Hercu-Liz the Final Trailer

 

Here is my Hercu-Liz animated trailer for this final project for the Foundation course at Farnham UCA.

Please click on the image to view it:

 

Rating

Click here to see the finished Hercu-Liz Trailer on Youtube

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bww3R6yXEj8&feature=youtu.be

My project is based around a strong, independent female character role.  Both my final concepts were always going to be animations. Apart from my initial idea, I did not know which direction to go with it at first. However, I developed the idea from previous projects done throughout the units within this foundation course, I extracted ideas from these works I did previously.

The final choices were between a theme on ‘Survival’ (that would include a female explorer, connected to the survival-kit summer project).  Alternatively, I developed a theme based on the MIP project ‘Ritual’ (originally  in that project I wanted an animation that included creatures from myths.) This  would have either a theme involving sacrifice, or a heroine on a journey pitted against various mythical beasts.

I progressed with my understanding of the area. I researched Greek mythology, fantasy art and stories. Additionally I drew inspiration from concept art in computer games and various comics.

After consideration, the style I was aiming for was an 1980’s cartoon animation, such as ‘He-Man’ and ‘Thundercats’. I knew I wanted to capture a distinctive and clear retro feel. By aiming for a bold style with detailed drawings I felt it could stand out.

 

 

I developed possible plots with my storyboarding and scenes. I then cropped these into shorter lengths as the idea for a trailer emerged. Originally I had planned for one long detailed story. I realised that if I had stuck to that idea of a singe scene I couldn’t have showcased my skills or shown the character. I wanted to show more than one creature, and my choice was then to make short takes divided with the title and characters/creatures to be used.

In my sketchbook there were many character designs that weren’t used in the final piece. I wanted not only  to include only the original creatures Hercules did fight, but also adapted mine to include my favourite mythical creatures.

Research into current and past interpretations of the  Herculean saga and also helped me develop the back-story. I realised that if I was going to develop a female version of the Demi- God, I would need to change some aspects of the plot! In my version not only were creatures different, but I also included an arch enemy. In the end, I removed the villain as viewers watching only a short trailer may have been confused.

To create originality in a subject that has been done before many times was a formidable task in itself.  Ancient Greek myths have been redesigned and reinterpreted repeatedly! So to make new, different versions needed lots of research to help create and avoid imitation of other works.

Without a good sources of research, this project would have been weak and suffered through
a lack of inspirational designs and back-story.  Looking into influential artists’ works, past and present, helped build up my ideas, the styles and methods of how I could create this final project.

I feel my research into the possible theories is integrated into my project in the clothing, armour and scenarios developed. In my final cartoon research is evident through the ‘stone lettering’ which gave it an ancient feel (futuristic fonts would have been misplaced). Also, my research into my interpretations of the Minotaur and Medusa show in the final cut

min 26 3D Minotaur Head

Med 21 blood

 

By watching trailers, that included battles, I edited to show quick scenes for the action and to showcase the story.

My sketchbook helped immensely with character designing, storyboarding, techniques and mediums to use.  More detailed notes have been recorded in my journal which ran alongside my sketchbook, often I found myself referring back to this during the animation process.

I found myself experimenting and exploring my ideas further by influences of cartoons by Filmation (an 80’s cartoon company), plus looking at how animated montages and movie trailers are done.

hqdefault cheetarun1 1244946588958_fthundercats_intro_0811

Translating sketchbook experimental designs into animated characters was a challenge as I still had all the in-between images to consider and workout.  However, without the original sketchbook works, I would not have had anywhere to work from.

The use of a light-pad was very successful during this project and helped tremendously. When I did a brief hand-drawn animation for the interview project in part 2, I didn’t have a light pad at the time and achieved my work during the day and by tracing against a window. Tracing wouldn’t be recommended technique as I would have been limited to when there is was sunlight glaring on the glass! Secondly, I would have to draw in pencil every time, then re-ink afterwards as using an ink based pen vertically causes the ink to run and the pen nib dry out.To create my minute long animation this way would have been impossible.

Light Pad

Light Pad

 

Light Pad

Light Pad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An improvement that I made during this project was redoing the end title as I was not completely satisfied with its outcome.  I felt that I did not have enough time left to alter it, but I decided to draw up a whole new version.  The current title affected me every time I watched the finished trailer, annoying me as it wasn’t as good as it felt rushed. I decided to redo it.  In the end, I am glad I spent the extra time in doing this, as the result  was more successful.

.Title

TitleScreenshot 2014-04-27 13.40.46

 

My sketchbook designs and illustrations show my strengths, and I tried to capture these in a moving version for the animated trailer.  Research helped my inspiration and highlighted strong and weaker areas, by focusing on inspiring images, quotes and styles of particular practitioners. Some artists I have know of before. Some artists who were completely new to me.

I intend the viewer to be able to experience the detail of both the hand drawn stills and the motion of them when in animated form.  I would like the audience to also notice the 80’s influence within the style, and that it resembles cartoons of that era.  I have not uploaded my project online at all, and don’t intend to until after the assessment, but I have shown it to close friends, and friends of friends.  Their response has been what I was after in that they stated: “It looks like He-Man”, in a positive tone.  I was very happy with this answer.IMG_4575

The emotion I feel viewers will have are varied. Depending on the generation I am hoping for nostalgia, enjoyment and humour. However some may feel shock or offence. I am aware and happy that  it may only appeal to a certain audience.

Advertisements

Places

The last part of this pathway was to work on an extended project called Place. We had to ‘foster a sense of place’, introduce lighting techniques and experiment with developing the sound. We also had to research contemporary and historical practitioners who capture different environments.

After watching a clip from Oliver Twist by David Lean, I was inspired with possibilities for this project. I originally wanted to base my work on one of my favourite games ‘Shadow of the Beast.’ I love the impossibility of the formation of the rocks in the picture as well as the futuristic, yet almost primitive environment.

Shadow of the Beast II_Front

The artist Roger Dean was renowned for his rock album covers of the 70’s for bands like Asia and Yes. In 1989 he developed the game cover art for Shadow OTB. The sequels for the games heavily drew on his fantasy style. Dean made other games covers but it was his fantasy land that drew me to research him further. If you have time, check out his website. 

I briefly toyed with the idea of basing my work on War of The Worlds after visiting an exhibition at the lightbox art gallery in Woking. The Martian theme was again appealing as I grew up listening to the Jeff Waynes album. Art covers on the album were again an influence as a child.  http://www.thelightbox.org.uk/events1/october2013/15oct19janalieninvasion I reluctantly decided to leave this theme after the heavy weather made me doubt the feasibility of working outside in Horsell Common!

 

IMG_0671IMG_0675

Photos for wasteland for potential Urban Battlefield theme

 

Third attempt on ideas I team up with another student Petros aka Guildmaster Wigglytuff.  He had thought through the project and wanted a teammate in developing his detective/ secret agent scene set in Farnham. I’ve worked with Petros before and knew we could be a good team.

We took various photos at different times of locations around Farnham- alleyways, graveyards, the castle and the river. Knowing we needed to create atmosphere we revisited the places at different times of day and in varying weather.

 

Farnham castle was interesting, but not the right setting. 

 

IMG_0876IMG_1023

IMG_1025IMG_1033

The location settled on was a  graveyard in Farnham. The atmosphere at night and during the day are clearly different- and exactly what we wanted. The area was ideal for the story as it had both an eerie vibe and an uncomfortable them at night- like most graveyards it was pleasant during the day.

WE needed several alleyways for locations- below is  photo of one we used for the wanted poster scene.

IMG_1165

 

 

Locations decided and analysed this helped build up the basic plot. Knowing we were going to do a detective / spy theme led to research on  Hitchcock. I’m not a huge fan of every piece he’s done but I love the tension created in Rear Window by choosing  limited locations. By telling the story in one area the eery feel develops. Perfect for our movie as we certainly weren’t flying of to the Bahamas…

Inevitably as we were filming in a cemetery research had to be done on Horror movies- who better than a man who could contend to be  the King of Horror Movies- John Carpenter. A fabulous director ( from The Thing to The Warriors to Halloween) I wanted to recreate some of his dramatic  suspense and tension through use of  dim lighting.  Assault on Precinct Thirteen develops the fear of the unknown akin to Rear Window as characters are trapped  in a claustrophobic Police Station and forced to survive. Elements of this are recreated with our slightly cheesy good agent vs the inhuman and deadly emotionless killer.

 

 

 

 

IMG_1170IMG_1166

The dim light at night helped our mood- corners and poorly lit alleyways are great for atmosphere.

IMG_1173

 

 

 

 

The Paint-stain / mark on a garage door became central to the plot as it was highly distinctive.

IMG_1157

Dressed as the killer who we originally called ‘Snake’. This was changed for a better name at the last minute  ‘Diablos’


IMG_1160

We filmed during the day and at night over 7 days. Our main enemy was the cursed weather ! Filming outside in January storms with very expensive night vision camera equipment on a shoulder cam and tripod was treacherous.  If  we were to recreate it would be in August….   We had many hours of filming early when it got dark at 5- until our latest shoot which finished at 3:30.

I’m really proud of our final piece. With Petros’s musical overlays and editing skills the storyboard I drew for our plot developed  came to life. I feel it has a genuine spooky feel reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes meeting Jack the Ripper.

 

Screenshot 2014-02-02 15.21.35

 

Click to see the final video.

Marks & Traces. Pt. 2

I have gotten over my fear of Photoshop!  I was becoming more and more frustrated and flummoxed with the complexity of it.  I would thought that it’ll just be a slightly more advanced version of ‘Deluxe Paint 2’ that I had on the Amiga 500?  Boy was I wrong.  To me, using Photoshop for the first few attempts is the equivalent of trying to pilot the ‘Millennium Falcon’ blindfolded!

I found the whole concept of layers and background baffling.  Quite frankly, the only ‘Magic Lasso’ I was familiar with is Wonder Woman’s Lasso Of Truth.wonder-woman-lasso-of-truth

Magic LassoBut…

I am working my way towards getting on the course of Computer Games Art, so I knew I had to start to become more comfortable with it.

For the ‘Marks & Traces’ project we had to use my digital nemesis to merge my photos (which I took over the Xmas break) with a drawn version.

Firstly I scanned in my experimental hand drawn copies, of which I thought we needed to work from?  This wasn’t the case as I hadn’t realised that we were to take the standard original photos into the workshop lesson, not the modified ones.  This held me back due to my mistake, and therefore had to do them again in my own time.  This was fine, as I managed to achieve the objective in the end.

Here are my finished ‘Marks & Traces’ pictures done in Photoshop:

Traces in Photoshop

Traces in Photoshop

bucket bin chickenbone4 drained umbrella2 urban door

Life Drawing- Mixed Media

My first life Drawing session since 1997. I was nervous of being quite rusty at this! This was a life drawing exercise that didn’t solely focus on pencil skills- we had to use graphite sticks, charcoal- crushed and normal, white paints and indian inks.

Challenges for me throughout the day included: successfully remembering and implementing the measuring method, setting up a stable easel, drawing quickly and with precision. Life drawing is normally time bonded – but we only had 3 minutes per pose! Our final composition was a longer session involving all the materials and techniques.

Successes: I feel I captured the models proportions and position accurately, I completed them in time ( and for those of you who know me – you understand how little I like to be rushed!) and it was well placed on the page- unlike my other attempts at life drawn pieces his feet didn’t hang off the page.

My prelim 3 min sketches.

Life Drawing

 

 

 

 

Using Inks- you brush water over your sketch, then drop in ink using a paintbrush.

Life Drawing

Life Drawing Life Drawing Life Drawing

The completed image once dried. I was proud of his arm.
IMG_0640

 

 

The final life drawing of the day. For this we had to use a graphite pencil in a stabbing method to create texture and depth. We were advised to think of something that had recently annoyed us. The noise of fifteen angry artists was deafening! Life Drawing

When I next do life drawing I wonder if it would be harder to draw a woman? It might be interesting to draw a person drawing objects. A future post is on Richard Williams who advises every artist to do as much life drawing as possible as it’s important for artists.

Xmas Project – Traces (part 1)

I loved taking the photos for this project as I found this a really intriguing idea to follow. Marks and traces involved initially taking photos of items of things that could have been left behind- specifically after Human activities or festivities.

My initial thought was to: left over food, litter, graffiti, abandoned clothing. As I had a full three weeks to gather the information, I took them whenever possible.

Even though I’m not a fan of detective stories and murder mysteries, I did feel I was on a ‘case’. Or maybe it was the Xmas spirit. Anyway, taking photos around Woking, Farnham, London and Dublin was amusing. Even if my enthusiasm led to me taking photos of bones from Christmas Dinner, discarded umbrellas and crouching in public for the best shots of rubbish! It was pointed out that my photographing in toilets might be a step too far…

Here are a selection of my favourites:

These are a selection of images based on the theme of grafitti. Amazing how much you can find when you look.

  Traces

Traces Traces

Leftovers: Christmas is the season of many dead birds and other animanls- these were what was left….

Traces Traces

Traces

Litter on the streets- Urban litter is really easy to find! I was fascinated by some of the back stories that these items could show us….

Traces Traces TracesTraces

Overall, I found many more interesting things that I thought I would. I found some fascinating objects- you don’t look for how many items we discard until you have a camera attached to your wrist and a need to document it! I really became absorbed in the process behind the project and am pleased with the themes I explored.

If I were to do this project again, I would have only focussed on the projects listed above- Litter, Leftovers and Graffiti. I think that to increase the atmosphere I would have shot a variety of times. A future post is on how we then used these items using Photoshop.

Xmas Projects

Over the the Christmas holidays we all had some homework to do. Storyboards, photos for a project on marks & traces and my essay.  On the plus side, this made me feel young again, and that I was ported back into my youth.  It also gave my brain some exercise after all the booze and Xmas food.

The project consisted of creating, drawing and mounting up three A1 storyboards based on a five minute event in your life.

After using brainstorming strategies, I finally chose the event of my engagement as it’s a wonderful experience for us.

The storyboards were to be shown in three different ways of which one was the event, one focusing on the light and the other signifiying sounds.  The use of materials or medium was left up to yours truly, so I went for one of my favourite style of a comic book format, in black & white and then mounted on black card as I found this effective.

My main influence for this project was Frank Miller of whom has such a powerful unique style for his graphic novels.  Even though my engagement story didn’t go along the lines of Sin City, I had his superb use of angles and view points in mind as well as his strong, bold comic images.

The Spirit by Frank Miller

The Spirit by Frank Miller

Frank Millers amazing works are often distinguished by his fine contrast between the use of black and white with a small section of red in places to bring out certain points of interest.  As these combined together, it really gives a dramatic visual impact.  I was originally going to have this same effect for my storyboards, as a tribute to his style, but after I drew out all my storyboards I figured that it might be too dramatic for what my projects subject.

Storyboard: Event

Storyboard: Event

The Event- focussing on clarity of the story and how it would fit.

IMG_0998

Sound – Focussing on sounds of St Ives- seagulls, seashore, seaside village atmosphere. More realistic in style than the other two- this was to have a ‘comic book’ feel.

IMG_1005

 

Light- Focussing on reflections/ glass/ crystals. Both this, and the event storyboard were to be more abstract.

Even though I’m proud of all three, I did find developing them taxing! My personal favourite was the second board, based on sound, as I liked the different viewpoint filming from a birds eye view could allow. If I were to have more time to improve I would firstly add more shading into the pictures – blocks of black or textured shading could make the images stand out more. A second improvement I’m tempted to add would be to add red hints- but I feel that this may mimic Frank Miller too much! I might trial adding green or blue to these, as they might add to the atmosphere.

My next post will be on the second project we were set over Xmas- Traces!

PES

PES

This is a copy of some work I have in my research file on the Artist PES. More updates to follow on all the work I did over Xmas holidays.

What did he make and how? 

Adam Pesapane, known as ‘PES’, makes witty and cleverly thought out ways to create animated short films. Each of his twenty stop-motion shorts and over twenty commercials, made since early 2000, has it’s own quirky characteristics and peculiar taste (Roof Sex and Pee-Nut for an example).

 

PES Guacamole

Click image  above for video Fresh Guacamole

What was the idea behind his work?

I find that PES’s work gives inanimate objects life and character.  His videos also makes you realise how many items are scattered around your own living environment that can be used in creative ways.  I have noticed that in a lot of his animations he re-uses particular objects for certain effects.  The good use of Halloween Candies (image below) are frequently appeared to capture flames- could be seen as his signature.

These sweets are commonly seen in his works, such as: ‘Fireworks’, ‘Game Over’, ‘Western Spaghetti’ and ‘The Fireplace’ (aka Yule Log).

Candy-Corn

Halloween Candies – not jut great to eat- but useful for animation- click above for the link to one favourites ‘GAME OVER’

What can I extract from his work to help in the development of my work?

Because of my love for animated cartoons I grew up watching from a child, I tend to stereotype animation as being mainly of a drawn form, but of course it isn’t. Animation is a vast, wide ranged creative process that involves all types of mediums and materials.

PES said in an interview about the items used in his works saying:

“It’s all stuff most people are trying to throw away.  There is beauty to be found in these objects” (p68 Robinson, C.)

Therefore I could use this idea for future project ideas. It could be a way of building the animation, or a story around random objects?

“PES’ INVENTIVE USE OF HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS BRINGS A NEW LEVEL OF MEANING…”  Allen, A. (2013)

If I have to be negative about any of PES’s masterpieces, it would be about concept of the idea, not in any way of the animation.  I find Roof Sex disturbing and odd and didn’t like the ending of it as I’m a cat lover!

Roof Sex

Roof Sex

How and why is he important in his field?

PES is very inspiring to any aspiring animator and his work done for advertising is broad and distinctive.  He was nominated for the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar, with good reason too as they are original and unique. Ironically, “PES doesn’t like to be called an animator as it’s too limiting.” Wilson, H. (2005)

Are there any related practitioners who are relevant?

PES’s style is different from most stop motion animators, but if I had to compare something to him it would remind me of Aardman Animation’s ‘Morph’: the use of objects ( pencils, craft tools etc). However, PES steers away from claymation figures.  Another source of his inspiration are video games : “I still don’t watch TV. I play video games!” (Zahed, R.  2008)

What has been said about his work, do I agree?

Whilst researching this artist ‘Childlike- simple and fun’ were repeatedly used to describe his work. I do agree with this though the adult material he uses and the innuendoes he develops are not always for a younger audience.

When researching the full series of his work so far, I am more drawn to his recent pieces as some of his earlier work is too short- even for  a short film! I prefer his commercials to his early work. I’m looking forward to The Garbage Pail Kids which will be his first collaboration for a film role and this might give him the scope needed to show off his talent.

Fashion and Textiles

For fashion and textiles the aim of the week was to make a body adornment for a design within your own story.

The idea was imagine that there was a sudden environmental  disaster effecting the world, the land and the people inhabiting it. The story could be far fetched , but had to be based on a current known possible disaster. This is a Sci-Fi based project and having grown up with science fiction, fantasy and gaming I had a brain blender of ideas for inspiration including:  Insecticons from the Transformers, Sectaurs Toys from the 80s,  Despicable Me’s Cookie Bots, Men in Black, Blade Runner, Witchblade and Krull.

So in my future world it was not a pretty place. Planet Earth had been hit by a meteor shower, which triggered off a chain of volcanic eruptions. The plates have moved and the ground had given way – a Cataclysm in fact. Ash had filled the air and the world had become a dark, humid planet.

Humans still survived and since 100,000 years had passed our technology had advanced to a great potential. Bio:Cyber-Tech gadgets were in use before the shocking events happened and now aided mankind.

We weren’t the only organisms to survive, insects withstood the devastation. With their hard outer carapaces and underground living conditions they evolved into hulking behemoths greater in size and strength than their new prey, Homo Sapiens.

To aid the people against the Néos Insect Species our technology allowed us to have the use of remotely linked  spider bots. These were capable of not only fighting and protecting their organic counterparts, but they were ideal for searching, salvaging and securing materials.

My costume:

The main part I focussed on were the gloves. These were combat weapons  and where the robots stored themselves. I also created a robot mechanical spider and a bug- eyed nocturnal visor.

My design was influenced by Jenny Tillotson, Scent Whisper  http://www.transhumanism.org/gallery/jt.htm

Materials used to make my body adornments were a long pair of black Jessica Rabbit gloves, a discarded laptop keyboard and circuit boards, sections of a Transformer toy, cable ties, aluminium sheeting, goggles and a pair of used insoles…

THE FIRST STAGES

fashion

Here I was starting, I had though to use the mini CD’s.

IMG_1596

Showing my goggles and spider launcher bracelet at early stages.

fashion

Attaching the bracer to the glove.

SPIDER BOTS

IMG_1597fashion

Attaching legs made from cable ties, then stabilised with metal legs cut from sheeting.

LEFT: DEMO BIO SPIDER MADE FROM BRACELET  RIGHT: FINISHED PRODUCT WITH CHIP ATTACHEDfashion

Stupid laptop… Been wanting to do this for ages…

IMG_1610

In Foreground: Left arm glove -Long row of keys  were eventually removed but  I kept four letters on knuckles ‘O.U.C.H.’

IMG_1616

IMG_1618

The Right Arm glove. Main control of Bio Spider with arrow keys and S.P.I.D.E.R keys ( Search, Pounce, Identify, Destroy, Energy Drain, Retreat)

IMG_1611

How to aim. ( Final design would have a shorter launch spindle)

IMG_1622

The final shoot

1374278_3520326903392_2086177895_n Fashion Fashion Fashion

Thanks J.P for modelling.

Vis Comm: Lion Hunting

This is my Visual Communications work.

Our first stage was to choose from a recent newspaper and pick an interesting article. I chose a story from a newspaper, which was on Lion poaching.  I thought this was an interesting and powerful piece. Within this I selected certain words and sentences and used these in a text style.

Vis Comm

Next I bought a fashion magazine that had model Cara Delevingne, because to me, she is the lioness of the catwalk.  I combined these particular sentences or words with images and played around with different font styles.

first attempt draftI then chopped photocopied black and white and colour pages to make a booklet.

Lion Shoot  I gave the final folded booklet a mainly black, white and red them inspired by Frank Miller SinCity Style.

IMG_0026

The final unfolded layout.

lion shoot

Cara with a lions snarl starts off the project.

lion shoot

End (this)... Back page of my booklet summarises my feelings on this horrendous subject!

3DD

Urban Bee Hive- For modern city Living Gardens


Built in response to the 3D design project titled ‘Crisis’, for my foundation Art course. I had to research crisis and how to possibly prevent one. Tougher than it sounds. After a few mis-steps I came up with the idea of creating a small hive to encourage city dwellers to help the bee population thrive.
I made it in 5 hours from materials scavenged from the workshop. MDF, balser, perspex and chicken wire were deliberately chosen so I could then personalise the outside design.

3DD
With more time I would have made propped legs for it to have stood on ( rather than bricks) and added an alternative roof changeable wooden roof , for sunny days.

3DD
I’m pleased with the outcome and idea, I would like to experiment in the future with different colours of perspex for variation.

The Bee hive in the Workshop
Beehive in the workshop

My Bee hive with Friends

The final design

The final design