Saturday, 22 January 2011

Story Telling!


Can you guess what it is yet? I was really lucky, I drew a Chef as my character, a helium balloon as my prop and castle as my setting! This can only end well :D

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Unwrapping My Final Scene...

Pre Viz:

Original thumbnail:
Concept painting:

Wireframe model:
Untextured model:
 UV Maps:

 The room's floor & walls:
 Textured UV Maps, Colour and Bump:

Textured Model:
Light test:
Beauty Pass:
 Ambient Occlusion Pass:
Attempted ZDepth Pass, I ended up trying to do the lens focus manually in Photoshop and I think it worked out okay.

Matte Painting:

Final Image:

 Not too bad. I'm worried it's too empty but I wanted a minimal scene to see if I could still make it feel uncanny so that's what I did. Not too bad!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Some progress....

My scene so far. Just putting it up as a checkpoint for looking back to later.

I'm still going to work on improving the wallpaper and adding in some decay, plus I need to texture the window. All good so far though :D

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Matte Painting, Feedback please!

I'm popping out to go slightly less mental, I just wanted to put this up and see what people make of it.

The room isn't at all finished yet I just wanted to try the matte painting out. I'm not sure what looks good and what doesn't at the moment so any feedback will be much appreciated ! :D

Monday, 17 January 2011

Slightly Warmer...

Tweaked and now I have:


It still might need more heat related tweaking, maybe brightening the glow to increase the warmth I'm not sure, but feedback is still much appreciated :D

My Essay Research list.

For your viewing pleasure, here is the list of sources I used to pick from in order to get my essay done:

We shall see the imagination build “walls” of impalpable shadows, comfort itself with the illusion of protection – or, just the contrary, tremble behind thick walls, mistrust the staunchest ramparts.” (Bachelard, 1994:5)
In its countless alveoli space contains compressed time. That is what space is for.” (Bachelard, 1994:8)
- Bachelard, Gaston (1994) The Poetics of Space. Massachusetts: Beacon Press

the opposite of what is familiar; and we are tempted to conclude that what is 'uncanny' is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar” (Freud, 2001:220)
It may be true that the something which is secretly familiar...which has undergone repression and then returned from it, and that everything uncanny fulfills this condition.” (Freud, 2001:245)
Concerning the factors of silence, solitude and darkness, we can only say that they are actually elements in the production of the infantile anxiety from which the majority of human beings have never become quite free.” (Freud, 2001:252)
- Freud, Sigmund (2001) The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud: Volume XVII. London: Vintage

The Shining

"Like Wendy in her reaction to the kitchen, the audience feels both at home and lost within the hotel's vast public areas and its more intimate corridors and rooms. Like a maze-puzzle, and like the film itself, it has design and purpose" (Nelson, 2000:211)
- Nelson, Thomas Allen (2000) Kubrick, inside a film artist's maze Indiana: Indiana University Press

"a giant hedge maze, a passive institutional structure which favours no one and, depending on circumstances, serves anyone." (Ramussen, 2004:234)
- Rasmussen, Randy (2004) Stanley Kubrick: Seven Films Analyzed. North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc.

"Every turn in his brisk route is a climax. a bubble of ear that bursts only to reform a moment later." (Jenkins, 1997:83)
"Kubrick pictures them not only in life but in gory death; his turn is towards the physical, the visual. and results in an amplified horror." (Jenkins, 1997:86)
- Jenkins, Greg (1997) Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation: Three Novels, Three Films. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

"The uncanny gaze is structured in relation to the uncanny object, sensation or event in order to intensify the spectator's inner sense of foreignness, strangeness and doubleness." (Creed, 2005:30)
One of the most uncanny cinematic scenes depicts the ghosts of murdered twin sisters, victims of another demented father, awash in waves of blood that crash through the hotel corridors. Here the hotel is literally the body of horror, the place of the uncanny, where the failure of desire is transformed into waves of blood and death.” (Creed, 2005:19)
the director, has expanded time and effort in creating a familiar scene in order to transform it into the unfamiliar.” (Creed, 2005:30)
- Creed, Barbara (2005) Phallic Panic: Film, Horror and the Primal Uncanny. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press

The Haunting

"one of the last suggestive horror films that depended on careful construction of foreboding mood rather than bloody, violent shocks, attractions the big studios were not quite ready to provide."(Worland, 2007:90)
- Worland, Rick (2007) The Horror Film: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing

 "there is deeper, subtler creepiness at work here — the shadowy recesses of the human mind."(Nathan, 2006).
- Nelson, Thomas Allen (2000) Kubrick, inside a film artist's maze Indiana: Indiana University Press

Other books:

The Gothic, Edited by Gilda Williams, containing many exerts from various essays regarding the Gothic and Uncanny aspects of modern art.

Foul Perfection by Mike Kelley. Another collection of essays, this time of varying content but some including themes of the uncanny and all by or featuring Mike Kelley.

Maya Camera, Ready to Go!

I hope so anyway!

I'm sure something's probably gone horribly wrong but for now at least I've finished following the tutorials :D


Turns out, shaders are epic:

X Ray teeth:

Double sided page:

 Water droplets:

Blood Vessel:

This was awesome. I can't believe how realistic it all looks, my personal favourite being the water droplets, they look SO GOOD! :D

My Matte Painting , feedback please!

This is what I got up to during Friday's Photoshop session:

 There were two more images to go in between but they got corrupted somehow so  there's only the first part and the last.

 Below is the image of Nevada desert that I'm basing it on:

Here's what I've done today:

Here's what I've stopped at so far:

I want it to look fairly painterly and definitely glowing. This will be the view through a window in my scene, it' mean to be a stark contrast to the perfect 1950's house inside. I've had a good tweak around but I'd appreciate any feedback that's out there!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet', 1986

Fig. 1 Blue Velvet Poster
David Lynch's Blue Velvet is a trip into the dark underbelly laying beneath every idyllic 1950's community.  It places itself in the visual time of the fifties but combines this with much more modern fashions, this is interpreted by the audience as an 'anywhere town', a place they can relate to but aren't sure if it could exist.

Fig. 2 Idyllic lifestyle
It is the contrast between the idyllic and the underbelly that makes this film so intriguing.  Todd McGowan described that "The binary opposition that everyone notices while watching Blue Velvet is one between two equally fantasmatic worlds: an excessively ordinary public world of Lumberton that coexists with a similarly exaggerated underworld populated by Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) and his associates." (McGowan, 2007:91) The audience is welcomed into this binary opposite from the opening sequence, a glowing highly saturated image of a garden contrasted by a swarming underbelly of bugs and beetles underneath. McGowan goes on to explain that "If the public world of Blue Velvet represents an American ideal, its underside represents the typical American nightmare." (McGowan, 2007:91) Indeed, this is true as everyone that interacts from the Lumberton community is friendly and cheerful but those from the more city-like areas of Lumberton are dark and cruel.  The idea that such an idyllic America can coexist alongside such a sordid parallel is always a big worry to the public.  Something that can never be escaped is that belief that in order to sustain the good you have to entertain the bad to keep it from breaching the public's safe and homely community  Another point that McGowan goes on to explain is that "in the act of separating and opposing them, Blue Velvet renders visible this similarity between the ideal and the nightmare that fantasies usually obscure." (McGowan, 2007:93)  Blue Velvet, through its juxtaposition of Lumbertown's two faces, allows the audience to see that within both realms there is sexual desire and repression and a law that governs those within it.
Fig. 3 Dorothy and Jeffery's violent interactions.
The theme of sexual desire and repression is possibly the most dominant of all.  There are explicit scenes of sexuality within the narrative that allow the audience to understand the characters that live within the dark corners of Lumbertown.  The most prominent of these characters' is Dorothy.  She is a victim of the Frank Booth, the central villain to the film, forced to be a slave for his violent sexual deviance, she has become unsure about herself and her desires.  Isabella Rossellini, the actress that played Dorothy, expressed her views on the character: "In my mind she was a battered woman - someone who perhaps had Stockholm Syndrome...Dorothy masks herself because she is afraid of what she looks like...she wanted to look like a doll - perfect - to hide her madness.  The more she becomes a victim not to elicit sexuality, the more she does." (Lynch, Rodley 2005:126)  The character is always seen wearing bright red lipstick and blue eyeshadow on top of delicate pale skin.  Much like a doll, she is used for Frank's sexual violence and after is left alone until she's needed again.  The audience see her suffering but also her apparent enjoyment of it.  It is explained that Frank has her husband and son hostage so she has to work for him but, much like victims of Stockholm Syndrome, her sexuality has been warped to that of her abuser.  This is when she discovers Jeffery hiding in her closet.  She's consistently aggressive towards him but what started as anger turns into arousal.  Laura Mulvey points out that "The scene oscillates. Dorothy represents the 'monstrous maternal', the female villain...At the same time she is the vulnerable mother, threatened by the 'monstrous paternal', the male villain who confronts the child in Oedipal rivalry." (Mulvey, 1996:142) She started the scene as the aggressor towards Jeffery, asserting her power over him but the audience is reminded of Freud's Oedipal struggle between the 'monstrous paternal', Frank, and his dominance over the vulnerable Dorothy and his rivalry with Jeffery when he discovers him later.

Fig. 4 Franks sexual aggression and dominance over Dorothy.
David Lynch himself explains that his portrayal of Lumbertown is as truthful to him as any other.  He expressed that  "This is the way America is to me.  There's a very innocent, naive quality to life, and there's a horror and a sickness as well.  It's everything." (Lynch, Rodley, 2005:139)  The sickness which is no more prominent than in Frank Booth's character.  He is a violent, merciless and as mentally unstable as they come.  Martha Nochimson explains that "Frank is Freudian, fearing too much similarity to women, but the spectator is overcome by the horror of too much dissimilarity to femininity in the secret criminal haunts of Lumberton, and of far too much control exerted over women." (Nochimson, 1997:103)  Within the narrative, the audience can see that Frank has some serious childhood trauma that dates back to his parents, most significantly his mother.  This is the reason for his hatred and violence towards Dorothy, a woman that he won't allow to look at him while he uses her body.  She may remind him too much of what he once was, emotional and fragile, an example of this is when he gets extremely emotional over music but once he realises this, he compensates with violent outbursts. Mulvey acknowledges that "Frank represents the 'pre-Oedipal father'. The lifelessness of life in the small-town home contrasts with Dorothy's shockingly direct sexuality... and Frank's horrific restless energy, always torn by violent emotion." (Mulvey, 1996:142)  His violent sexuality has been passed onto Dorothy and his emotional unbalance keeps her there, always changing from incestuous affection to aggression and pain.

Blue Velvet is an excellent example of how a mixture of different elements can merge and create a twisted but fascinating story. Erica Sheen and Annette Davison believe that Blue Velvet creates "a world where secrets and mysteries do exist; a world that so uncannily conflates past and present, image and reality, dream and wakefulness, that a social register of explanation seems absurd." (Sheen, Davison, 2004:68)  It is another example of David Lynch's unshakable ability to portray an utterly real world consisting of completely fictional elements.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Blue Velvet Poster At: (Accessed on: 16.01.2011)

Figure 2. Blue Velvet (1986)  Idyllic lifestyle. At (Accessed on: 16.01.2011)

Figure 3. Blue Velvet (1986) Dorothy and Jeffery's violent interactions. At: (Accessed on: 16.01.2011)

Figure 4. Blue Velvet (1986) Franks sexual aggression and dominance over Dorothy. At: (Accessed on: 16.01.2011)


Lynch, David, Rodley, Chris (2005) Lynch on Lynch. New York: Faber and Faber Inc. 

McGowan, Todd (2007) The impossible David Lynch. New York: Columbia University Press.

Mulvey, Laura (1996) Fetishism and curiosity. Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Nochimson, Martha (1997) The passion of David Lynch: wild at heart in Hollywood. Texas: The University of Texas Press

Sheen, Erica , Davison, Annette (2004) The cinema of David Lynch: American dreams, nightmare visions. London: Wallflower Press.