Saturday, 30 January 2016

Adaptation A: Title Design

This is a frame from the animation showing the title design. When designing it, it was always my intention to have the "F" in "FAILURE" to look like a grade on a test, which I think is quite clear. I quite like this design as it's relatively simple, but also quite fun.

This image also gives a rough idea of the info-graphic style itself. It will be set on the whiteboard throughout, with the Flash animations taking place within it, making it look like it's being drawn on the whiteboard. A couple of years ago, I did an animation on my whiteboard, which didn't work very well, which is why I'm doing it in Flash. Flash will also be a lot smoother and neater than if I were to do it using a stop-motion whiteboard animation method.

On another note, I have contacted the voice artist that will play the voice of "The Narrator" and so I should have the recording within the next couple of days, at the most.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Dynamics 1: Intro to Dynamics PART 5 - Volume Emitters - Tutorial

This is my attempt at the Volume Emitters tutorial. Relatively straight forward to do and so I managed to complete with no issues.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Adapatation A: A Beginner's Guide to Failure - Script

I have written the script for the info-graphic. While doing it I realised that some of the scenarios would last for about 20 seconds each and I felt that by having about 8-10, which I originally imagined, would make it feel a little repetitive, so I have only done 5. I wanted to make it as funny as possible. I think it's a little confusing at the moment, and so the storyboard and animatic should make it clear what's happening.

I will need to get a voice over actor to play the Narrator. I intend to have a very excited Narrator, who kind of sounds like a commercial narrator and game show host at the same time, if that makes sense.

I do go over it to make sure that there wasn't any spelling/grammar mistakes, but if you can see any please let me know. Thank you.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Adaptation B: Tutorial Feedback

During today's tutorial, Alan gave me feedback on my idea of having a row of shops (The High street) as the animaton. He told me that, although I was on the right track, the idea was a bit 1 dimensional as I would have just applied the personality to the appearance of the shop, and that would be a bit simple.

He suggested the idea of having the buildings based on characters from Charles Dickens' stories, so a shop would be based on the character of Oliver Twist. It would be a suitable choice of Author due to my idea coming from driving past Rochester high street. I'm not too knowledgeable about Charles Dickens, and so some research into his novels would be needed.

I have listed some alternate authors below, with example characters, just so that it can show how the high street can be adapted from another writer's work:
  • William Shakespeare - Romeo, Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello.
  • Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy & Tuppence, Ariadne Oliver
  • Stephen King - Carrie White, Jack Torrance, Annie Wilkes, It, Andy Dufresne
  • Jane Austen - Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Marriane Dashwood, Captain Frederick Wentworth
Charles Dickens is, obviously, the best choice/idea, primarily due to living in Rochester, but also because it would lead to a more varied range of characters/buildings.

Dynamics 1: Intro to Dynamics PART 4 - Directional Emitters - Tutorial

I have completed the Directional Emitter tutorial. It didn't take long to complete and was very straight forward. As a result, I didn't have any problems completing it. As well as having the render above, below are some still renders showing the progression:

Dynamics 1: Intro to Dynamics PART 3 - Omni Emitters - Tutorial

This is my attempt at following the Omni emitters tutorial. I had a few issues when using After Effects, but I managed to complete this tutorial fairly easily without any major problems.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Film Review: Paprika (2006)

Fig. 1 Paprika (2006) Movie Poster/DVD Cover
 Satoshi Kon's Paprika (2006) is a Japenese animation that is based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel of the same name. It's story revolves around one device - The DC Mini. This device allows the user to look at someone else's dreams. When such device is stolen from, it is up to the Title character to retrieve it. Through it's complex narrative structure, it forces you to pay attention to everything that is happening, although it will still require another viewing to fully comprehend it.
Fig. 2 Paprika
 If you're familiar with Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010), then this film will be somewhat easier to understand. However, Paprika is so much more mind-bending and obscure than Inception could ever intend to be. Of course, the fact that it's an animation allows for the dream sequences to be so much more surreal, but even the meanings and structure of said sequences are a lot more unique. We are taken to many different scenarios, where the world is being broken write in front of our eyes. In some instances, they break down the film entirely and demonstrate the characters' knowledge of their existence in the film, as well as in their dreams.
Fig.3 Toshimi Konakawa
The Film's abstraction is pushed even further through the use of anime and the bright colours that are used. The key events are so magnificently observed and grab your attention instantly. Although there are some moments in which the animation feels a little still and stiff, it does an unbelievable job at creating such a high level of surrealism. Like an optical illusion, it twists and turns the World to it's own desire, with the characters trying to escape and understand it's obscurity.
Fig. 4 Parade

Due to the dream sequences, there are so many layers within the film's structure. It wants you to travel through them with the main characters and that is a phenomena in itself. It takes you on a journey which you shall not forget and will be dreaming about for some time.

Personally, I am not interested in Anime films, but Paprika is a magnificent film, with a revolutionary narrative, that makes me want to watch Inception.

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Paprika (2006) Movie Poster/DVD Cover - - (Accessed 21/01/2016)
Fig.3 Toshimi Konakawa - -  (Accessed 21/01/2016)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Dynamics 1: Intro to Dynamics PART 2 - Particle Grids - Tutorial

I have completed the second Dynamics 1 tutorial. I had a few problems at first when creating the boundaries with the NURBS planes as they were the wrong way round, for some strange reason, so I had to redo them. Apart from that, I managed to complete it with no further problems.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Mudbox Session: 19/01/2016

In today's Mudbox session, we made a Pepper. My one is a little obscure and the colours are a bit weird, but I enjoyed making it and I think it's still clear that it's a pepper.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Adaptation A: Initial Character Designs

I have done these drawings of the character that will be in the info-graphic. As I will be doing it in Flash and will be drawing it out quite often, I want something simple, and a design that works with the idea that it will be on a whiteboard (Although drawn/animated in Flash). I tried to do them as fast as possible, and so it only took about 10 seconds to do each one. I wanted to do as many expressions as possible to demonstrate what he'll look like in many situations. Some of them work better than others, of course. I think the ones that work best are where he's running,as the standing still ones don't have as much emotion in them.

The character, himself, will be very fast and crazy, all the while being quite stupid. I think these drawings work quite well, as a result.

Adaptation A: A Beginner's Guide to Failure - "Tips/Guidlines" Ideas

Although I have already listed some of ideas for the info-graphic before, but below I have listed the ones that I think would work quite well. I have tried to think of as many as possible, so that I can narrow them down to the best ones later on:
  • Don't have a Plan B
  • Keep doing the same thing.
  • If at first you don't succeed, give up.
  • Be/Appear sloppy.
  • Don't search for assistance.
  • Don't respond/listen to feedback.
  • Become a Procrastination addict.
  • Show little respect to others/co-workers.
  • Don't try too hard - It will just cause stress.
  • Try to think of as many excuses as possible.
  • Don't interact with others - Stick to yourself.
  • Never plan anything.
  • Don't push for higher positions i.e. a promotion or higher grade.
  • Don't attend things if you don't think they're necessary.
  • Make the other members of your group do all the work, and try to take credit for some of it.
  • Don't take responsibility for things.
As I imagine the jokes being quite fast and to the point, I imagine that I'll need roughly 8-10 steps.

Adaptation B: Influence Map - Seaside Towns

I have done another influence map to show where I'll get inspiration/ideas from, for when I'll be designing the buildings. As the buildings need to look similar enough to make them believable in the fact they live in the same street, they need a consistent design. As I mentioned in my initial design post, I will use bright colours to demonstrate a seaside location. I have looked at several British seaside locations, such as Brighton, Margate, Herne Bay, Broadstairs and Blackpool. As these cities/towns have been in place for many years, they all have buildings that were designed in many eras, and in addition to this, as Seaside towns appear to be on the decline some of the buildings demonstrate the lack of custom/care.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Adaptation B: Design Style - Initial Idea

I have created this design to give an idea of the intended style. I chose one of the shops that I mentioned in the previous post - Waterstones. While doing this I noticed that I was choosing quite bright colours, and so that gave me the idea that it could be set by the Seaside, which would allow me to use bright colours for the other buildings. I haven't tried to incorporate any personality or any paticular style into the drawing - this is just to show an example behind the overall style.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Adaptation B: Influence Map - New Idea

Following on from my previous post, I have created this influence map which shows images as to how I imagine the animation looking. Obviously, these are all illustrations, but I think there is potential for me to incorporate my own style into the design.

@Alan - Adaptation B: Tutorial Feedback + New Idea

In today's tutorial, Alan highlighted that my initial ideas for the adaptation animation were too basic and didn't go deep enough into the points that they were trying to tell, which is something I thought myself. Through some examples of other students' work on this project, I have tried to think of other things that can be adapted. On my way home on the bus, as it went past the Rochester high street, I thought about the idea of making an animation that shows the buildings of a high street interacting with each other.

My thought was that the camera could show a row of different shops, where the buildings are made to look like a face. Depending on the shop, the appearance and personality will differ. For Example:
  • Ye Olde Sweet Shop: Old, Victorian time period style design. - Like an old Woman. Polite, confused.
  • Waterstones: Neat, Classic design.  - Well spoken/Mannered, Polite, Clever. Arrogant.
  •  Primark: Modern, slightly run down. Not very intelligent. Agrees with everyone else.
  • Games Workshop: Modern. Nerdy. Nasal sounding voice. Quite intelligent.
  • Woolworths - Shut down. Flowers laid outside it. Windows smashed.
  • Costa Coffee - Polite. Quite smart. Friendly.
These are just some examples I thought of. This idea could lead to quite a funny animation as some of the shops are completely different to one another and could create some kind of conflict. To avoid, having people walking past/into these shops, the animation could be set before they open, and they have just woken up.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Dynamics 1: Intro to Dynamics PART 1 - Sketching Particles - Tutorial

Final Render

In today's Maya session, I was able to complete the first Dynamics tutorial. As Alan went through it first in the session, it was very easy to follow and didn't take too long. Below are some of the renders that I did:

Film Review: Mary & Max (2009)

Fig. 1 Mary & Max (2009) Movie Poster
Adam Elliot's Mary & Max (2009), in many ways, acts as an oxymoron. Although, at it's heart, it's quite a cute tale between two completely different people who find comfort in their communications, and with the film having some fun moments in, it does demonstrate some dark messages with some equally disturbing moments to match. These opposing components make for a fascinating experience, which you shall not forget in a hurry. 
Fig. 2 Mary
As the title suggests, the film focuses on two characters - Mary and Max. We are introduced to Mary when she is still only a child - living in Mount Waverley, Australia. She is very lonely and has had/is having a troubling childhood, and with having no one to confide with, life is a very difficult for her. Max is a morbidly obese 44 year old Jewish man who lives in New York. There are certain parallels between his and Mary's life, as he too had a troubled childhood and finds living a difficult task. While living with anxiety attacks, his letters from Mary act as a way to forget about the world, as he gets pleasure from them.  As the story progresses, both characters develop through the years, but unfortunately for them, they progress in a negative manner. Mary grows ever increasingly concerned about her image and becomes depressed, as a result. Max's issues result in the diagnosis of having Asperger's disease. By the last few scenes of the film, the pair are linked through their troubles and this, therefore, makes their relationship easy to understand. 
Fig. 3 Max
In this modern age of animations being computer generated, Mary & Max is a welcomed alternative through the use of Claymation (The use of clay figures and stop motion photography). With the film being set in the 1970s and 1980s, the film's animation style echoes back to the time of stop motion and the time before CG. Because of this, it makes the film's setting easy to understand and get a clear image of that time period. The clear lack of colour throughout highlights the dark tone of the film, with only a few objects being in full colour. The colour demonstrates the importance of certain objects in the film, and in some cases are there to show links between the two characters. Although, Mary and Max are miles a part, they still share a link and so the use of colour shows us this in a subtle, yet effective, way.

Fig. 4 New York City
It would be a fair argument to say that's it's a bit strange and unlikely that the characters' relationship would have come to fruition in the real world. As their interactions begin through Mary randomly chosing a name out of the phone box, and then it being someone like Max, then that is some what far-fetched. However, this suggests that the two were destined to share such a close bond and be similar in lifestyle and interests. This gives us the message that we can all grow a relationship with anyone.
In conclusion, the films has a fun sense of humor, all the while sharing some dark messages with some equally disturbing, and shocking, scenes. It tells the story of unlikely relationship, which will always make for a pleasant story - That is why I have given the film 4.5 / 5 stars.

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Mary & Max (2009) Movie Poster - - (Accessed 14/01/2016)
Fig. 3 Max - - (Accessed 14/01/2016)
Fig. 4 New York City - - (Accessed 14/01/2016)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Mudbox Session: 12/01/2016

 In our first Mudbox session, Simon introduced us to the basics of Mudbox. It was fun and easy to use. When using the different brushes and tools etc. I wasn't aiming for a crtain design, but I ended up making it look a bit look the Earth. I didn't have any problems, but I couldn't figure out how to re-import my name from the photoshop file back to Maya.

  Render 1

 Render 2




Adaptation B: Initial Ideas

Since finding out about the Adaptation project last year, I have been trying to think of as many ideas as possible. Most of the ideas that I thought of have already been adapted several times and so it wouldn't be a good idea to adapt them again. From this, however, I have tried to think of alternative ways as to how a book, for example, can be adapted into an animation. These are the ideas that I thought had the most potential:

  • Dorian Grey - Modern Version - Instead of a panting aging, it could be set in the present day and so his Facebook profile picture could be the image that ages, while he does not.
  • The Time Machine - He visits the modern world and realises we're all doomed. This would act as a critique of the modern world, as he questions the lack of human evolution since the late 19th Century.
  •  Life on Mars? - Based on the song by David Bowie. Not a music video, but an animation based on the lyrics.
  • Pacman  -  An animation showing a character running througha maze, so he can reach the middle (Where he can escape). While these Ghosts are looking for him. In a horror style, at ground level.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Pipeline 2: Games Assets PART 1 - Low Res Modelling - Tutorial

I have completed the first Games Assets tutorial. Relatively easy to follow and didn't take too long.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Adaptation A: Influences

Influence Map

During the feedback, it was recommended that I look at the work of David Shrigley, which is what I have done. I can see a clear similarity between his style and my own, through the line art style and bold black lines. It is also quite minimal and so can make for an interesting infographic. As well as illustrations, David Shrigley has produced many different animations using his style. They are quite simple, but have quite grotesque humor. As the guide is about failure, I could make it quite fun and have it share a similar sense of humor - which I believe I could do.

Phil also recommended that I look at Modern Toss. Modern Toss is a comic by both Jon Link and Mike Bunnage. They show specific situations, which are mocked by it's characters. Like Shrigley's work, they are quite simple and have a line art style.

Both of these influences can lead to a fun Beginner's guide to failure and should be very funny, and somewhat controversial due to it's messages and style of humor. I will try to create some characters of my own, using a similar style, but is obviously still my own.

An example of one of David Shrigley's animations is below. It takes a very awkward situation, and through the way it has been created, the animation makes it weird, but fun, to watch.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Adaptation A: Crit Feedback

Going into yesterday's feedback I thought that "A Beginner's guide to Cookery" was my favourte idea, but upon telling everyone my idea and getting the feedback, I realised it wasn't plausible. It was agreed that "A Beginner's guide to Failure" was the best of the 10 final ideas.

Once the crit finished, I was thinking about ways as to how I could make it quite funny and entertaining to watch. My initial idea is to have it where it actually encourages you to fail and acts as if that's the right thing to do. I thought of possible pieces of dialogue, such as: "Are you tired of success? You, are? Good!" and " You learn more from failing than you do from success, so what's the point in succeeding?". This will make infographic very strange and unusual, which would lead to the humor.

I have done some bits of research on the internet, and have looked at things that are recommended if you want to succeed. I could, as a result, reverse these suggestions so that they fit into the guide to failure. The reversed steps are below:

1. Don't have a Plan B.

2. Keep doing the same thing.

3. If at first you don't succeed, give up.

4. Be/Appear sloppy.

5. Don't search for assistance.

6. Don't respond/listen to feedback.

There are many more, but these are simple and basic things that could be referred to in the guide. The challenge, with this, however, is to avoid it from sounding like step after step and not like a guide.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Film Reviews: Submission Post


Maya: Submission Post - 08/01/2016

Pipeline 1: Head Modelling:
Part 1 & 2: Image Planes & Blocking
Part 3: Refined Blocking
Part 4: The Mouth

Animation 2: Lip Syncing:
Animation 2: Lip Syncing Part 2 - Jaw Bounce
Animation 2: Lip Syncing Part 3 - Adding Phoneme's & Viseme's
Animation 2: Lip Syncing Part 4 - Tongue, Eyes, Blinks, & Brow

Comedy & Laughter: Film Review - Airplane! (1980)

Fig. 1 Airplane ! (1980) Movie Poster

Airplane! (1980) is an American comedy that was written and directed by all three of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker - The people behind "The Naked Gun" Franchise. Airplane! is regarded, by many, as one of the greatest film comedies of all time. Upon first viewing, it's humor lies in it's complete unpredictability. Often acting as a spoof of other film genres and disaster movies, Airplane! has turned into a true comedy classic.

Fig 2. Playing trumpets

Through the famous collaboration of the three Writers/Directors, we are also accompanied by Leslie Nelsen, who has starred in many of the Zucker, Zucker and Abrahams' films.Although he is by no means the main character, he offers some very memorable scenes and quotes to the film. Through it's extreme use of slapstick comedy, you simply don't know what's coming next. It uses visual comedy very regularly and so is quite easy to understand. If you're familiar with the style of American comedy, then this takes it to another level. In many ways, Airplane! breaks down the conventions of it's reality. As you can see in Fig. 3 a man is upside down, which is an obvious impossibility in those circumstances. It is very much aware of it's existence as fiction. In addition, to this the opening scene acts as a spoof of Steven Spielberg's film "Jaws" (1975), as we see the airplane flying through the sky as if it were a shark in the water. Another scene in the film, is when the main character Ted Striker (Played by Robert Hays_ is dancing in a bar, in the style of "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) - even while he's wearing the same clothing and the same iconic song is playing in the background. "Jaws" and "Saturday Night Fever" are very well known films, even now, and are of different genres, and this therefore demonstrates that film isn't afraid of mocking other films of other genres, and isn't concerned by their popularity.

Fig 3. Passengers

At it's heart, Airplane! could be considered as a Romance. The film's primary plot is Ted Striker's mission to get the girl, who he loves - Elaine Digerty (Played by Julie Hagerty). The film tells us about their past throughout the whole duration, and so when the "disaster" strikes and our hero is called to action, his main aim is to be with her again. As previously mentioned with regards to spoofs, the film's flashback sections are very cliche and so this contributed to the argument that the film is one big critique and pastiche of various genres and films.

For today's audience, this film will also demonstrate life and what was acceptable in films in the 1980s. There is one scene in particular where two black men are speaking to each other, who you can see in fig.3, and when they speak in a very obscure, but English, manner, we are giving subtitles. This would simply not be allowed in a modern film and so highlights how times have changed, with regards to racism in particular, in just over 35 years.

Fig. 4 "Boy's life" & "Nun's life"

It doesn't matter what your taste in comedy is, Airplane! has something in it that can make anyone laugh. Whether it's through the way it mocks other films or if it's just because of it's simple, yet effective, visual/slapstick comedy. Certain gags and punch lines of the film have cemented a place in cinema history, and could be a fair argument for being one of the best comedies. Airplane! will surely make you smile.

Illustration List:

 Fig 2. Playing trumpets - - (Accessed 08/01/2016)

Fig. 4 "Boy's life" & "Nun's life" - - (Accessed 08/01/2016)

Pipeline 1: Head Modelling - Cartoon Characters Part 4: The Mouth - Tutorial

This is my attempt at the 4th head modelling tutorial. Over all, it worked fine, but I had some little issues when extruding backwards, as it would make it all deformed and so I needed to adjust it more, but in the end, I think it has come out ok.

Pipeline 1: Head Modelling - Cartoon Characters Part 3 - Refined Blocking - Tutorial

I have completed the third part to the head modelling tutorial and I think it is looking quite good so far. No problems what so eve when doing the tutorial.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Pipeline 1: Head Modelling - Cartoon Characters Part 1 & 2 - Tutorials

 Step 1

I have completed the first two steps to modelling the character in the tutorials (Obviously, part 1 is just setting it up). I did get confused at times and had do a bit of trial and error, but I think I got there in the end. Apart from those moments, there were no major issues.

Step 2

Adaption: Info-graphic - Initial Ideas

In today's briefing, when we had to pick out a starting statement at random, I got "A Beginner's guide to....". Anything can be converted into a guide so there are many possible directions in which this can take me. I have made this diagram below, with as many ideas as I could think of:

Some of these ideas are very relevant to me and my interests, i.e. Breaking Bad and House of Cards. Some of them are just there for a little laugh and some are there as they can make quite funny/strange guides due to how simple/basic/weird it is.

Below are, what I consider to be, my favourite 10 ideas (In no particular order):

1. Binge Watching
2. Procrastinating
3. Wasting Money
4. Failure
5. Not being in a Relationship
6. Getting Drunk
7. Marvel vs DC
8. Comedies
9. Crap 21st Century Pop Music
10. Cooking

Animation 2: Lip Syncing Part 4 - Tongue, Eyes, Blinks, & Brow - Tutorial

At long last, I have completed the final lip syncing tutorial. It was fairly straight forward to do, and hopefully now I don't hear that quote again.

Narrative: Rendered Frames

I have rendered a few frames from my section of the animation. These give a rough idea about how the final animation will look.

Narrative: Pre-Viz Shots

Before rendering, I play-blasted some of the shots for the Pre-Viz, which you can see below (They're not necessarily in the right order):

Shot 1

Shot 2
Shot 3

Shot 4

Shot 5

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Character: Final Submission - Divination Design Bible

Character: Facial Expressions - Scavengers & The Retinue

Scavengers' Faces
 I have done some facial expressions for both the Retinue and Scavengers. As the members of the cabal have their faces covered, there would have only been a slight movement and difference between each. I did these quite quickly and as a result, they're not the best, to put it lightly.

Retinue Faces