Saturday, 31 October 2015

Narrative- Character Body Thumbnails

After making a clay model of our main characters head, I thought that his body didn't match in quite the same style. Since this character (Twit) is based on the twitter logo, I looked to real birds for references. I've come up with a few rough sketches that could be used for Chirper's final character design. Some feedback would be appreciated for this.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Narrative- Character Clay Model

When sketching out the main character in our narrative project, I found it was tricky to accurately draw the head from different angles. So I decided to sculpt a small model out of clay to use as reference for drawing. I feel this will help when creating an expression sheet for this character, and even benefit us when we start to digitally model him. It's also good to have this model to pass around to everyone in the group who may need a reference point to draw or model from.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Life Drawing- Wedding Day of the Dead

Today in life drawing the model was dressed to the theme of day of the dead, to fit in with Halloween. I really enjoyed this session as it gave us the chance to experiment with colour and patterns. I found it difficult to get start with just charcoal, so after the first sketch I moved onto water colours. When it came to the final sketch, I decided to use mixed media. However I found this really tricky as my first attempt went wrong. So I flipped the sketch around and started again.

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Character- Hive Heist Environmental Sketches

I've been focusing a lot on the characters and creatures in this game, and not enough on the environment. If I get the setting of the game established that may help me more to create a storyline. These are only the first sketches I've made, and I plan on making more that are referenced from nature. 

I decided to create a province with a few settlements in it. This is a rough sketch of the main settlement. On the tree is the hive castle and bellow are hundreds of mushroom houses. Once again these are really rough sketches and have a lot of work to be done to them.

Justin's Character Design Lesson

In Justin's last character lesson we were given a genre to create characters for. The genre I was given was 50s B-movie, and so I created Tula. She is from another planet far away, and reigns as queen there. In an attempt to rule more planets she comes to Earth in search of power. She arrives in America in the 1950s. She is then lead to believe that Marilyn Monroe is queen of the Earth, and so tries to imitate her image, however it doesn't quite work and a lot of her original alien image still shows.

Another idea I had was a werewolf of wall street. I made this purely for the pun.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Life Drawing

Thanks to the change in the timetable, I was able to join the first year's life drawing class. I haven't done life drawing for quite a few months and found it slightly tricky getting back into it. I found today that the fast sketches went well for me, but the longer poses were slightly out of proportion. Still it was good to do this again, and I hope to join onto more classes in future.
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Narrative- First Animatic

This is the first animatic made for our narrative project. I plan on putting together another one, after seeing the mistakes through this one. A couple of things can be improved with the timing, but that is on my part as I put this together. What I have notices that may need to be changed is the written text on screen. Some of it needs to be shortened so it is easier for the audience to read quickly.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Narrative Project- Storyboard for Animatic

After reading Andy's script, I put together this storyboard. I hope to use this in the animatic so we can see a pre-vis of our animation idea so far.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Opposing Characters Film Review- Black Swan (2010)

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Black Swan is a psychological thriller/horror film about a young woman perusing a dream for perfection in the world of ballet. The story follows what she goes through when she is cast as the main character in Swan Lake, a job that is guaranteed to make her career. In this film there are two opposing characters who are both different in personality and looks, and their actions affect each other through out the story.

Main Character- Nina Sayers
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Nina is the main protagonist in the film and the audience sees the world she lives in through her eyes. Though she is a grown woman and a professional ballet dancer, she lives at home with her mother. She has no siblings and there appears to be an absence of a father in Nina's life. Her mother is fiercely protective and controlling over Nina, and so she has a very child-like state of mind. It is revealed that Nina's mother, Erica was once a professional ballet dancer herself and takes pride in her daughter's ambitions. She seems intent on living through Nina's success, as the birth of Nina was the reason she gave up her career. Nina is aware of this and seems to follow every command her mother makes of her, as if she is trying to make up for the loss of her mother's career.

 Figure 3
 When it comes to ballet Nina is a perfectionist and likes to obsess over the art. This was one of the reasons why she was given the main part as the swan queen in Swan Lake. The director of the show, Thomas Leroy, new that Nina could play the white swan as she was pure, innocent and graceful. However he wanted to bring out the black swan character in her for the performance. The black swan is dark and seductive, everything that Nina opposes. So Thomas tries to bring that out in her, and the method he uses is through sexual desire. As Nina is innocent and has a child-like state of mind, she doesn't talk about sex or let's it influence her life. This is what Thomas believes will change Nina into the black swan, and so he seduces her and touch her. Throughout the film Nina can feel herself changing into the black swan. She would occasionally see goosebumps swarm over her skin, and sometimes would see black feathers sprout from her flesh. Nina does not welcome the change at first and tries to resist it, but she still sees the black swan trying to break out from her. This gives the impression that Nina has another personality hidden inside her mind. One sign of this is the delusions she suffers from. From time to time she would see a woman, who looked exactly like her, but had a dark sexual aura about her. This may be the manifestation of the black swan that haunts Nina's mind, and follows her where ever she goes. On the night of the opening performance, Nina suffers from another delusion after stumbling on stage. During the interval she believes that she murdered someone by stabbing them with a mirror shard. After that murder is when the full transformation takes place. Nina goes out onto stage as the black swan and a changed woman. On stage through Nina's eyes, black feathers spout from under her skin, forming large black wings. This is the moment Nina let the black swan in her mind take control of her body.

Opposing Character- Lily
 Figure 4
After Nina was given the role as the swan queen there was one person that stood in her way from her desires. Lily is a ballet dancer brought in to replace one of the performers who was unable to continue with the show. Lily is the opposing character to Nina, as she is confident, relaxed and sexually seductive. She is everything the black swan is suppose to be, and this does not escape the notice of Thomas. Very quickly Nina becomes nervous around Lily, and worries over her role in the show when there appears to be a descent competitor that could take her place. Nina's delusions begin to centre on Lily, especially on the night they go out drinking together. Here Lily goes home with Nina and they have sex. However the next morning, Nina wakes up alone and sees Lily at work, where she states that she didn't go to Nina's home. For Nina to have a sexual fantasy suggests the fact that the black swan could be manifesting in the form of Lily, and Nina had been seduced by the black swan, not Lily. Though she may seem it, there are reasons Lily may not be the main antagonist in the film. Apart from making Nina feel nervous and intimidated, Lily had never been directly malicious towards her. Instead Lily is more of a friend than the other ballet dancers, who exclude Nina for being different. Though in the whole film, there is no one more unlike Nina than Lily.

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Illustration List

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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Character Project- Wasp Nest Environment Thumbnails

I've been scribbling down a few ideas for the wasp nests. I've tried to make these sketches contrast with the style of the bee hive thumbnails.

Maya Tutorial- Lip Syncing Part 4

Lip syncing animation with tongue, eyes and eyebrows.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Narrative Structure Film Review- Spirited Away (2001)

Figure 1
Spirited Away is an animated motion picture from Studio Ghibli. It was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki who is credited for other hit animations such as Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle. Spirited Away is a film about the adventure of Chihiro Ogino, when she stumbles across the entrance to another world.

Act One
Figure 2
The exposition in this film introduces Chihiro and her parents when they are on the journey moving to their new house. Along the way Chihiro's father tries to find an alternative route to the new home and takes a back road through some woods. The family come across a man made tunnel, and despite Chihiro's reluctance they decided to explore it. The family find what appears to be an abandoned theme park, where there is a food stand. Chihiro's parents help themselves even though she warned them not to. This already separates Chihiro as a character as she acts differently to her parents. She then goes and explore the other buildings, when suddenly everything becomes dark and ghostly figures appear in the street.
Figure 3
Chihiro has now crossed into another world and sets the story's events into motion. She can find no way in getting back and to her horror finds that her parents have been transformed into pigs. Frightened and alone she starts to panic when she realizes that her body is slowly disappearing, fading into nothing.It's at this moment when a boy about the same age as her called Haku stops her disappearance from happening. He then leads her to the bath house, where she can find safety. The plot point at this stage is that Chihiro now needs to find a job at the bath house to maintain her safety and ultimately find a way to save her parents and return home.

Act Two
Figure 4
Chihiro manages to get herself a job at the bath house for spirits by repeatedly asking Yubaba, the woman in charge. The first obstacles that Chihiro now faces are chores and errands that she must carry out in the bath house. At one point she finds a masked figure waiting outside in the rain, which she lets into the bath house. One of the jobs Chihiro does is to help bath a spirit made of dirt and sludge. It is later revealed that the client turned out to be a powerful river spirit, and Chihiro receives high credit from not only the client but also from her fellow workers and Yubaba. However things start to turn bleak as Haku is attacked whilst in the form of a dragon. He is seriously injured and the only way to help him is to repay the debt he owes to Zeniba, the twin sister of Yubaba.

Figure 5
Before Chihiro can help Haku, Yubaba requests her assistance as the masked figure called No Face has turned into monster, and has started attacking the staff of the bath house. This stage of the film is the mid point of the story. At this moment all of Chihiro's problems to solve have been revealed, which leaves the story to start resolving and finish.
Figure 6
Chihiro travels along with No Face and two other characters to see Zeniba. This character is calm and collected and acts almost like a mentor to Chihiro. In this scene the problems start to resolve and Chihiro gets closer to her goal.
Figure 7
When Chihiro returns from seeing Zeniba she is faced with a task. Yubaba has agreed to let Chihiro go home if she can pass a test. This is the climax of the film as everything that the hero has worked for now balances on this moment. If Chihiro doesn't pass the test she will be trapped in that world for the rest of her life.

Act Three
Figure 8
Chihiro passes the test and is able to return to her parents and her world. They don't have any recollection of what happened, which leaves the question if it was real. Chihiro walks with her parents back to their car, and before she gets in, she takes one last look back at the tunnel that lead to the world that only she seems to remember.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Character- Hive Heist: Solusa NPC

In my game I want there to be lots of different quest lines for the characters. I also want to incorporate other animals in the game so it can add more variety in terms of characters. This non playable character is a spider called Solusa. If you choose to play as a wasp you have to obtain honey for your queen. One quest the player can do is to seduce Solusa and get her to give up her personal supplies of honey as gifts. However the only way this can happen is if the main character marries Solusa, in which she will give honey to her groom. Yet the groom can not stay for long as Solusa has a reputation for eating her husbands on the wedding nights. And so the character must seduce her whilst avoiding her constant suggestions to go to bed.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Character- Hive Heist: Sketches and Thumbnails

There were a couple of things I wanted to change about the Queen Bee and the Wasp Queen characters. I wanted to experiment with a new look but was struggling with drawing out sketches in Photoshop, so I went back to using pencil on paper to do my sketches.

Queen Bee Sketch

Wasp Queen Sketch

I also started doing some thumbnails on some of the environments in the game. These thumbnails are of what the bee hives may look like. I tried to reference from real bee hives but also incorporate some medieval architecture into the sketches, such as castles and cathedrals.

Bee Hive Exterior

Bee Hive Interior

Friday, 9 October 2015

Narrative- Character Thumbnails

I've recently posted on the blog of our group. I would really appreciate if people could take a look and even follow our group's blog, as it could do with some outside opinions. Links below.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Maya Tutorial- Lip Syncing Part 3

My attempt at animating the mouth muscles of the character. This was done with out animating the tongue.

Maya Tutorial- Lip Syncing Part 2

I tried not to copy the tutorial word from word as I wanted to see how I'd do animating on my own. I found this was a real test for timing and rhythm. Did enjoy it though.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Archetypes Film Review- Amelie (2001)

Figure 1
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amelie (2001) is a film about a young woman called Amelie Poulain who vows to become a regular do-gooder. The film is set in Montmartre, Paris in Amelie's home and work place. It's a film that follows the events in Amelie's life whilst also delving into her mind and imagination to express what she is thinking and feeling.

The Hero- Amelie Poulain  
Figure 2
Amelie is the main protagonist and hero in this story. She works in a cafe in Montmartre in Paris, where she lives alone in a small flat. The call to adventure came to her when she discovered an old small box hidden behind one of the tiles of her bathroom wall. In the box there were photos and toys that belonged to a boy who lived in the same flat decades before, who is later revealed as Dominique Bretodeau. She makes the decision to find the owner and return the box to him. When she finds him, she leaves the box in a place for him to come across. She doesn't actually give him the box back by hand, to let him know it was her who returned it to him. This shows that she is a hero who wants to remain anonymous to the people she helps. She seems to enjoy watching from a distance and prefers to stay out of confrontation. By doing this it makes her more mysterious and leaves the people she helps to think that a supernatural force has helped them, as if a miracle is granted to them. This gives Amelie a feeling of power, to become that supernatural force in the lives of those close to her. As a child Amelie was lonely as she had no siblings, so she would create imaginary friends to keep her company. As well as this she also witnessed the accidental death of her mother, which shows that Amelie is a person with trauma in her past. Her desire to do good and become a supernatural miracle force to those around her may stem from her sad childhood. She may long to gain control over what happened to other people as she herself had no control over the events in her childhood. 

The Maiden- Nino Quincampoix 
Figure 3
Nino is the love interest in the story and so he represents the maiden archetype. Nino works in two places, in a sex shop and a funfair. He also has a hobby of collecting the discarded photographs left behind at photo booths. He then puts them in an album that he keeps to himself, until he loses one day and Amelie is the one to find it. Instead of returning the album to Nino, Amelie holds onto it for a while. She seems to find it interesting and doesn't wish to part with it so quickly but when she decides to return it to Nino, she found she couldn't do it face to face. And so she leaves Nino with clues to help him find it. When the album is returned to Nino, it turns out Amelie has left a message inside it asking if he wants to meet her. This shows that Amelie acts differently when communicating with Nino. Up to this point it had become apparent that Amelie doesn't mind if Nino meets her and finds out her identity that she chose to keep secret. Throughout the rest of the film Amelie is given opportunities to meet Nino, but she holds back. This shows she is nervous as this is not just a person she wishes to help, but is someone she has actually fallen in love with.

The Mentor- Raymond Dufayel (The Glass Man)
Figure 4
Living in a neighbouring flat to Amelie is Raymond Dufayel who is also know as the 'glass man.' Raymond is a man who has a medical condition that causes his bones to be extremely frail. He can never leave his own flat and spends most of his time copying the paintings of famous artists. Amelie has seen him in his flat, but had never spoken to him until he assisted her with finding Dominique Bretodeau. Raymond is the mentor figure in Amelie's life, as she goes to him when talking about the people she helps. Raymond also speaks with Amelie about love and how it's important to not go through life alone. This is a character with experience as Raymond is trapped inside his own flat. He has lived a lonely life and does not wish Amelie to suffer the same fate. Whilst Amelie watches over the people comes across, she is sometimes unaware of the fact that Raymond is watching over her. 

The Mother- Amandine Poulain
Figure 5
Amandine is the mother of Amelie and is a prominent figure in the story. She works as a teacher and home tutored Amelie when she was a child. Even though Amandine is in the film for a very short period of time, the events in her life and the cause that ended it, massively affects Amelie's life. When Amelie is a child, Amandine is killed outside of Notre Dame cathedral. When a woman attempts to end her life by jumping off the roof of the cathedral, Amandine was directly bellow and was killed instantly. Amelie witnessed the whole event and it was one of the things in her early life that she had no control over.

The Father- Raphael Poulain
Figure 6
Raphael is the father archetype and is the kind of character that Amelie wants to help. As her father, Raphael is another person who was affected by Amandine's death. He becomes protective over Amelie and is reluctant to leave his home. He is a man trapped in his own mourning, and so Amelie goes about to try and change that. At one point in the film she steals one of his garden gnomes and asks her friend (who's an air hostess) to take it to different countries. She then photographs the gnome and sends them to Raphael as postcards. By doing this Amelie is trying to show her father that it is good to leave the house and have an adventure, rather than being trapped in his home mourning his wife. Despite being her father, Raphael is not the most fatherly figure in Amelie's life. As he fears a lot in the world since the death of his wife. However he is protective and caring towards Amelie, and takes comfort in his daughter.

The Child- Lucien
Figure 7
The child archetype is Lucien, an assistant to the green grocer. Lucien has a sweet disposition and has no malicious intentions as it's not his nature. He is a person with little intellect but is very lovable as a character. Amelie likes that Lucien takes his work seriously and doesn't go out of his way to insult other people. Lucien has experience of receiving abuse as his boss constantly insults him and embarrasses him in front of customers, and so he is another person that Amelie wants to help.

The Shadow- Mr Collignon
Figure 8
Collignon is the local green grocer and the shadow archetype in the film. The story of Amelie is about her wanting to do good for others and make the world a better place. It is a vision that Amelie holds throughout the film and Collignon is a character that tarnishes it. He is rude to Lucien and constantly bullies him. He is also quite rude to Amelie when she is looking for Dominique Bretodeau and so she does not like him. So far Amelie had gone out of her way to help other people, but with Collignon she wants to make his life miserable. This shows that Amelie has a great belief in justice. A characteristic typical in the hero archetype.

The Shape shifter- Photo Booth Man  
Figure 9
The most mysterious person in the film is the photo booth man. In Nino's album of discarded photographs, there are many photographs of this man. It becomes a mystery that Nino and Amelie want to solve. Amelie suspects that he could be a man who wishes to never be forgotten, and by constantly photographing himself, his face remains immortal so in a way he can never die. However it is later revealed that he is a photo booth repair man, and none of Amelie's conceptions of the man were true. 

Trickster- Amelie Poulain
Figure 10
Amelie may be the hero, but she has the characteristics of the trickster archetype. She delves into other people's lives with out being aware of her presence or intentions. She becomes the event in someone's life that they can not explain. Most of what she does is to improve a person's life however with Collignon she attempts to make his ife difficult. She brakes into his flat and sabotages his possessions, the intention being that he should feel like he's going insane.

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