Thursday, 28 January 2016

Dynamics Part 8: Surface Emission

Dynamics Part 5: Volume Emitters

"Sita Sings the Blues" movie review

(movie poster – fig1)
“Sita Sings the Blues” was animated by Nina Paley in 2008. What makes the film remarkable are the different styles of animation that tie in together so well and work in perfect sync. The way the stories are told is interestingly executed, linking a short part of the director’s real life and her misadventures with her ex-husband and the story of Ramayana. In his review Roger Ebert states that: “It tells of a brave, noble woman who was made to suffer because of the foibles of an impetuous husband and his mother. Paley depicts this story with exuberant drawings in bright colours.” (Ebert, 2009) The way the stories are told with their distinctive four styles makes it really easy to understand and follow and they are quite easy on the eye as well. 

Possibly the only criticism about “Sita Sings the Blues” is the slightly unconventional choice of 1920s’ jazz music that appears regularly throughout the film. Every other stylistic choice made a lot of sense and even though the music lyrics reflected certain parts of the story the actual jazz vibe wasn’t tying it with the eastern themes and visuals. A. O. Scott says that: “Annette Hanshaw, whose voice, poised between heartbreak and soigné resignation, sets a mood of longing for this multi-layered tale of love gone wrong.” (Scott, 2009) 

The major thing that drove the film forward was definitely the narrative. Technically there was a lot of reused animation that made everything look very much the same and was really breaking the emersion. The story though was lucid enough and told in a very engaging way making the experience enjoyable overall. 

The controversy that surrounds the film is perhaps serving a more positive purpose. It is definitely worth watching a film that can cause such a strong reaction both in the East and the West. Personally I didn’t find anything that could be considered offensive, it was more to do with the fact that retelling old stories out loud can sometimes rob them from their magic. Myths and folklore tends to sound better when it’s on a page but the moment it is visualised in a modern perspective it can clearly point at the plot holes that sometimes appear. 

 In conclusion “Sita Sings the Blues” is wonderfully executed especially when we consider it was made by a single person and it definitely reflects a true labour of love from Nina Paley. (3,5 stars)

Illustrations:, (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].


Ebert, R. (2009). Sita Sings the Blues Movie Review (2009) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

SCOTT, A. (2009). Nina Paley’s Epic Breakups: Good Women Done Wrong in India. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mudbox with Simon

Using Simon's base mesh, not enough time for the second object, but had plenty of fun with this :)

Adaptation B: more studies

Butterfly and praying mantis complete, two to go (spider and ants)

Friday, 22 January 2016

Adaptation project: research

I am planning on doing studies of the five insects from "the Spider's banquet"
First two:

While doing these I'm brainstorming ideas for costumes and characters on the side, which will be uploaded soon. :)

Thursday, 21 January 2016

"Paprika" - movie review

 (fig1 - movie poster)

Paprika” is an anime directed by Satoshi Kon in 2006. The film is definitely visually spectacular and wonderfully weird, mixing the world of dreams and reality in one, creating a truly fascinating experience. In his movie review Alex Naylor states that: “Kon always underpins his hallucinatory worlds with fiercely intellectual, provocative points.” (Naylor, 2008) Possibly the movie’s greatest point is exploring the world of lucid dreaming and reality and making the audience aware of such ideas that are still very underexplored in the West. Personally I can’t think of a better medium to recreate such ideas. The animation is often times merging environments with characters and really pushing the boundaries and limits. Perhaps this constant flow is what could be perceived as slightly confusing at first glance. 

Another good point raised by “Paprika” is if there should be a moral limitation in pushing science in new directions. The main device that the plot revolves around is the DC Mini which records the dreams of the wearer, but it turns out it can do much more than that. By entering the subconscious it can merge dreams and physical reality into a dangerous mix that could potentially make you leap off a building. At the end of the anime we reach a point of collision where the two realities finally combine in a crazy parade full of household appliances that march toward an uncertain goal, sucking every passer-by in it. Dargis Manohla talks about that: “this superabundance works to one of the film’s themes, namely that our fantasies, including those opened up by the Internet, are pulling us away from the material world and, perhaps, more dangerously from one another.” (DARGIS, 2007)

Technically the film will leave anyone impressed and the decision to use both hand drawn animation and CG really works with the main idea. At one point you realise that the combination of two is part of the film’s message. The machine/computers slowly taking over our lives to a point where we will all be marching off a cliff engulfed by our inner fantasies.

 Overall “Paprika” is beautifully made and inspiring. Even though I don’t enjoy anime (at all) the message on this one was strong enough to surpass the style it was drawn in instead of the normal other way around. (5 stars!)


Fig. 1 – movie poster -, (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2016].


DARGIS, M. (2007). Paprika - Movies - Review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2016].

Naylor, A. (2008). Paprika: the stuff of dreams for filmgoers. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 21 Jan. 2016].

Monday, 18 January 2016

Dynamics Part 4: Directional Emitters

I don't know why it skips at one point and the particles are being interrupted...

Dynamics Part 3: Omni Emitters

Why are my particles not as glamorous as the ones on the tutorial? They don't glow as much?

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Adaptation A assets

Did a few assets for the bearded infographic, worked as clean as possible, all the different elements are interchangeable for when I start assembling things. :)

Adaptation Part B: ideas

After a kind nudge away from my initial idea, Phil suggested this musical piece to see what I can come up with. I was listening to it on a loop for a couple of hours while painting. This is the music:
 and this is the result:

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Dynamics Part 2: Particles Grids


Dynamics Part 1 Sketching Particles


Adaptation Part A: Narrowing down the beard facts

After a fascinating research into the world of facial hair I can only say that my love for beards was deepened to a point of an obsession :)

The Top ten facts about beards that made it to the list are:
10. Facial hair grows faster in the summer.
9. Protects your face from the elements and provide a cushion from a face injury.
8. 55% of men in the world have facial hair.
7. Touching a man's beard in the Middle Ages was considered offensive and grounds for a duel.
6. In 345 Alexander the Great forbade his soldiers to have beards to prevent enemies from pulling them in battle.
5. The longest beard in the world belonged to a Norwegian man and it was 17.4 feet long.
4. Beards can help filter out dust or pollen and help if you have allergies.
3. In ancient Egypt metal beards were a sign of godliness and status and even women wore them.
2. Someone who loves or studies beards is called a "pogonophile".
1. A man who shaves spends roughly 3,350 hours of his life in the bathroom. (what a wasted time)

After I come up with visuals for those facts I would like to add famous people with beards/facial hair at the end. Some names are:

Abraham Lincoln
Charlie Chaplin
Salvador Dali
Charles Darwin

I think if we are OK with those facts I can start designing the look of the infographic, so feedback would be good :)

"Mary and Max" movie review

Fig. 1 – movie poster

“Mary and Max” (2010) is a claymation directed by Adam Elliot. The film is very striking not only by the very muted colour palettes used in the scenes (apart from the occasional jolt of highly saturated red) but the serious topics it discusses. As Andrew Pulver states: “You have to admire the ambition, even if Elliot doesn't always seem certain if he's laughing with or at his creations.” (Pulver, 2010)

The eccentricity with which the film reveals itself is very memorable as well, making it stand out.  This rather gloomy style seeps through not only the colours but the overall character design as well, each and every one has their own rich personal history with which they create an incredibly engaging world. Half way through the movie the viewer is fully immersed into this odd and a bit sad realm full of depressed misfits.

The actual story is interesting if at times a bit random. Mary is randomly choosing a name from a phone book that leads her to discover Max. They become pen pals for years even though they are on the opposite sides of the world. Their daily life is full of hardship and despair but the one remaining constant in it is their unlikely friendship. Tim Robey states that: “Elliot is a talent eccentric enough to make Nick Park look like an office drone, and the serious sadness underpinning his vision only makes the humour work better.” (Robey, 2010) In many instants the animation was humorous but personally that was overtaken a little by the seriousness of the issues raised.

Overall I found “Mary and Max” entertaining, skilfully made and immersive.



Fig. 1 (movie poster) -, (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016].


Pulver, A. (2010). Mary and Max – review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016].

Robey, T. (2010). Mary and Max, review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016].

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Mudbox first session

Getting to know where things are mostly, fun to work with.

Adaptation B: First concepts

Have a few concepts I've been working on for the past few days. They will make more sense once I explain the story at the tutorial session on Friday. This is the girl the fell under the strange illness (from the Uncanny, snake thingy)
The white crow is the bird the family is after.

This is how the Uncanny is being introduced to the main character.

The character from the village that the family talks to.

The bull(needs a lot of changes like colour and assets) that pulls the carriage.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Adaptation project

My ten suggestions for an infographic are:
Top 10 facts about...
1. Sleep/dreams
2. Bees
3. Coffee
4. Stress
5. The brain
6. Christmas
7. Space
8. Tea
9. Water
10. And my favourite - Beards

I would love to hear some fredback on those ten (pick the last one please)
Thanks :)