Friday, 29 April 2011

Playing with Maya...

 Just felt like having a go at creating something a bit like a blood vessel using one of the images from the marbled paper as a bump map:

It's pretty cool! Not particularly realistic but I love the texture it gives it :D

First Draft of Script...


Thursday, 28 April 2011

First Animatic...

Just so I can see what it'll roughly be like:

First Draft of Storyboard...

I only have rough cell design at the moment, I'm trying to make the antibodies look a little like the seedlings in 'Eufloria' as they open up to reveal their receptors inside, also still keeping the 'Y' shape.  I'm going to jump onto the more solid cell concepts next.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Theme 2 Written Work...

The treatment, tweaked step outline, logline and premise:

Unit 6 Text

Monday, 25 April 2011

Step Outline...

Unit 6 Step Outline

Ohara Koson...

After Phil pointed me in the direction of the Japanese artist, Ohara Koson, I managed to find quite a few lovely reference images by him:

I love the gentility in these images. The mix of pastel colours and warm light makes them feel not just gentle but nostalgic too. The flowers are incredibly delicate due to the thin lines representing the branches and the way the birds are just lightly perched on them makes them appear weightless also.
Everything looks soft and as if it would ripple as the air passes through it, which is something I would love to capture in my work!

Music Ideas...

Just thought I'd start looking into what piece of music I'd like to accompany my work. Both are royatly free from

I'd quite like mine to look a bit like a ballet underwater if possible. Keeping everything elegant, gentle and smooth. Whether it'll come out like that is another thing entirely :P

Video Game Influences: Eufloria & Osmos...


I love the music in this game, it's incredibly tranquil and the pastel colours work really well with it.  What's drawn me to it though is the seedlings and 'asteroids'. The shape and use of the seedlings reminds me of the antibodies. They both protect the cell they've come from and are both a kind of 'Y' shape.
The way that the seedlings move in groups and the fact that they're born from trees attached to the cell-like 'asteroids' are both ideas that I quite enjoy and think could work quite nicely with my theme.
These videos are good examples of this:

Close up of seedlings and tree: 1.10 - 1.20.

Example of movement as a group: 0.25-2.00


The game 'Osmos' is about growing by engulfing other cells that are smaller than you. Its aesthetic reminds me of a night sky and it's  translucency mimics that of the jellyfish I was looking at previously.  The changing colours and patterns inside the cells are what really give these little circles life.
I would love to capture this kind of translucency and colour in my work. I'm unsure as to what colour my cells will have exactly but I do know that if I can combine the movement and powerful use of colour in my work then it'll be really nice.
This video is long but it has a bit of everything from the game:

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Time Machine Essay: Brothers Quay Research...

I've finally decided to do my time machine essay on the Brothers Quay and their influences:

the Brothers Quay, whose films bear a superficial resemblance to Švankmajer’s. As marvellous as they are (and of undoubted interest to surrealists), the films of the Brothers Quay are too singular, too resolutely personal, to be considered within the context of surrealism.” (Richardson, 2006:176-77)

This is ultimately where they differ from Švankmajer, whose films emerge from a collective engagement tied to a will of transformation which is the fundamental characteristic of surrealism.

The Brothers Quay, on the other hand, create a hermetic world obeying its own logic and resistant to any external intrusion. Their sensibility appears to have been formed largely through an engagement with Central European culture, and any linkage which may be discerned between their work and surrealism is purely formal.” (Richardson, 2006:176-77)

The Quay Brothers, “known for their exquisite puppet animation films, and to a lesser degree for their stage and set design for theatre and opera”, were commissioned by the Rotterdam Film Festival to “create an exhibition, Dormitorium, with eighteen exhibition cases that presented reconfigurations of a variety of their puppets, film décors and fragments. As they work in puppet animation, these cases are tantalizing explorations and presentations of their work. But what is especially attractive is how different the works look on display compared to the lighting in the films. And screws are – well, just that – screws. The haptic becomes tactile.” (Rugg, Sedgwick, 2008:135)

In ‘Concrete Animation’, an essay by New York– based filmmaker, artist and author George Griffin, he addresses the fact that ‘animation is more than the sum of its parts’ and his argument aims ‘to link “concrete” to actual materials, objects not just images, and the processes which cause them to spring to life. It would not then be tied to any particular rules of design or vanguard art theory. It would suggest the tactile, the tangible, the real, the stuff which is often forgotten in the river of illusion’ .

It is perhaps the film-makers who themselves are most aware of the value of the materials they use, that recognize they have a value in addition to the films, are the ones that are regarded as ‘artists’.” (Rugg, Sedgwick, 2008:135)

Concrete was a term a synonym for abstract or absolute animation, perhaps in reference to the planar abstractions of De Stijl: Theo von Doesburg and Piet Mondrian...there was a radical commitment to eliminate the conventional accretions of ornament and narrative.” (Griffin 2007)

Today the term contains a tone of defiant backlash against the pervasive reach of digital processing and its tendency toward virtual reality.” (Griffin 2007)

I propose to link concrete to actual materials, objects not just images, and the processes which cause them to spring to life.” (Griffin, 2007)

It suggests the tactile, the tangible, the real, the stuff which is often forgotten in the river of illusion. Just as concrete, used in building construction, is formed by the coalescence of discrete particles into a solid mass, so too is animation more than the sum of its parts, be they frames on a strip of film, pages in a book, or a sequence of objects.” (Griffin, 2007)

On River of Crocodiles "vision animated to the bursting point, illogical, oneiric, and exhilarating. It was a phenomenon that I implicitly understood but could not adequately describe." (Buchan, 2011:XI)
"what entails the experiential difference between a screw animated on-screen and one that we twirl in our fingers?" (Buchan, 2011:XII)
On their work " They are exemplary visual excavations, and alchemical reworking of occluded but recognizable elements from other films and artworks, identified by a highly original style and poetic dialectical form." (Buchan, 2011:XII)

"At first glance, their inspirations are an eclectic mix: Lewis Carroll, Franz Kafka, E.T.A Hoffman, Marcel Duchamp, Hieronymous Bosch, Michel de Gheldrode, Wladyslaw Starewicz, Bruno Schulz, Robert Walser, Guiseppe Arcimboldo, Raymond Roussel, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Stanislaw Lem. On closer scrutiny, these artists and writers share an express interest in metaphysical and undercurrent worlds of the life of objects, a preoccupation with obsession, the fantastic, the banal, the miniature." (Buchan, 2011:XIII)
"In the Quays' films, these authors and artists become retrieved ghosts hovering out of frame, frames invested with their metaphysical afterlife of omnipotence, epiphany, sexual pathologies, and fantasy." (Buchan, 2011:XIII)
Look into Patrick Bokanowski and Siegfried Zielinski.

"By incorporating automata in puppet and object design and "romantic ruins" in their sets, the Quays create an especial capacity to suggest the uncanny." (Buchan, 2011:96)
"The Quays' eerie use of familiar objects in a collaged and montaged spatial uncertainty and the illusion created by the cinematic apparatus bring this "something" to light twofold: the bringing to life of inanimate objects on the one hand, and the cinema's capacity to allow us to experience what we logically know is impossible but secretly wish is not." (Buchan, 2011:96)

"if psycho-analytic theory is correct in maintaining that every affect belonging to an emotional impulse, whatever its kind, is transformed, if it is repressed, into anxiety, then among instances of frightening things there must be one class in which the frightening element can be shown to be something repressed which recurs." (Freud, 2006:217)
"uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and old-established in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression."(Freud, 2006:217)
Schelling's definition of uncanny "as something which ought to have remained hidden but has come to light." (Freud, 2006:217)

"An unconscious and repressed wish, whose fulfilment could only be felt as painful by the dreamer's ego, has seized the opportunity offered by the continued cathexis of painful day - residues, has lent them its support, and has thus made them capable of being dreamed." (Freud, 1911:343)


Richardson, Michael (2006) Surrealism and Cinema. Oxford: Berg Publishers

Rugg, Sedgwick, (2008) Issues in Curating Contemporary Art and Performance. Bristol: Intellect Ltd.

Griffin, George (2007) Concrete Animation. In: Vol.2, 11.2007 [online]

Buchan, Suzanne (2011) The Quay Brothers: Into a Metaphysical Playroom. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Freud, Sigmund (2006) Writings on art and literature. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press

Freud, Sigmund (1911) The interpretation of dreams. USA: Plain Label Books

@Phil Time Machine Essay...

I'm really struggling with who to write about for this one. I'm probably making more of a meal of it then I need to but I'm just really unsure.

Should I pick an animator or could it be a director of a film that we've watched? I don't mind either way I'm just really stuck, so any help you could give me would be great!

Thanks in advance! :)

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Playing with After Effects...

It might not seem relevant but this was really useful to do! It was better but my after effects crashed so I had to guess the end part again.
How cool do my soul sucking beams look though?! Good old Video Copilot! XD

Friday, 15 April 2011

After Effects Workshop...

Some silly fun :D
Can't wait to actually get the hang of this programme!

Cell Staining...

While looking on the internet yesterday for why it is the cells seem to glow, I stumbled across the dyes that are used in staining the cells to give them the 'luminescent' look. With them was a 'Cell Staining Simulation Tool' that allows you to add different coloured dyes to a cell. Here are my experiments with it:

 Mix of blue and green:

 'Orange-red' and 'far red':

'Orange-red' and green:

Just blue:

 Just 'far-red':
Just 'red - orange' :
Just green:

Really magical. Hopefully a better direction than before too.

Thursday, 14 April 2011