Thursday, 28 October 2010

Influence FIlm Visuals

During the pitch our one major criticism is that we needed to find a good style for our animation. To find a good style i thought it would be a good start to get a better visualisation of what time period our animation will be set in, so then the style can match that of the period. I have looked over many different film which i believe match that of the time period i will be aiming for in our animation. Ive always known that i want to create a modern trailer for a retro style movie so initially i thought of setting our animation during the 1960's but have recently been influenced by the 1980's as well. Here a selection of print screens from numerous different films which will have some sort of influence towards our animation.

Back to the Future



The Breakfast Club

Teen Wolf

Production List Draft #01

On Monday me and the studio sat down and worked out a production list including all the items which will need to be modelled, as well as a list of special effects and basic lighting. A more in depth list will need to be developed discussing exactly what will be needed including; environments, props, characters, uv layouts, textures, lighting, r&d etc. For now this will do as a basic starting point and a good basis to develop from. Its amazing how many objects will be needed just from one basic brain storm session. We decided to split our animation into key scenes o ease out the process of listing all needed items, the list is as follows...

Make Out Point Scene:

Objects to be modelled

  • Moon/Sky
  • Car
  • Ground Environment
  • Shrubbery/Rocks
  • Trees
  • Jock Jacket
  • Pom Poms

Special Effects

  • Mist
  • Blood Splat
  • Alien Glow
  • Backdrop


  • Moonlight
  • Car Headlights
  • Interior Car Lights
  • Alien Glow
  • City Lights

Corridor Scene:

Objects to be modelled

  • Basic School Corridor Environment
  • Doors
  • Lockers
  • Lights
  • Noticeboard/Posters
  • Fire Alarm
  • Bin
  • Books

Special Effects

  • Open Door Exterior Backdrop


  • Ceiling Lights
  • Exterior Sun Light
  • Back Light

After Practice Jock Scene:

Objects to be modelled

  • Basic Gym Environment
  • Basketball Hoop
  • Basketball
  • Skylights
  • Ceiling Lights
  • Gym Doors
  • Exit/No smoking signs

Special Effects

  • Dust Particles
  • Blood Splat


  • Moonlight
  • Ceiling Lights
  • Gym door interior light
  • Back lighting

Janitor Closet Scene:

Objects to be modelled

  • Basic Corridor Environment
  • Door
  • Lockers
  • Posters
  • Closet interior objects

Special Effects

  • Tentacle under skirt


  • Interior ceiling lights
  • Closet interior light
  • Back lighting

Locker Room Scene:

Objects to be modelled

  • Basic Corridor Environment
  • Basic Locker Room Environment
  • Door
  • Door Detailing/Signs
  • Key Hole
  • Lockers
  • Bench
  • Toilet/Shower Signs

Special Effects

  • Silhouette x 2
  • Steam/Mist


  • Corridor Ceiling Lights
  • Locker Room Lights (switched off)
  • Shower Room Lights (switched on)
  • Back lighting

Final Scene

Objects to be modelled

  • Basic Corridor Environment
  • Lockers
  • Ceiling Lights
  • Water Fountain
  • Bin
  • Noticeboard

Special Effects

  • Dust Particles
  • Flickering Lights


  • Ceiling Light
  • Back Lighting


  • Cheerleaders x 4
  • Alien Creature
  • Basketball Jocks x 4
  • Nerd Girl
  • Locker Room Peeper
  • High School Student Extras

This is just a preliminary basic list, over time items will be added to the list which will be expected, plus a list of what will happen in each scene and what will be required in each scene will be needed to again ease out the production. There will also be a texture list as well as an animation list. As you can see there is a great repeat of items which is a bonus, so this instantly shrinks the list of what will be required, but some alteration will be needed with the repetitions.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Character Workshop 06 - Stereotypes and Silhouettes

In this workshop we focused on creating characters which strongly represent that of there stereotype/personality. Some obvious examples would be a stereotype of the 'computer geek' having a rather shy, slob like personality, with another being a 'chav' having a more abrupt, hooligan like personality. I got given the word 'zombie', a word which i was quite happy to work with, but also a word which i had fun stereotyping with. I drew a zombie which had been bitten and infected with a virus, a little girl creepy killer zombie, and a zombie beyond the grave. After this i then went on to trace around the zombie which i felt had the most effect as a character representing that of the stereotyped zombie, and then worked on its silhouette to see how the character works overall.

Funny Games (2008)

Funny Games (2008) is a psychological thriller, shot by shot remake of the original film of the same name, which was made in 1997 Austria. The film follows a family on there trip to there summer house where the story takes a turn for the worst as they are introduced to two young boys named Peter and Paul. Peter and Paul then abduct the family within there own house and play a series of games in which the prize is there life. Throughout the storyline of the film there are multiple high/low points which create a great depth of story and wins the right reaction set out for from the audience. In many points of the film, the viewer (in this case myself) truly feels for the characters desperately hoping for them to survive and have the film finish in the way which the viewer desperately hopes for.

Not only is this achieved through a great storyline, but also a great use of editing techniques. So why is the film postmodern? The film is seen as postmodern due to numerous different scenes/ideas of the film, some for example include the idea that the film is a shot by shot remake, it plays with the psychological ideas in which the audience would like to see/plan how the movie could end, and it breaks the '4th wall' within film.

Both of the films 'Funny Games' (1997 - 2008) are directed by Michael Haneke, first shot in 1997 for the Austrian audience, then shot again in 2008 for the American audience. This in its self is a slight act of postmodernism, the idea of taking what was once there, and using it again to create a new movie, it just so happens to be that in this case the film is a shot by shot remake and created by the same director. To create a successful sub genre horror film, there are a set of conventions which are used and needed to grab the attention of the American audience. Some great films in which take this convention and use them to there advantage include Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street etc. Haneke knows this as a convention to grab the attention of the American audience, but at the same time he does not use them. Instead he creates a great psychological thriller which uses the audience as a tool of communication between the film and real life making the film feel all the more real life and 'scary'. Throughout the film it isn't obvious what will happen to the characters As mentioned before, Funny Games is a psychological thriller, it plays with the torment of the mind, not only within the film on the characters but also outside the film on the audience. It takes the mind of the viewer makes makes you believe you could change the way in which the story goes or even change the ending of the film, a psychological attachment is created between the viewer and the characters, which puts the viewers on the side of the tormented family, a question which is even asked within the film.

This then leads onto the idea of breaking the '4th wall' within cinema. This occurrence takes place within the film, both by Paul, a character who knows he is within a film. These occurrences break the '4th wall' which interact the audience within the film, making the film all the more real and psychologically scary, it almost creates the feeling the Haneke is attempting to put the audience through the same horror as the characters within the film, which in many cases as a viewer it works. Once the rule of the '4th wall' is broken it allows the viewer to believe that they are taking part in the film, which in a way is quite a postmodern expression. But this illusion that the audience is taking part within the film which almost feels like real life is soon shattered in a scene which includes a great deal of relief for both the characters and the audience. Its a scene in which the characters get there revenge by shooting Peter in the chest with a shotgun, but this relief is then snatched away by the character and audience when Peter grabs the TV remote, rewinds the film, and lets it play out in a way which suits the killers. A technique which brings the viewers back to reality and back the fact that they are an audience watching a film, not real life.

So overall i would say that Funny Games serves well as a great psychological thriller, as well as a great postmodern film. This is due to its overall good storyline and editing techniques in which allow the film to be classed as postmodern.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Character Synopsis

In a world where humans are the pre-historic and dinosaurs live on, a top secret agent sets out and succeeds on numerous different missions to stop the evil Dr.reX and his side kick from taking over the world.

A rather comical TV show but i guess some sense of inspiration has derived from this, mainly being the idea that dinosaurs live as humans do but also some slight inspiration upon how the body structure of the dinosaur has been created. A definite idea on how i should do mine.

Character Update

I haven't posted much on the Character project other than the workshops, sadly due to the fact that i haven't been thinking about it much. In comparison to the Narrative project it always seems as though this Character project is lurking around in the back burner somewhere. Its week six now so this means this needs to change (desperately). Up until now i have thought about the project here and there but it was only until our tutorials with Colin White when i realised how much work is left to do. Just to recap my two given words were 'Secret Agent' and 'Dinosaur', a combination which has barely been combined, and a yes a great challenge. In some ways i believe this has also hindered me within my enthusiasm to whack this project on the head, but alas i shall complete the project with an outcome i will be happy with.

Pre-Colin White tutorial...

At first my initial response was to create a character for the Secret Agent on one side (Hero/Villain) and create a character for the Dinosaur on the other. Some ideas were lurking around but nothing solid to work with. A rough outline of an idea i quite liked at the time was that the Dinosaurs either survived the ice-age or it never happened, and they were living in modern day life among humans. As nice as this idea was i didn't feel as though it quite matched the criteria of the brief, which is of course to create characters for a retro Saturday morning cartoon. Baring this in mind i then thought of the idea to merge two themes together to create an overall one.

Secret Agent + Dinosaur =

Of course a dinosaur in a tux, an idea which i wanted to stay away from due to its humour and pre-school like nature.

Still with the idea in mind that i will merge the two themes together, i then came up with a more hardcore idea than the previous. This idea was that the Dinosaurs will take the human form but will keep there Dinosaur features, i.e there head, hands, and feet.

The story behind this idea was that the now hybrid human/dinosaurs were previously secret agents and took part in a top secret government experiment which was a success, the experiment being to combine the DNA of a dinosaur with a human to create a super secret agent. The result being humanoid secret agents with some dinosaur features. I thought i had quite an original idea, but through the wonders of google i managed to find the image below, which took all my ideas for this project, and kicked *** at doing it.

I very much liked this idea but soon fell int a rut. The idea was going no where and was very hard to let go of, but then with the help of Justin and Colin i soon did.

Now back to Colin White and the tutorial. Overall i would say i had a good tutorial, but a good one for the wrong reasons. He helped in aiding me with ideas but also dismissed my grand idea (my opinion) of the top secret humanoid Secret Agent Dinosaur project. Leaving the outcome of the project back where i started. A dinosaur in a tux.

As nice as these drawings are, i was still reluctant in taking this idea as the idea driving my project. But now since talking to Justin i have decided to take the plus sides of both ideas and meet somewhere in the middle. Drawings soon to come...

Monday, 25 October 2010

Maya: Mustang 2010 - Week 03

Here's week three of the mustang. Its been quite a time consuming tutorial this week due to many tweaks needed here and there and the introduction of another panel. Tweaking the front end of the car has most certainly been the most time consuming, but in the end the time spent will be worth it. An interesting part of the tutorial was adding in some detailing around the door, mainly the door handles indent.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Character Workshop 05 - Personality in Posture

In this workshop we focused on creating a noticeable personality through the use of a persons body language and posture. A first we drew quick 3 minute studies some class mates in different poses, we had Justin as a hero, Bob as a shy person, me as a happy welcoming person and Jack as a sly person. Soon after this we moved onto drawing a more detailed quick study, except this time as a 4 man team, with my drawing of the awkward first date, and a 6 man team, with my drawing be a scene from Van Helsing. Overall i would say that this has been by far the most interesting workshop so far as we moved onto creating character/emotion behind the drawings.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is a film directed by Robert Wise, in which a strange humanoid alien being of a far greater race lands on Earth to bring the message of great warning. Throughout the film we see the character of the humanoid alien named 'Klaatu' or as his name 'Mr.Carpenter' develop into a like able character as well as the story.

As Alan mentioned this films is surrounded by the question upon whether it is a b-movie or not. On first impressions i believed in the idea, that yes the film is a b-movie, it fits into all the categories needed to be a b-movie. But as the film further developed, as well did my understanding of the film. In my opinion now, i believe in the opposite answer to my first impression, i now believe that the film 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' does not at all fall into the category of the b-movie.

Its true the film was released around the same period as other b-movies, and in retrospect does include many of the themes from other b-movies surrounding it, but its the films overall quality, budget, and special effects, which to me take the film out of the b-movie category. Just to give an idea of budget; The Day the Earth Stood Still had a grand budget of $1.2 million, whereas 'The Quatermass Xperiment' only had a budget of £42,000, a great difference which is obviously noticeable between the two films. This great budget allowed far more than just on overall more expensive film to produce, it gave Hollywood a chance create a great hit of its time, by allowing better special effects and script writing.

Due to the films classically great script, and for its time, high end special effects, the film did not suffer at all with any boring scenes, allowing the viewer to have a more enjoyable experience of it. Some great special effects included the arrival and departure of the space ship, the robot accompanying klaatu named 'Gort's' lazer vision which seemed to melt and disintegrate the enemy (human) weaponry and vehicles. Another notable scene within the film which aids in its success would be the multiple appearances of multiple famous landmarks around the world, a scene which you would not normally view in any other b-movie.

Although having said this, at one part of the film, the idea of the film being a b-movie soon sunk straight back in as the use of music was used to express tension within some scenes. The classic brass instrument backing music which is used to accompany high tension scenes within many other b-movies. But overall i enjoyed the film very much, i might even say it would be the best b-movie/non b-movie i have yet seen.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Basic Characters

Heres a section of basic characters, they are the cheerleaders, the nerdy girl and the jock. These are essentially all the characters needed in the story minus the alien version of the cheerleaders. Both the cheerleaders and the Jocks will be pretty generic in the idea that that all look the same with minor differences. This is due to how it is is real life, as well as it will save us some production time. I have tried to maintain quite a sketchy approach to the characters just filling in basic shapes and tone.

New Banner

Due to a change in direction a change in banner was needed, here's the new one, which i believe suits are story far more than the previous one now. Phil suggested dropping the 'horrible', and i also added in the classic retro high school text. I decided to try out a curve within the text to represent how the text would look on the back of a jersey, but it didnt quite look right to me so i straightend it out again fro the final.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Teaser Poster #01