Thursday, 29 October 2009

Concept Art: Mood Board and Referencing- Outdoor Environment

I created a mood board, not only for the beautiful pictures but also to help me referecing any time i need, this picture shows the enviroment that could have been lived outside the cave it was a mixture of man-made sites (mining site) and nature ( the mountains). I add some research on egyptian and phoenicians statues and symbols that could be seen outside the cave. Also i did some referecing to the sunlight because the moment the expedition got inside the cave was about 11 AM so all the outside view described in the book was passed in the morning and helps to create the mood of the painting.

I decided to take my references from real world object, but i will also i will look at some concept artists that explore the same genre of my book.

2nd part is coming up... Indoor environment

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Concept Art: Choosing the 3 scenes

After reading the 2 excerpts, i found the description of 4 main places and a place where the colossi statues
sit, which I love the description.

Scenarios are:

-The Mining Site, which is between the "3 witches" the peaks of the mountains, also known as the pit.
-On the hither side of the pit is the position of the 3 statues, the "Silent Ones" ( i love the description of them and its mythology) where behind its a sheer wall that shows the entrance for the cave inside one of the peaks.
-Inside the cave, its a huge cathedral-like room naturally decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, icicles and columns. but also with carved stone in shape of mummies and beast, done by old- world workers.
- The Hall of Dead, which is unbelievable described as being a terrible place, where death could be itself, it's a room served for the ritual of the kukuana people, where they petrify their dead kings in order to immortalize them. the ritual consisted in petrify their kings by the mean of dripping water from the ceiling of the room, falling on and turning them in stalagmites.
- The Solomon's Treasure Chamber, the mysterious room full of luxury but ironically so hard to escape from it.

After reviewing, all the scenes i decided o go for 2 indoor scenes and 1 outdoor one , if i had time i would them all because their description is fascinating, but setting my head into the real world, i have to stick with what the brief asks 3 concept paintings.
i have chosen to research and paint, the the outdoor scene of the pit where i have to gather a lot of information about environment, historical and cultural background. The Hall of Dead, because of its mood a dark scene full of terrifying elements, such as the huge skeleton. Finally, the place which is the objective of their trip the treasure chamber, because of its luxury items, and influence to the story.

Now i'll research some textures, cultural aspects, environment of Africa and historical background and put them on a mood board, to help me set a atmosphere and mood to my paintings.

Concept Art: Visualization of the environment part II

Here's the 2 part of my scribbles, to better visualize the space in those 2 excerpts, i have to say I never was so confused with old fashioned english, when describing things.

These scribbles show the Solomon's Treasure Chamber, that could be accessed by a mysterious stone passage on the back of the whit colossi skeleton.

The passage led them to the place they were seeking since the beginning of the trip, a place where they would find the famous Solomon's diamonds. The problem is that the place is dangerous and is known for the killing of many explorers, that tried to get the treasure.

The descriptions in the book are amazing but really difficult to understand sometimes.

Concept Art: Visualization of the environment part I

To help me understand the space my story was showing , King Solomon's Mines, I decided to create some rough sketches to better visualize the space.

On the 1st excerpt, the expedition led by Allan Quatermain, arrives to the Diamond diggings at Kimberley known as well as King Solomon's Diamond Mine, situated between 3 peaks called the "3 witches", the mining site was no more than a pit in the middle of those 3 peaks.
Solomon's Great Road, the one they have been following circumvented the reef following its path they found 3 colossi statues of phoenician gods. Each of them with
characteristic features, these 3 colossi, known also as the "Silent Ones", were overlooking the all mining site.

I quickly sketched and annotated some information to help me understand.

Behind this huge statues was this vast stone wall and alongside a narrow entrance to the cave.
Following the way inside the cave they came across with this immense cathedral-like room, built by nature and rich in minerals, such as stalactites and columns, described as the most wonderful place seen by man.

This room was faintly lighted, maybe by shafts on its roof, decorated with stalactites and icicles all over it, also beautiful columns could be seen, where some would be carved with figures of mummies and beasts.

Following that room, they found themselves in the most terrifying place seen by men, it was call the hall of Dead, it was populated by 27 human-size white statues made of stalactite that in reality were petrified humans, they were the previous kings of the kukuana civilization , and an huge 18 feet colossi skeleton that the author described as Death itself. Also in the middle was this brown half-naked corpse, that was the last king of the kukuana, Ignosi's father ( current king) was this way they glorified their kings and remembered them.

Some more notes about the environment can be seen in the sketches for better understanding.

Life Drawing: Session 5

This week, we practiced shading and how it can affect the overall picture giving a volumetric aspect to it, also not using line it can define the model.

15 mins.

At first, I did some studies about different parts of the body, just a good way to warm up. using shading already to better define their volume.

30 mins.

this was my first drawing using only shading and some lines to help me with the proportions.

45 mins.

This second one was made in 45 mins using less helplines and concentrating only on shading, i'm quite pleased with the shading on the face and torso but in the arm i found difficult to shade it as it was in a awkward position.

15 mins.

By the end of the session, we did more studies, i decided to choose part with high contrast to practice my shading skills and also proportion.


Today, we watched "Metropolis", firstly i have to say what a film !!! although its an old film, it is still so influential that the new cinema is still using it. From the concept art that was amazing to the position of the cameras and the destruction of the set, it was all in its place. For 1927 film, they really had to have a massive budget to create a masterpiece, because even not using CG technology they were able to create a imaginary city and also its destruction. I was never so glued to the screen, like i had been today, although some parts of recording were missing it didnt really change the feeling of being watching an amazing film, with an amazing plot based on morals, Rich ,the head, the power and Poor, the Hands, the labour, something so visible in society.

Metropolis ,in my opinion, is not only the pioneer of the sci-fi, but also of all the other genres, because this film had a bit of everything in right dosage, romance, suspense, sci fi, horror and adventure. Aspects that made me be glued to the screen asking for more. Being an almost 2 hours film, if you really appreciate it, the time will fly and you will be crying for more.

Something that blew me away was the special effects, the lack of technology didnt really influenced the quality of the special effects, from floods to explosions everything looked so believable.

If you want to warch a masterpiece of the cinema and dont mind a 2-hour silent movie, I highly recommend to get it as soon as possible and watch it. It's brilliant.

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

So today we watched, the film " The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", dated 1919 from the German director Robert Wiene. Our main task was to look at the background and see how it would influence the story.

Being a silent movie, at first I thought it would be boring, but when it started melancholic as well as creepy melodies keep me so interested in the story of the film. As an old German movie, it uses as background, paintings of german expressionists, and as soon as I saw them I was delighted.
The distorted paintings so characteristics of the german expressionists such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, gave an interesting approach to the environment and it gave that extra creepiness to the film. As I said, I loved the background paintings and it was a good example that shows how influential can be the background to the film as a whole. Also the twist in the end of the film was brilliant, it is a thing that is still used nowadays in the film industry, it gave the sensation that the main character had paranoia. it has a enormous influence for the cinema nowadays.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Unit 2: Space - King Solomon's Mines

After finishing 1st unit with a good feedback, I got already a 2nd brief, and what is good about it is that we received a specific subject related to space.
And so it begins, mine is folder 11 out of 11, and I have to say I'm not familiar with "king solomons mines" by Haggard, but what i like about this course is discovering new things and broad my knowledge in different subjects, so im happy to have a folder that i know minimal about, so I really have to research about everything related to it, mainly space but also cultural aspects.

I decided to go to the bottom of the subject and understand who is King Solomon, and It took me into religious areas, a king which was famous by his wealth and wisdom. bearing that in mind i started to research as well where he was from, North Africa and Middle East is the place i have to explore in my concept drawings.

Also Haggard's book, from what i little read, takes us into the adventure of finding a lost world, somewhere in Africa, also the fact that was portrayed in the victorian period will help to set the concept drawings in time.

I google some films related with the subject and i found a few of them, dated different times, 1937, 1950 and 1985, but also some tv series dated 1986 and 2004. so ill have something to look at. but also reading the book, which is the best resource to understand the story.

I really love the subject, although i dont know much about this story I love films and computer games that takes us into world of the unknown and undiscovered. such as Indiana Jones films and Tomb Raider games.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Life Drawing: Session 4

In this session, we had to draw the model looking at the negative spaces, i find really confusing at first, but after i was decided to only practice this method. It is helpful after all.

Also, i think i forgot to sign the register Tutor Phil, i didnt see it in the beginning of the lesson and i just forgot.

Maya Tutorials: Detective's Desk Scene

This tutorial was quite tricky, and I had to restart all over again. but in the end i could make it.

Maya Tutorials: Texturing Bottle and Label

Maya Tutorials: Common Textures

This tutorial, is to show how many different simple textures you can find in the maya world, they suppose to represent textures from the day-to-day life.

Glass Texture

Matte Texture

Plastic Texture

Gold Texture

Silver Texture

Chrome Texture

Glow Texture

Glow texture with no Background

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Maya Tutorials: Modeling and texturing Poker Chips

The tutorial to create poker chips was quite straightforward, that able us to model and texture them creating a Uv map. but also applying light and a camera. here's the image:

Let's roll the cash!!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Self Portrait: Final Portrait Choice

My final portrait is here, yes I chose the one which represents really what I wanted create, principally a portrait made with a composited of my face and my relatives, which would eventually become a "Chimera" or a female face. To highlight those features I chose to display it in a black and white layer, which gives a subtle beauty to it.
The reason I am portraying only women as my relatives is because they have had an important role through my life, as they are the predominant gender in my family.
Also, I applied some details in the face, which gives a more feminine look, lengthen the eyelids, and all the area of the eyebrows is shaped. Also for the catching-eye, and after i decided to change as i didn't want to put too much complexity in the portrait, the arms' area is formed by sand grains and a different texture, which conveys the idea of childhood and how my relatives shaped me to become what I am.
My aim was to keep my portrait simple but at the same time, representing the idea I had in mind, in an effective way using image manipulation.

Also i don't know if I should put the final piece here already, and also feedback is more than welcome, as i still have time to change minor things.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Self-Portrait: 2 Final Portraits

These are the 2 final Portraits that i have to choose from to present at the Crit day, Portraits where Mainly I want to create a hybrid mixing my features and of my family or the people who mark me until now and still do. Also have the meaning of childhood and how my relatives mold me into become what I'm now.

The 1st final Portrait, I tried to present those features creating a composite of my face with my relatives, also the black and white colour is to give a more subtle beauty of the female features as the relatives I was portraying were only women because as i said before I came from a family where women are predominant. Finally, I applied a Sand layer which intends to give the impression of my childhood ( as I'm originally from Portugal) but also the idea that I was mold by this people to become what I'm.

After reading Tutor Phil's comments, I understood that aesthetics and additional information delivered badly, can be like "mud in the water" and become too complex for somebody to understand. So I came up with other idea where conveying the same meaning, I tried a prudently way, where the actual particles of the sand would form me but not with a drastic chance, and only visible to the catching eye, and would pull the spectator to see the main element, the composite.

Sorry for the JPEG Quality.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Self Portrait: 2nd Rough Idea

I went through my Self Portrait folder and found one exercise which shows my 2nd rough idea, Iy was done at the same same time when i took a picture of myself as a drag.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Toy Story 3

The new trailer from Toy Story 3 looks really good, despite the better quality of the characters, specially Andy, the whole action looks pretty cool. I want to highlight the story line, which takes to a phase of our lives when we live all our toys behind to discover a new world. Being a Pixar/ Disney film i do think it will have that magical touch that make us live the story, and in some cases, get really strong emotions with it. One thing that i found hilarious is when they resetting Buzz and he starts to speak spanish it just hilarious.

Can't wait until june 2010 ...

Self Portrait: Composite IV

Here's the 4th composite, which is a variation of the previous 3rd composite, where i just did some minor changes, to capture a more feminine and also beautiful face, characteristics of the female face.

Self Portrait: Revising the 4 Composites

On the Left, It was my 1st approach to create composites, which i found really difficult and understood that if you do major changes in a face it can look dull and artificial. On the right, It was my second approach where better I could match the skin tones but still looks unnatural.

On the left, is the 3rd composite where I changed my strategy to make composites, where instead of doing major changes to the face, I still put together my features and my relatives faces but this time with some minor ones. On the right, Its the 4th composite, like i said on the previous post, it is a variation of composite III, where i just slightly swapped some features to achieve a more feminine look.

Maya Tutorials: Rocket Animation

Maya Tutorials: Robot Animation

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Self Portrait: Back and Foreground texture experiments

I have done some experiments to find a better background for my portrait, at least to show the meaning that I want, Sand will have the meaning of my childhood but also of change, molding myself into fitting in any situations that I face.

My choice goes for this one because ,like i said in the post before, it shows the texture as well how I applied it in a more freely way, where the movement of the hand shows the same motion of the sand.

These 2 are some studies that I did with the same brush, on the left, In my opinion, i think I have put too much brushstrokes and the image, which tends to pull the spectator to look at the effect and not to the face, thing that i could achieve with the chosen image. On the right, It was my first study where I applied less brushstrokes but I couldn't make that effect of motion, after I changed some brush settings, I did apply what I wanted.