Wednesday, 10 November 2010

...More Life Drawings...

Sorry for the delay of my life drawings, some were rolled up a bit too hard so I had to use a load of books to flatten them out.
My first selection of life drawings are in pencil, here we were allowed freedom to do whatever we chose, so I decided to try and develop a more abnormal 'messy' style, I had recently felt like I was doomed to follow lines, so this was a nice exercise for me to release some tension/anger.

Our next lesson consisted of us using charcoal, I had barely used it before, but it was a interesting change, and I think I developed my skills through this lesson...

Barbarella (1968) Review

Barbarella 1968
Directed by Roger Vadim

Roger Vadim directed Barbarella in 1968 and casted Jane Fonda to be the lead role, Barbarella, who was said to be one of the most beautiful women of her time, but many find the film just to be “the campy adventures of a 41st-century sexual explorer” and with good reason many would agree.
Numerous encounters by reviewers have brought the film to its knees, “The film is ugly on so many levels—from art direction to human values—that it's hard to know where to begin. Let's be charitable and write it off to love—Fonda was married to director Roger Vadim at the time.”
The honour that remains with this film is due to its relation between its adult comic book, “Based on the French banned bestseller comic book by Jean Claude Forest and produced by Dino de Laurentiis” but by mere referencing between the film and comic strip you can automatically see a close relationship, especially with characters and even more so with environment, from the dark corridors of the city Sogo to the dark caves of the labyrinth, the translation is beautiful, which is a uphold for any director to translate comic to film as many recent years have seen, especially from Marvel.

Even with a great deal of audiences disliking the film, “Barbarella isn't very much of a film…” it has still been an inspiration for many, “Fonda's signature role has inspired everybody from Duran Duran (who named themselves after O'Shea's bad guy), to Kylie Minogue (who based the video for her single 'Put Yourself in My Place' on Fonda's naked floating around in space).”
There are  of course some who do like the film for what it is, and what it isn’t trying to be, “Can a movie be so horribly BAD and really, really cheezily GOOD all at the same time?! Oh, absolutely! This film is an EXCELLENT example of campy fun crap that hopefully wasn't supposed to be taken seriously.”

Monday, 8 November 2010

@ Phil: Space Project


Hey Phil I thought I would give you a quick update on my progress so far:

Im still developing my thumbnails, I believe I have around 40ish done, im gonna wait until I reach 50 so I can upload each set in 25's so its easier for anyone to see my 'train-of-thought'. SO far im struggling with perspective drawing, but I do have a few books in the post coming to me so I can learn more about it.

Final 3 Pieces:
Im starting to gather and piece rough thumbnails/drafts of each of my areas, so far I have chosen to do the Library, the cave/crater/crack where they travel through and finally a corridor of the submarine itself, which im a bit unsure of due to lack of detail I will be able to put in, but Im hoping it would give a good atmosphere.

Essay Question:
So far I have just been gathering thoughts for my essay, so far Im leaning towards writing about Bioshock 1/2 simply because I have had a love for these two since their release three years ago, I thought it would also be positive for me to focus on one particular area within the game, for example:
Enviroment Design
Character Design
The creation of the Big Daddy
The relationship between the Big Daddy and the Little Sister
The Big Daddy vs Big Sister: Character Manipulation

Im not sure if you had heard of the game, so I thought I would provide a link to the first game's trailer:

Perspective Drawing Exercises:
I know there are some exercises that you have linked for us, I have had a look through all of them but I was unsure if you wanted us to produce our own versions of the guides/tutorials?

I also thought it to be wise for me to give myself a timetable! So I do believe so far with my progress im on track...      If there is anything else you think I should research please feel free to say.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Influence Map - Bioshock/ Plant Life

As mentioned before Bioshock 1 and 2 are both commonly related towards 20,000 leagues under the sea, thus it is a great influence, here are a few images and plants that go hand in hand....

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Wizard of Oz (1939) Review

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Directed by Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz directed by Victor Fleming in 1939 follows the dream world of Oz and Dorothy’s (Judy Garland) quest to get home to her family, but the Wicked Witch of the West has other plans.

The Wizard of Oz is believed to be one of the most famous films of all time, and for good reason, from enchanting characters such as the Cowardly Lion, the Brainless Scarecrow and the Heartless Tin Man, as well as the terrifying Wicked Witch of the West.
“Wizard of Oz is one of the most-protected films in history, and it's also one of the most well-covered”

Of course the mere mention of The Wizard of Oz we are gathering thoughts of the film, and one of the most iconic pieces of environment comes along with these thoughts, the yellow brick road, there are many reasons for this, perhaps the stretching singing from the Munchkins and their love for it, or perhaps because it remains in the film for at least two thirds, and this road leads the band of characters through a variety of environments, from the beginning, the Munchkins home, which seems to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory spliced with Thumbelina, yet it still has its own fascination of plants and small mushroom houses, there is little like it, the yellow bricks leads Dorothy to a crossroads which presents her with her new found friends, the Scarecrows from the crop field, which seems too perfect to believe, thus giving more evidence that they are in a dream world of fantasy, with no branches on any crops broken, completely untouched unlike the fence around them, which appears as old as the Scarecrow.
Next we see the Tin Man, his residence seems to be borderlines with a forest, this scene looks like an artificial Red Riding Hood scene, with the small log cabin which is seen in the background and has no interaction with the characters; as the characters continue their adventures, the woods as seen in the previous scene become more dark and gloomy, which looks like, yet again, an artificial forest, with the bright yellow road as a centre piece, with tree branches reaching across, almost like an attempt to hide the road from anyone, this gives the forest a menacing atmosphere, as well as the characters and audience unable to see any blue sky, yet it is midday; once the Lion has joined them, the next scene to be shown is the field of poppies, which looks like it was borrowed from the Sound of Music, with bountiful hills that seem to go on for eternity, until we see the sight that has these characters on their voyage, the Emerald City; the outside presence of the city it appears to be made from emeralds/crystals almost like Kryptonite (from Super-Man) and a similar theme continues within the city, everything is of course an emerald shade and everything appears to be made from glass, it is as if the characters have entered a ‘walkthrough-crystal-emerald’ the environment is kept quite clear and basic, with reflective flooring, small areas of potted plants (which are all still green) and every civilian is dressed in green also.
The next major location is the Wizard of Oz’s chamber, where we are presented with small and large alters, which give an impression of power and wealth, with blazing flames which never appear to quit, which of course strikes fear into anyone.
As the characters are informed they need to take the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom in order to receive their rewards, we are given a completely different atmosphere where we find the characters walking through, what only can be described to be a haunted wood, with cheap figures of owls and vultures with blaring red eyes, with no trees having leafs it gives the impression of death and loneliness, until Dorothy is taken to the Witches castle, which yet again is very basic for such a grand building, we are given little brick work to see, but plenty of space for the characters to interact with, from her bedroom/study which is given stained glass, a large looking crystal and a horde of flying monkeys; the only real feature is the large doors which do look like they are from a medieval period.

Of course one of the strangest film techniques of its time period, the film starts in black and white, then switches to colour, and then back again, this ultimately gives Oz a place of fantasy and artificial make believe, which pays off for the director because it is highly effective.

The only scenes within the black and white era consist of the farm where Dorothy lives, which is of course like any other farm, from picket fences, small houses with two sets of doors, one for keeping flies and other pests out and the other for entering the house, alongside this is the rarity of plant life, except for a few trees, most probably because they were dug up to make room for the farm itself. We also get see inside the house, which is basic, plan with barely and luxuries, which is what anyone would suspect from a farm house, but it could also be seen as a generalisation.
Upon Dorothy running away from home, we also see Professor Marvel’s caravan which is pulled by a horse, yet again this set is a generalisation, from little trinkets hanging from the ceiling, to a small crystal ball and a large chair where Professor Marvel sits to tell fortunes.
“sugar-rush of that shift from sepia-monochrome to full colour as Dorothy realises she's not in Kansas any more”

The Wizard of Oz can be seen as many messages from any perspective, for example, because the world is seen as a dream, Dorothy can be seen as leaving home in search of independence, yet when her Auntie becomes sick, she drastically needs to search for her family instead, thus giving the importance of family over your own intentions, but of course this is only from one seeing point.
The movie can also be seen as fighting for your friends and family, one reason she is leaving home is to defend her dog Toto, because she believes if he is found that he will be destroyed, thus her need to travel far away.
“Garland’s Dorothy embodies the fantasy of all children who dream of leaving the cocoon of their protected lives and spreading their wings. With her companions — the clowning but clever Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the compassionate Tin Man (Jack Haley) and the blubbering Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) — she journeys along the yellow brick road through a land of magic and wonder, a butterfly blossoming in a candy-colored phantasmagoria.”

King Kong (1933) Review

King Kong (1933)
Directed By: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack.

Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack directed the original King Kong in 1933, which to this day remains one of Universal Studios most treasured movies.

We see the plot built up for everyone, including the characters aboard this ship that has a mystery destination which no one knows, except one man, Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong); it seems that his mission in life is to give other something they have never seen before, and his final destination will be his holy grail.

Anyone who watches King Kong will be impressed with the set design; it ranges from typical 30’s streets with classic cars and buildings, of course this would be modern in production of the movie; we also get insight into the ship which the story revolves around, it is quite clear from the structure and design of the ship, that its usual purpose is for transport. We also gain Skull Island, the residence to King Kong and his native neighbours, we see a generalisation of tribesmen, which show straw huts and grass skirts. Finally we see the amazon jungle where Kong is ‘trapped’ aside from the usual animals of birds and monkeys we also see large lizards and prehistoric creatures, which considering the creatures that lived there, you would imagine more prehistoric characteristics for the set, for example, pre-historical plants as well as tracks from these animals and other signals of their existence…

“Besides Kong in the jungle among other freaks to appear are a triceratops, a brontosaurus, a tyrannosaurus, a pterodactyl and a 60-foot snake.”

Reasoning for lacking evidence towards the residence of the island, would definitely be due to the time period, which when watching Kong, should be the thought in the foreground of your mind.

“It is no longer the 1930s, however. By today's slick standards, King Kong has aged, and it's debatable how kind the passage of years has been”

King Kong can also be seen as a sexual venture of one man’s obsession for beauty, in this case Kong and Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) clear examples of Kong’s curiosity range from him touching young Darrow and sniffing his fingers, considering the production time of the film this could be seen very vulgar and unnecessary. Other hints that are more obvious would be the need for Kong to find his beauty, and keep her away from anyone else, this gives evidence of reasoning for him to climb the Empire State building, and of course being shot down, this could be shown that all love, obsession and greed has a limit.

“Staging a screen test for Ann, Denham dresses her as a fairytale princess ("The beauty and the beast costume") and coaches her in screaming at nothing”

Monday, 1 November 2010

Influence Maps: Nautilus/Submarine

I have recently been concentrating on one scene where the reader is taken from one room to another via a corridor, so I thought it was about time I added some influence maps to help me through this process.
I think a majority of the colours would range from dark greens and blues to shades of grey and black.