Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Initial Thoughts

This is a quick video I took from the game Metro 2033 (if it uploads) which has a scene where there is a childrens playground that is completely empty and derelict which has a very eerie and unsettledness. And some screen shots as the video isn't the best quality and may not work.
-In the video you walk through the park and it flashes back to what it was before for a few seconds then goes back to the apocalyptic Moscow-
Empty cities in general have a very eerie and uncanny appeal and that is amplified more so when its apocalyptic and partly destroyed.
Metro 2033 is basically set in the future in apocalyptic Moscow, where the humans are forced to survive in the metro tunnels underground as the city above has fallen into ruin and has been over run by mutated creatures.

There is also the Silent Hill franchise with the classic thick fog which holds a very eerie and unwelcoming presence just by the fact you cannot tell what is out there.

 And some various photos of very thick fog.

Also the film 28 days later has some classic scenes of London which is completely empty.

I intend to go down the path of looking at completely empty cities and places where its would usually be friendly buzzing with energy to be empty like childrens play parks and fairgrounds. 

Uncanny valley

The Uncanny valley is a theory used in the area of robotics and 3D animation, which is when a human replica looks and acts almost but not identically the same as a real human being. This is when the observers starts to have a repulsiveness for the replica in question and becomes less desirable. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Maya Trouble

So, i have started to mirror all the geometry following the tutorial videos. When i started the tutorials I had border edges on (by default), however half way through I switched them off with help from Tom. Now, I cannot merge together the edges of the mirrored piece of geometry in the UV Texture Editor. It seems it will not work where the border edges are.

- Red arrows indicate where it has merged successfully (no border edges)
- Blue arrows indicate where the edges will not merge (border edges are present)

I don't know but it appears that the border edges are stopping the edges from merging together which means I cannot move on with the rest of the videos. Is it possible to delete border edges I can't find out how to. This is very annoying as its the 3rd from last video.

Maya progress

Four Videos left to go, sorry i haven't finished it. I lost a save and got put back from part eleven to part eight but I'm just starting part eleven now so will be finished soon.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Unit 2: Space Presenation


Unit 2: Essay

Unit 2: Essay

Final Scene Three

This is my Third scene so far, i haven't been able to finish it for the Crit.

Final Piece One&Two

Photoshop designs and Developmnt

Photoshop Tree Thumbnails

CD Design

Scene Development and Sketches

Scene Development and ideas

Tree Development

Sunday, 20 November 2011

@Simon or Alan Maya trouble

When I delete the faces in Maya it leaves behind a thick border edge which can't be deleted, this isn't present in the video tutorials and is starting to annoy me. And sometimes when i try to bevel the edges (not including the border edges) it doesn't work, but the Channel Box / Layer Editor still displays the bevel options. I've tried looking on the Internet for a solution but can't find any.

Also I can sometimes select another edge underneath the border edge. 

Avatar directed by James Cameron

Fig. 1 Box art

Avatar directed by James Cameron (2009). Jake Sully’s (Sam Worthington) twin brother is murdered and held a significant investment to the company RDA. Sully is offered to take his brothers place and is soon arriving on the moon Pandora. There he meets Grace (Sigourney Weaver) head of the science department. Sully is an ex-marine who initially helps Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) gather intelligence on how to destroy the tree that is the Na’vi’s home known as Home Tree by using the Avatar to gain their trust. Sully soon discovers that the corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) intends to do whatever is necessary to obtain the precious mineral Unobtainium (which is the term used for any extremely rare, costly material). Sully starts to develop feelings for the Na’vi and falls in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). As Quaritch sets about destroying the Tree of Souls Sully must help the Na’vi win the war against the humans to save their planet.

Cameron first envisioned Avatar 15 years before it was made but lacked the technology to create his work. Soon after seeing The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, it was decided that technology could be pushed far enough to create the master piece. Avatar is a stepping stone in terms of the Computer Generated effects and technology used for future films. The technology used in avatar hadn’t be created before so it needed to be created in order to start filming. “"Avatar" is not simply a sensational entertainment, although it is that. It's a technical breakthrough” (Ebert 2009). The cameras would show the actors as a basic representation of the Na’vi in the world of Pandora, the camera could be picked up and moved around by a person showing Pandora in real time. Cameron used this to great advantage to get amazing camera angles on scenes, which really gives the viewer a sense of involvement within the film. And this new technology produced great Cinematography.

Fig 2. James Cameron with virtual camera

Avatar could be argued that it was created by the Art department and Cameron, Cameron is also an artists and knew what he wanted so he looked for the best Artists he could and it pays off. This was the major focus of this film to create an amazing fantasy world. “Cameron gives us one of the most amazing presentations ever of an alien world and builds toward an epic clash that may only have been matched twice previously in movie theaters” (Berardinelli, 2009). The world that is Pandora was created from the ground upwards, creating the eco system, various plants and animals to fit into the world. This gave the world a sense of being and that it actually existed in space. Pandora becomes even more immersive and impressive at night, when the plants and creature emit a bioluminescence, no doubt taking influences from various bioluminescence mushrooms, insects from Earth. Avatar won three Oscars being for; Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Visual Effects.
Fig 3. Thanator

Music and sound FX as played a vital role in the film and transforms the visual effects into something that lives. “filled to the brim with the sounds of Pandora, the chirps and echo of military movement, and the woosh of the action beats, creating a swirling feel of community that keeps the listener engaged” (Orndorf, 2010) This combined with the visual effects creates a stunning spectacle to look at. All the sound effects where recorded live and manipulated by the sound crew on set, however some criticism says they were taken from Jurassic Park as you can distinctly make out the T-Rex and Velociraptors sounds. That aside the sounds mixed for the animals really make the film come alive. Avatar also was nominated for six Oscars three being for; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures and, Original Score and Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

Illustration List 

Cameron, J (2009) Figure 1. Box art [online]
(Accessed on 19/11/11)

Cameron, J (2009) Figure 2. James Cameron with virtual camera [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

Cameron, J (2009) Figure 3. Thanator [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)


James Berardinelii (2009) [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

Brian Orndorf (2010) [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

Edward Scissorhands directed by Tim Burton

Fig. 1 Box Art

Edward Scissorhands directed by Tim Burton (1990). It takes place in Castle High a stereotypical American suburb. Except for an old European gothic mansion that stand atop a hill where the creator lived. His last creation was Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) an almost complete person, but before he could finish Edwards’s hands he died so instead Edward still kept metal scissors for hands. Atop the hill in the mansion Edward lived alone until an Avon representative Peg Bogg (Dianne Wiest) came along and took him to her home.

Fig. 2 The Mansion

Edward despite his appearance is never portrayed as a character to fear. He is a lonely character who wishes he could be accepted. Edward is gentle at heart but is dangerous when he doesn’t intend it making the audience feel for him. “Edward is a hazard, slicing gashes in his chalky face every time he wipes away a stray hair.” (Travers 1990). Peg takes Edward in like a mother and tries to make him feel like part of the family. The character Edward clearly is a close emotional tie to Tim Burton when he was younger. The scissors could represent what some teenagers go through with it being a metaphor of depression and self-harm. And the fact that nothing Edward touches is always a masterpiece, he can’t hold those he cherishes or able to touch.

Fig. 3 Edward Scissorhands

The use of contrast is a key element throughout this film to signify the differences between Edward and the rest of society. The houses are bright pastel colours which strengthens the feel on the suburb. All the people dress up in bright colours and congregate in a close-knit community, whereas Edward lives a dark dreary mansion and lives by himself with no contact to the outside. Edward has a very unique and interesting way of expressing himself by cutting grand designs out of what’s around. But the ‘normal’ people only show their expression through boring appliances, clothing and other consumer goods. “Instead of expressing these ideas through the dialogue, Burton finds ways to visually contrast the two worlds. There’s the dark, crumbling castle that looms in the background, the longtime home of Edward. While in town, the houses are all bright, pastel colors, yet there’s unison to their design and layout.” (Ewing 2010)

Fig. 4 Castle Hill

All the characters are very interesting which makes the viewer think, and look with more depth into them. This one of the key features in the film which engages you and makes you feel for them. Edward in particular has a unique persona which intrigues the viewer to look closer, he doesn’t say much but Depp can deliver such a great performance using actions and movement that gives Edward his particular nature. “Burton shows a fascination with the unusual and the bizarre that urges you to look closer rather than turn away in disgust and it’s not just because of the humanity underlying the deformed exterior.” (Biodrowski 2000). With Edward being unique in particular all the residents take liking to him, rather like a puppy that soon loses its charm. Everybody wants to please Edward and get to know him, but it seem Edward is just a novelty and when he is framed for breaking into the house they re-invent him into something he isn’t and is soon pushed away and forgotten. This shows the hollow ness of the general population to take everything on appearance.

Illustration List

Burton, T (1990) Figure 1. Box art [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

Burton, T (1990) Figure 2. The Mansion [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

Burton, T (1990) Figure 3. Edward Scissorhands [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

Burton, T (1990) Figure 4. Castle Hill [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)


Peter Travers (1990) [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)

James Ewing (2010) [online] (Accessed on 19/11/11)