Sunday, 24 October 2010

Character Design part 7

During the two weeks of Character design lesions I have learnt some new techniques.
The first week we had to add some facial features to a theme that was given to us, for me the theme was garden.
To help me design my characters I first listed the objects I know that are used for gardening. The objects I have wrote are big and small lawn, garden sprinklers, mini garden fork and spade, a bucket and clippers.
The first character I drew on the first page was a big lawn mower, I thought to give it a gentle relaxing expression because I seen this type of lawn mower being used in a cartoon and the character always seemed relaxed.
The next characters I have made are the two mini garden fork and one spade. I gave the spade a cute big eyed expression and I gave one fork a type of intelligent look and the second fork a more evil look, I pull the evil look off by making the fork more pointy.
The next object was the sprinkler I wanted to give it a an angry bug like appearance because I saw one of these sprinklers and I thought make it bug like would fit, I gave it an angry face because I thought it would be funny.
The last object on the first page was a bucket. I didn't know what was I going for with this but while I was looking at my bucket it reminded me a plant pot so I did some character development on it and came up with a happy broken pot with a small single flower, to me this pushes the cuteness because it's a broken pot that has a small plant and it's happy.

On the second page I drew some clippers that had some animal like features like a parrot clipper. I made most of the clippers look visious by showing how shape they are. I also drew one small lawn mower that for some reason has an expression like it is looking for something.

On my last picture I added a new object which was a lawn chair and too me that screams lazy so I added some lazy features by giving it some sleepy eyes and wraping its chair arms around it's tummy. Justin saw this and he likes the idea and helped me by giving it actual sleepy eyes, a big tummy and a happy face. Also I made one last clipper.

On the second week I learnt on how to make poses by using some guide lines to tell the expression on the character, we worked on this by using our class mates as models for our drawings. I actually felt this helped me a lot on using guide lines to show the expression on the character's body also on the second week I learnt on making facial expressions. I don't have pictures of it because they are on my actual character design but don't worry I will post it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Postmodernism part 5: Funny Games U.S.

The next film we watched for our Postmodernism Lecture was Funny Games U.S.(2008)

The plot of the film is about Paul and Peter meeting the new family around the area acting neighbourly until the two of them holds the family hostage and challenge them into a game. If the family can stay alive by morning, if they do Paul and Peter will leave them alone but it won't be that easy.
This film is postmodern because the creator of the film remade this for the American audience and it kept most of the same scenes from the previous film released in Germany under the same name. It is also a new take on horror because Peter and Paul are not you typical killers. They are polite but also very creepy and they always ask in questions, an example is when Paul had a golf ball in his hand and he asked the family why does he have it, hinting out that he killed someone. What else made this film creepy is that Paul and Peter gave the family many choices but twist it to their favour. The film also constantly breaking the forth wall with Paul talking to audience by saying along the lines of do you want to see this horrible thing thats happening to this sweet family. While Peter plays the role of the audience by questioning the things they are doing like are you sure you want to let them live a little long we could end this right now. Even their origins of why they are torturing the family while in other horror films the killer has a reason why they are killing people but for them they don't they just doing it.
The film also teases the audience a lot too, by having one of the family members escaping but gets caught, having the phone working but can't call no one. Even have Peter getting shot but Paul brought him back to life by turning back time with a remote control.
So in conclusion this film is not meant to be enjoyed if you want a happy ending and it completely teases the audience to a high level.

Narrative Lecture 4: The Day the Earth Stood Still

The next film we watched for our Narrative lecture is The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 version.

The plot is about an alien named Klaatu who came to earth to deliver an important message to the public, but kept on getting stopped so he decided to hide amongst the people to learned about them and gaining information to find a way to deliver his message.
This movie was known as the first of its kind for being different. Instead of having an alien invasion it has an alien delivering a message to the world. The message is the message of peace letting the people know that if they continue making more weapons of mass destruction they might take their war to an even higher place which is space. So Klaatu came to earth to say there are some aliens who won't stand for that and will prevent this by destroying earth, but they are willing to give earth a second chance by sending their robots to monitor them and if there are any violence they will eliminate it. Klaatu admits this plan isn't perfect but it will get the job done.
I believe what makes this movie successful is how it talks about the violence in the world and it might grow into other areas like space. The movie questions this and asked when will it end, how far will the violence go. What if there was a life form who discovers this and decided to take matters into his own hands by threatening the planet by destroying it. The film itself is a type of warning to the public making them aware that all these violence isn't good and there has to be another way to settle disputes.
People questions if the film is a B Movie or not but the truth is I don't care I thought the effects were good at it's time but where it really shines is the story of Klaatu's quest to bring peace to the world.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Postmodernism Lecture part 4: Moulin Rouge!

This time we looked at a Postmodernism in musical romance, and the film we watched as an example was Moulin Rouge! (2001)

The film is about Christian, a young writer, moving to Paris to learn about love. He went to a cabaret called the Moulin Rouge where he meets an actress name Satine. The two of them fell in love but a jealous duke won't allow it so he is finding different ways to prevent them from being together.

This film was amazing, it uses a lot of cliche romance rules. Examples of this would be the story for having the hero falling in love with a woman who is out of his league. The woman is also involve with someone powerful, but in the end the woman and the hero falls in love. Another part of it's clicheness to romantic stories is when the characters sings out their feelings.
The Postmodernism of the film comes from the music it uses. They are not made up but are actual songs preformed by actual singers. It only has one song that belongs to itself which is the main song but the rest are from other performers. Another example of Postmodernism is the pacing of the film, it began with a very fast pace which I believe is the point of view of Christian where he first entered Moulin Rouge and everything was fast and wild. The film then slows down putting us as the audience once again to see how will this love story will unfold.
This pacing is Postmodern because of how fast the first few minutes started out. You have Christian meeting his neighbours, being invited to the Moulin Rouge, meeting the girl of his dreams, asked to make a play for the Moulin Rouge and keep the love affair a secret from the duke. That when the film slows down you do not remember what happened but you know that Christian have a job of writing a play and has to keep his love affair a secret. In other words in those first few minutes we are Christian and when the film slows down we are back as the audience.

Narrative Lecture part 3: The Quatermass Xperiment

In this part of the lecture we looked at British narrative in film, we observed this by watching 'The Quatermass Xperiment'(1955).

The film began with a spaceship landing in a field causing a disturbance around the area. Police and firemen surrounds the spaceship waiting for their orders from the man who made the ship, Bernard Quatermass.
Once they investigated the ship they only found one survivor, a space engineer named Victor Carron. He was sent to the neariest hospital but before the paramedics left Victor told Quatermass help me.

This film gave off a frightening vibe, because Victor had a zombie like appearance on his face and his actions came out odd. He attacks plants at random and he always gave off the most frightening dead like expression. What also gave this film a scary feel is the way the deadbodies look when victor touched them, the deadbodies are very skinny to the bone which was a very good effect at the time. To help with the scarinest of the film it plays with the mystory of whats happening to Victor, by having some odd outburst and going through changes in his body and mind.
I believe what made this film unique is how it shows a different type of invasion, unlike the old sci-fi films at the time where they had aliens purposly coming to earth to take over. In Quatermass it was a non-contagious bacteria that effected one man and used him to absorb life around him to get itself bigger to send off spores to effect more people.
So in this film it was a bacteria that was threating earth and it was up to Quatermass to stop it because he felt responsible for it. Once he had stop the bacteria he still wants to carry on his experiment, to explore the far regions of space. That is what made this film unique with it's different way of story telling and exicution.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Postmodernism Lecture 3: Scream (1996)

The third film I have watched for Postmodernism is 1996 film Scream.

Scream is about a serial killer named Ghostface who is attacking teens and his next target is Sidney. This event reminds her of the murder of her mother which really effects her judgement thinking one of her friends could be the killer.
This movie uses a lot of horror movie references with the killer mysteriously appearing out of nowhere and taunting the victims to having the virgin lives in the end. I really like this movie and I could also see why this is considered Postmodernism because to me it feels like a parody/tribute to old horror films. A great example of Postmodernism would be Ghostface himself, for being a serial killer who is very clumsy and likes to taunt his victims, actual horror serial killers are actually quite silent and very careful on how they move. Yet Ghostface is able to get the job done and the teens actually defends themselves instead of acting foolish most of the time. Plus most of the people watch horror films to find some tips on how to stay alive from Ghostface.
Another example would be the ending where Sidney dressed up as Ghostface and uses his image to scare the actual killers, in old horror movies the female protagonist would never do that they would just run away screaming and end up lucky killing the killer.

Postmodernism Lecture 2: Mulholland Drive

The next movie I have watched, that gave another example of Postmodernism is Mulholland Drive(2001)

Mulholland Drive is about finding out the identity of a woman named Rita, who survived a car accident. The movie also has other miniature side stories like a man who dreamt of meeting a scary figure and it came true. A struggling director who finally gave in to the demands of his producers. And an assassin who struggled at covering up his tracks. But the main story is about Rita finding out who she is and who tried to kill her with the help of her friend Betty, which is some what answered in the end.
What makes this film Postmodernism is the different types of genre that were used in the film. Having a mix of detective stories, comedy, romance and thriller. The film gave me a confused yet amazement feel because it answered some of the questions like who tried to kill Rita but also left some questions unanswered as well, like what was the point of introducing the side characters, what purpose did they have. In the film it also knows that the characters are just characters with different roles and it can treat them however it wants, that the movie is its own character.
Like I mentioned before the ending did some what answered my questions but left some holes as well. The person who wanted to kill Rita was Betty because she was a jealous ex who wanted to make Rita pay. But when she did ordered a hit on Rita, Betty slowly went insane with her guilt and took her own life. At least that what I think, and the way the scene was done was in an explosive feeling, that the third act felt rushed yet not at the same time. Because to me the film is saying we'll give the audience the answer without a lot of padding, things that would drag out the movie even longer. Aleast thats how I see it.

Narrative Lecture part 2: Ed Wood

The next film we watched for our Narrative Lecture was Ed Wood(1994).

The movie is a biography on the worst director named Ed Wood, who take risks in making his films that he believes are great. The film shows how far Ed Wood is willing to go to produce his master piece and it depicts Ed Wood as a pretty nice guy making friends where ever he goes and bringing them to his films.
It also shows us Ed Woods fixation on Orson Welles and wanting to be just like him, a great director.
The movie also have Ed Wood questioning himself if he is doing the right thing, if he is even meant to be a director.
I believe this movie is meant to tell us what will happen if you have the drive for making a film but going about it the wrong way by taking one shots of scenes with no back ups, not enough money and doing things illegally like taking shots on locations that you don't have permissions for and stealing props.
But regardless of all the dangers, once it is done it will all be worth it in the end.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Lip syncing examples

I know we have finished our lip syncing tutorials but I thought these videos can give us an idea of how lip syncing works.
The first videos are examples of different ways of lip syncing 3D models with the same dialogue. The dialogue used in these two videos are from the famous speech given by the joker in The Dark Knight

Example 1

Example 2

The next video is from a documentary about the different types of technologies used in a children show called 'Sid the Science Kid'.

There is actually another documentary called 'Science of the Movies' where the host of the show interviews the people behind the show. The episode is called 'The Magic of Henson', I don't exactly remember where the interview takes place but I think the interview is roughly around the middle of the documentary. If anyone is planning to find the episode then I must warn you the presenter of the documentary is very annoying but the things he looks at are interesting.

Character Design part 6

From the past three weeks I had lessons in creating characters. As I mentioned the first week lesson was to make characters that was given to us(LINK to my previous post on the first character design lesson), and I said I have lost my paper. Well I have found it in the most unusual places(my laundry bag :() and here is my image of the first lesson.
If you need to know what they are here is the LINK to the previous post.

The second week was about using shapes to create characters and each shape actually have specific uses, the main shapes for creating characters are Squares, Circles and Triangles. Squares are used for strong and heroic looking characters Circles are used for soft cuddly characters and Triangles are used for dangerous evil characters. By looking at the two images at the bottom I believe I need some work on using shapes to help create characters.

The third week was to use a type of guide bone structure to help create the characters body and position. I felt that this tool was quite useful because it really help me to get an idea of the length of the arms and legs of the characters. We practice this by using pictures of actual characters like Disney's Hercules, Danger Mouse or in my case Tigger.

Once we have figured out the bone structure of the character when then have to make a female version of them, which was quite tricky because a females anatomy is different from a males anatomy. At the top left corner of the image is my female Tigger, which wasn't very good compared to the female Tigger in the center that the tutor had drew.

Finally to end the third week we had to do a side view of another iconic character, I've got Obelix from Astrix and Obleix. This is meant to show use that side views are more different from front because it you look at a fat person from the front you would think they would have a bulging tummy but from the side their tummy is actually quite flat. Same can go to chins from front it looks like it is pointing out but from the side it is quite close to the neck. Sides are also help in giving a character some form because in real life peoples legs are shape in a way that the body doesn't collapse so we need to transfer this into our characters show they don't have a physic that looks like they can collapse any second.

Maya Tutorial part 2: Car Model part 1 and 2

The next tutorial for Maya is to model a car, and it is very hard.
First I have to set up the scene for modeling the car by getting the images and put them in photoshop. Then I have to edit the images, mostly front, side and rear, so they can roughly be at the same scale. Then I have to set up the cameras in Maya so it can project the images that will be used as reference in making the car model.
I then began modeling the general shape of the car. It was quite tricky because the scale of the front and back images didn't match the scale of the side image but once I got the general size the basic shape came out alright.

The next step was to separate the car into sections, front, side and rear, then I put them in to layers with only the front car layer active. Then I started shaping the front of the car so it would look more car like. There are still some more work to be done

There are still some more work to be done on the front of the car like putting in some details on the tire cover and on the front and bonnet as well as sculpting the doors and the rear of the car.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Maya Tutorials part 1: Lip sync

Here are all of my Maya tutorials for lip syncing a character. What we were taught is that lip syncing is done in the following steps first is the Jaw Bounce because a human jaw actually bounce when they talks. Second is to make the lip motions match with the audio given to use. And finally adding some facial expressions to give life to the character, how ever there are still room for improvements which is why I added the last part of the video.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Postmodernism Lecture part 1: Kill Bill

On Wednesday the 22 we had a lecture about Postmodernism and why it is difficult to understand it. It's difficult because Postmodernism can be anything and it has a wide variety. Everyone has a different view on this subject but my general idea on it is that Postmodernism is a type of term used to describe anything that's a spin on modernity, things that were popular in culture for example Scary Movie is a parody of Scream which itself is a Postmodernism because the characters are mocking the horrors films and yet they are in one.

Postmodernism is not limited to just parodies, it can be used to describe media that does a tribute or has inspiration of other media, which brings us to the film I'm reviewing 'Kill Bill'.

The story is about the main character Black Mamba, portrayed by Uma Thurman, on her journey for revenge against the 'Deadly Viper Assassination Squard' for attacking her and almost killing her on her wedding day.
This movie is considered postmodernism because it carries some influence from old martial arts films with the style of how the action is portrayed, her quest for revenge and the level of violence used. There's even an anime cutscene when told of one of the Assassins back stories. All of this help gave this film it's own style and also as a type of tribute for the old action/revenges driven films.

Bad Kids Go To Hell Review

Two weeks ago my class was assigned to read and review comic book. I had trouble finding time to read it, but once I did I could see why my tutors asked us to read it. The comic we were asked to read was 'Bad Kids Go To Hell', it was made by Matthew Spradlin and Barry 'Bazz' Wernick.

Before I actually read the comic I did asked some of my class mates who did and one of them said it felt like a movie in book form and I also heard that it had a 'Breakfast Club' feel to it. How ever when I was reading it I could see some other film influences in it, I won't say what films they are to avoid some spoilers.
The story is about a group of trouble makers joining up in detention in the library for causing trouble in school. The characters are Megan the brains, Tarek another smart kid, Craig the jock, Tricia the cheerleader, Veronica the goth and Matt the underdog/loser. All six of these kids did something bad and they are all answered in the book. While they are serving their detention an angry spirit of an native Indian is wreaking havoc in the library and the kids need to get out before they are all dead.

Now when I head the title 'Bad Kids Go To Hell' I assumed they actually went to hell and had to fight for their lives or something. Which is pretty much true since they are going through their own hell mostly fear, paranoia and guilt. It also talks about how tough going to a private school can be with the stress of making your parents proud, baring with the school kids picking on you and the fear of graduation leaving school to move on to somewhere unfamiliar.
The book is not only about school kids having trouble with school but it is also mystery story finding out who or what is causing trouble in the library and why, which all will become obvious in the end.
So if any of you haven't read this book yet please do because it is really good, there are some nick picks here and there like the colours don't match and one of the characters hair style changes from elegant short haircut to something that some what resembles girly wolverine haircut and back, but it's nothing major the story is good the some of the characters are likable and the artwork is nice. So go and give it a read.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Narrative Lecture part 1: Lost in La Mancha

On Tuesday the 21th we have watched a documentary about a man who had the ambition to make a film but didn't have the budget for it. The name of the documentary is Lost in La Mancha.

The documentary is about Terry Gilliam, who directed Brazil, Jabberwocky, Brothers Grimm and Monty python and the Holy Grail, having trouble making a movie on the story of Don Quixote. The Spanish story of Don Quixote is about man who wants to live in a world of fantasy filled with dragons, giants and knights. To make that world real Quixote decided to imagine it all by making his suit of armor out of pots and pans and goes off into his own little adventure.

It was important to watch this documentary because it shows that if you have the greatest idea ever you still need money to make, and it also shows if you have the money everything still goes wrong. Examples would be if an actor was running late, if shooting outside beware of sudden change of weather and if the actor ends up sick. These events can stop a production of a film in a flash, it does not matter how prepared you are it can still happen.