Saturday, 28 February 2015

FV: Discussions Follow-Up

After having a discussion with Phil about how to approach my idea and where it was going, I have managed to conclude that the base of my idea stems from the concept of ''Invasion''. Considering my final chosen scenario is the Influenza Virus, invasion seems like the right way to go. Our discussion lead us to the typical cliché alien invasion, particularly on the subject of 1950's B-Movies, and an example being ''It came from outer space.'' That being said, the idea steamed from a conversation I had with my Granddad about my work, and he suggested I could look at invasion as a war based principal, where another country (virus) invades another county (host cell) and the forces that fight against the invading country are the anti-bodies. This concept is great but I don't feel a military approach is very interesting to me. Also my target audience is children - probably mid-late Primary school - therefore the story aspect needs to be simple to understand as well as appeasing to the eyes.  As suggested I comprised a spider diagram in response to this discussion and have made an image mind map of the things we spoke about. 
Another suggestion made by Phil. The Crown-of-thrones Starfish
The blue lines represent the animals that are commonly known to swarm and devour/invade spaces. These swarms can become an interesting starting point for a story, as their aims are to kill and eat anything they can. Rather like the virus. In terms of design however, I am really liking the war elements, i.e the underseas mines resemble the ''sweet chestnut'' imagery of the virus's cell. In saying that these mines need to be distributed some how, so that's where the element of a zeppelin can come into it. I was thinking, in keeping to a simple dilemma the virus is invading the body and this can be portrayed as a ship carrying these virus's into where the host cells live and the virus's are distributed in the form of ''grenades'' that explode to reveal the beasts that swarm and infest everything. As this is directed at children, I do not want to express that Influenza is a deadly disease if not treated right, but instead give the good news that antibodies can fight the infection. As we were talking about bugs and pests, there was mention of having the antibodies resemble a ''pest controller'' or a ghost buster of the virus ghost. 

But essentially I wish to make a cartoon that resembles art work that children of that young age would appreciate. CBBC has cartoons that, when I was that age anyway, I used to watch. But there are many shows that teach children the sciences. For example, ''The Magic School Bus'', a TV show that aired between 1994-1998. It about an eccentric schoolteacher takes her class on wondrous educational field trips with the help of a magical school bus. One of the episodes touches on virus's (See video bellow, apologizes they dragged it out a bit.) This sort of art style in those times was very appealing to the views, I mean even I watched the entire episode without getting distracted, it was intriguing and engaging. This is really ironic because of the title of our project is that of the film that did the exact same.

The Magic School Bus reference from Julia Mason on Vimeo.

I am not saying that this is the only show out there but it is the most iconic, I will not be heavily influenced by its story but more so of it's design, at least to the idea of the retro art style, such as Pac-Man or Space invaders. I'm just going to have to throw out a few thumbnails and see where the art direction of my own style takes me I think. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

CG Artist Tool Kit: Animation. Bouncing Blob

CG Artist Tool kit: Playing with Flash

Illustrator Task 2

So after the muck about portion of the lesson we were then asked to use the pen tool and copy a logo in order to become accustom to using the tool itself. Winter is no longer coming as its almost spring but as the logo for Game of Throne's residential House of Stark is easy to pen-draw I choose this as my logo. Originally I choose the Assassin's Creed Unity logo but it caused complications for me.

Using Illustrator

I do remember opening illustrator years ago in school when we had to make pamphlets etc. But now with newer technology and updates it looks different and is really entertaining to use. I had a play around with all the tools that Simon showed us. I think I shall need to upgrade my adobe subscription, as I like the idea that the lines smooth themselves out by themselves. Line art is going to be so easy now.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

(Older review) North by North West (1959) Film Review

North by North West (1959) 
Fig 1. Film Poster

North by Northwest, another Hitchcock great and has taken critics attend by storm. It has received ratings as high as 8.4 on many websites and is the story of Roger, who is mistaken to be a government agent and falls on the radar of a group of forefingers. We follow his journey as he attempts to escape the group and as AMCC quotes in his review, “North by Northwest (1959) is a suspenseful, classic Alfred Hitchcock caper thriller. The box-office hit film is one of the most entertaining movies ever made and one of Hitchcock's most famous suspense/mystery stories in his entire career” (AMCC, unknown). 

Camera angles play an important part in this movie, throughout the film we see many establishing shots covering the environment. This allows the audience to full immerse with what Roger can see. This sort of shot can be seen when the two protagonists are attempting to run away from the villains while they are on the face of the monument. (See Fig 2.). This shot shows how their escape route is riddled with impossibility, they could slip and fall or get stuck with no actual way of escape. This scene creates a feeling of tension for the audience and it is clear that no matter how obvious they will almost perish, the audience seem to react. 
Fig 2. Movie Still. 

Ufilm explains in acute detail that “An establishing shot is used in nearly every scene, allowing the audience to have a broader view of the environmental composition where the scene is taking place and showing where and how the main characters are interacting within the environment.”(Ufilm analysis blog, 2013). A shot played well in a movie can have a variety of impacts on the world that watch it.

Fig 3. Dust cropper.
It's not just the camera that is played well in this film, but also the set design. Very successful and inviting, especially during the crop dusting scene, it can be said however, that Hitchcock had the film created on sound stages, but the crop dusting scene was too much action and props required. So, “Thornhill must repeatedly dodge the plane's low swipes, as the pilot opens fire while bringing his wheels almost in contact with the ground. Since there was no way this could convincingly be created inside, Hitchcock took the production outdoors.” (Berardinelli, 2015). It seems that Hitchcock is able to create a world where the sets are ever so realistic that its believable and can convince the viewer that the actors were really in that specific place. (See Fig 3.)

In conclusion, with the age of film making that it was back then, North by Northwest is defiantly a interesting watch and a pleasure to the eye, even if it seems that this is a darker twist to his stories. But it's nicer to experience a little mix up in the way a director approaches his job.


AMCC, (unknown) At: [Access on 26/02/2015]
UFilmanalysisblog, (2013) At:  [Accessed on 26/02/2015]
Berardinelli, J (2015)    At: [Accessed on 26/02/2015]

Image List:
Fig 1 Film Poster 1959. [Accessed on 26/02/2015]
Fig 2 Movie Still 1959. [Accessed on 26/02/2015]
Fig 3. Dust Cropper 1959. [Accessed on 26/02/2015]

FV -Further analysis of Influenza thank's to our client.

So I re watched the video source that is on myUCA and my some really quick sketched notes of the process that is explained in a more simpler way so that I could understand how I could incorporate a story aspect with my idea. As it seems my story writing and scripting is by far my better skill set at the moment.

FV - Influenza Research

I have come to a decision that I will be aiming towards choosing Influenza for my scenario. So I decided to look into it a little more, looking at the medical/scientifical/historical background.
Fig 1:Structure of the virus.

Influenza according to is defined two ways. Firstly  ''Uncomplicated influenza is defined as influenza presenting with fever, coryza, generalised symptoms (headache, malaise, myalgia, arthralgia) and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms, but without any features of complicated influenza.'' And Secondly as; ''Complicated influenza is defined as influenza requiring hospital admission and/or with symptoms and signs of lower respiratory tract infection (hypoxaemia, dyspnoea, lung infiltrate), central nervous system involvement and/or a significant exacerbation of an underlying medical condition.'' (, Unknown)
This virus is separated into three separate classifications A, B and C. These three classes have their own stages in which the Virus mutates and makes up three of the five genera (a biological term for a living and fossil organisms,) of the Orthomyxoviridae. (A family of RNA [ribonucleic acid] virus's.)
Influenza-virus A:
This is  stand of genus that contains the Influenza A virus. Wild birds from the arctic are the most common carrier hosts of Influenza A. It happens on occasion that the virus is transmitted to another species which then causes a devastating mutation of the virus and it spreads rapidly to other hosts, specifically domestic poultry which could then lead to an rising pandemic that affects us humans. The Type A virus is the most severely harmful of the three types and can cause the most severe of diseases.
The Type A virus is subdivided into different variations which are based on the antibody that respond to the virus. These are some of the subcategories that caused epidemics and major disease over history:
 - H1N1, which caused Spanish Flu in 1918, and Swine Flu in 2009
- H2N2, which caused Asian Flu in 1957
- H3N2, which caused Hong Kong Flu in 1968
- H5N1, which caused Bird Flu in 2004
- H7N7, which has unusual zoonotic potential
- H1N2, endemic in humans, pigs and birds

Influenza-virus B:
The Influenza B virus is almost exclusively infects humans and is less common than Influenza A.
The only other animals known to be susceptible to influenza B infection are the seal and the ferret. This type of influenza develops and mutates at a rate 2 to 3 times slower than type A and is less genetically different. Immunity to influenza B is usually acquired at an early age. However, influenza B mutates enough that lasting immunity is not possible. This reduced rate of change, combined with its limited host range, ensures that pandemics of influenza B do not happen.
Influenza-virus C: 
The final class of the virus influenza C virus, which infects humans, dogs and pigs, sometimes causing both severe illness and local epidemics. However, influenza C is less common than the other types and usually only causes mild disease in children.
Fig 2: Process of Infection

The virus can be transferred to another being in a number of ways, but mainly through coughing or sneezing over another person, as well as through contact with the hands or eyes of the infected. The process in which the virus enters the body is simple, but the way it affects the body is complex and can alter from person to person. Usual symptoms of the virus conclude a fever, cold/cough, nasal discharge, headache, uncomfortable feelings, tiredness, muscle ache and other symptoms conclude development of swine flu and essentially, untreated cases of severe virus infection can lead to death.  It can be treated with antibiotics or paracetamol at strong levels I assume.

Image List:
Fig 1. Structure of the Virus Google Search/Wikipedia, unknown. (Accessed on the 26/02/15)
Fig 2: Process of infection. How Stuff Works. Unknown. (Accessed on the 26/02/15)

Bibliography: Unknown. (Accessed on the 26/02/15)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Master Photoshop Lesson

 Today in our first photoshop ''Masters'' lesson we worked on a number of tasks. The first is where we had to pick three environments and paint them without using a colour picker. We also had to look at our tonal value and make sure that we matched the value to the picture as close as we can. I enjoyed this task very much as I love photoshop and very passionate about using it to learn these techniques. Secondly we looked at painting a portrait upside down. That was interesting. And the third is looking at a painting and working in either black and white  or colour. I chose black and white because the painting was very complicated. I am really proud of these images.

Maya Tutorial: Using and making ''Felix'' Walk

Here is the completed tutorial of the ''Felix'' rig.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Maya Tutorial: Camera Part 9: Camera Shake

I have completed the Camera shake tutorial.

Camera Shaking:

Camera Destabilize: 

Camera Wander:

Camera Jitter:

Camera Pass By:

Camera Drop:

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Thursday, 12 February 2015

FSTS: Looking at proportions - Adult Female opinions?

It seems as if I needed to get my head out of copy world and try and crack down and do this stuff out of my own mindset not someone else's. I ventured back to my deviant artist group and got in touch with a few of them and they gave me some resources to look at, mainly some tutorials on how to get the shape of a female down. I managed to get the three of these but I am unsure if they look proportionate? Of if they are okay? They seemed to have gained an extra head height but that's how the tutorial said to draw it. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

FSTS: Storyboard Work in Progress

I finally started on my storyboard trying my hardest to keep to the script I wrote but it's just the case wanting to get it done. It goes up to half of Act 1.

Friday, 6 February 2015

{@Phil} FSTS: Heroine Character Rethink/Redesign.

With a little help from my peers and using this as a reference (Link to Reference) See figure 1, I have redesigned my Character 'Felecia'.  I took influence from cowgirls who wore long trench coats and a mask. 

Fig 1: Reference

Using sketchbook pro and advice from my peers I started with the ''flow'' of the body and trying to work out where the legs would go to following on the reference pose above. I then moved on to add a shape, looking at the arms and muscles of the body. (Even got Lewis to model the pose for me so that I could get the shape and angle of the legs right) and then add the female touch. After I got the base of the pose down, with jeans and shoes, I opened a new layer to add my characters actual designs on. The tench coat, blouse and skipping rope whip. I don't know why, but it seems that my sketchbook pro at home does not let me work so efficiently, that may be because I do not have a proper ''desk'' to work at. It't not as comfortable as the University desks, I have to use my lap and hunch over to do it, I think this uncomfortable situation is hindering my desire to ''sweat over'' my work. 

The flow of the body


Finished initial ideas

My characters actual design

Sassy supernatural fighter!

Now all that is left to do is bring her over to Photoshop and colour her in. After that I am going to work on some of her facial expressions with her hat. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

(@Phill)FSTS: Post-OGR reflection.

So after my response from the OGR I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil and opened the said myUCA document about how to draw faces and went ahead and begun practising the different shapes.

Is this what you meant Phil?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

FSTS: Character design - Main Heroine.

*Work In progress*
Since retrieving the feedback from my OGR I will be picking the option of removing this image until I can completely show my design works up to that point.


Not complete but it's the best I can do.

FSTS: Skipping Rope design

Prop design for skipping rope.

FSTS: Concept Art: Child's garden (thumbnails coming soon)

As before I have created the concept for my child character's backyard where we see her playing with her toys. As her toys look on to the light streaming from the house waiting for their master to return.

@Phil : FSTS: Script edited.

I took into account what Phil commented on for my first draft and have taken out a few actions and camera shots to make the first scene shorter as it didnt seem that the zombie was coming into action quick enough. I also have removed the ''tearing flesh'' and the word ''shit'' as it's not suitable for a little girl to say and to imagine on a more vivid scale.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

FSTS: Concept Art Graveyard (Thumbnails coming soon)

So today I mainly worked on the script I posted earlier and from the thumbnails I have yet to scan in, I have created this.
It is the setting for my cemetery/graveyard.
As the scene is set at dusk I wanted to illuminate the graveyard to give it a eerie look. Also I choose this style because of it's cartoon nature and also its the style I have used to draw tombstones before. It sits in the cartoon category but I don't know what other direction to take it right now. My thumbnails only gave me different angles and camera shots, which I want to do some more concepts on. But we shall see.

FSTS: Script draft 1


Sunday, 1 February 2015

From Script to Screen: Story Redefined. Act's 1- 3

When it comes to story writing I can drift of into a creative writing world and sometimes forget the initial reason why I was writing in the first place. So attempting to try and write my story as short as possible so that it wouldn't diverse into a one track novel was a challenge by itself. That side of me wishes that this was a creative writing course, but never mind that.

I had a look at other peoples blogs, those in my creative partnerships and those out of it to see what style of writing, or rather how they wrote out their final ideas for their story. I know now that I need to make it short, sweet and include as much detail as I can to make sure the audience knows what they are watching in the long run. So without further ado here is what I have come up with.

{Possible Title}: Innocent as Death/Innocence is Power.

*Act 1*

The wind rustles in a shadow ridden graveyard, the sun is setting and the gates are closed for the day. A single man, the attendant, is raking leaves whistling a tune to disguise the eerie sensation he gets while he works the night shift. A crow caws in the foreground, its black wings flutter by, attracting the gaze of the attendant. He turns round to watch it land on a faded tombstone. It starts to groom its feathers and the attendant sighs. Before he could turn back to his chores, the attendant notices a shadowed figure under a dense oak tree, slumped slightly, shuffling forward like a drunken man on his way home.  He squints his tired eyes, trying to make out the shape, he takes a cautious step forward, raising the rake over his shoulder. The figure shuffles forward a little into the light, allowing the attendant to see that the shape formed that of a man. He called out.
''Hey mister! Visiting hours are over!'' He started walking towards the shadow. ''Come on now, I'll let you out.'' As he approached the shadow stepped forward, it was darker in the graveyard as the sun cast a eerie glow. The shadow seemed to be in a daze, very pale and his eyes looked towards the sky. The attendant frowned and walked forward reaching out to put his hand on the figures arm. ''Come on now sir.''  The shadow groaned a deathly snarl, his jaw dropped abnormally low, as the attendant's arm reaches towards him, the slow figure suddenly became animated. It growled and lunged for the attendants arm, its inhuman jaw clenching and piercing the skin. The attendant cried out and tried to pull his arm away, only to cause the arm to tear more. He screamed and tried to knock the figure off him. The figure groaned more, crunching on the mans flesh, he claws at the mans body. The attendant screamed for help, but in his mind he knew that it would be too late by the time someone found him this mad man would eat him alive. Suddenly a glowing rope wrapped itself around the figure's neck and yanked him of the attendant. He cradled his arm and looked to where the rope came from. On the right of him, standing on a mound of dirt was a woman. She was pulling the rope and it seemed to throb in a mass of colour towards the monster. She lifted her head, the hat upon it shadowing half her face.
''Damn zombies, can't seem to stay dead,'' She yanked a little harder and the head of the figure popped off like a bottle cap. ''It's not even Halloween for crying out loud.'' She reeled the rope back in and the attendant realized that it was a child's skipping rope. He looked at his arm and cried out in agony as a large gust of blood poured out of the artery. The woman wiped blood from the glowing skipping rope and hoisted it onto her belt, its glow died down and her trench coat started blowing back in the wind. She walked over to the attendant and crouched at his side. She put her hand on his eyes and mutter some words. The flesh began to stop hurting and when she removed her hand from his eyes he looked down to see that the wound had miraculously disappeared. He looked up at her in surprise. ''Run. There will be more, get everyone out seal the gates and don't open them until morning, understand?.'' The attendant nodded and scrambled to his feet, only looking back as he ran to see more figures appearing in the same way, forming all over the area. What was happening?

*Act 2*
The woman turned to face a group of the animate dead and drew out her rope. She looped it into a lasso and began twirling it around her head. As she did the glow ignited the rope in a whirl of colours. From this, the rope lasso grew in size and she threw it so it landed over the group of zombies. She tugged and they got pushed together, with a groan they scratched and snarled. Their corpse-like arms flailing. She pulled tighter and the rope pulsated, it cut the zombies in half, pulling the rope towards her she pulls out a pistol and shots the torso of the zombies in the head, each shot sending a stream of light after it. That is of course how you kill zombies. The sound of the gun shot caused the zombies to horde towards the sound. Groups of them still rising from graves, some trapped in crypts. She threw the pistol to the side after emptying it on what she could. She flicked out the rope, the handle at the end turning into a spike. She charged headlong into a horde and began fighting them. Head flew all around, the spike and the rope dosed in rotting brains and blood. With the effort become more and more futile, the zombies just kept coming. The woman stood atop a gravestone panting lightly. She kicked zombies in the face with her boot as she tried to conclude a solution. She looked over to the entrance gate, the attendant had frantically been trying to barricade it as zombies were clawing through the bars. A group of people began to point at her, shouting and cheering. ''Felecia! It's the Night-Watcher! Come quick! Shes fighting the undead!'' She rolled her eyes at the sudden random popularity she had acquired the past few months. As she hoped between the gravestones, kicking and whipping zombies, she attempts to find the source of the rising spree of the undead. She slips on a patch of moss and break falls onto the ground, she can't use her rope because as she fell the rope dropped onto the ground where a zombie picked it up and runs away with it. She begins to fight of the surrounding zombies, becoming weaker with out her power. There isn't much she can do as she gets swarmed, pinned and dog-piled under the stinking rotting corpses. She shields herself with as little power she can muster. For the rope gave her the same light-power that it emits. He arms covering her face, a light shield surrounds her body. Her eyes begin to glow that same light as the rope she lost begins to coil around the undead thief, causing it to trip and fall. The rope pulsates with light as it attempts to make its way back to it's master. More groaning, snarling, scratching and her shield is getting weaker. Any thinner and she would be beaten.

*Act 3*

A bright light emits from her body, encasing the zombies in a sun glaring glow. To which we come to the epic final. The zombies are plastic, and not what you think. toys of old and broken times, robots with rust. Bears and dolls with missing parts. A robot with a rope tied round it's neck. The story concludes a young girl playing in her garden wearing her parents clothes. Being called by her parents to come in for dinner. As she stands the cowboy hat falls of her head, the trench coat dangles to big for her body. The boots she wears are too big and the rest of the outfit makes no sense for her size. She giggles at her story line, lifting up the dragging coat she skips inside to eat. The crow on the fence caws picking up a rope she left behind, the rope shimmers from right to left and from left to right. And the story ends with the crow flying towards the viewer, the rope glowing bright, twisting its way to say 'The End''.

So that's it, Act 2 is going to be the most annoying when it comes to story boarding but I hope to get on with it and see how it goes.