18 Dec 2009

Snow and tonsillitis

Hey All.
Just a reminder if you missed it. Phil has posted saying the campus is closed. I had a feeling to be honest. But it wouldn't have mattered to me anyway as I have been off all week with a light case of tonsillitis. I thought if you got it you had to have your throat ripped out but thats only severe cases. How was I to know? I've never had it before. But its still a killer. Trust me.
And I can't go play in the snow like a 5 year old because I'm to mentally and Physically exhausted because of my stupid throat.

I'll post closer to the time but 'Merry Christmas!!!'

14 Dec 2009

Development Process

Here are some sketchs I have made quickly and some quick maya doings. I tested out some lights but I'll go into depth with it over christmas. There mainly thumbnail sketchs I have done to put my current idea to paper. More to come and I plan to start officialy (concept art, Maya Modeling) at the weekend.

13 Dec 2009

Dawn of a New Blog V3...

Third time lucky right?
Whats your opinion?

Dawn of a New Blog V2

I changed to blog again.
I think this time the simpler approach works. The gadgets down the side and the search bar allows people to search my blog so my work can be found. Opinions on this one people?
Keep telling me because I want to get this right...

Dawn of a New Blog...

I have been trying over the weekend to find a new look for my blog because I was bored of the default ones that they provide.
So what do you think?
Should it stay or should it go now?

Research: Spontaneous Human Combustion - Dr John Irving Bently

Phil pointed me in the direction of this image when I mentioned my ideas in the blog earlier.

This is an incredibly eerie photo. When I saw it I didn't know what to make of it.
Is that a leg?
Why is there a walking frame?
Its not safe to have a hole in the bathroom.

That is until you see the title. This normal man died in a second due to something no one could se coming:
Instantaneous Human Combustion.
If you Don't know:
Spontaneous human combustion (SHC) is a name used to describe cases of the burning of a living human body without an apparent external source of ignition. There is speculation and controversy regarding SHC - some regard it as a unique and currently unexplained phenomenon, while others feel that cases described as SHC can be understood using current generally-accepted scientific principles. There have been about 200 cited cases worldwide over a period of around 300 years; however, most of the alleged cases are characterised by the lack of a thorough investigation, or rely heavily on hearsay and oral testimony. In many of the more recent cases, where photographic evidence is available, it is alleged that there was an external source of heat present (often cigarettes), and nothing occurred "spontaneously."
hanks Wikipedia)

This image refers to the uncanny because when you see it, you are unsure what to make of it. How did it happen? What has happened? Why is there a leg and walking frame? When you find out that it is indeed Human Combustion, the dread and un easyness of it plays on you. This man was living his life. In his bathroom. His nice, safe Bathroom. Thinking what he is gonna have for dinner. Then Bang. Dead. That split second change in a safe enviroment causes death when there was no threat of any. Thats the feeling I want to portray.
Has death just occured? Or is it about to?

Research: Disneys A Christmas Carol 3D

First of I'll do a little review of it just to get going:

3D: The last time I saw 3D, it was with those those crap paper glasses that turned the world red and green. Oh not to mention the crippling headaches with prolonged exposure to the blurry screen. So when I sat down and saw the 'Avatar' Trailer and 'Alice in Wonderland' (Tim Burton and Johnny Depp??? NEVER!!) and they were in 3D, I was skeptical. I thought some effects were good but they didn't pull you in like they were meant to. Plus it was a bit fuzzy. Until the film started...
When I had a epitomy.
3D isn't for immersion, Not really. Nor is it for cheap tricks like throwing something through the screen. Its for depth. The way your brain percieves depth is all there. We know who is meant to be closer and who is in the background, but 3D gives it an extra layer. Its hard to explain but I was very skeptical at first, but after seeing this I want more films in 3D. I just wish there was a way they could incoporate it into the cinema instead of wearing glasses. I guess I'll go see 'Avatar' in 3D now...
For double the price, mind.

The Film it self? It was a barebones retelling of the classic tale. But I must remind people that just because Jim Carry is in it, doesn't make it a comedy. And it's not. And it shouldn't. This is a feel good film, right next to christmas and thats exactly what it should be. The acting was good. Carry plays Scrooge and the ghosts (Even Ghost of Christmas Future? But he doesn't talk?) and fits them all well. You can't tell Carry plays them as there so different. One thing that did baffle me. Gary Oldman plays Tiny Tim? Mmmmmmm OK?
But theres a feeling of 'cutting corners' here. The story was trimmed down for the tech I feel. Its as if this was just a demo for 3D and the animation in general. It was a show case... but a bloody succesful one.

Now for the relevance:
'The Polar Express' was an example of the 'Uncanny Vally'. I personally have never seen it so can't comment on the film but I know why its infamous. There were traces of it in this film though. But it kept mainly to the background. All the characters the camera was focused on had a soul. They seemed real, or a fantasy version of real. The background still had the issue though. People in the distance looked real, until they came closer when they looked forced. It was strange none the less but at least this time it was confined to the background.

And its here that I see the connections. The Uncanny is something that is real, it should be real, but isn't. It plays with the mind and makes you think about everything else. It has a chain effect.

11 Dec 2009

A whole load of References

Some references I have collected to help get my head around the 'Child's Room' Scene I am creating:

This applies to Textures, modeling references and general scene references.

10 Dec 2009

The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is where an image is divided in a 3x3 grid. The important part of the rule is that the important parts of the scene follow the lines and intersections as opposed to being inside the lines.

This is a basic example. The horizon runs on the bottom line and the tree on the island runs up the line on the right. The sun also runs along a line. Because the tree intersects with the lines it makes it a 'power point' (No, not a PowerPoint).

The Dark Knight:

In the first image I have sectioned it shows how the lines contain what the main focus can be. The Joker is encased in the lines, smack in the center of the screen. I think this scene is very vertical in the bars. I have also noticed that the bottom line goes across his arms while the top line goes across his forehead.


This image is similar as it doesn't have a power point. The screen is divided between the three characters and it shows in the lines and intersections. Peter has the left most of the screen, Egon has the middle (more specifically the center box) and Ray the right most. Twice in this scene the lines intersect the bodies of the characters. The two vertical lines are between the arms and bodies of Ray and Peter. The elbow joints are also very close to the intersections.

Put ideas to paper... or keyboard

Quick recap of whats been going through my head before I start developing them with sketch's and research. 3 of the 5 following ideas are irrelevant as they don't hold the sacred contradiction... HUMANS. Damn them people we must endure.

Idea 1:
Hotel room death:
The hotel rooms that we saw in the lectures inspired me to create a moment in time focused around this room. I also feel that the suicide image had a strong impact on everyone and wanted to capture that from the inside. I would have a man running over the furniture to get to the window and a women sitting in shock. A child is falling past the window. The man is trying to grab the child. The room is perfect except for the wake of the man.

Idea 2:
A child's bedroom with the wardrobe open and darkness coming out out of it. The room is torn asunder like someone has struggled against the pull of the black.

Idea 3:
First person perspective for this one (COD style). 'You' look up from an empty grave that is gradually being filled up. A man is filling the hole in with a shovel. 'Your' hand is reaching up in a desperate plea to stop.

Idea 4:
An 'empty' room except for destroyed furniture and in the middle of the room is a solitary chair with a teddy bear sitting atop it. The wallpaper is ripped and burnt with furniture cleaved in two. The teddy bears eyes are just off center as they look past the camera. The bear and chair are immaculate. The window at the side of the room shows a perfect suburb neighborhood.

Idea 5:
A funeral scene but with no people. The coffin is thrown aside and is open. The area around the grave is destroyed (like the room). Its placed on a hill over looking a sleepy little settlement.

There's my original five. What do you think has the most potential? answers on a postcode. Or in the comments. Your choice...

9 Dec 2009

Maya Texture scene

Shiver me Timbers!!!


The Stepford Wives

This was a weird mix of a film. It had that combination of satirical, day time soap, and then thriller/horror. But lets get in depth

The film starts with a family from New York moving to the idyllic town of Stepford (DUM DUM DUMMM!!!!). It seems the perfect family, 2 children, parents love each other, the mother trying to break into a profession and the father already in an accomplished one. And of course the main character, Fred the dog.

All seems well in the community. The father, Walter, meets the men of the community and joins there association and the mother, Joanna, meets (Crazy) Bobbie.

The End.

OF COURSE NOT! But this is the day time soap part. Now we start to get clues to the behind the scenes. Women being perfect and not remembering significant things (Such as Van Sant not remembering the car crash). But why? We seen the Men's group meeting at the Eberharts house, allowing the men to sketch Joanna (kinda weird if you didn't know the reasoning behind it. EVIL reasoning). Other rudimentary tasks include reading a list of words. What could go wrong? Well then stuff does.

The party scene is when we first get to see 'robotic' nature of the wives. When Van Sant accidentally has alcohol she begins repeating herself constantly. Reminds me of a robot short circuiting. I wonder why? Can't be anything.

And its from here the movie changes. The audience know for a fact something is not right, but what? It leaves the suspense in the air creating a sort of tense atmosphere. Your willing Joanna and Bobbie to discover whats happening, because we are just as intrigued. That is until we start wanting Joanna to find out. Why Joanna only? Bobbie changes and this hits the audience the hardest of all the women changes. We have seen Bobbie and learnt her personality throughout the movie. We have become endeared to her but then the change is sudden.

Now the movie is firmly in the thriller/horror genre. We even see Joanna stab Bobbie which differs from the norm causing Bobbie Bot to go crazy and repeat herself. This leads to a climax at the end inside the Men's Association house with the mastermind Diz. The man from Disney. How could they???? From this scene we get this rather unsettling image:

The emptiness just dazzles me. I think it the slight smile that adds the creep factor. And the biggest twist? One of the rare occasions... there is no happy ending. The wives die. Done. The Men are happy. Done. The supermarket has a lot more business. Done. The Dog lives. YAY.

One thing that bugged me. What actually happens to the men? Walter was clearly a man that loved his wife, then he agrees to murder his wife just because some men say so. Would you not fight for your wife? Would you sacrifice who she is just so she has bigger breasts?

In this film the men Believe:

Personality and Love < Boobs.
Maybe to immature youths but not in the real world.

All in all: It was an enjoyable film. The acting the good, the story unique and the setting suiting it perfectly. Somethings confused me, like the men's disregard for there wives but it was enjoyable.

On an ending note: It must have been really cold on set (Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge).

6 Dec 2009

Camera Rig

Thats the Camera Rigged!


4 Dec 2009

Whats that coming over the hill... IDEAS!!!

This week it started early. Usually I try to focus on the lectures in the first week and on the second begin compiling ideas together. But I have allready got 4-5 ideas running through my head. The problem is that about 3 of them are the contradictry variety. Yep... the three have humans. During the very first lecture, I was compiling ideas but it wasn't till the end when Phil said about it, I realised all the ideas were useless. But I was able to come up with some more. I'll write them up later as well as the ones I can't do to show the basis of the ideas I have.

2 Dec 2009

Invaders from Mars

Where do I start with this? Lets get some background down.
Released in 1953 by Twentieth century Fox and directed by William Cameron Menzies, Invaders from Mars was released before Invasion of the BodySnatchers, and to be honest it shows.

Above: Is it just me or does this poster ruin the movie? The best part of the movie was the suspense of what the creatures are (never mind it was a huge disappointment). The point was it was a threat that we didn't know.

The story follows David MacLean (now known as the 'GeeWhiz Kid') as he tries to warn people about the impending alien attack. Only when two people listen to the random rambling of a child do they enlist the aid of the Pentagon. To me the story was just silly. Hell, 'Independence day' seems like a novel compared to this (I LOVE INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!). Aliens come and the same 3 tanks kill them. The end. But I digress. This film was released at the beginning of the 50s and for the first part it had the suspense and creepiness down. Then when it wanted to be a Sci-fi film and go all military it failed. I fail to believe that the US military would an army (three tanks) to some back water town on the whim of a child and a doctor. But the Sci-fi:

You can't see it here but this little guy is in a fishbowl. Yes, the ultimate threat to mankind as we know it and nemesis the the US army... is a mutant goldfish. Ooooooh scary.

Once again, keeping this guy hidden would have added so much to the film. But know for my biggest problem: Repetition

But Know for my biggest problem: Repetition.

I have seen some shows and films that reuse the odd scene but there so slight and disguised you don't recognise. But this film seemed proud of it! There is only so much a person can sit and watch the same soldiers and Pyjama guys running in the SAME hall. I understand budget constraints but others have to deal with that and they succeed.

But on a serious note: this had strong underlining references to 'the commies'. America was creating a super rocket to 'protect' themselves (yeah right). The aliens where here to sabotage it. Like the thought of the Reds sabotaging American weapons. Speaking of red is it a coincidence that Mars is the 'Red Planet'? I think not.

All in all I enjoyed 'Bodysnatcher' a hell of a lot more. This movie seemed silly, illogical and mundane. I won't criticize the 'dream' ending because it was new then but Wikipedia says the dream ending was removed from the British release. However it's wikipedia and they have no sources.

On an ending note:

David really hates goldfish. There's no need to attack them.