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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Maya Tutorial: Modelling Part 3 (Shoes)

Character Design: Hero Progress..

The progress on my hero character is getting there, I have got the body shape, just working on the body language so that my character expresses confidence and strength. Here some of the sketches I have been working on.

I think this is going to be the sketch that I am going to take forward.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Character Design: Development of Hero Character

After find the right body shape for my hero, I been experimenting really quickly with finding a pose that express confidence and strength. Here are just a few that I think worked the best out of the bunch.

Now that I have found some poses that I think suit my characters personality, I gonna experiement with different face shapes for this character next.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Character Design: Some Rough Body Shapes.

Just some rough drawings of some body shapes I was thinking about for each of my three characters.  They are really quick drawings, but there are a few body shapes in there that I would like to develop further.


Side Kick


Maya Tutorial: Car Modelling Part 3: Car Doors

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Narrative: Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007) Review

Fig.1 Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story Film Poster

Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story is a documentary which is about William Castle, who without a doubt was, the last great American showman and the King of the Gimmicks.  The documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz, shows the career of one of the legendary Producer/Directors who made an impact on the film industry with his gimmicks. Spine Tingler, is a kind picture, but more importantly, it shines needed light on a man in love with cinema, using his dedication to exaggeration to keep audiences screaming for more.” (Orndorf, 2011)

Fig.2 William Castle Portrait
Castle was orphaned at a young age and quickly learned that the one at a early that the one thing that made him happy was making a audiences respond to some he was responsible for and his ultimate joy was their applause. This is something you can see in every aspect of his career, he loved and lived for the response of an audience, some would say he thrived on their response. Castle started off his career by producing B-movies that could be made quickly and made cheaply. Throughout the 1950's and 60's, William Castle produced and directed over a series of about 60 films. Eventually he became tired of this and having learned every aspect of filmmaking. He soon realized that what an audience really wanted from a film was to be scared. Castle’s films that he is most remembered for are his horror films, they are Known for their outrageous promotions and audience participation gimmicks associated with them and audiences loved every minute of it.

Fig. 3 William Castles The Tingler Film Poster

Castle felt that a simple scary movie was not enough; each of his flicks came with its very own 'in-cinema' gimmick. He knew that getting people in the seats in the first place was a hard part of the movie business. Castle knew that making a film into a fun experience for an audience so it was more than just about seeing the film. So with every new film, he would whole-heartedly dive into making his films but also coming up with a gimmick to sell it to audiences.

He used several gimmicks that wouldn’t give the same effect to today’s audience but in the 50s and 60’s, these things really shook up Castle's audiences. Such as Castle film Macabre (1958), he felt the film needed more promotion than just newspaper ads, so he decided the movie need a gimmick to sell it to the public. He issued an insurance policy which guaranteed a $1000 payout to the beneficiary of any audience member, who died of fright while watching the film. The movie was a hit, and the start to William Castle’s career, as the Master Showman. Castle came up with other gimmicks, such as the idea of “Emergo”, used in The House on Haunted Hill (1959).  This was nothing more than a large plastic skeleton, which would emerge from the screen during the film and fly over the audience’s heads on wire. Once again, the film was a hit as much for the gimmick as the movie itself, and this encouraged Castle when making his next film. The Tingler (1959) where he came up with “Percepto”, involving a device which was attached to various theatre seats that would vibrate, giving the patron sitting there a tingling sensation during the a certain part of the film. Castle had another hit on his hands and with his next film was 13 Ghosts (1960), Castle introduced “Illusion-O”, where the audience were given “Ghost Viewers” which the person could see or remove anything to frightening. One thing that is noticeable is that Castle with every new film there had to be a bigger and better gimmick than the film before. Castle never had the confidence in his films and believed that this was the way to get audiences to come and watch his films.

Fig. 4 Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story Film Still  

One thing that is for certain, is that Castle loved his fans and mightily respected them and their opinions. All he really wanted was to make going to the movies a fun experience for audiences. Once in a interview Castle stated, “We all have a common interest, bigger and more horrible monsters – and I’m just the monster to bring them to you.” (Power, 2011) All Castle truly wanted was to please his audiences and he often had a fear of failure. That is why with every new film castle made he thought there had to be a gimmick to go along with the film, to get audience to come and watch his films. But his fans will always say that his films never failed to please them. And it was “Through pure showmanship and the force of his own personality, he made audiences feel they were part of something truly unique that they would remember for the rest of their lives. As this film can attest, they’re still talking about it today.” (Ziskind, 2011)


Orndorf, Brian (2011) DVD Review: 'Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story'. (Accessed on 15/10/2011)
Power, Patrick (2011) Hollywood Icons: William Castle-Master Showman. (Accessed on 15/10/2011)
Ziskind, Linda (2011) Guest Post by Jeffrey Schwarz: “Event-izing By The Master or How To Put Butts In The Seats”. (Accessed 0n 15/10/2011)

List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007) Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story Film Poster. (Accessed 16/10/2011)
(Accessed 16/10/2011)
Figure 3. Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007) William Castle's The Tingler. (Accessed 16/10/2011)
Figure 4. Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007) Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story Film Still. (Accessed 16/10/2011)

Character Design: Victorian Mens Fashion Research

Victorian Fashion

As my Characters that i am design come from a Victorian Era, I have been looking at Men Victorian Fashion.

In the Victorian era, daily dress was much more formal than it is today. Unless they were a workman or laborer, every gentleman was expected to wear a coat, vest, and hat.  To walk around in shirtsleeves without vest or coat would be the modern-day equivalent of traipsing about in one’s underwear.  Very unseemly, and most ungentlemanly!

Victorian Coats
The second half of the nineteenth century was dominated by the frock coat – a man’s coat with full skirt both front and back that reached just above the knee.  It was common for both day and evening wear through the 1880’s, making it the most versatile coat of the Victorian wardrobe
Tailcoats – coats with a knee length skirt in the back contrasted with a short front -  were popular for most of the century, often used for parties and formal events. In the 1870’s and beyond the sack suit grew in popularity.  The suit was originally cut as befits its name – with a large box like shape and no middle seam, which allowed the suit to hang loosely on the body.
By the 1880’s it became more common to see the coat with fitted styling and a middle seam directly above the coat pockets. 

Victorian Trousers
The most significant difference between the trousers of today and those of the mid 1800’s is the waistline. Men wore trousers that had stripes and sometimes checks which they often paired with different patterns, stripes or checks. Belts weren’t used, nor did pants even have belt loops.  Rather, suspenders or braces of leather or canvas were common.

Victorian Men's Shirts
Although similar in many ways, Victorian shirts were cut much more fully than modern shirts due to limitations in machining and tailoring techniques.  As a result men wore band collar shirts and for dress occasions added a separate collar and cuff.  Also, some shirts had a removable bib front, which was reversible to allow a man to hide any unsightly stains. This allowed them to keep a neat appearance without requiring the entire shirt to be laundered.

Here are just some of the reference images I have been looking at.

Clothing Influence Map for characters

Victorian Style Vests

Victorian fashion demanded that no gentleman be seen in public without a proper vest. An authentic Victorian vest is the centerpiece of any outfit.  Much like modern ties, vests were used to make a fashion statement either bold or conservative and gentlemen would own several vests to accessorize the same dark suit. Victorian gentlemen wore a wide variety of vests in almost every combination of cut, color and cloth imaginable. Many men even wore their coats buttoned only with the top button, thereby allowing more of their vest to be seen. Toward the turn of the century, wool and cotton vests in more conservative colors became more common for day wear as the three piece suit increased in popularity. 
Victorian Style Hats

Fashionable Victorian gentlemen understood that a proper hat signaled respectability and refinement. Like vests, hats were available in a wide variety of styles. Top Hats were wore for parties and formal events throughout the century, but were also worn as day wear by the established gentleman. A variety of other hat styles persisted, including the wide-brimmed “wide awake” style and the flat topped “pork pie” which were seen through the period. Derbies or bowlers, short-brimmed with rounded crowns, became more common as the century progressed and by the mid 1890's outnumbered most other hat styles.

Victorian Men's Accessories

Beyond a man’s clothing, the most basic accessory for every Victorian gentleman was the cravatCravats ranged in width and style, from the basic thin strip to frilly cravats with decorative prints and wide cut black. Also nearly universal was the pocket watch and fob, which were prominently displayed hanging from the front vest pockets, and no proper gentleman would be caught without a fashionable pocket watch in his vest pocket. Most men also carried walking sticks of various styles and often wore gloves when out for dress occasions. 

All this researching into the fashion off Victorian men, will hopefully help when it comes to designing my characters.

Character Design: Worskshop 3

Week 3 workshop, the lesson was that when designing characters the more you change the shape and size of your character to the extreme, the more unique and memorable the characters will be.

We experiment with proportions and shapes of the face to create memorable character. I found this quiet hard as at the beginning most of the face shapes where the same, but then taking Justin’s advice to not think about and be more looses I was with the pencil the more unusual the faces become. I think that this is something that I will have to experiment with when design my characters.  

And we also tried to uncover the body shapes hidden behind a few well character each to work out the proportions of and how it would look in circles.

Character: Daffy Duck

First Attempt

Second Attempt

Then we were told to experiment with proportions and shapes for different character types. I noticed the more I pushed the proportions to the extreme the more interesting they become instantly.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Narrative: The Best Worst Movie (2009) Review

Fig.1 The Best Worst Movie Film Poster

Best Worst Movie (2009) is a documentary film about what is, arguably, the worst film ever made Troll 2 (1990). Directed by Claudio Fragasso, a1989 horror movie made on a low-budget B movie that holds a place in history as perhaps the worst movie ever made. With the movie review site Rottentomatoes gives it a 0%, the lowest score possible.

Fig.2 The Best Worst Movie Film Still

It was Michael Stephenson, one of the main actors from the film, who decided to make a feature-length documentary about the film. The documentary also show the understand why Troll 2 has such a cult following that has risen to make it a cult phenomenon and most importantly why fans love this film so much. “It is about the idea that somehow this crappy little film from 1990 has managed to pervade the consciousness of pop culture and resonate with its audience in a manner never really intended by those involved in making it.” (The Geek, 2011)

Fig.3 The Best Worst Movie Film Still

The overall opinion, to the extent that there might be one, is that “Troll 2″ is one of the worst movies ever made, but is has developed a dedicated cult following of fans who prize it. Giving "Best Worst Movie," an ironic twist, that it has achieved something that "Troll 2" never could do and that is critical approval. It was this award-winning documentary that has helped turn George Hardy and other cast members of Troll 2 into some kind of cult celebrities.

Fig.4 The Best Worst Movie Film Still

Why do Troll 2 fans find this film so watchable? The documentary explains it best, because simply it is that terrible that is so good. From the plot, to the actors, even the trolls that are not even trolls but the biggest reason that fans are drawn to Troll 2 is the inadvertent comedy it provides. "The biggest reason 'Troll 2' has become this phenomenon is that it's sincere. It's a sincere failure that haunts us," Stephenson said. "With 'Troll 2,' we thought we were making a great horror film, and that's what causes people to smile and to laugh." (Hubbard, 2010) The film is so popular for the simple reason that one gets from watching Best Worst Movie is that Troll 2 has some sort of authenticity that you don't get in a lot of films.

Fig. 5 The Best Worst Movie Film Still

The Geek (2011) Best Worst Movie - Movie Review. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Hubbard, Jeremy (2010) Fan Base Forms Around Worst Movie. Ever (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Abrams, Simon (2010) Best Worst Movie. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)

List of Illustrations
Figure.1 The Best Worst Movie. (2009) The Best Worst Movie Film Poster (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.2 The Best Worst Movie. (2009) The Best Worst Movie Film Poster.  (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.3 The Best Worst Movie. (2009) The Best Worst Movie Film Poster. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.4 The Best Worst Movie. (2009) The Best Worst Movie Film Poster. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.5 The Best Worst Movie. (2009) The Best Worst Movie Film Poster. on 14/10/2011)

Narrative: Lost in La Mancha (2002) Review

Fig.1 Lost in La Mancha Poster

Lost In La Mancha is more than just a documentary. It is the tale of Director Terry Gilliam and his burning ambition to bring his version of the tale of Don Quixote to the big screen. A 16th century classic story by Miguel de Cervantes about a delusional old man with a head full of  fantasies, who goes on a quest accompanied by his horse, to battle the evils of the world with a sensible squire to guide him through reality.

Fig.2 Lost in La Mancha Film Still

In August 2000, master filmmaker Terry Gilliam finally got his opportunity to create his dream film he had been working on for a decade, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. However for all his creativity and enthusiasm, the film immediately run into a series of disasters that threaten the production of the film. Terry Gilliam, from the very start of his career, has had a hell of a time catching a break, earning a reputation as a director who’s reached far exceeds his grasp. At the same time, however, he is a filmmaker blessed with undeniable talent and vision, and even his weakest films have a flair that’s missing in many other movies. "But as directors Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton prove in their documentary Lost in La Mancha, all the ambition in the world can’t compete with an aggressive bout of bad luck." (Cherington,2011)

Fig.3 Lost in La Mancha Film Still

As a film project, Quixote already seemed to be cursed. Orson Welles started shooting a version in 1957 and sweated over it for two decades. Gilliam himself had traveled a long road to get to shooting, with several false starts, until the summer of 2000. American documentaries Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe were on hand with complete access to everyone involved, to capture the story of Gilliam’s attempt to create Don Quixote.  It was planned to be the most expensive film ever produced solely with European funding. But shooting only lasted a mere six days before the project was abandoned. Gilliam attempts to create Lost in La Mancha offers an astonishing insight to the affects that a directors ambitions can have on a movie. "Lost in La Mancha offers astonishing insights into the irresponsible way big-budget pictures are made nowadays, and the currently chaotic state of the capitalist system." (French,2002)

Fig.4 Lost in La Mancha Film Still

Cherington, Sam (2011) To Film the Impossible Film- Lost in La Mancha (2002) on 11/10/2011)
Cherington, Sam (2011) To Film the Impossible Film- Lost in La Mancha (2002) (Accessed on 11/10/2011)

List Of Illustrations

Figure.1 Lost in La Mancha (2002) Lost in La Mancha Film Poster. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.2 Lost in La Mancha (2002) Lost in La Mancha Film Still. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.3 Lost in La Mancha (2002) Lost in La Mancha Film Still. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
Figure.4 Lost in La Mancha (2002) Lost in La Mancha Film Still. (Accessed on 14/10/2011)
French, Philip (2002)Down the shoot (Lost in La Mancha) (Accessed on 11/10/2011)