Tuesday, 10 November 2009


















6 comments:

  1. Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

    Hi Benga,

    Okay - regarding your proposed concept sketches; I can't help feeling that you could explore scale and landscape more; your images somehow don't seem expansive enough, nor do they put the viewer inside the environment; I think you need to approach things in a more stylised and theatrical way; can I suggest you take a look at Alex's blog at http://anwmn.blogspot.com/ - notice his strong use of light and shadow, and also the submerged 'otherworldly' quality. I'd like to see you open out the borders of your drawings and take in more of an epic 'establishing shot' style view; with the underwater environments you have a golden opportunity to work more impressionistically - you do seem very restricted to 'colouring in' your pencil drawings. During your technical class with Phill Hosking, I want you to discuss with him ways to create depth, blur and lighting effects WITHOUT defaulting to drawing in pencil first - let the techniques and character of the graphics tablet drive your vsualisation a little more; I find your thumbnail sketches very two dimensional - check out Ruben's thumbnails at http://rubensblogpage.blogspot.com/ for some nice examples.

    See second comment for general advice re. the written assignment.

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  2. Written Assignment stuff…

    Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

    “Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
    Read more: http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Production-Design.html#ixzz0WRjZ6wTX


    You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
    IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

    AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief précis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

    Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!

    http://www.filmreference.com/
    http://www.imdb.com
    http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/
    http://www.screenjabber.com/
    http://www.empireonline.com/
    http://www.metacritic.com/
    http://www.totalfilm.com/
    http://www.channel4.com/film/
    http://movies.nytimes.com/ref/movies/reviews/

    WORD COUNT!

    The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what I want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

    Good Luck! ☺

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  3. Hey there Benga
    in regards to what Phil has said, I shall go into a bit more detail as to what you should have in your blog by now.
    1.An analysis of the 3 scenes you are illustrating with sketches and annotations.

    2. Research into the genre and examples of how others have tackled this subject.

    3. Numerous thumbnail drawings, sketches and notes.

    4. Visual research to identify and justify the "Look" of your universe.

    5. Preliminary drawings that are starting to focus your research and experimentation to a starting point for your 3 final images.

    Ideally this needs to done and up ASAP.... Remember scan don't photograph sketchbook pages and reference material.

    I think that the images that you have produced so far are rather similiar and representative of the sea bed in general rather than the universe inhabited by Nemo, at this point Phil would mention theatrics (again), bring on the drama, the scale and the atmosphere taht the text evokes.

    I think that experimenting with light and its reaction with water might help, remember Phil H's painting lessons as well start bold and loose then refine.

    Hope that helps as a checklist.

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  4. ... about the perception essay; as I haven't been involved, I can't necessarily appease all your (and others) confusion. However, I do have some very basic advice for you;

    Go back to the brief: below the essay question itself you will find the 'assessment criteria' - unfortunately, I couldn't get hold of an actual copy of the brief - otherwise I would copy/paste the exact requirements, but my point is simply this; use the 'assessment criteria' as cited in the brief to guide and formulate your response.

    So, if memory serves, the first criteria asks you to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the principles of perception; therefore, to begin your essay, you should reflect your understanding of the key ideas as covered in the lecture series - Gestalt theory, semiotics etc - a general statement regarding how our relationship to the world and meanings has been discussed in theoretical terms.

    The next criteria is all about APPLYING that understanding; so, what I therefore suggest is, out of the various theories/principles, you select one/some to develop further and apply them to something; if you were to select semiotics, before you could apply it, you would first have to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject itself - whose idea was it, where did it come from, and what does it 'do' - then, once you've defined Semiotics, apply it - my advice would be to apply it to something 'simple' first - because when you apply it to something simple, what is 'complex' about how our perceptions of it are formed is made very obvious; the example I've used is the traffic light - green = go/ red = stop. Of course, red and green don't equal anything - their significance is entirely cultural and created. Then, once you've applied it to something simple, you are in a position to move onto something more complex.

    The way to succeed in this essay is for you to define the limits of your own enquiry - don't let the whole weight of perceptual theory lead your essay, make the essay lead perceptual theory.

    The other assessment criteria is about 'academic style' in the writing of the essay itself, which is something we've all talked about before - that is, finding a formal 'voice' with which to express yourself and observing the Harvard Method for quotes and citations,

    I know what the essay question says (or doesn't say!), but basically you are being asked to use your knowledge of perceptual theory to 'unlock' an existing image, object or sign. If you're doing that, you're doing okay.

    Golden Rule - when in doubt, use the assessment criteria as your guide!

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  5. Okay – just a few important reminders for week 10…

    1) !IMPORTANT! Hand-in for Perception essay is Monday 23rd November (Tomorrow!) between 10am and 12pm at the Design Office (Jackie’s office on Lower 4th – just up from the CG Arts Baseroom). Ensure you complete the plagiarism form; if you’ve misplaced it, ask Jackie for a new copy and attach to your essay.
    2) Your crit on Friday starts at 9am in Lecture Theatre 1; we will be reversing the register order – so we’ll be starting with Simon Watts, then Richard etc. There will be a named folder on the Lecture Theatre 1 computer: as soon as you arrive please copy your 3 finished scenes into the folder in readiness for your presentation.
    3) All Maya exercises should be completed for Friday morning so Alan can assess them while you are in your crit.
    4) Upload to your blogs your 3 final concept paintings plus a minimum of 5 preparatory studies for each painting that demonstrate clearly your comprehension of the source material and the representation of space. Your supporting research into source material and for written assignment. All drawings from life-drawing classes. Your modeling & UV layout tasks, lighting & rendering tasks, and first digital set as specified in your technical classes.
    5) Please can you ensure that you have a printed copy of your essay to submit in addition to the digital file on your submission disc.
    6) Also – please ensure you copy 3 scenes and essay file into named folder on computer in baseroom by the end of the submission day.
    7) Good luck! Have a great final week – work hard, be amazing, be successful! I genuinely look forward to seeing your work ☺

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  6. A clarification; Alan WON"T be looking at students' Maya work until Monday of next week, which means you have the weekend to complete your various exercises. I know Alan has spoken with the class about this already - so I'm just confirming it from an assessment point of view. I'll do my best to post this message on everyone's blog, but if you could spread the word, I'd be grateful. Cheers!

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