Wednesday, 28 September 2016

28/09/16 Life Drawing Class

Today's class was more life drawing, this time with a female model.
It started the same as the previous life drawing class; we drew one 20-30 minute image as a warm-up then drew four 5minute quick sketches but that is where things changed, we were then tasked with drawing eight 2minutes sketches which was very enjoyable as the images I made didn't feel so stale to me.

After that we then ended the session with a single 30minute image which i decided to do rather differently.

I drew the image with both hands, the left hand used charcoal while the right hand used a 6B graphite stick, i drew each segment at the same time as one another, I did this on purpose to test how well my hand-eye coordination worked when strained as well as my ability to focus on multiple points at once.

I doubt this will have any practical use aside from perhaps drawing an image faster than simply using one hand, it will take some practice though as finer details were much harder to draw.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

23/09/16 Character creation class

After the morning animation class i took the character creation class, this had an unorthodox but effective teaching method that brought the whole class together, we are all working well which is great to see.

So to explain, we were each given prerequisites as to what our characters should look like: 'You have been chosen to design background characters for the next Monsters University, I will give you each three pieces of paper, one will have a red number, this indicates how many eyes your character must have, another will be a green number which is how many legs your character has, the next will be a blue number which is how many arms your character has and last is a piece of paper that says what status the character has within the university.'

This is what i got:

  • Bookworm
  • 1 Eye
  • 3 Legs
  • 3 Arms

These are my initial thumbnail sketches:

After we filled the page we were asked to pick out one design and then develop it further on it's own sheet of paper, I chose the bottom left character.

After we finished developing our character it was scanned and placed into Adobe Illustrator where I lined it.

23/09/16 Animation class

In class we were tasked with drawing a simple self portrait and then animating it to transform into our favourite food, from there it would transform into our favourite animal and then back into ourselves to loop endlessly.

To save time i went with an extremely simple style, i started with 4 keyframes, the first was of my self portrait, the second (at frame 25) was of my favourite food, the third (at frame 50) was of my favourite animal and the fourth one (at frame 75) was a copy of the first frame.

I then spent the next few hours drawing in each and every frame, this is how it turned out:

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Review

Figure 1. Das Cabinet des Caligari poster (1920)

Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) (see fig.1.) is a film inspired by Janowitz and Mayer's experience with authoritarian figures in the military during World War 1, the story is of the Dr.Caligari (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders.
The backdrops were hand painted and designed to create an unsettling atmosphere that adds to the story. (See fig.2.)

Figure 2. Jane, Alan and Francis Talking (1920)

The musical score was composed by Giuseppe Becce who uses drastic changes in tempo to create a chilling atmosphere of a mystical nature while instilling a sense of confusion, fear and dream-like nonsense in the viewer.
In Siegried Kraucuer's From Caligari to Hitler (1947) (See fig.3.) Kraucuer describes the movie as being a reflection of the subconscious need in German society for a tyrant, and is an example of Germany's obedience to authority and unwillingness to rebel against deranged authority. He says the film is a premonition of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and says the addition of the frame story turns an otherwise 'revolutionary' film into a 'conformistic' one.

Figure 3. From Caligari to Hitler (1947)

After World War 1 German films were restricted to only being viewed in Germany but in 1920 the restrictions were becoming more lenient and as such The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari saw an international release.

Not much is known about it's initial release aside from Stephen Brockmann, Anton Kaes and film theorist Kristin Thompson saying it was popular with both the general public and was well-respected by critics. Modern critics have praised the film calling it such things as 'The first true horror film' - (Roger Ebert 2009), and It holds a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (a website that lets the public rate and review movies) based on 48 reviews.

The ending is often seen to be up for interpretation, some consider it to be the workings of a mind gone insane while others see it as a tragic story of the villain beating the hero while convincing everyone around them that they are in fact the hero.

The film's budget was an estimated $18,000 (£13865.03) and was filmed between December 1919 -  January 1920, it was produced by Decla-Bioscop AG (as Decla Film-Gesellschaft - Berlin).

Caligari is considered by many to be the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema.

Figure 1. Das Cabinet des Caligari poster (1920) Poster [Advertisement] in Germany 1920
Figure 2. Jane, Alan and Francis Talking (1920) Movie still [Movie Still] in Germany 1920
Figure 3. From Caligari to Hitler (1947) Book [Published Study] in New Jersey 1947

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Wikipedia [Online] Available at [Accessed 22/09/2016]

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - IMDB [Online] Available at [Accessed 22/09/2016]

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. - Rotten Tomatoes [Online] Available at [Accessed 22/09/2016]

Kraucuer, S. (1947) From Caligari to Hitler.
New jersey: Princeton University Press.

21/09/16 Life drawing.

Wednesdays Life drawing class.
The first image was definitely a warm-up and i didn't worry too much about getting the anatomy correct, i was mostly trying to get used to charcoal again as it had been a while.
Second image was 5 x 5 minute quick sketches of various poses.
I used a marker for the continuous line drawing on the left.
At this stage with aching arm and aching back i sadly slowed and started making newbie mistakes.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Metropolis 1927 film review.

Metropolis 1927 film review.

I haven't watched this film in years, when it started the music and the visuals made me feel nostalgic...

The music blared almost instantaneously as the credits stopped with a hectic pace as the fast machinery emphasized the idea of a crazy world where technology had advanced faster then we could have ever dreamed in the late 20's.
The feeling of chaos and confusion summarized in merely the first 48 seconds shows how well it was made.

The white on black intertitle is a change to the usual black on white, possibly a decision by the directors or producers to help hammer in the feeling that this is a bleak world we have been thrust into, a dark land with only a small glimmer of light... hope... when your shift is over and you simply return home to rest, waiting for when your shift is back on.

The music has now changed to a more docile... Nay a sad tone, one that adds to the visuals of men in drones walking in synchronized speed towards large elevators, broken men who know nothing but work and sleep have memorized their positions through repetition and dare not step out of line or bare the crack of the metaphorical whip held by their overlords.

The text that appears between the scene of the workers heading home and that of the upper class playing games, is formed as a triangle to which i believe was done because it symbolises the pyramid design that this world is based on, similar to those that describe ancient Egyptian societies which places the pharaoh at the peak and the slaves among the bottom... but who pray tell is the pharaoh of this world?

The shift from the workers to the upper class is a vast and shocking one, it immediately presents the viewer with a contrast on this worlds tiered society, as thousands spend their lives to work in the cities underbelly a select few run and play, taking advantage of their situation. Perhaps this whole movie is an allegory for us in the real world taking advantage of our luck to be born into families that can afford luxuries, such as being able to watch a film.

If this review carries on as it does then it will be hundreds of pages long as this is only the 6 minute mark in a film over 1 hour and 58 minutes, as such it will now skip further ahead and describe scenes this reviewer finds important.

The cinematography in this film is not ground breaking, it sticks with the simple and safe shots such as having a Long shot on the city to show more of it or a scene that is entirely shot without any panning, tracking or even a zoom, perhaps this was an artistic choice but because of that the movie can feel as if it is dragging on at certain times.

There is a lot of christian influences in the film which is not a big surprise as at the time period it was one of if not the biggest religion in Germany, Whether it's the story of babel, the crosses behind the saint like image of maria or the pentagram behind the "machine-man" which was actually used by Christianity for a time to symbolise the "5 wounds of Christ" but that was later replaced by the symbol of the cross, the pentagram is also the main symbol in paganism which is often considered the enemy of Christianity so it could have a double meaning of either being the wounds of the body (Rotwangs hand), the wounds of the soul (Joh Frederson), the wounds of the mind (Frederson's son) and so on or perhaps it's to symbolise Rotwangs decent into madness and the 'ungod-like abomination' of the machine-man.

The romance in the film feels lacking, there is never a moment where any passion is conveyed between the protagonist and the love-interest maria which leads to confusing moments when they kiss for apparently no reason other than the protagonist being desperate to kiss a beautiful girl, always leaning in and her pulling back ever so slightly made this reviewer feel very awkward.

This far into the movie you really appreciate the score, even when you are not paying attention to it your feelings are ever so swayed by the musical accompaniment to the scenes and it sounds beautiful.
The scene with the transformation of the 'machine-man' to maria is, for the time, amazing! The superimposed special effects must have been painstakingly hand made to go around the figure perfectly and it's appreciated, it's amazing to think that one day someone simply decided to add to his or her movie by drawing on the frames or scribbled on a poster and then boom! An idea that would one day manifest and evolve to become what we know it as today.

This mans hallucinations are absurd! It's understandable that it's supposed to be a representation of his mind and how confused he is but to some degree it seems that the creators wanted more wow factor with their effects rather than making a compelling character that expresses himself through body language and facial expressions, Yes in the past acting on film meant flailing your arms exaggeratedly as if you are a cartoon character but the quality is good enough that we can see their faces clearly so such crazy spectacles aren't really needed.

Has the movie lost it's way? A skeleton playing a bone as if it were a flute while walking towards the camera, the scene that follows with the skeleton holding the scythe about to strike would have held much more weight if we didn't just see it perform a merry play of the lute, in this reviewers opinion they wanted to make the most of their expensive Death dummy and placed it in other scenes to get their monies worth.
That or it's a "Tongue and Cheek" moment that is often in old silent movies.

The actors in this film just love putting their faces as close as possible to each other, at any point they could have an accidental kiss or headbutt, was this the style back then? Was there no such thing as personal space in the 1920's? It's so jarring whenever it happens that you can hear viewers shout "kiss him you fool!" over and over again.
Note to self: Never watch a film to be reviewed with friends.

The reservoirs have broken and the worker city is flooding, as buildsings collapse and dams burst there is a lovely shot of the protagonist and maria clinging onto a rail as the camera shakes and swings to and fro as if suspended from a light fixture, this is the first shot where the camera moves, would this be classified as a panning shot? a vertical panning shot perhaps?

The climactic battle was a nice change of pace and the ending really tied together the story of the tower of babel and this futuristic setting, while the burning at the stake and the yelling of "witch" felt far too archaic for such a futuristic setting but then again considering how the working class were so easily swayed and simple minded it wouldn't be that big of a stretch so lets let that one slide.

In the end it's a classic film with a lot of weight in the film and art community and it's not undeserving of that title, that's my slightly shortened review, thank you.


P.S it's currently 3:19AM, i watched this freaking film 3 times... my brain is numb, really hope by the end of that review i didn't get too terrible from the sleepiness hahaha, still at least for this first review not much is expected of me and there was no word limit so... yeah bed time.

19/09/2016 class work

The first day of university! At first we were told to get used to the graphics tablet we were provided, i did this by scribbling down a character i've known for far too long, it's tricky though as the size of the tablet means the slightest movement sends the cursor flying across the screen... I definitely need to bring a bigger one in.

After we got used to them we were told to try out some custom brushes, they were nice, i even decided to download them to my USB so i can use them at home hehe every little helps after all.

We were shown different ways of creating digital thumbnails as well as a glimpse of what traditional thumbnails can look like before being given the reins and told to create our own thumbnails using the tools provided by Photoshop.

 I spent a little too long on the last section though and will need to revisit and finish it.

Summer project thumbnails

Some thumbnails and the 3 turntable images from the summer project, I completely forgot to put them on here.