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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 76-85

Since I`ve had a confidence drop since yesterday I`ve been trying to power through my work and try and gain some confidence back .Part of this was trying a different style with my drawing and focusing on detail and linework rather than blocking in shape. I hope that this helps my ideas spark and my confidence comes back soon enough.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Space Oddities : Metropolis

Fritz Lang`s Metropolis (1927) explores the developing movement of German Expressionism along with taking film making to a next level, featuring extreme camera angles and creative use of scaling through the set. Over the decade the sci fi genre had developed far from the use of straight on camera angles to extreme point of view shots. Although despite the exponential potential, Metropolis stayed true to the nature of German Expressionism with the slanted buildings with monumental scale and blacked out buildings. However, unlike Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari (1920) the extreme abstract shapes were more subtle and looked more like buildings rather than a chaotic fantasy world. This may be because of how Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari was filmed directly after by children, her hands extended over them in saintly grace. From this first meeting, she is responsible -- indirectly, at first -- for bringing Freder down to the level of the people, away from his home in paradise. It is notable that this first appearance to Freder occurs directly on the heels of Freder's dalliance with the nameless maiden in the garden. If the scantily clad woman is Freder's Mary Magdalene, then Maria is clearly Freder's Mary. Assuming the roles of both prophet and mother, Maria first foretells of Freder/Christ's coming, and then is herself the agent of that arrival when Freder descends to the lower city in pursuit of her.World War two where artists expressed their despair through their artwork. Since this film was made much later, the expressionism content was less extreme.

With the unfortunate event of scenes disappearing, Metropolis took the same direction as previous silent film Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari where they used text to replace the scenes and dialogue which were lost. Although the font used was much clearer and the translation made communication clear, the storytelling did not make the film clear and there were a lot of questions and plot holes being asked at the end of the film. Although the main plot was answered and there was a linear style, there was hardly any dialogue in crucial scenes, for example when Maria was being chased by the inventor. The gaps and logical puzzles of the story (some caused by clumsy re-editing after the film left Lang's hands) are swept away by this torrent of images. “To enjoy the film, the viewer must observe but never think,” the critic Arthur Lennig said, and Pauline Kael contrasted its “moments of almost incredible beauty and power” with “absurd ineptitudes.” Even when the plot seems adrift, the movie itself never lacks confidence: The city and system are so overpowering they dwarf any merely logical problems.” Roger Ebert, Great Movie: Metropolis (1998).

The build-up towards the slight insanity of Freder was portrayed interestingly by the swirling images of his beloved in the embrace of his father, where the obvious betrayal and confusion takes over the screen. There is also the scene where it is shown him falling through the darkness into Hell. Since religion becomes a huge theme in the film where the two female leads are represented by a symbol of purity and a figurehead for the seven deadly sins. “From her first appearance, Maria also evokes the Virgin Mary, entering Freder's garden surrounded by children, her hands extended over them in saintly grace. From this first meeting, she is responsible -- indirectly, at first -- for bringing Freder down to the level of the people, away from his home in paradise. It is notable that this first appearance to Freder occurs directly on the heels of Freder's dalliance with the nameless maiden in the garden. If the scantily clad woman is Freder's Mary Magdalene, then Maria is clearly Freder's Mary. Assuming the roles of both prophet and mother, Maria first foretells of Freder/Christ's coming, and then is herself the agent of that arrival when Freder descends to the lower city in pursuit of her.

It is no coincidence that the robot built by Rotwang takes the form of Maria, an evil doppelganger that spreads anger and fear, the antithesis of Maria's vision of peace. Our first glimpse of the robot finds it beneath an inverted, five-pointed star, a pentacle -- a sigil long associated with ceremonial magic, especially that involved in summoning outside forces. Indeed, Rotwang's android does seem to carry within its husk something more sinister than simple ones and zeroes. It springs into being from the mind of man, rather than divine guidance, formed not of Adam's rib; its unnatural birth instead costs Rotwang his hand. . . a sacrifice he does not regret.”David Michael Wharton , Crucified To The Machine : Religious Imagery In Fritz Lang`s Metropolis (2003)

 Although the acting of the pair was theatrical the tense side of it made the pair, especially fake Maria, much more believable. Where the odd twitch in her close-ups and the constant devious seductive smirk gave a clue to the audience that she was the fake. What also helped distinguish the two was how robotic the fake’s movements were. Even when dancing the unnatural swerve of her hips was cringing to look at since she simply looked ridiculous yet the men in the scene were biting at the bit to have her. That being said, the idea of objectifying women wasn`t new in the film industry in the 1920s, especially around the period of flapper girls where sexualisation was a keen aspect of the trend.

Symbolisation of the slaves in this film was believable and fitted well with the silent film genre. The acting made the slaves seem like mindless zombies working like parts of a machine with no will of their own. When the workers are seen for the first time their arms work in continuous actions on repeat where they don`t stop and have to be dragged away from their work to see the real world and the position of the bosses that put them in such terrible conditions. It was only until the end where we see how hopeless these slaves are where their only sanity is being held by a holy figure which they trust in enough to sacrifice their children unknowingly. Although the slaves have no huge part apart from tools used by Jon Frederson used for power gain. The audience can relate to the system of lower class and upper class as such political roles are happening in today’s world too. 

The chase scene was incredibly done, where light and shadows and the concept of purity being clad in white and the surrounding darkness gave immense atmosphere to the scene. Where the torchlight gave a look of a cage surrounding the female lead and wherever she moved to escape she could not escape the cage without being followed and trapped like a deer in headlights. Seeing this it was foreshadowed that the audience knew she could not escape and this was her demise. To add to the horror the inventors face within the skeletons was a shock in itself, where there is no respect for the dead and he blends in with the haunting surroundings.

The scientist’s house looked more like from Dr Caligari, with extreme shadows and no light within the dark. : What first struck about the set compared to Dr Caligari, was how the buildings differed tremendously throughout the decade of German Expressionism, apart from one house. The house of the inventor. There was several similarities between the crazed scientists in both where their lairs are blacked out with no form of lighting from within. When the main character enters there is only darkness and a cavern of mystery. That being said, Metropolis did take the horror a step further when it came to atmosphere as this was one of the earliest forms of doors opening and closing. A classic feature in modern horror films.

Although this film is seen as a classic and the start of its genre the ridiculous storyline may be its downfall and it`s perks as some qualities are deemed just to ridiculous from today’s perspective. Where today we see WW2 planes in 2026 as laughable, back in 1927, seeing motor cars which were seen as dated then were also laughable. “The motor cars are 1926 models or earlier. I do not think there is a single new idea, a single instance of artistic creation or even intelligent anticipation, from first to last in the whole pretentious stew; I may have missed some point of novelty, but I doubt it; and this, though it must bore the intelligent man in the audience, makes the film all the more convenient as a gauge of the circle of ideas, the mentality, from which it has proceeded”. : H.G Wells, H.G Wells on Metropolis (1927).

Bibliography :

Wharton , D (2003) Crucified to the Machine : Religious Imagery in Fritz Lang`s Metropolis :

Ebert , R (1998) Great Movie : Metropolis : 

Wells , H (1927) H.G Wells on Metropolis :                                                                      

Monday, 28 September 2015

Digital Painting : Abstract Thumbnails

This exercise at first I thought wasn't going to help me as much as the word list since that seemed to spark up new opportunities for my thumbnails. However, I felt that these thumbnails although may not help me as much I feel the collages did help stimulate some ideas . I suprised myself in the end as I'm not one to focus or like much abstract art ,however, I do like these that I have done especially the lasso and collage ones since they felt almost therapeutic.

Digital Painting : Master Study 1

I feel as if I'm slowly growing more confident with my speed studies and I feel as if I've found a brush I can work well with when it comes to blocking out colours. Over the next week I will proceed to do more of these master studies as I feel these have helped me when it comes to blocking out shapes and the foundations of digital painting.

Maya Experimentation : Robot Bug

 Since I am up to date with my Maya Tutorials , I decided I wanted to experiment with the potential Maya could do. I wasn`t sure where I wanted this creature to go it was more of a `see what the different tools do with different settings and see how it comes out`. I`m happy with how it came out overall considering this is the third time me using Maya.

Maya tutorial : Ray Gun Attempt #2

Because I felt as if my first attempt wasn`t up to scratch , in class today I gave it another attempt and I feel as if I have learned a lot through going through the steps one at a time. With help from my tutor I finally figured out why Maya was crashing every time I attempted to add the toon outline , this is because I have to smooth first before adding the outline. Overall I feel like this attempt worked out much better.

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 66-75

With this selection I wanted to experiment with new techniques to create thumbnails and I did so by using the lasso and bucket tool. I like these thumbnails better since I feel as if I could focus on the shapes at hand better and also the block colour gives the thumbnails an abstract look to them. My favorites out of these I`d say are #66 and #71 although I do like the concept of #73 where the city is on the camels back.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Maya Tutorial : Ray Gun

I found this method much easier than the eggcups ,although , when it came to rendering and adding the toon outline my laptop couldn`t handle the process and kept crashing repeatedly whenever I tried,so, I removed the outline to show I have completed the tutorial as best as I could without my laptop constantly crashing,

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 60-65

I feel as though the second page of thumbnails were more successful than the first as I was getting more used to sketching in pencil compared to on a tablet. My favorites out of these are #60 , #64 and #65 and I am starting to decide on my favorite cities to draw and have more ideas for.

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 54-59

It was refreshing to have a change of medium when it came to drawing my thumbnails , I feel as if my sketches took quicker and I was less focused on making them perfect. That being said , I feel I could create much clearer thumbnails digitally because I can use shadows to give my cities depth. Also I feel as if digital thumbnails are much quicker to do. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 44-53

I feel much more confident in my thumbnails the more I develop them and create more ideas. I specifically like #45, #46 , #48 , #49  and #53 because of the compositions and I feel as if they look quite whimsical and fantasy like. I also like the style for the statue since the facial expression looked comically yet showed the displeased look in detail.

Who`s Who ? : Yoshitaka Amano

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 34-43

I think I started off quite strong with these thumbnails and gained confidence with experimenting with composition . That being said I think those with the more extreme compositions are my strongest out of these 10 . Those which I feel are the strongest are #35 , #37 and I like the idea of #39. I feel as if I`m not close to deciding my final city yet although I have a few cities which I favor I feel as if I have a long way to go to finalize or decide on a final design for the cities.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 24-33

The last update has been slow after having the flu for a week or so,however, it has given me time to reflect on my thumbnails and take a break from the struggle I`ve been having . I really like the point of view of #24 and #26 as they put the audience in the view of someone living there and almost gives an uncomfortable feeling of being locked inside the environment. I like the idea of #26 and #27 although I feel like they will have to be refined by further research so I can create an outcome I`ll be happy with.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 15-23

I feel as if I`ve broken out of my shell with ideas in this set since after looking at past students work I was inspired by several techniques with how to sketch ideas , for example with Argia I wasn`t sure how to illustrate the darkness and make the details stand out ,but, now I`ve learned to use a dark background and paint with white lineart over the top. I was inspired by the film we watched and which I recently reviewed : Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari where I wanted the world to come across as if it was drawn onto paper and had the abstract look about it. My favorites out of them all would be #15 , #19 and #23.

Invisible Cities Thumbnails 6-14

I`ve been struggling a lot with these thumbnails since I have no clue where to begin with them , I`ve read the text but I`m struggling to create imagery in my head and then sketch it out to a standard I`m happy with . Out of these thumbnails I liked the composition of 6 and 14 where the viewer was looking into the void where the secrets of the cities are kept . With 13 I wanted to make a distortion where I wanted the viewer to not know the difference between reality and desire ,however, I struggled to draw my point across without making the desire seem like a machine. I`ll need to make another influence map I think since right now I`m struggling to come up with ideas.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Space Oddities : Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari

Robert Weine`s Das Cabinet Des Caligari (1920) explores the expressionist movement with moving image , combining reality and a disturbing artistic style to confuse the audience into not being sure if what we are watching is really happening. With angular set design with the windows and doors seeming to cave in on itself, the film looks as if it`s set within a deranged mind that`s view on the world is chaotic and is driven to insanity. The theme of insanity is constant throughout the film as we see Dr Caligari pick off the main characters with his puppet Cesare and we initially believe him to be simply a madman until the revelation at the end where we see him treat this patient like a key to unlock his dreams. To command and do his bidding almost like a God Complex, toying with the victims of Cesare`s murders.

Relying on expressions to tell the tale, the characters were easily understood by using close ups on their facial expressions. Although the expressions were extremely theatrical it made the characters seem comical yet summed up their personalities with hardly any words being used. Roger Ebert dove into this in more detail, observing how the audience responds to how the characters are represented on screen. “Wiene is fond of the iris shot, which opens or closes upon a scene like an eye. This makes the point that we are looking and are privileged to witness events closed to other people. He also sparingly uses a device of superimposing words on the image to show Alan feeling surrounded by voices. Wiene's closeups lean heavily on Caligari's fierce and sinister scowl, the dewy innocence of Jane, and the wide-eyed determination of Alan. The Somnambulist is not very expressive -- he certainly lacks the charisma of Frankenstein's monster, who in a way he inspired -- and is most often seen in long shot, as if the camera considers him an object, not a person.”
Ebert , R (2009) Great Movie ,The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
Although limited in colour, the four colour palette gave the audience a clear view of night and day and along with the soundtrack we could easily figure out and predict what was going to happen before the character knew about it. The use of colour symbolism helped us also recognise the role of the characters, whether they were good, evil or neutral. Where Jane and the scientists unaware of Caligaris twisted mind were clad and surrounded in white, those who were indulged with his crimes were clad in black, along with Caligari and Cesare. The text telling us the time of day wasn`t needed, because of the chilling blue which was used at night when the murders occurred creating a chilling atmosphere compared to the warm oranges used in the day when a normal day seemed to be occurring. The use of pink to hint at romance between the main characters also helped us understand the relationship between the two without the use of words confirming the love triangle between Jane and the two friends.

“Francis tells this story as if it were true, but in the end he is revealed as a patient in a mental hospital.  The film does not confirm whether Francis' story is reality, but Freudian theory suggests that this story is a wish fulfillment.  Francis' neurotic mind created and mistook this fantasy for reality in order to displace the guilt over his friend's death by means of dream work and displacing his guilt onto the somnambulist Cesare.”
Freeman, R (2006) Fantasy and Dream Work in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Freeman suggests another argument as to if this entire film was reality or a dream and we could tell from the beginning this would be a whimsical horror where he speaks of spirits and how his fiancĂ© appears out of thin air and almost completely ignores him seems like a delusional romance. Admittedly the ending was confusing until reading several reviews which became clear that instead of Caligari being admitted to mental hospital, the man who was thought to be our hero turned out to be in the position of the villain which makes us question who the real villain was. Where the patient could not accept that his lover didn`t love him in return and his best friend was dead, he instead blamed it upon anyone in his life who he felt was attacking him? In this case, the doctor who was assessing him.  Proof of this would be in the psychological background of this film where Freud`s theory of how patients cope with psychological trauma. “According to Freudian theory, this is also typified by believing a fantasy to be the truth.  "Neurotics turn away from reality because they find it unbearable; the most extreme type of this turning away from reality is shown by certain cases of hallucinatory psychosis which seek to deny the particular event that occasioned the outbreak of their insanity" (Freud, 301).  In this passage, Freud describes the psychological techniques that a neurotic mind uses in order to cope with a traumatic event.” Freeman, R. (2006) Fantasy and Dream Work in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Overall , the twisted horrors haunting atmosphere left the audience intrigued as to what happened next and although we knew what was going to happen before the characters found out ,this gave a sense of power and secret knowledge to the viewer which would later be used in future horrors films , Although silent the lack of words made the film work because we could focus on the comedic expressions to let our imaginations do the talking for us despite slight confusion in some parts such as the end , where the audience was left not knowing whether the doctor was an insane murderer or if it was all a story made up by a mentally unstable man.

Image Source :

Bibliography : 22/09/2015 22/09/2015 22/09/2015

Maya Tutorial 1 : Eggcups

My first attempt at Maya was quite frustrating , the NURBS was relatively easy as I remembered how to create the eggcup from the lesson ,however, the polygon models I got insanely frustrated with because of the different components and I really struggled with getting the inside hollowed out. In the end I managed to figure it out and although there are faults I may redo them in the future when I have more knowledge of Maya.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Digital Painting Lesson 1

Overall I`m happy with how these turned out as I struggled with the new technique at first when it came to digital painting. I can definitely see the improvement between the two when I got used to the new technique. I can`t wait to try new exercises when it comes to digital painting.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Perspective practice

Invisible Cities Thumbails 1-5

Initially I had excitement to do Fedora because of my research when finding the globe structures,however, when sketching the thumbnail I found it difficult to put a composition to it. With 1 and 2 I wanted to create a forestation look where the bamboo was overgrowing and became how the city stood and relied completely on the bamboo supports ,so, I experimented with scale and how the bamboo would look close up with the houses installed. I also liked 4 and 5 because when it says in the passage that everyone was going mad , I initially thought in asylum rooms where the rooms are completely white and how they`d go insane because of it. However, I wanted the exterior to look like a normal medieval setting fitting the description. I also added the clear windows to go with the mental asylum look .

Influence Map 1

Since finishing highlighting the passages for descriptions , my initial thought for some of the cities was to go with an ancient background where Gods are an important figure in their lifetimes. I wanted to go for different art styles when it came to research to get a more diverse look of how artists and designers had replicated ancient civilizations. So far I think this is good initial research which have already stimulated ideas ,however, I think I will make more influence maps if I come across any more imagery which inspires me.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Dog Portrait

Since I have been missing my home lately I decided to continue with the portraits and this time did my dog. I`m not used to drawing animals and so it was a challenge to paint . However, it was interesting to paint fur and found it a fun exercise .

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Portrait 2

Portrait of a Friend

Decided to draw a portrait of my friend back home , I wanted to try out a different brush from the standard circle brush and I think the blending came out better. It looks sketchy however I think it gives the skin texture. Overall really happy with this and I especially like the hint of colour in the eyes and lips , I feel it brings the portrait to life.

Embedding Videos/Presentations Tester

Saturday, 12 September 2015

CAA Summer Project 61 Front

For this I was going for a more transformer kind of look where I wanted to give more detail to the machine by using more geometric shapes to separate the silhouette. Since the original silhouette looked chunky and transformer like already I took influence from that and the objects given to us for details on the wings. I personally like how this came out and I like the touch of colour with the glow coming from the eyes as it gives the machine more of a creepy feel and sells the robotic look to it.

CAA 79 Final turnaround

Well I finally moved into uni , yay! And I was in the mood to get my head in the zone and draw! So I thought why not do some more turnarounds for the summer project and I started with 79! I like it , I feel like the shrubs attached to the creatures body make the creature seem more 3D and I think this is one of my more creative and unusual designs. What do you think is the better out of the two life forms I`ve drawn already? Should I print out them both and bring them to the presentation next week?

Monday, 7 September 2015

CAA Final Structure #62


 I went with 62 because after choosing to go with 51 for my machine I wanted to go with a different option so I wasnt doing the same image twice. My original thought was I wanted the structure to look like a shrine ,however, after doing some initial sketches I was struggling to develop the two side planes into more humanoid figures .So , I gained inspiration from Tera Online where I wanted to combine the structure with nature and because the holes looked like a circuit board to me I was inspired to develop it around the idea of electricity combining with nature.

CAA Final inspired #51 Machine

Inspired by the structure #51 while I was drawing it as a final for my structure pieces I found the shapes looked good as a machine and decided to roll with it to create a kind of hunter robot design . I wanted the developed design to have hints of other machine designs I made such as the scales and use of the face like design for details ,but, I also wanted the final to have a creepy look so I took the back view to my advantage and made the space at the front almost like a screen.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

CAA Final #55 Update

I wanted to develop #55 because I felt like I could make it into a grim reaper type of machine ,however, when drawing it I felt like it was more of a life form than a machine ,so, I felt I should change it`s category. 

CAA Final #58 Update

I originally chose 58 to be my machine final ,however, as I was drawing it`s turnarounds I was struggling to put together how he would look from the side and back view and I couldn`t see how the different components would fit together. So , I won`t be doing 58 as my final machine afterall . I also learned that placing my drawings on a light grey background suits much better as my original background with white I felt it made my drawings like they were floating and to clean looking. I much prefer the grey background.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

CAA Final 3 Possibilities - Need help deciding

These are the images I`ve selected as possibilities for my final 3. Although I`m not sure which 3 to choose so I thought I`d ask your opinions as to what 3 I should select.The images are colour coordinated as to each category .

Red - Machines
Blue - Life Forms
Green - Structures