Thursday, 31 January 2013

Character Design: Luca Mitchell

Few ideas of how Luca Mitchell, the young chef from the story, might look like. 
I don't know yet, if I want the style to be really cartoonish (though in order to design something cartoonish I need a non-cartoonish version in first place). 

Unfortunately, these designs are not convinving enough and I'm not happy with them. Next approach to Luca Mitchell is definitely needed, though I might work more with numbers: 4,5,7 as they seem the most appealing for me.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Life Drawing - 29.01.2013

One long pose throughout whole classes.
I found it really exciting and amusing as I was able to really draw the model instead of doing it mechanically.

I am trying to find/define my own way of expressing myself through drawings, that's why I am trying to experiment with different techniques and medias. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Toolkit Maya: Intro to Character Animation

1.  Intro to Character Animation:
                                   Squash and Stretch: Jumping

2. Intro to Character Animation:
                                   Anticipation and Follow-through: Can Snatch

3. Intro to Character Animation: 
                                  Walk Cycle

3. Camera Control:
                                   Dolly Rig Shot

4. Camera Control:
                                   Crane Shot

5. Camera Control:
                                   Close Up


                                   Far Camera

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Storytelling and Commission: Rope - Review

In 1948 Alfred Hitchcock directed a thriller movie titled Rope. It is a production based on a play with the same title, by Patrick Hamiltion. 

Alfred Hitchcock was a British director and producer best known for his original and fresh approach to horror and thriller genres. After moving to Hollywood in 1939 Hitchcock founded Transatlantic Pictures and Rope was the first movie to be released under the Transatlantic Pictures' name. 

Based on real-life, the Leopold and Loeb case, the story was made into a play. Hitchcock wanted to keep the theatrical feeling within the movie and that's when his biggest experiment's begun. Canby states that in the quotation:
„Hitchcock was interested in seeing whether he could find a cinematic equivalent to the play, which takes place in the actual length of time of the story” (Canby, 1984)
The whole production looks like it's been directed as one unbroken and continuous act, however the film magazines could only hold eight minutes of film. The director had to find ways to make a transition between every eight minutes of footage. Unfortunately many of these scenes (ex. character standing in front of the camera, covering the whole scene with black colour) only drew unintentional attention to themselves, leading the whole experiment to failure. 

Although Hitchcock's experiment was not fully successful, the production itself remains as a piece of excellent work. McElligott reckons it's due to the story Rope was based on:
„Still, the movie works because of the strength of the source material, adapted to the screen by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents” (McElligott, 2005). Not only did the story work as a play and movie production because of the authenticy of evens, but also because of the main actors excellent performance. Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) kill their friend David Kentley (Dick Hogan) without hesitation, believing they are superior human beings. Their plan begins to fall apart when Phillip starts to feel the guilt for what's been done. The way both actors performed is persuasive and builts the tension. The viewer can almost feel the stress and emotions which built around the trunk with the body hidden inside. This aspect of the movie covers the failure of Hitchcock's experiment. 

Rope might not be Hitchcock's best and the most popular production, however it can easily be enjoyed by the audience due to its plot and visual aspects. Even though Hitchcock's experiment failed, it can also be considered as the movie's unique value and uncommon attribute. 
As Becker states in his review:
„It may not be Hitchcock's most atyistic picture, but Rope is certainly one of his most fascinating” (Becker, 2012), it's hard not to agree with this statement. Rope creates an unique kind of anticipation and consists of an underlying irony.

. Quotes:
* Canby, Vincent (1984) online source:
* McElligott, Paul (2005) online source:
* Becker, David (2012) online source:
2. Stills:
* Poster:
* Still1:
* Still2:

Storytelling and Commission: Influence Maps

Some influence maps for the story:

              1. Old Chef                                                 2. Young Chef
              3. Old Chef's Restaurant                              4. Young Chef's Snack Bar

                                               5. Desert Island

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Toolkit Maya: Camera Control

1. Camera Control:
                                  Custom Camera Rig
It seems to be working correctly, though I messed something up and the elements are not in the places they should be :I Ups...

2. Camera Control: 
 3. Camera Control:
                                   Roll - 180
                                   Roll - 360

                                   Roll - 540

 4. Camera Control:

Storytelling and Commission: OGR Presentation

Life Drawing - 22.01.2013

Many short poses and movement sequences.

 Many interesting poses happened during this class. I really enjoyed this session. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Toolkit Maya: Intro to Character Animation

1. The Bouncing Ball:
                                 On the Spot

2. The Bouncing Ball:
                                 With Travel & Rotation

3. Settle & Rest:

4. Secondary Action & Overlap:
                                  Hanging Chain

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Storytelling and Commission: La Jetee - Review

La Jetee is a science-fiction short film made in 1962 by Chris Marker. It is constructed mainly from black-white photos, though a little amount of live footage has also been used in the production.

Located in the postapocalyptic, postwar Paris, people live underground trying to solve the mystery of time travelling in order to save the world from Third World War which destroyed their times and lives.
Marker's short tells a story of a man (Davos Hanich) who's the subject of scientific experiments; being send to the past he discovers the truth about his memories and what he really saw as a child.

It is not easy to produce an interesting and apllying short movie, though Marker managed to do that. His story is no longer than 28 minutes but it makes the viewer stop for a while and think about what they saw. Only with the use of photography the director succeded in showing strong emotions and convincing feelings. Vallows-Dancy's quotation states it clearly:

Director Chris Marker manages to evoke an atmosphere of sheer sadness and dread, interestingly enough, through the use of little more than still images, which says a lot about his talents as a filmmaker.” (Vallows-Dancy, 2012)

Though 1960s.might be considered as multifarious times of the cinematography, La Jetee stands out with its original plot and all the twists of the story.
Unfortunately, even though
The story packed the biggest punch, the ending a real kicker.” (Black, 1999) is a correct and really convincing statement, in contemporary times La Jetee's script is nothing beyond well known.
XXI century is the time of various topics and sometimes bizzare ideas; it became more difficult to impress the audience. Movie directors race and compete with each other in order to catch the viewers attention. A logical and nitely made series of photos put into a movie is not going to impress people who seek for block-busters and colourful action movies.

Nonetheless, amongs adventure-cinema seekers there are still people who can appreciate and respect the less-popular production of the cinematography, notice their values and praise them. Marker undoubtfully proves that a successful movie doesn't have to be a block-buster with a twisted story and special-effects. The masterpiece of photography and movie editing has been embedded in that 28 minutes long movie.
Battleship Pretension states a very valuable point:
This is, ultimately, what makes a series of stills so effective – they feel alive, but tied to the past, tied to a fate that has already been set.” (Battleship Pretension). Photography has always been considered as a link to the past. Sometimes a very personal connection to events that occurred; Marker couldn't have had used a better way of visualizing a story about time travelling.

Undoubtfuly, Chris Marker's La Jetee is a story with a very up-to-date plot, shown in an old-school way, that influenced many contemporary productions and movie directors.

    * Black, Louis (1999) online source:
    * Battleship pretension, online source:
  2. Stills:

Daily Speedpaint - 18.01.2013

I had to take a brake from stories, chefs and dynamits though the island didn't want to leave my head.

Three things from one rocky mass. 
I need to get used to speedpaint habit again. This surely relaxes me and helps with organizing thoughts. 

Storytelling and Commission: Ideas

Last decision - 
                      first chart is a more finalised and descriptive story that has already been uploaded. 
                      I tried making these two chefs more competitive but it wasn't working for me at all,
                      that's why I decided to stick to the old idea of one of them being honest and happy 
                      and second jealous and furious. 

                      Together with a friend of mine we gave it 'one last shot'. We tried thinking about a 
                      different story with a different kind of conflict. This is what we came up with: 

At first we wanted it to be a whole battle between the chef and the fish but connecting it to the dynamite and desert island seemed harder than we thought. 
When we had ideas for the island and the chef, dynamite wasn't logically connected in any way. When the dynamite and the chef seemed to work - the island was more like an obstacle. 

Any suggestions, ideas? 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Toolkit Animation: Flour Sack

Animation classes practise:

As soon as my camera starts working I might upload few sketches and keyframes.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Life Drawing - 15.01.2013

Few quick, warm up sketches in the beggining and longer poses. We were supposed to depict certain emotions, though I doubt I managed to. Still - a very good practise!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Storytelling and Commission: Plot Ideas

First general ideas for the story of the chef, the dynamite stick and the desert island.
I've already asked few friends about their opinions.

It would really like to know what you think, guys.
Any feedback would be appreciated :)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

'Like-for-Like' Storyboard - Treasure Planet

For this exercise I decided to use Disney's Treasure Planet movie. At first I wanted to do it traditionally on paper, using a pencil but due to lack of scaner this idea failed and eventually I ended up doing it fully in Photoshop.

I am not hiding that in most of them I used screen-shoots from the movie as I found it too time-consuming to look at the screen and switch to Photoshop trying to remember how the scene looked like.

Anyway, I'd very much appreaciate any feedback as I am not sure if it's not too many panels for 30 seconds of animation. I feel like it's a good amount as the action is understandable and clear.

And here is the part of the movie:

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Toolkit Maya: Interior Lighting

1. Whimsy Kitchen:

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Toolkit Maya: Exterior Lighting

1. Whimsy House:
                             Mid Day

2. Whimsy House:

3. Whimsy House:

4. Whimsy House: