Monthly Archives: September 2011

1st Week of Journal

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This is my first post of my journal, as I need to keep a log of everything that I have done for this project. I will blog weekly to update on my progress with what I have done and problems that have occurred of the coming weeks. I was given an assignment brief stating that I have to re-create a sequence, choosing one of the six that were given to us. I decided straight away that I wanted to do Jason and the Argonauts, as this is a childhood film of mine that I have watch and enjoyed many times over the years. I am also a big fan of Ray Harryhausen, owning one of his books that is signed by him!

To start my sequence I first did some research into Ray Harryhausen and the style of his work, that he used in the skeleton scene, which I will be re-creating. I found that he used stop motion animation, where by he created every shot frame by frame, by himself, as he was such a perfectionist. He wanted to create the skeletons as if they were actually in the frame with the live actor, which had never really been done successfully before. He took his inspiration from Willis O Brien, in the 1933 film “King Kong”, which uses stop motion animation and live actors together in the same shot. The style of ray Harryhausen is something that I really want to keep within my sequence, as it is such an iconic scene, and an iconic style.

I then looked into how I would go about actually creating my sequence. I thought my location would be key, so I thought about going to Kirkstall Abbey, as it as lots of ruins that I can incorporate into my shots, and they look quite similar to the actual footage of the film. They filmed on location, so that’s what I want to do too. I can get permission by emailing the admin at Kirkstall Abbey and hopefully I will receive a reply soon. I will fill out a risk assessment, so I can take out one of the cameras away from the campus, and I will get one of the tutors to sign it for me. I will have to make sure I get the right risk assessment, as I need to fill out the more substantial one, because the risks are greater taking the camera away from campus.

I decided to use motion builder and 3DsMax because stop motion would take way too long, and since I am on a computer animation course, it would be silly not to use the wide variety of equipment and software that is available to me. I am learning motion builder in my other assignment, so I can combine my knowledge in this assignment too. I will look into rigging up a skeleton in 3DsMax, then taking it into motion builder and animated it in there. I will then take it back into 3DsMax so that I can tweak the motion of the skeleton, so I can get the action just right, and make it look like it is actually in the scene with my live actor. For my live footage I will take it into after effects and piece it all together to create a flowing sequence. I want to leave a bog chuck of my time to edit and animate, as this is what will take the longest to get right. I will be using Charlie Power for my actor, as I did want to be in the film myself, but think it would be better having someone else do it, so I can be behind the camera and have more control of my sequence looking  just right.

I will follow this post next week and discuss what I have done and what I want to have done for the next week ahead of the next one.

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Research into my character concept

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I was given a brief stating I had to design a new character concept, for either a game, film or advertisement. I decided to choose either a game or film, as this would give me a lot more freedom when it comes to researching and developing my character.

My first thought was to design a female, as I think the female form is a very sexy and powerful tool towards the opposite sex, and to make the female the dominant character for the film or game that she will be in.

There is a theory by Laura Mulvey called the male gaze. This would be appropriate if my character was in a film, as this theory suggests that the power of the female form within the film makes the audience feel like a heterosexual man, and may have feelings towards the character in a sexual way. It also makes women watching her want to be her, or they to might have feeling towards her too. I feel that this is very important for my character, as I want the audience to interact with my character and feel as though she is real.

Here are some images that I have researched that I think convey the female form as powerful and sexy, and give the character a strong dominance within the film or game that they are in.

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

Lara Croft has been a successful game and film, staring one of the most beautiful women on the planet, Angelina Jolie. The way she is presented is a strong powerful woman, who knows what she wants and does anything to get it. Men cant help but look at her, as she has a very curvaceous body, especially in the game, where had she been in the real world, I doubt she would have looked that curvy. The film portrayal is more realistic, but they still did enhanced her assets for the film. She is very beautiful too, which makes the audience more susceptible to empathise with her throughout the game and film.

Harley Quinn

 

Harley Quinn is both in the comics of Batman, and in the game Arkham Asylum. I really love this character, for her quirkiness and devotion to a man that doesn’t love her. I actually feel sorry for her in a way, as she would do anything for him, and yet he treats her like a lap dog. This is why she is a good example of the female character, as the audience empathises with her, even though she is a baddy. She is also very curvy, which adds sex appeal. She is confident when talking to Batman, and even flirts with him, which I feel is a very important factor that I want to include for my character.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is another good example of a flirtatious character, as she actually poisons her victims and make them fall in love with her. I really like this idea, as men wouldn’t have a choice whether to love her or not, and this might make the audience feel a bit uneasy, which is what I am going for with my character. I like the way she looks innocent yet intimidating, like you don’t know what she is thinking or what she’s going to do next. There is a mysterious side to her, which I would like in my character.

I also wanted to look into good and evil for my character, like angels and fairies with wings, both good and bad. I wanted to see if I could make my character change, depending on her emotion. Here are a few images that I think could help me decide how my character would act depending on her emotion.

Weeping Angel

The weeping angel is a good example of a character that can change their emotion in the blink of a an eye. They look very peaceful when you look at them the first time, but as soon as you blink they switch into a terrifying monster. And what’s more scary is that they do it so quick, so you don’t even have chance to run. The audience would know who they are if they are Doctor Who fans, so they would know how scary they are, and watching them is very heart racing as you don’t know when they are about to pounce. This is a good idea to take for my character, making the audience scared of her, even before she has changed.

Angels and Demons

I really like this concept, as it shows both good and evil, as an angel and devil like form. This shows the audience what kind of film this is going to be about. This would be good as a character if it was alive as it looks really scary and reminds me of the weeping angel.

I like this artwork as it portrays an angel as a warrior or solider of god. I want to make my character strong like a solider as it shows that she can look after herself and make her own choices and decisions.

Here are the websites where I have found these images 

http://celebritywonder.ugo.com/wallpaper/Angels_and_Demons_Wallpaper_1_1280.html

http://ficspecies.wikia.com/wiki/Weeping_Angel

http://blog.sean.whitton.me/fiction/tv/angelsorsilent.html

http://laracroft.wikia.com/wiki/Lara_Croft:_Tomb_Raider

http://my.88db.com/Computers-Internet/Games/ad-101474/

http://www.platformnation.com/2009/12/22/hottest-male-female-video-game-characters-of-2009/

http://www.wix.com/eres_goddess_of_chaos/arkhamasylum/page-4

http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Harley_Quinn_(Batman:_Arkham_Asylum)

http://acelebrationofwomen.org/?p=29075

Beginning second year – Video production

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We were given six scenes to choose from, and we have to individually pick one of them and re-create it frame by frame.
I chose Jason and the Argonauts 1963, because I like the film and it will be a challenge for me as I would like to get better at motion capture and 3D.

I would like to use both motion capture and 3D modelling for the skeletons, and live action on location. I would like to test the motion capture using my brother, as he does jujitsu and Thai boxing, which could make more fluid movement for the skeletons fighting and moving. If this works I can use the footage I will have captured, and rig the skeletons to his movements.

I will be filming on location, with other people who want to do the same scene, as it will be easier as there are more than one actor in the scene. I’m thinking somewhere in the dales, because it will re-create a similar environment. I could also go to Kirkstall abbey and york, as there are monasteries there and this would look more realistic to the scene.

I will be hiring costumes, to make my scene as realistic as possible. These will be gladiator style with swords and shields.

I will be posting other entries to keep up to date with my progress and how the project is getting on.