Friday, 6 November 2015

Illustrator: Importing Logo Design to After Effects - Making of:

Layer Details:

Keyframe configuration similar to other softwares - e.g. MIDI Cubase, Adobe Flash, video editing softwares, etc. Exploring movements, re-sizing and transitions:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Bellmer Travelogue: Love Sanctuary

It’s the striking sounds you hear, it’s the burst of air you feel, you’re desperate to sprint to a place of sanctuary, away from the boredom/hysteria of the organised/chaotic world [war, politics, family breakdowns, etc.] You’re yearning for sexual excitement again! Just pack your bags, grab your loved one and drive towards the mountainous plains, as a thriving metropolis is hidden hundreds of miles away from organised society – but it’s only been in recent years that this metropolis – the Love Sanctuary – has been discovered by the public conscience. It’s the ultimate place where no-one can conform, where everyone can become spoiled babies and children again, diving into what they [perhaps mostly men] crave most in life!
From the far distance, a giant, yet narrow metropolis can be seen among the hills, rocks, craters and cliffs. A collection of skyscrapers hugging tight together [their roofs and antennae almost sticking to each other], as smaller newer structures surround the skyscrapers, all bordered up by concrete and wooden walls to keep their ideal land tight and safe [although recently have been slightly broken down due to the quick invasion]. Many of the bloated exterior shells seem to resemble women’s anatomy, such as breasts with nipples, masks, stomachs and thighs, and there is probably no such thing as a ground floor in the Love Sanctuary, as the hilly terrain leads you from one height at one end to another height at the other. Because the city council had planned decades ago that they would not expand their square miles of land beyond a fixed distance to protect the wilderness and wildlife surround it, the recent discovery has led to quickly increasing overpopulation leading to an overall heat and light trap.
The tallest structures, constructed from combinations of concrete and steel, with hints of brick in certain areas, may look excitingly pink, violet and red from a far distance, but they quickly fade away as you near closer, as these structures have been derelict and worn down in recent years [cracked concrete and growing vegetation in those cracks] – the city council has had little control over the fast increase in population and has led to some violence; some male visitors becoming so hysteric with what is there to offer in the Love Sanctuary, leading to fighting, bruises, smashes and blood stains. Even the famous Art Deco-style clock tower at the very top of the skyscraper collection, with its golden sun plate sitting on top, reveals dying colours, some cracks and smashes from the recent riots.
Clouds of dark, puffy smoke occupy the narrow urban island, in contrast with the cloudy/blue sky in the wilderness surroundings, coming from the chimneys on the roofs and from underground [where else can you expand?], the temperature rises as you near as the heat and electricity is trapped inside. As you near one of the grand entrance gates [slightly broken down], your female companion becomes gradually alienated by the entire city, yet there doesn’t seem to be that much choice around this plain desert!
All male visitors to the city pay a £10 fee to enter the gates, whereas for women it is £30, as they are escorted to the underground entrances [with entrances and interiors similar to the Nazi concentration camps] which will lead them to the city centre – the city council implies that both genders discover each other, rather than escort each other in the same direction, because that is what will bring up sexual excitement again!
With the overpopulation issue, the massive town square has been occupied by a quickly growing shanty town settlement, as so many visitors refuse to travel back to their normal lives and want to become citizens. The tallest curving, bloated and wavy structures [slightly derelict] contrast heavily with the shanty towns built up [across levels and platforms] from recycled materials such as steel planes, wooden planks, mud piles and bricks – the long-term male visitors would have stolen the items from the many shopping districts to set up their own ideal homes, but still living in poor and dirty conditions [some fire barrels can even be seen from a distance, due to smashed street lights over the years].
Large portraits of famous young women in the entertainment and arts are hanged across the building walls around the city centre, much like Mao Zedong at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, as well as dangling flags, ribbons and gowns, whilst numbers from 1930s Broadway and Hollywood musicals are played from loudspeakers to constantly liven the mood, especially in the face of growing destruction and unrest. Smells of perfume, laundry detergent, lipstick and women’s shampoo are forced across the city to excite the visitors [men more than women].
Large pits and pools located across the hilly terrain of the city are filled with soft objects [cushions, mattresses, duvet covers, ball pits, stuffed animals, etc.] are designed for both sexes to grab each other in the ultimate places to have sex [almost resembling padded solitary confinement cells] Long queues are always seen for each pit [like public pools and roller coasters]. Among other facilities are giant love trampolines, sex cinema multiplexes and a pavilion for exploring virtual women innovations [of course, many of them have become run down due to the ‘over-excitement!’]
Many of the long-term visitors are dressed in bright, white and seducing soft clothes [regulation by the city council], whilst cycling is the only form of transport allowed, giving way to the freedom of cycling across the hilly city terrain through the many bumps, ramps, platforms and levels you would normally find in skating parks – the cycling paths are designated by a yellow border on either side. There are even convenient curving slide paths for cycling or just sliding down [metal chutes] between the different skyscrapers/structures.
Among the shops and restaurants spread across different platforms through the city are exotic food markets, French, Italian and Japanese restaurants, cosmetics and clothes stores [exaggerated colours] that stretch for miles across several floors, and the Love Hotel industry is incredibly competitive in this city, as different hotel businesses stack on top of each other stretching the cityscape [with its juxtaposed windows and doors].
In general, of course, Love Sanctuary’s city council constantly wants to remind you that there is nothing wrong with behaving like little children again as you and your loved ones sprint through the many services the city has to offer, though the gradual wearing down of the city may make you think differently after all, on how you really should behave throughout your time on Earth!

1089 words

Bellmer: Influence Map (Moods & Environments)

Influence Map for building up Travelogue and adapting thumbnails, based upon exploration of Bellmer and his key principles/ideas/themes/concepts [e.g. visualising emotions from Google Image search results], as well as looking into context containing similar elements [e.g. Nazi Germany & Pre-Code Hollywood in 1930s]:
Exploration moods from top [changing pictures to B/W to contain ongoing dark and depressing theme, then gradually phasing towards ideas for metropolis ideas towards bottom:

1st Row - Pre-Code Hollywood; Aggression; Anger; Domestic Violence; Brain
2nd Row - Stress; Virtual Body; Solitary Confinement; Erotic; Desire
3rd Row - Aryan Girl Propaganda; League of German Girls; Pornography; Nazi Marches; Solitary Confinement
4th Row - Rag Dolls; Attirement of the Bride [Ernst]; The Elephant Celebes [Ernst]; Love Hotel
5th Row - Derelict Apartments; Cushion Pile; Girl's Bedroom; Metal Bobsled [hill terrain and pathways]
6th Row - Shanty Town; Hilly City; Clock Towers; Hilly City [curving structures, with dirty, dark inequality between structures]

Bellmer: Background Music

Pre-Code Hollywood Music in 1930s:

Warren, H. [1933] We're in the Money
Berkeley, B. & Leroy, M. [1933] Gold Diggers of 1933 [Warner Bros.]

Bellmer: Chapter Headings

TAYLOR, S. [2000] Hans Bellmer: The Anatomy of Anxiety. Cambridge: MIT
Fetishism & the First Doll
The Self-Proclaimed Oedipal Son
An Iconography of the Nursery
Uncanny Automata
Sadomasochism, Castration Anxiety, & the Ball-Jointed Doll
Doll Games: Pleasure in Pain
Pseudo-rationality & the Virtual Body
Mechanical Metaphors in the Service of Symmetry
Transgression, Pornography, Scoptophilia
Bellmer Illustrates Bataille
Loving & Loathing the Father
The Resort to Perversion

LICHTENSTEIN, T. [2001] Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer. Berkeley: University of California
The World is a Scandal
Reconfiguring the Body: Anagrams of Anatomy
The Hermaphrodite in Me
The Hysterical Body
Return to the Enchanted Garden of Childhood

Georges Bataille [France] – intellectual and literary figure; literature, anthropology, philosophy, economics, sociology, art history; eroticism, sovereignty and transgression at core of his writings
Castration – to weaken somebody/something
Hermaphrodite – Person who has both sexes
Nursery – child’s bedroom or playroom in house
Oedipus – tragic figure in Greek mythology; unwittingly killed his father and married his mother
Perversion – Unusual sexual practice
Sadomasochism – gaining of sexual gratification by alternately or simultaneously enduring pain to somebody else, or the acts that produce such gratification
Transgression – Disobedience

Monday, 2 November 2015

Bellmer: Metropolis Composition Ideas

Google Image Search results [reference shots] - one particular structure in foreground or at particular vanishing point location, whilst other structures surround main focus of shot:

Mobile camera pictures - surrounding area of Dolphin House student accommodation at Rochester:
Really intrigued by plain land dominated by new concrete, steel and brick, futuristic-shaped lampposts and taken at fog in distance, could suggest increasing nervousness of what any large structure may be hiding in that distance:

Bellmer: The Sculpture Diaries [2009]

Januszczak, W. [2009] The Sculpture Diaries. Channel 4 [three-part series]

Bellmer: Pre-Code Hollywood & Screen Goddesses [1930s]

Suggestive erotic fantasy and sexual excitement, in 1930s Hollywood:
Publicity photo: Safe in Hell [1931] – William Wellman [USA]
“Films made in the Pre-Code era frequently presented people in sexually suggestive or provocative situations, and did not hesitate to display women in [revealing] attire.

Promotional photo: Joan Blondell [USA] – 1932
“This […] promotional photo […] was later banned under the then-unenforceable Motion Picture Production Code”

Publicity photo: The Greeks Had a Word for Them [1932] – Lowell Sherman [USA]
“Publicity photos like this […], with a women posing suggestively in her nightgown on a bed, provoked outrage among civic leaders”
"Pre-Code Hollywood refers to the brief era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound pictures in 1929 and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines in 1934, usually labelled, albeit inaccurately, as the "Hays Code". Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor and it did not become rigorously enforced until 1934, with the establishment of the PCA.
As a result, films in the late 1920s and early 1930s included sexual innuendo, miscegenation, profanity, illegal drug use, promiscuity, prostitution, infidelity, abortion, intense violence, and homosexuality. Strong female characters were [omnipresent], in such films as Female [1933, Michael Curtiz], Baby Face [1933, Alfred Green], and Red-Headed Woman [1932, Jack Conway]. Gangsters in films like The Public Enemy [1931, William Wellman], Little Caesar [1931, Mervyn LeRoy], and Scarface [1932, Howard Hawks] were seen by many as heroic rather than evil. Along with featuring stronger female characters, films examined female subject matters that would not be revisited until decades later in American films. [Evil] characters were seen to profit from their deeds, in some cases without significant [consequences], and drug use was a topic of several films. "

The Public Enemy [1931] – William Wellman [USA] – Pre-Code
Freaks [1932] – Tod Browning [USA] – Pre-Code
Grand Hotel [1932] – Edmund Goulding [UK] – Pre-Code
Shanghai Express [1932] – Josef von Sternberg [Austria] – Pre-Code
Trouble in Paradise [1932] – Ernst Lubitsch [Germany] – Pre-Code
L’Atalante [1934] – Jean Vigo [France] – French Poetic Realism
Cinema: The Whole Story

1930-39 - Screen Goddesses [P112-13]:
When Belgian director Harry Kumel was preparing his cult vampire movie Daughters of Darkness [1971], he told his leading actress Delphine Seyrig that he wanted her to look like a Hollywood star of the 1930s‘because they are immortal’. It was [a wise] observation. Stars such as Greta Garbo [Sweden], Merlene Dietrich [Germany], Joan Crawford [USA], Bette Davis [USA], Vivien Leigh [British India] and Katherine Hepburn [USA] have a timeless quality that few actors of later generations could match.
Behind the scenes, publicity departments played a crucial part in the creation of magnetic screen goddesses. MGM, under legendary boss of the 1930s Irving Thalberg, liked to boast that the studio had ‘more stars than there are in heaven’. These stars were pampered and highly paid but had little control over their careers. ‘We told stars what to say, and they did what we said because they knew we knew best,’ Howard Strickling, the studio’s hard-driving publicity head, later claimed. The screen goddesses were locked into draconian contacts. Strickling and his team policed every aspect of their lives, burying scandals, forging the stars’ signatures on publicity pictures and even brokering their marriages.
KEMP, P. [general editor] [2011] Cinema: The Whole Story. London: Thames & Hudson 

Bellmer: Dadaism

Destruction; liberation; unconscious; chance; nonsense; ready-mades; anti-bourgeois; nihilistic; witty
Post-World War I; French: "hobby-horse"; all received moral, political and aesthetic beliefs had been destroyed by war; destructive, irreverent and liberating approach to art; gave way to Surrealism in mid-1920s; "new reality"; shock; shaking society out of nationalism and materialism which had led to carnage of WWI, Duchamp, Picabia, Ray, Ernst, Schwitters

Bellmer: Nazi Germany

 "Racism, especially anti-Semitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples (the Nordic race) were considered the purest of the Aryan race, and were therefore the master race. Millions of Jews and others deemed undesirable were persecuted and murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitler's rule was ruthlessly suppressed. Members of the liberal, socialist, and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were also oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned. Education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage. Propaganda minister Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler's hypnotising oratory to control public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others."

Nazi Germany -

"The Nazis had clear ideas of what they wanted from women. Women were expected to stay at home and look after the family. Women doctors, teachers and civil servants were forced to give up their careers. Even at the end of the war, women were never asked to serve in the armed forces. Their job was to keep the home nice for their husband and family - their life should revolve round the three 'Ks': Children, Church and Kitchen. Goebbels said: “The mission of women is to be beautiful and to bring children to the world."
Women were supposed to emulate traditional German peasant fashions - plain peasant costumes, hair in plaits or buns and flat shoes. They were not expected to wear make-up or trousers, dye their hair or smoke in public."

Women in the Nazi State -

Bellmer: Reference Keywords

Life-size pubescent [youthful] dolls; sexualised images of female body - distorted, dismembered or menaced in sinister scenarios; erotomania; revenge; suffering; safety of womb; avant-garde; continuous rebellion against despised father; castration anxiety; unconscious sense of guilt.
Surrealists' fascination for dolls and machines resembling humans; rejecting Nazi's Aryan ideals; disturbing dolls from wax, wood, flax, plaster and glue; fetishistic; erotic obsessions; Freudian; psychoanalysis; hysteria; singular exploration in relationship between language and body.
Mass of limbs and organic forms; in danger of toppling over; many layers of pastry; disturbing; erotically charged; disembodied parts of children's dolls.
Draughtsman; painter; constructor of dolls; etcher; lithographer; erotic fantasy; 'artificial girls'; erotic variations of human body

Paris; Dadaism; exploration of everything irrational and subversive in art; spiritualism; Freud; psychoanalysis; Marxism; 'automatic'; emerging directly from unconscious without being shaped by reason, morality, or aesthetic judgements; strove to undermine most accepted truths and conventions; juxtaposition; destruction; eroticism; Dali & Ernst: all attention to detail of Realist paintings.

Max Ernst [Germany] - Attirement of the Bride [1940]
Rene Magritte [France] - Voice of the Space [1931]
Ernst - The Elephant Celebes [1921]

PHAIDON (1996) The 20th Century Art Book. London: Phaidon
SEMFF, M. & SPIRA, A. (2006) Hans Bellmer. Stuttgart: Hatje Cantz
TAYLOR, S. (2000) Hans Bellmer: The Anatomy of Anxiety. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bellmer: Angle Thumbnails (6-23)

Angle thumbnails:

Final-decided metropolis shot - cramped/tight/narrow/tall city in centre of desert plain:
Figuring out composition and shot of metropolis scene so I can already know what it is I'm working towards:

Bellmer: Silhouettes (future exploration)

Silhouettes lassoed in PS from collected Bellmer artworks - dolls and drawings:

Friday, 30 October 2015

Character Animation: Bouncing Ball

Bouncing Ball - Flash:

Bouncing Ball & Supporting Ball connected by String - Flash:

Bouncing ball exercise in Flash - in order to understand foundations of character animation:
Key steps to building exercise - Action, Motion Path, Timing, Stretching, Weight, etc. - reminder to explore deeper into Preston Blair's Cartoon Animation book:
Being mathematically balanced - drawing initial studies in Flash at first, centre and end frame, then building up in between [need to cut jargon and produce the most important components first, rather than exploring beyond key ideas in face of project and time management].
Building ground and drawing straight line to be aware of solid barriers and straight angle/directions
Reminder: Slow-More-Narrower, Fast-Less-Wider [realising need to improve smooth varying speeds when creating Morph exercise - Robin-Strawberry-Ant].
Surprisingly dynamic result of first bouncing ball, especially when observing accidental cross shape revolving around ball, as if drawing dismembered head being bounced up and down - really like seeing sketchy and therefore energetic outcome.
Then drawing supporting bouncing ball connecting to first ball by string, exploring and understanding weight, as now red ball's stronger yet still rubber-like weight pulls string and second ball down with force - building blocks of character and creature design.

Shown clips from Ratatouille [Pixar, 2007] and Tarzan [Disney, 1999], exploring character posture and movement - e.g. Remy the rat seems to have almost no neck, and his body may simply be sack full of sand, ducking his head forward as if he had been used to crawling under cramped places almost all of this life, whilst Tarzan seems to incorporate animal movements and gymnastics [take notice of practically everything - Old Masters statues, Olympic sports [involving whole of human body], London Zoo, musical theatre acting, etc.]
Discovering Living Lines Library, collections of pencil tests, production art and other studio work from animated features such as Ratatouille and Tarzan [even concept art from some feature films more interesting  to look at than final products themselves] -

Ratatouille [Pixar, 2007] - Remy character designs [almost no neck, both head and body seems to flow together in curving-sack posture]:

Ratatouille [Pixar, 2007] - climbing and running postures [e.g. cooking pot scene], nose always lurching forward, dragging rest of body [studying animal anatomy]:

Practicing lurching-forward postures in notebook [e.g. Remy]:

Tarzan [Walt Disney, 1999] - postures and movements probably influenced by zoo animals an Olympic sports, etc. [e.g. "rollerskating through Coke cans"]:

Tarzan [Walt Disney, 1999] - cramped, elastic and dynamic postures, as if you can see influences from Old Masters statues [Michelangelo, etc.]:

Tarzan-inspired gymnastic-athletic running postures, with use of simplistic shapes [e.g. Barcelona 1992 logo] - depicting thick, white, heavenly clothes, perhaps [MGM musical costume design, etc.]:

Illustrator: Importing Logo Design to After Effects

Resizing favourite of past RHS logo designs created in Illustrator (style of 1970s, Dutch, Brutalism, etc.), updating its colours and exporting to After Effects to explore and experiment with motion graphics, computer animation, etc. Software quite similar to other Adobe softwares, cross between Photoshop layers and video editing software (be able to realise the possibilities!). Adding points at different sections of timeline for changes in components' movement and direction - e.g. growing in size from far corners of A4-size screen. Really like presentation turnout and hope to improve graphic design and motion graphics abilities in future:

Adobe After Effects - digital visual effects, motion graphics, compositing application, used in post-production process of filmmaking, keying, tracking, rotoscoping, computer animation
Reminder: UCA &, professional video tutorials by professionals, take advantage of university resources as student.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Bellmer Metropolis: Thumbnails 1-5

Thumbnail 1:
Wanting to simply throw down ideas as soon as possible:
Playing with Word Stacks (continuous writing without letting go of pencil on paper, exploring descriptions of Bellmer's works and how I can incorporate some of these elements into my own metropolis) - resulting curving, bumpy and etchy collection of buildings below with nipple-shaped circles/holes [need to refer back to original words written in case losing direction later in project]

Thumbnail 2:
Exploring ideas for centrepiece of metropolis mise-en-scene - "Exterior Shell is the keyword!"
Transport/rail/bicycle interchange structure in shape of flowing female body parts, especially biceps and thighs [erotic exploration of female body]
Thumbnail 3:
Quick marker pen and pencil studies, exploring blob/curve structures and drawing features inside - breast nipples, bruises, etchings, blood stains, blood veins, etc.

Thumbnail 4:
Word Stack with Tate's description of Bellmer, using words highlighted in bold in blog post to produce response study - varying curve-related shapes relating to female body:

Thumbnail 5:
Word Stack with The 20th Century Art Book's description of Bellmer's A Thousand Girls - reminder to produce emotion board reminding myself of emotions to capture - aggression, anger, excitement, blood veins, etc.:

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Life Drawing: Day of the Dead (Mexico)

Designed to create personal experiments and see what works best for future drawing sessions:
Choice of Day of the Dead theme not only because holiday is near, but great opportunity to explore colour as well as shape, form and composition, said by Vicky, though I felt colour would really get in way of my ongoing practicing and learning of drawing more believable and flowing body composition. Some problems I still want to overcome - accidental foreshortening/widening of body, forcing to draw smaller, balancing body detail and overall action line, etc.
One aspect I have started to discover is that I should not longer feel the urge to draw the head at the top first (observing other people's works) - torso/shoulders/arms really are among most important body components (plus action line), capturing overall motion, and head should be added later (don't simply draw from top to bottom, look at Mattesi and Williams books again):

Floral bride on multi-coloured set next to decorated skeleton:
Exploring shape, composition and shading, ending up putting more focus on centre woman rather than surroundings, but really enjoy trailing through dress creases, arm postures, etc.:
Close-up of multi-coloured set design:

Motion-tracking studies (from three minutes to 30 seconds) - dancing postures to Mexican folk music, holding skull mask in one hand and fan in other:
Example of capturing energy of model in motion - life studies for main character in Sleeping Beauty (1959), Marc Davis, Disney Studios
Eventually did not care that much about initial problem of making studies too big so having to quickly change papers at irrelevant times - really like energetic drawing at large scale, as paper size does encourage me to so in first place: 

Motion-tracking studies:
Motion-tracking studies:
Motion-tracking studies - 30 seconds for each pose:
Light box and acetate paper of colourful patterns to contribute to sitting model heavy on light contrast:
Thirty-minute model (focusing solely on her, rather than standing surroundings) - quite pleased with turnout, though was trying really hard not to fall into trap of foreshortening or widening body, really wanted to pay attention to shape and shading, and successful at erasing wider shapes not needed in final product (learning to use more often):