Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Character Design Week 3: Goths

Character Design Week 3: Detectives

Character Design Week 3

Character Design: Sidekick

The sidekick is the minion of the dinosaur queen.

Character Design: Villain

The villain is the queen of the dinosaurs.

Character Design: Hero

The story that I have so far is that the dinosaurs are an alien race that need an army because they are at war with another planet. They find the humans and begin to alter them to be more like dinosaurs in order to recruit them.

Here is the hero. He is a hybrid of the dinosaurs and humans.

I then tried to change his structure to make him sharper to see what he would look like as a villain or more stylised. I did not like the result.

Character Design Week 2

During Week 2, we were to deconstruct the character into basic shapes and reconstruct it using different shapes in order to give it a different personality.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Film Review: Cast Away (2000)

Robert Zemeckis' Cast Away is a scary film. It is scary because it is about a man who gets marooned on a deserted island. It makes the audience appreciate the convenience of living in a civilised society.As reviewer Maryann Johanson states, "Tremendously moving film about the things that make us human, and the things we cling to in order to retain our humanity." Johanson, Maryann. (2000).

Fig 1.
  The film begins with the character of Tom Hanks (Chuck) being a Fed Ex delivery manager. He leaves his fiancee to go on an emergency delivery overseas. Whilst on the plane, something goes wrong and the plane crashes in the water. Hanks is washed ashore an island where he is completely alone. Besides the trees and the underwater fauna, there is no sign of life.
Luckily for him, he has the parcels that he was meant to deliver. He keeps them with him and doesn't open them. This shows that he still has hope of getting off of the island. As the film progresses, however, he begins to open all of them except for one. He keeps that one because it has an emblem on it. He doesn't know what it is or where it came from but it gives him something to look forward to.
Chuck is stranded on that island for four years. He has no way of getting off of it as he has nothing to use as a sail. However, one day, a large piece of plastic washes ashore. This makes a perfect sail.
Chuck fashions a raft from logs and rope that he weaves himself.

Fig 2.
 The character of Chuck is very clever. It shows the quick learning power of the human mind and its survival skills.
A person tries everything in order to stay alive and this film shows that clearly. As reviewer, Shawn Fritzgerald states, "Hanks, perfectly conveying Chuck's fear, anger, pain and desperation as he does all he can to survive." Fritzgerald, Shawn. (c. unknown).
This film also shines light upon the fact the humans do crave for companionship. In order to cope with his solitude, Chuck fashions a companion out of a volleyball (one of the contents of the packages) whom he names, Wilson. He develops a friendship with it and treats it like a friend.
After 4 years, Chuck sets sail for home. On his journey, he loses Wilson. He comes across a shipping vessel and is rescued.

Fig 3.
 Upon returning, Chuck finds out that his fiancee is married to another man and has a daughter.
He realises the importance of being there for a person and decides to return the unopened package to the addressee. On meeting her, he realises that his life has come to a new crossroads and he has many roads on which he can walk.
This film has many metaphors. The protagonist is placed in situations that can be related to life itself. Sometimes just a moment of solitude can help one figure out one's path. As reviewer, Joshua Tyler puts it, "But if nothing else, it takes an old idea and puts it together in a way that is not only believable, but creative as well. This is a film about reality" Tyler,Joshua.(c. unknown).


Tyler,Joshua.(c. unknown). Cinema Blend.com. Cast Away Review. Available online at: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Cast-Away-84.html Accessed on 15th October 2012 

Fritzgerald, Shawn. (c. unknown). MusicOMH. Cast Away.  Available online at: http://www.musicomh.com/films/cast.htm Accessed on 15th October 2012

Johanson, Maryann. (2000). Flick Filosopher. Cast Away (review).  Available online at: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2000/12/cast_away_review.html Accessed on 15th October 2012

Illustration List:

Fig 1:Zemeckis, Robert. (2000). Cast Away. Available online at: http://pusatbluray.com/cast-away/ Accessed on 15th October 2012

Fig 2: Zemeckis, Robert. (2000). Cast Away. Available online at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CastAway Accessed on 15th October 2012

Fig 3: Zemeckis, Robert. (2000). Cast Away. Available online at: http://apicklewithapuzzle.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/cast-away-story-of-hope-love-and-faith.html Accessed on 15th October 2012

Character Design Research: Character Turnarounds from Brendan and The Secret of Kells

Character Design Research: Brendan and The Secret of Kells

Here are some character designs for Brendan and The Secret of Kells that I liked the style of

Tissue Paper Dinosaur

This is another idea that came into my mind. I tried going for a minimalist-geometric approach. 

Stylised Dinosaur Alien Design Numero Uno

I wanted to try my hand at stylised dinosaur aliens. Taking a bit of inspiration from The Jetsons, I came up with this design. The idea is that the dinosaurs use hover plates to move around as their weight restricts them from getting around quickly.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Character Concept

I thought of going back to the method that I used for my first year Anatomy project where I was required to splice an animal (in my case, a King Cobra) with myself.
I crossed a human with a dinosaur (more specifically, a stegosaurus) and this is what I got:

Friday, 12 October 2012

Artist Research: Trevor Spencer

Designer Trevor Spencer has really strong characters. To me, they seem like a surreal take on the world of Winnie The Pooh. 
I love the colours that he uses and the sketchy nature of some of his work.

Artist Research: Lauren Airries

I like the style of Lauren Airries simply because of the lines and the seemingly 'thick-paint' look of her character designs. They aren't as realistic as Claire Keane's designs but the drawings certainly have character.

Artist Research: Claire Keane

I have been looking at the work of different character design artists to identify their styles. Claire Keane (daughter of the infamous Glen Keane) is one whose art really struck me as beautiful.

Alien Dinosaurs Are Space Travellers

When I typed Alien Dinosaurs into Google, this is what I found. Apparently, there is a legitimate theory that suggests that the dinosaur population from Earth could exist elsewhere in space. More specifically, 20 or so lightyears away. How awesome is that? Here is the article:

 Rather than dying out in the dimly lit aftermath of a ginormous asteroid impact, dinosaurs on Earth may have instead spread to other planets and built a terrifying space-conquering empire.
Organic chemistry expert Prof Ronald Breslow has suggested from new research into DNA that the Jurassic Park monsters may in fact be living in highly evolved civilisations on other worlds - quite possibly with their own interstellar exploration programmes.
"We would be better off not meeting them,” the Columbia University boffin warned, however.
The alien dino theory in Breslow's paper published today in The Journal of the American Chemical Society is just one speculative conclusion of his research into DNA shapes. In his research the award-winning academic probed a mystery that's bothered boffins since the last century: why amino acids and sugars on Earth are always structured in a particular way.
He analysed the structure of proteins, sugars and genetic materials in DNA and RNA to find out why our planet's building blocks of life mainly exist in a specific orientation. The scientist pondered:
There are two possible orientations, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way as hands. This is known as "chirality". In order for life to arise, proteins, for instance, must contain only one chiral form of amino acids, left or right. With the exception of a few bacteria, amino acids in all life on Earth have the left-handed orientation. Most sugars have a right-handed orientation. How did that so-called homochirality, the predominance of one chiral form, happen?
Breslow laid out evidence that unusual amino acids were brought to Earth by a meteorite four billion years ago and kickstarted life on our planet. He examined whether these putative space rock amino acids set the pattern for the L-shaped amino acids that make up most life on Earth and investigated whether those could lead to D-sugars of the kind present in DNA.
He cites evidence that L-shaped amino acids were found on a meteorite that landed in the 1960s. Life built out of the same basic building blocks could, on other worlds, take similar forms to creatures that roamed pre-historic Earth, as Breslow noted:
Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth. We would be better off not meeting them.
On the question of just why other planets may be inhabited by our dinosaurs, a second paper published last week in the Cornell Earth and Planetary Astrophysics Journal suggests the trillion-ton meteorite impact that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago may have blasted off small bits of dinosaur DNA out into space. And quite a lot of those bits of dino-carrying rock will have landed on amenable planets, say the paper's authors.
The Cornell boffins have worked out what quantities of Earth matter would have been kicked out by the force of the impact and where that matter landed. They estimate that bits of Earth matter will have headed into the red dwarf Gliese 581 system some 20 light years away, which is thought to have a super-Earth orbiting at the edge of its habitable zone.
And of course if life from Earth was spewed into space by meteorites, then of course the life which arrived on our homeworld via meteorites must have come from somewhere else - somewhere perhaps filled with super-dinosaurs with iPads, satellite telly and Star Wars-style Death Stars.
Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids, Sugars, and Nucleosides on Prebiotic Earth was published in The Journal of the American Chemical Society. Transfer of Life-Bearing Meteorites from Earth to Other Planets was published in Cornell's Journal of Earth and Planetary Physics. ®

From: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/12/alien_dinosaurs/

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Dinosaur Study: Frank The Stegosaurus

Meet Frank...

Dinosaur Study: Ella The Triceratops

Dinosaur Aliens. That sounds cool. It catalyses abundant thoughts. But first, one must tackle the dinosaurs. Sure, I know what they look like. I've watched the Discovery Channel and The Land Before Time films. I do, however, need to study them closely and as they are extinct, getting a live subject to observe is a tad difficult. Thankfully, the toymakers of our time were kind enough to have created plastic representations of these creatures. A couple of quid later, I have my subjects.
I started with a Triceratops. Oh, and I named her Ella. She seemed like an 'Ella'.

Character Design Lesson One

And now, we have the Character Design Project. This one seems rather exciting. We were given two playing cards at random and each card was associated with a word. By combining the two words that I got, I was left with Dinosaur Aliens.
Therefore, I must now create(as is mandatory when one gets a topic such as this) a Hero, a Villain and a Sidekick pertaining to this theme.

Justin gave us assignments to get our mind in gear. I got Superhero Cheerleader and Martian Knight.
Here is what I came up with:

Fig1: Superhero Cheerleader
 Granted, the pompoms in her 'hands' (Yes, that's what they are) look like feather dusters. Sorry =S
Fig 2: Martian Knight

Monday, 8 October 2012

Film Review: Pleasantville (1998)

Gary Ross's Pleasantville(1998) is a film takes some time to come to terms with. It is filled with abundant imagination and keeps up with the idea of living one's favourite TV show. There are many underlying ideas of opening one's mind to new possibilities in this film.
The protagonists are hurled from a world of possibility and awareness into one of comfort and ignorance. They arrive in a monochrome land where people live in an ongoing uniform loop. Where there is a system and everyone follows it.

Fig 1.

As soon as the characters of Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon arrive in Pleasantville, they throw the entire universe of Pleasantville into warp.

Pleasantville is a TV show that David (Maguire) watches religiously and Jennifer (Witherspoon), his sister, is not. David knows the events that are about to unfold and tries his best to make sure that they do. Jennifer, however, is more rebellious and does what makes her happy. She follows her heart and does what she does because she wants to and not because people expect her to do it.
In doing so, she opens the eyes of the people around her to new possibilities or as James Berardinelli states,"The stale utopia of family values begins evolving." Berardinell, James. (1998).

Fig. 2
 As she does this, the monochrome world of Pleasantville, begins to turn into technicolour. This aspect of the film is a reminder of the film Equilibrium (2002) where the inhabitants of a futuristic world are expected to live in a world of neutral colour to avoid the use of emotion. According to Total Film Reviews, "The story whips through the themes of freedom of expression, redemption, individuality" (Author Unknown).(1999).

The authorities of Pleasantville are obviously not impressed as they are afraid of the town falling into a state of anarchy. They ban the sale of colours and shun the people who are in technicolour. This reflects the apartheid and the ways of the Roman Catholic Church. As reviewer Almar Haflidason puts it, "Sadly, not all are positive to change, and their fear spills into racist segregationist behaviour." Haflidason, Almar.(2001).


This is a film where one learns that there are always second chances and that people can change. There is hope and that people are people no matter how they look. All humans have desires and yearn for pleasure and that a life full of colour and improvisation is better than living in a dull repetitive state of monochrome.


(Author Unknown).(1999). Total Film Review. Pleasantville Review. Available online at: http://www.totalfilm.com/reviews/cinema/pleasantville Accessed on 9th October 2012

Haflidason, Almar.(2001). BBC Film Review. Pleasantville(1998). Available online at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/12/14/pleasantville_1998_review.shtml Accessed on 9th October 2012

Berardinell, James. (1998). Reelviews.net. Review: Pleasantville.  Available online at: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/p/pleasantville.html Accessed on 9th October 2012


Illustration List

Fig 1. Ross, Gary. (1998). Pleasantville. Available online at: http://lang-8.com/34193/journals/874101/Pleasantville Accessed on 9th October 2012

Fig 2. Ross, Gary. (1998). Pleasantville. Available online at: http://www.jhu.edu/anthmedia/Projects/pleasantville/WManningAnthro/Conclusions.html Accessed on 9th October 2012

Fig 3. Ross, Gary. (1998). Pleasantville. Available online at:http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.com/?p=6523 Accessed on 9th October 2012