Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Uncanny Valley and Videogames

Inspiration: I am Legend

I kind of like the idea of an abandoned environment, a place which we are used to it crowded and lively and it somehow looks the complete opposite. This is what the film I Am Legend accomplishes through its environments. New York is considered one of the most busy cities of the planet but in this film its deserted and silent, a sort of graveyard.. Nature is trying to take over the its concrete while the city itself is slowly deteriorating. I might use this idea for my environment but I will be pushing my ideas even further.

First Ideas

Here is a list of my first idea on this project with related photos:

1) Old Abandoned Saloon

dark, dusty, destroyed furniture, evidence of gun shooting on the walls, burning cigarette as proof that someone has been there

2)  A Treehouse
About to fall apart, small light source (candle), toys hanging from the tree

3) An empty theatre

A theatre with the one and only light source pointing  on the empty stage

4) An Art studio

paint found all over the place, art materials scattered on the floor

A church
An indoor swimming pool
A library
A funfair

Inspiration: Chernobyl Disaster

This project instantly reminded me of the Chernobyl Disaster (Ukraine) in 1986. It is considered the worst Nuclear power plant accident in history and is the only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event scale. The city was abandoned which is now left as a ghost town. Here are some pictures taken after the tragic event which I find really creepy.

Monday, 29 November 2010


This Unit will mostly be based on Maya. We'll basically have to create a 3D environment all designed, painted and textured digitally. This will not be any environment though. it will have to be, according to Sigmund Freud's theory, an uncanny one. Since I haven't understood this term yet  I did a bit of research on artists that use use it in their work. Like photographers:
Gregory Crewdson

Sandy Scoglund

Jeff Wall

Anna Gaskell

Deborah Mesa-Pelly


Well, Unit 2 ended and it was a lot more stressful than the previous one. The work was so much more and I thought I wouldn't be able to finish all the tasks on time. I've learnt a lot more about Photoshop in this Unit and enhanced my skills in digital painting. Combining traditional methods with digital painting was a great risk but the outcome was finally good. The written assignment seemed a bit easier to me this time as I kind of knew what my tutor expected from me.Another thing I've learnt from this Unit is that when it comes to a big list of expectations, time management is vital. All in all, apart from stressful, this Unit was a great lesson to me. A Second Year student told me that each Unit will seem a lot more difficult from the previous ones, but looking back the previous ones will seem easier from the next ones. So basically it's going to be a very tense year. I am anxious and both excited about it. Time to move to Unit 3.. (ouch!! ) n (>_<)

Friday, 26 November 2010


Director: James Cameron
Producer: Jon Landau, James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang,  Michelle Rodriguez.
  • Year: 2009

Named as the highest-grossing film of all time Avatar is a visually stunning masterpiece- an extraordinary technological achievement. The film was supposed to take place after Cameron'e worldwide successful film Titanic in 1997, but according to him the technology at that time wouldn't be able to achieve his vision.

The film is more impressive on a technical level rather than as a piece of storytelling.The story could be described as 'a futuristic Pocahontas'  where a soldier falls in love with one of the Na'vis, the 3-foot tall, blue, humanoids who live in harmony with the planet's nature. "There is so much that is remarkable about Avatar that its failings - clunky writing, clumsy love story - are easily brushed away."  The planet is called Pandorra, and since  the year is 2154, humans now have the opportunity to visit other planets. Pandora's enviroment is an astonishing feast for the eyes and ears, with amazing imagery such as the floating mountains, the waterfalls that pour out of nothingness or the massive woods rich in colourfull, sparkly vegetation.
"Avatar also creates a jungle-planet environment in astonishingly dense detail: every leaf, every droplet of water, every scale and hair on every bizarre creature is manufactured to order. The film is like an anti-Darwinist's wet dream of intelligent design, with Cameron as God with a Bible full of algorithms."

The planet's creatures are bizzare, obviously inspired by our own planet's ones but with an alien touch. It was interesting how most of them had six limbs instead of four. In addition, it is noticeable how most of Pandora's animals are fur-less as it's more difficult to animate.

The Na'vi had a deep connection with all the creatures on  Pandora ans showed respect for them. The could also control some of them using their own hair to link with them but without any harm of course but realising how they were part of  a giant mass of connected energy and emotional synapses."But, as much as technology aids and defines Avatar, it’s also a love letter to humanity and the glory of mother nature."

The message Avatar was trying to give through was the importance of human's connection with nature. Pandora was exactly showing this: a planet where all its creatures were not aiming to destroy one another but rather live in harmony with it and keeping a pacific balance.



Thursday, 25 November 2010

Final Influence Map

Final Piece 3 done! :) I think..

Final piece 3 in progress

I am ver happy with the reflection in this one. The mountains need more work along with the gargoyles but it's slowly getting there I think.


Directors: Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Producer:Jim Henson, Gary Kurtz, David Lazer
Cast: Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw, Percy Edwards
Year: 1982

Created by the famous puppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz, who are world widely known for the famous  Muppet show, Dark Crystal is a proof that special effects are not amazing only when based on computers. It tells the story of a magical   The film was considered as a children's one but due to its dark nature parents were concerned how child-friendly it could be. Its nightmarish, dark character left an indelible mark on people's memory .

"Dark Crystal is challenging material for kids, not just a simple story of good overcoming evil. There is a deeper layer to that, and the adventure is grandly scaled. Even with that, it remains an engaging piece of fantasy, brilliantly realized with the tangible, real effects that beyond the main characters, are utterly believable."
 This film  features brilliant puppetry and stunning design. It is amazing how the puppets' attention to detail is what attracts the viewers attention more than the actual story. Each creature is amazingly designed from scratch and beautifully captured on the screen. It is also very interesting how the Skeksis,who represent evil and the Mystics, who represent good relate to their nature. The Skeksis as the 'bad guys' of the film were vulture-esque creatures, with decaying skin and noticeable bone structure, whereas the friendly Mystics had more soft features like round faces and small facial features. They are mostly resembled to babies which is what makes them more appealing to the audience. "It’s not just the creatures related to the story either. The small touches from the little rats roaming the castle to the variety of fantastical critters near the water all bring this to life in every corner of the screen. It’s that level of detail which makes this not just something to look at, but convincing."
Apart from the Skeksis and the Mystics the magical world of The Dark Crystal is packed with a lot more characters  such as the protagonist Jen, the Gelfling a sort of elf which finally founds another girl from his species. The movie also had a hint of humour with the female Gelfling's pet making exaggerated facial expressions.
But what actually makes this film so eye-popping is how rich the planet the characters live into is. The plants and animals play a major role in the complexity of this visual world. Every designed living creature looks as if it was born out of this world and being part of this complex, colourful  biosystem.
  "I have a problem seeing the forest for the trees when it comes to movies. As my love for the art form has increased over the years, I have increasingly had trouble looking at the film as a whole. Instead, I focus on the technical details, and look for the “quality” of the movie. It’s a condition I’ve come to think of as “Critic’s Eye,” and The Dark Crystal is the perfect antidote."



Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Final piece 2 done!- The dungeon

I think I am pretty much done with this one. I don't think I should add any more as it might turn out too chaotic.