Friday, 19 May 2017

CG Artist's Toolkit Submission

Film Reviews

Sita Sings the Blues
Waltz with Bashir

Jet Pack Jones Tutorials

Pipeline 1: Skinning:
Parts 1-3

Pipeline 1: Rigging
Pipeline 1: Facial Rigging part 1
Pipeline 1: Facial Rigging part 2
Pipeline 1: Facial Rigging part 3
Pipeline 1: Texturing
Pipeline 1: Turnarounds

Lighting & Rendering: Mental Ray Part 11: Mental Ray Proxies

Lighting & Rendering: Mental Ray Part 5: Portal Lights (Updated for 2016)

Pipeline 1: Skinning Parts 1-3

Pipeline 1: UV Layout Part 1

Pipeline 1: UV Layout Part 2

Lighting and Rendering: Mental Ray Part 10: Motion Blur

Lighting & Rendering: Mental Ray Part 9: Ambient Occlusion

Lighting & Rendering: Mental Ray Part 6: Mia Metarial X Shader

Thursday, 18 May 2017

World Cinema: Kubo and The Two Strings (2016)

Kubo and The Two Strings directed by Travis Knight is an American stop motion animation which tells the story of Kubo's adventure to defeat his grandfather, who had taken one of his eyes at birth after his mother had 'betrayed' her family by falling in love with Hanzo and having Kubo. As Kubo is separated from his mother he embarks of his journey with two companions to help him understand his own powers and to defeat his grandfather.

Kubo and The Two Strings is created in a way that requires great attention to detail and focus in order to get the scenes within the film flowing smoothly and without hiccups. Stop motion creates a unique feeling to this animation and gives the film an overall authentic and rustic feel. Kubo uses modern techniques such as 3D printing in order to create the models used, and when piecing the animation together finally CGI is used in order to complete the finished outcome. A lot of detail was placed in this animation and it is noticed well throughout the entire running of the film.

We follow Kubo as he tries to complete the armour needed against his grandfather, the armour his father never succeeded to piece together. We watch as Kubo races to complete this against his two aunts, who are determined to stop and catch Kubo from achieving his goal. We soon find out towards the end of the film that Kubo's two companions are both his mother and father, both were also unaware of each other until moments before their deaths.

Laika, by combining the modern technology with old stop motion techniques, created a visually appealing film - colourful and bold. The use of modern technology allows the creators to make a film which is made with such detail and along with the digital animation it allows the film makers to piece together a beautifully pleasing animation when it comes to the finishing touches. It is clear to say that Kubo and The Two Strings was a success in the animation and film world as it attracted a wide audience from elder generations and not just young children due to its appearance and touching storyline. 

Illustration List

Figure 1: Kubo and The Two Strings, Cinematic poster -

Figure 2: Kubo film still -

Figure 3: Kubo film still -

World Cinema: The Secret of Kells (2009)

The Secret of Kells as directed by Tomm More and Nora Twomey, Is an Irish animation based around the Book of Kells, a book containing the four gospels of the New Testament. The animation follows Brendan as he lives within the walls of the Abbey of Kells, run by his uncle Abbot Cellach. As the film progresses Brother Aidan, an illuminator arrives at the Abbey with the Book of Kells and begins to tell Brendan many stories and tales around the book. As Brendan becomes closer with Brother Aidan, Brendan goes outside of the walls in a bid to find the needed material for Brother Aidan to continue his writings in the Book of Kells.

The entire film breathes Irish heritage throughout, from the voice actors to the art design of the entire animation, It shows clear influence of Celtic designs from the way things curve against each layer  on the flat surfaced animation. These designs make it a clear and obvious point that this film is full of Irish influence and pride, with its tales of religion, culture and the overall green colour theme throughout, it makes it come across as a strong and uniquely made piece of animation coming from Ireland.

As the story goes on, we find out that the walls around the Abbey are there to stop the incoming Viking attacks and the magic in the world around them. When Brendan ventures outside of the Abbeys walls he meets a Aisling, a mystical creature who joins him around the woods, Brendan soon begins learning more from her about the magic surrounding them, as well as from Brother Aidan. Towards the end of the film, we see Brendan separated from his uncle and he finishes the last pages of the book with Brother Aidan before he returns to the Abbey with the finished piece. The animation tells the origin story of the Book of Kells, showing the Irish culture, religion at the time and Celtic mythology well.

The film uses traditional Irish art well as the entire film is practically oozing with its influence, The film itself -although it was not a success in terms of box office- is a huge success in my opinion as it manages to achieve its goals of conveying a well crafted Irish animation, which goes on to tell the tales from Irish culture wonderfully.

Illustration List

Figure 1: Film promotional poster -

Figure 2: Film still -

Figure 3: Film still of Brendan in the Woods with Aisling - 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

World Cinema: Persepolis (2007)

Persepolis 2007 directed my Marjane Satrapi, is a coming of age animated drama based at the time of a revolution, based on a true story as lived by the director. Marjane shows her experience with a beautifully made animation, it shows and explains her difficult childhood growing up in Iran and how it effected herself as she grew into adulthood. It explores her world politically, culturally and personally, Marjane's animation shows us how the Iranian revolution affected her life and those around her.

Persepolis is a beautifully crafted animated piece showing the wears and tears of war and what effect it has on those around the centre of conflict. The film is a cross between an Iranian and French animation work, due to Satrapi's nationality and to where she continued to live out her life in France following the end of the animation. The animation visually shows influences from French art, for example Art Nouveau could be argued as being used within the animation from the contrast of the black colours and smooth flowing lines.

The style of the work is bold and gives off the overall appearance of the original graphic novel that Satrapi created prior to the animation. As the film progresses we follow Marjane as she goes from place to place on her own without her family, leading her to find her own way without the guidance of her family - this shows how she develops personally as an individual.

Overall the animation shows how change can effect someone and the animation itself in terms of art direction helps to convey this throughout the film with the use of character development and the scenes in which it is set at the times of Marjane's life. As a child, the character seems so innocent and silly in some ways but as she develops the design becomes more serious and darker when looking at the overall design and also scenes.

Illustration List:

Figure 1: Persepolis film poster -

Figure 2: Film still -

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

World Cinema: Mary & Max (2009)

Mary and Max (2010) a claymation from Australian directed Adam Elliot who specialises in writing stop-motion animation. The claymation explores mental and social problems between two characters, which would not commonly be explored in the film industry as well as it is in this film. Mary and Max is not a cheerful film, but that is the point of the claymation - to show that these situations are hard and are nowhere near cheerful for those suffering with problems such as these

The film follows the pair across a time frame of 20 years from 1976, starting when Mary, a lonesome 8 year old girl living in Australia, starts writing to her pen pal Max, a 44 year old jewish man suffering with Aspergers living in New York. During Mary's childhood, her father is estranged and her mother is an alcoholic, Mary was unfortunately accustomed to this situation and this caused her to seek out a pen pal. When Max had received the random letter, it caused anxiety for him and continued to do so throughout their communication.

As they both aged, they each came across difficult times, Mary became depressed and suicidal in her adult life and Max's issues further worsened due to his age and ability to do things. Throughout the film we watch their lives go up and down like a rollercoaster ride, and their relationship develops and they bond more across time and the distance. You watch as the two conquer their issues in different ways, Mary during the film is inches away from suicide but the situation changes entirely and she does reach the end of the film and makes it to New York with her young child to finally meet Max for the first time, only to  arrive at his apartment and discover that his condition worsened and had caused him to die not long ago.

The animation is beautifully crafted and exaggerated in ways to add to the character of the film. From the eyes on the clay model of Max, the wideness of his eyes in many shots could be an exaggeration of how he looks at the world and how he sees things due to his Aspergers. The darkness and greyness of New York city, adding to the emotions and feelings related to Max's life of isolation and his loneliness which he has in common with Mary. Although Mary's world seems to be bit brighter, this could be related to the depth of her conditions and feelings - she's still young and has yet to fully explore these emotions, whereas Max has suffered for much longer and he has been detached for longer, therefore the colour plays a part in setting the moods and emotions for each character.

Illustration List:

Figure 1 : Max and Mary (2009) Promotional poster -

Figure 2: Film still of Max writing a letter to Mary -

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Adaptation B: Reflective Statement

Following the presentation and the feedback given, I can say that I could have achieved better if I were to manage time in a better way and get moving into the project quicker. I feel that I did under achieve due to starting the project later than It should have been started and also trying to make a final model within a small time frame.

After feedback during the project I found that I was making better steps forward when I was creating work and receiving feedback on ways to improve it further. If I were better with time I could have received more feedback and gone further forward with the project and had a better outcome. I did feel as though a lot of the progress in my projected moved quicker during the second half of the project, however it should have developed to the end from the start and not halfway through the time that was given for the overall project.

I am happy with what I produced but I am more than aware that I am capable of doing a lot better in terms of the overall finish and the designs.

The Jenny Haniver Crit Presentation