Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Adaptation A: Fonts and Questions

Fig 1: Fonts

Fig 2: Do you Questions
I went through a series of different fonts looking for ones that suited the gaming theme for my Adaption A, The Scary Thing about Video Game Addiction, going for a retro gaming style.

For the first half of my Infographic I want to ask the viewer a series of questions about their gaming, how long they play for and if they avoid responsibilities to play games, the second half will then go through how to prevent addiction, first saying what addiction is and then how to prevent it. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Adaptation B: Black Book of Secrets Mood Board



For my Adaptation B project I want to do the two main characters from the Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins, and the shop they live in. The style I want to go for for the characters are based on the character designs by John Pomeroy for Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the character designs of the humans in 101 Dalmations and the illustrator of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books Brett Helquist. With the colour scheme I want to go for, I was thinking along the lines of muddy colours like browns, reds, oranges and dark greens, taking inspiration from the colour schemes in the cartoon Over the Garden Wall and the game Don't Starve. This is because the village of Pavus Pagus where the story is set is described as a dismal place on the mountainside that is constantly cloudy. As the timezone in the book isn't explicitly stated I was going to take inspiration from other young teen books like A series of Unfortunate Events and how they marry up a mixture of the old and the new. As well as this, the quirky design of the houses and shops from Hogsmeade in Harry Potter for inspiration for what the exterior of the shop would look like.  

Mud Box: Robot and Importing into Maya and Photoshop

Fig 1: 360 View of the Robot in Mudbox
Fig 2: Maya Render
Fig 3: Front View of the Robot in Photoshop 
In this Mudbox Tutorial I edited and painted onto a pre-made model of a robot design and modelled by Simon. Then import the model into other software like Maya and Photoshop. Importing the Model between Mudbox and Maya was relatively easy, but transitioning the edits from Photoshop to Mudbox was a little bit more difficult as it wanted to be imported in as a projection and wasn't put onto the model. Overall, however I found that the way that exporting and importing into and from Mudbox is an easy and efficient tool.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Adaptation A: The Scary Thing about Addiction to Video Games Mood Board


For my Infographic for Adaptation A, I'm doing "The Scary Thing about Addiction to Video Games", the plan is to take the lay outs of well known games, in order of their release date. As a subtle way to show the history of video games while asking a series of questions relating to addiction to the media and ways to prevent it from happening. These transitions mean that I would have to create distinct designs in the infographic so that people can recognise what game they come from. Next I shall work on the storyboard to figure out how the transitions between each question and game can flow fluidly.

Global Animated Film Review: Australia- Mary & Max

Fig 1: Film Poster for Mary & Max
Mary & Max is a 2009 Australian stop-motion animated film created by director Adam Elliot, an academy award winner know for his short animated productions such as Uncle (1999) and Harvey Krumpet (2001). Based on a true story, the film focuses on the relationship two titular characters, Mary, a young girl from Australia and Max, a middle aged man from New York have as pen pals over the course of their life. The film goes over numerous themes, such as childhood neglect, loneliness, mental illness,  Autism, depression and suicide. But the use of humour throughout grounds it so that the film isn't so negative, but instead grounded in a more realistic viewpoint.

Fig 2: Mary Daisy Dinkle
The film starts in 1976, when Mary Daisy Dinkle, a 6 year old Australian, who suffered from bullying due to her appearance leading her to have her pet rooster Ethel as her only friend. Curious about America from seeing a New York phone book, she decides to write a letter to one of them, tearing off part of a phone box while her alcoholic mother was caught stealing in the post office. Her letter makes it halfway around the Earth to Max Horowitz, an morbidly obese New-Yorker of Jewish decent who has trouble understanding the world and the people in it which lead him to living a lonely life of dealing with his array of pets.
 Despite Max's anxieties over forming bonds with people, the two hit it off, becoming pen pals for many years. Over the years the two bonded, Mary grew up, got married and was successful in University, while Max grew fatter, was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and won the lottery. For her final dissertation, Mary decided to write a book about Max's condition, hoping to find a way to cure it, however this infuriated Max, who felt that his Aspergers was a part of him and proud of that fact.

Fig 3: Max Harowitz
The two fell out of contact with one another, which led Mary down a path similar to her Mother, drinking sherry and falling into such a depression, that almost lead her to commit suicide if it wasn't for her agoraphobic neighbour Len who gave her Max's apology gift, his entire collection of the Noblets, TV characters from a show they both loved. Max had an enlightening experience with a homeless man dropping a cigarette butt that no human is perfect, and wanted to apologise for his brashness towards Mary, and the two rekindle their friendship. One year later, Mary, now with a child of her own, makes a trip over to New York to see Max only to come across his body staring at the ceiling in his apartment, he died the morning she arrived. Mourning the lost of her long time friend, Mary holds onto his hand and looks to the ceiling, which were covered in all the letters that she sent to him.
Fig 4: Two worlds colliding
The use of colour in this film is notable as Mary and her surroundings and the other people in Australia are coloured with a sepia tone, reminiscent of the dry sandiness of the outback while Max and New York is in a black and white tone, even when object of people and in the others world they still retain their colours, Max's apology gift and when Mary arrives in New York for example. This difference in tones can connote the difference of the two worlds Mary and Max live in. The intrusions of objects from one world to the other through out relate to the connection the two main characters are inflicting on each other from the letters they write to one another.
The humour in Mary & Max is notably Australian, black comedy is prevalent throughout the film and is one of the way to deal with the serious topics imbedded in the plot. Australian humour is similar to British Humour in that sense, its self-mocking and can be rather dark, but its relatable and played for laughs.

Adam Elliot calls his works Clayographies, biographies made with clay stop-motion animation, as shown but not only Mary & Max but also in his short films, Harvey Krumpet is a film going through the entire life of a Polish man with Tourettes Syndrome for example. Mary & Max goes into the lives of 6 year old Australian Mary Daisy Dinkle who writes a letter to New Yorker Max Harowitz, from there the two kick of a friendship lasting many years that has its ups and downs. Elliot's motivation for making his films stem from wanting to see stories he wanted to see. The bittersweet nature of his stories is a trait throughout his films and his use of stop motion is one of tactile preference to produce his films, which can take up to five years to make.

While Adam Elliot's is one of Australia's leading figures for animation in recent years the country itself has a very long history with animation, starting with Harry Julius, a new-paper cartoonist who would make topical animated new reels in a series called "Cartoons of the Moment" back in 1910. Felix the Cat, created by Australian Pat Sullivan was very popular during the times of the silent film of the 1920s but was slowly drowned out by the noise of characters like Mickey Mouse. Despite the market for animation being dominated by the American Animation Studios, Australian produced animations do receive World wide success, like the animated series King Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table (1972) produced by Airs international Studios, Yoram Gross' mix-media film Dot and the Kangaroo (1977) through to digital works like Happy Feet (2006) by George Miller.


Biblography:
http://www.skwigly.co.uk/adam-elliot-interview/
http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/animation-in-australia

Images:
Image 1: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8c/0d/4c/8c0d4ca07f615fc163e6a29e6bcd0d7c.jpg
Image 2: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMjYxZjgxNWMtY2RjZS00NTQ1LThiOTEtZGMzNmY4ZGYwZTk2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjQ2NDA2ODM@._V1_.jpg
Image 3: https://blog.animationstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Figure-3.png
Image 4: https://punctumdigest.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/marymaxstill.jpg

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mud Box: Construction of a Pumpkin

Fig 1: The Final Pumpkin made in Mudbox
Fig 2: The Making of the Pumpkin



Sculpting using Mudbox was very enjoyable, its like using clay and its interesting how the tools worked. Especially the Grab, Sculpt and Relax tools which were the tools primarily used to make this pumpkin. The potential and pros for Mudbox is obvious as the more in depth details you can go into with a model's design, especially for organic and more realistic models

Friday, 13 January 2017

Narrative: Maya Tutorial and Film Review Masterpost

CG Artist Toolkit and Animations

Isometric Camera

2D Facial Rigging

Max Poses Animation

Lipsync Animation

Narrative Film Reviews:

Hero's Journey

Character Archetypes

Narrative Structure

Narrative and Character

B-Movies

Exploitation in Cinema

Maya Tutorial: Head Model Progress so far

Fig 1: Model Before sorting out the Mouth and Eye

Fig 2: Model After sorting out the Mouth and Eye
With the Head Model it has been a long process due to getting the vertices right where I want them and making them accurate to the orthographic drawings provided. Now onto the eye it seems as though it'll take me a little while still before I can see this finished unfortunately.


Maya Tutorial: 2D Rigging- Skinning



In the process of skinning the 2D Zombie, its proving to be a bit difficult with painting on the weights so that the black line stays consistent no matter how extreme the zombie moves.

CG Artist Toolkit Animation: Lipsync



Blinking, Tongue Roll and Eye Movements added to the lipsync, there still seems to be some roughness in some parts of the lip sync but overall its gone well.

CG Artist Toolkit Animation: Posing Max- Baseball Batter


The Timing of the Animation still needs a little tweaking but the general layout for the poses and the in betweens are sorted.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

B-Movie: I Married a Monster from Outer Space 1958

Fig 1:Theatrical Poster for "I Married a Monster from Outer Space"
I Married a Monster from Outer Space is a 1958 Sci-fi film, filmed in black and white and directed by Gene Fowler Jr. and published by Paramount Pictures.The plot centres around Marge and Bill, who at the beginning of the film are engaged to be married the following day. However on his way home from the pub, Bill almost runs over a body and upon getting out of the car is taken over by an alien entity that enters his body through black smoke. The impostor then takes his place, marrying Marge and living his life for over a year. Throughout this, Marge realises that there is something wrong about her husband, but that doubt comes into fruition due to his reactions to the puppy she bought for him on their anniversary, of which Bill was a massive dog lover, and how the impostor strangles the pup to death when it doesn't stop barking at him. When another one of the aliens rocks up in the body of one of Bill's friends, saying that he needs to report back to the Mothership, Marge follows him, discovering that her husband is actually an alien.

Fig 2: The Two Main Characters Marge and Bill

Being a B movie, I Married a Monster from Outer Space's budget seemed to be rather lackluster, the designs of the aliens, who were men in costumes not puppets or animatronics, while looking quite good have a certain cheapness to them, obvious eye holes hided by mesh and the fact that they wear trousers leads to a very bizarre and comical quality to them. The story is an elaborate one with male aliens taking over human male bodies for the sole reason to have sex with the females of the species comes across as a very basic plot device to give the exploit sexual themes.

However the acting, while sometimes silly in the dialogue and delivery, is generally quite good for the type of film it is, praise is especially due to Tom Tyron who plays Bill who can give a very good delivery of an alien trying to pass off as the human he's impersonating and fooling those around him, though he can be seen as 'wooden' at some points.

Fig 3: The facial splicing effect that overlays the alien face over the actors

The visual effects leave much to be desired, the smoke effects and the facial splicing onto the actors looks cheap and off. There were good ideas of how the director wanted the special effects to look but its sad that the end result with how the effects looked and the actors reactions to scenes like the smoke climbing up their bodies in such a jerky and bizarre way that there was a clear disconnect over the direction for the acting and the special effects for the smoke.

The script itself can be quite confusing and amateurish at times, the scene where Marge talks to a friend of hers who just got engaged and the friend laments on nearly having to become a business women instead of a house wife is written in such a way that the dialogue doesn't sound natural. Same with the line in the bar with two of Bill's friends where one of them is drunk and says to the bartender that he is a home wrecker, while the acting is mediocre the dialogue really hams up what the character is saying but because the writing for that dialogue isn't that good it becomes comical for being bad then being actually funny. Also the plot of the film, which is one of the more common plot line for a sci-fi B-movie isn't really that imaginative, the characters had potential to be better but because the writing could be such a joke at times, it doesn't give the actors time to shine for most of the scenes.

Fig 4: Alien emerging from the ship


The ending is so over the top that it can only be seen to be believed, it is so convoluted and full of plot holes, the most glaring one being why would Marge's doctor believe her without seeing evidence first. As well as the fact that apparently dogs just know to attack the aliens, which why it was a set up plot point earlier on with the puppy's weariness over alien Bill, it just happens with no build up leading to the climax feeling very rushed. The Alien Bill over acts his death to such a degree that its laughable and Marge's reaction to that scene is a mess as she goes from distressed to neutral too slightly pleased that Bill is alive. Overall it seems as tho the main focus that the director put towards the movie was in its first and second acts, the ending seemed rushed and just one giant cop out.

Fig 5: The ship explodes as the Aliens call off their invasion of Earth
In conclusion, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, is a charming little sci-fi film that ha some redeeming qualities for how limited it's budget was. While some aspects were interesting, such as the plot, while being somewhat generic, is stable and understandable despite its rushed ending, as well as the acting, although it really does depend on the scenes as it can bounce between being quite good or terrible. While the special effect looked cheap and some off the animations, the smoke and the way the aliens died in a bizarre frame by frame manner, is rather charming despite its silliness and as a little bit of potential if more work was done on it.


Bibliography:
Image 1: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/87/62/96/876296b3844f01d97b5bbc1be5af06a0.jpg

Image 2: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dRP6pu7jVcA/T1BEb8gP0jI/AAAAAAAAEy8/NxtW3inrqZI/s1600/marriedhoneymoon.jpg

Image 3: http://shebloggedbynight.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/imam2.jpg

Image 4: http://basementrejects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/i-married-a-monster-from-outer-space-alien-ufo.jpg


Exploitation in Cinema: Mad Max: Fury Road

Fig 1: Theatrical Poster for "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Mad Max Fury Road is Fourth Film in the Mad Max series, directed by Australian director George Miller the 2015. The film focuses around the barren wasteland in the dessert where a cult lead by Immortan Joe, deprives his citizens ,who live below his massive citadel in the cliff side, of water and rules over them with fear and with them in his debt to survive the rough environment they live in. Wanderer, Mad Max, is caught by the Immortan's War Boys and is used as a human blood bank thanks to his universal blood type and is connect to the War Boy Nux. During this time one of the Immortan's lieutenants, Imperator Furiosa, is sent to find gasoline, however, Joe is unaware that she had smuggled his five wives on board her War Rig until it was too late. Furious he sends his War Boys after her, the thrill of the pursuit and the potential to become a legend by dying in battle leads the ill Nux to join in, along with the reluctant Max. The clash between the two ends with the War Rig driving into a sandstorm that leave only Max and Nux in radius of Furiosa and the five Wives. Despite there differences the two men join the six women on their quest to escape the clutches of Immortan Joe and end for a life in the "Green Place".


Fig 2: One of many action scenes present in the film

Mad Max Fury Road
, is a film full of action, to the point where its obvious when an action scene is taking or about to be taken place due to the fast cuts and choppy style of filming that Miller went for in those scenes. The overt use of action, as well as the abundance of violence and body horror in the varied male characters, drowns out a relatively simplistic plot that goes back on itself from the 1st act to the 3rd act as the characters leave the Citadel in the beginning only to realise that they can't go anywhere but back to the place where they started. Because of this the consistent wave after wave of action with the sparseness of dialogue scenes blend Mad Max: Fury Road into a modern day equivalent of exploitation in cinema seen back in the 1970s and 1980s. Such equivalents are to be made from the Ozploitation cinema, Australian films that were overt in their violent, horrific or erotic nature, one such example is of the earlier Mad Max films where there was no health and safety guidelines leading to dangerous scenes of violence produced for film.

Fig 3: Four of the five wives of Immortan Joe and Furiosa

Female sexuality could also be considered as a form of exploitation in the film as at the beginning of the film the five wives are property of Immortan Joe, used for breeding to birth a perfect son to rule after him. However due to the liberation of the women by Furiosa, a formidable female warrior who is able to hold her own in fights. The female characters in Mad Max: Fury Road aren't just used for sexual reasons, they learn throughout the movie to grow and adapt to the risks of a world outside the Citadel. Gaining new skills, they are able to hold themselves in fights with the men pursuing them with the death of the wives leader, the favourite of Joe and heavily pregnant Splendid.

Fig 4: Furiosa using Max as a rest for her rifle, one of the most pinnacle scenes of female empowerment over men that can be seen as a recurring theme through the film


The dynamic of Furiosa and Max also evidence at the fact that female sexuality isn't exploited in Mad Max: Fury Road, as while Max's name is in the title the film centres around Furiosa and her need to escape the Citadel, of Immortan Joe to go to her childhood home of "The Green Place" a fruitful land lead by strong-willed women. In combat she is also the more offensive and strategic of the two, an example being when she leaned her gun on Max's back in the pitch black of the wetlands. Max on the other hand is much more frantic with how he deals with combat, he just wants to survive, while Furiosa is more of a warrior.

Fig 5: Max's silently exit as the remaining wives and Furiosa are now under control of the Citadel

Mad Max: Fury Road
is a film that loves action, and uses the themes of female empowerment and survival to give the characters impact where it counts. The fact that the group is so outnumbered, makes the audiences want for their survival more apparent, and the lack-luster environment they are in, a barren desert gives way for excellent car chases and combat using vehicles. Its quick paced and filled with adrenaline and the overwhelmingly large female cast for a high-octane action film brings the exploitation action films of the 1970s-1980s and switches it up to fit with the modern era.

Bibliography:
Image 1: http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/428175-madness-these-are-more-mad-max-fury-road-posters#/slide/1

Image 2: https://i0.wp.com/stylishhdwallpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Movie-Scene-HD-Wallpaper.jpg

Image 3: http://cinergetica.com.mx/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/mad-max-fury-road-image-charlize-theron-abbey-lee-courtney-eaton-zoe-kravitz-riley-keough-645x418.jpg

Image 4: http://www.petertrumbore.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/tumblr_nowclzo8fi1qe5f96o2_r2_1280.jpg

Image 5: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tx2bfoKLMng/maxresdefault.jpg









Narrative and Character: Captain America: the Winter Soldier (2014)


Image 1: Threatrical Poster of Captain America the Winter Solider 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was made in 2014 and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. It is ninth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Steve Rodgers' story following the events that unfolded from Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and The Avengers (2012) he is thrown into conflict about the organisation, SHIELD, and the new threat of the Winter Soldier.

Steve Rodgers relationship with Winter Soldier had already been established in the first film, Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), when he was known as James Bucky Barnes. The two were childhood friends on opposite ends of the scale both in personality and physicality. Steve was an sickly awkward boy who had a strong sense of justice while Bucky was an able-bodied ladies man. This changed when Steve received the serum to enhance his body to human perfection and led his friend along with the rest of his troops to fight HYDRA and Red Skull. The results of this mission led to Bucky's supposed death on a train in the German Mountain side and Captain America being frozen in ice only to be freed by the organisation SHIELD in modern day.
At the start of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve is the leader of a troop infiltrating a tanker, he leads the operation, being the front of the troop and going in first. By contrast later on in the film in the chase scene with Nick Fury and HYDRA officers which introduces the Winter Soldier for the first time. Instead of being front and centre, he is used as a last resort to completely stop Fury in his tracks. While Captain America is assertive and definitely leader material, the Winter Soldier, while being a silent and foreboding figure is more docile and willing to follow instructions over doing things by himself.

Fig 2: The first meeting of Captain America and the Winter Soldier

Captain America world view in this film is shown by his willingness to leave SHIELD, and to gain a sense of independence and freedom from the organisation that is beginning to show signs of corruption, after the death of Nick Fury. All the while the Winter Soldier is stuck following orders set by HYDRA but his sense of free will starts to be regained over the course of the movie. The two organisations in the film also have duality in their world views, with SHIELD that openly wanted to protect and defend the innocent from the super humans, aliens and other forces that could harmful civilians, while HYDRA, is a hidden organisation dealing in terrorist activities and secret assassination missions, not caring for the lives of the innocent that could be harmed along the way. The combination of their opposing personalities and the organisations they work for also is reflected in their fight styles, Steve is defensive, using his iconic shield to defect blows from enemies. While the Winter Soldier is more offensive, using guns and knives to attack to kill like the assassin he was trained to be.
Fig 3: Fight Scene with Steve and the Winter Soldier

Throughout the film, after discovering that the Winter Soldier is Bucky, Steve goes out of his way to get him out of his mind controlled state. He wants his old friend back, while Bucky is stuck in this turmoil of following HYDRA's orders or letting himself listen to Steve and regain his own individuality that he had before his capture. However due to Bucky's unwillingness to co-operate it isn't until the climax where he fully has a grasp of who he is. Steve by contrast is too willing to co-operate with people which leads to his distrust of Natalia and Nick Fury due to them going behind his back in the tanker mission and of SHIELD itself for the helicarriers and of the hidden agendas of HYDRA and how they infiltrated SHIELD's ranks.

Fig 4: The final fight scene between Captain America and The Winter Soldier as Steve tries to get through to Bucky who he is.

By the end of the film and because of Bucky recusing Steve from the wreckage of the fallen helicarrier, Steve has lost his loyalty to the organisation who revived him from the ice, his only hope now is to grasp at a chance to join up with the people from or related to his past. While Bucky is trying to figure himself out now that he abandoned HYDRA and figure out a new path for himself in the modern day


Biblography:

Image 1: http://www.heyuguys.com/images/2014/01/Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-UK-Poster.jpg

Image 2: http://www.joblo.com/newsimages1/wintersoldierscreen.jpg

Image 3:http://media.comicbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cap-vs-winter-soldier.png

Image 4: http://cdn5.thr.com/sites/default/files/2014/02/capt_a.jpg


Adaptation Project A: The Scary Thing About...


Monday, 9 January 2017

Character Project: Character Bible



Reflective Statement

Overall I feel as though this project went over quite well, I had trouble in the beginning finding a way for my art style to compliment both characters and the advice from Justin was both interesting and insightful for being able to move forward and improve. I wish that I had more time to figure out perspectives a little more as I had continuous issues when designing the Dinosaur couple's kitchen for the end of the scene so I'd like to have more practise in drawing in that was as well as drawing reptilian creatures like dinosaurs as well.