Thursday, 29 October 2015

Character Design Workshop: weekly update

This week's first exercise was to think of an environment which a character we were given can inhabit. My character was from the game Borderlands (which I haven't played) and this is the environments I came up with.
 The second exercise was to sketch an environment from two random words. Mine were "foreboding mansion". It was fun, even though I am not big on environments/interiors.
My third image is a quick update on some more dragon design concepts for the character project.

“House on Haunted Hill” movie review

“House on Haunted Hill” (1959) is directed by William Castle and is an excellent B movie experience. Even though it was made with a low budget, the movie creates an enticing atmosphere that keeps the viewer interested, despite a few flaws.
The story can be described as typical but the depth of some characters can be surprising, especially when all expectations are lowered by the age and type of movie. Vincent Price (Frederick Loren) sets the scene with his mysterious voice, clarifying several times that his wife (Annabelle – Carol Ohmart) has a very specific type of humour, suggesting that it has something to do with the story.
It all begins with a party where five strangers are promised $10 000 each if they spend the night in a presumably haunted house. Long story short there is no escape from the house until morning, when the caretakers unlock it. What is stated very clearly by the dialog between Vincent and Carol is that they despise each other and are quite bitter with their marriage. Vincent also talks about his wife attempt at poisoning him in the past and makes it clear that one of them will perish in this haunted house that night. What follows are a few screams of terror, a severed head a blind floating lady and champagne that looks suspiciously like water.
As a major positive “House on Haunted Hill” has a very “Scooby-Doo” feeling about it. People in groups are running around a mansion, there is a suggestion of ghosts with squeaking doors and candles going out by themselves and yet the threat feels much more human and mundane than supernatural.
The house itself is also magnificent, a lot of artefacts are placed around the camera angles creating beautiful compositions and leaving you with a nostalgic feeling. The director also creates an excellent feeling of space and atmosphere and by the end of the film, the viewer knows exactly what every room contains.
What makes the film good and interesting as well is the lack of cheap scares and visual effects, everything is very well suggested and implied and the few scenes that contain special effects are actually quite tasteful. There is an excellent scene with a rope coming out of the window, like a snake and twisting around the feet of one of the actresses and it definitely looked as something that you could see in movies today, even though the film is 50+ years old.
The acting was not terrible for the most part, but the cheesiness of it could easily add to the overall feeling of the film. Perhaps the funny screams of Carolyn (Nora Manning) were a bit over the top but she was portraying someone possessed with hysteria so we would all expect a little bit of screaming anyway. The other actors were doing a good job, good enough not to make you stop and think too much about their performance and take away from the experience.
Perhaps the biggest plus however, was the twist at the end. Viewers are all led to believe that they are watching a story about ghosts, which ends up being a murder drama. In an hour and fourteen minutes the viewer is taken for a ride and at the end all is revealed with the help of a talking skeleton.
In conclusion, “House on Haunted Hill” was a good watch and has the perfect length for that type of film, it is a little bite of horror in black and white that will leave any viewer with a nostalgic feeling

Body Modelling Part 15 - The Lower Body Part 1

Body Modelling Part 14 - Torso

Head Modelling Part 13: The Eyeballs

Head Modelling Part 12: The Eyebrows

Head Modelling Part 11: The Hair Part 2

Head Modelling Part 10: The Hair Part 1

Head Modelling Part 9: The Throat

Head Modelling Part 8: The Neck

Head Modelling Part 7: The Ear

Head Modelling Part 5, 6 : The Eyes, The Nose

Head Modelling Part 4: The Mouth

Head Modelling Part 3: Refined Blocking

Character posing exercise

Monday, 26 October 2015

Character Design Workshop concept

Another concept for a card game background + a quick character.

Narrative project production art

Some early designs, inspired by the colours we are going for in previous concepts. Eva suggested a shape language that implies entrapment so i will have a rethink on those soon. It was fun designing them anyway. :)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Character design workshop: guardians of Atlantis

Our group (Ryan, Charlie and I) were given the explanation for a character from the Victorian era in a steampunk setting and people from the lost city of Atlantis who are based on Roman and Greek culture but live under the sea.
I picked the second one and designed three:
The first one is nasty looking and more of a deep sea dweller, with a shield made out of a crab and big eyes to pick up the small amount of light that reaches the depths.
The second one is based on a Greek statue, with a technologically advanced shield.
The third one is a guardian with weapons for arms, as if designed to protect Atlantis.
My favourite is the first one so I painted it :)

Character breakdown in "Home"

“Home” (2015) is an animation by Dreamworks directed by Tim Johnson. It presents a variety of interesting and funny characters right from the start. The ones I focused on however are Oh (Jim Parsons) and Tip (Rihanna). Here are some graphs on the matter:
Personal history:

And obligatory fan art:

Character posing exercise

Really fun to do, but takes very long :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Character Design Workshop Concept #2

Concept #2 This dragon is based on amethysts, he has no bone structure and has to grow it himself by digesting soft minerals. His wings are for gliding, not for flying.

Character Design workshop concept #1

The concept behind this character is speed and pattern. Based on a tiger.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Character Design Workshop

This week's exercises were really fun. I got Lara Croft and it needed to be changed into a version of that character that corresponds to one of my three cards for the project. I went for a pregistoric Lara Croft:

Second exercise was silhouettes and my keyword was gladiator:
I am also working on more dragon sketches to go with my actual project and I have some ideas I need to write down soon.

Tuesday Game night review

We had a blast on Tuesday night playing board and card games. Our group went for “Takenoko” first. It was a really charming board game, wonderfully illustrated and stylised. My favourite part about it were the figurines with which you play – the panda and the gardener. It was also incredibly easy to pick up and the pace increased progressively. The overall impression of it was really positive and I don’t think there were any negative sides about it. It also inspired me for my own game concept where the players are not necessarily playing against each other but are competing against the game itself, bringing the players together instead of dividing them.

A card game was our second choice, it was called “Revenge of the B movie” and was great fun as well. It was much more open rule wise with a lot of options of inventing absurd and funny B movie titles. I think the charm of that game lies in its simple rules and well picked words and expressions that always sound funny, whichever way you combine them. It also leaves the option for being both nasty by reducing your opponent’s overall score or being positive if that’s what you want.

The game night was incredibly fun, even though I don’t really enjoy playing board games in my spare time, I am totally going to invest in some in the near future. J

Narrative structure in “Carrie”

“Carrie” is based on the novel with the same name written by Stephen King, the film was directed by Brian De Palma in 1976. The narrative resembles the fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling”, the ending however is far from happy.

Act I (Setup)

At the start of the film the setting is clearly established by presenting a school girl with very underdeveloped social skills, which is the scape goat of all of the other students. The inciting incident that sets the story in motion is Carrie’s first period in the locker room after her PE class. Scared and confused Carrie starts crying and asks for help, all the while the other girls throw tampons at her laughing manically.  At this point Carrie is scared and does not want socialise at all, she feels she is different and when focused she can move objects with her mind. She tries to withdraw and stay invisible as much as possible (Plot point 1).

Act II (Confrontation)

The first culmination is perhaps when Carrie starts researching her telekinetic powers in the library, figuring out why is she different than everybody else. This is also the time when she gets asked to the school prom. If she wants to go however, she needs to stand up to her mother (Piper Laurie) and claim her independence. Plot point 2 is suggested when Carrie makes a choice that is completely unlikely to her previous self. She is going to the prom and she shuts her overprotective and religious mother using her ability. For the first time she trusts people from the school and instead of being scared she faces her fear. After the enchanted evening where Carrie becomes a queen at the prom against all odds, the plot is finally being revealed. A bucket of blood falls on her, pushing her for the final time. The trust in everybody is gone and she murders everyone (even the people that tried to help) reaching the climax of the film.

Act III (Resolution)

Carrie goes back home, washes the blood off her body and wants to be reassured with a hug. Her mother truly believes that Carries powers come from the devil so she stabs her which sets Carrie’s telekinetic ability into a final frenzy where both of them are killed and buried under the house they used to live in.

 The ending is quite clearly a closed one, perhaps because it was based off a novel. What is really striking however, are the complex characters in the film that shapeshift multiple times from being bad and harmful to Carrie to being actually good, they definitely had a lot of depth that was portrayed in a very subtle and masterful way.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Head Modelling Part 1 - Importing Image Planes & Creating a Custom Tool Shelf

Character design workshop initial ideas

The cards I've picked are - prehistoric, speed and pattern.
My idea is for a card game that plays out very quickly just by looking at the patterns in the corner, sort of like a version of rock,paper, scissors but within a prehistoric environment. The characters will be  different tribes of dinosaurs/draconic people, some of which have advantage over others. I will keep the patterns easily recognisable so that the game could be played really fast. Some initial sketches for dragon characters for the game: