Saturday, 27 February 2010

Unit 04- Concept Design Final ( updated)

I took phil's advice and to convey the 50's era throughout my whole concept painting, I had to change the simplistic lighting, while it will not give really any lighting to the scene, because the animation will be set in plain day light, the time and believable factor were missing.
So Phil directed me to a really interesting website, where I could choose lamps from the 50's, and so it is:

Maya Tutorials: Camera Shots- Roll, Pitch, Crane, Dolly

This really helpful tutorials will be handy when creating the pre-viz, also is good to understand how cameras are created, otherwise we would have hovering and supernatural cameras all around the CG world.

Roll Shot

Pitch Shot

Dolly Shot

Crane Shot

Friday, 26 February 2010

Unit 04- Concept Design- Beauty Parlour (Updated)

Here's the final image of the my concept design- Beauty Parlour.
As I said on the previous post I just needed to add some more details and correct some shading. Time for the storyboard :)


P.s- The corrected and updated version, shows taking Phil's advice, and create a checkerboard floor pattern, although I have tried it before with some matte painting, this one was created merely by measuring, and creating lines from the main point.

Wrong one:

Unit 04- Concept Design 5 (work in progress)

Here's the progress so far, I'm quite finished, now just do some final tweaks and add other details.

Unit 04- Concept Design 4 (work in progress)

I took some time this morning to continue my concept design. This picture show some more details added as well as a some shading done, now I'll adding some small details such as posters and any products to clutter it a bit more.
Finally, I will shade it a bit more, to create a bit more depth.

Unit 04- Concept Design 3 (work in progress)

Here's my progress so far in concept design terms, I added some more details, and shading, but still a lot to do. Meanwhile, the good news is that I have started my rough thumbnails for the storyboard and also the 1st 4 shots of my final storyboard.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Unit 04- Re-storyboarding 1 minute of "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock

I have finished re- storyboarding 1 minute of 'The Birds" By Hitchcock, more specifically 50 seconds, this exercise helped me understand how a scene is structured by different shots and how they can vary.

Also, helped me to create really rough and communicative sketches, which will be helpful when doing my rough storyboard, and posterior refinements.

Before, I started with pen, I decided to get a first ide with a sketch only made with pencil, even rougher than the one before.

Unit 04- Concept Design 2 (work in progress)

So far, this is how is my concept design of the beauty parlour site, despite not being finished yet, it shows the skeleton of the room and some detailed objects. Also i'll be adding even more details and clutter the room to create my environment.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Film: Psycho, 1960, Alfred Hitchcock

For the 2nd film on this unit, we watched Psycho, a film famous by its editing and how it can convey fear and discomfort.
The plot evolves around a 60's young woman, Marion Crane, played by beautiful Janet Leigh, who steals 40 000$, after she decides not to put the money in the bank. Marion runs away with the money and finds herself being tormented by her believe that everything around her is against her. When she finds herself tired in her runaway journey, She decides to stay in the Bates Hotel, and she is attended by this kindly host, Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins.
As she decides to know a bit more about her host, she gets brutally murdered by his supposed mother. This happening triggers a chain of other things to happen, a private investigator killed while looking for Miss Crane, about her crime and causing her sister and boyfriend to go and find out what really happens.

When they discover what happened, they find out Norman's true identity, a psychopath who has double personality, his and his mother in one person and who uses his mother personality to show revenge to what have happened to him as a child.
Psycho is a masterpiece in cinema, not only for its editing and camera work but also for intending but not showing, one of the main principals of Hitchcock.

The film deals with many aspects from schizophrenia, masculinity and the theory of loving our own mother, and the substitution of our own father. This is shown through beautiful shots, creating a chilling look inside the murderer's mind. the high contrast of shadows and high light, creates something expressionist and really communicative, convey the destruction of the American Dream and the idea of being trapped in his own self. Also the sense of the being in the 1st person, voyeurism are shown in the famous sequence in the shower. As it is commented by David Wood, in BBC Films Review. "it's a perfectly realised, visually rich, and chilling look at masculinity and schizophrenia that had more than a hand in redefining the role of the spectator in terms of mainstream cinema, most notably perhaps in the famous shower sequence which re-explored the nature of cinematic voyeurism. "
Also something really striking is the sound editing, in the case of, when Marion steals the money, and she is driving away, voices appear in the film, proceeding with the actions, that are not shown but beautifully intended. At first, i thought was something out of her mind, but then I realized it is used as a vehicle to show what is happening in the background story, more specifically where she stole the money.
The score by Bernard Herrmann, is one of the best examples how music can really influence a film and also produces shivers down your spine.
Enough to say everything is in place in this film, according to a review in Film4 channel, "The music, the setting, the shower scene, the mother in the cellar... everything about this iconic film has passed into cinema history."

Psycho became one of the most influential films in the history of cinema, and a target for many sequels and remakes.

Unit 04-Concept Design 1 ( work in progress)

I have started to paint my digital set, as I started I found numerous faults related to the perspective and scale of certain objects that I'm trying to correct slowly. Interiors is not a easy job, as one line in the wrong place will make a lot of difference.
Also, for my colour palette, I decided to go for really "ugly" tones of pink, green and yellow, creating a really tight light, so everything would look like plastic, and uncomfortable.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Unit 04- Concept Design- 1st sketches

I have started to draw some 1st sketches related to the place I have to depict- the Beauty Parlour, once again I was left with a Interior, so I will apply some tips, I learned on the previous project as well as some Phil Hosking gave me.

I started by quickly draw the overview of the shop to help place the objects in it. Also i applied different views for example, the beautician's and the customer's.

After, to help me with depicting the site, I tried different perspectives, as I didnt want just some plain drawing and flat.

As I liked the last perspective, I decided to complete it by placing some the objects in the set.

Finally, I decided to 2 to bigger sketches already with the objects, ready to send it to photoshop. Personally, I prefer the right sketch as I really like that perspective that I tweaked as I liked.

So I have my guide to get into Photoshop and create my concept design. Although its perspective may not be perfect, when I get into photoshop, I will tweak it and scale objects as I move along.

Unit 04- Edward Scissorhands Beauty Parlour Scene

To help depicting the site of my scene, I found myself researching again Edward Scissorhands, more specifically the scene where Joyce takes Edward and shows him the Beauty Salon.

P.s- The exact video starts in minute 5.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Film: Rope, 1948, Alfred Hitchcock

Today and for my happiness,we had again a movie lecture (I was missing them already), this time we were shown the film Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this film is famous for no editing, apart from a scene in the beginning when is a transition between the road and the interior of the house, where the film takes place.

The plot is concentrated on two young men, who committed a murder of their "inferior" classmate and supposed friend, and they decide to held a party to commemorate it, invinting the victim's parents for dinner and some other friends. As they hide the body on a old chest, they also set the dinning table on it, to create this ironic situation. When they start the party everything seems all right, but as it proceeds throughout the afternoon, a missing of one guest, the victim, arises suspections to what may have happened to him.
A lot of nerve-racking situations happen to the two murderers in the party, but they get away with. However, just when they thought they had ' survived' the night, a "cunning fox" guest, more specifically their teacher, played by James Stewart, discovers what really happens.

On the technical side of the film and as I mentioned before, this film has no editing at all, it was recorded in series of 10 minute takes, that all together would create a film. As I sat down I thought I just hope it will not be full of bumps and quite slow, but I was wrong, and Alfred Hitchcock could not create such a thing, the compilation of the whole takes is mastered by simple camera movements into dark parts of the set.. In my opinion, this film is a masterpiece of cinema, because it adopts other way of presenting a film, more like theatrical way, as if the actors are on stage provoking the spectator to be there but at the same time not.
So how could a film exist without editing, I could answer it by saying that it would be the Editor's worst nightmare, but in fact, the excellent camera manipulation added to a right pacing can create it.

One of the things that this film doesn't really need is a fast editing as we can see in films nowadays,as it would lose all the suspense scenes, for example,the scene where Mrs. Wilson, the maid, is cleaning the dinner table/ chest where the body is hidden, is exhaustive, but at the same time is building the suspense, and the spectator is feeling every step of hers back and forth.
Otherthing that really struck me, was the scene when James Stewart's Character, the teacher is suspicious of what happen, and starts to explain really what they have done. the camera moves are the vehicule in which Hitchcock demonstrates the whole scene with no actors in it. As I was presented with that scene, the lack of characters, made me imagine what really happened there witht the only the help of the set, a perfect example of Hitchcock's opinions.

" Actors are cattle"

Finally this film is not outdated, as some people may think, although it doesnt have the fast-paced editing, that audience needs nowadays, it has other qualities, from amazing performances by the actors to the amazing suspense built with all the time waiting for the actors wandering throughout the set. Also a true film, where nothing is explicit, but rather in the spectator's mind picture everything, just like its end.

Also, Phil mentioned how Psychoville series, used Rope's way of filming and applied to one of their episodes.

I found a really interesting video explaining in a few words how they did it. A lot of work but a perfect homage to Hitchcock.

P.S- I just have to watch the episode now.

Unit 04- Lumberjack by Johnny Cash

As you may know I have posted the Monthy Python's Lumberjack song, a few weeks ago when I started with this project. While researching again, other song appear to me and is was totally unfamiliar with it. The song is Lumberjack by Johnny Cash.
I found necessary to share with you!

P.s- Also the pictures used in this video, are really good depicting the life of a lumberjack.

Unit 04- Concept Design Reference Pictures

Rewinding to unit 02 and 03 , where we were asked to create space and environment via concept art, this unit as well as others to come will ask for the same, so for an accurate space, in this case, a Beauty Parlour, I started to research the colour palette and the style, as you can see in this post Here.
On the other side to keep this accurate vision of my world, I needed to research some 50's Beauty Shops, Parlours or Salons, as you like to call it, to better understand what really lies inside and any small details that will keep my site up to its time- the 50's.

I found some pictures of this Shops, with the 50's style

As it is visible, the predominant colours are the horrendous pinkish-tones, greenish tones, blueish-tones and yellowish-tones, even though they are not really appealing to us now, in the 50's and 60's were the colours of any "American Dream".
On the other hand the rest of the pictures better show people going to Salons in the 50's, and all equipment there placed.

Unit 04- Character Comparison Colour

This is just the continuation of the previous post comparing the character, while on the other one was all about scale, this one is to see if the colour palettes match.

Now, after better research the beauty parlour, I' ll be ready for some concept drawings.

Unit 04- Female Character Coloured

Today, I could manage to finish my female character concept painting. For this one as well as the Beautician, I decided to not go for a full 3d character, but rather a 2d/3d style, I wanted to make it real but keep some of the 2d qualities as my story will be comic and they look cartoony.

After an exhaustive research into the 50's fashion, I decided to add a dress with a flower pattern on with some gloves and high heels. A young housewife, who will come to the Beauty Parlour.

Enough Talking!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Maya Tutorials: Panning shot w/ Thirds

Here's the Pan Shot tutorial inside thirds, This was a really fast but helpful tutorial that surely I will use for my Pre- Viz. Also, I played a bit with FCP, to get used to it and not only use it in classes, as it will be the tool to put the Storyboard and Pre-viz together.

Maya Tutorials: Pendulum Animation

This week's tutorial that I managed to finish in class. It was really cool and I'm loving the 1st steps into animation. :P

Unit 04- Beautician Character Coloured

Finally, i finished painting the Beautician character after a series of incidents ( once the Photoshop crashed and I didn't save my progress and other electricity gone), I just learned from now on I'll be touching the cmd+ S keys every time :)

So for this Beautician Character, which I had my design already, I started to add some colour, being him a proud of himself for becoming what he is in his profession, I decided to give him, I would say a ' Clean' look, and sophisticated, as we ll know, most of the male beauticians have this delicate way of fashion. So keeping the 'Quiff', I decided to shine it up a bit, looking like hehas huge amounts of gel on (Brylcreem :P), For the skin tones, I decided to give him this clean look but at the same time oiled, so looks he just had put any cream on his face. For the clothing, I based my painting on a previous post where I researched the 50's hairdressers uniforms. A clean shirt, with black trousers and some 2-tone shows. Also I had this scarf featuring the same colours of a "logger" shirt, but instead of the normal fabric, I depicted as if it was satin to add a more delicate look.

I did want to go hyper-realistic with my colour palette, So I just used around 3 tones for every colour.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Unit 04- Concept Design Colour Reference Pictures

I have started to paint my characters in photoshop, which will have 50's colour pallete on them, and the use of maximum 3 colours of the same tone to not create a really realistic character but rather a stylized one. (e.g. dark skin tone, medium tone and highlights)
Meanwhile, I have got this book from the library, Shop America Midcentury Storefront Design 1938-1950 by Jim Heimann , Although it has buildings a bit earlier than my time, I am using it mainly for the rich pallete of the drawings, with vivid, pastel colours, creating a quite flat drawing but communicative.

Such works can be compared with Edward Hopper paintings, and that is what I am attempting to achieve on my concept design. A 50's Beauty Salon with a rich pallete with pastel, vivid colours, bold, and almost making a flat look. A different attempt on concept art.

Edward Hopper

Chop Suey, 1929, Edward Hopper

Hotel Lobby, 1943, Edward Hopper

Also, I have been looking at concept from the Pixar film Monster's Inc. and I really like how uniform the environments look depict this strong colours.

The Art of Monsters Inc.

Alongside, I have been researching some adverts from that time, as they are really helpful, to understand was used to in terms of colours as well as cliches.

50's Adverts and Photos

To emphasize the overwhelming character of the beautician, I am attempting to add insult to injury, by creating a highly saturated, pastel coloured, clausthrophobic shop.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Unit 04- Comparison Between Characters

I have scaled the characters to fit, my idea of the story, On one hand, we have "magnificent", handsome, and proud Beautician/ Lumberjack, On the other hand, is this shy 50's young woman, who just came to stylize her hair, but in the end will become a victim in the hands of our confused lumberjack. I scale the characters differently, the lumberjack is a bigger specimen, who almost overwhelms his customers, by the exhibition of his "skills", in contrast, the female customer is this small shy character, who will be amazed by the beautician's presentation, skills and shop.

Unit 04- Female Character Ready For Digital

I got my character shape as I wanted, So I began to style it a little bit, by adding some 50's hairstyle, clothes and any other accessories to make her look believable to the spectator.
However. after speaking with Phil about my character design, he pointed me into the direction of leaving her hair not styled, and long. So the Beautician will have more to cut and "style".

So the middle drawing, is the final one, she has this long not styled long hair ready to be cut.
Adding to a shy, innocent young personality, that will be excited as she sees the beautician "skills" as well as the Parlour, with all the 50's clutter.

Also, I drew some more hair and face variations as well as how the hair would look when partially destroyed.

I will just have to make a front view of the character and paint it digitally.

Unit 04- Female Character Body Shape Drawings

After researching what type of body shape I wanted, I grabbed a pencil and paper and start to draw and express all my ideas onto it. Many failures after, I happy to say I found the exact body shape I want to use on my character. As I didn't want to go extra sexy with my character, I decided to go more as a young 50's housewife, with different proportions, more like a pear-shape type of body.

Other Attempts:

Which reminded me of a Swan, with their upper torso and neck slightly forward from the body.

Also some Sketchbook drawings of Life drawing, I am taking life drawing sessions every other night, to understand the human proportions and apply them to my characters and to my overall drawing skill.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Unit 04- Beauty and the Beast- Gaston Intro

Phil mentioned to me this particular scene of the film Beauty and the Beast, not because of how arrogant really appears but rather by the way the 3 twins behave, when near Gaston. Surely, will be the kind of excitement I will like to show, the young woman will be excited, while watching the beautician performing such amazing and theatrical tricks.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Wednesday 24th February - Visiting Lecturer - Colin White

Wednesday 24th February - Visiting Lecturer - Colin White

Attention ALL CGA&A students!

Colin White will be visiting us on Wednesday 24th February to talk about his 30+ years of experience in animation - both 2d and 3d.
"I've been treading the animation boards for over thirty years now... I've done everything from assistant animation up to supervising director, taking in animation, layout, storyboards, animatics, design, timing and animation direction, along the way. I've worked on commercials (more than I care to remember) TV series and specials and feature films, 2D and 3D, both here and in the US. I've even done a couple of years as a CG digital character animator on Soft Image for ILM... I'm the first animator to have worked in both the US and Soviet Russia, not an easy thing to do back in the days when it was still communist. I also continue to dine out on having "Exposed" Jessica Rabbit to the world (thus emptying the shelves of laser discs for Disney in a single morning)."

by Tutor Phil

Just spreading the word, of this amazing opportunity, to know and listen, a person that has been in this field for a long time.

Maya Tutorials: Bouncing Ball

I took some time to start to do, what I shall say the 1st attempt of many bouncing balls to come.
It was a really helpful tutorial, introducing us to the basic of animations, and also to key-frames.
Now that I made it just feel like doing it again :)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Unit 04- Essay Topic: The Birds, 1963, Alfred Hitchcock

For my essay exploring the camera structure and the editing of a certain film, I have decided to research and write an essay about one of the most interesting films I have ever seen, The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, It is interesting because of it's editing and how Hitchcock's techniques in camera movements really accentuate the meaning of the whole film.
For it, I will be exploring certain scenes that I found remarkable, such as the one in the dinner, or the one when the birds attack Melanie on the top bedroom, or even when Melanie is sat outside the School premises, and the subtle editing adding numerous birds each time the camera cuts to a different shot. Also, I will be redrawing the storyboard for 1 minute of the film, and the scene that is really 'asking' me to draw it is when the birds attack the town center. So much delightful action.
Beautiful action shots, created by beautiful camera manipulation and editing.