Thursday, 30 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage - Colour Testing

G1 Phase

S Phase

G2 Phase
These were just to see how the colours looked next to each other so I could find out which looked the best. I quite like 9, 15, 24 and 27.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage - Pitch Feedback

- Needs to borrow more game language
- Change way text is done
        - Not floating at the back
        - Important words as pop-ups
- Narrator in Youtube Style?
- Inventory
       - Place to go to do other things
               - Prepare for next level?
- Power-Ups
- Gentle shift between level environments
       - Not a hard cut between the phases
       - No Level Screens
       - Narrator mentions the shift?
- Cutscene section feel more integrated or go
- Parallax Problem
- Spellings
- Colours need to be calmer
        - Too much happening at once

Friday, 24 March 2017

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage - Level Obstacle Test

This moves a little too fast but I was only using it to see how the moving obstacles would look. I like the way they look though I think they definitely need to be slower and have more defined paths to follow.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Soundscape - Reflective Statement

Initially I wasn't sure how I was going to make the sounds to the pictures I got, however after a while of listing what the images reminded me of and then following those words further I had a better idea of where to start. I found that looking at the images and listing the words I thought of when looking at them was a good place to start as it allowed me to then look at those words and find things they lead onto.

I found that finding things to record was initially quite tricky as I wasn't sure what would be useful, however after a while I started to record things that sounded cool whether I though they were useful or not. This meant that when it came to editing the sounds together I had more than I needed but that I also had some choice in what I could use.

I feel like I could have spent more time with some of the soundscapes however I am happy with the way they came out as they do sound like what I was imagining. I think I understand Audition a lot better now as a result of this project.

Maya - Moving things in Maya - Archer

Maya - Moving Poses in Maya - Archer from Alexis on Vimeo.

reference used

Friday, 10 March 2017

Fantastiv Voyage - Initial Thumbnails 1-4

1-4 (from top left to bottom right)

Fantastic Voyage - Initial Ideas

The Cell Cycle
- Using visual language of 16-bit pixel games
- Each stage of the cell cycle as different level?
      - New level design for each
              - G1 - Gentle, growth, pale blues and greens
              - S - More stressful, replication, reds and purples
              - G2 - Gentler, growth and protein development, darker blues and greens
              - M - Rough/Stressful, cell divides, reds, oranges, deep purples.
- side scrolling or top down
- Cell
    - Still looking like a cell
    - Moving through a slug-like squash and stretch
    - Able to see chromosomes
              - or number of chromosomes as a number on cell?
    - Colours to contrast the environment?
    - Emits a glow?

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Film Review - Duel

Duel is a 1971 film directed by Steven Spielberg. It follows a driver, named David Mann, as he travels along a mostly empty and desolate road, all the while being terrorised by the driver of a large truck.

Image 1, Movie Poster

Duel is a film told with only one human character, David Mann, who is pitted against a truck with an unseen driver. David Mann expresses most things through actions rather than words, not saying very much. 'Mr. Weaver is David Mann, the film's only real character, and he's given a few internal monologues that only awkwardly express Mann's anxiety.' (Maslin, 1983). The anxiety felt by Mann is also shown through his face as he reacts to the truck.

Image 2, Mann's anxiety
Mann's adversary in this is a huge truck he overtakes on a long deserted road. The choices made for both Mann's car and the Truck show the difference in the drivers. Mann's car is small and dwarfed by the Truck chasing him. 'Presented with a line-up of vehicles, Spielberg opted for a Peterbilt gasoline tanker truck, partly due to its strangely human aspect' (Freer, 2000). This then meant that the Truck became a character of it's own, as we are never once shown the driver and we are given to recognise the humanistic aspects in the Truck itself.

Image 3, The Truck
The camera angles used by Spielburg also enhance the idea of the Truck being much larger than Mann's car as well as the idea of the Truck itself being a character. 'Spielberg emphasised the pace and scale of the vehicles by placing the camera low to the road.' (Freer, 2000). The camera being often kept below the vehicles was a way of emphasising the size of them, this was also done by having the camera show both the Truck and the car in the shot. This allowed the viewer to see the stark difference in size between the two vehicles.


Image 1, Movie Poster -

Image 2, Mann's anxiety -

Image 3, The Truck -



Freer, I, EMPIRE ESSAY: Duel Review, 2000 -

Saturday, 4 March 2017

From Script To Screen - Reflective Statement

When I first got the three words for this project I had no idea what to do with them. Scarecrow, Music Box and Petshop were three things I couldn't fit together at all. Then after a while of proposing ideas that didn't work very well I got to the one that did.

I found that because I took so long finding a story I liked I ended up feeling very rushed when it came to designing and writing for the story. I found it quite challenging to design the characters using a style that suited the story as the style was not something I had used before and as such I feel as though the characters I did end up with weren't as stylised as they could have been. I am however happy with the way the daughters design ended. I think writing the beginning and end of the script was a lot harder than the middle as it was tough to find a good place to begin it and a solid ending. I feel that if I were to go back I would alter the ending somewhat.

For the next project I aim to get more idea's out faster so that I can get stuck into the design faster as I think that would help my time management.

Film Review - The Birds

The Birds is a 1963 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film follows Melanie Daniels who, after meeting a lawyer that pulls a prank on her, follows him to a small town called Bodega Bay in order to prank him back, its only after she arrives that the small town begins to get attacked by birds.

Image 1, Movie Poster

Melanie Daniels is shown to be a confident woman, who comes from a rich background and is used to getting what she wants. She begins the film as someone who enjoys pulling pranks on people and as someone with a great deal of confidence in herself and her ability to attract males. She uses a pair of lovebirds in her prank, bringing them into bodega bay to give to the lawyer and then not long after the birds began to attack as if 'The entire bird world, chagrined to be the pawn in a devious woman's game, gets its revenge.' (Bidisha, 2010). Then as the film progresses Hitchcock puts her through increasingly violent situations that by the end of the film leave her a shell of her former self.

Image 2, Melanie
The reasons for the birds attacking is never explained, leaving both the viewers and the characters with no clue why the birds attack. One proposed reason for the birds attack is that of  'the hysterical woman who links the attacks to Daniels' arrival ("I think you're the cause of all of this"). This implies that the birds are a manifestation of sex, some galvanic hormonal storm that whisks sleepy Bodega Bay into a great communal lather.' (Brooks, 2012). Another theory being that of 'an eruption of rage. The film's first act, after all, is an uncomfortable buildup of tension (both sexual and social), an ongoing joust of loaded glances and teasing evasions. Its characters are so guarded, so gamey, so disconnected from their own emotions, that something's got to give.' (Brooks, 2012). As such the moment the birds first start attacking is the moment things begin to fall apart for Melanie as she is then placed in the midst of bird attack after bird attack until the moment she breaks.

Image 3, Melanie attacked by birds.
The film has no music, using only diegetic sounds such as the birds themselves flapping and cawing. 'Instead of relying on Herrmann’s music to heighten and embellish the drama and the horror, he uses Herrmann’s sense of dynamics to program in a constant gushing of strangely affecting diegetic sound.' (Scovell, 2014). The lack of a musical soundtrack meant the diegetic sounds of the film were much more apparent and easier to hear, as such 'the absence of a score renders the horror more immediate: Hitch's long-time composer Bernard Herrmann fashioned an eerie soundtrack from caws, strident screeches and rustling wings.' (Sooke, 1963).


Image 1, Movie Poster -

Image 2, Melanie -

Image 3, Melanie attacked by birds -


Bidisha, What's wrong with Hitchcock's Women, 2010 -

Brooks, X, My favourite Hitchcock: The Birds, 2012 -

Scovell, A, Sounds of the Birds, (2014) -

Sooke, A, The Birds, review: Disturbing, (1963) -

Film Review - Psycho

Psycho is a film created in 1960 by director Alfred Hitchcock. The story follows a woman as she steals money from a wealthy customer at her work and leaves with the intent on going to her boyfriend. She finds herself staying in the Bates Hotel and murdered there in an unexpected turn of events.

Figure 1, Movie Poster

In Psycho Hitchcock plays with the way we watch films as we would usually expect to see the main character at the start and follow them until the end. In psycho however we are introduced to Marion at the beginning and thus led to believe that we will follow her throughout the entire film. On Marions journey she stops at the Bates Motel and this is when we meet Norman Bates. The way Norman is introduced, through a conversation with Marion after she overhears Norman's mother shouting at him, is key in helping the audience recognise him as important. 'Hitchcock's care with the scenes and dialog persuades us that Norman and Marion will be players for the rest of the film.' (Ebert, 1998). This is then abruptly challenged when Hitchcock kills her off not long after and only a third of the way through the film, leaving the audience confused as to who they should be watching. That's when we return to Norman Bates, a character the audience immediately recognises as the next protagonist, or perhaps in fact the true protagonist, of the film. 'Hitchcock is insidiously substituting protagonists. Marion is dead, but now (not consciously but in a deeper place) we identify with Norman--not because we could stab someone, but because, if we did, we would be consumed by fear and guilt, as he is.' (Ebert, 1998).

Figure 2, The parlour
Birds are used in the film as a prop to show the conflict in Norman as they loom over him in the parlour at the back of the motel. The stuffed birds there seem to be 'poised to swoop down and capture them as prey.' (Ebert, 1998). The birds are there and give the impression of something watching, perhaps implying the watching gaze of Normans mother. 'The creatures are everywhere in Psycho, from the aerial shots, to Marion's surname, to the town where the action begins (Phoenix), to the hideous taxidermy looming on Norman's walls, and even his world-view.' (Monahan, 2015).

Figure 3, Marion's eye
The conflict in Norman is what comes to a head two thirds of the way through the film in the form of both Marion and the detectives murder. The shower scene, which showed no stabbing and very little blood, was a shock and remained unnerving as the camera panned slowly into Marions eye. This scene however 'is very nearly matched for shock value by the later dispatching of Detective Arbogast as he explores the motel on Marion's trail.' (Monohan, 2015). The detective is shown to be murdered however the assailant is hardly seen. The camera, which had been following the detective up the stairs, is placed in a birds-eye-view of the top of the stairs while a figure is shown darting through to push the detective back down.

Normans conflict is later explained in the last third of the film, as the psychologist is called in to detail what's wrong with him. Hitchcock's decision to have the psychologist explain the film is one that many have brought into question citing that he 'marred the ending of a masterpiece with a sequence that is grotesquely out of place.' (Ebert, 1998) as it is 'an anticlimax taken almost to the point of parody.' (Ebert, 1998). However there is some merit to the explanation as it can have 'a profound place in the schema: the doctor can diagnose and explain a phenomenon that he’s seemingly powerless to foresee or cure. There’s no redemptive ending, no love story that conquers all, no promise that such ills won’t be repeated.' (Brody, 2012).

Image List:

Figure 1, Movie Poster

Figure 2, The parlour -

Figure 3, Marion's eye -

Brody, Richard, 'The Greatness of "psycho"' (2012) -

Ebert, Roger, Psycho (1998) -

Monahan, Mark, Psycho, Review (2015) -