Thursday, 28 November 2013

Life Drawing: 27.11.2013

This week we were using colours and we focused on the light and dark contrasts within the figure. I feel like I need to force myself to not outline everything when drawing as this tends to flatten the image. I also believe that learning edge control and form building will defiantly help me improve on my draftsmanship and my confidence. I look forward to doing more next term, in the meantime I am still waiting upon Scott Robertson's book...... 

Zoetrope animation

Zoetrope animation, a quick morph of objects associated with christmas :). I am happy with the outcome, I was going to do a fourth morph but I feel it wouldn't work too well on the zoetrope so I decided to my make my morphs slower so the transitions are smoother.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Autodeask Maya: Old Alleyway Scene - Modelling

Alleyway Scene


Lamp post
Modelling done for the Alleyway, now onto the lighting and texturing, well this took longer than expected...

Monday, 25 November 2013

Film Review: Edward Scissorhands
(Fig 1, Edward Scissorhands, Poster)

 Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands (1990) was one of his most renowned films with lead actor Johnny Depp playing Edward. Edward Scissorhands  could be argued that it gave you an insight into the world of Burton's childhood. Edward was heavily influenced upon how Burton had felt within his life - the outsider, the misunderstood. Although asperges was not recognized until 1940, according to Helena Bonham Carter had said in an interview: ''I realised he has a bit of Asperger's in him. You start recognising the signs. We were watching a documentary about autism and he said that was how he felt as a child.''( Carter, 2010). The film was created show his seperation from society and showing the world through another perspective. It had created an iconic figure for individuality and to stand out among the crowds through one character alone - Edward. This is one of the most iconic figures of today and has had a huge influence upon the fashion scene and it had all started from a drawing from his childhood (Fig. 2).
(Fig 2. Edward Scissorhand original illustration).

Throughout the film the separation between worlds with Edward and his surroundings is obviously represented through character, but also through scenery too. The film is set in a suburban American town and in the 1950's to 60's. When introduced to the film we are given a one point perspective shot showing the two extreme's of Edward's house and the surrounding area (Fig 3).
(Fig 3, Edward Scissorhands, Film still)
Although Tim Burton is not known for one the use of one point perspective, Stanley Kubrick is and known famously for the use of these techniques. As Lauren Davis had said whilst analyzing Kubrick's techniques: ''One thing that makes Kubrick's movies so unusual is his heavy use of one-point perspective, to focus in on a single character or object, and often to create a sense that we are trapped within the scene rather than merely watching it.''(Davis, 2012). Furthermore this could be argued that we as an audience are trapped within the scene and feeling the emotions that Edward is feeling. Not only is Edward physically trapped within the castle and 'locked' away from the outside world but he is also emotionally trapped inside a body that no one understands, as an audience we are given that understanding which therefore allows us to relate to Edward. 

Altogether throughout the film there seems to be a constant clash between the two opposites, even in the times where he is accepted as part of the 'normal' community he is seen as being used for his abilities rather than being acknowledged for who he is. This was a film which Tim Burton wanted you to see through his eyes in a fantasy environment. With the fantastic set design and character development you can clearly see Tim Burton had payed close attention to all the little details to get across this complexity of messages for the audience to embrace.


(Carter, 2010), Mr and Mrs Mad Hatter, Daily Mail [Article]. URL: (Accessed 25.11.2013)

(Davis, 2012), How obsessed was Stanley Kubrick obsessed with one point perspective? [Online Blog], at URL: (Accessed, 25.11.2013)

Illustration list:

Fig 1, Edward Scissorhands (1990) [Poster], URL: (Accessed 25.11.2013)

Fig 2. Edward Scissorhands (1990), Original illustration [Illustration], at URL: (Accessed on 25.112013)

Fig 3. Edward Scissorhands (1990), Directed by Tim Burton, [Film Still]. at URL: (Accessed on 25.11.2013)

Film Review: La Belle et la Bête

(Fig 1: La Belle et la Bête Poster)

La Belle et la Bête is a french film in black and white directed by Jean Cocteau. It is an adaptation of a classic children's story by Mme and is well known as the Beauty and the Beast. As said by Michael Wilmington in his review, ''This is a poet-painter's film. In a glistening landscape that suggests Dutch paintings come to life.'' (Wilmington, 2002). On first sight this film looks incredibly stylized with its stunning production design.
(Fig. 2: La Belle et la Bête, Production Art)

(Fig 4, La Belle et la Bête, film still)

The film is highly influential from the original production art created for the sets as you can see in Figure 2. Cocteau had commended Beard on his influence upon the film as they worked together and from the concept and production art you can see a direct correlation to the costumes, lighting and the interior of the beast's castle. The film itself represents the artists visions when designing the sets with the gleaming white curtains and overall design of the house.

Produced in 1946 after World War Two this was hugely success with it's sense of escapism for the audience as this allowed the audience to break free from the reality of their tragedies and indulge themselves in a magical land. This was said in a written review by Frocktalk,“La Belle et La Bête is a soothing balm of a fairy tale, engendering hope in the promise of new beginnings and restoring faith in the compassionate spirit of humankind. It is a story about breaking free from imprisonment and breaking forth into freedom. It was a message that people needed to hear then''(Frochtalk, 2009). This can be seen in the film where Belle falls in love with the beast after being 'imprisoned' by him but this also gave her a chance of a new beginning with a better life. 

(Fig 5,La Belle et la Bête, Film still)

(fig 6, La Belle et la Bête, Film still)

To help this sense of escapism within his film, Cocteau wanted to produce something out of the ordinary. This is shown with statues that are living and breathing (Fig 5) and candles being held with prosthetic limbs (fig 6). It is clear that he had put a lot of thought into each element: set design, costumes, plot etc. Altogether this is a film with great designs and a very strong underlining meaning to the film that was highly thought about at the time of production.


(Wilmington, 2002), La Belle et la Bête film review. URL: (Accessed on 22.11.2013)

(Frocktalk, 2009) La Belle et la Bête film review. URL:
(Accessed on 22.11.2013)

Illustration List:

Fig. 1: La Belle et la Bête Poster Art (1946), From: La Belle et la Bête, directed by: Jean Cocteau. [Poster] At: on 22.11.2013)

Fig. 2: Drawing by Christian Beard (1946), For: La Belle et la Bête, directed by: Jean Cocteau [Drawing]. At: (Accessed on 22.11.2013)

Fig. 4.  La Belle et la Bête film still (1946) From: La Belle et la Bête, directed by: Jean Cocteau. [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 22.11.2013)

Fig 5,La Belle et la Bête, Film still (1946), From: La Belle et la Bete, directed by Jean Cocteau. [Film Still] At:

Fig 6,La Belle et la Bête, Film still (1946), From: La Belle et la Bete, directed by Jean Cocteau. [Film Still] At:

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Life Drawing: 20.11.13

Today we were working in colour using paints and soft pastels. I love traditional painting I just need to practice more on it as I haven't painted traditionally for a long time now and it shows! It also makes me appreciate just how easy it is to get good colours when working digitally in comparison to using real paint. Still need to practice on my anatomy skills, but I feel more confident in drawing the figure now :)

Secret Lairs: Online Green Light Review 2

Secret Lairs: Colour comps

Some colour comps experimenting with colour and helping my scene stand out, the original seemed a bit muddy and grey, therefore I wanted to bring in a complementary colour such as blue and a bit of purple in shadows, as blue is a colour of power, this will help the audience to understand that this room is for a queen.

Secret Lairs: Concept art

This is my Lair for the Neolithic Queen, its almost finished I will do a few more colour comps to help in terms of colour. The hero prop is a holy font where she goes to bless each child of birth within the tribe, this is one of many secret rooms inside the mountain where the Chahcapoya people live. I designed the font's surrounding in the shape of a thrown and using peacock feathers to reinforce the royalty of the queen. I wanted to incorporate some hanging cloth's into the scene but unsure whether to or not.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Composition Thumbnails: Secret Lair

Thinking of different compositions that can work with my lair with the hero prop being the main focus. I want my hero prop to be a holy water font that is formed on a stone structure (the one you see in the thumbnails). The font will be apart of the stone structure itself. I was thinking to having the stone font structure having a mirror up the top where the sun shines down into the scene leaving an encryption on the floor - a message from the gods. Or perhaps having the encryption light up on the font rather than a projection. I want the lair to be a place of solitude, restoration, holiness, calmness and royalty. I don't want the scene to feel busy, therefore having the encryption on the font light up on would be a better approach.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Secret Lairs: Influence Maps

After speaking with Jordon today I realised I need to start thinking more logically about my work when designing my lair, thinking about its function and why everything is the way it is. Therefore I have started to look at cathedral architecture, church architecture, holy places of worship, religious rituals and symbolism of it being a holy place whilst still thinking about it being set in the neolithic times and still being able to see that it belongs to a queen.

Therefore this requires me to change my hero prop completely, getting rid of the statue and replacing it with a holy font, where she goes to wash her sins away. I want this place to have a calmness to it, with a sense of paradise and solitude, where she can go by herself and be with the gods. 

When thinking about the design of the font and the surrounding area, I have researched into peacocks being a symbol of immortality and is often associated with royalty and queens. I am still setting this inside of the mountain where her father died, therefore mixing these elements with a mountain environment should lead to some interesting outcomes. I will further experiment with composition as suggested by Jordon so I can frame the shot where the hero prop is in a higher position as though you are looking up at it to give a sense of power, once again reinforcing the power of the queen. Although I feel like I've had to re think everything and start again, I feel this is the right way forward.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Secret Lairs: Thumbnails (28-31)

After watching Feng Zhu's most recent video it had inspire me to go back to the line drawing approach when designing my lair. Therefore I started these series of thumbnails with a line drawing then onto value range in black and white using four values and then applying colour on top of them. I worked on three simultaneously so I wasn't too precious with my paintings and approached them as designs rather than finished paintings.

After completing the three designs I turned off the line work to see if they are working as a painting and as to a surprise they were starting to take shape, I especially like the portrait painting and the blue landscape. Following from these I will do an environment prop sheet, and a hero prop sheet so I can finalize the design on the shrine/grave tomb of the king and the surrounding area.

I felt as though I had more control over the whole scene when designing with the perspective grids and drawing lines as compared to blocking out environments, it's an approach which I shall use in  the future, although I need to work on my draftsmanship and line quality for it to really benefit me later on.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Colour Thumbnails Lair Designs 1

Starting to incorporate colour within my thumbnails now to set the mood of the scene. This exercise was quick 30min-45min studies focusing on colour and atmosphere. Design wise I was thinking , tall pillars inside of the cave to give it more of a cathedral structure. The lair is still going to be a holy place, but with the shrine of the queens husband as the place of worship. I chose this  because I have decided to change the narrative being:  ''king Phruox, has given his soul to mountain and it is believed that his spirit is what is stopping the walls around them from caving in''.

I think I will have the shrine lit up with candles by its feet, and to have some other lights hanging from the pillars to help light up the scene. I'm having a bit of trouble with the background of the piece and still unsure how to paint that into the scene but by doing these more I think it will help my design development  and it will help especially with the use colour :).

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Life Drawing: 13.11.2013

5 Minute Poses

Single Line Drawing. Places a figure in an environment. 25min.

Pencil sketch, figure with environment. 20 min.
1 minute poses figure drawing

In today's life drawing we were given a task of drawing a male figure instead of our usual female model and to place them within an environment that was given, the main exercise was to draw the figure in proportion with the environment. He had some props to use for the poses being a staff,  ball and some other objects. Altogether I feel I am improving in my anatomy skills with proportion and my legs are starting to look like legs now :).

Monday, 11 November 2013

John Lewis: 'The Bear & The Hare' - The Making Of'

John Lewis 'The Bear & The Hare' - The Making Of from Blink on Vimeo.

For those who haven't seen the making of 'The Bear and The Hare'. Aaron Blaise is a fantastic animator and painter you should look him up if you haven't heard of him. He shares his animation tips on his YouTube and a website full of his prints, very inspirational. It is a very charming video and I've always wanted to create my own set full of miniatures and hand animate a scene like this, maybe one day :). Plus it's always good to see that 2d traditional animation is still appreciated within the industry :).

Source: - [video_clip];  John Lewis 'The Bear & The Hare' - The Making Of' [Accessed:11/11/2013]

Seceret Lairs: Thumbnails (19-24)

After speaking with Jordon I had decided to experiment with the idea of the room being the kings burial site where the queen would be buried as well, being one of the most sacred grounds within the mountain. I looked in the tombs in Lord of the Rings, and temple/cathedral architecture to incorporate within my design of the interior of the mountain. I've decided to stay away from the rock idea as the mountains will be full of rocks also. Therefore I can start to explore the designs of the catacombs within the mountain where the royals are buried.

Secret Lairs: Influence Maps 2

Following from the OGR I realised that I have been designing the interior of the whole cave in the mountain rather than the lair room itself. So I have decided to do more research in ready for our photoshop lesson today. I am still thinking along the lines of a holy stone/stone structure (Neolithic) used to contact the gods and to have a light encription on it when the ritual takes place. To make the place seem more holy, I was thinking along the lines of using stone pillars like you would see in a temple. When researching I also had colours in mind, I was thinking using a main blue light as the key light to give the place a magical element to it.

I still think the environment is lacking the royality element. To tackle this I think I will use the hero prop being a crown design that is used for contacting the gods. Although I feel it would still need more royality representations. I think to do this by designing some hanging lights that have rich designs in them to help with this problem, this will also give us our light source.