Friday, 29 April 2011

@Phil: The Treatment (First Draft)

So this is my first attempt. I must admit it was quite hard trying to imagine how the pop up book would work but I think I have a reasonable base for it. I believe its up to concept art now to do the rest of the job and help me visualise everything better.

Treatment Commission UNit 6

Inspiring Music (The Lion King Musical and Film)

What could be more inspiring than a film which was entirely inspired by Africa. The Lion King (1994) successfully depicts Africa in the most beautiful way with the colours, the mood and the music suiting Perfectly the African savana. The Musical Version is also inspiring, with colourful costumes and music that reflect the culture and atmosphere of the second biggest continent. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Concept: Sunset in Africa

I am just experimenting at the moment with colour and different brushes. I want to give it a grainy, sketchy look, like it's coming from a book. (I am sorry for the inappropriate aspect ratio)

MAYA-Visual Effects-Blendshapes (Operation Order)

Research: How do Vaccines work for our Immune System?

How do they work?

"A vaccine contains a killed or weakened part of a germ that is responsible for infection. Because the germ has been killed or weakened before it is used to make the vaccine, it can not make the person sick. When a person receives a vaccine, the body reacts by making protective substances called "antibodies". The antibodies are the body's defenders because they help to kill off the germs that enter the body. In other words, vaccines expose people safely to germs, so that they can become protected from a disease but not come down with the disease." 

Department of Health.New York  At: (accessed on 27/4/2011)

How are they made?

"Vaccines are made in one of three ways:
  • By weakening the germ that causes the infection so that it does not cause the full disease
  • By killing the germ so that it cannot cause any symptoms
  • By extracting the parts of the germ that our immune system recognises" 

NeLi Antimicrobial Resistance Website. At: (accessed on 27/4/2011)

About the Malaria Vaccine
"Researchers characterized a large number of parasite proteins that may prove useful in the development of a human malaria vaccine. A promising method for vaccination is to sufficiently weaken these parasites such that they invade liver cells and stimulate an immune response, but don’t develop further. This can be achieved by genetically inactivating individual parasite genes that are active during the parasite’s growth in the liver. The researchers achieved this by modifying the proteins essential for sporozoite development, which their study identified. Collaborators had previously shown how to successfully vaccinate mice using a rodent malaria which had one of these liver stage genes removed, specifically p36p."

Microbiology Bytes: The latest News about microbiology At:  (accessed on 27/4/2011)

Some Statistics

According to the board below, most Malaria incidents are found in Africa and specifically around the equator where the high temperatures allow the production of more mosquitos which carry the disease. As for the mortality rates, 90% of the victims are young children.

Research: Malaria in Africa

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Essay Proposal for The Time Machine (Take 2): The history and evolution of the Gothic


This written assignment will be exploring the Gothic Art movement, its origins, its various definitions and its evolution to what we think of ‘Gothic’ today.  As a medieval Art movement which first appeared in the mid 12th century, Gothic did not emerge ready-made into the modern era but has a deep history, over which it has changed and developed multiple layers of meaning. While the term ‘Goth’ today does not refer to the 5th Century Goths, its past and present meaning have a lot in common. The term Gothic is a continuing popularity as it’s been used a lot in a lot of Art areas.     Sources exploring the History of Gothic Art will be The Gothic by Fred Botting and The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole which go back in the foundations of Gothic and the first gothic novel.  As for the present, sources giving examples of what Gothic stands for nowadays are Contemporary Gothic by Catherine Spooner, Gothic Art Now!  by Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Gothic Lolita Punk  which are unique showcases of the very latest cutting edge Gothic Art creators from around the world in illustrations, digital creations and designs.

PAR.1: Talk about the History of Gothic. When did it start? What was it linked with (religion, love, horror). Mention the first Gothic Novel.
PAR.2: Give Examples of Gothic Paintings, Architecture and Sculpture.
PAR.3: What makes Gothic popular even today? Talk about its modern definition and its similarities with the past.
PAR.4 :( or more): Gothic in the Modern World:
Rock Music
Marilyn Manson
Vampires: The Twilight and True Blood Saga
Tim Burton
Lolita Punk Dolls
Digital Art (Gothic Fantasy Figures)

Bullet point why is Gothic an immortal fashion and how it will continue to be used throughout the years.


Spooner Catherine(2006).Contemporary Gothic. London: Reaction Books Ltd
Becket-Griffith, Jasmine(2008). Gothic Art Now.UK: Ilex Press Limited
Ricorico(2009).Gothic Lolita PUNK. New York: Harper Collins Publishers
Botting, Fred(2001)The Gothic. UK: Boydell &Brewer Ltd
Walpole, Horace(1966).The Castle of Otranto. USA: Dover Publications Inc

Research: African Art

After my chat with Phil I am finally sure about my direction. My animation will still be based on a pop up book but with a slightly different style. So I have decided that my animation will work like a sort of awareness for Uneducated parents in Africa, mothers in particular. The main theme will be vaccination (possibly for malaria) which will encourage mothers to immunize their children and give them a better future.
After a small research I've noticed there are some certain characteristics about African art that makes it so distinctive:
  • Vivid Colours (Bright Red and Yellow, Black and Blue)
  • Emphasis on the Human Figure (Elongated figures with long limbs)
  • Visual Abstractions
  • Non Linear Scalings
  • Rough Edges in Sculpture (Cubism)
  • Emphasis on the Bright Background (Figures working like a foreground)
  • Personified Nature

 I also came across this South African Tribe called Ndebele. Their culture is filled with artistic elements, with bright colours and shapes decorating their homes, clothing and craft work. Their style have influenced a lot of fashion designers and interior architects.

Monday, 25 April 2011

@Phil: Meeting?

Hello Phil,
Hope you are enjoying your holidays. I was wondering if you are in uni at all this week? I will be in tomorrow for research so I was wondering if we could have a chat on my essay idea (new one) for The Time Machine and my current ideas for this Unit as I am struggling in what to start with. It would be very helpful.
Thank you :) 

MAYA- Visual Effects-Blendshapes(Mirroring)

Idea Struck: Immunisation/ Vaccination in Developing Countries

An idea just struck me so I thought I should post it a soon as possible! I always knew one place where antibodies are used and that is in jabs. It is important for children (and adults) to be immune to certain diseases and that is accomplished through vaccination. In vaccinations, a tiny amount of the threatening virus or bacteria is inserted to the body. This small amount is enough to stimulate the body's immune system and make it produce antibodies. With those antibodies which are already introduced to the enemy the body will be ready to attack the enemy the next time it invades the body. As a result, the immune system reacts quicker to the familiar enemy. Unfortunately, this important medical treatment is not available in most countries, especially the developing ones, which results in a great number of deaths, mostly among children. These deaths could have easily been avoided with the help of jabs. 
Maybe my Pop up book Animation could have a more serious approach: the awareness of immunisation (especially in countries where it is mostly needed). There are thousands of adverts on television and magazines encouraging people to give a bit of whatever they can to organisations that offer medical treatment to 3rd world countries. It could be like a touching advert giving this important message. I a not sure how this could work but it is a thought :)


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Understanding the Function of an Antibody

After going through the themes once again, I have decided that the best would be The Antibodies as it is  a child-friendly one. It should be explained in an easy, non complicated way to make it interesting for a youngster. Of course to depict how an antibody works, it is vital to understand its structure and purpose. This takes me back to Biology, which I studied in High School a couple of years ago back in Greece. For me it was awfully boring as we were forced to learn how the immune system works by heart. There was a great number of images showing all the body functions that were not interesting but dull and too science based. So that's what I am going to tackle in my animation: uninteresting imagery. So in this animation instead of text, which is something no one would be interested to read (let alone children), I am aiming to use narrative and make it work as storytelling. Of course this  narrative will be accompanied by colourful and eye-popping imagery which will automatically make it more attractive to the human eye. 

So in just one paragraph explaining what an antibody is:

  "An antibody is produced by the body to detect, combat, kill or eliminate any foreign body that enters our body. The foreign body can be dust, germs, chemicals, biological or non-biological material that is considered alien by the body. However the body can only produce an antibody when it is induced to produce it, and the simplest way to produce it is to introduce the foreign material in the body, and our body reacts by producing the antibody against the foreign material in due time."

I will try to explain the definition of an antibody as briefly as possible:

Structure: Antibodies are large Y-shaped proteins and made of typical structural Units-two large heavy chains and two small light chains. Both chains are connected with disulfide bridges. The antibodies' tips are different for each one called a paratope with a specific structure to attack a specific foreign target called an antigen. The tips' shapes are extremely variable which allows the antibodies to attack a large number of 
foreign bodies. 

How is it produced?  Antibodies are produced from Lympocytes (specified white cells) as a result of exposure to specific chemical substances. This is called the antibody-antigen reaction. So-called B-cell lymphocytes produce the antibodies, in response to T-cells (there are several sorts) which participate more directly in recognising the foreign cells, and chemically damaging them. The antibodies are transported around the body though the bloodstream as part of the plasma protein. 

How does it work?: As mentioned, the antibodies' tips can be found in various shapes. Each tip is designed for a specific antigen. The tips (paratopes) work like a lock for the antigens' tips (epitopes) which work like keys. These two structures bind together in precision attack or recognise the enemy. So the threatening viruses or bacteria can be eliminated in 2 ways: by marking the microbe for ingestion (by the phagocytes cells) or by forming a membrane to help the antibodies to kill the bacteria directly. 

How many types of Antibodies are there?: Antibodies can come into different types called IsotypesIn placental mammals there are five antibody isotypes known as IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM.The antibody isotype produced during an immune response usually depends on the type of microorganism which is invading the body.  

I have tried to explain the process as brief as possible. Of course there is a lot more to talk about but for young children, deeper explanations are superfluous. I want to make children understand how their body fights the 'bad guys' that invade them and pass them a message on how they should keep themselves clean and bacteria free. 

Essay Proposal for The Time Machine: The history and evolution of Toys

So for the last Essay of this Year (yay!) I am thinking of writing on something I can talk about its history and move on to its contemporary version. So my first idea was Toys! Toys have a deep history, even during ancient times it was very important for small children to play. Playing plays a big role to a child's mental development as it's considered as a first interaction with the world in a fun way. So here is my first attempt in its structure:

Introduce the essay to the readers. Talk about the theme I are going to analyse and mention all the published sources.

Main Body

PAR.1: How important it is for a child to play? What does it help with? From what age does a child start to play?

PAR.2: Talk about the first  toys in history. What was their purpose? What were they inspired from? What sort of material were they made out of? Mention toys found in a Ancient Greece, China, Egypt, e.t.c...

PAR.3: Move to the toys of the Middle ages and then to the toys of the 20th century. Talk about how has the purpose of the toy dchanged throughout the years.

PAR.4: Talk about the contemporary plastic toys and how now they are considered as a work of art and not a child's toy. Finally, talk how today's children no longer use toys for their entertainment but video games and how can this have an effect on their mentality.

Sum up the importance of playing. How did the word 'playing' evolve throughout the years? Should contemporary toys and games change  and be become more beneficial? How can they improve?

Saturday, 23 April 2011

@Phil: Inspiring Animations (Worlds made of Paper)

Hello Phil! I've been having some thoughts on whether to have a narrator for my animation. Even if I did use one (like the bookmarker), he would be simple with a moustache moving instead of a mouth to avoid lipsynching and he would only be shown at the beginning (and possibly towards the end) to introduce the story and then end it. But after watching these animations I found online I can now really picture my Animation without a narrator and leave the images tell the story themselves. When you showed me that specific "Mechanical" animation, it is how exactly I was imagining it to be: Unfolding and transforming into shapes. I also found the 4th and 6th of the animations (if you don't want to look through all of them) I came across really inspiring. What do you think it would be better? A story deriving from the book itself (like the 4th one) or something paper-like folding into shapes (like the 6th one)? I would appreciate this feedback as I would like to move on and finally start my script and storyboard :)
Many Thanks

The Curious Dream– From Flat to Flight from Cre8tivegirl on Vimeo.

Disney Recycle from STUDIO AKA on Vimeo.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Character Idea: Bookmarker/ Paperclip Narrator ?

I've been having thought on how to make my animation appealing to youngsters so what can be better than a cute character narrating the story of "How the human body defeats diseases by using antibodies?". So I went a bit back to our previous project on how to bring an inanimate object to life. I've been thinking of a simple character which will be easy to rig and animate and someone who will not loose its paper-like quality as the whole animation will be based on a pop up book. So the first thing that came in mind was a paper clip or a bookmarker that will be turning the book page and travelling into the 'magical' book itself. I did a few designs and I think I am mostly pleased with my last one. It's a professor- like bookmarker with his extended bit looking like a tie.

Turning a 2D image into a 3D one?

So if I stick to my pop up book idea I will have to find a way to turn my illustrative 2D images into 3D ones. I found these videos online and gave me a lot of ideas on how to do it by using After Effects or even Maya.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

In need of motivation

The first days of my Easter holidays have been great including celebrating my birthday with coursemates which was amazing- but now I need to crack on again. I've been finding it hard to start a new project all over again. The list is once again massive and every time I look at it I have a mini heart attack. And the weather does not help at all.. it's glorious and I am stuck indoors pushing myself to work. I even had a conversation with Jon Stewart on motivation and he gave me great advice on how to manage my work step by step. The trick is to set small tasks to yourself everyday which will be pieces of a big one, so if you complete something small every day you will soon enough complete something big.
According to Phil's feedback on my last project I need to experiment more with my style and see what else I can come up with. So I've been working on what I got on my first research week: my trip to London, my illustrations research and some art books I got hold of. I don't really know what I am doing to be honest. I've been doing a bit of everything  like photoshop, ink paintings and experiments with tea splatters. But hopefully this 'rubbish' will soon shine.