Tuesday, 25 December 2012

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #5

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #4: A Coral Reef Christmas
It doesn't really look like Christmas (though there's a christmas tree reef in the background!) but was really fun to do:

Friday, 21 December 2012

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #4

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #4: When Good Toys Turn Bad
I'd like to develop this idea in free time. There are so many toys that could turn crazy and mad. Great theme for today's speed paint challenge!

2. This one is not really related to the challenge's theme. I was planning on using it as a background for all crazy toys but ran out of time and left it unfinished. Still, I decided to upload it. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #3

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #3: The Gingerbread Palace in the City of Sweets

I wanted to start this one with the lineart instead of blocking out the base and shapes, but after few long minutes I realized it lost the "speed paint" value. 


CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #2

Sorry, late again!
Go away Rise of the Guardians, my head needs new ideas :I

This is the carrot land. A perfect place for all snowmen! 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

CGAA Speed Paint Challenge #1

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to reach deadlines with these as I'm spending all days away from home and computer, nonetheless I'm going to upload them anyway.
Here is my day one practise - A Christmas Tree Jungle

Confused Santa is confused.
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's theme :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Daily Speedpaint

Today's speedpaint practise and pieces I haven't uploaded before for certain reasons.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Secret Lairs: Final Crit Presentation

Queen's Lair: Built up and Final Set

Queen's lair has been completed. Here's a Maya built up process:
1. UV and Texture maps: 

2. Wireframe model:

 3. Untextured model:

 4. Lighting tests:
                          quite many here, though I'm not going to upload all of them. I've been struggling with
                          the light as it looked different on different screens I didn't know which one I should

5. Rendering passes:
                                Ambient Occlusion 


6. Close up:
                   details I'm really happy with

7. Final render:
                        with few things changed in Photoshop this is how the final set looks like

Secret Lairs: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - Review

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover is a movie made in 1989, both written and directed by Peter Greenaway. It represents a romantic drama genre and tells a story of people who have been involved into dramatic events taking place in the luxurious restaurant called Le Hollandais

 From the very first minutes of screening the movie impresses with its colour scheme and theatrical form. The camera moves slowly in horizontal direction, introducing the audience to complex and overwhelming sets, each maintaining in one specific palette. Goldsmith precisely sums it up in his quotation: 'Together, sets and costumes establish a fascinatingly mobile color scheme' (Goldsmith, 2010), moreover costumes change their shades every time the characters move from one location to another. 
 The main events take place in four spaces with each of them representing different colour: the car park is colour blue, the kitchen - green, the main room - red and the bathroom - white. There are many different theories about the meaning and reasons of the use of these specific colours; blue is meant to represent the chaos of the backdoor yard, the gloom of night and danger when alone in the darkness, green represents the wildness and noisiness of the kitchen, almost like in the jungle, red is the colour of passion, luxury and lust and finally white remains neutral, innocent and sterile, just like the first meeting of the wife and the lover. The colour palette and richly symbolic details also represent the 17th century Dutch painting and refer to it by the name of the restaurant and The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company (Frans Hals) that hangs over the dining room. 
If one states The Cook, the Thief...is only about food, rich people's love life and affairs, they might as well reconsider watching it again with different attitude and expectation. Greenaway wanted to achieve much more than just visual pleasure. In his production he hid symbols and as Ebert states: 'It is a film that uses the most basic strengths and weaknesses of the human body as a way of giving physical form to the corruption of the human soul' (Ebert, 1999), there's more to the plot that one might see when watching the movie for the first time. The opression of the artist under capitalism concernes Greenaway, and both the cook and the librarian represent creative people, suffering and being humiliated by the moneyed class represented by the thief. There's also the topic of women living in modern society, being sexualy abused and perceived as weaklings bound up with men. 

 In its theatrical form The Cook, the Thief...might not be considered as a plausible production but it is the truth that: 'Striking costumes by Jean-Paul Gautier and a haunting musical score by Michael Nyman augment the film's purposefully artificial execution' (Smithey, 2011). When the wife and the librarian begin their affair, they say no words. The situation seems innocent and abstract, indulgent even, the tension is growing but the viewer is starting to understand the emotions just by observing the actions. At some point the librarian tells a story of him loosing interest in the movie he watched, when two main characters started having conversations. It might have been Greenaway's well-planned action or simply the power of autosuggestion, that at this exact point the whole story starts transforming into a drama movie about many people's life issues. It no loger looks like theatrical play with no meaning or psychical values for an ordinary viewer. It's a production about problems that may affect every human being. 

Greenaway's The Cook, the Thie, His Wife and Her Lover is certainly a movie worth seeing and if not for it's esthetical and visual values, than for the story itself. It's convincing and well-planned, with amazing work from the actors and the whole movie crew itself. 

* Goldsmith, Leo (2010) online source: http://notcoming.com/reviews/cookthiefwifelover 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Life Drawing - 11.12.2012

 Walking cycle:

 My new favourite colours:

This was the last life drawing session in Term 1 and year 2012.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Secret Lairs: The Shining - Review

The Shining is a movie produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980 and represents the psychological horror genre. The plot is based on Stephen Kings's novel of the same title.
Because of the many differences between the original story and Kubrick's movie first reviews and reception were negative, thought The Shining has grown into an iconic movie and became well appreciated many years after its first screening.

If one's expecting The Shining to be a typical horror movie they might as well postpone and reconsider watching it. The unique thing about that production is that througout the whole screening the viewer is expecting terrifying things to happen but they not always come. It is more about the mental madness that drives the people, and in this story Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is a living evidence how loneliness and unfulfilled ambitions can change a person into a psychopath. Ebert states it precisely in his review: "The movie is not about ghosts but about madness and the energies it sets loose in an isolated situation primed to magnify them" (Ebert, 2006)

Althought the madness might appear as a horrifying topic itself, The Shining presents the audience with something more. It's not only the brain that  mocks and leads the people to the the insanity they experience, it is also the building they are taking care of. The Overlook Hotel looks like a safe place, a shelter hidden in the rocky valley but the truth hidden behind its walls reveals itself little by little, mixing present times with the history.

"This hotel this movie takes place in looks and feels so immense, and it is a major character in this movie" (Kenber, 2007)

Everything inside the hotel looks dangerously perfect. Every part of furniture has its own place in the spacious interior, every small detail is there because of a reason and it is not a surprise that the viewer has a constant feeling of 'mysterious beings' hiding behind every corner and every door. The size of the surrounding is oppressive; it makes the people look puny and defenseless. The scene of Danny playing on the floor is a good example of how the hotel surrounds the people not only visually but also psychically. Nonetheless, there's more to the tension of The Shining than just the location and the three main characters becoming less and less sane.

The movie creates a heavy tension with the perfect use of music. At first the soundtrack might seem a little disturbing but as the plot goes on the viewer might find themselves fully soaked into the sound effects, which literally lead the eyes and mind into the corner of expectation of something terrifying. With the constant presence of the music, unfulfilled esperance becomes an itchy thought which makes the audience suspect and wait for the scary bits even more. As Bobafett states:  "Its slow build up ensures that the movie has a constant feeling of tension and danger looming over it" (Bobafett), and after the whole screening one's mind might feel exhausted.

Kubrick's The Shining has earned the fame throughout many years. With every screening one might expeerience different feelings, though fear and anticipation are always present.

*Ebert, Roger (2006), online source: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060618/REVIEWS08/606180302/1023
*Kenber, Ben (2007), online source: http://voices.yahoo.com/stanley-kubricks-shining-642290.html?cat=40
*Bobafett, online source: http://bobafett1138.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/shining-1980-directed-by-stanley.html

2. Stills:
*Poster: http://pineapples101.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/shining-high-resolution-pictures.html
*Still1: http://semajblogeater.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/the-shining-shone-whisper.html
*Still2: http://entertainment.ie/cinema/news/A-Prequel-to-The-Shining-is-now-in-the-works/132826.htm

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Secret Lairs: Submission Disc Artwork

Unit 2: Secret Lairs submission disc artwork. 

Secret Lairs: Repulsion - Review

Roman Polański's movie Repulsion was made in 1965 and is a British production which represents a psychological horror genre.
Polański is a Polish-French director who was born in Paris but returned to Poland in 1937. His first movie made in his native country was  Knife in the Water (1962). Repulsion is his second movie made outside Poland, though the first one in Polański's carieed made in English language.
Repulsion tells a story of a girl named Carol (Catherine Deneuve) who suffers of an aversion towards men, and when her sister Helen (Yvonne Furneaux) leaves for holiday, Carol's affliction becomes unstoppable.
Despite the fact that Repulsion is a black and white movie, it's visually stunning and satysfiyng. Behind the camera was Gilbert Taylor, a man who has worked with everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Stanley Kubrick to George Lucas. Smalley's quotation states the undeniable truth about how Polański created and planned the whole set and camera shots: "...Carole is left alone in the creaky, haunted apartment, our focus suddenly shifts from looking at Carole to seeing the world through her eyes." (Smalley, 2008); The viewer is introduced to Carol's insanity by her environment, not by her person, though certain behaviours in the beginning of the movie give a hint of possible mental disease Carol suffers from.  As her madness progresses the surroundings begin to change. Everything has its meaning; cracks in the walls are not accidential; the rooms becoming bigger might mean Carol's mind drifting away from the state of mental sanity. The image of a terryfying corridor in which Carol is being harassed by dead-alike hands sticking out of the walls became iconic. One would expect her to be truly terrified, though with every following event Carol seems to accept her fate and treats it as a normal state. The scene in which she uses a lipstick might be a key to realizing that she lost the fight for her mind and decided to silently welcome the madness.
Beside the horrifying images comes the music by Chico Hamilton. This is a mixture of typical horror sounds and disturbing silence, which pierce the audience's brains with its announcement of upcoming mental terror. The use and timing of completely muted scenes can be called a true masterpiece for the sound is exactly where it needs to be, building the tension and not letting the viewer rest even for a moment. This statement is consistent with Scheib's words: " Sound effects are used particularly well throughout" (Scheib, 2012); The lack of sound effects is even more terrifying as the viewer might not expect anything to happen because the music is not telling them to. The most dramatic scene of Carol being attacked by her tormentor happens in complete silence, acoompanied only by the sound of ticking clock. That's probably one of the reason why Repulsion has been called the true and convincing horror story, because just like in real life, no background music assists people during their lives.
A movie can be considered as a masterpiece when the viewer can watch it many times and remain surprised and interested. Repulsion is this kind of movie which uncovers more emotions and detail every time it's beeing watched. No matter how many times one sees Polański's movie, it always introduces the audience to different asspects of its significance, uncovering small details separately, giving different ideas of their meaning.  As Beckett states in the quotation: "Repulsion is a film that is absolutely startling on first viewing, but improves every time you watch it as you can try and distance yourself from the plot and concentrate on the direction and camerawork, so it is a film that works on different levels. " (Beckett), making the audience think and feel like the main character.
It is undoubtful that Polański's Repulsion is a work of a genius, and despite the shocking events of the director's personal life, he remains the iconic creator of the cinematic images, giving new generations inspiration and legacy filled with valuable and unique attributes.

* Smalley, G. (2008) online source: http://366weirdmovies.com/repulsion-1965/
* Scheib, Richard (2012) online source: http://0to5stars-moria.ca/horror/repulsion-1965.htm
* Beckett, David; online source: http://www.film365.co.uk/reviews/blu-ray/repulsion.html
2. Stills:
* Poster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repulsion
* Still1: http://popcultureandfeelings.com/2010/12/my-complicated-feelings-about-roman-polanski/
* Still2: http://tinribs27.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/filling-the-gaps-2-repulsion-1965/

Friday, 7 December 2012

Photoshop: Character Silhouettes

Another exercise from Photoshop classes - character silhouettes. Another bunch of Venusian Queen's happy poses (I really wanted her to be a villain! I failed badly. Oh well...)

Photoshop: Textures and Speedpaint

Today's photoshop classes; we were using different photos and texture pictures as a base of our drawings. I found it really inspiring and fun and I want to keep exercising this technique. 

More developed drawings: