Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Life Drawing Class: week 11

Week 11 of Life Drawing Class, focusing on tones using charcoal. As usual to warm things up we did 2 min sketches using charcoal.
2 min sketches
Later, we did more drawings of the model using charcoal only the challenge was to avoid using lines to draw in the details and just focus on using tone from the start. At first I couldn't grasp this quite well as I found it hard to picture the image right and the judgement of proportions.

Again, using the same method, I've tried to have a go at avoiding the lines but somehow without knowing, I ended up drawing lines again!

Starting to get the hang of this- slightly! I've managed to start things off using tones and then lean heavy on the charcoal to create the dark shades and add some slight greys around the model to contrast the dark and light. At first the bench was much larger which without even realising, made the model looked like a mini display figurine. So changing this mistake, I've managed to resize the bench though you can still see its "previous state" beneath the bench. I find that this image is quite successful though.

 We did more drawings on this, with charcoal and tones. Though this time, the model has his back to us with a split black and white background which we were to use this to help us focus on the tones. This worked quite well for me but I realised that the image drawn had its lower proportions wrong.

With only 30mins to go, we did the same things again, only with the model posing behind the door. I felt that this piece worked well for me as I'm beginning to get the hang of this method and the tones.

Unit 3!! Enviroment Ideas

With the previous Unit 2 finished, we get to start Unit 3: Environment. This made me think its a pretty easy thing to do until the words, "Uncanny" and "Unheimlich" kept cropping up. The only thing that Uncanny had reminded me of was the Uncanny X-men which is totally something off topic to this unit(after reading them which my flatmate had lent to me) but looking further into these definitions gives me the idea of things in opposite atmospheres, where things aren't meant to be in places where they should be. These kind of gives the feeling of uneasiness, insecure and weird!!

Anyways, I have put up a selection of images onto an influence map as we get to choose any setting we want to design- looking at modern and old buildings and also I am hoping to use Edward Hopper as my main influence especially his works "House on the Railroad", the beach image and most interesting, "Chair Car" which has comfort chairs in the train to depict comfort and secure. I hope to use this and create something in this style only to depict uneasiness, insecure and weird.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Maya: Update

This is the progress that I've made so far, with only 6 videos to go left. Unfortunately this isn't fully completed as I had trouble accessing the videos at home- Sorry!! But will try and get this fully completed ASAP!!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Unit 2 Presentation

Unit 2 presentation

Maya: progress- 10 to go!! :D

With only 10 videos to go, here is an update of my Maya progress so far. The image is full of blue and purple highlighted "vertexes?" which I have accidentally stumbled on when configuring the "set faces" tab to centre points and can't seem to remember what did I do to have gotten to that stage,I even tried to click almost every button on Maya on my laptop but still have no clue. Anyways, so far I have made a window, some shelfing frames, a ballustrade and currently I am working on the window details.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Disk Art for Unit 2: Space

Here is my disk art for my submission disk and the front cover. I've added one of my final concept images and created a combination of my other 2 extracts (forest of mushrooms and the shore) together to form one image and blending the two together as the river/lava fuses. The results of this looks interesting but quite fun to create it.

Extract 1: The Caves Final Concept art

The Cave Final Concept Art
 Here is the final concept art for Extract 1's The Caves. I am extremely happy with this result as I felt that this is the image that I've developed on the most.At first the image is all red but after forgetting that the extract mentions cold and hot temperatures in one place I felt that I should develop on this to show both temperatures in one image. This worked well using blue lighting to represent the cold and let the viewer to decide where it comes from and such. I am really happy the way the lava turned out, using the brushes and adding emboss effects on the rocks floating in the lava. I've also added some steam/smoke/mist into the image to depict the hotness of the area. Overall I am really happy with this turnout!! ^_^

Using perspective

Grey scale
Adding the lava and textures...
Then adding the blue tints, stalactites and details

Extract 2: Forest of Mushrooms Final Concept art

Final Concept Art
 Here is my final concept art for Extract 2's The Forest of Mushrooms. Personally this was a hard piece to come up with as a forest is shrouded and showing space in this seemed difficult for me. After many tryouts, I have managed to successfully come up with this idea and develop this by using different brushes as well as getting the general idea of lighting from the plasticine mushrooms experiment. Development on this image are on the grass lighting as well as rock surfaces and cliff faces and added a figure in to again, show the scale and depth of these mushrooms. Overall I'm very happy with the result!! ^_^

Perspective- green line for the hill

Grey scale

Adding details and background colour

Adding more colours and details

The mushroom lighting experiment
Mushroom lighting experiment.

Extract 3: The Shore Final Concept Art

Final Concept Art
Here is my final concept art for Extract 3's The Shore. I'm very pleased with the result as I felt that I have made an image that looks interesting comparing to the other thumbnails for this extract. I've made some slight changes to the image like extending the sea a little further back and add more dinosaur bones along with a directional sunlight to help create more depth to the image. A figure is put in the image, but was changed to stand closer to the dinosaur skull to help create the scale between man and dinosaur bones. I'm very happy with the result of the sky especailly how the clouds had turned out using the cloud brush tool as previous experiements with it didn't go as well as planned. But apart from all that I'm very happy with the result!! ^_^

Using perspective

Greyscale version

Added colour and sunlight
Added more dinosaur bones, sand textures and tones and moved the figure.

Essay Assignment- fixed

Unit 2 Essay

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Avatar (2009) review

Film poster
Avatar, Directed by James Cameron made in 2009 is a sci fi film starring Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana as Neytiri and Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine. The film tells the story of how Jake Sully became an avatar as well as discovering the lifestyles of Pandora.
The film is pretty much Pocahontas in space. An ex-mariner confined in a wheel chair is whisked away to the world of Pandora to be his twin brother, Scientist Tom as a replacement. Jake later becomes a “middle man” to act as a representative as well as a communicator between the military and the Na’vi as the military wanted to mine Pandora’s underground which a valuable mineral which the Na’vi protects.
The film also focuses on the politics of humanity, mostly of technology fighting against Mother Nature as well as reflecting on the Vietnam and Iraq wars. “But, as much as technology aids and defines Avatar, it’s also a love letter to humanity and the glory of Mother Nature. The analogy with the Vietnam and Iraq wars is obvious, but Cameron, in siding with the insurgents (hardly an all-American move, but then again he is Canadian), is also asking fairly complex questions about what it means to be human.” (Hewitt, 2009)

The laboratory where the Avatars awaken
The setting switches from sci fi military forces to exotic wildlife from time to time, all the designs of the exotic world of Pandora were purely made using advanced CGI which is apparently “the new step towards film making”. “Pandora and its luridly coloured inhabitants are beautifully designed, though none of this ever feels remotely real. But this was supposed to be the movie that changed the face of filmmaking forever” (Huddleston, 2003). There are lots of scientific props that were also seen in Alien like the avatar pods, which are fairly reminiscent to the hyper sleep pods in Aliens (1986) and also the robotic mecha warrior that also appears in both films.

The "hyper sleep" pods similarity in Avatar (left) and Aliens (right).

The creatures in the film all have six legs, whereas the actors which the Na’vi appears as a seven foot tall creature were all made using advanced motion capture.Na’vi civilisation is a mishmash of half-formed Hollywood ideas about the supposed superiority of ‘primitive’ cultures, tossing around buzzwords like ‘spirit’ and ‘energy’ without ever approaching a cohesive set of beliefs.” (Huddleston, 2003) At first, Cameron had the work made back in 1990 but decided to delay it later until the technology is so advanced that it could recreate his vision. The design for the Na’vi characters are based on a dream that his mother had as for the name “Avatar” was inspired from the Hindu gods but taking on a flesh form. “The Na’vis are intriguingly designed: Their faces, with their elongated almond eyes, resemble the faun in Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” although unlike that character, they also have shimmery skin and pale tiger stripes. They wear their hair in long braids that end in a cluster of tentacles with nerve endings; these anemones can be plugged into the tails of various forest creatures, forming a kind of natural circuit.” (
Using advanced technology in making the Na'vi look

Cameron, J (2009) The "hyper sleep" pods similarity in Avatar and Aliens. (online):
C-Ya, Darlene (2010) Using advanced technology in making the Na'vi look (online):

Hewitt, C (2009) Avatar (online):
Huddleston, T (2003) Avatar (2009) (onilne):

“Avatar”: Dances with aliens (online): - (accessed on 23/11/11)

Unit 2: Space- AJttCotE: The Shore Update

Without the texture brush but added a rock on the right

added some other bits of bones, texture brush and moved the sea

Re-sharpen the layers
Using the feedback from the previous post, I've developed these images so far, I thought that they weren't showing enough space and so moved the sea slightly back and the little man as well to show the scale differences easier. I've also added some extra bones and played around with a texture brush but it seems to be too distracting. Feedback and advice would be loved!! :D


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Life Drawing Class: Week 10

Today was basically free style, where we could use any kind of materials and do them in any way we wanted to. Before the lesson, Charlotte suggested the idea of using coloured pencils to show areas of warm and cold on the models. I gave this a go using orange and purple pencils to begin with as I think that they stand out better than yellow. We've also have 2 models in one room which was quite rare.

So starting with the usual 2 mins sketch warm ups, only doing these for 3 to 4 mins instead. I began experimenting with the two pencils and focusing on the tones and how it show be represented as like the male model in purple with orange highlights and so on. It was pretty fun experimenting around with this.

So experimenting further, I thought I should include other colours as well like reds and yellows but this became hard as the yellow seemed to bright as well as limiting the highlights, shadows and mid tones as I have four colours to focus on. But apart from that it looks pretty interesting.

To finish up for the day we did another sketchup of the two models. This time, only limiting myself with two or three pencils, the results looks much better. At first I've only used orange and yellows for the male model but  Tutor Chris suggested that I should use the purple as well as it helps make the image more stand out which it did. The female model I was quite happy with from the way it turned out until the bench as I've used other colours like blue and red before changing to red and green which didn't go as expected.Apart from all that, today was really fun!

Unit 2: Space- AJttCotE: THe Shore

Here is a thumbnail for Extract 3's the shore. I think this piece works well as it shows the scale of the dinosaur skulls comparing to the Little figure as well as the space of the shore too. I'm quite happy the way the bones have turned out especially ones from and behind the water. Any feedback or advice would be much loved!! ^_^

Edward Scissorhands (1990) review

Film poster
Edward Scissorhands (1990) directed by Tim Burton is a fantasy film of a youth invention named Edward who becomes an outcast in the outside world after being taken in by a suburban family begins to fall in love with the daughter in the family.  The film stars Johnny Depp as Edward, Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs, and Vincent Price as Edward’s inventor and Dianne Wiest as Peg Boggs.
The mansion set on top of a dark hill
Edward, much in style of German Expressionism with pale face and dark, Gothic like clothing with Kim dressed most of the time in white similarly acts to The Beauty and the Beast which Edward resembling a monster and Kim who is the innocent. There are a lot of silhouettes, long shadows, low key lighting used to depict this “monster”. The German Expressionistic style is also used for the setting, where the town is brightly covered in suburban pastel colors with a dark, Gothic mansion set on the highest peak of a hill in the middle of the town. “In an entirely artificial world, where a haunting Gothic castle crouches on a mountaintop high above a storybook suburb, a goofy sitcom neighbourhood where all of the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones of the Jetsons” (Ebert, 1990)

Just when Edward receives his hands, the inventor dies.

The film mostly focuses on being isolated, out casted from the normal world with gossips are a big thing in society. “Like most fairy tales, "Edward Scissorhands" has its dark side. And Burton's faithfulness to that aspect of myth seems reasonable enough, though it won't sit well with those who want happy endings. It begins, after all, as a tale about where snow comes from, and snow belongs to the saddest season.” (Kempley, 1999)
Though from time to time, the film goes back onto Edward’s flashback of how he came to be who he is now as well as when he is near completion apart from the hands, which in its place are scissor-like mechanisms. Initially the scissor hands were temporary but this became a burden to Edward when receiving his hands just the moment when his inventor collapses and dies.
Edward trying to fit in to the suburban society
The film was successful in terms of plot and design along with actors suiting the roles well which brings the emotions of how two characters who fall in love with each other but are fated to live their own separate lives, with one being in reality and the other’s life being as a “myth”.  “A modern fairy tale in the realm of what has come to be called "Burtonesque"; Edward Scissorhands is bright, colourful, and dark all at the same time. Edward, like any good monster, is both supremely deadly and an object of pity. His deathly potential is only kept in check by the kindness of his heart.” (McMullen, 2002)
List of Illustrations:

Burton, T (1990) Film Poster (online):

Burton,T (1990) The mansion set on top of a dark hill (online):

 Burton, T (1990) Just when Edward recieves his hands, the inventor dies. (online): - (accessed on 20/11/11)

Gabrielle, K (2011) Edward trying to fit in to the suburban society (online): - (accessed on 20/11/11)


Ebert, R (1990) Edward Scissorhands (online):
Kempley, R (1999) Edward Scissorhands’ (online):
McMullen, E.C. Jr. (2002) EDWARD SCISSORHANDS – 1990 (online):

@Phil: Essay First Draft

Hi Phil if you have time do you mind if you have a look over this draft for me please? I went to get it checked out with Tracy today and needed to be restructured, so hopefully this drafts better than my last Unit's! :D Unit 2 Esasy

Legend (1985) review

Legend (1985)
Legend Poster art
 Legend is a fantasy film directed by Ridley Scott in 1985 and stars Tom Cruise as Jack o’ the Green, Mia Sara as Princess Lily and Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness. The story tells the tale of how The Lord of Darkness wants to stop the sun from rising and so sends his goblin minions to steal the horn of a unicorn. A quest begins as Jack and Lily tries to stop this from happening and goes to retrieve the horn taken from the dead unicorn.
The mystical fantasy land

The film’s fantasy design set in a mystical land where unicorns, goblins, fairies and elves roam, warm and vibrant colours used to reflect this, as described by Roger Ebert, “Earth itself is a sylvan place, filled with flowers and little glades and grassy clearings - but also with dread swamps and mouldy fens” (Ebert, 1986). The makeup design for the Lord of Darkness (played by Tim Curry) as a Darkness Lord standing huge with , with red skin and eyes with massive bulls horns and a butt chin, along with a voice that suited the character really well that his portrayal of this became successful. “And Curry not only manages to make his voice match the power inherent in that character, but he also acts even though they've pretty much replaced his entire body” (Widge, 2005)
Tim Curry's portrayal of The Lord of The Darkness

The plot line like many other film plot lines starts off with a young princess Lily (Mia Sara) who hangs around with a forest boy, Jack (Tom Cruise) who foolishly causes havoc as she touches the unicorn only to end up having the unicorn killed by the goblins which the two protagonists didn’t see. Going with the “end of the world” time bomb, both characters go after the horn and the princess who tried to make things right only to have made it worse after being succumbed to the darkness. Though the visual designs were successful, the film lacked drama such as the scene where one of the henchmen falls into the darkness, he exclaims “Adios! Amigos!” ruining the dramatic moment. “He (Scott) uses production design, costumes, lighting, and makeup to suggest a sumptuous world of magic and wonder, but he cannot quite embrace the simple morality of the fairy tale form. Instead, he undercuts it with cheap jokes and modern vernacular in the dialogue.” (Biodrowski, 2009).

It is slightly hinted that Scott wanted to experiment with different film genres, in particular in this film dark themes within fairy tales, similar to The Company of Wolves as Scott had been reading fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm, but didn’t go too dark according to Biodrowski, “Scott seems afraid of trespassing too far from the PG rating.” Therefore this is perhaps what made this film lose its dramatic climax.

List of Illustrations:
Scott, R (1985) Legend poster art (online): - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Scott, R (1985) The mystical fantasy land (online): - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Anomaly, (2011) Tim Curry's portrayal of The Lord of The Darkness (online): - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Biodrowski, S (2009) Legend (1985) – Retrospective Film & DVD Review (online):  - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Ebert, R (1985) Legend (online):

Widge (2005) Legend (1985) - DVD Review (online):

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Feedback plz!! Unit 2: Space- AJttCotE: Extract 1 photoshop thumb update

Added blue tint around the cave

Taking on the advice feedback from Nat, I've tried to add in some blue tints around the darker rocks and on the right of the rock cliff as well as the far end of the lava path as a way of showing cold temperatures within the cave as well as hot lava. So far, adding these looks well but I'm not sure to keep the blue on the right as it seems to have made the look smaller. Help and feedback would be much loved at this panicky time!! ^_^

with blue tint behind the stalactites

Update: added blue tint on the darker rocks and on the right of the cave

added blue tint at the back of the cave

original- without the blue tints