Friday, 31 October 2014

"What If" Metropolis - Influence Maps

My first influence map, based on William Heath Robinsons' work. There is already a sense of something happening in a city, a lot of steam, a lot of machinery and people frantically adding more to it, experimenting and pushing the boundaries of their own metropolis.
Second influence map is about the transportation of the people. Thankfully H. Robinson spent a lot of time on the subject - I think the Metropolis should be surrounded by water. Boats and submarines, and strange looking and over-sized bikes and vehicles on land.
The last influence map is concerned with the colour palette of the Metropolis. Since the overall feel is cartoony - the colours are blocky - with not a lot of shading involved and a welcoming palette of warm colours.

"What If" Metropolis - Artist Research - William Heath Robinson

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Character Part 2 - Texturing

That was a much easier tutorial, it least I knew what I was doing :)

La Belle et la Bête - movie review

 (fig. 1, original poster)
La Belle et la Bête” directed by Jean Cocteau in 1948 is a beautifully designed film, able to immerse the viewer in a world of fairy tales. James Travers states that: “Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la bête is that rarest thing in cinema, a film that has the ability to transport an adult spectator into the realm of childhood imagination without ever appearing twee or childish.” (Travers, 2014). The invisible servants in the enchanted castle of the Beast are an example of an interesting and new ideas, conveyed through the film (fig. 2)
fig. 2 – movie still
Peter Bradshaw talks about the film: “Jean Cocteau's erotic and surreal fable is now revived on the big screen as part of the BFI's fascinating Gothic season. Watched now, 67 years after its first release, you can sense how its echoes have reverberated in the figures of Guillermo del Toro and Michael Jackson” (Bradshaw, 2014) “La Belle et la Bête” is an influential film, maybe not so because of its acting, but the environment and surreal feel it brings to the screen.
Bosley Crowther talks about the film: “The dialogue, in French, is spare and simple, with the story largely told in pantomime, and the music of Georges Auric accompanies the dreamy, fitful moods.” (Crowther, 2014). Figure 3 shows the theatrical nature of the film.
fig. 3 – movie still
In conclusion “La Belle et la Bête” is a romantic film, it conveys its message through design and is theatrical and possibly slightly camp, but still engaging and mesmerizing.

Bradshaw, P. (2014). La Belle et la Bête – review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Travers, J. (2014). La Belle et la bete - Jean Cocteau - film review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Crowther, B. (2014). Movie Review - La Belle et la Bete - THE SCREEN IN REVIEW - [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 1 - Beast, B. (2014). Beauty and the Beast (1946). [online] IMDb. Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 2 - ShowFilmFirst, (2014). La Belle Et La Bête. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2014].

Fig. – 3 - (1946), L. (2014). La Belle et la bete - Jean Cocteau - film review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2014].

Maya tutorial: UV Layout and Texturing Preparation

Well this took me absolute ages to finish. Was really frustrating how my maya is a different version than the one Allan uses and most of my time spent on it was trying to figure out what went wrong.
Anyway, it`s finished now, even though I don`t understand what the UV mapping is used for...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

life drawing

Well that was exciting. Really liked Bubbles but he did seem really sad, despite the drawn grin :)

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Maya Tutorial - Texturing Part 2 - UV Maps

Did this quick tutorial, a lot of things make sense now :) Only took two pictures as I went along, but the files are safe and sound on my memory stick (wooo).

Crit Presentation

Final Outcomes, Invisible Cities

And here are my final paintings, starting with exterior establishing shot:

Exterior low angle shot:
And an interior shot:

For some very strange reason, the coulours are much more different on every other monitor I look at them, when I painted them they were saturated. Need to double check why this happens.

"Alien" Movie Review

(fig. 1, original poster)
"Alien" (1979), directed by Ridley Scott, is a movie that does not stand out for its plot, but for its way of keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats. However many times you watch the film, it can still make you jump and experience  anixeity, as if you are really there, among the crew, fighting off a "perfect" organism. states that: Parents need to know that Alien is a classic of sci-fi horror, and while not as gory as most horror films, it's too intense for younger viewers.” (, 2014)

(fig. 2, movie still)

Alien is also a film, where women are not portrayed as maidens in distress, screaming at the horrors in front of them, waiting for a male figure to descend from the heavens and rescue them, but the exact opposite.  Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)  rationalises her fears, trying to overcome them, finding answers on her own and fight her own battles. She walks down the dark corridors, haunted by the alien, and makes you think - what will I do if I was in the same position? R. Ebert states “certainly the character of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, would have appealed to readers in the Golden Age of Science Fiction. She has little interest in the romance of finding the alien, and still less in her employer's orders that it be brought back home as a potential weapon.”(Ebert, 2003). Fig. 3 shows one of the few, but intense, encounters with the alien.

(fig. 3, movie still)

What is also really interesting about the film is the sound design. Throughout the whole movie, the viewer has trouble hearing what do the characters talk about, making you more aware of what is happening, a great little detail that adds to the overall uneasy feeling. The camera, kept so close to the characters, switches to first person perspective, putting the viewer directly into the action. The pacing of the movie is also impeccable. "Alien" starts slowly, but then unfolds with a rapid speed. Derek Malcolm talks about the movie: “Scott, aided by his special effects team, headed by Brian Johnson and Nick Allder, and many others who deserve to be mentioned but can't be, creates in the confined space of his main set a sweaty little world on its own that responds ideally to his obsessive close-ups and restless, magnifying style.” (Malcolm, 2009). On fig. 3 we can see and really appreciate, the “alien” design inside the spaceship.

In conclusion, "Alien" is a film created with great attention to detail, it is a science-fiction for grown-ups where two worlds collide and their objectives are exactly the same - to survive.

Ebert, R. (2003). Alien Movie Review & Film Summary (1979) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Malcolm, D. (2009). Derek Malcolm's Alien review from 1979. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014]., (2014). Alien - Movie Review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 1, (2014). Alien (1979) Movie Review | [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 3 Ebert, R. (2003). Alien Movie Review & Film Summary (1979) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 2 Film Freak Reviews, (2013). Movie Review: Alien (1979) Horrorathon. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Life Drawing Balloons

We had fun with balloons today. Thankfully the textile paint didn't get on any of my clothes (whew!).

Monday, 20 October 2014

CD Cover

Decided to go with some old colour comps for Octavia, wanted to honour my old, discarded ideas. :)

New Influence Maps for Octavia

After a lot of research, the exterior influence map:

And interior one:

Source Material Research

Octavia thumbnail

Just a quick composition, based on my research in my sketchbook.

Octavia thumbnail

Visualising the city in perspective, not a lot of details I'm afraid. The city looks really murky I need to draw the attention of the viewer on it, but without the level of detail it really doesn't work at the moment. Feedback on the overall composition anyone?

Artist research: Thomas Scholes

Interiors research for Octavia

I had a chance last week to look around Rochester and do some sketching and take some photos. These thumbnails are inspired by that trip. I also had an interesting idea about the religion of the citizens of Octavia. They worship the two mountains from which the city is suspended, represented by the female sculpture on the left (thumbnail 1 ) and the male one to the right.

Here are some photos taken from the Rochester Cathedral:

And some urban sketching of the buildings around the University and Rochester Cathedral on the Outside:

Friday, 17 October 2014

2001 A Space Odyssey Movie Review

 (fig. 1 Poster (, 2014)
2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) directed by Stanley Kubrick is a movie experience with impeccable design, sound, plot, lighting and message. The skill with which every frame is shot can leave one breathless. Composition and perspective play a major role. An example of the beautiful symmetry you can see throughout the whole film is on fig. 2 where the viewer is drawn into the character using perspective. 
(fig. 2 Movie still)

The film also plays on ideas that resonate through people which are not necessarily into science fiction. In addition the classical music, used so masterfully, adds to the goose bumps that the stunning visuals produce.
The Guardian talks about the movie: “Kubrick is plainly fascinated by the impedimenta and implications of space travel, and apart from a sequence involving an endearingly sulky computer, so offended by a suggestion that it has made a mistake that it announces in the silkiest of tones its intention of taking over command, there is remarkably little plot to 2001. The film, in fact, might be best described as a factual philosophical speculation, rather than as the drama it sets out as but never develops into: and like all good speculations, it leaves the spectator up in the air with a tantalising vision as food for thought.(the Guardian, 2010)
At the start of the film the viewer is left in the pre-historic times where apes are portrayed as really basic creatures, driven by their basic instincts. When the ape-men wake up one morning they tremble in fear and awe with a strange black and smooth monolith that appears seemingly out of nowhere. Maybe as a metaphor for the spark of intelligence that drove the ape-men to use tools and to start mastering their own faith.
A fast-forward the film follows a space expedition in the future where the same monolith is floating in space. What follows are some trippy scenes with which the viewer can only speculate and try to explain what Kubrick meant. As seen on fig. 3 a still from the movie, where a fetus wrapped in a bubble travels in space.
(fig. 3 movie still)
Roger Ebert talks about the film: “The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in "2001: A Space Odyssey," but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, “2001" is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe.(Ebert, 1997)
As stated by the website “A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity.(, 2014)
In conclusion, 2001 A Space Odyssey is a movie experience unlike any other. The viewer cannot help but feel that there is something very contemporary in it. A true cinema masterpiece that seems to exist not to entertain but to provoke, to make the viewer aware, to think, to contemplate.

the Guardian, (2010). 2001: A Space Odyssey: Archive review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Ebert, R. (1997). 2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review (1968) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014]., (2014). 2001: A Space Odyssey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 1 Poster:, (2014). 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 2 Movie Still Staff, T. (2014). Roger Ebert's Top 20 Best- and Worst-Reviewed Films. [online] The Hollywood Reporter. Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 3, (2014). 2001: A Space Odyssey Blu-ray review | Cine Outsider. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Maya Common Shaders Tutorial

My laptop screen is not the biggest, I know, but it'll have to make-do for now :) Also the rendering takes much longer than the one on the tutorial..