Tuesday, 29 September 2015

'Invisible Cities' thumbnails 38-43

Here are some more thumbnails of various cities. I used a word stack to come up with my ideas for 'Anastasia'. It helped me a lot in terms of imagining the colours and words associated with the city.

I also did the same for the others. I wanted to experiment portraying 'Leonia' as a city in the sky. My favourites are 39 and 43. I especially love how 'Esmeralda' came out. 

'Invisible Cities' thumbnails 27-37

Today I worked a lot on my 'Invisible Cities' thumbnails. I experimented with a lot of different painting styles as I wanted to display a full range of styles. I really love number 27, 30, 31 and 33. 

Photoshop Master Studies

This week in our Photoshop class, we worked on master studies. I loved this activity and I will be doing more of these as it was extremely helpful. It allowed me to experiment using different brushes and new tools.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Abstract Painting Exercise

We were taught how to use the lasso tool in Photoshop and then used the tool to make abstract thumbnail paintings.  I really enjoyed this activity and will definitely use this tool more in my future paintings.

Here are some of my abstract paintings:

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Egg Cups Maya Tutorial No.1

I followed the entire tutorial and finished my egg cups.
Here we have an NURBS egg cup (red), Low res Polygon egg cup (blue),  a SubD egg cup (yellow) and a Poly smooth egg cup (green).

I found this task both enjoyable and also challenging. My main challenge was creating the dip in the egg cup for my poly egg cup. I ran into a few difficulties which meant I had to spend a long time trying to fix my mistakes. Next time, I will keep trying to make my egg cups look perfect and more precise. Using NURBS was definitely the easiest method to model my egg cups.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Space Oddities: Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari

Fig. 1 Original movie poster
from Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920)
Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920) Fig. 1 directed by Robert Wiene was considered to be one of the very first horror movies ever made. It draws many elements from classic Gothic literature and this is reflected in the film's characters, many of which are heavily based on Gothic stock characters. This includes Jane (the beautiful damsel in distress), Francis (the hero) and Cesare and Caligari who make up the two villains in the film.

Many events were taking place during the time in which the film was created. The most important being the removal of censorship by the Weimar Republic which led to a rise in artistic freedom. This resulted in a revolution in German cinema and art. Artists were suddenly permitted to express their creativity, no matter how sexual, political or rebellious their ideas. However, Germany was also recovering after World War 1, something that left the people of Germany 'physically and psychologically wounded' (Harvard Film Archive, December 19). The political turmoil was reflected in artist's work, leading to the beginning of German Expressionism. It is therefore highly probable that Wiene was influenced by the events happening during his time, therefore, Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari is an example of German Expressionism, with its 'deeply shadowed lighting, distorted perspective and intentionally artificial sets' (Harvard Film Archive, December 19).

The most prominent feature in Wiene's film is the set design. Wiene utilizes Gothic conventions when designing his movie set. The viewer instantly recognizes the Gothic set design when observing the dark corridors and winding staircases that make up the little town of Hostenwall. Another instance in which the audience is reminded of the film's Gothic influences is shortly before Alan (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski) is murdered, the shadow of the murderer is seen on the wall behind him. The use of shadows is very typical of Gothic horror. The distortion created by Wiene creates a feeling of unease; the crooked windows, dark alleyways, sinister shadows and even the monochrome nature of the film connects well to the overall emotion it evokes in the audience.

Fig. 2 Cesare from Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920)
The character's use of heavy make-up is also very significant and connects well with the film's horror genre. At first glance, Jane (Lil Dagover) looks like as if she has emerged from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005). Her heavy eye shadow, eyeliner and black lipstick give her a Gothic look, but also makes her resemble a porcelain doll, with her white skin and small, pouty lips. It is interesting to note that Wiene's Caligari later inspired many artists to produce various films and animations including Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Edward Scissorhands (1990). Cesare's (Conrad Veidt) look is even more intense as seen in Fig. 2, his face caked with heavy, white powder and his eyes outlined with thick black kohl (almost too thick, in fact). Cesare's palid, vampire-esque look and slim physique reminds the audience of a creepy ninja, especially when he blends in with the black background, his black clothing providing him with effective camouflage, as displayed in Fig .3. Also, just before he kidnaps Jane, he quietly and stealthily tiptoes into Jane's room, looming over her, making him appear as a sinister figure.
Fig. 3 Cesare from Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920)

Perhaps one of the most startling and disturbing scenes in the film is when it is suddenly revealed to the audience that the story has been narrated by Francis (Friedrich Feher), who appears to be residing in an insane asylum. It is soon revealed that the whole story is a figment of Francis' imagination and that Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) is not in fact, a crazy, scheming villain but is a doctor at the asylum Francis resides in. Critic Murray (2014) comments: 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari illustrates something more eternal: about great manipulators, and the underlying anxiety that either society has gone mad, or we have'. This is certainly an interesting point and manipulation and deception have become a great feature in many of the best hit classic movies including The Matrix (1999) and Shutter Island (2010). The clever use of manipulation is effective because it is unexpected. It causes awe, it surprises and delights audiences as they realize that they have been tricked into believing something that was never true.

Original reviews of the film 'praised the direction and perfect tempo of the film, as well as the sets that squeeze and turn adjust the eye, and through the eye, the mentality' (Robinson, 1997). It is very likely that audiences at the time found the film unsettling and disturbing, taking into account the theme and subject manner. But nevertheless, Caligari was one of the pioneering Psychological Horrors of its time. The film is very engaging and the constant ambiguities present throughout the film constantly leaves the audience thinking what will happen next.

Surreal, twisted, and mind-boggling - it is a film that will inspire generations upon generations of filmmakers.


Text sources:

(December 19) Decadent Shadows: The Cinema of Weimar Germany Harvard Film Archive at: http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa/films/2010octdec/weimar.html (Accessed on 24.09.15)

Murray, N. (2014) in: The Dissolve [online] At: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1003361-cabinet_of_dr_caligari/ (Accessed on 24.09.15)

Robinson, D. (1997) Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari London British Film Institute (Accessed on 24.09.15)

Ebert, R. (2009) Great Movie: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari [online] At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-1920 (Accessed on 24.09.15)

[Author unknown] Gothic literature (2013) [online] At: http://shs.bellinghamschools.libguides.com/content.php?pid=525932 (Accessed on 25.09.15)

Illustration list:

Figure 1. Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920) [Poster] At: http://www.openculture.com/2013/10/the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-see-the-restored-version.html (Accessed on 25.09.15)

Figure 2. Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920) At: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari (Accessed on 25.09.15)

Figure 3. Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920) At: http://www.moviemail.com/film/dvd+blu-ray/Das-Cabinet-des-Dr-Caligari-Masters-of-Cinema/ (Accessed on 25.09.15)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Invisible Cities thumbnails 1-27

Hello all. Just wanted to let everyone know why I have not been posting to my blog as frequently as I should be. I have had no internet connection at home for the past 4 days. My whole neighbourhood has been affected and the BT engineer said it has something to do with the cables. It will hopefully be fixed by next week, but in the meantime I will have to use the university computers to write up my work and upload my thumbnails.
Here are some thumbnails I have been working on:

I somehow forgot to number these thumbnails and only noticed it once I had scanned the images.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

NURBS Egg Cup 1

In our last Maya lesson, we learned how to model an NURBS egg cup using simple curves. NURBS stands for Non-uniform rational basis spline. They are used in computer graphics and are most commonly used to create 3D objects.

The most important thing I learned in the first tutorial is that the more splits you use to create a curve, the smoother your curve becomes, which results in the overall object looking more smooth. This was very useful when creating my egg cup.

Here is my first NURBS egg cup:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

'Invisible Cities' - Influence Maps

Today I made three Influence Maps and in them I included images that reminded me of the various cities in Calvino's 'Invisible Cities'. This activity has definitely helped me, as I can now paint a much more vivid picture of the cities.
I chose to keep my images at a relatively big size
as I thought the boxes were a bit too small
and made my images hard to see.



Thursday, 17 September 2015

Test post

Phil taught us how to embed videos in our blog posts and how to use scribd to present our presentations on our blog, which was all incredibly useful. I wanted to test out some of the things he taught us in this post.

I really love this short animation, it's both funny and has a lovely pixar quality to it which I like very much (I am a huge Pixar fan). The demon is also surprisingly cute and fluffy :3

Quick sketch

So as I was waiting for my mum to return home, I decided to do a quick digital sketch. Here it is.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Summer project 71-101

And here are the remaining concept desgins. I thoroughly enjoyed completing this project and coming up with new concepts. I am looking forward to the many exciting projects to come :)

Summer project 49-70

Summer project 27-48

Here are some more of my designs :)