Friday, 30 December 2016

Film Review - Repulsion

Fig 1. Repulsion poster (1965)

The 1965 film Repulsion by Roman Polanski is one of few that gives us an insight into the mind of someone who feels out of place with the stereotype of the time period. “Seemingly the last virgin in London, she (Carol) soon finds herself fighting a rear-guard action against the sexual revolution.” (Kehr, 2009)

Polanski made the film at a time when women were starting to take control of their own lives. The 1960s saw the introduction of contraception meaning that they could decide the outcome of having sex with whoever they please. Beforehand sex was only seen as something for making children, and not something for pleaser, therefor consigning it only to those who were married. If a woman had a child out of marriage than she would been shunned by society but contraception started to stop this stigma. However, the main character Carol wants nothing to do with sex, men in particular. She seems to be psychology scared of them as they make their advances at her.

Fig 2. Crack in the wall (1965)

Apart from the Carol’s behaviour the only way to understand what she is going through is the apartment which takes on a life of its own and almost becomes another character in the film to the point where you would expect to see it in the opening credits. “There can't be many other films which so plausibly show an entire, warped world created from a single point of view.” (Bradshaw, 2013) The apartment becomes a metaphor for her mental stage with warped and decaying rooms, sudden cracks in the walls and grabbing hands coming out of the walls as if to tell the viewer that Carol is literally cracking up and she is starting to think that her fears coming to life.

One trick Polanski uses to help give the viewer an understanding of how bored Carol is in the flat in by using long uncut shots that show her moving around or not doing a lot. “The carefully wrought camera set ups and methodical pace border on boredom as the film wears on, slowly charting the disintegration of Carol’s last shreds of sanity.” (Biodrowski, 2009) With this we can partly relate to her as we all at some point know what it’s like to be home alone without anyone to talk with the feeling that the day is slowly ticking away. This also acts to add suspense keeping the viewer guessing as to what part of the apartment might start to take on a life of its own again.

The male and female characters are most separated throughout the film in the places that they were mostly found in the 1960s, the woman spend their day at the salon with the men spending they time in the pub. It was very uncommon for one to be in the other’s space as at that time period men and women stayed out of each other way and acted like it would damage their gender role if they were show an interest, woman would be seen as being a prostitute and men would be accused of being gay.

The only time one gender would have any interest in the other was when it came to the bed room, a place where someone like Carol should feel safe but instead feels just as threatened there as she does when she is walking to work.


Sunday, 25 December 2016

Animation - lesson 10

Merry Christmas!

Here is a four legged walk cycle to get you in the Christmas mood, however there's a mistake with the legs as I couldn't work out how to switch them round on the horse so the same step repeats. I will try to do a walk cycle were this doesn't happen.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Film Review - The Shining

Fig 1. The Shining poster (1980)

Just like he did with 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick once again shows his talent for creating a film that leaves the viewer guessing what is going to happen next as the suspense builds (until they are jump scared by something as simple as the days of the week popping up on screen). The Shining (1980), based on the book of the same name by Stephen King, makes the audience feel trapped with no way out even though they are in a large space with several places to hide.

Like Black Narcissus (1947) the film deals with isolation but this time it is the isolation of being pushed away from someone and being unable to reach the outside world. Most of the time the characters are shown to be in different parts of the hotel and it is only when they cross each other’s path does the tension start to show, especially with Jack when his wife Wendy investigates what he is doing. “The isolation and its influence begin to take a toll on Jack, who slowly begins to lose his mind.” (Carl, 2013) It also seems to be this isolation that makes the characters more susceptible to the supernatural goings on as their minds starts weaken and break.

Fig 2. Overlook Hotel interior (1980)

To show us how large and empty the Overlook Hotel is Kubrick makes the camera follow behind the characters with tracking shots. Just by following along with Jack stalking cross the room or Danny riding his tricycle throw the corridors we get an understanding of how far they must travel to get from one point to another. Also with the way that the camera never seems to break away from the character has a mixed effect on the audience, first it makes them start questioning when it is going to end and secondly if the next corner they go around will have something waiting to jump out at them. “Instead of the cramped darkness and panicky quick editing of the standard-issue scary movie, Kubrick gives us the eerie, colossal, brilliantly lit spaces of the Overlook Hotel” (Bradshaw, 2012)

With all these factors put together the Overlook Hotel is not your normal place for a horror movie as there is nothing to suggest that anything is wrong, apart from a small warning spoken at the beginning. It’s as if the characters are made to believe that nothing can get them only to find out that it is each other that they should fear as the building makes them it’s new play thing. “Through the eerie way they turn this enormous building into something cramped and claustrophobic.” (Maslin, 1980)
Fig 3. REDRUM (1980)
 At the end of the film we are left guessing what really drove Jack crazy. What other dark secrets does the Overlook Hotel hold? And was Jack trapped before he even stepped foot inside the main door?


Monday, 19 December 2016

What if Metropolis? - Reflective Statement

I really tried to push myself with this project and improve on my mistakes and weakness from the last one such as trying out different ideas for my thumbnails, using real world references and trying to better understanding the software that we are using. However, I still feel that I am still failing with my final outcome at the end of the project and might need to change my mind set to create something that shows what I am truly able to imagine.

I feel that I have improved using Photoshop but still have some way to go until my work has a professional feel to it. Maya on the other hand is still a challenge and that I held back my final building designs by making them as simple as I possible could so that I didn’t spend too long trying to work out how I needed to do something and not have anything to show on crit day.

Overall, this project has made me take a step back and made me think about how I should go about designing and creating something from scratch along with seeing that there are still some weaknesses that still need some work.

"Art of" Presentation

Thursday, 15 December 2016

What If Metropoils? - Final Render

Crit Presentation

What if Metropolis - Travelogue Rewrite

This is a rewrite of my travelogue for my city.

When you first see Musia on the horizon it can seem baffling to the eye. What you see many would describe as just an infant child’s drawing just as they start to understand the basic concepts of lines and shapes, but to the well-trained eye it is a city that is always thinking and moving with its people.

The residents of the city are just as happy to see a face they recognise as well as a new one, and if you are one of these new faces they will gladly show you around and tell you the tricks that you will need to know so that you can enjoy Musia to its fullest. These tricks mostly explain what you will expect to see if you go to a certain part of the city and what is the best way to get there so that you don’t become lost and overwhelmed by being in an unfamiliar world.

I do have a word of caution to all new travellers planning to visit: do not be put off by the resident’s sudden eagerness to talk to you about how you see the city and what are your thoughts behind it as they only want to grow their understanding of how the outside world sees them, but with some residents there is a hit of worry as if they’re scared their home is laughed at and mocked. They are just a philosophical group of people that don’t just like to be given an answer and be done with it, they want to follow your trail of thought as you follow them through Musia. Even asking them questions about something you will leave you thinking “What did they mean by that?” with the response they give you.

It is no surprise as to why you may be asked this as Musia’s buildings are notably made up of curves, circles, squares and triangles that have dark grey pipes that link them all together making no two buildings look the same. It almost seems impossible to work out what each building to for and if you were to ask someone they would look at you puzzled and ask in return “Can’t you hear what it is for?” before pointing out a noise, that you previously thought was just in your head as a type of background noise, that seems to be coming for nowhere else but the building you were asking about. The reason for it being impossible to tell the buildings apart is because each of them are covered in bright warm colours that have glowing windows of every shape scatter among them and not a single sign insight. Although if you where to look past the bright lights you would see that the buildings colours have become wither in many places, showing the dark grey material underneath because of the sandy terrain it is located in.

One part of the Musia that is impossible to miss is the large stone monolith that towers over everything for miles around. This large rectangular stone stands at the edge of the city and slowly slops up on its self, on the side that faces the city a strange cross like craving can be seen leaning to right. This strange landmark is called by two different names depending on who you ask; to an outsider it is known as Musia Rock but to those in the city it goes by the name Metrolith. When you ask the residents why their city was built at the base they will tell you the story of how their ancestors had been wandering the desert for years until one morning the Metrolith had appeared in front of them, after this they choose not to move on believing that it was a sign for the gods that this was to be their new home. They might also tell you that no windy nights you can hear the stone singing as the gales blows past.

If you do choose to visit the city, then I recommend that you stay from more than just one day as this will give you an opportunity to see Musia by night and I can ensure you that you will see a site unlike any other that you have seen before in any city that you have visited. For when the sun goes down and the city is covered in darkness do the citizens send up into the night sky strange hot air balloons that vary in size from one another. Attached to each of these balloons is a shape that echoes those used in the city’s buildings. Many people from outside the city believe that this is how Musia was designed and built, the inhabitants would send up the balloons with the shapes and let them drift freely around the skyline until the morning sun, to which they would bring them down again in the place they had drifted to and this would determine where a new building would be placed and what would be the first shapes used as its base. There is still the opportunity of seeing one or two of the balloons during the day but is only at night that you can see the true scale of the spectacle.

All in all, Musia can be said to be a place of interpretation, mystery and confusion. Many who have visited here do not say they have discovered Musia but instead have discovered the way in which their own mind works and that is has changed their way of seeing the world. There is also a theory, although I believe it to be more of a fact, that even though you can leave the city it never truly leaves you as if you were to stop for a few moments, take some timeout from your busy life and close your eyes you would see the Metrolith standing before you with the rhythm of the city playing in the background. The faint sound of music twinkling in the air.

Production Designer Profile

Monday, 12 December 2016

Key assets - Production art

These are the base colours for each part of the buildings. This is so that I know what coloured textures needs to go where when I plugged them in. The balloons, and their respective shapes, will be different colours but the robe and bolts will be the same colour as what is shown here.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

New final concept

This is my new finel concept art for my city and this time I have placed the angle lookeding up inside it. I have also done the colour code to show what parts I am going model.

I know that the night sky looks abit dark but hopfuly I can bight it up when I create the matte painting.

Green = model, Red = matte painting

What If Metropolis? - Orthographs

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Film Review - Black Narcissus

Fig 1. Black Narcissus Poster (1947)

The film Black Narcissus (1947), directed by Michael Powell and Eneric Pressburger and based on the book of the same name by Rumer Godden, can be called something of a dark fairy tale with the themes that it explores and the way that it shows it. The themes are not even shown in a discreet way as they are shown in nearly every scene in several different ways be it the through the sets used or the character’s clothes and actions.

The main focus of Black Narcissus is isolation and that effects that it can have on the mind. The Nuns are not only separated for the local village but also the rest of their convent meaning that they don’t have that many people to turn to when their new home starts to put a strain on their vows. The mounts of the Himalayas start to bring back memories that they have long since forgotten because of their devotion to God. This strange new location, as Thomas Pryor explains, shows that “Religious zeal is dependent on suitable climatic and social surroundings.” (Pryor, 1947) meaning that the Nuns move here is what starts the ball rolling in the chain of events that are to follow.

One thing that is of note is that there are a lot of elements working against each other throughout the film such as the Nun’s home once being the location for the local chief’s women which is evident by the sexual paintings on the walls. However, the battle for dominants that stands out the most are the colours that are shown and they become one of the main driving focus points throughout the film.

Throughout the film the colours blue and red are seen working against one another in a similar way that the Nuns are working against their new home and the thoughts that it is provoking. These two colours themselves are notable for being the opposite of each other with their symbolic meanings, such as red being a warm colour and blue being cold, thus mirroring the different sets of characters in the film’s story.

Fig 2. The fight between red and blue (1947)

Fig 3. Red and blue on Sister Ruth (1947)

The colours can also be seen as an indicator for the character Sister Ruth’s mind set. The Nuns are noted for having a blue sting round their necks that their crosses hang from, this colour chose is well thought out as blue is offend used to symbolises Heaven, so it no surprise to see this colour used round the Nuns in other different ways such as one of the main rooms that most of the story takes place in has its walls coloured blue. However, as shown in figure 3 the use of red round Sister Ruth starts to show her burning passion for the character Mr Dean raising to the surface. It is until the end of the film that the colour takes a complete hold of her as she forgoes her vows and leaves the convent in a red dress and lipstick, the unmistakable symbol of a women fuelled by passion. “As a slash of red lipstick clashes with the bleached white of a nun’s habit to say so much about repressed desires.” (Empire, 2015)

There is even a cultural clash playing out with the colours with the Nuns in their plane white clothes against the villagers in their bright colours. We natural see Nuns in white as it is the colour of purity along with indicating the Nuns’ devotion to their religion whereas with the locals it shows their free-spirited way of living. “He (Powell) depicts the nuns' mountain enclave as an ashen and distant; colourless as the sisterhood's singular devotion to their vocation. The local Indian populace is backdropped with vibrant colour, looking more natural and lively.” (Mirasol, 2010)


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Texture testing

Sand texture

Robe texture

Metal texture

Life Drawing - Day 11

As we didn't have a model this week we looked at stills from different movies draw from them. We mostly looked at 4 still images from The Birds (1963) by Alfred Hitchcock that where taken the final bird attack scene.

One of the stills

Still from Bugsy Malone

Sunday, 4 December 2016

What If Metropolis? - New angle

I've had to rethink the angle that I will be useing for my city as it looked like I was pushing the viewer away and not showing what it is like to be in my city. To get round this I created a mockup of the buildings in Maya and started to move around it to find a better angle, this will also help me eliminate some of the buildings that I need to model if they don't appear in the shot.

To tell the 6 buildings apart I colour coded them, the colours used are not the finel design for each.

The angle I can't use
Out of the four new angles that I was able to create I find that #1 and #3 are working the best as them show the sky clearly, which is something that I want to features, and the monolith in the background.

#2 and #4 are the same view but I moved the camea in abit and placed it on the ground to see if the  angle looked any better if it showed the floor.

Angle #1

Angle #2

Angle #3

Angle #4

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Film Review - Edward Scissorhands

Fig 1. Edward Scissorhands Poster (1990)

Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990) is a personal story that everyone can relate to at some point in their life. Based on Burton’s own struggles as he tried to fit in with his suburban up bringing this story, as described by Derek Malcolm, is a “Dark, oblique fairy tale.” (Malcolm, 1991) It is almost like Burton is holding up a mirror to society and making us see how we treat those who are different from us.

Fig 2. The two designs next to each other (1990)

The two main settings for the film, the castle and the suburb, have very distinct styles that make them juxtaposition one another. The two styles used, German expressionism and 1960s home decor, give the idea that these two worlds should never have met, even at the beginning of the film when we first see Edward’s castle we find our self’s asking - “How long have these two locations lived side by side and not interacted with each other before?”

One thing that stands out with the design of the suburb is that everything is all neat and tidy along with each one of the houses being painted one of four colours. This design set comes from the way products were advertised in the 1960s, a product would be sold in a number of colours for example and people were made to believe that they were being individual by having a different colour to everyone else but in reality they still had the same product. To the viewer we see it as being outdated and a little strange but as production designer Bo Welch puts it “It clearly represents a suburban neighbourhood of a distinct era, but mainly to Edward it’s exotic and beautiful and beyond words.” (Welch, 2015)

But thinking back and viewing this film as a fairy tale we might start to feel that we are not seeing what is truly there. If we take a step back and view the suburb from Edward’s childish mind set then we might just see it as the way that it is portrayed in the film, the same can be said for the way in which the people of the suburb see the castle.

Edward himself can also be seen as a metaphor for the way Burton felt in his surroundings and the castle being the way that he shut himself away in his own creative bubble and thought of the weird worlds that we have come to love today. “He uses his extraordinary gifts to create magical artworks that, he imagines, no one will ever see.” (Maslin, 1990)