as it sparkles on his magnifying glass. The development of the cycle progresses, as does the boy's excitement towards his own discovery.

This innocent young boy is amazed by the wonders that the world holds.

Feedback would obviously be appreciated. :)

Life Drawing - 25/02/2015

In today's life drawing session we were back to a male model. We began with 3x 5 minute poses. They were fairly simple poses and so were quite straight forward. I was doing them in my line drawing style, but used a thicker pen for the outline. It created an interesting effect, which is why I continued with it in the other exercises. 

Our second exercise was 5x 2 minute poses, I think, it may have been three minutes. Anyway, the poses were a little more challenging, and so I struggled to draw the big red ball - hence it's egg shape in the top left. However, apart from the odd out of proportion section, they all work really well, and the use of only the bolder pen looks quite effective. 

The third exercise was the same as the previous, except they were 1 minute poses. I got them down really quickly and was surprised by the results. They are all quite accurate and the overall page composition works well.

The next task was a bit of a challenge. We were asked to collage. I decided not to go for the paper and PVA that was recommended and instead used pens, chalk and charcoal. I wanted to use yellow (Pens) and purple (chalk) to represent the light and dark areas, respectively, and it creates a unique effect, but is one that didn't work very well. I then, for some reason, used blue pens for the sheet that the model was on. It looks very rushed and not thought out, which is an obvious shame as I had imagined another style that could have been produced. I then used white chalk and charcoal to add light and dark areas, but I think this was an experiment that went wrong.

As I wasn't too pleased with this previous drawing, I went back to just line drawing and used the thicker and thinner pen. I really like this one as it is well detailed and accurate, despite the odd head shape.

3x 5 minute poses

5x 2 minute poses

5x 1 minute poses

20 minute pose

30 minute pose

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Ideas

After today's brief and watching the Bio-scientific scenarios, I have come up with a couple of ideas for the animation:

It begins with a POV shot of a mosquito in a LEDC in Africa. We see an establishing shot of said area, before the mosquito lies through a window. We see a young boy asleep, as the mosquito lands on his arm, where it then begins to bite him. The camera shows the sporozites enter the boy's blood stream. The camera then follows the sporozites as it carries out the life cycle. Eventually, we see the gametocytes leave the boy as another mosquito is biting the boy. We see how the cycle has affected the boy's health, as the other mosquito flies away.

This is quite a depressing idea, as wee how the boy has becoming severely unwell. This idea is obviously not suitable for younger generations, and would be more suitable for teenagers.

I've not thought of this idea in the same way as the Malaria idea, but it would be for young children. A friendly, happy bacteria comes onto screen. He has a happy/funny voice, introduces himself before a nasty, evil looking hook worm comes into the picture. The bacteria warns us about it and then the worm replies with a snake-like voice. The worm leaves. The bacteria then describes the life cycle. By the end of the cycle, we see the same hook worm come into the picture and asks what he was talking about. The bacteria acts confused. The worm looks suspicious. The camera then shows the bacteria winking at us.

This is quite a nice setup, although hook worms and their cycle are quite scary and so maybe a bit terrifying for the children.

Slime Mold:
A young boy scout is on his bike in a forest. He stops and looks at all his badges, he opens a book and we see that the only badge he has left to get is the Nature badge. He closes the book, looks round and goes to a tree, where he notices something. He takes a magnifying glass out of his bag and looks at the bark of the tree. The camera moves through the magnifying glass, and we then see the slime mold cycle. The cycle ends. The camera zooms out from the magnifying glass and we see the boy smile. He then pulls out a notebook takes a few notes and then gets on his bike and rides out.

I quite like this idea and would be suitable for Primary School students. It can be quite colourful and friendly and would be very detailed. It may go over the 1 minute time length, however.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Photoshop Session: 23/02/2015

In the first photoshop session since last term, we were doing master studies. We started with 3 environments, then we did a portrait and we then finished with a different painting. 

I really like my environment studies as they are reasonably similar to the original, and although the colours may not match in places, the overall compositions are very close. I really like the first one as it works very well and the colours in the sky are very similar.

We started the portrait by doing it upside down first, before flipping it back to the original position. You can see from the pictures below how different they look. I was really liking how it was going when it was upside down, and then when I flipped it, it looked incredibly strange. It's weird how it can look goo one way and not as good the other, but I still look the colours that I used, despite it looking a tad odd.

We then finished with a whole new painting. We didn't have much time left, so my version isn't finished yet. However, I did manage to semi-complete the background, which I think looks quite similar.

Friday, 20 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Final Crit. Presentation

"Art Of"


Pre-Viz of Scene 1

From Script to Screen: Submission Disc Artwork

This is my submission disc artwork. It is fairly simple, but neat in it's design.

From Script to Screen: Art Of

This is the "Art Of" for this project, featuring all the concept and production art that I have done. I am quite pleased with the style of this document as it is very neat and comic like.

From Script to Screen: Additional Concept Art

Another piece of concept art of Simon Frost and the Allotment's shack, that'll use for the "Art Of" cover.

From Script to Screen: Final Pre- Viz - Scene 1 (With Sound)

This is my final pre-viz of scene 1. Prepare for some shockingly embarrassing voice acting, but I wouldn't worry about it because you didn't have to do it.

From Script to Screen: Final Script

In comparison to the last script that I uploaded, there is only one difference, which is that I removed Simon's last few words in Scene 1, as they weren't necessary.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Pre-Viz - Scene 1 (No Sound)

This is the final scene 1 pre-viz, but obviously with no sound. I am quite happy with this scene as it matches the storyboard and has some interesting shots, although I wasn't able to show the door opening so they're just walking through it. I will now try to add sound to this and the animatic.

From Script to Screen: Pre-Viz progress

I am now about half way through scene 1. It is taking me a long while, but so far so good. I haven't run into any problems, that a bit of friendly assistance couldn't fix.

From Script to Screen: First part of Pre-Viz - No Sound

This is the first 10 seconds of the pre-viz, after the newspaper sequence, which I'll do later. It has come out quite well, I think. So now I just need to keep going.

From Script to Screen: Adding Missing Man sign

I have now added the "Missing" sign and so I am pretty much done with creating the scene. My next steps are obviously to add the characters and put the animation together.

From Script to Screen: Adding Matte Painting - Exterior

I have now added the matte painting to the scene. I have made it look the same as the concept art, as I think a detailed background would look interesting and effective behind a simple foreground. It is very cartoony and colourful, and so it would add to the setting's tone.

Matte Painting.

From Script to Screen: Adding shaders/light - Exterior

I have finished adding everything to the scene, so now I am adding the shaders and light. I am using simple colour shaders to give it a nice cartoon feel.. My next steps, once I have added everything here, I will create the matte painting and tweak it to make it look as good as possible, and as similar to the concept art.

From Script to Screen: Modelling the Allotment - Exterior

At long last, I have started modelling the allotment for pre-viz. The exterior and interior of the allotment/shack are the only two settings, so it is important that they look good. I am nearly finished with adding everything to the seen, before adding textures/shaders.

From Script to Screen: Animatic (Without Sound)

This is my first animatic, but without sound. It is 26 seconds over the one minute, but I haven't fully edited the shots, so it should be shorter when I added the audio/dialogue. I am relatively happy with this, as it does have some interesting shots, but there are also shots I would have wanted to look different, but I was unable to show that, either through drawing or premiere.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Allotment - Exterior Design

Like the interior design, I have stuck to my initial idea. I dd the same technique, but I think the final design is a little smoother. I actually quite like this design. As it has a nice style and is very mysterious. 

Final Design

Half-way through

Initial Idea

From Script to Screen : Allotment - Interior design

This is my final interior design of the allotment. I took my initial idea, drew over it, and added colour to it. The colours that I chose are very cosey and make the shack look very small and compact. These colours are also linked to Simon Frost, through the green and red. I am quite happy with this design, however, I put my hands up and admit that due to a lack of concentration and leaving everything near to the end, I have been unable to do the necessary experiments/thumbnails. I would have like to experiment with too, as I would have wanted to experiment with the colours.

Final concept

Interior - Blank

Initial Idea

From Script to Screen: Storyboard

This storyboard is a lot different to my like for like one, and is more suitable for the style as it is is reasonably close to the design. Scene 2 is definitely the longest, but scene 1 and scene 3 are quite short, so it should last for around a minute or so.

Life Drawing - 18/02/2015

In today's session, we were introduced to a new model. For the first exercise we did 6x 3 minute poses. It took me a while to get some of the proportions right, and some of my drawings are a bit strange in places. I think the reason for this is because the new model was a lot different to the other female model, and have got used to drawing her. Some of the drawings work quite well, but there are, as I have said, mistakes in places.

The second exercise was to do 3x 10 minute poses, and include colour, if we wished. I chose to go back to marker pens that I used a couple of weeks back, but I tried to use them a little different. I wanted to stick to the same colour for each figure, but using different shades. I quite like these drawings as the colours have created an interesting style.

The third, and final, exercise was a 45 minute pose. It was quite a complex pose, so I had to plan it out quite thoroughly. As I was planning it, it start to remind me of a diagram that you'd see on steps to draw a a person, so I worked with that idea and used my sketchy style to make it look more illustrative. I really like this one as it was a difficult pose, but I think I did it well.

 6x 3 minute poses

3x 10 minute poses

45 minute pose

Monday, 16 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Final Character Design - Anna Stone

This is my final design of Anna. Like Simon, I wanted to get a good mix between the bright and dark colours. I looked at the colour tests and thought no. 2 and 3 worked well, so I took these designs and merged them into one, effectively. Her clothes are not very bright, but her skin and shoes are, so there's a good contrast there. Her real character hides behind her friendly smile.

From Script to Screen: Final Character Design - Simon Frost

This is my final design of Simon Frost. Following on from the colour experiments, I wanted to include some dark tones, but still have the bright colours that the style needs. I added a bit more of an expression, through a raised eye-brow to make him look a bit more suspicious and I have given him a photo strip. I am happy with his design as it is fairly simple and suits his character well, I think.

From Script to Screen: Prop Design - Trophies/Medals & Photo Album

As the trophies/medals and the photo album are very important to the story, I needed to design them. I kept a consistent gold and red colour scheme throughout, with some differences here and there. I quite like these as they all have a nice cartoony feel that will suit the whimsical story.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Character Design - Anna Stone Colour tests

As I found the colour test exercise useful/helpful for Simon Frost, I wanted to continue using that exercise with Anna Stone and the colours in her design. She is a very gentle and kind character, with a dark side. Colours will be an obvious good way to demonstrate her personality, and so I think a lot of bright colours with a touch of darkness will be a suitable idea.

From Script to Screen: Character Design - Simon Frost Colour tests

After looking at the three Simon designs that I did in Autodesk Sketcbook, I decided that the Butternut squash worked best with the character. It has an interesting look and is very obscure, especially for a man. I re-did the design, slightly, making him look more masculine, which is what I did. I also made the boots a bit bigger to add to the style. I then copied the design, as I wanted to experiment with the darkness of the colours used - brightest left, darkest right.

I think each has it's own good effect and bad effect. The darkest matches the story in it's horror inspired elements, but the brightest matches the style and has a nice cartoon feel. For the final design, I'll look to mix the shades, which will hopefully highlight Simon's strange personality.

From Script to Screen: Final Prop Design - Wheelbarrow

This is my final wheelbarrow design. I used the same wheelbarrow drawing as before, and added colour and a background to it, in Autodesk Sketchbook. I quite like this as it has a cool cartoon feel, which will work well with the characters, and it has a simple design. 

From Script to Screen: Prop Design - Wheelbarrow - Sketch

Following on from the first wheelbarrow drawing, this one is a lot smoother, primarily due to the sketchy style that I used before. The design will be simple and clean, as it will match the style of the characters. 

From Script to Screen: Autodesk Sketchbook - Anna Stone

These are my Anna Stone designs that I did in Autodesk skecthbook. After looking at all the fruit body shapes, there were only a few that looked both realistic and suitable for Anna Stone's character: The Papaya, the pear and the second apricot design. They do look quite similar, however, but they do work quite well. I think the apricot design is the best as there's more of a sweet/gentle character in that design. The papaya design is probably the most obscure, so that obscurity can be something I work with.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Character Design Thumbnails - Female Body Shapes

As the vegetable exercise was very useful when I was getting Simon Frost ideas, I wanted to continue with that technique, but this time I chose fruit. The reason for this is because it will demonstrate a difference between the male and female characters, some real female body types are named after fruit and, finally, because fruit tends to be smooth, it matches with the smoother anatomy of the female figure, rather than the bumpy/rough male anatomy. 

Unlike the vegetables shapes exercise, though, I did slightly design the them a bit more. They are somewhat based on Anna Stone's initial design, but not too much. The reason for this is because Anna is obviously an elderly woman, and so I needed to see what fruit shapes would work well with an older figure. I do, however, think that they all look fairly similar. With the round shapes of fruit, it's probably not clear what fruit they're supposed to show. 

I will continue to experiment with some of these in Autodesk sketchbook.

Friday, 13 February 2015

CG Artist's Toolkit - Bouncing Ball/Character

This is the bouncing ball character that we made in Flash. It is a bit obscure in places, but the actual movement of the ball works well.

From Script to Screen: Allotment - Interior

This is a reasonably quick drawing of the interior of the Shack that Simon Frost lives in. I did this in my sketchbook, and I tried to include as much of the detail from the script as possible. I actually quite like it. It look small and confined, and so could provide some tense scenes. It demonstrates that it is deteriorating/old and it works well with Simon Frost's character. I will continue to experiment with the setting, once the character designed are finished.

From Script to Screen: Revised Script

As the initial script was too long, especially the dialogue, I needed to cut/shorten parts in order to fit the 1 minute length, as well as fixing some grammar mistakes. I haven't cut out too much, but I did time it, by reading the lines and imagining the scenes in my head, and the whole story lasts for around 1 minute 15 - 20 seconds. Scene 2 took up the most time, so more work is needed on that, or as scene 1 and scene 3 are quite short, they could be shortened further, also.

Animation 1: Toadstool - Squash & Stretch - Tutorial

This is my attempt at the Squash and Stretch tutorial. We went through it with Simon, but I still had no problems completing it.

From Script to Screen: Autodesk Sketchbook - Simon Frost

Following on from the body shapes, I chose the three that would work best with Simon Frost's design - The Potato, Butternut Squash and the Eggplant. It may not be clear what vegetables they are based on, which is both a good and bad thing. It's good because the characters are still meant to be humans and not human vegetables, but it may not be clear who it is when they are turned into one. I think the eggplant design works well, but if it didn't say what's based on underneath, it may not be clear what vegetable it is supposed to be. I think the butternut squash wouldn't be a suitable choice, actually, as it makes the hips too big and would be more suitable for a woman. The potato design does work well, I think, but once again it isn't clear that it is based on a potato.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Character Design Thumbnails - Face shapes

As the vegetables allowed me to create unique body shapes, I wanted to continue with this technique, but this time experimenting with faces. I don't think this has been as useful, though, as they don't suit the intended style and they all look too childish, which isn't appropriate for the plot. Like the body shapes, the circular vegetables have created similar outcomes. Although, I think the broccoli and mushroom do work quite well. I didn't want to add much difference to the faces for this, and so I just drew simple expressions, e.g smiling. 

I will now aim to take the body shapes, and the faces, into Autodesk sketchbook, and create the main characters in Simon Frost and Anna Stone.

From Script to Screen: Character Design Thumbnails - Male Body Shapes

As certain characters in the story go on to be turned into vegetables *Spoilers*, I needed to make all the characters look like vegetables too. I started off the by drawing a series of different vegetable types in pencil (2nd Picture) and I then went over them in pen, and drew a person within the shape or similar to. I tried to make it them as similar to both the vegetable and style that the characters will be. I didn't include detail and just drew simple figures. This exercise has allowed me to see what vegetables work well and which don't. I think some of the more circular vegetables, e.g. the cabbage, onion etc. look quite familiar and so it isn't clear what they're based on. I do think that the skinnier vegetables, like the carrot, parsnip and even the radish, despite the circular torso, match the vegetables' shape well. 

I will continue with this method as it was very useful, as it showed me what vegetables work well. I will now use the same/more vegetables, but will instead draw faces within the shapes.

Vegetable Characters

Vegetable drawings

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Life Drawing - 11/02/2015

In today's session as there were less people there, we allowed to be a little more free with what we wanted to do. We did start, however, with 5x 3 minute poses. I used my trusty felt tip pen and I am happy with the results. They are all accurately proportioned and detailed.

We then did our first of two 40 minute poses. We were again asked to try and include colour. As a change from pen, I used ink, and am happy with how it looks. It clearly shows where the light and dark areas are, and the ink worked really well with lines as it smudged them slightly, but not too much, which helped me to do the darker tones. 

As a change from the first 40 minute pose, I used more than one colour. I started with the blue of the sheets, then added the green over the blue and the body. I then added the red to the body, and I then continued to add more green, and red, to it. I am very happy with this one as the colours work really well together, and so create an interesting effect.

Overall, I am very happy with the work I produced today. Hopefully, this progression will continue. 

5x 3 minute poses

1st 40 minute pose

2nd 40 minute pose

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Film Review - Rope (1948)

Fig. 1 Rope (1948) Movie Poster

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948) is an incredibly tense story of two men, Phillip (Played by Farley Granger) and Brandon (Played by John Dall), who hide a horrible secret from their party guests. It's incredible use of one setting is expertly done, and is now trademark Hitchcock. The slow, yet gripping movement and dialogue of the characters will have you on the edge of your seat. Hitchcock uses very few shots in the film and so allows the story to take place as if it was a real event. Ken Hanke praises the use of shots by saying "Hitchcock's 'one take' classic gets better with age." - (Hanke, 2003)

Fig. 2 Phillip (Left) and Brandon (Right) drinking wine

Possibly the biggest argument that the film tackles, however, is the two main characters and their connection with each other. What is, probably, clear to most modern audiences is that there is a sexual relationship between Phillip and Brandon. As homosexuality wasn't as accepted in 1948 as it is now, Hitchcock doesn't reveal this relationship in any way. He uses subtle comments and actions to demonstrate it, but does it in such a way that is wasn't very clear in 1948. Fernando F. Croce goes as far at to say, in his review for Slant Magasine, that "the film is crammed with submerged gay intimations" - (Croce, 2006). It could therefore be argued that Hitchcock is demonstrating how everyone is equal, regardless of their sexual preference, and that is how it should be, as it wasn't noticed as much when it was first released. Our connection with these characters would remain the same regardless. This brilliant choice of characters was therefore a big step forward for homosexual equality in film. 

Fig. 3 Brandon talking to Rupert

Another wonderfully unique effect Hitchcock introduces is the background and the setting. We watch the film as if it were a play. Roger Ebert refers to the film's similarities to a play by saying "The play depended, for its effect, on the fact that it was one continuous series of actions." - (Ebert, 1984). We see no more than what we saw in the first minute, and this allows us to learn the environment in depth, which, as a result, makes every character's movement off the screen that much more tense. The city in the background is a still image, but Hitchcock uses lighting to show the day go by. However, as the film's running time is around 80 minutes long, it seems a little strange how it can go from the morning to the night within that length of time. Despite that, it has very little effect on the story and we are too gripped with the characters, it goes somewhat unnoticed whilst watching. 

Perhaps, the most tense scene in the film is when the maid, Mrs Wilson, is clearing books, candles and other props off the top of the chest. We know that the inside of the chest will catch Phillip and Brandon out, and so this scene is very dramatic, to say the least. Hitchcock uses the same shot throughout this 1 minute sequence and is both exciting and frightening to watch. We see Mrs Wilson move from room to room, moving objects around and occasionally speaking to other characters . Hitchcock makes us wait and the end result of this scene has a massive impact on us and the characters involved.

Fig. 4 Mrs Wilson clearing the top of the chest

Despite Hitchcock calling the film an“experiment that didn’t work out,” Rope is a major pioneer for many things. It's use of setting, response to homosexuality and, of course, Hitchcock's revolutionary camera techniques and shots that make it, sometimes, unbearable to watch, but make it so much more brilliant.

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Rope (1948) Movie Poster - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

Fig. 2 Phillip (Left) and Brandon (Right) drinking wine - - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

Fig. 3 Brandon talking to Rupert - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

Fig. 4 Mrs Wilson clearing the top of the chest - - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

Croce, Fernando. F (2006) - Rope - Film Review - 1948 - - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

Ebert, Roger (1984) - Rope -  - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

Hanke, Ken (2003) - Rope (1948) - - (Accessed 05/02/2015)

From Script to Screen: Initial Character Designs

After my OGR feedback, I looked at the styles that Phil suggested. I really like the "Yum Yum" style. Yum Yum is a studio based in London that does character design, as well as making animation, stories etc. I really liked the simplicity of their work, and so think they are a suitable source of inspiration for my characters/story. As, quite rightly, my characters should be more designed as shapes, rather than complex beings, I will look into how to turn vegetables into people, instead of the other way round. Below are two quick sketches I did of Simon Frost and Anna Stone in my sketchbook. I looked at Yum Yum's work and tried to make them the characters that I described in the character bios. They aren't necessarily obscure shapes, which is something I will work on. I think my characters should all remind the audience of a certain vegetable, and so it would show consistency in the story, instead of having 3 characters who just so happen to look like a certain type. 

I will now move into Autodesk sketchbook and will look at how to make Simon and Anna resemble a certain vegetable, as well as design the minor characters in the story. Although, I do think the design of Simon looks a bit like Butternut Squash.

                           Simon Frost                                   Anna Stone                      

Yum Yum Character