Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Film Review - Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 film directed by Peter Weir. The film is about a group of school girls as they go on a school trip to have a picnic at hanging rock. A few of the girls as well as one of the teachers go missing and only one is later found. The film was based on a book written by Joan Leslie in 1967.

Figure 1 - Movie Poster
In the novel the story was shown 'as fiction but hinted that it might be based on fact.' (Ebert, 1998). This presentation led to people believing the events had happened and as such 'old newspapers and other records were searched without success for reports of disappearing schoolgirls.' (Ebert, 1998). This could be due to people not having experienced stories presented as fact before or conversely due to people desiring to find an answer to the mystery left in the story.

Figure 2- The Rock
Theories of what happened to the girls ranges from UFO's to kidnappings, though there is no real answer. Some theorise that the rock itself may have taken the girls, which is supported by the way 'Russell Boyd's camera examines the rock in lush and intimate detail -- its snakes and lizards, its birds and flowers -- certain shots seem to suggest faces in the rock, as if the visitors are being watched.' (Ebert, 1998). This is particularly noticeable when people are climbing amongst the rock, first with the girls and later with the two boys that look for them. Another factor supporting this theory is that the girls themselves seem helpless to stop climbing the rock. The four of them keep climbing as if drawn to the rock, even when the know the should be heading back. The exception to this is Edith, the seemingly youngest of the group, who frequently requests they go back and doesn't want to climb any higher. This is then brought to a head as 'Edith, the young and geeky member of the group, watches her companions shuffle off like robots, as if they're being led by a supernatural force.' (Buckmaster, 2014). Edith is then seen fleeing and the girls are never seen again.

The music in the film creates an interesting atmosphere around the rock. This is due to the low, humming, buzz the rock gives off when close to it. The sound itself starts of almost subtly, with less menace as the girls climb. However when the boys try to find them the sound of the rock is loud and insistent, pressing down on the senses and screaming danger, This is all in stark contrast to the more cheery panpipe music that plays throughout the rest of the film. As scenes are shown of the students and teacher travelling to the rock, and of the rock itself, 'Music, some of it classical, played by panpipes, is an unsettling contrast.' (Ebert, 1998).


Buckmaster, L, (2014), Picnic at Hanging Rock: Rewatching classic Australian films - https://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2014/jan/23/picnic-hanging-rock-rewatching-australian-films

Ebert, R, (1998), Picnic at Hanging Rock - http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-picnic-at-hanging-rock-1975

Image List:

Figure 1 - Movie Poster - http://www.impawards.com/1975/posters/picnic_at_hanging_rock_ver1.jpg

Figure 2 - The Rock - https://neithernevernor.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/picnichangingrock.png?w=676&h=411

Monday, 15 May 2017

Fantastic Voyage - Reflective Statement

I found this project to be enjoyable as it allowed me to explore an art style I hadn't previously. I found that during this project my main struggle was creating the work fast enough, I feel this was due to a mix of being slow and having bouts of poor time management. I think that overall the project went well as while there are things I would change, they are all relatively minor things and not things related to the overall concept or design of the project. I think that the design I chose was fit for purpose and I found it to be one that I enjoyed exploring. 

For the next project I will be working on better time management as I feel that will enable me to get the results I want and have the time to alter the things I find myself wanting to change.

CG Artist's Toolkit - Maya - Final Submission Post

Introduction to Maya 2016

Modelling 1: Digital Sets

Modelling 2: HS and Organic

Lighting and Rendering:

Visual Effects 1: Deformers

Texturing 1


3D Animation 1

Maya - Old Alley Part 1 and 2

CG Artist's Toolkit: Animation and Character - Showreel and Final Submission

Animation Showreel from Alexis on Vimeo.


Walk Cycle:


CG Artist's Toolkit: Animation and Character - Lifting a Box Drawings

Lifting something light, something medium weight and something heavy.

CG Artist's Toolkit: Animation and Character - Flour Sack