Friday, 30 October 2015

Flash Morph Animation

I actually struggled a lot with this exercise for many reasons. First of all, the tablet would not work properly for me and I realised that drawing with it was quite difficult. I tried other tablets and the problem would remain. This slowed me down and it took me a lot longer than everyone else to complete my flash morph animation. The second mistake I realised was that I shouldn't have introduced colour into my animation because it made the whole process of morphing the objects both distracting, difficult and time-consuming.

Overall, I am not very satisfied with this and I will most likely go back and do this exercise again when I have the time.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Metropolis (1927) Film review

Fig. 1 Metropolis original
movie poster (1927)

Metropolis (1927) was directed by Fritz Lang, a German-Austrian filmmaker. Generally regarded as one of the most influential and pioneering science-fiction films of all time, Metropolis explores a futuristic world in which science and technology cause the downfall and despair of humanity. Lang's Metropolis has influenced many well-known films of today, such as Blade Runner (1982) and Batman's Gotham City.

Fritz Lang's primary source of inspiration came from the city of New York, from when he went on a short voyage with fellowman, Erich Pommer in 1925. Lang's set design confirms this as we are shown a panoramic shot of the city in the beginning of the film, displaying towering skyscrapers and great government buildings. In an interview, Lang stated that 'the film was born from my first sight of the skyscrapers in New York' and 'I looked into the streets - the glaring lights and tall buildings - and there I conceived Metropolis' (Minden and Bachmann, 2002).

Metropolis, just like Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920) was filmed during Weimar Germany. 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. The political turmoil was reflected in artist's work, leading to the beginning of German Expressionism. It is therefore highly probable that Lang was influenced by the events happening during his time, therefore Metropolis is an example of German Expressionism, with its dark, highly stylised sets, dramatic camera angles and use of bold, menacing shadows.

As well as being influenced by New York architecture, Lang was also inspired by Gothic and art deco architecture, specifically with his use of towering spires and cathedrals, an example is shown in fig. 2.  The film also makes several biblical references, particularly Maria's constant reference to The Tower of Babel to highlight the great social divide between the workers and the rich and powerful.

Fig. 2 The Chrysler building in New York
City, inspired by Art Deco architecture
The film received a great number of positive critical reception and many critics regarded the film as 'a great technical marvel' (Hall, 1927) with its astonishing use of special effects. However, other critics like Hugenberg criticised the film for having a similar storyline to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Today, Metropolis is still regarded as one of the best films of the Silent Era and also remains in 'The 100 Best Films of World Cinema'. Lang's Metropolis has also inspired the fashion world, including some of the top fashion designers in the world such as Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci and Versace's Donatella.


Text sources:

Ahearn, W (2012) 'Metropolis' 1927 [online] At: (Accessed on 29.10.15)

Ebert, R (1998) Great Movie: Metropolis [online] At: (Accessed on 29.10.15)

Minden, M and Bachmann, H (2002) Fritz Lang's Metropolis: Cinematic Visions of Technology and Fear. New York: Camden House

Hall, M (1927) Movie review: Metropolis (1927) 'A Technical Marvel'. The New York Times

Hutchinson, P (2012) Future-proof: How Metropolis still inspires fashion [online blog] in: At: (Accessed on 29.10.15)

Illustrations list: 

Fig. 1 Metropolis (1927) [Poster] At: (Accessed on 29.10.15)
Fig. 2 Chrysler building, New York At: (Accessed on 29.10.15)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Phyllis - Exterior Low Angle Shot [old one]

I do believe it is done... here is the exterior low angle shot of Phyllis! :)
Once again, I really enjoyed painting this, I feel like I have successfully managed to bring out the classic, Romantic side to this beautiful city.

GIF coming soon 

Low angle exterior shot progress sketch

I am going to be painting a busy market selling all kinds of lovely fresh produce such as exotic fruits and beautiful flowers.

Life drawing

I really enjoyed today's life drawing session, especially as I got to experiment using white chalk on black paper to draw the model and then gently blend the white chalk into the black paper to give it a soft appearance.

20 minute pose

Fast 2 minute poses
The first drawing on the upper right was a 15 minute pose

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Phyllis Exterior Further Progress

Phyllis Exterior Progress Painting

Here is my progress so far of my painting of the exterior shot of Phyllis. Really pleased so far and I am really enjoying the painterly style. I think it helps in portraying the Romantic, warm side to my city.

Made a new colour pallete based on Thomas Moran's impressionist paintings of Venice to use in my concept paintings of Phyllis.

Phyllis Interior Colour Comp

Phyllis Exterior Low Angle Colour Thumbnail

For my exterior low angle shot, I want to portray a market scene. As Phyllis is famous for its delicious fruits, I want to show a snapshot of the fruit market.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Phyllis Exterior Colour Compositions

I made some exterior colour compositions of Phyllis. I am very happy with the first two and feel like I could work with them. Tomorrow I will develop these more and also colour pick some key peachy/warm colours from Moran's impressionist paintings to form a colour palette for my concept painting of Phyllis.

The last one is an exterior sketch, I attempted to use aerial perspective.

Phyllis - Research

I sat down and started thinking about my city in depth. This has helped me in painting a clearer picture of the city in my mind and will also help me when it comes to painting my city.

Building thumbnails - Phyllis

Friday, 16 October 2015

CG Artist's Toolkit - Using the Illustrator pen tool

Today in Simon's class, we learned how to use the pen tool in Illustrator. We first learned about the many faces of the pen tool, such as adding and removing anchor points. First we started off making simple lines and geometric shapes and then we moved on to creating curves and more complex shapes.

We completed the first pen tool exercise, which was very straightforward and enjoyable.

And then we moved onto another exercise whereby we had to trace a template image using only the pen tool. I chose the batman logo and the Nike swoosh. I can imagine how important the pen tool will be when we create our own logos as it is a very customisable tool.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Logo designs

Made some logo designs on Illustrator by following a simple tutorial. I did change some aspects of my design to make it unique. In the future, I would like to create a final logo based around my blog name 'Pyrobat'. I tried to do this here, in the final logo design displayed on the lower right hand side. Although I am happy with how it turned out, it does look a bit generic. My plan is to change it once I gain more knowledge of making logos so my logo becomes more original and professional.

I enjoyed playing around with the colour gradient tool and choosing  various symbols to add to my logo.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Flash Morph Animation

I was absent for our last Character and Animation class with Meg, but I did look around online and found a tutorial for creating a Flash Morph animation.

I created my three drawings of a person, then a vegetable and then finally an animal and then used the tween option and selected shape tween. Looking at other people's morph animation, it seems that theirs is a lot smoother than mine so I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or not.

Anyway here it is. Feedback is appreciated.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Maya Tutorial 2: Ray Gun

I really enjoyed this tutorial and look forward to starting the next one. 

My final rendered ray gun

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Thomas Moran master study

Following Phil's advice, I started looking into Thomas Moran's impressionist paintings and decided to choose one for a master study to help me get into this beautiful style of art.

I am very satisfied with my outcome :) Next time, I will focus more on the little details such as the reflection of the boat and adding the little wisps of cloud towards the top.

My painting
Moran's painting

Phyllis Influence Map

Made an influence map for my chosen city, Phyllis. I will most likely be making more of these as I come across more references.

I am thinking of doing some Impressionist master studies to help me for when I eventually begin to paint my city.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Life drawing session 1

Enjoyed our first life drawing session, it involved drawing structures using black charcoal and white chalk.