Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Mudbox - Session 3

I downloaded this base turtle mesh from the mudbox community, then started sculpting and changing it to be much more detailed. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Adaptation: Part B - Initial Ideas

Trying to come up with ideas for this project I initially found quite challenging, and really had very little idea of even what sort of adaptation I wanted to undertake. Outside of uni, I'm interested in papercrafts and physically making items, so after talking to Alan formed a partial idea possibly involving papercraft, using this software, which allows you to unfold models and construct them, and I was also shown the work of this artist who constructs sculptures and model kits from paper.

Ive also always been very interested in nature and animals, in particular forests and woodland, as well as Northern American wildlife. From this I was initially thinking along the lines of perhaps taking a story/ myth/ fable focusing on woodland/animals and creating a short animation for it, perhaps aimed as a childens show, taking shows that use paper textures as influences (eg Charlie and Lola like in my previous group project), which would also allow me to create physical textures and incorporate them into my work. I could design the character models (most likely low poly, which I've also always liked the look of) and also have them in physical form. However I wasn't totally sold on this idea and had no clue what story I would use, and nothing I could think of was really inspiring me.

I was listening to a song I used to really love but hadn't listened to in a long time the other day, when I started getting ideas form, and over the last few days have been developing a hopefully possible project in my head, based on this song, which (I checked) fits as an "adaptation" category, as a possible music video. 

To me, this song would perfectly suit a video focused on animal rights, something Im also passionate about. Using this song I think I can use a similar line to what I was origninally going for, but in a way that makes it much ore meaningful to me and as a whole. My idea focuses on highlighting the negativity of animals in captivity around the world, in such places as circuses, and pure profit eg non-caring and non-conservationist zoos and animal centres. 
The basis of my idea is to initially show animals in captivity, low poly, dull, grey, blank "paper" , then as the song progresses and speaks of freedom and running away it shows the animals in their natural environments, and colour and detail appears on the animal models and aroud them in the environment. I was thinking having the natural environment "unfold" from the animals themselves, or something along those lines, or perhaps the animals themselves unfold  these are all directions I can explore deeper. 
A message as well as a project, expressing something I believe in. 

I could have multiples animals shown that are commonly kept in captivity , in particular I'm interested in including bears and elephants (circus) monkeys (orangutans?) Possibly a big cat such as lion or tiger, and definitely a killer whale (sealife). 

All through GCSE, A Level and Foundation art I really enjoyed using watercolour and fineliner pen, creating detailed (often animal) studies mixing these mediums (as well as combining with mediums like collage and oil paints) and feel this is something I can explore again with this project, physically creating the colour and detail textures, with help from the unfolding softawre, to give my work a more natural and personal effect. 

(better photos to be updated)

I also really love the work of artists Sasha Unisex and Kerby Rosanes, and think their work would be a good inspiration for this project. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Adaptation: Part A - Creative Ways to cook an Egg - Stylistic Influences

For part A of my adaptation project, the infographic, my chosen idea is "creative ways to cook an egg". I originally was going to go with "boil" but cook gives me more options to play with. 

My infographic is going to be aimed at tweens/teens, around GCSE age, as if it were a short on a revision aid like BBC Bitesize, or part of a semi-serious/educational science show like Brainac, but also has a comedy aspect to help keep them entertained. 

The style for my infographic will be influenced by BBC Bitesize iteself, I will be looking at the style of graphics used to ensure it works for my target audience. I also however want to bring in a more fun and comedic element, and excitement too, drawing inspiration from 1930s - 50s american advertisements, with the typical upbeat and almost forced positivity voice over, and trumpeting music. 

Looking at graphics from the BBC Bitesize website, I can see strong, bold colours are used, with clean lines and uncomplicated, minimal, simplistic designs. 

I think a good medium between these influences would be a similar style to the Game Batteblock theatre.It has the kind of upbeat and over positive voiceover Im going for, and has a comedy aspect that appeals to the age group I'm intending the info graphic to be for. 

Also I can take influence from the "S.P.E.C.I.A.L" animations from the Fall Out franchise.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Mudbox - Session 1

Today was our first Mudbox class, we were introduced to the program by finding a reference image online of a vegetable of our choice and attempting to model it, in my case a bell pepper. We were then shown the basics of colouring and adding different surface effects to give shine etc.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Adaptation: World Animation - Australia: Mary & Max

Fig 1 - Film Poster
Mary and Max is an Australian stop motion animation, released in 2009 and directed by Adam Elliot. This was his first animated feature film, having before that only produced short films.

Fig 2 - Mary Daisy Dinkle, and pet rooster Ethel.
The animation, beginning in 1976, follows the story of then eight-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle, a young, unfortunate Australian girl through her life. We are introduced to her lonely life, with distant and neglectful parents, her only comforts being her pet rooster, sweetened condensed milk and her favourite TV show "The Knoblets". Mary decides one day to find out what Americans are like, so takes a page from an American address book while at the post office and writes a letter about herself to a Mr. Max Jerry Horowitz, hoping to finally have a friend she can communicate with.

Max Horowitz is introduced as a 44 year old obese Jewish athiest who clearly suffers with social and mental problems, Marys first letter initially giving him an anxiety attack (a common occurrence which can only be cured with chocolate). He however does write a letter back to her and the two become friends over their shared love of sweet foods and The Knoblets. The animation follows the story of their shared lives from this point, through Mary's innocent but prying questions about love and life, which Max have such an effect on Max's mental health that he is institutionalised for several months, leading him to be diagnosed with aspergers syndrome, which is a form of autism. In today's society this is well known and spoken about, but when the animation is set metal health was much more of a taboo and unknown topic. 

Fig 3 - Max Jerry Horowitz
Max eventually writes back to Mary, telling her about his diagnosis, and the two continue correspondence through Marys years at university where she finds love with her Greek-Australian hearthrob neighbour, Damien Popodopoulos, after the odd but tragic deaths of her parents. Inspired by Max, Mary studies psychology at university, making it her lifes goal to help those living with aspergers, and sends Max a copy of her published dissertation , however Max takes offence to this as he sees this as Mary taking advantage of him and his aspergers as a part of himself, and not something that needs to be analysed or "cured". In a rage he replies to Mary and ends their communication, leading Mary to end her career and skink into a depression, drinking sherry like her alcoholic mother, which is only worsened by Damien leaving her for his own penfriend in New Zealand.

Some time later, Max realises both he and Mary, like everyone else, are imperfect beings and thats okay, so sends mary the package containing his Knoblet figurine collection as forgiveness. However Mary has since sunk into a deep depression and is close to committing suicide, unknowing she is carrying Damien's baby, however is saved at the last minute by her no longer agoraphobic neighbour alerting her to Max's parcel which has been sitting on her porch for days, and Mary begins her recovery.

Fig 4 - Max realising everyone is imperfect, and that's okay.
The film cuts to a year later with Mary having travelled to New York with her newborn to finally meet Max in person. However she finds him on his couch, having died earlier that morning, but looking up with a smile on his face at all her painstakingly preserved letters she has sent him through the years attached to his ceiling. 

The animation deals with many deep and important themes, often skirted away from being tackled head on in cinema, including childhood neglect, mental health and aspergers syndrome, loneliness, anxiety, depression, addiction and alcoholism, and suicide. However, the animations style being cartoonish and being brought to life through stop motion brings a certain softness to these issues, and the film is unmistakably Australian through certain cultural references and its dark but odd sense of humour. Guardian film reviewer Andrew Pulver writes of the animation it "manages to be sickly-cute, alarmingly grotesque, and right-on at the same time – often in the very same scene". (Pulver, 2010).

Due to these qualities, Mary and Max can be seen as a key resource to help educate around mental health and learning/social disabilities, which is increasingly becoming a discussed topic in todays society. Collider reviewer Jeff Giles writes "Max’s discovery of his diagnosis is arguably the key moment in the film, setting in motion Mary’s pursuit of her life’s calling (which echoes Elliot’s real-life dedication to educating people about the disease). What really sets the movie apart, though, is Elliot’s deft way with “Mary and Max’s” larger themes – namely self-acceptance, the redemptive power of honest human connection, and the idea that life is really more about the journey than the destination" (Giles, 2009). Therefore, while odd and and perhaps a little unnerving at times, this exaggerated but frankly honest honest animation will leave you feeling uncertain whether to laugh or cry, with or at the characters, and likely bring new light to how you perceive mental health issues and self acceptance.

Fig 5 - Film still


Fig 1 - https://digitalnews.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/mary-and-max-26769-hd-wallpapers.jpg
Fig 2 - http://thefancarpet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Mary_and_Max_57921_Medium.jpg
Fig 3 - https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/45/85/bb/4585bb2da3d59c41b9b31dd7803f1d00.jpg
Fig 4 - https://68.media.tumblr.com/3a4d7142525bcc7c99a806e1261e2b00/tumblr_oe06cpmTb51qf2dg2o1_500.gif
Fig 5 -http://file2.instiz.net/data/file2/2016/08/06/e/6/5/e65024c6334bdc1ba05320e812792995.jpg

Pipeline 3 - 2D Character Rigging

While I haven't fully completed the zombie tutorial just yet, I have however used this technique during the narrative project and also a slightly different one in first year to make my 2D characters move. 

Year 2 2D Character Rigging 

Some examples of my year 1 2D Characters

Adaptation - Animated Infographic: Project Pitch

Creative ways to...
  1. Stroke your cat
  2. Show your cat (/pet) you love them
  3. Help your cat lose weight
  4. Recycle/ save the planet/ save energy
  5. Avoid awkward situations 
  6. Avoid (/survive) social situations
  7. Avoid religious callers
  8. Boil an egg 
  9. Make money
  10. Announce a pregnancy 
  11. Tidy up/ declutter
  12. Avoid doing your chores
  13. Reply to/deal with spam email
  14. Give great presents/be a great host (without spending a lot of money)
  15. Express your individuality
  16. Re-purpose old belongings
  17. Make it through family gatherings
I want to go for something that I can make quite funny, and a little odd, without going too over the top, and just keep it pretty simple but charming. I'm quite fond of the pet/cats ideas as I know that's something I would really enjoy as I'm a huge cat/animal fan, and think I could get a lot of inspiration from my own cats/pets, who are all mad and have their own little personalities. 
Also I quite like the boil an egg idea for the simplicity of it and then to find/show creative ways of doing it I think would be fun, but also the more environmental ones I like too as then I can have some "serious/educational" points in there as well as some more fun ideas, but I do like the idea of having something at least semi environmentally conscious

Monday, 9 January 2017

Character - Pre-Production Bible

Reflective Statement
I definitely found this project challenging, I had a rocky start finding it tough to whittle down my ideas into something not "generic" and therefore boring, and tried to achieve humour in my final outcome. However I do feel my final character designs seem a little disjointed, with perhaps different styles being used on different characters, eg the face of speaker 2 is much more "realistic" than that of speaker 1, and I think that finding my own style that I am happy and comfortable with is still something I have to work on. 

Character Work Links:
In Class Activities

Sound Clip & initial worlds
Initial Ideas
Character #1 Initial Influence Map
Character #1 Initial Influence Map
Enviroment Influence Map
Character #2 Initial Sketches
Basic Enviroment Planning
7/11/16 Character OGR
Character #2 Redirection and New Influence Map
Character #2 New Initial Thumbnails
Character #1 Thumbnails
Character #2 Developed Thumbnails
Finished Enviroment