Monday, 24 October 2016

Film Review - 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey was directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1968. The film has a confusing plot that leaves a lot up for interpretation, leading there to be many different idea's on the films story. One perspective of this is that 'The plot is not so much of structure but rather of events or moments in time that are united by the appearance of a large black monolith.' (Haflidason, 1968).

Figure 1: Movie Poster

The use of music in 2001: A Space Odyssey is interesting as there are scenes where there is nothing but music and motion with nobody talking at all and also scenes where there is no sound at all, just the emptiness of space. This has prompted people to write that 'One of the more crucial elements of 2001 is the lack of sound  that dominates the film, which is true to that there would be no sound in space (no atmosphere means no medium for sound transmission).' (Scott, 2009). The music used was classical music that wasn't created for the film. The use of a score designer for the film would have attempted 'to underline the action - to give us emotional clues. The music chosen by Kubrick exists outside the action.' (Ebert, 1997). This use of music encourages the viewer to observe the scenes as they happen instead of needing to respond to them the same way you would if the music was there to evoke a response.

Figure 2: Spacecrafts

The camera shots used in the film also create a distance from the events as they keep the characters in the middle to back of the screen (see fig 3) and rarely move into the foreground. This creates a sense of distance as it is difficult to see the faces of the characters which makes it feel impersonal. There are few exceptions to this, one of the most prominent being the use of a close-up shot on the character of Dave as he is shutting down the computer HAL (see fig 4). The shots show the lack of emotion on Dave's face as he destroys a creation he had previously said was like another crew member. The scene evokes a sadness and sympathy that feels wrong given it's directed at a machine, a computer with dubious ability to think or feel independently of it's programming.

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Roger Ebert, 1997: 2001: A Space Odessey Review:

Almar Haflidason, 1968: 2001: A Space Odessey Review:

Ridley Scott, 2009: 2001: A Space Odessey Review:


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Invisible Cities | Reflective Statement

The Invisible Cities project overall has been a fun and interesting project to undertake. I feel that I learned a lot about how concept art works and how it is created. I feel like the project allowed me to work on my perspective drawing and that I now have a better grasp of how perspectives work in drawings. This project has shown me that while I did get everything finished when I needed to, I could have managed my time better and thus I will be working on bettering my time management for the next project.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Film Review - King Kong

King Kong was released in 1933 and was directed by Ernest B. Shoedsack and Merian C. Cooper. The film tells the story of a filmmaker, Carl Denham, who hires a girl, Ann Darrow, and takes her to a mysterious Island for the filming of his movie. While the story tells the tale of a Beast it is done in such a way that the beast is not seen as inherently evil, instead seen more 'as a creature that in its own way wants to do the right thing' (Ebert, 2002).

Figure 1: Movie Poster

The film being made in the 1930's is evident in a lot of the events that transpire, one that springs to mind being the depiction of the natives in the island scenes (see fig 2). Ebert writes that 'viewers will shift uneasily in their seats during the stereotyping of the islanders in a scene where a bride is to be sacrificed to Kong' (Ebert, 2002). The film has a clear underlying reference to slavery, as shown through the capture and further exhibition of Kong (see fig 3). The character of Ann Darrow is also a project of it's time as she is depicted as a damsel in distress for the majority of the movie and being saved by one of the men that previously insulted her.

Figure 2: The Islanders

Figure 3: King Kong Captured

The film itself is very influential, featuring special effects that were new for their time as well as a soundtrack featuring music specifically for each character and scene. The music is used to enhance the emotions for each scene, using suspenseful music to build suspense and calmer music to let the audience know when things are calmer. The films use of 'A gripping and fitting musical score and some impressive sound effects rate with the scenery and mechanism in providing "Kong" with its technical excellence' (Bigelow, 1933).


Ebert, R. (2002) King Kong Review:

Bigelow, J. (1933) King Kong Review:


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Invisible Cities | Thekla - Art Of

Thekla - Art Of by Alex on Scribd

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Friday, 14 October 2016

Maya - Lighting

gif progress of adding lighting

CG Artist's Toolkit: Animation and Character - Lesson 4

Eyes and Tail

Legs, Eyes and Tail

Ponytail and Eyes

CG Artist's Toolkit: Animation and Character - Lottie Reiniger and Don Hertzfeldt

Lottie Reiniger

Lottie Reiniger was a German film-maker born in 1899. She used silhouette puppetry to make shadow puppet productions. Lottie Reiniger created over 60 animated films between the 1910's and the 1970's with around 40 of them surviving until today. She often drew inspirations from European fairy tales such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. She also created 'The Adventures of Prince Achmed' which was her only feature-length work.

She fled Germany in the 1930's, settling in England with her husband, Carl Koch, they founded Primrose Productions and produced works for the BBC.

Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt is an Animator, he was born in 1976 and has created many animated films such as Rejected, World of Tomorrow and The meaning of Life. His animations mostly use stick figures drawn with traditional media and photographed to create the animation.

Billy's Balloon was one of four student films he created between 1995 and 1998 and tells the story of small children getting attacked by their balloons.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Life Drawing - Session 4

20 minutes - Pencil - Used as a warm up

20 minutes - Pencil

Various Times - Calligraphy Marker

30 seconds - Calligraphy Marker

3 Minutes - Calligraphy Marker

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Film Review - Metropolis

Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film produced by Fritz Lang. It tells the story of Freder as he discovers the lives of the workers that keep the city running for Joh Frederson, his father and owner of the city.  Metropolis shows a city that depicts two sides of a city with only one side benefitting from the other, "...a future where an exploited underclass works in subterranean machine halls to support a small, pampered aristocracy living in palatial skyscrapers..." (French, 2015).

Figure 1: Metropolis Poster
Metropolis shows a city in two halves, the upper city in which the richer population live and the lower city where the workers live. The upper City having the more pleasant aspects of life (see fig 2), " has spire and towers, elevated highways, an Olympian Stadium and Pleasure Gardens." (Ebert, 2010). The Lower City shows a starkly different perspective however as it is made of tall bare building placed close together which adds to the feeling of being trapped. The worker's city holds none of the opulence the upper city has and is a lot darker in colour and tone (see fig 3).

Figure 2: Upper City

Figure 3: Lower/Workers City
The divide between both halves is furthered in the way they work. The people in the upper city spend their days at the stadiums and in more office based work whereas those in the worker city are stuck doing menial thoughtless tasks such as moving dials and shifting the hands of a clock (see fig 4). The workers lives are split into two, with them working until their shift change, "...where the clocks show 10 hours to squeeze out more work time, the workers live in tenement housing and work consists of unrelenting service to a machine." (Ebert, 2010).

Figure 4: Worker's Work


Ebert, R. (2010) Metropolis Review. At: 
(Accessed on: 5th October 2016)

French, P. (2015) Metropolis review. At:  (Accessed on: 5th October 2016)


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Life Drawing - Session 3

2 minutes - Pencil

30 Seconds - Pencil

3 minutes - Pencil

20 minutes Shading then 20 minutes line - Charcoal and white pen