Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Sorry. I've been busy, alright!? Here, it's a big'n.

There's a lot of ground to cover.

Fentil: Another Life

So after the sweatbox, I have found out that Fentil: Another Life wasn't picked for production.
Sort of.

Instead of green lighting the entire film, we've been okay'd to produce one shot - one extremely realistic, detailed shot. The issue now is to decide which shot will be the most profound.

Fentil: Another Life - Production Bible

While I understand that Another Life was probably too ambitious, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to add to the animatic (using feedback from James Henry, a helpful script writer who came to talk to us). These additions would have added the much needed drama and tension to make the 'baby needs to eat' story tangible.
While they may not be used, here are those extra frames in context.

This would probably have been a much more ambitious project, and the production bible includes the spear dropper and octopoid information.
As for deciding which shot to choose, I really like the Spear Dropper swooping down. The problem is that we have none of those aliens rigged or even modelled. From a realistic standpoint, it has to be one of the Platehead shots.

Oh well.

I've lately been following a guy named Greg Broadmore, who does lots of cool art and works for Weta. He has worked on concept art for District 9, King Kong and other films.

He's basically amazing.
He also has a project called Dr Grordbort's Which is a steampunk vision of old-timey hunters going to other planets to hunt for trophies. Recently, Media Design School in New Zealand has taken on his world and designs and have made a short film of it.
"The Deadliest Game" poster
An 'Aether Oscillator' used by the huntsmen
This is probably my favourite of his aliens. Look for it at OO:16. I really like its legs.

Here's the teaser.
This is what I want Another Life's shot to be like. Pretty.


On the same topic of work, I've been doing some rigging for Olly's project: Kernel. I only really have one character to rig (Leonard, the old man) so I can really focus on making him spectacular.

So far we have:
  • Leg IK's
  • Heel Peel
  • Tip Toe
  • Heel pivot
  • Toe Pivot
  • Toe Tap
  • Back rotation controls
I'm also planning on putting in foot roll (side to side) and toe splay (as Leonard is barefoot). I'll also be implementing my lovely eyelid flicky mechanism.
I'll also be looking into rigging his luscious beard.

This is what I'll be working on until I go back to the parents' place for christmas, where I have no access to fancy animation software. Then it'll be more dissertation work.

Dissertation Business

Somewhat under-represented on this blog (and I suppose many other animator's blogs) is my Dissertation research (the capital 'D' shows how fearful I am of that word).
My basic topic is horror, and my argument is something like "Video games are the perfect medium for Horror, and are much more capable at scaring us than Film."

Rolls off the tongue, I know.

So that's the basic premise, and my goal is to try and prove that video games have the capacity to scare us in ways which film never can and never will. I'll be addressing topics such as immersion, the psychology of horror, why we love to be scared, and the history of Horror as a genre. I will be analysing various horror films and games to get a decent scope. My major case studies, however, will be Silent Hill 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dead Space 2, as I feel that combined, these games cover most of the horror spectrum. They are also pretty scary.

The most recent book I've been reading is "Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture" by Kendall R. Phillips.

It discusses how Horror is very much a contemporary genre, feeding on the fears and unrest in the society it is born from. Be it immigration of Eastern Europeans during Dracula's theatrical release in the '30s, or the fear of advanced military flying machines during the '50s, where most alien invasion movies were born.
The Dead Space series also has this cultural resonance, as it deals with the repercussions of the separation of church and state, a fairly big issue in America at the moment.

Unfortunately, I've been neglecting this written work up until now, so I'll have to work my buns off over the holidays to get this under control.
Wish me luck.

Pictured: Buns

Demmy's Doodles

Despite being busy with all this work, I have also got some nice doodles to show:

Evil Butterfly


Just Hanging Out


Tree Face

King Giblets

Shankbat Taxonomy

I haven't really had time to do any digital work lately.


Watch things:

Story of Genki???
Fun nonsense from the amazing David O'Reilly.

Destructo Box
Destructo Box is my new favourite series. It's clever and funny. Watch it.

First Contact

First Contact from Media Design School on Vimeo.

These are the same guys making/made the 'The Deadliest Game'short.

Now I am back off to swim. Splash.

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