Sunday, 28 February 2016

Adaptation B - Rap Influence Map & Thumbnails

I started working on some rap thumbnails so i have a variety of designs to choose from to take forward as the character I will make and animate.

So far 4 is my favourite proportionally but i think he could use some more exaggeration in his outfit and some props to compliment his design, like maybe a boombox.

YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge 3 : The Oboe District

Saturday, 27 February 2016

YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge 2 : The Flute District

I feel very rusty at environment painting, but here is my first take on the flute city.

Maya Tutorials - Dynamics Part 14 - Animated Instances

This was a cool tutorial, I can see its use in crowd simulation and it looks like it will be a powerful tool. The coding side was interesting and it would be useful to gain a bit more knowledge in it.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Adaptation B - Pop Thumbnails Continued

I did some more thumbnails for the Pop Princess, after speaking to Alan in my tutorial he suggested giving the characters props to aid the overall design. For the Pop character I wanted to have an staff that could be used as a microphone as well. I tried to keep the staff designs cute so they fitted with the overall design of the character.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Maya Tutorials - Dynamics Part 13 - Instance Rotations

It's a shame that Maya is bugged and I couldn't apply the x axis rotation as well, but here is it without it.

Persepolis Film Review

Fig. 1. Persepolis poster.

Persepolis (2007) is an animated biography directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, it is an adaptation of Satrapis four-part graphic novel which is based on her life. The animation explores Satrapi’s experience growing up in Iran during the revolution and the war, it is largely in black and white making it simple yet very elegant, with scenes that are funny and a joy to watch, to scenes which are moving and filled with emotion.

The animation starts with the story of Marjane, a curious little girl who asks a lot of questions. The story shows her journey growing up in a difficult time, members of her family are imprisoned and later her Uncle is executed. It shows the change in Iran, the religious fundamentalists rise in power and the effect it had on people’s lives in Iran. Marjanes parents send her to Vienna out of fear, while there she makes friends with a group of nihilist teens that cause her quite a bit of confusion. The story focuses on her memories in a poetic fashion, while still introducing political history, for example Marjane recalls her grandmother stuffing her clothes with jasmine so she would smell better.

The story also deals with Marjanes love life, the ups and the downs in almost a comedic fashion. A scene in which Marjane remembers a partner who cheated on her, involves the audience seeing a completely different side of the ex. When you first meet him he appears to be the perfect guy but on recollection of her memory he looks like a terrible partner, even his appearance is altered. This might possibly be stating that love is blind, so when you gaze upon the person you love you see no flaws, it is only after you are outside of the love you can see them for who they really are.

The West at times in the animation is perceived as cruel, people judge Marjane because of her homeland, in one scene she makes a statement that people think that she is a savage because she is from Iran, while the memory of her grandmother is telling her to remember who she is. The animation deals with how people are judged based on their place of birth, it shows how the cultures are vastly different and how confusing it can be for someone who is an outsider, someone who will never feel like they belong.

The animation has a lot of comedy throughout it as well which offers a break from the serious nature of the situation, in one scene Marjane who is now a teenager walks down a dodgy street looking to buy a cassette from some shady-looking men who conceal items in their jackets, it then cuts to her playing air guitar to Iron Maiden. The beginning of the film is also filled with humour as it feels that we are really experiencing it from a child’s perspective, which is a good quality as usually films that are based in politics usually have an adults view whereas this takes more of a childlike approach.

Overall I enjoyed this animation, it had a great style that was simple yet elegant and it told a story which was interesting and engaging. In a way the animation shows that the enduring influence and love from the family is a powerful thing that allows people to remain tenacious. On the same note it also shows that the tides to family and homeland can affect how we as people are perceived, The West at times in the animation comes across as cruel but at the same time it is the place in which Marjane finds her voice and grows as an individual.   

Illustration List:
Figure 1. Persepolis poster. (2007) From: Persepolis, Directed by: Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi [Film still] At:

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Adaptation B - Metal Thumbnails Continued

After talking to Alan it became clear that the characters were lacking props that would enrich and completely sell the character. So I've started to work on the metal character again adding a guitar which he could use as a weapon. I've also sketched things that remind me of metal, as they could potentially be useful for hit animations, so for example as the metal character punches little sprites that are related to metal would emit from the impact.

I'm quite drawn to the idea of having the guitar be an actual axe as guitars are referred to as axes, I'm also debating whether the guitar needs a strap or if it can be magically attached as the unsheathe animation would be smoother.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Adaptation B - More Metal Thumbnails

Experimenting with costume design for the metal character, I quite like C and D although I think some more exploration will be beneficial. I like C because he is stripped back to just a leather vest jacket thing (technical term right there) and is covered in black markings that would be like paint. D on the other hand I like as he has sewn patches into his around his body, a lot of metal heads have band patches sewn into their vest jackets but this guy went a step further.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Adaptation B - Metal Thumbnails 5 - 12

I did some more thumbnails for the metal character, I was trying to exaggerate his proportion as much as I could without it looking completely ridiculous, I like 6 at the moment and think I might try different outfits on him, I can see how he could use his dreadlocks to attack, as he would be too 'metal' to uncross his arms.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Adaptation B - Metal Influence Map & Thumbnails

I started working on some metal thumbnails to take a break from the pop character, below is both the influence map which is mainly made up of black metal bands as they have a strong look.

Adaptation B - Pop Thumbnails 23 Variations

I liked the idea of a ridiculously massive bow for the character that could potentially be used in her combo attack, so I decided to do some variations playing with the hair and outfit. I think that D is probably my favourite so far, it is clear that this character needs to be super cute and over the top.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Adaptation B - Pop Thumbnails 23 - 26

I did some more designs for the Pop Princess, trying to add extra details and exaggerate costume where I felt it was appropriate.

Adaptation B - Pop Influence Map

I've compiled some of the influences I've been looking at, the plan is to exaggerate the pop princess giving her a crazy outfit with lots of unnecessary accessories. I've been looking at current pop stars such as GaGa, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, I've also started looking at Harajuku in Japan as the outfits are particularly over the top.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Adaptation B - Idea Refinement & Pop Thumbnails

After the tutorial with Alan today I have been thinking about the direction of my idea more in depth to help make the design process easier on myself. So the idea is that the game basically is a literal Battle of the Bands, meaning that lots of different genres face off against each other in actual combat to be named the greatest band/genre. This means that the direction of character design is now going to be focused on making a satirical version of the genre, so I will be looking at certain periods and aspects of each genre and combining them to create characters.

Starting off with the Pop Princess, for this character I have been looking at more recent artists such as Lady GaGa, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Katie Perry with slight influences from Jean Paul Gaultier. Here are the results so far, I've tried to exaggerate features and costume to feel even crazier than usual, I feel as if that got better the more I did. I like 21 and 22 at the moment but I will continue to explore more and try to push the costume and cliches more.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Waltz with Bashir Film Review

Fig. 1. Waltz with Bashir poster.

Waltz with Bashir (2008) directed by Ari Folman is an animated quasi-documentary that follows the Folmans attempt to unravel the tragic events that took place one night in September 1982, a massacre of over 300 Palestinian refugees to the hands of Christian militia members. The story revolves around Folman coming to terms with what happened and rekindling his hazy memories of the event. It is a powerful film that deals with sensitive topics around war, it tackles these in a documentary style which makes the film feel more personal and real.

Fig 2. Dream still

The film mixes between dreams and reality frequently which makes it hard to understand where the line is between them, the whole experience feels distorted which could appear to reflect the memory of Folman or memory in general. It appears the film reflects how memory can distort in an attempt to protect us from the truth, Folman in a way is using the film to come to terms with the tragedy that he was very close to, that he in some way had a part of. The aesthetic of the film also mirrors the confused feeling that is expressed in the narrative, the animation overall strengthens the distorted feeling of the film as it goes from a power gold and black coloured dream world to a more gritty real world tragedy as a solider takes a bullet to the neck.

Fig 3. War still

Folman deals with some of the tragedy of war in a beautiful way, scenes that should be completely distressing feel artistic and in a way beautiful to look at. The scene in which a machine gunner dances in the middle of the street shooting at snipers is made to feel very entrancing, the music heightens the overall feeling that is developed by the soldiers dance and this leaves the scene feeling like a work of art as opposed to a tragedy. Folman appears to combat this by displaying his true feelings of war near the end of the film, scenes of innocent people being massacred occur and the overall tone of the film becomes chilling however the most haunting scene is the ending in which live action footage is used, it breaks the distorted aesthetic and ends the film on a disturbing tone, the reality of war and the lack of goodness in the world.

Overall I enjoyed this film, the overall look of the film linked very well with the narrative and it was entrancing to watch. It dealt with deep and painful times which made it feel like a very personal film, Folmans journey to the find his memory was hypnotising each step dealt with difficult times and had an insight to the tragedy of war. The distortion of the film made it interesting to watch as at times it was difficult to tell if this was a dream world or an actual memory. The final scenes leave a haunting memory, a powerful statement that the good of mankind is hard to find.

Illustration list:
Figure 1. Waltz with Bashir poster. (2008) From: Waltz with Bashir, Directed by: Ari Folman [Film still] At:
Figure 2. Dream still. (2008) From: Waltz with Bashir, Directed by: Ari Folman [Film still] At:

Figure 3. War still. (2008) From: Waltz with Bashir, Directed by: Ari Folman [Film still] At:

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Adaptation B - Pop Thumbnails

I've started to explore thumbnails for a character influenced by pop music, during this process I decided to add a bit of science fiction to the mix as I can imagine pop being influenced by sci-fi. the costume design is quite loud for a lot of pop stars so I think the colours will play a very important role.

So far my favourite is 11, I think there is still a lot of tweaks that can happen to her however i think she is quite cute and starting to become fit for purpose.

Maya Tutorials - Dynamics part 10 - Emit from Particles

It's cool that you can emit particles from particles, that will be useful to know for future uses.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Adaptation B - Influences

I've been looking for different influences for the characters I want to design and animate for my Adaptation B project, the plan is to create one character that would be part of a fighting game like super smash bros. The end aim for the project is to create a variety of different animation cycles that could be used in a showreel, I found a few examples of showreels with animation that I found interesting and to see what caught my attention.

The characters are going to be based on different music genres so the project offers me the potential to have them all look slightly different like the characters in super smash bros. However I quite like how disney infinity brings a variety of different worlds and characters together in a way that makes them all feel as if they belong. I like the simplified designs and how the characters feel toy like, this is something that I think could work and would be reflective of my style.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Adaptation A - Infographic Progress

This is how my infographic looks at the moment, still a lot of work to do but I am getting through it. Lots of sound effects are missing, but I will add them all at the end.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Maya Tutorials - Dynamics Part 7 - Per Point Emission

A nice quick tutorial with fairly good results, it's cool that you can emit from different points and I can see how that would be useful in the future.