Thursday, 16 March 2017

Adaptation B: Pawnbroker Exterior Layout Thumbnails

Fig 1: Layout Thumbnails for the Exterior
Here are a few thumbnail ideas i drew for the layout of the exterior of the pawnbrokers that Ludlow and Joe work at, I wanted to fit with the idea that its a building built on a hill so its foundations are at an angle and I also wanted to portray the building as rather short due to the shortage of wood as referenced in the book while describing the town. These are not the final concepts for the outside of the shop, only layout references that I would then work further on to suit the style of the characters and to help with understanding the interior too.

Adaptation B: Style Concept for Ludlow and Joe

Fig 1: Concepts of styles for Ludlow

Fig 2: Concepts of styles for Joe

Some digital concepts of style ideas for the two characters varying from somewhat realistic to a more cartoon style. Basing the general attributes of the characters from their descriptions in the book as well as using influences like otters for Ludlow's head and face shape in one of the designs.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Adaptation B: Character Concept: Ludlow and Joe

Fig 1: Ludlow

Fig 2 and 3: Joe 

Fig 4 and 5: Ludlow and Joe

Fig 6: Ludlow and Joe

When I was going through designs for the two characters I tried to give them as much opposition while also correlating with the books original description. Ludlow is a pick-pocket from the city so giving him long slender fingers was a common element in his designs, as well as this the books continues to describe him as having wild eyes with an intense glare to them so some of the concepts play up to that but giving him larger eyes. 

Joe, on the other hand, is an older man with an emotionless face, a tall and lanky body and hair that has no set structure to it, overall the description of Joe was very descriptive although I was playing with the fact that because of his height things like his trousers wouldn't be fitted as right as it should.

Overall I feel as though while I am making progress in the character designs that I need to focus on making the two designs for them marry together to make it plausible that they both live in the same world and also make it so that the design is to a standard that I feel comfortable modelling them in 3D in.

Life Drawing- Ink Practise

Fig 1: Close up study in Ink

Fig 2: Ink and Pencil sketches 

Fig 3: Two 20 Minute sketches in Pencil and Ink

Fig 4: Studies in Ink

I dropped into a life drawing session to practise using my inks and to refresh my traditional drawing skills after focusing on digital drawing for so long.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Global Animated Film Review: India- Sita sings the Blues

Fig 1: Sita sings the Blues Poster
Sita sings the Blues is a 2008 animated film, made almost completely by American artist Nina Paley and goes over the Indian story of Ramayana. The film suffered from copyright issues with the use of Annette Hanshaw's music that wasn't seen by Paley until it was too late and had to fork up a fine of $50,000. Due to this set back Paley was unable to make money on her film due to the fact that she couldn't distribute it through DVDs after the initial 4,999 copies. Sita sings the Blues was then available to download for free, with Nina Paley only asking for donations for her work. The film also suffered backlash from the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti back in 2009 due to the groups believe that the reimagining of Ramayana was offensive and demanded that the film be banned for good. However despite these issues the film was critically acclaimed with critics and has won numerous awards.

Fig 2: One of the Three main art styles used, in this case depicting Nina's Story
The film uses multiple different animation styles and is split into 3 different parts that rotate throughout the film. One part depicts the story of Ramayana, it is performed as a musical and uses the music of Annette Hanshaw to depict the journey of Sita. This part also features two art styles for its narrative and musical sections, the narrative is in a traditional Indian art style while the musical sections are in Vector Graphics. The part also parallels with a true story of Paley herself, drawn in a more sketchy style, it depicts her and her partner and their falling out of love similar to what Sita goes through with Rama. The third part is a interlude of sorts between the other two explaining the story in the style of Indian shadow puppets with the three characters discussing the story in a lighthearted way.

The use of the different styles of animation help in identifying what part is being watched and what to expect when each animation style is present. The format of the film is portrayed in Bollywood format with 2 acts and an intermission section of 5 minutes inbetween to hone back to the fact that Bollywood movies are often very long often around 3 to 4 hours in length. The use of songs through out also alludes to the Bollywood format Nina Paley wanted to achieve along with the common tropes of love and marriage.

Fig 3: Another of the Three Art Styles, this one is the musical number animation that was achieved through vector graphics 
The plot revolves around a loose telling of the story of the Ramayana, an Ancient Indian Epic Poem, going through the devine prince of The Kosala Kingdom, Rama, following from his banishment from his kingdom with his wife Sita and their struggles in the wilderness and also in their relationship. This is paralleled by another story playing alongside of the creator, Nina Paley, whose partner gets an animation job in India which eventually ends up with Nina moving to India too. However the relationship broke down after Nina had to go back to America, much in the same way that Rama left Sita.

The two plots weave around each other nicely due to the similarities in what happens to both Nina and Sita, with the downfall of each woman's relationships. The third part featuring the shadow puppets who explain the story in a chatty way is both humourous and educational. The animation in each part is impressive but especially in the opening and end scenes that uses the vector graphics from the musical numbers, it sets the tone for the film in a phenomenal way.

Fig 4: The Shadow Puppet Style used for exposition to explain the story of Ramayana
The shadow puppet segment in the expository sections of the film reference the old ways of Indian animation before the country's independence. Dadasaheb Phalke, India's first animator and known as the father of animation in India used shadow puppets and stop motion to achieve his animations in the 1910s. The interest in animation has boomed in India in recent years, from 1956 where Clair Weeks, a Disney Studios Animator helped in the training and the making of the first animation studios in the country. However despite is recent success in its animated films, India still as some ways to go before hitting international waters, from providing a way to allow animation to be more accessible to animators through technology but also in giving support for the production in animated films.


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