Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Maya Winter Submission - Old Alley - Lighting


This is the final lighting of my Old Alley scene, this wasn't too hard, patience consuming more than anything. It took a while to get the lights right, using the hypershade panel was also a bit tricky, getting things to show up properly mainly. I like the use of surface-shaders to get the white on the window and lanterns, that's a cool idea. Next to do is colour maps.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Maya Winter Submission - Pencils - Lighting


This is the lighting section of the Pencil character tutorials, it was not easy and took quite some time. The use of multiple lights made it difficult to achieve the desired shadow effects and the numerous controls for the pencil textures also made it difficult to get the right shadows.

Found the use of a NURBS plane interesting, particularly to get a background into the picture, that technique could be quite useful for displaying objects.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Maya Winter Submission - Alien Orbs - Lighting and Rendering


My final Alien Orbs lighting and rendering picture, this was not easy but I learned a great many useful things about lights and lighting in general including how to place and manipulate the shadows from them. Using RayTrace and DepthMap wasn't easy, some problems encountered but still useful.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Maya Winter Submission - Pencil - Textures


A low-quality picture of the textured versions of my Pencil and Eraser characters, learned a few interesting things like how to make camera shots and select faces. Should make life easier in view of texturing everything.

Mental_Ray is a tempermental, annoying headache.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Space Oddities Film Review - Suspiria

SUSPIRIA
Suspiria is a 1977 horror film directed by Dario Argento staring Jessica Harper. The film centres around an American ballet student who attends a prestigious German ballet school just after a murder has been committed, gradually as the student begins to investigate further the school.

  One of the most prominent aspects of the film is the use of colours particularly red and blue, almost like Only God forgives (2013). Red is especially prominent in the film and most of the building in which Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) stays in is red. An unamed review from Film4 states "Argento's confident conjuring of hallucinatory terror and all-pervading evil sends a spell-binding chill through every frame." (Film4, 2008) this is especially true as the deaths and murders are portrayed as being particularly colourful and violent, the harshly contrasting colours help to make the school look even more strange and unearthly than it already is. As the victims rush throughout the halls we begin to feel as if this place is unreal and more nightmarish, at this point the supernatural charms begin to woo the audience and take their hold as the story develops.

Figure - 1 - One of the girls flees from the murderer in the school. 


The scenes are often filled with damsels in distress though unlike other films there is no musclebound masculine hero to rescue them, being a ballet school the male attendees deviate from the usual stereotypical hero. Instead the masculine hero is replaced with a girl of no differing value to the other girls, she hunts down the clues and ultimately solves the mystery. This is a refreshing take on the stereotypical story of damsels in distress. The damsel in distress motif is seen to be specifically engineered for the film, particularly the graphic nature of the demise of many of these damsels.

 Adam Smith of Empire Online states "It's possibly the clearest expression of the director's embedded hatred of women, or at least his desire to see them tortured and mutilated. He remains unrepentant about it. "A woman in peril is emotionally affecting," he told Empire back in 1997. "A man simply isn't." (Smith, 2007) The director achieved this objective very quickly, also however making the hero of the story female also lends into this, just as the director states; "A woman in peril is emotionally affecting", this could be said for both the women in distress and the heroine. The audience will focus much more on a female heroine than a male hero.

As mentioned before the extravagant use of colours gives the building a kind of unreal aura, the characters are never seen exiting the house, this makes the house feel more like a self-enclosed world where everything occurs. Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine states in his review: "Argento's visuals actively evoke a fairy-tale fantastique, engaging and toying with the Technicolor glory of Disney's cartoon version of Snow White, a film the director had been obsessed with since youth" (Gonzalez, 2001) one idea that this quote could support is how the story is meant to be told in a supernatural/fairy tale way, the strange set, story and events during the story could all be described as "unnatural", it could be an attempt by the director to create a fairy tale of his own. Far from being a story could it be a director acting out his own desires?

It is difficult to gain an accurate idea of the characters as they act in ways that make them just beneath the cusp of "normal", one can tell that there is something not quite right. 



Bibliography
 Film4, 2008, suspiria [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.film4.com/reviews/1976/suspiria [Accessed 12th December 2014]

 Smith, A, 2007, reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132659 [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132659 [Accessed 12th December 2014]

 Gonzalez, E, 2001, suspiria [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/suspiria [Accessed 12th December]

Illustration List
Figure - 1
Dario Argento, 1977, suspiria-Technicolor.jpg [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.samefacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/suspiria-Technicolor.jpg [Accessed on 12th December 2014]







What if? Metropolis - Joan Miro Production Design Research

Space Oddities Film Review - The Shining

The Shining...

The Shining is a 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick staring Jack Nicholson, it is based on Stephen King's 1977 novel.

We are immediately introduced to Jack Torrence a seemingly ordinary man intent on taking temporary stewardship of a large hotel in a remote setting in exchange for the freedom to stay in the hotel alone with his family and write his new book. Although he initially seems normal and a family man the isolation bought upon him inside such a huge expanse takes it's toll.

It is difficult to tell what is real and what is not, prehaps that is where the genius lies; Stanley Kubrick's use of different plot points regarding the makes it impossible to pin a cohesive picture of who the characters really are and if they even exist. Rogert Erbert states in his review "Stanley Kubrick's cold and frightening "The Shining" challenges us to decide: Who is the reliable observer? Whose idea of events can we trust"(Erbert, 2006). In agreement with this is the idea that it becomes difficult during the course of the film to discern which characters exist and in which exact timeline or story. And it becomes difficult for the viewer to decide which characters are really actually there and those who aren't. 

Figure - 1  Danny sits at the table with his "friend" Tony narrating.

Even in figure 1 we can see Danny, the son of Jack Torrance, seemingly conversing with his friend Tony. Throughout the film Tony exhibits a seemingly supernatural sense, warning Danny of danger and even seemingly overtaking Danny's personality at one point. In the later stages of the film he wakes up screaming: "Redrum!" which is backwards for "murder".

Figure - 2  Danny rides his trike down the hallway, occasionally spooked by unseen forces.

The scale of the hotel that they are staying is immense, probably one of the things that makes the film scary is the fact that it is set inside a modern hotel. More contemporary horrors rely on shock value generated by the tropes of darkness, monsters hiding in the shadows and playing on the mind of what might be out there. In the Shining the hotel is not some dark, forboding place; it is modern, brightly lit and completely relatable by almost everyone. Just as the fear generated from being hunted by someone or something is palpable by many so is the fear generated from being alone in a massive empty hotel where the silence plays havoc with the mind and where even slight bumps and noises are interpreted as malevolent.

The strange happenings of this film sway between the frequently blurred lines of the supernatural and the psychotic. Although many things in this film are protrayed as being supernatural there are scenes that could be interpreted as providing a more psychological explanation to the occurences. Richard Schickel of Time magazine writes "His (Stanley Kubricks) adaptation of The Shining, Stephen King's pulpy haunted-house novel, keeps forcing reasonable — or non-occult — interpretations on the behavior" (Schickel, 1980) this point could be supportive of the idea mentioned above in that the occurences throughout the film are in fact psychological in nature, given the erratic and vicious nature of Jack Torrance it would not be hard to imagine him as the prime candidate for this nightmare. At the end of the film we see a photograph of guests sitting in the ballroom with Jack Torrance at the front dated 1922 despite the fact that the film is set in presumably the 1970s. This begs the question of whether the hallucinations at the bar are in fact real and that the rest of the story is a dream.

Figure - 3  - Jack Torrance sits at a bar talking to Lloyd the barman, whether this is an incredibly realistic hallucination or daydream is not known.

Ashley Clark of Littlewhitelies states "Kubrick presents a despairing view of American married life, where the lack of love and intimacy is accentuated by the claustrophobic surroundings." (Clark, 2012) this quote could be central to the plot by demonstrating how Jack Torrance's frustrations are causing his family to become fractured. In a hotel where they are the sole occupants their anxieties could manifest as Jack Torrance's does. Conversley however his wife does not waiver in the face of the horrors, she remains committed to protecting her son and probably maintaining her sanity.





Bibliography 

 Clark, A, (2012) the-shining-22374 [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/theatrical-reviews/the-shining-22374 [Accessed on 11th December 2014]

  Erbert, R (2006) great-movie-the-shining-1980 [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-shining-1980 [Accessed on 11th December 2014)

 Schickel, R, (1980) 0,9171,924179,00.html [ONLINE] Available at: http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924179,00.html [Accessed on 11th December 2014]


Illustration List
 Figure - 1
Stanley Kubrick, 1980, The_Shining_1.jpg [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.filmcaptures.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/The_Shining_1.jpg [Accessed on 11th December 2014]

Figure - 2
Stanley Kubrick, 1980, The Shining Wallpaper 5.jpg [ONLINE] Available at: http://hdwallpapersdesktop.com/Movies/The-Shining-Wallpaper/images/The%20Shining%20Wallpaper%205.jpg [Accessed on 11th December 2014] 

Figure - 3
Stanley Kubrick, 1980, shining-bar.png [ONLINE] Available at: http://ktismatics.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/shining-bar.png [Accessed on 11th December 2014]



What if? Metropolis - Disk Artwork

My disk artwork featuring some pretty basic doodles done early on in the project and a relatively boney title page.

What if? Metropolis - Digital Pipeline

This is the pipeline for my digital set.


First Stage - Pre-Viz
 My digital Plan and my finished concept art.



Second Stage
Wireframe model of my final scene




Third Stage
Untextured model of my Final Scene



Fourth Stage
UV texture maps of two of the buildings in my scene





Fifth Stage
Textured model with background


Sixth Stage
Lighting tests using different lights placed in different angles.





Seventh Stage
Final render, first image is without background, second image incorporates background image



What if? Metropolis - Final Crit Presentation

What if? Metropoolis - Influence Map

So, this is my influence map featuring some pictures about the train station near my home home town, I also looked Mrio's work and at some of Ikea's smooth, oddly shaped products.

What if? Metropolis - Matte Painting


This was my first Matte painting that I put into Maya, it is a five minute bodge job and was never intended to be used as a final piece rather it was meant as a test to be imported into Maya so that I could experiment with lighting and style.



This eventually evolved into this :

A soft evening sky with blurred grey/salmon clouds. I took reference from this picture:






Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What if? Metropolis - Final Scene - Lighting WIP

 Some experiments with light, particularly on the station and with different colours. Light is harder that it sounds or looks!

I had intended for a type of evening or midday shot but instead opted for a darker evening style lighting. I have yet to add a background.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Space Oddities Film Review - Only God forgives

Only God forgives

Only God forgives is a 2013 film featuring Ryan Gosling set in Thailand, the film centres around a man named Julian (Ryan Gosling) whose Muay Thai boxing business is secretly a drugs smuggling empire controlled by his abusive, hostile mother. The film also features Vithaya Pansringarm as Lt Chang, a chief in the Thai police who follows Julian and his mothers movements with a murderuous passion.

There is an undertone of psychological themes, particularly in regards to the relationship between Julian and his mother which is depicted as being deeply troubling; Julian's mother, Crystal, viciously emmasculates her son in the wake of his brother's death which occurs early on in the film and is also manipulative and hostile. He frequently attempts to prove his manliness in face of his mothers vicious taunting by using the traditional notions of manliness in that might is right and being bulletproof. He owns a Muay Thai ring and challenges Lt Chang to a fight, he is brutally beaten by the Lieutenant and this failure costs him the relationship of a Thai girl named Mai and earns him more scorn from his mother.

Despite his mothers abusive attitude towards him Julian is almost enslaved to his mother and carries out her last orders to kill Lt Chang to prevent her from being killed herself. Upon his mother's death however Julian's morale compass appears to take a turn; during the attempted assasination of Lt Chang he kills his conspirator to prevent him from killing Lt Chang's daughter and even goes so far to have his hands lopped off by Lt Chang, why is not known, whether it is in penance for his sins or whether he was forced to do it is left ambiguous.

Figure - 1 Julian bares his fists in the Muay Thai club, symbols of masculinity are prevalent in the club such as naked statues and boxing portraits.

David Sexton of the Standard states "this is a study in weakness, submission, impotence, symbolic castration even. Julian’s apparent composure masks paralysis and guilt. Julian gazes repeatedly at his open hands and then makes a fist — but when he comes to fight he cannot land a blow. For he is in thrall to his contemptuous dragon mother." (Sexton, 2013). Sexton's quote is a brief but true analysis of the film; Julian's calm and quiet demeanor is a cover for troubled feelings, he constantly tries to prove to his mother that he is capable of being the "man" she wants him to be but this conflicts with his own guilt of ccarrying out such violent and hurtful acts.

Ultimately after his bust up with Lt Chang, Julian's willpower seems to overcome his mother's influence and he atones by preventing the death of Lt Chang's daughter and by having his hands lopped of by Lt Chang himself.

Lt Chang is an enigma of a man, although appearing old and weary he is nevertheless physically and mentally robust as he demonstrates by effortlessly beating a conditioned Julian in a fist fight and by committing brutal acts on criminals with little remorse. Lt Chang sits neatly in the realm of violent justice dishing out his own acts of retribution (which are followed and respected by his officers), it is possible that he sees himself as not evil but rather necessary evil, prehaps even as an avenging angel to the equally murderous criminals he pursues. As we progress into the film we see Lt Chang doing relatively "normal" (or humane in terms of his personality) things such as caring for his daughter and singing bland karaoke to equally bland officers. It is unnerving to see a man of such brutality perform such acts, they seem so out of character.

Lt Chang is very grounded in his beliefs and does not flinch even when he brutally tortures a criminal for information, he seems to have converted his officers to his way of thinking as well. The portrayal of his character is quite interesting; he walks slowly and appears emoitionless throughout the film, he constantly wears black and oddly for a police officer has no insignias. This could be symbolic of his position, not just as a police officer, but as a dealer of justice; someone who is apart from the system and someone who acts with supreme authority. Interestingly he appears to have a sort of "supernatural" aura around him, he manages predict and to survive an assasination attempt as well as carry around a samurai with almost impeccable stealth, and dressed in black he could be symbolic of a grim reaper of sorts.

Figure - 2 Crystal, Julian's mother, is bathed in blue and red light in a male strip club.

The cinematography of the film carries conviction, Figure 2 in particular demonstrates the two main light colours present in the film; red and blue. The symbolism behind the lights are a little difficult to discern, red could be symbolic of violence or passion with the blue light being of redemption or guilt. Alternatively delving deeper into the pyschological theme there are a few metaphysical acts that occur in the coloured lights, for instance in the blue light Julian washes his hands only to see blood pouring out of the taps and in the red light he hallucinates about his hands being chopped off.

Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone mentions in his review: "Cinematographer Larry Smith, who worked with Stanley Kubrick on lighting Barry Lyndon, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut (check out the sex-club scenes), gives the film a toxic allure." (Travers, 2013) In agreement with this point is the statement about "toxic allure", the lighting and cinematography coupled with the psychology compressed beneath the facades of Ryan Golsing and Kristin Scott-Thomas give the film a very morbid feel. The boundaries between good, evil and necessary evil become blurred on both sides of the law (Lt Chang and Julian) and this gives food for thought about the characters, prehaps their limited dialogue is meant to enable use to ponder their characters and feelings and prehaps that is what also makes the film watchable.

Speaking philosophically, Only God forgives, could be seen as a showdown between good and evil. According to Steven Holden of the New York Times in an interview with the director Nicolas William Refn stated "The original concept for the film was to make a movie about a man who wants to fight God". (Holden, 2013) this quote is interesting as it looks more broadly at the whole film, one could interpret from this the struggle between good and evil or rather than struggle the clash between good and evil. We se Lt Chang as the quiet albeit violent beacon of good and Crystal as the beacon of evil, these two characters weild the most power and ultimately are responsible for the atrocities that occur. They both order their minions around and wield near total power over them, despite the fact that the concept of the film has changed slightly is still begs the question; which one of them is a God? And which one of them is fighting? Is Lt Chang taking on the devil? Or is Crystal taking on God?. The film has no religious themes but it is interesting to draw these parallels from the characters, the cinematography presented and the psychological themes.


Bibliography

Holden.S, 2013, in-only-god-forgives-a-mother-is-bent-on-revenge.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0 [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/movies/in-only-god-forgives-a-mother-is-bent-on-revenge.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0 [Accessed 9th December 2014]
Sexton.D, 2013, only-god-forgives--film-review-8743172.html [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/film/only-god-forgives--film-review-8743172.html [Accessed 9th December 2014]

Travers.P, 2013, only-god-forgives-20130719 [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/only-god-forgives-20130719 [Accessed 9th December 2014]


Illustration List
Figure - 1
 Nicolas Winding Refn, 2013, only-god-forgives_still.jpg [ONLINE] Available at: https://confessionsfromageekmind.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/only-god-forgives_still.jpg [Accessed 9th December 2014]

Figure - 2
Nicolas Winding Refn, 2013, kristin-scott-thomas-only-god-forgives.jpg [ONLINE] Avialable at: http://newnownext.mtvnimages.com/2013/05/kristin-scott-thomas-only-god-forgives.jpg [Accessed 9th December 2014]

What if? Metropolis - Final Scene - WIp


A WIP of my final scene showing my textured train buildings, I may redo the textures to make them look a bit more weathered. I'm also thinking of putting some light near the middle building, a directional light.

Monday, 8 December 2014

3D Animation - UV Cubes


The completion of one of Alan's tutorials, learning how to UV Map, I rather clumsily didn't download the files until later on in the tutorial and so had to create the cube myself. The result was good though, I am quite happy with the outcome.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

What if? Metropolis - Test Models - UV Map


Above
A simple UV map test using an image instead of the UCA UV grid, it was much easier than I thought it'd be though that was only with a cube, much more complex geometry will probably take a lot longer.

What if? Metropolis - Final Model Pictures


Two large sets of pictures of my final Maya piece.
 Above
These pictures feature a clean scene with only the railway and platform, the top most picture is a close up of the railway with some of the sleeper tiles missing. It was quite difficult and patience testing to use the CP curve tool to make the track.



 These pictures show off the buildings present in my scene, we can see the main train station being formed along with the side houses on the left.




Friday, 5 December 2014

Space Oddities Film Review - Repulsion

REPULSION

Repulsion is a 1965 British film directed by Roman Polanksi and stars Catherine Denevue and Yvonne Furneaux. The plot centres around a young Belgian woman and her mind along with the increasingly violent psychological destabilisation that occurs. We are introduced to Catherine, a young woman who works at a hair salon and has awkward, unhinged encounters with men. She lives with her sister Helen and Helen's boyfriend Michael and also finds their sexual encounters disturbing. 
 
Hors Satan of the Guardian states" Repulsion has Catherine Deneuve’s Carol recoiling in terror from male advances – some actual, many imagined – in her sister's South Kensington flat. It’s been an inspiration ever since for films about claustrophobic hysteria" (Satan, 2013), the flat that Caroline lives in is small and quite poky and although she is not a prisoner inside it the apartment could be symbolic of being trapped and alone after suffering from abuse and being unable to talk to someone else, in essence the apartment becomes her mind, slowly deteriorating and falling apart. Conversely however, Caroline decides to trap herself in the apartment; after killing a young man who courts her and then later barges his way into the apartement, Caroline then proceeds to barricade the door. This could be interpreted as her way of defending herself from the outside; by separating herself from the possibility of being hurt or attacked by other men.
 
The film's set design plays an important role in demonstrating the slow decline in Catherine's mental stability, frequently we see cracks forming in the building were Caroline is staying, these said cracks appear to be very metaphysical; visible only to Caroline and the viewers of the film, though they 
manifest themselves very clearly often appearing right in front of our eyes. These are likely symbolic of the slowly deteriorating mind of Caroline who, as events unfold, begins to exhibit exceedingly odd behaviour. Early on in the film when Caroline is walking to work we see a construction site, whether or not this a precursor to the symbolism of cracks and deterioration is not known. but is entirerly possible.

David Jenkins of the film review website Little White Lies "It's most likely that the film takes place in the world of nightmares, which would explain why Carol is seen nodding off in the film's opening scene." (Jenkins, 2012), in conclusion with this is the point that the swinging sixties, a time of sexual and cultural exploration, is commonly portrayed as being a fashionable, exciting period of the centruy yet in the film this is the opposite; Caroline and Helen live in a dingy apartment and are constantly berated by a vulgar landlord, Caroline becomes the object of lust for many men which causes her great discomfort and the hip London scene of the sixties is instead a mish mash of greasy-spoon cafes, dodgy bars and dingy neighbourhoods. 
 
Another analysis of Jenkins "nightmare" quote is how Caroline only sees the more fantasy characteristics when she turns the lights on, the film touches a lot on sexual subjects and jumping to the end of the film we see a picture of Caroline staring at her father in contempt hinting the possibility of her father abusing her when she was younger possibly at night hence the strange occurences when Caroline turns on the lights.

Figure - 1  Caroline sees a crack form right in front of her eyes.


David Jenkins goes on to say in his review "A microscopic membrane between dreams and reality remains in play throughout, with Polanski and Brach sticking hard and fast to cruel, apparently subjective torture rather than offering pat explanations for Carol's swelling mania." (Jenkins, 2012), this is an interesting point particularly when the we come to the end of the film. Her behaviour throughout the film evolves from a relatively benign level to a pathological display almost to the point of psychosis. A clever plot device is keeping the viewers in the dark about why she exhibits such paranoia about men and creates a great amount of tension and thought, the only real clues to this mystery are at the very end of the film when we see a close up picture of the family and we see Carol staring contemptuously at her father, this does not reveal any steadfast conclusions but gives the viewers some understanding and food for thought.

Figure - 2  Caroline lights up the corridor to see a horde of groping hands attempting to reach her.

Ultimately, Caroline's condition becomes overwhelming and the last shot of her is being carried out of the trashed apartment in a near catatonic state by her sister's boyfriend, her fate is not known. A quote by Edward Guntham states "Polanski's direction is tight and controlled and manages to place us inside Caroline Deneuve's head as she comes to see any man as a potential assailant." (Guntham, 1998). Guntham's quoute is quite true as the psychological symptoms manifest themselves as semi-real occurences that only Caroline and the viewers can see, in that sense we can really get a feel for what goes on in her mind and although the conduct of many of the men in the film is quite vulgar her fear of men becomes more apparent when we see the world throug her eyes.


Bibliography
David Jenkins, 2012, repulsion-22822 [ONLINE], Available at:http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/theatrical-reviews/repulsion-22822  [Accessed on 5th December 2014]

 Hors Satan, 2013, Films-in-brief-Hors-Satan-McCullin-Chinatown-Repulsion.html [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/9778296/Films-in-brief-Hors-Satan-McCullin-Chinatown-Repulsion.html [Accessed on 5th December 2014]

 Edward Guntham, 1998, Repulsion-Makes-Deneuve-Go-Mad-Polanski-s-3005448.php [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Repulsion-Makes-Deneuve-Go-Mad-Polanski-s-3005448.php [Accessed on 5th December 2014]



Illustration List
Figure 1
Roman Polanski, 1965, repulsion6.png [ONLINE], Available at: http://tinribs27.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/repulsion6.png (Accessed on 5th December 2014)

Figure 2
 Roman Polanski, 1965, Repulsion-2.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: http://projectdeadpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Repulsion-2.jpg (Accessed on 5th December 2014)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What if? Metropolis - Production Art - Train Station Buildings


Some more refined production artwork of the objects in my scene, these buildings for my Train Station, I will probably do another angle of them.

Monday, 1 December 2014

What if? Metropolis - Production Art - Bridge


More production of art of the bridge, pretty minimal, shows off the angle of the pipe and also of which direction the bridge leads to. It also includes a view on top of the bridge which as significant weathering.

What if? Metropolis - Production Art - Station Platform


Production work of the train station platform, might add some more geometry to this in the model as it looks a bit boring here.

What if? Metropolis - Production Art - Train Track


A basic picture of my production art of my train track, this features two views of the track that runs down the middle of the scene.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

What if? Metropolis - Production Art - Houses


A much better version of my production art, this features only a small part of the model but highlights teh design pieces. This is work of the two houses situated on the left side of the picture, these houses replace the plants and rock face.

What if? Metropolis - Final Concept Piece


Figure 1 - The new final piece under construction.

Figure 2 - The final piece with the background art still in production



Figure 3 - The final finished piece

This is my final concept piece, I removed the plants and cliff on the left and replaced it with some dilapidated houses and on the advice of Simon added a bridge/walkway over the train track. I also put some more buildings into the background with varying opacity to simulate the appearance of distance.

I'm not sure tha the broken windows jutting out of the right work, they were an attempt to make the picture more surreal in keeping with Miro's style.

This should hopefully not be too difficult to do in Maya, texturing maybe difficult but modelling this set would be an interesting oppurtunity.

Friday, 28 November 2014

What if Metropolis? - 3D Concept work

 Above
 Just a few real brief pictures of a basic 3D model of my first concept piece, this does not include the improvements I have made in my recent pieces. The top most picture features two light objects; an ambient light an a directional light, I still need to figure out lighting properly.



Below
 This shot below is of my scene with just ambient lighting, ambient lighting seems to work pretty well. I quite like this shot of my scene.


Below
 Below is the basic composition of my scene, I have a few concerns : it'll take quite a lot to UV render the place, I feel that it'd be easier to copy and paste certain objects (such as the railway rails and plants) than to keep UV'ing objects. I feel that this is quite a good angle and after I put in the background city the place will look nicely cluttered.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Space Oddities Film Review - Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus is a 1947 film direct by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and stars British actresses Debroah Kerr, Flora Robson and Jean Simmons. The film centres around a group of anglican nuns who travel to a desolate monastery in the himalayas to set up a school and hospital for the locals.

From where we begin we are led to believe that the whole picture was actually filmed in the himalayas, in reality it was filmed within the confines of the Pinewood studios in England with some other shots filmed at the Leonardslee gardens in west sussex. This combination actually manages to create a startlingly realistic set.

Figure 1
The impressive drop in Figure 1 is actually the combination of a matte painting and a physical set, the drop is the matte painting and the bell platform the is the set.

The palace in which they nuns attempt to set up their school was not originally a monestary rather it was a harem for the local king and as such was filled with sexual imagery and other content inappropriate for the nuns. From there arrival the close bondage of the nuns and their vows of chastity begin to break down under the influence of the palace and the presence of British agent Mr Dean.

Living in such a sexually explicit palace is inappropriate for the chastity bound nuns of the church and seems to act as a trigger to resurface the troubled past of some of the nuns, from this we begin to learn of the true characters of the nuns. In a place where the strict church rules and safeguard of having the mother deacon remind them of their duties their integrity begins to falter.

Keith Uhlich of Time Out Magazine mentions in his review "You can fully sense the pervasive loneliness that entraps Sister Clodagh in distracting pangs of lost-love reminiscence, as well as the oppressive, sexually charged ambience that wreaks mental and metaphysical havoc on the frenzied Sister Ruth" (Uhlich, 2012). A possible idea to gleam from Uhlich's quote is how the palace and its locale puts the integrity of the nuns is put to the test as they are thrown into a strange and sensual world and how it reminds and almost amplifies their memoies of past relations. Uhlich mentions "sexually charged ambience", this could point to the sexual mages of the palace and presence of Mr Dean, alternatively it could also be the tension that manifests between Sisters Clodagh and Ruth over the attention of Mr Dean.

An important aspect of the film's production was the use of colour not just as a means of creating the exotic nature of the setting but also to convey the emotions of the nuns.

Figure 2
 We can see Sister Ruth observing Sister Clodagh and Mr Dean from a distance while bathed in shadows and orange light.

The use of colour helps to convey emotion by matching the mood to the colour not just by lighting but also by props and costume, for instance in the final scene where a near deranged Sister Ruth attempts to kill Sister Clodagh by pushing her off of the cliff Sister Ruth is dressed in a red robe while Sister Clodagh remains in her white nuns robes.

This could be a clash of more than emotion with the red robe symbolising love but also danger, action and blood, it could also befurther symbolic of Sister Ruth's fall from grace and abandondment of her vows. Sister Clodagh's white robes are symbolic of purity and integrity and how despite the temtpations around her she has remained true to her ideals.

FIgure 3
In Figure 3 we see Sister Clodagh inside the chapel hiding from a belligerent Sister Ruth, the lighting and colour have been toned down and project a sense of fear and uneasy tension.

Lighting is also a prominent part of the cinematography, as we can see in Figure 3 when combined with the soft, purple/pink colour it creates a tense situation. Kathleen Byron stated "He gave me half of my performance with the lighting" when talking about Michael Powell, the director of the film. The bright close ups of the nun's faces makes it easier for the audience to discern their emotions,  particularly those of sisters Clodagh and Ruth.

Figure 4
We see the faces of Sister Ruth and Sister Clodagh during the film, the lighting focuses solely on their faces and less on their clothes.

The combination of light, colour and its use of matte paintings helps to make Black Narcissus a striking piece in cinema though it it not remembered for its characters. Gary Morris of the British Light Film Journal states "Powell's heavy attention to the formal aspects of the film may have distracted him from the creaky plot, unnecessary subplots, and sometimes mediocre, soap-operaish acting" (Morris, 2001). In agreement with this is point is how despite the impressive qualities of lighting and cinematography the acting and story hold the film back, despite this the film still deserves praise and continues to be a significant achievement in the fields of lighting and colour.

Illustration List  
Figure 1
(N/A), 1947, black-narcissus.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: http://zendavis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/black-narcissus.jpg. (Accessed 25th November 2014)

Figure 2
(N/A), 1947, psa-great-films-on-the-big-or-slightly-bigger-screen.html [ONLINE], Available at: hefilmexperience.net/blog/2013/1/4/psa-great-films-on-the-big-or-slightly-bigger-screen.html. (Accessed 25th November 2014)

 Figure 3
(N/A), 1947, blacknarcissus_color.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: http://theeyeoffaith.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/blacknarcissus_color.jpg. (Accessed 25th November 2014)

 Figure 4
(N/A), 1947, 1940s-lipstick-Kathleen-Byron-in-Black-NarcissusC.jpg [ONLINE], Availanle at:http://brightlightsfilm.com/33/blacknarcissus.php#.VHTkecmji3U. (Accessed 25th November 2014)



Bibliography
Keithes Uhlich, 2012,black-narcissus-3 [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.timeout.com/us/film/black-narcissus-3. (Accessed 25th November 2014)

Kathleen Byron, 1947, blacknarcissus.php#.VHTkecmji3U [ONLINE], Available at:http://brightlightsfilm.com/33/blacknarcissus.php#.VHTkecmji3U. (Accessed 25th November 2014)

Gary Morris, 2001, blacknarcissus.php#.VHTvi8mji3V [ONLINE], Available at: http://brightlightsfilm.com/33/blacknarcissus.php#.VHTvi8mji3V. (Accessed 25th November 2014)