Monday, 31 October 2011

More Thumbnails

In the region of Cherrapunji in South India, the local tribes create bridges out of the roots of the trees that surround water bodies. These bridges take about 5-10 years to create and are virtually indestructible.

I want to show signs of human life in my space with the use of nature. The manipulation of plant life, to me is a subtle way of hinting human presence in the forests where the dinosaurs and other creatures were 'grown'

Reference image
Root Bridge thumbnails


Also, there are trickles of light in the forest. The floor of the river is visible when it is surrounded by dense vegetation. There are some dark and light patches in the water. (Dalmatian river) This occurs due to the lichens that grow under the water.
The colour and translucency of water
There is always the recurring willow tree curtain. That has stayed strongest in my mind. If I am to picture a forest that is alive, I cannot imagine it with anything else rather than a willow tree. There is something very maternal and feminine when one looks at the willow tree.

The South American tribes also maintain a deep respect for fireflies. One of their 'sayings' include the words "It is a flash of a firefly in the night.The breath of a buffalo in the winter"
So I intend to include fireflies wherever possible.
Light and orchids

Another thing is trees that look like rocks. The living stone or Lithops were an inspiration for this. That and the Pride Rock from Lion King, funnily enough. I want the region to look like a transition between rock and trees.

Bits of trees that look like rock

Thursday, 27 October 2011

What if...

In The Lost world by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the dinosaurs are just discovered. In fact, the story revolves around the survival of the humans when put against the prehistoric creatures and also, of the visiting scientist trying to prove the existence of these creatures.
What's bothering me is how the creatures came into existence in the first place.

Scenario 1A: The native Indians have quarantined that bit of the island due to 'superstitious reasons'. What if (TM) a group of Indian scientists traveled abroad and learned the art of genetic engineering and then returned to their homeland only to discover the fossils of prehistoric life. They then use traces of some fossilized secretions to reproduce certain creatures. Sounds highly convenient though.

Here are some thumbnails that I drew which can be applied to Scenarios 1A and 1B:

Note: I progressively cracked an egg (one I drained out prior to doing so) so that I could get a reference as to how I would draw a hatched egg.
There is also a lot of description regarding the narrow trickle of light from the thick foliage of the trees.
Fig 1 Singular Growth Plot with the substratum of the egg attached to the roots of the trees

Fig 2 Growth Plots

 Scenario 1B: The Indians took a keen interest in caring for these creatures. They 'grew' them in assigned slots with their earthly magic and scientific knowledge in eggs and 'wombs' by asking the trees and the elements for their energy and life force.
This concept is similar to that of the Menoa Tree of Christopher Paolini's Eldest from The Inheritance Cycle. It is also seen in Avatar and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Scenario 2: Temporal fluctuation has caused the timeline of this region to slow down and thus causing the dinosaurs to exist while the rest of the world moved forward.

Scenario 3: In Native American Lore, The Magic of Chaos uses the elements to harness certain supernatural powers in human beings. This 'prehistoric' region may have been the ritual site for these practices many years ago which caused the climatic characteristics to remain the same as those in the time of the dinosaurs which lead to their gradual existence.

Fig 3 Native Indian ritual poles for energy harnessing and strings of fireflies

The Matter of Perspective

Here are some drawings that I did using point perspectives

One Point Perspective

Two Point Perspective

Three Point Perspective

Film Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” has often been cited as one of THE best horror films from the 1920′s, and one of THE most influencial ones ever"- TerrorCorner. (2011) Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Review.

Fig 1. Title screen of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

A film where it pretty much all came from for the Horror movies of the day, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a silent film that was rather famous in it's time.
The movie starts off with a man named Francis, narrating the story of himself and his friend Alan and how they fell in love with the same woman-Jane.
The two friends stumble upon a circus exhibit where a person by the name of Dr. Caligari has on show a somnambulist (sleepwalker) (Play Sleepwalker by Adam Lambert for extra mood) named Cesare.

Fig 2. Dr. Caligari (Far left), Cesare and Jane (Right)

Caligari claims that Cesare can predict a person's future and as curiosity grabs hold of any person at the very thought of that sentence, Alan steps up to have his future predicted to him. His curiosity is then turned into horror as the somnambulist states that he will die before dawn. He does. And that is sad.
Francis then delves deep into investigating the strange mystery behind Dr. Caligari and Cesare. He discovers that Dr. Caligari is a doctor at a mental asylum who becomes obsessed with the study of sleepwalkers and as a result, decides to take up an independent experiment involving a somnambulist (Cesare) himself.
Meanwhile, Cesare is commanded by Dr. Caligari to kidnap and murder Jane so as to prevent Francis from finding out the truth. Cesare does not kill her as he is captivated by her 'immense beauty'. Whilst kidnapping Jane, Cesare is chased by the town's people and later dies of exhaustion after abandoning the girl.
The story concludes as a rather large twist in the plot where Francis, Alan and Jane are all revealed to be patients at the mental asylum and the Dr. Caligari is the head doctor of the institution.

Fig 3. A scene from the movie that holds a striking resemblance to the works of Tim Burton

Only after the conclusion of the film does one realize that the sets of the film are the most appropriate with regards to the plot line. With the hypnotizing spirals and the tilted floor planes, the whole world is given a lopsided sense of delirium. Reviewer Robert Ebert rightly states "The first thing everyone notices and best remembers about "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) is the film's bizarre look."Even the monochromatic medium (which was the only choice of film at the time but was powerful in denoting the feel of the film) contributes greatly to the bleak aspect that is strong in the film." - Ebert, Roger. (2009). Roger film review.

Fig 4. A Set Design of the townscape

This film has a strong resemblance to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. One even sees hints of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Clearly, the famous Tim Burton also got majority of his inspiration from this movie
Maybe the availability of a singular colour scheme fostered the mind to produce films that had a predominantly dark nature.  The expressions of the actors within the film put one in mind of the numerous parodies that ridicule the acting style of the day. Again, this is where it all came from. As reviewer Julia Merriam rightly states "Everything has to start somewhere"- Merriam, Julia. (2008) film review
This entertaining piece of Film Noir is easy to understand and is not an obnoxiously lengthy film that causes one to view a train of Zs atop their fellow audience's heads.


Merriam, Julia. (2008) film review.The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Ebert, Roger. (2009). Roger film review. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

TerrorCorner. (2011) Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Review. Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Shelley, Mary. (1818). Frankenstein. London. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones

Stoker,Bram.(1897). Dracula. London.Archibald Constable and Company 


Figure 1. Wiene,Robert.(1920).The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Figure 2. Wiene, Robert. (1920).The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Figure 3. Wiene, Robert. (1920). The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Figure 4. Wiene,Robert. (1920). The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Film Review: Metropolis

The movie Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang was released for public viewing in the year 1927 and took it's audiences by storm. With an obnoxiously fat budget, this movie was pretty much a revolutionary piece of work.
"Ray Bradbury once called Fritz Lang's seminal science fiction classic Metropolis a silly film."- Brenner,Paul. (2008).Film Critic.Metropolis
However, while watching it, one can clearly discern it's quality from the other films of it's time. Or as Nev Pierce would say, "It's dazzling"- Pierce, Nev. (2003). BBC Films Review. Metropolis (1927)
Fig.1 Metropolis Film Poster

The plot circles around a society that is divided into two divisions of the luxurious corporate class and the working class labourers.
The sets of the underground city of workers that house the labourers are massive with intricate detailing of the labrynthine Metropolis, which reviewer Pierce, describes as "...a credible image of hell, while the overground landscapes were a seminal influence on all subsequent science fiction." - Pierce, Nev. (2003). BBC Films Review. Metropolis (1927)

Mr. Fredersen, who is the owner of a massive company by the name of Babel. The headquarters of which is located in a tower called (funnily enough) The Tower of Babel. Fredersen is the commander, so to speak, of all the workers in the underground city. This scenario does put one in mind of the movie Tron(1982) where the owner of the company Keycom who is called Dillinger, uses his employees to run a virtual realm also known as The Grid.

Fig 2. The City of Managers

Since this movie is part of the silent era of film, it contained many frames with descriptive text. Many with rather fascinating onomatopoeia. The graphics were very apt for the sound that they portrayed.
There were at least six different fonts used (as opposed to the singular style found in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari).
Freder, The son of Fredersen, is brought up without having to work for a single penny. While enjoying himself in a garden one day, he is interrupted by a woman who has with her, the children from the underground city. She is dismissed from the premises but Freder becomes infatuated with her and goes to look for her. When he reaches the workers' city, he is devastated by the condition in which they live. He witnesses the explosion of a machine known as the M-Machine as it kills the workers working within and around it.

The life of the workers puts the viewer in mind of the movie Equilibrium (2002) where their actions are monotonous and their existence is for a singular purpose.
Freder then finds the woman, who is considered a saint by the workers as she assures them that their savior will come for them very soon. Her teaching is 'The Mediator between the head and hands must be the heart!'

Meanwhile, Freder's father, Mr. Fredersen, spies on his son and learns of his affection for the girl in the city. He consults an ex-comrade by the name of Rotwang, to create a robotic double of the girl so that he may use her to convince the workers not to rebel.
Rotwang fashions a droid who holds a striking resemblance to C3PO from the Star Wars trilogies and the Cybermen of old from Doctor Who.
Fig3. Hel(left) and Rotwang(right)

Rotwang then kidnaps the girl (whose name is Maria) and uses her to transfer her features onto the robot. All this takes place while the she is still able to live. Hence, there are two Marias. The droid has heavily painted eyes which makes it easier to identify the two.
The evil Maria is called Hel, as the woman that Rotwang was in love with was known by that name. She left Rotwang for Mr. Fredersen and died at childbirth after giving birth to Freder.
Rotwang disobeys Mr. Fredersen's orders and configures Hel to rouse the workers into rebellion.
As she guides the workers through their fury, Hel's body contorts to portray her emotion and character to the audience. It is so distinctly similar to Gru from Despicable Me due to the hand gestures and the highly hunched back.As reviewer Simon Abrams rightly states, "Metropolis is arguably the pinnacle of Weimar-era cinema's tendency to visually abstract characters' mindscapes to the point where the human condition is so supra-humanly romantic that it's barely human at all." -Abrams, Simon. (2010). Slant Magazine. Metropolic
Fig 4. Hel with her dramatic eyes.

All the rebellion is carried out by the adults of the underground city, which means that the children are left in their houses. The adults, in a fit of rage, destroy the Heart Machine which causes the entire city to flood. Only after it is too late that they realize that their children are most likely dead. Due to this, they blame their actions on Hel and burn her at the stake, claiming her to be a witch. As she burns, she transforms back into a metallic robot and the crown is left wondering where the real Maria is.
Meanwhile, Maria and Freder rescue the children and are chased by Rotwang who is finally killed (as is the fate of all villains in movies)
This entire plot also reminds the viewer of the book City of Ember written by Jeanne DuPrau, where the protagonists live in an underground city in a post apocalyptic age and search for a way to escape.

Fig 5. Maria as she attempts to rescue the workers' children

In the end (the precursor to every spoiler) Freder is the heart that joins the head (Mr. Fredersen) and Hands (the workers).
With music, graphics, sets, concepts, costumes and props that were far ahead of their time, Metropolis is an entertainer for all eras and should be watched at least once in every human's lifetime.


Pierce, Nev. (2003). BBC Films Review. Metropolis (1927) Available online at: (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Abrams, Simon. (2010). Slant Magazine. Metropolic Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Brenner,Paul. (2008).Film Critic.Metropolis Available online at

Coffin, Pierre. (2010). Despicable Me.

DuPrau, Jean.(2003).City of Ember.London.Corgi Publications.

Wiene,Robert.(1920).The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Wimmer, Kurt.(2002).Equillibrium.


Figure 1: Lang,Fritz.(1927).Metropolis Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Figure 2: Lang,Fritz.(1927).Metropolis Available online at 26th October 2011)

Figure 3: Lang,Fritz. (1927). Metropolis Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Figure 4: Lang, Fritz. (1927).Metropolis Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Figure5: Lang,Fritz.(1927).Metropolis Available online at (Accessed 26th October 2011)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Unit 2: Space =D

This is highly exciting. I am itching to begin work. Well, I was itching before I began so I began and now here we are.
The book that I have received as my 'script' for my concept art is The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The plot circles around a journalist named Edward Malone who accompanies a scientist by the name of Professor George Edward Challenger in order to prove Challenger's claims on having discovered an island somewhere in South America where dinosaurs still exist. Did someone say Jurassic Park? (Cool! Next Summer Trip!)

The excerpts contain a lot of detail regarding the flora and fauna of the Amazonian rainforests. There are minor descriptions of the landscapes as a whole but the life forms are described rather vividly.
This is absolutely amazing because it gives me quite a bit of freedom to conceptualize (articulate the word for awesome emphasis).
There was a part of the excerpt that had the words 'Gothic Upward Curves' to describe the trees in the forest. I looked up some Gothic architecture for referencing where there are a lot of grotesque but strangely beautiful lines that form a wonderful lattice framework.Even certain Baroque architecture was reminiscent of 'Upward Curves'

Below is a picture of three thumbnails of a forest river. The script mentions drapes of leaves covering the entrances of the forests. As a result, I diverted my attention to the willow tree and it's amazing shielding abilities.
Willow Tree being a cool Willow Tree
One point perspective thumbnails of forest scenes as viewed from a canoe. 

The St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague was what I looked at to satisfy my mind's creative urge to express what I thought Gothic plants would look like.

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague. 

The thumbnails of foliage inspired my Gothic architecture

So this is what I have started out with. There will be loads more to arrive. Any Comments/ Suggestions would be more than welcome.

End of Line.

Life Drawing!

 I liked how figures 6 and 8 turned out. There is a sense of cohesiveness that I feel when I look at them. I did find it a bit strange to draw a male as there are less graceful curves to work with than on a female. It was a good experience nonetheless and I did get to learn a lot so that's always good.

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7

Fig 8

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ambient and Spotlight Maya Workshop

 Here are the final images from the lighting workshop in Maya.
Early Morning


Mid Day

Night Time



Thursday, 20 October 2011

Disk Cover Art

Here is the disk artwork that I have created.
A king cobra is a nocturnal creature and hunts mostly in the dark. The vision of a cobra is different from that of a human in such a way that they cannot grasp the shapes of the objects in the way humans can. They can only detect motion and rapid motion at best. That combined with infrared sensors makes them rather deadly predators.
This is the reason why the black on the disk is hazy and black- as it is my interpretation of a snake's field of vision.

The ECG is what I thought would be the heart-rate of my creature. Not as rapid as a snakes but not as stable as a human's.

So there you are.

Complete Bob

Here is my final digital painting of Bob. It turned out the way I wanted it to for the majority of it. There is always scope for improvement but as of now, I'm pretty pleased considering this is my first proper attempt at a digital painting. Comment please =D Go all out

Final Influence Map

Here is my final influence map

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Influence Map WAHEY

Before you stands an influence map that includes images of concepts that I looked at for the exoskeleton of Bob. That and quite a few other characteristics such as stance and figure.

Digital Painting in it's youth

Here are images of the first stages of my progression with my final piece.  The scales took the longest to do but I think it was worth the time spent. I like the way they turned out. Any suggestions on improvement are more than welcome. For the background, I wanted to give an effect of a galaxy where the creature (Bob, as I recall) has been quarantined due to it's 'unconventional' characteristics.
Stage 1
Stage 2

Monday, 17 October 2011

Maya: The Robot of Different Materials

Blue Glow

Blue Glow (Source Hidden)
Green Glow