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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Unit 4 - Story-Telling

At last Fridays crit we drew out one word for each a setting, prop and a character. So for this project i got :-

- Setting - Attic
- Character - Astronaut
- Prop - Unicycle

I am quite happy with what I pulled out and that all these words could make up an interesting story somehow. So now i've got to get cracking on some intial ideas !

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Maya - Pirate Cove

With the pirate cove scene I have had a couple of problems with the second part of texturing it. And when I took my final render several of the textures have not appeared. So I thought I put up what I have done and then go back and see if I can fix the problems.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

My Definative Influence Map

Concept Finished !

 My concept is finally finished and I am happy with the way it turned out in the end. I decided to add and Beauty and Ambient Occlusion over my render which makes all that difference.  

Film Review - Blue Velvet 1986

Fig. 1 Blue Velvet Film Poster

Director David Lynch 1986 film “Blue Velvet” is a bizarre complex thriller. It could also said that Blue Velvet was Lynch’s iconic Eighties movie and established the Lynchian style, introducing themes he would explore obsessively throughout much of his future career.” (Fraser, 2007)

Fig. 2 Blue Velvet Film Still

“Blue Velvet” is an original look at sex, violence, crime and power that lies underneath the exterior of an American town in the 80’s. And right from the beginning the film dissolves into an unnaturally brilliant, visually lush, boldly colourful opening with patriotic hues (bright red, white and blue) and a nostalgic, dream-like view of a clean, conforming, pastoral America a la “Norman Rockwell” (French,2001) With clear blue skies and the song “Blue Velvet” playing, the camera tilts and slowly pans down to a white picket fence, with several idyllic American small town images being presented to us on the screen. Then the camera focuses on one of the houses, where a man stands watering the grass effortlessly, while his wife sits indoors on the sofa, intently watching a film on the television. We watch as the man discovers that the hose is caught on the bush, causing the hose to leak and whistle loudly under the increased pressure. Then the scene of what is the ideal American dream suddenly takes a turn for the worst when the man falls to the ground in pain but still holding on to that hose. The camera moves from above ground to the grassy floor for a closer view to find a swarm of hungry, black bugs. This opening scene of “Blue Velvet” can be seen as a metaphor for the horrible and the evil that lurks beneath the idyllic surface of a picture perfect life.

Fig. 3 Blue Velvet Film Still

The rest of the film follows Jeffrey Beaumont, a college student, back to his home because of his father's heart seizure and stroke, There he gets involved in a local mystery, that exposes him to the horrors that lurk underneath the picture perfect life that is portrayed in the opening scene. One thing that it is impossible to tell is whether the film is set in the 1950s, the 1960s or even the 1980s of Lumberton, U.S.A.

Jeffrey first suspects something is amiss when walking to the house where he grew up after visiting his incapacitated father in hospital, he discovers a severed human ear in a vacant lot. After putting the ear in a paper bag, he promptly delivers it to. to his dad's friend, Detective Williams, in the Lumberton Police Department. Filled with boyish adventure, Jeffrey and Detective Williams' daughter Sandy are fascinated about the mystery which revolves around Dorothy Vallens, a suspect of Detective Williams that he has been watching for a while. Jeff concocts a daring plan with Sandy to spy on the woman, who is a nightclub singer known as The Blue Lady. It turns out Dorothy is being blackmailed by a shockingly malevolent and vicious criminal called Frank, who is forcing Dorothy to have animalistic sex with him in trade for him not hurt her husband or child. Frank Booth is a terrorising gangster who inhales gas through an insect-like mask, speaks only in the most basic terms and gets high on his most gruesome acts.

Fig. 4  Blue Velvet Film Still

The strangest scene in the film occurs earlier and sets the tone for the rest of the story, when we see Frank Booth shows us his brutal and sexual behaviour, when he abuses Dorothy on her living room floor. Jeffrey does nothing to help Dorothy but looks on at the brutal attack. With the tone of the film being dark, disturbing and perhaps the most interesting thing about Blue Velvet is how it becomes a journey into darkness itself. “There is a dark oppressiveness to Blue Velvet – one that lingers long after the details of the film’s mundane drug and kidnapping plot fade away” (Scheib,2010) We see the setting change from an Ideal American neighbourhood to dark bleak city life adding to the tone of the film.

Fig. 5 Blue Velvet Film Still

Blue Velvet is a beautiful shot film its morbid tones that constantly unnerves viewers and will have you thinking about it even when the film is finished. Lynch believes that his film is a metaphor for life. There is horror and evil that lurks beneath the idyllic surface of what could seem to be a perfect life.

 List of Illustrations

Figue 2 - Blue Velvet (1986) Blue Velvet Film Still. (Accessed on 20/01/2010)
Figure 3 - Blue Velvet (1986) Blue Velvet Film Still. (Accessed on 20/01/2010)
Figure 4 - Blue Velvet (1986) Blue Velvet Film Still. (Accessed on 20/01/2010)
Figure 5 - Blue Velvet (1986) Blue Vevet Film Still. (Accessed on 20/01/2010)


Fraser, Rob (2007) Blue Velvet. (Accessed on 19/01/2011)
Quote 2 - French, Blake (2001) Blue Velvet Review. (Accessed on 10/01/2010)
Quote 1 - Quote 3 - Scheib, Richard (2010) BLUE VELVET. (Accessed on 19/01/2011)

Official Concept - Nearly There!


Render plus Matte Painting

My final concept is nearly there but I'll still feel that I need to play around with the lights just that little bit more before i have my final concept.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Photoshop - Concept Art

For my concept art I still don't feel that it is finished. I keep adding to it but there is something about it and I cant put my finger on it. So any feedback would be grateful !

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Modelling Environment - Progress so Far

My Final scene is coming along got a few more texture to add and to play around with the lighting to create the atmosphere for my final scene. And what I have got so far I am happy with but there is still ways that I can see that could improve it aswell.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Photoshop - Matte Painting

For my matte painting I decided that it would be one of the walls of the subway station. The map painting itself I focused mainly on trying to make it seem as if i was at night and making it look as if it is dirty as well.

I think that I am going to go with this one out of the other two because I think that the lightening works really well with what I am trying to achieve.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Film Review - The Shining 1980

Fig. 1 The Shining Film Poster

Director Stanley Kubrick’s film “The Shining” 1980 is an intense, epic, horror film which distanced itself from the blood-letting and gore of most modern films in the horror genre. Kubrick’s “The Shining” is based on the book “The Shining” by Stephen King, but it is more an adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling horror novel than a complete remake of the novel. “With the ghostly manifestations toned down from the book, the film relies more on a sense of claustrophobia and growing paranoia to generate a sense of unease that gradually evolves into all-out horror” (Biodrowski, 2009)

Fig. 2 The Shining Film Still

An eerie psychological horror, showing the spirits of “The Overlook Hotel” rising and causing trouble for the winter caretaker and his family. “The Overlook Hotel” is isolated in the Rocky mountains, which closes for five long months in the winter, cutting it off from civilisation. To keep everything in order during this time, an off-season caretaker is required. Jack Torrance, an ex-school teacher, takes the job with in mind the thought that it is a peaceful place for an extended writing project that he is working on. His wife Wendy and son Danny are more than happy with the idea. However, Danny has an imaginary friend, Tony, who is less than keen with the idea. At the time that Jack is being interviewed and being told the tale of the caretaker, who many years ago had a mental breakdown and murdered his family.

At “The Overlook Hotel” the staff are busy packing everything up for the season. The Manger shows the Torrance family around this huge building, full of echoing passageways and enormous halls. As Jake and Wendy are shown the rest of the building, Danny is left with the head cook, Halloran. Halloran then starts to talk about people who “shine”. A paranormal power which allows you to see things that no one else can. Danny has this ability and explains his visions of murder to Halloran, who kindly warns Danny to keep away from Room 237 and that the hotel has an evil past that is best left to lie.

A month later the family have settled into the rhythm of living in the hotel. Although Jack is still suffering from writer block, he sits day after day at his typewriter in the centre of the hotels main hall. While Wendy looks after hotel and Danny plays around in the hotel. Tony shows Danny strange visions occasionally from the past and future which encourages the suspicion that Jack might hurt is wife and child. When the first snow falls and cuts the hotel off from civilisation, we see Jake lose his sanity as the weather, empty space and time close in on him. He starts to have a series of hallucinations which the former caretaker, Grady, had before he killed his family. These hallucinations slowly push him over the edge and suggest that he must kill his wife and son because of their transgressions. What unfold are scenes of horror, showing Jack stalking his wife and son through the hotel and the outdoor maze.

Fig. 3 The Shining Film Still

Kubrick constantly maintains this sense of unease throughout the film. With the appearances of mystery twins, the echoing emptiness of the hotel, the steadicam shots through the hallways following Danny on his tricycle and the unsettling effect of the sound of his wheels alternately going from wood to carpet. These along with many more all add to the suspense of Kubrick’s bigger shocks within the film.

Fig. 4 The Shining Film Still

What can be seen in “The Shining” is that Kubrick uses the hedge maze as a metaphor for the predicament that the characters find themselves trapped in. In fact it could be said the whole of “The Overlook hotel” is really a maze. With its endless number of corridors and right angles that have you wondering what kind of the horrors lurk around them. “ This fits in perfectly with the traditional Kurbrickian worldview, in which the apparent free will of the characters is almost always exposed as an illusion, not necessarily the story but through the visuals.“ (Biodrowski, 2009)  In “The Shining”, Kubrick does this by using numerous Steadicam shots showing the characters wind through the corridors of the hotel and the pathways of the maze. A hand-held camera technique is more popular in horror films, which would seem more realistic but Kubrick mostly abandons that technique for his film. Kubrick’s Steadicam shots created unease throughout the film and “Like Hitchcock, Kubrick imposes his presence on viewers, Often, these steady shots undermine our feelings because they depict tense scenes.” (Justice, 2005)
In “The Shining” the creepy soundtracks that Kubrick uses in many of his scenes add to the intense tone of the film. At times the music was soft and quiet but when something intense is about to happen or is happening the music turn fast and loud. All in which adds to the suspense that builds up throughout the film.  In one scene that the music is used so well is the opening scene when Kubrick camera glides trough the air over the mountains and eventually closes in on a car. Both the music and the camera position make the audience feel unease straight form the beginning of the film. 

Fig. 6  The Shining Film Still
Certainly, “The Shining” is one of Kubrick’s more divided films. But what  “Stanley Kubrick once again demonstrates his mastery of the technical aspects of cinema, utilising cameras, locations and sound to great effect in “The Shining” (Cannon, 1997) This all adds up to making “The Shining” a chilly psychological horror movie to experience.

List of Illustrations

Figure 2 - The Shining (1980) The Shining Film Still. (Accessed on 13/01/2011)
Figure 3 - The Shining (1980) The Shining Film Still. (Accessed on 13/01/2011)
Figure 4 - The Shining (1980) The Shining Film Still. (Accessed on 13/01/2011)
Figure 5 - The Shining (1980) The Shining Film Still. (Accessed on 13/01/2011)

Biodrowski, Steve (2009) The Shining (1980). (Accessed on 13/01/2011)
Biodrowski, Steve (2009) The Shining Review. (Accessed13/01/2011)
Justice, Chris (2005) The Shining Review. (Accessed on 13/01/2011)
Cannon, Damian (1997) The Shining FIlm Review. (Accessed on 13/01/2011)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Maya - Modelling Subway Train Continued

Now that I have got the shape of the train I have started to add the details like windows, doors etc. I think now I can start modelling the inside of the train because in the final scene you will be able to see into the train.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Maya - Modelling Subway Train

The biggest part of my enviroment is the train itself and will take the most time to make. So at the moment I have got the shape of the train I want and now I am starting to add details like windows, doors etc.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Maya - Modelling Subway Benches

The first thing that I have started to model is the benches that will be placed around the subway. I have looked at several photos of the new york subway to help with modelling the objects so that everything looks as if belongs there. The shape of the bench that I have modeled is the shape commonly seen in the photos.

Now that I have got the shape that I want I am using these photos below to help with adding details and texture so that it looks more realistic

Friday, 7 January 2011

Concept Art Progress

After my thumbnails I had a rough idea on what I wanted my final piece to look like. So I decided to go into photoshop and begin with my concept art. What I have got so far does need some refining by adding textures,colour and details.