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):

Bellmer: Surrealism

"Surrealism was founded in Paris, in 1924, by the poet Andre Breton [1896-1966, France] and continued Dadaism’s exploration of everything irrational and subversive in art. Surrealism was more explicitly preoccupied with spiritualism, Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxism than Dadaism was. It aimed to create art which was ‘automatic’, meaning that it had emerged directly from the unconscious without being shaped by reason, morality or aesthetic judgements."

Key artists:
Paul Klee – 1879-1940, Switzerland
Max Ernst – 1891-1976, Germany
Joan Miro – 1893-1983, Spain
Alberto Giacometti - 1901-66, Switzerland
Salvador Dali – 1904-89, Spain
Frida Kahlo – 1907-54, Mexico

Keywords – Unconscious, irrational, dreams, automatism, juxtaposition, destruction, eroticism

Little, S. (2004) Isms: Understanding Art. London: Herbert – P118

Bellmer: Taylor & Hatje Cantz

Inside Flap:
“Bellmer, best known for his life-size pubescent [youthful] dolls, devoted an artistic lifetime to creating sexualised images of the female body – distorted, dismembered, or menaced in sinister scenarios. In this book, Taylor draws on psychoanalytic theory to suggest why Bellmer was so driven by erotomania as well as desire for revenge, suffering, and the safety of the womb. Although he styled himself as the quintessential [typical] Oedipal son, an avant-garde artist in perpetual [continuous] rebellion against a despised father, Taylor contends that his filial [loving] attitude was more complex than he could consciously allow. Tracing a repressed homoerotic attachment to his father, castration anxiety, and an unconscious sense of guilt, Taylor proposes that a feminine identification informs all the disquieting aspects of Bellmer’s art.”

TAYLOR, S. (2000) Hans Bellmer: The Anatomy of Anxiety. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Inside Flap:
“The Surrealists’ fascination for dolls and machines resembling humans is especially evident in the work of Bellmer. Rejecting the Nazi’s Aryan ideals, the artist began creating disturbing dolls from wax, wood, flax, plaster and glue in 1933. Photographs of these fetishistic objects were published in Minotaure, the Surrealists’ magazine, and Bellmer’s efforts were eagerly supported by members of Andre Breton’s circle. After emigrating to Paris, Bellmer further developed his erotic obsessions, influenced by the writings of Marquis de Sade and Georges Bastille, and it was there that he collaborated with his companion, the German artist Unica Zurn. Deeply involved in Freudian discourse, his drawings, lithographs and photographs investigate psychoanalytical theories around hysteria and transference, and reveal a singular exploration in the relationship between language and body.”

SEMFF, M. & SPIRA, A. (2006) Hans Bellmer. Stuttgart: Hatje Cantz

The 20th Century Art Book: Bellmer

Bellmer, H. (1939) A Thousand Girls (oil on board) (Private collection)

"The shape of a woman emerges from a mass of limbs and organic forms resembling fruit or vegetables. Her hair is piled on top of her head, and seems to be composed of pears and pumpkins. The whole arrangement appears to be in danger of toppling over, but it is pinned in place by the scaffolding-like structure in the background. The original French title is Mille Filles, which translates literally as A Thousand Girls, but it may also be a pun on the famous French cake, mille-feuille, which is made up of many layers of pastry. The work makes a clear allusion to the bizarre paintings of the 16th-century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526/27-93, Italy), who composed paintings of human anatomy out of organic matter such as vegetables and fruit.
Fascinated by the work of the Surrealists, Bellmer moved from his native Poland to Paris in 1938 where he became a leading figure in the group. He is best known for his disturbing, erotically charged constructions made out of the disembodied parts of children’s dolls."

Phaidon (1996) The 20th Century Art Book. London: Phaidon – P38

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

What If? Metropolis Research - Hans Bellmer (1902-75, Germany):

Photography, painting, sculpture:

Main tagline - known for life-size pubescent female dolls, produced in mid-1930s, Surrealist artist (Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, etc.) -

Draughtsman, painter, constructor of dolls, etcher, lithographer and writer, deeply involved with erotic fantasy. Obliged by his father to study engineering at the Berlin Polytechnic 1922-24, but became friendly with the painters George Grosz [Germany] and Otto Dix [Germany]. Abandoned his studies and began to work as typographer and book-binder, then as industrial draughtsman in an advertising agency.
Gave up all activity useful to the State after the rise to power of the Nazis in 1933 and began to construct 'artificial girls'; published Die Puppe 1934. Fled to Paris in 1938, in contact with the Surrealists. Drawings and paintings full of erotic variations on the female body, including illustrations for the poems of Georges Hugnet [France]. 
Lived in the Midi 1942-46, where he had his first one-man exhibition at the Librairie Silvio Trentin, Toulouse, in 1944, then returned to Paris. Published Les Jeux de la Poupee [1949], L'Anatomie de l'Image [1957]. Major retrospective exhibition at the Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, 1971-196072. Died in Paris.

First impressions when observing Bellmer's outrageous work and artist's background: blow-up dolls, fetishism, exaggerating body organs, buildings made out of female body parts, 1960s sexual revolution (ahead of his time?), 1960s sexual cinema (Blowup, The Graduate, Last Tango in Paris, etc.), sexualisation in manga, interacting with virtual sexual women, pornography, fat cartoon ladies, Manic Street Preachers album cover (Jenny Saville), Lucien Freud life paintings, Michelangelo life studies and statues of women, slimy body parts (e.g. H.R. Geiger & Alien), Egon Schiele crouched postures, baby statue in Spain pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai, Body Pavilion at Millennium Dome, Anthony Gormley's Angel of the North, image-searching examples of body/human architecture:

Future reference:
  • Browsing 20th Century Art Book (Phaidon), exploring other artists experimenting/playing around with sexualising female bodies (intentional or not): Archipenko, Bacon, Boccioni, Bonard, Delauney, Dix, Fischl, Freud, Gargallo, Hanson, Hayter, Knizak, Kollwitz, Laurencin, Phalle, Schiele, Sherman, Sickert, Spencer, Wilke
  • The Art Book (Phaidon) - Archipenko, Bellini, Bronzino, Cassatt, Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska, Laurencin, Moore, Richter, Schiele, Sherman
  • Look at life drawing studies featured in Michael Mattesi (Force Character) and Richard Williams (Animator's Survival Kit)

Monday, 26 October 2015

Maya: Digital Sets - Modelling

Modelling digital set from scratch for first time - discovering modelling components 'in mid-air' by judging dimensions from front, side and bottom:
Boston, 1858 (James Buchanan) - ideally advancing from loose concept art and becoming more technical and realistic (e.g. Boston street like theatre design, exhibition design, game map, etc.) - ability to grab by the hands both imagination and logic effectively:

Front view of Boston Street:
Lamp post, archway, crates and window - all to be made from cubes, whether distorted or not:

 Side view:

Top view - ideal street corner partially covered by archway:

Placing image planes in different dimensions, then dimming their lighting to pay close attention to 3D modelling:

Creating primitive cube, changing its pivot, highlighting its vertices to stretch box towards wall at back, before deleting some of its faces to set basics of wall corner:

Carving with edge tool to draw out separate window, plus ability to make three planes invisible to see how convincing and believable digital set is so far:

When first pressing key 3, wall corner collapses on itself very easily (porthole window in spacecraft), as not much support, so adding more horizontal and vertical lines with edge tool throughout component, as well as pushing little out to draw windowsill, to create stronger-looking wall corner when refined:

Boston street corner so far: