Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Bad Guy- Apperance

My bad guy is also pretty much finished. Like the good guy, I simply need to refine some parts of him, such as his legs and keeping him in proportion. I'll be keeping with the design on the left as it was pointed out that it is the design which looks more bear like.

Pre-Vis: First Half

Part of our group's pre-vis. I need to finish a few more shots before my share of this task is complete. In the first scene the big shape, which I put in to represent the blob will be taken out in the finale. I put it in there more as a way for me to visualize what is going on in the scene and to help me get the angle right. The camera is tilted as it not only is supposed to represent one of the crew members laying down but it also creates tension for the audience. This is because the audience's balance is thrown off.

Pre_Vis_1 from Levalin on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Native American, Wolf and Flower Names

To help me to write my characters' profiles I looked up different names. It was recommended that I used natural sounding names for the hero and the side kick and something industrial for the bad guy. To help me decide a name for the side kick and the hero I looked at Native American, wolf and flower names. The links below are some sites I looked at to not only find the names but to find their meanings as well.

Native American Names
Native American Names 2
Wolf Names
Wolf Names 2
Flower Names and Meanings

Snowdrop: Consolation, Hope
Rosebud (Red): Pure and Lovely
TIVA: Hopi name meaning "dance."
TALA: wolf

There are a few names I rather liked and would consider naming my hero. I am rather leaning to Snowdrop, perhaps putting another word in front, such as 'Little Snowdrop'

GAHO: mother

This one I though could be for the side kick. I imagined it having a wise sounding name in front, such as mother.

The Good Guy- Appearance and Expressions

This is my good guy for character design. She's almost complete in terms of appearance. The image in the top left hand corner was my attempt to draw an anthropomorphic Indian baby. However when I showed Justin the sketches that Colin gave me as well as ones I did myself, I discovered that I only needed to focus on my two genres. That the Hairy Goth, Indian Baby and the 50ft Football Hooligan was only a class exercise. The image in the bottom left hand corner was my first attempt to draw my hero older. Here the hero is now around 13-14 instead of a baby as Justin felt that my bad guy would be too scary for a baby to face. The large on the right is the latest image I have drawn. Around the image are notes I took to help me remember what Justin suggested I add to help finalize my hero.

We were also instructed at some point to make a start on drawing our characters with different expressions. These are just one or two that I put together to help me get an idea of how my character's facial structure would look like. However I did get a little carried away, hence why the body doesn't fit in with the actual character's proper appearance.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Feedback from Colin

Above are a few sketches done by Colin White, in response to my feedback on character design. When I told him I was doing anthropomorphic robots, I mentioned I was struggling on how to make the bear robotic. With that said he started sketching out different ways I could make the bear robotic. He then went on to sketch out a rough height chart which was very useful as I could now see my character's in a different perspective.

Overall, my meeting with Colin was very helpful. Thanks to the sketches of the robotic bear I now had a rough idea of how to go about drawing it. I could also see how, height wise my characters would appear.

Character Design Class 6

This week we learnt about how clothes help to define character. By looking at peoples posses and what they wear we start to build an image of what personality they have. We were given the task of creating a series of characters based on a theme assigned to us. For my theme I was given Knights.

Above is an influence map I put together of different types of knight outfits to help give me an idea on what to draw.

Solo Lip Syncing 2

Monday, 25 October 2010

Funny Games U.S

Funny Games, also known as Funny Games U.S is a psychological thriller. It was directed and written by Michael Haneke. The film was originally only released in German but was then re filmed, shot by shot in English, thus making it post-modernism.

The plot follows the Farber family who are staying at their holiday house in the country.

Having only been in the house for a few hours, two boys Paul and Peter, previously seen with the family's neighbours, start harassing Ann in the kitchen. Meanwhile her son Georgie and husband George are outside attending to the family boat. When George asks the boys to leave they turn nasty. After breaking George's leg with a golf club, they then terrorise the family. Through out the film the boys end up breaking the 4th wall of cinema. This is seen when one of the boys turns and faces the camera, asking the audience if they're on the family's side.

Another moment where the 4th wall is broken is when Ann shoots Peter, only for Paul to pick up the remote and rewind the scene. He grabs the shotgun before the previous original sequence can occur for a second time.

Overall I really didn't like this film at all. I can usually handle violent films but this one was over the top, especially when the young child was murdered. There were one or two occasions where I was tempted to simply walk out and look up on IMDB to see what happened, but I stuck it through. The two boys also scared me as well. They way they act through out the film, although psychotic, they act in a polite manor. The fact that they wear all white also heightens the feeling.

Car Modelling Part 3

Finally managed to get the 3rd set of tutorials done. Added in the door and the dent for the handle.

The Princess and the Frog 2009/2010

I finally got around to watching 'The Princess and the Frog' the other day and was rather impressed at how Disney has made a comeback with 2D animation. The film was released 5 February 2010 in the UK and uis directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. It
is the first 2D Disney film to be made since Home on the range 'It is the 49th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics line, and the first of these films to be traditionally (2D) animated since 2004's Home on the Range.'. It is also the first Disney film to have its main character have dark coloured skin 'Tiana, the main character, is also notable as Disney's first black princess'. Wiki IMDB

The plot follows the main character, Tiana as she strives to gather enough money to open her own restaurant. Meanwhile a prince from abroad is in search of a wife who will help him to regain his lost riches. Upon exploring the city, the young prince and his servant stumble across the evil voodoo magician Dr. Facilier who turns the prince into a frog. Tiana meanwhile attends a party of her closest friend, but ends up having to borrow a new dress after a little accident. Upon remaining in the room she stumbles across the prince and in return for kissing him he agrees to help pay for her restaurant. However a twist in the plot find Tiana also turning into a frog.

I rather enjoyed watching this film. All the way though my friends and I were laughing our heads off as there is a lot of humour through out the film. However we also noticed and commented on how dark some of the scenes are, especially for a young child. I find it a shame to hear that it didn't do very well at the box office as this is a brilliant example of classic Disney.

Character Design Class 5- Acting

For this week Justin introduced us to body language and facial expression.

Our first task was drawing the outline of different poses to see how body language played a big part in character development. He chose two of us as voluntary models to pose in different situations. The first was himself, posing as a strong superhero character. With this we learnt balance of pose. If someone is sticking their chest out in a superhero stance, then their bottom must stick out slightly in the opposite direction. The second pose was of someone who was afraid. It showed that if someone is unsure and don't want to be sociable then they will block their body from view by crossing their arms, looking away etc.

The third pose I don't have a drawing off as I volunteered myself, resulting in having to do stand in a friendly way for a few minutes (very tiring trying to defy gravity). Finally, after trying to volunteer someone else the final model was Godwin, who had to pose as someone who was unsure.

Afterwards we were separated into groups of three. For this two of us acted out a scenario given to us and then the other had to draw the poses. For these, there was a werewolf and a cheerleader and an argument.

After a couple of poses we were again re separated and put into bigger groups. In this one it was the Jeckyl and Hyde transformation being witnessed.

Overall I really enjoyed this session of character design. It was fun having to act out different poses, even if it did mean aching arms and legs afterwards.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Essay Question

Seeing as I'm basing my essay on Moulin Rouge, a rough idea would be to look at death of the author, Roland Barthes. My question I'll be aiming to answer in my essay as well as argue would be

'Is the author dead in Moulin Rouge?'

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Martian Cave 3

Another concept piece for the underground cave. This one focuses on when one of the crew members shines their torch on the blob. A shadow is seen where but nothing else.

The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951

The Day the Earth Stood still is a film made in 195-. It was directed by Robert Wise
The film is a sci-fi and is the first of its kind, the first film to have an alien/robot invasion. Before hand the majority of films were horror based, such as Dracula and Frankenstein. For this film there is a huge debate on whether or not it is a B movie or whether it's an actual blockbuster hit. The scrip and the quality of the film is considered very high standard, considering the time it was made, giving it the blockbuster properties.

The story starts off with a space shop landing in the middle of Washington. Upon landing the ship opens. The main character, human in appearance and accompanied by his robot venture out to greet the people off Washington. A misunderstanding over a gift from the alien leads to the robot starting to destroy all the weapons on the site. After calling the machine off, the man, names Klaatu is sent to the nearest hospital. After escaping the hospital Klaatu then sets about trying to find the smartest man on the planet to bring him a warning.

I rather enjoyed re watching the film. I started to watch it a year ago after renting it out of the library at Maidstone UCA. Back then I got about 15 minutes into it and soon found myself getting bored. However, although I still don't think this film is all that great, it wasn't as bad as I thought. The effects in the film were spectacular, considering it was made in the 1950's and such effects and the genre of the film were new.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lucid Studios Blog Adress

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Martian Cave Concept Update

Updated both concept pieces. The top one I simply changed the canvas size. The second I re did ass to try and keep in the curvy pillars in.

Monday, 18 October 2010


The other night dad and I helped one of my friends write an essay for her foundation course work. During a part of the conversation, the artist Hundertwasser came up as one of the artists who inspire her and her work. Upon hearing of him and seeing his work I thought I'd do a blog post to share some of the images he painted.

Hundertwasser is one of the best known Austrian artists. He was born on the 15th December 1928 and died on 19th February 2000. He started painting after the second world war. His work usually consists of bright colours, organic forms and a strong individualism. He very rarely uses straight lines. It is this I rather like about his work, how abstract it looks.

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) is a film adaption out of many based on the BBC TV series. The show, written by Nigel Kneale, centered around Professor Bernard Quatermass as he battles sinister alien forces that threaten humanity.

The film starts of with the return of a space ship which was sent into space with three astronauts in it. Upon arrival it is discovered that only one crew member has survived and the other two have disappeared.

The remaining crew member Carroon, although alive appears ill. Things appear slightly off about the character as the Doctor continuously points out the change in the man's anatomy. Part of his cheek bones are different and in the wrong place, as if the man has changed his appearance. It is later revealed that something attacked the crew whilst in space and has taken control off Carroon. For the duration of the film Carroon undertakes the power to absorb any living thing he touches, slowly mutating beyond recognition.

I rather enjoyed the film, as the action started straight away. Although for some reason I found that the realness of Carroon's mutation really gave me the creeps. I wouldn't mind watching the original TV series and at least one of the re makes just to be able to compare them.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss

Watched a documentary the other night with Tom called 'A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss'. Being a lover of horror since childhood the documentary consists of some of Mark's personal favourite horror films. This week's show was based on what he believed to be the era when horror really began. To Gatiss horror began with the airing of the 1925 silent version of 'The Phantom of the Opera'. He mentioned Lon Chaney also known as 'The Man With Many Faces', the Phantom from the film and a famous actor in the 1920's and how he is considered the god father of horror. He is also famous for his self taught makeup skills. With creating the Phantom's appearance he even used a piece of thin metal wire to pin his nose back to make it looks as if it wasn't there.

Another two famous films Gatiss talks about are Dracula, which stared Bela Lugosi, who also later worked in Ed Wood's films. He also talks about Frankenstein and how although brilliant for its time also pushed Horror boundaries too far. In one scene the monster is playing with a little girl and ends up throwing her into the water, therefore resulting in her drowning. This scene was cut out from other versions and wasn't put back in until 50 years later.

by 1950's horror films were almost becoming extinct, however as Gatiss says 'but of course its just like when you think the monster's dead it comes back...stronger'

Solo Lip Syncing

Solo_Lip_Sync_1 from Levalin on Vimeo.

After completing the last lip sync, we've been assigned to now re do it but this time without a tutorial. I've added in the jaw bounce and I hope I'm doing it right. To help I've been looking at the PDF Alan put on MyUCA- Intro to Lip Syncing to help me get the position right. However looking at this video I think I need to just tweak the jaw movement a little as it seems off.

3rd Concept Piece Idea

Some ideas for the 3rd concept piece. The top 3 are to depict the crew climbing down the hole into the underground Martian cave. The two on the left and in the centre are shots of Mars from space. The image in the bottom right hand corner is supposed to be an image of when one off the crew members shine their torch on the blob and its casts and shadow.

Concept Piece 2

The 2nd concept piece. It needs a little more work but I want to get a base down for all 3 before I add in more detail.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Character Design- Development

The homework for last weeks character design class was to start getting down some full boy outlines for our characters. The hero, the wolf would be living and real and non robotic. The bad guy, the bear would be a robot and rather large and evil.. However I was struggling with the design of the sidekick. I want the sidekick to have a matron like personality and to be rather large. But I couldn't think of what animal to make her. I was also struggling as to whether or not to make her half robot, fully robot or like the wolf non robotic.

These were a few ideas of which animal my sidekick could be. The main idea I had was a bird of some sorts. This would also help me add in the 'Hairy Goth' aspect of the character.

After asking Justin, he suggested I look up more on my anatomy for animals. Especially bears and wolves as my drawings at the moment are rather our of proportion and not quite looking like what they're meant to be. Justin also liked the ideas of making the sidekick being a large matron like character and we both agreed it would perhaps work better if they were some sort of bird.

Character Design Class 4

For our character design class this week we were instructed to draw characters which would be found in a certain place. We were asked to pick a number between 1 and 13. I chose 5 which turned out to be the garage.

This first set of sketches aren't very good but I was at the time trying to think of other objects, other than the obvious which lived in the garage. I based my ideas off of object which my family have in my garage. The pogo stick is one of them.

The second set I tried to refine my ideas for the pogo stick and the car design. The pogo stick I imagined being very hyperactive to fit the fact that its used for bouncing. A Tigger like character. The car I could see being female. The bike, toolbox and other images were just rough ideas to visually see what could also be kept in a garage.

After Justin looked over them he then showed me one or two things I could do to improve their characteristics to make them really distinctive. The first was with the tool box. He suggested to really exaggerate the mean appearance of it by adding in a mouth and showing teeth made out of tools from inside. He also said I could really exaggerate the shape of the lid to look like eyebrows to give it more expression.

For the bike, as it was for a paper boy, he suggested exaggerating the handle bars. I them came up with the idea for having a basket for a mouth. This soon gave the bike a 'puppy' like appearance. The mud guard would be used for a tail and the breaks as eyebrows.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Concept Piece 1 Updated

First concept piece. It's not finished but I can see how it's going to roughly turn out. I went back and used my watercolours to paint the image first. I find when I paint the image first, it is easier for me to get a perspective on it. I also wasn't too keen on the rough versions done straight in photoshop which was another reason for painting the concept piece. I'm also aware that the image size is not right. I saved them and only then did I realize that they weren't 16 x 9. I have changed the size to continue working on the concept piece in the right one.


Scream is a Post-modern film written by Kevin Williamson and is directed by Wes Crave. Scream was a new type of horror film, keeping the old clichéd aspects of horror, but gave the characters awareness of said clichés. As the main character Sydney quotes 'What's the point they're all the same, some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door, it's insulting.'. Through out the film clips of famous horror films, such as Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street are shown also making the film Post-modern.

I rather enjoyed this film even if it was a horror film. I rather liked the fact that it wasn't instantly obvious who the murderer was. It was also funny to hear every one's theory on how a horror film really is constructed and what rules are needed to survive.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Car Modelling Part 2

I finished the second part of the car model about a week ago, however I had to back a few steps. For some reason I'd ended up getting some vertices's in the wrong place, therefore making the geometry look very bumpy and out of shape. I then went back through the tutorial to a point where I could re do the car without having to do the entire second stage. I deleted one or two of the edges around the head light and then re added them back in. I also had some helpful advice from Godwin on how the vertices's should be positioned.

After working on the the headlight area of the car in what feels like forever, I now feel its as close as I'm going to get to it looking acceptable without falling behind.