Friday, 31 January 2014

Animation - Gestural & Continuous Line Drawings/Without Looking at the Paper

For one of our animation lessons we had to draw the person opposite us using continuous line without looking down at the paper once. I had to draw Rhys and Livi and I think my drawing of Rhys, in terms of positioning of the face turned out better, but of course it was still highly inaccurate as we couldn't look at the paper :P

We also had to draw quick gestural poses of what we saw in about 15 or 30 seconds, this is my very quick drawing of Adam and Scott fighting, followed by Scott performing the Y,M,C...he didn't get around to the A, :P for our gestural drawings.

Life Drawings

This is some of my life drawing work in no particular order, sorry about the bad picture quality I think in future I am going to take pictures of some of my work as it stands on the easel.


Thursday, 30 January 2014

From Script to Screen - Rough Character Design: Trixiebelle

This is my first design of the character Trixiebelle in my story. Being as my story is supposed to be child-friendly and fantasy, like a fairytale, I figured a more cartoon-esque style would work best. I will soon work on her in Photoshop to create some variations. (:

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Soundscape - Rough Storyboard Response

When researching my key frame image, all I understood was that it was a painting about how marriage weighs you down. Though I didn't understand the piano or bikes, through further research, looking into dreams I found that a piano is representative of a woman, and this piano has a crack in it, which could be interpretated as a marriage breaking apart. I also found out that the bikes in dreams, represent freedom, which makes sense as these ghoul characters are trying to  go around with their freedom, only to have a rock weigh them down.

My story is about a man who is about to get married and realises he is about to lose his freedom and starts turn into these ghouls and so do his friends at the wedding, while his fiancee/wife transforms into the piano, as she is the feminine symbol of the breakage of marriage.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Film Review - Rope (1948)

Fig.1 Rope

Rope (1948) is a crime thriller by world famous director Alfred Hitchcock, it is a story about two upper middle class men who murder another man who they believe is a lesser individual, especially the character of Brandon. The film doesn't waste time in showing the murder scenario, it is the first scene of the film, shortly after the murder is carried out Brandon's friend and sidekick in the murder, Phillip, starts to show some remorse and regret for what he just helped to do, thus leading to the story of the rest of the film. As film critic says "...the dead calm (and near glee) shown by Brandon is more chilling than the murder itself. Phillip, on the other hand, is as uncomfortable as the audience." (J.C. Macek, S.D).

Although Rope doesn't come to mind when Hitchcock is mentioned there is a real feel for suspense in this film as the entire film plays out in one set, and that is the floor/apartment where Brandon holds a "supposed" farewell party for Phillip. Throughout the entire time in the film the audience is aware that both Brandon and Phillip have stuck David in the trunk, that Brandon disguised and used as a serving table, creating the suspense as to whether or not someone is going to search the trunk. 

Fig.2 Alfred Hitchcock, Rope

Brandon decided to make the "coffin"of David as the serving table because he sees the entire charade as an art, he even goes to put candles on top of the trunk, like a decorative display, which Phillip resents. However one of the main attractions of this film to film fanatics, is the use of cameras and suspense. Countless times in the film the audience will see a camera go into the back of a character, which starts another sequence. This is particularly interesting because in contemporary times you don't often see ambitious camera angles like that, but this is done because this film was filmed with very little or no editing, it was filmed in a long continuos run. It can also be argued that it makes the film more engaging, adding to the suspense as it becomes a close shot, as they are zoomed into the character's back. Film critic, Roger Ebert supports this idea saying "In an ordinary movie, closer shots indicate more intensity, longer shots are more objective. Camera movement helps establish mood. Closeups punch home dramatic moments." (Ebert, 1984). 

Fig.3 Rope

One notable scene in the film, with a strong use of direction for the cameras, is during the end of the party Brandon's maid is cleaning up the trunk, the trunk with the dead body inside, although the maid doesn't know about the murder, the audience does. This scene features a camera staying still, playing it's focus on the trunk, solely, as the maid walks in and out of the room slowly cleaning up the candles and the plates. This sense of unknowing for the audiences as to whether or not she is going to open the trunk to put the books away, creates a huge amount of suspense, with such a simple and effective technique with the camera. There is also even further amount of suspense that the audience is subjected to, when Rupert and the maid are talking and they are about to open the trunk for the books before Brandon notices and stops them, leaving Rupert highly suspicious.

Fig.5 Rupert & the Chest

There is also a strong use of colour near the end of the Rope, when Rupert makes up a story that he left something at the party in order to go back and try and find out what both Brandon and Phillip are hiding. As Rupert gets closer to discovering the murder committed by both Brandon and Phillip, the audience sees green and red neon lights in the background, which have not been lit up until this point in the film. It can be said that this has been used in the film to specifically represent the moods and emotions of the characters of Brandon and Phillip. Throughout the entire film from start to end, Phillip is very uneasy, defensive and on the edge, even in the picture below (see Fig.6) the character of Phillip looks very worried. The green is likely to represent Phillip's feelings of guilt and is only seen at this point because he is sure he's going to get found out this time round so the light suddenly appears and intensifies the scene, reflecting this shockwave of emotions. Whereas similarly throughout the film Brandon has been very proud of his crime, one of the main reasons he hosted this party was so he could bring up the topic of the righteousness of murder with Rupert starting the debate, as Brandon admitted himself in the film, it is almost as if Brandon wants to be discovered. Therefore the red can be a symbol of the character of Brandon, and how much of a dangerous individual he is.

Fig.6 Green Light

In conclusion Rope uses a great used of directing considering there was very little if any editing done, the minimalist approach and experiment of Alfred Hitchcock succeeds in creating suspense without the mainstrea use of slowly moving tracking characters behind a possible victim. Though there isn't much appreciation for the film compared to Hitchcock's other films, it could be argued that this is because of the homosexual themes in it. Rope was based off a play where the two murderers were homosexual men, and around the time this film was released it was very controversial and largely unaccepted to be a homosexual, so it could be said that it is because of this it didn't get as good of a reception as Hitchock's other films, not the actual film making. Film reviewer Ollie England mentioned the homosexual themes, "The narrative is gripping enough without consideration of the sexual politics of the film, yet there are some obvious clues as to the together and holiday together; they finish each other's lines and thoughts; they know all about each other's favourite drinks, taste in music and constantly review each other's feelings...They have a maid that seems to treat them as a pair of divas...although Brandon has had a relation with a female friend before - it seems to have ended badly." (England, 2013).


Ebert, R [Online] At: (Accessed on 18.01.14)

England, O [Online] At: (Accessed on 18.01.14)

Macek, J.C [Online] At: (Accessed on 18.01.14)

List of Illustrations:

Fig.1 Rope [Poster Art] At: (Accessed on 18.01.14)

Fig.2 Alfred Hitchcock, Rope [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 18.01.14)

Fig.5 Rupert & the Chest [Film Still] At:  (Accessed on 18.01.14)

Fig.6 Green Light [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 18.01.14)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

From Script to Screen - Influence Maps

For my character, butterfly hunter, for my story I thought of the idea to rather than make it someone who just catches butterflies as a past time I decided to make my character, someone who is a slower and smaller than the butterflies, making them more of a challenge to catch. With the reason being my character has to catch their own butterfly for racing, as a sport of their kin. So for influence I looked mainly at Thumbelina, as she is a smaller person, and the entire world is massive to her, which will come to my character's problem in the story later on.

For my warehouse I wanted my story to be a light hearted story so, I looked at large human factories as influence for my warehouse rather than a scary, isolated place. I also looked at different kinds of butterflies as I want a butterfly to be a secondary character in my story. I want my story to be a child-friendly, light hearted fantasy, with an unrealistic character such as a fairy, co-existing with humans.

Character Design Workshop - Lesson 2

For the second character design workshop we look more specifically at shapes, and how they are important in creating a villainous character, using triangles, a sidekick, harmless or friendly character, circles, and a strong hero character, squares. Again we got given a character and we had to see what shape that character was mainly and change it into one of the other types of characters, I received Roger Rabbit and made him look more villainous, but I had to keep in the same style of the original.

Afterwards we got given a type of character and we had to creating a couple characters using the shapes, but making them all unique and different, but keeping them in the same world with the style. I got a Clown as my type of character, and I drew a basic cartoon-style in the forms of a villainous clown and a dopey, harmless clown. We also had to create a little story behind them so I made up that the dopey, hopeless clown got kidnapped by this psychotic evil clown.

Character Design Workshop - Lesson 1

For the first character design workshop, we had to bring in a favourite character of ours and a styled we liked, I chose Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled. Afterwards we got given a character that we had to draw in the style of our chosen character, I received Stewie from Family Guy and it was weird and funny drawing Stewie in the style of Disney's Tangled though I believed it worked in some areas, unfortunately I cannot find my original drawing for it. >< Afterwards we received another character, and I received Homer Simpson from The Simpsons and I had to draw Rapunzel, in the Simpsons style of art. Though I didn't have a picture of Rapunzel's dress so I had to work from memory.

From Script to Screen - Rough Mind Map

This is a rough mind map I did to get some ideas going which I could then go forward to choose a few to develop into a plotline and story. I took each word I had and wrote ideas from them.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Storytelling & Commission: From Script to Screen - The Three Words

Again we returned to the mysterious blue box to find out the 3 words that will play a role, either big or small, in the pre-viz animation that we will be creating. For the animation we have to create a story, including storyboards, a plot and designing our very own characters. The 3 words that I received were:
Butterfly Hunter


Food Blender

I think these are quite and interesting set of words, especially with the food blender, and although I am interested to see how my ideas will play out, I am disappointed I got another interior based area to work with, however perhaps through my stories and ideas it may not have to be completely interior. (:

Zoetrope Animation - Mermaid

This is the outcome of my first 2D animation, and working with a Zoetrope, which we did before Christmas. Overall I am pleased with the outcome of my Zoetrope 2D animation. d(^.^d)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Storytelling & Commission: Soundscape Keyframe - Sentimental Colloquy

For the soundscape project I received folder number 14, which included a painting called "Sentimental Colloquy" by Surrealist Artist, Salvador Dali. In all honesty I have tried to figure out what the meaning behind this painting is and throughout searching online, looking for its interpretation and meaning I didn't find all that much in terms of leads, apart from the possibility it possesses a marital theme.

This interpretation does make sense, in the fact that the what appears to be dead-like persons riding on the bikes around this piano fountain with what seems to be veils from their head, what is even more interesting is that they have rocks placed on their heads, perhaps symbolising the idea of marriage weighing them down to death, which I think is an interesting if not depressing interpretation of the painting.