Friday, 27 February 2015

Motion and Classic tween

Fantastic Voyage: Research and initial thoughts

So I narrowed down my research and picked the slime mold. I feel like the other three examples we can choose from are way too malicious and serious, and after my last script for the previous project I feel like I need something more positive to focus on.
The thing that triggered everything for me was the youtube lecture of Dr. Peter Klappa saying that when starvation occurs, the amoebas mold together and turn into slime. This gave me the idea of a village full of amoebas that eat happily all summer and co-exist in a peaceful place (maybe on top of a tree trunk?) until the food runs out and they need to form a different organism in order to survive. I really like this idea of transformation and I think there is very rich narrative in outside stimuli that trigger the good qualities in a community. So perhaps the amoebas are a bit selfish at first and egoistical but they soon discover that they need to work together if they want to survive.

 This video explains a lot about the slime mold, as points of interest:
-Scientific Name: Physarum Polycephalum (a lot of character names could be derived by those two words).
-Largest single cell organism on earth.
- Primitive life forms with sophisticated talents.
- Slime molds can solve simple mazes.
- Slime molds love oat flakes
-Constantly pulsating, almost resembles breathing (maybe breathing can be the sound for the slime mold?)

In this video, the narrator, mentions that slime mold forms mostly in Autumn, which is perfect for my little story, the citizens can have feasts all summer and when the first leaves start to fall in the distance, hunger strikes and the slime mold forms.

I love the direction of this video, it represents the slime mold as "more" than just a mold, it touches upon powerful words which the viewers can relate to - intelligence, self-sacrifice, the music is powerful in its simplicity as well and I love the black and white, "grainy" quality of the video.

A picture of the amoeba before the transformation into a slime mold:

The art direction I want to follow is definitely from the game "World of Goo" where you need to solve puzzles by combining "slime balls" into a bigger creature (or a bridge), the style and music are just perfect for the tone of the animation I want to create too:
 ("world of goo" screenshot)

and here is a quick trailer for the game:

Slime mold amoeba:, (2015). Slime Molds. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Feb. 2015].

"World of Goo" screenshot:, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Feb. 2015].

More Master Studies

Really enjoyed those studies, so I did some more:

My oranges are so far away from the actual painting, it hurts, but on the positive side, my greens look ok :)

Anticipation & Follow-through: Can Snatch

Adobe Audition Exercises

We didn't do a lot of exercises for Adobe Audition with Matt, but the software was easy enough to get into without the need of long tutorials. However, I took some screenshots as a proof I actually followed the lessons :)

Applying filters:
 Delay and Echo:
 Fade In and Fade Out in the Multitrack window
 Stretch and Pitch:
 Using envelopes in the Multitrack

Post-produced SFX

Original SFX + Description

Here is the playlist of the original sounds I recorded, the name of every sound file is the actual recorded object or thing so hopefully no need of additional description :)

Soundscape Submission Post

"The Creepy Crawlies" (Image 1 on my Sonic concept):

"The Blossom" (Image 2 on my Sonic Concept):

"Inception" (Image 3 on my Sonic Concept):

Monday, 23 February 2015

Walk Cycles Part 1: Mechanics

Photoshop Workshop: Master Studies

We did some really cool exercises with Jordan today. The first one was environment studies. What I learned from the exercise is my inability to see orange tones and browns, I'll definitely work on those colours more.
The second study was from a portrait. We started by flipping the canvas upside down which made it easier and then working on the details.
For the third one we only had 20 minutes or so and I'm not entirely happy with the results, needs a lot more work.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Character Bios

Production art for the Lion Tamer

I think I drew the perfect man. #dreamy

FSTS The Art Of: "Le Cirque de la Physionomie"

FSTS: Pre-viz

FSTS: CD Cover

It looks better on paper :)

FSTS: 2d Animatic

"Jaws" movie review

(fig. 1 – movie poster)
“Jaws” (1975) is an example of a great adaptation of a book for the big screen, offering a great sound design and frightening jump-scares. The film also has a general feeling of positivity to it, maybe further suggested by the occasional rise in the mood in the soundtrack, which happens a lot in Steven Spielberg’s movies.

“Jaws” is an extremely influential movie and has been compared many times to classic films. It does provide some jump-scares but in a way that is not too frightening. Roger Ebert talks about the film: “Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" is a sensationally effective action picture, a scary thriller that works all the better because it's populated with characters that have been developed into human beings we get to know and care about. It's a film that's as frightening as "The Exorcist," and yet it's a nicer kind of fright, somehow more fun because we're being scared by an outdoor-adventure saga instead of by a brimstone-and-vomit devil.” (Ebert, 1975)

The most memorable aspect in “Jaws” perhaps is the soundtrack that follows the great white appearance. What is more exciting is the suggestion of the shark, which definitely loses its value when actually shown on the screen.  Peter Bradshaw talks about the sound design: “Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw are the three glorious hombres of 70s Hollywood tracking down the shark, whose presence is signalled by John Williams's orchestral theme, the creepiest since Herrmann's Psycho” (Bradshaw, 2012)

What makes the film such a successful adaptation as well is maybe the time it was made. When CG was not as accessible as today, pushing the creative team into suggesting the danger rather than showing it on the screen. James Berardinelli talks about it: “For the first hour, the only glimpses we catch of the shark are fleeting and indistinct. Even after the beast makes its first, harrowing appearance, the camera doesn't dwell upon it.” (Berardinelli, 2015) (fig. 2)

 (fig. 2 – movie still)
In conclusion, in “Jaws” the shark can be regarded as a metaphor for a fear of the unknown. In symbolism the fear of the dark can be replaced by a fear of deep water, giving the film a different view-point. A lot of it however is pure “Hollywood” entertainment, the way the shark behaves has nothing to do with actual sharks, making the film more of an exaggeration, rather than a real representation.  (fig. 3)

(fig.3 – movie still)


Fig. 1 -, (2015). Jaws: Extra Large Movie Poster Image - Internet Movie Poster Awards Gallery. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].

Fig. 2 –, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].

Fig. 3 –, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].


Berardinelli, J. (2015). Reelviews Movie Reviews. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].

Bradshaw, P. (2012). Jaws – review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].

Ebert, R. (1975). Jaws Movie Review & Film Summary (1975) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2015].

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Life drawing

Our new life drawing model is just brilliant, really delicate poses and a lovely silhouette. Her expression was wonderful as well, really inspiring <3

Concept and production art for the camera

Most of the design decisions are explained on the page, I quite like it with a few more adjustments it could be improved but the deadline is knocking on the door :)

FSTS: Concept piece for the restaurant

FSTS: Modelling a pig

As quickly as I possibly could!

FSTS: Modelling a lion

Following the same basic techniques as in the previous one, extruding some faces and pulling vertexes, deleting half the body and mirroring the whole for symmetry.

Pre-Viz Modelling a deer in maya

Following these great tutorials:

Animal Modeling Maya -Deer - Video Three from Meredith Drum on Vimeo.

I only wish I had the time to follow every single step, but since it's only for a pre-viz I made a quick deer model. Here is my progress:

Monday, 16 February 2015

Editing speech in Adobe Premiere

I realized the speech in my animatic is very clunky, after a bit of research it turns out that a more realistic outcome can be achieved using a slight fade in and out at the beginning and the end of the speech, imitating breathing in and out. I must say it really works :)

FSTS: Editing the sounds for the animatic

Well editing the sounds for the animatic is quicker than I expected. A chunk of the generic sounds are downloaded for free from and they include:
-The Camera Click
-The Creepy Organ Loop
-A lion Roar
-A whip Sound
You can hear them (unedited of course) here:

Then my next step was to edit, cut and crop some of them and turn them into sounds that can fit my animatic well. I used Adobe Audition for that and mostly the stretch and pitch tools plus some of the echo effects and the reverse for a little bit more of a variety:

Finally I needed to record myself singing a creepy song (obviously) it needed to be a mix of the "Suspiria" soundtrack and the lullaby in "Pan's Labyrinth" (my favourite film in the whole wide world) but at the end everything sounded a bit too much like either of those two sadly, this is the original (get ready for giggles):

And since that wasn't enough I had to record something that sounds like a Merry Go Round, so that it fits with the idea of a circus setting. Sadly there aren't many of those around in Maidstone so I improvised with on of those manual whisks placed in a big mug. This is the original sound:

And the final background music for the animatic was made using those two sounds + the creepy organ loop. I think it turned out quite well, if I had a little bit more time I would have extended my "lalala" song (all rights reserved) a bit more so it flows better, but we have to chase the deadlines after all :) Here it is:

Now all that's left is get a hold of Julien as his french accent will be perfect for my characters. Update soon to follow :)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Adobe Flash: Symbols and rotating birds

Todays exercise was really fun :)

Golf Ball take 2

Wasn't happy with the previous golf ball exercise, so here is an improved version :)

David Farmer - Sound Designer Profile


( Fig. 1 – movie poster)
“Duel” (1971) is in essence suspense on four wheels. The dramatic car chase scenes, and the faceless evil, driving a rusty old truck can leave the viewers breathless and almost in panic. (fig. 2) Ian Freer talks about the film: “Built on a skilful ebb and flow axis of surprise and suspense, it has few rivals when it comes to sustaining an action agenda throughout the full running time.” (Freer, 2015)

 (Fig. 2 – movie still)
What makes the film so intriguing is the constant acceleration from the start to the very end. This theme is repeated multiple times on multiple layers. From the car and the truck, to the racing and panicked mind of a man whose life is threatened. This pressure leaves no breathing room whatsoever and leaves the viewers gasping for air. John Kenneth talks about this: “The film is precisely what the title promises: a "clash" between two dedicated combatants (a man driving a car and an unseen person manning the evil truck), with Spielberg's splendid sense of visual metaphor carrying the day.” (Kenneth, 2010)

“Duel” doesn’t have extensive dialogues and maybe that is the reason why every time speech is heard, it probably means something and it isn’t just a mundane chat. For instance the dialogue between David (Dennis Weaver) and his wife, is concerned with his masculinity and how he should have defended his spouse the night before. Maybe this dialogue is the driving force behind “Duel” the desire of the husband to prove himself as a man.

“Duel” was originally made for television but it was quickly recognised that the movie deserves to be on the big screen.

In conclusion, it can be said that the film ends a bit too quickly with the end credits suggesting that it’s finished, without them no one in the movie theatre would move, expecting the malicious truck driver to rise from the dead and continue the chase. (fig. 3) Janet Maslin talks about the film: “the film loses its momentum and becomes somewhat clumsy. The ending is abrupt, too, but the main impression left by ''Duel'' is one of talent and energy. Mr Spielberg seemed, with this film, to be headed for bigger and better things. Sure enough, he was.” (Maslin, 2015)

 (fig. 3 – movie still)


Fig. 1 -, (2015). Duel: Extra Large Movie Poster Image - Internet Movie Poster Awards Gallery. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].

Fig. 2 -, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].

Fig. 3 –, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].


Freer, I. (2015). Empireonline Reviews | Reviews | Empire. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].

Kenneth, J. (2010). John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV: CULT TV-MOVIE REVIEW: Duel (1971). [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].

Maslin, J. (2015). Movie Review - Duel - 'SPIELBERG'S 'DUEL,' FOUR-WHEEL COMBAT - [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Monday, 9 February 2015

Practice Animatic: FSTS Adobe Premiere

After the introduction to the wonderful world of Adobe Premiere with Simon, I made a quick animatic using the like-to-like storyboard. Not the best looking one, but I think I got the basics down.

LOTR Animatic from Garrison Impala on Vimeo.

FSTS: More Production Art

Some more production art for the circus tent and the restaurant, very quick and sketchy