Saturday, 31 October 2015

Thumbnails 11-15 | Photoshop | What If

 After creating the silhouettes for the shoes from Iris Van Herpen's collections, I thought that I should do the same thing, this time using some of the other pieces. I chose these for the unusual shapes that they have and the textures within the pieces. The unique shapes will add a lot of depth and perspective to my work and I can't wait to try creating some buildings with them.

Thumbnails 8-10 | Buildings | Photoshop | What If

Using some of the silhouettes from the shoes, I've started coming up with some basic house concepts. From more stately pieces such as the manor house, expressing riches and power, to what could be a standard cabin and a cathedral for worship, I think these are a great start to the new project.

Thumbnails 1 - 7 | Photoshop | What If

To help with creation of buildings for my city, I've started taking some of Iris Van Herpen's pieces and using them as silhouettes. These are the shoes that I have used. They definitely make for some interesting shapes like this. I can't wait to start experimenting with them and creating some shapes of my own.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Morphing Animation | Animation | Flash | Video

In animation we were given the task of creating a self-portrait which could be morphed into a food of our choice and then into an animal of our choice. I chose a burger and an otter. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Artist Research | Iris Van Herpen | Research | What If

The artist I got for the new project was Iris Van Herpen, a fashion designer. To start this project off, I've been looking into some of her clothes and her more recent collections, including the 3D printed pieces that even Lady Gaga has been wearing. Interesting and very strong in shape and texture, its definitely a great starting point for the new project.

Halloween Special | Life Drawing

The halloween special for life drawing was Day of the Dead. It was great fun and was definitely a challenge. I think my 20second drawings turned out the best, getting the body shape and character lines clearer with each try.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Mini Project | Photoshop

Before starting our new project, we were told to pick one object and one animal from a box at random. My starting points were elephant and doorway/gate. Our job was to research them and combine them in one way or another.

For my research I sketched some silhouettes of the elephants ears, tusks and trunk; some leaves from the acacia tree and parts of brickwork and a doorway. After this I sketched out two very different doorways. I'm really proud of my drawings in this task and feel that I have improved a lot.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

One, Two & Three Point Lighting | Tutorial | Screenshot | Maya

These are the screenshots from the one, two and three point lighting Maya tutorial. This tutorial was easy and straight forward. I already have knowledge on lighting from working in theatres and I think this helped me in the tutorial.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Final Low Exterior Shot | Gif | Photoshop | Invisible Cities

Final Interior Shot | Gif | Photoshop | Invisible Cities

FEEDBACK PLEASE | Final Low Angle Exterior | Invisible Cities | Photoshop | WIP |

This is the low angle exterior shot for my city - Anastasia. The concept behind this shot, is that we are in the poor side to the city. This is where the miners live, behind and in the main city wall with the mines behind this viewpoint.

I think I've done really well so far but I'm starting to stall on the finishing touches. If anyone has any feedback on the piece so far or what to add, that would be lovely!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Colour Comps of Anastasia's Landscape | Expanding Ideas | Photoshop | Invisible Cities

When I realised that Anastasia would be very mountainous and hilly due to its mining aspect, I decided to do a few colour compositions of a basic background. This allowed me to try different colours, and blending options for each version.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Gemstone Information | Research | Invisible Cities

This collage shows information on the gem stones that can be mined in the city. It is for colour reference and gives a bit of a background into what some of them could be used in.

Jewellery and Gold Rush Towns | Reference | Influence | Invisible Cities

Drawings of a Gold Rush town style setting. Could be used as part of the miners side to the city for Anastasia.
Looking into all of the gem stones that can be mined in the city it was clear that the jewellery would be statement pieces. I designed a few pieces that might be for sale on the market
This was one of my original ideas for the miners side of the city. The houses are built into the walls of the city and some of the managers live in gold rush style houses outing out of the walls.

These are 3 scans of pages out of my sketchbook. These pencil drawings of some of my initial ideas of the city after my feedback from Phil.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

1, 2 & 3 Point Perspectives | Photoshop

These are 1, 2 and 3 point perspective exercises. Created in Photoshop to help us start drawing our cities in the correct way with vanishing points etc.

Wears and Finery | Influences | Reference | Invisible Cities

Phil linked me to a few wears made from the goods that the miners dig up, so I decided to research further into what jewellery and finery might be on sale in the heart of the city.

The imagery goes as follows:

  • Onyx (including snowflake obsidian)
  • Agate (mineral form, slices and jewellery)
  • Chrysoprase (mineral form, jewellery and tumble stones)
  • Chalcedony (druzy, jewellery and mineral)
Just from looking at these you can immediately tell that they could sell for a high price to the rich and travellers. 

Do the workers sell the minerals to tradesmen who produce the finery before sales men  buy them and increasing the price tenfold? Or do the workers give the minerals to their wives who refine it down before selling it on to tradesmen who produce the jewellery? These are questions that I will have to answer before drafting my city out. 

Gold Rush Towns | Influences | Reference | Invisible Cities

In the feedback, Phil told me to look into 'gold rush towns'. I have collected these 6 photos for help with composition, reference and for use in the thumbnails and photoshop work.

I think they are great, clear examples of the rush that the buildings were constructed with. They were needed for a reason and most of the buildings were built for just one service - to house or entertain the workers.

Although I have imagined Anastasia to be made out of the rock that has been mined, it could prove useful with a 'haphazard' feel to the workers portion of the city.

Million Ways to Die in the West | Influences | Reference | Invisible Cities

Exterior Imagery from the film

Interior imagery from the film and character reference (spilt between rich and poor)
In my notes, I said that Anastasia reminded me of the film a Million Ways to Die in the West.
 This is because the town that it is set in is very similar to what a gold rush town would look like. It is a great reference for the colour palette, squalor, definition between rich and poor, but also the difference of hierarchy and how the rich treat the poor.

Notes on Anastasia | Expanding Ideas | Notes | Invisible Cities

Since my feedback from the OGR, I have been expanding on ideas for Anastasia and brainstorming places, items and films that I could look at for inspiration and reference. These are the notes that I have made and will relate to my next few posts. These will help me create inspiration maps or photo collages to help me move forward with this project and help me expand the city ready for work on the final images.

Logo Design | Illustrator

On Friday we learnt some basic skills in Adobe Illustrator. This was used for experimenting with branding for our work. We learnt how to create a banner, duplicate on a pivot point, how to merge objects together and trim away excess.

I think that the pieces that I created in class are a great starting point for a logo but they need refining before use. They are mainly mired pieces, which is a great quality but I need to work on what colours combine together well and what shapes are needed to create a logo with depth and meaning.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Birthday Cake! | Screenshots | Maya

It's my birthday! People normally have cake to celebrate but being a student = lack of money, so I made a 3D cake for myself instead. At least I won't get the calories from it!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Texturing Part 2: UV Layout | Tutorial | Complete | Screenshots | Maya

I struggled a lot with this tutorial, not due to the video itself but due to Maya randomly deciding to start using soft selection for no reason which made it look like lava (see below)

After a bit of help from Charlie, I managed to turn this feature off before starting. I found it a very easy process and can see how it would be helpful in the future but I think I would also need a paper version to work with so I could understand the direction in which the detail would need to go.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Influences | OGR Feedback | Invisible Cities

After many problems with the internet and finally being able to read Phil's feedback on my OGR, I'm really happy to proceed with Anastasia as my city. To do this, I'm taking Phil's advice and creating a photo bank and a selection of ideas to help me move forward with with my thumbnails. These are the photos that Phil kindly linked me to, so I have created a collage for easy reference to them.

Already I'm starting to get the vibe of a town spilt radically in class. It grew very quickly due to the profitable goods dug up like the onyx and agate like a Gold Rush town would have. Theses images reminded me of the films A Million Ways to Die in the West and Aladdin due to the city's layouts, traders and clear spilt in the class.

I think I will create a few more collages of imagery or influence maps to help me before I start on some more thumbnails or refining the ones I have already. Some of these will definitely help me with my finals pieces that I will be creating, especially with the exterior shot.

Friday, 9 October 2015

1st Drawings | 7/10/2015 | Lesson 1 | Life Drawing

Wednesday was our first life drawing lesson. We had to sketch out the installation in front of us in any media we wanted too. For my first sketch I chose a graphite pencil and combined 3 different levels to give an abstract feel. For my second piece, I used white and yellow chalk and focused on one part of the installation in front of me. I made one part of the structure into a teepee.

For my first lesson, I think I did well and I look forward to the lessons in the future! 

Online Green light Review | Invisible Cities

To see any other my other work including my Maya work and Photoshop, please press the tabs above :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Texturing Part 1: Common Shaders | Tutorial | Complete | Screenshots | Maya

This is the work from Monday's lesson. Unfortunately there were several problems with the computer I was working on which resulted in it crashing several times, so instead, I took notes and have done it this evening with some help from the online tutorial.

It was great to learn how to render objects in this way, as I think they could come in very handy in the future. I think they all went very well, although I think the gold render does need tweaking as it looks slightly to orange.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Metropolis | 1927 | Film Review

Fig. 1 Movie Poster for the film

This 1927 film, Metropolis by Dir. Fritz Lang, is a film way ahead of its time. Set in a futuristic world where the rich still overpower the poor; the film follows a young man, Freder, the son of the director, as he makes his extraordinary journey from his life of luxury and following his heart to the depths of the earth, reaching the thudding heart of the machines that run the city, before making his extraordinary return in a stunning finale.

The film follows the story of Freder and his realisation of the corruption behind his beloved Metropolis before having a moment of clarity and helping to bridge the gap between Jon, his father and overseer of Metropolis and the workers below, who slave away pouring their life force into the machines so that the city above may still thrive. We, as an audience are constantly told through out the film that there must be a “mediator between head and hand” for there to be true peace in Metropolis but without this, the city is doomed to fail. This is because many workers are dying while slaving away for the greater good of the rich above them. It’s almost as if they are being used as a blood sacrifice to the machines. This could be backed up by Freder’s exclamation of the word “Moloch!” and the imagery that is used to depict the machine as a sphinx like creature that appears to feed upon the workers or sacrifices offered to him with churning machinery in his mouth to help devour the unfortunate.

Fig 2 - the machine or Moloch?

"There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit and filled with fire." (Diodorus Siculus (20.14) )

The beating heart of the city is that of a machine. Without the machines and the workers to enable its crude workings, the metropolis above begins to fall apart. With no pulse, the city will fail. To create and sustain life, you need life in return. We see this when the workers begin to revolt under Evil Maria's influence and when the rich begin to fight for her attention in Yoshiwara before filling out into the streets as the power is lost. They begin to lose sense of direction and purpose.

The choreography of the workers is so mechanical and precise, one might begin to wonder if they are the mechanism exposed or if the workers themselves are the heart with their constant pulse with machinery as veins, providing blood (power) to the city above. The movements they possess in a metronomic like trance, makes these lowly workers seem soulless. They are one with the machine. The life force behind the beast, powering the machine which in turn powers the city. They tick in time to the beat of its heart, pushing themselves to the limit for the cities greater good.

Fig 3 - The workers on the changing of shifts

 The architecture the film displays, is quite intriguing. There seems to be a clear split in appearance of each ‘world’ of the Metropolis. The audience could compare the main metropolis to Mount Olympus. They live in riches and squander their pennies on the petty items in life with conical statement buildings, curving, whacky roads and intersections, exotic architecture and buildings that are generally pleasing to the eye. They live a life of luxury, often forgetting those beneath them. You may begin to wonder if the city surrounding them is influenced by the maddening life style. They have free movement and care for no one, not even others like themselves. Almost as though every individual has a god complex. They live like royals, why should they bow down to anyone or anything?

The workers live beneath the ‘gods’ and their soulless appearance makes the audience wonder if this is in fact the underworld or purgatory. Their own ‘world’ which is all laid out perfectly, spirit level precise housing which seems too symmetrical and clean cut. The buildings are identical and serve one function and one function only. To house the workers and their children in-between their 10 hour shifts. Their soulless appearance could be a reference to Moloch. This is backed up by the scene in which the Director sacks a worker, Josaphat, who wilts and immediately seems to take on the workers appearance and mechanical stance. He seems to lose his spark almost immediately as if the soul has been snatched from him and offered to Moloch himself, for he is no longer of use as sacrifice for his body is now unfit for his plans.

“Moloch, also spelled Molech, a deity to whom child sacrifices were made throughout the ancient Middle East. The name derives from combing the consonant of the Hebrew mulch (‘king”) with the vowels of boshet (“shame”), the latter often being used in the Old Testament as a variant name for the popular god Ball (“Lord”).” (Britannica)

Beneath this is the catacombs. Forgotten to all unless you have been almost enlightened to the sacred place. The movements of all characters are free from their bindings of their world and begin to reflect the more standard religious attitude to life. Looking for guidance amid the sacred grounds with help from Maria, their saint and their saviour.

Fig 4 - Evil Maria / Whore of Babylon / Horseman of the Apocalypse

Looking at the film from a religious point of view, the audience could argue that Freder and the good Maria are witnesses to the apocalypse. These are referenced to in the Book of Revelations. One could argue, that if they are the witnesses, that Rotwang, the evil scientist could be seen as Baal, or second in command Moloch. He created Evil Maria out of pure spite and hatred for Jon Fredersen and how, in his eyes, he stole her away from him before dying after giving birth to the witness Freder. Not only this, but he has immortalised Hel in statues, and focuses his machine woman around her before declaring that he is disturbingly proud about his faith by losing his hand. One could even go so far as to say that Evil Maria is not only characterised and displayed as the Whore of Babylon but as Horseman of the apocalypse along with her creator.

Even Rotwang arguably follows demonic ways with the constant imagery of the upside down pentagrams on the doors within this house that mysteriously open and close at his will, even to let in Freder before entrapping him within an intersection of several doors which refuse to open. Could this be Rotwang trying to lead Freder off the path of righteousness and trying to lead him astray from his duties as a witness?
Fig 5 - The Maschinemensch or Machine-Human in front of an upturned pentagram

In summary, the film is very thought provoking and can lead the viewer into biblical thoughts about the film due to its context and constant foreshadowing. It has paved the way for future films in so many ways. For example, Rotwang's perverse satanic influences and blind faith in the route of evil has allowed so many 'mad scientists' to follow in his footsteps, with references often seen in films that we still see today. The architecture was a brilliant example of setting the tonal values for each set, for not only the characteristics but the lighting used in each was in some ways so simple but added depth and proportion to each part of the city.

Diodorus Siculus (20.14) Classical Greek and Roman accounts

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