Friday, 29 January 2016

Adaptation B - 'Sound Collector' Character Exploration


So far I've been looking at other characters and animals that share traits with the description of the sound collector. I have looked at characters like Roald Dahl's B.F.G, and the grim reaper as it is the most prolific cloaked character. I have also looked at animals that have particularly strong hearing, like rats and owls.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Adaptation A - Possible Infographic Backing Track(s)

There are two music tracks that stand out to me after searching through numerous 'royalty free' music sites. I am more inclined to use the first track currently but I don't yet want to reject the second track as it could still be useful.

1: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/the-elevator-bossa-nova

2: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Robodub/Handmade_Dub/Robodub_-_dub04

Adaptation A - 'Handwritten' Flash Intro




This Intro sequence may be changed but this is pretty much what I think will work best for the beginning of my infographic.

P.S. Yes, it is meant to look that bad.

Maya Tutorial - Volume Emitters


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mudbox - Session 3

I enjoyed this session and it was definitely a lot trickier than previous tasks. I had a few issues with the program which slowed my progress down but other than that I am pleased with the final result.
 
Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

Adaptation B - Initial Ideas and Research

For Adaptation B I am adapting the poem 'The Sound Collector ' by Roger McGough. My intention is to design the character of the poem and create an animation of the poem.

Below is the link to the poem on poemhunter.com:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-sound-collector/

Possible character Ideas:
-A deaf animal or human, they cannot hear anything so they collect sounds. A lot of potential reasons for this.

-As the poem specifically mentions a stranger dressed all in black and grey, it would likely be best to pursue a human character.

-Animal idea, an animal with a strong sense of hearing. An owl or a rat may create an interesting character.
http://largestfastestsmartest.co.uk/animals-with-the-best-sense-of-hearing-in-the-world/
https://www.thedodo.com/10-animals-with-amazing-hearing-1130711602.html


Monday, 25 January 2016

Film Review - Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006)


Fig 1. Paprika Film Cover.

The film Paprika, when broken down to its simplest themes, is about dreams and the power they hold over the human mind. The main plot for the film revolves around a new and unfinished technology that is stolen by an unidentified thief. The technology is called the 'DC Mini', a handheld device that allows the user to enter other peoples dreams (See Fig 2).


Fig 2. DC Mini.

Paprika is a complex film due to a number of factors. One in particular is its number of separate character stories. Some of the characters have weak connections to the main plot for a time and seem to be pulled into the larger story simply because of their proximity to it. As such the first half of the film can appear to be a whirlwind of information, that can complicate the viewers understanding if they are not prepared to watch at a faster pace.

This is not necessarily a bad thing however, as all of the main characters have both diverse and interesting stories attached to them. While some parts of the narrative can be somewhat disjointed, this is in some way reflective of the characters own problems when figuring out when they are awake and when they are asleep. The bizarre nature of the narrative is shown well and the style of the animation adds greatly to the experience.

Overall, it is best explained as a peculiar story that is beautifully animated but not without flaws, although many of the flaws are subjective.

★★★

Illustration List
Kon, S (2006) Figure 1. Paprika Film Cover. http://quinlan.it/upload/images/2006/09/paprika-2006-satoshi-kon-poster.jpg (Accessed on 22/01/16)

Kon, S (2006) Figure 2. DC Mini. http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa288/reversethieves/show%20images/paprika/Picture1-1.png (Accessed on 25/01/16)

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Adaptation A - Script V2

In this version of the script I have refined some of my steps and worked out the transitions between each step in preparation for making the storyboard. 

Adaptation A – ’10 Steps to Becoming Less of a Burden on Society’

Script 2.0

Title Page:
10 Steps to Becoming Less of a Burden on Society
Note: Title is drawn onto the screen, in a rough way but still easily readable.

Transition - Title moves off-screen or fades.
Screen zooms out to reveal a TV set on standby.

Step 1:
Turn off the standby light on your television.
You are wasting over £80 a year leaving all of your appliances on standby. The average television still uses 10% of its energy when on standby.

Transition - Standby light turns off, screen goes dark.
Multiple plastic bags drop from the top and pile up at the bottom.

Step 2:
Stop using plastic bags.
They are not biodegradable and they end up in places that cause damage to the environment and its wildlife.

Transition - Reusable bag moves off screen to the left.
Empty dinner plate moves onto the screen from opposite direction.

Step 3:
Eat less meat.
You will be significantly improving your own health by eating more greens than meats. It will also make you a healthier, happier worker.

Transition - Hand comes in from left and grabs full plate, pulls it off screen.
Pipe(s) come onto the screen and an on/off switch, then water begins to pour down from the top to bottom of the screen.

Step 4:
Take shorter showers.
If you shower every day, you could save around 3650 gallons a year by reducing your time in the shower by 4 minutes. That’s a lot of water.

Transition - Hand comes in from left and turns the shower off, then the pipe(s) exit the screen as they entered.
 An envelope with ‘overdue’ stamped on the front enters the screen from the top. It opens and a letter comes out, the envelope drops and the letter is centred.

Step 5:
Don’t take out loans you know you can’t pay back.
They will build up and you will have wasted precious time and money.

Transition - Many envelopes drop from the top, obscuring the letter on screen and clearing the screen.
A desk is revealed behind the letters, an ‘employee’ drops from the top to behind the desk and is giving a ‘thumbs up’.

Step 6:
Be Happy.
Be content with where you are in society, your job is important in sustaining a healthy community.

Transition - Government building (parliament) falls and lands on the employee (shadow forms under employee building up to this).
Same figure rises and pushes (supports) the government building with hands above head.

Step 7:
Support your Government.
Your government works hard to keep you happy and healthy, be sure to support them whenever and wherever you can.

Transition - Figure stays still, building moves up and out of view quickly.
Two baskets/bags drop down and the figure catches them (arms still above head), then products rain from the top and fall into the baskets/bags.

Step 8:
Consume.
Buy regularly from your local businesses and enjoy their premium products.

Transition - Figure and the baskets move downward off of the screen.
Next an image of a figure painting onto an easel rises up from the bottom of the screen to the same position. Partway through step 9 the easel gets knocked off-screen by a blackboard, showing the figure writing an equation or doing a lecture (shown as a better job). Note: Perhaps change the figure slightly at the transition between easel and blackboard, he is slouched and brooding when painting but when it changes, he is slightly straighter/more positive.

Step 9:
Contribute to the system.
Instead of doing something ‘creative’ like studying art, you could apply to get a real paying job.

Transition - Figure turns around from the blackboard, notes on blackboard become the 10 steps and the title of the infographic.

Step 10:
Be a model citizen. Show your friends and family all you have learned here and teach them the correct way to behave and fit in.


End screen - Zooms into blackboard on screen, notes on blackboard become the credits (or the credits roll after the screen is completely black).

Adaptation A - Script V1

Below is my initial script, I forgot to upload this earlier. I am currently working on the slide transitions for this script and the storyboard.

Adaptation A – ’10 Steps to Becoming Less of a Burden on Society’

Script 1.0

Title Page:
10 Steps to Becoming Less of a Burden on Society

Step 1
Turn off the standby light on your television.
You are wasting over £80 a year leaving all of your appliances on standby. The average television still uses 10% of its energy when on standby.


Step 2
Stop using plastic bags.
They are not biodegradable and they end up in places that cause damage to the environment and its wildlife.

Step 3
Eat less meat.
You will be significantly improving your own health by eating more greens than meats. It will also make you a healthier, happier worker.

Step 4
Take shorter showers.
If you shower every day, you could save around 3650 gallons a year by reducing your time in the shower by 4 minutes. That’s a lot of water.

Step 5
Don’t take out loans you know you can’t pay back. (MAY NEED MORE WORK)

Step 6
Be Happy.
Be content with where you are in society, your job is important in sustaining a healthy community.

Step 7
Support your Government.
Your government works hard to keep you happy and healthy, be sure to support them whenever and wherever you can. (COULD TWEAK WORDING SLIGHTLY)

Step 8
Consume.
Buy regularly from your local businesses and enjoy their premium products (MAY NEED MORE WORK)

Step 9
Don’t Waste Your Time.
Instead of doing something ‘creative’ like studying art, you could apply to get a real paying job.

Step 10
Be a model citizen. (MAY NEED MORE WORK)



Other ideas

Narrator running out of ideas towards the end, becomes more rushed?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Mudbox - Session 2

This mudbox session was really useful, I already feel like I'm getting the hang of using the software.

Film Review - Mary and Max (Adam Elliot, 2009)

http://www.yourfaceisa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MaryAndMax.jpg
Fig 1. Mary and Max Poster.

Mary and Max is a true story of two unlikely pen pals, told through stop motion animation. The entire film consists of mostly their letters to each other and how those letters change as they grow older. The film regularly switches between a small town in Australia where Mary lives and an apartment in New York City where Max lives. These two settings are presented in very different ways. New York is shown as  dark and lonely place (See Fig 1), while the Australian town is shown to be a quiet but charming place (See Fig 2).


Fig 2. New York City.

The film uses a lot of clever ideas to make a fairly simple and long winded story very engaging throughout. As it is at its heart, a story about two pen pals an ocean away, reading through letter after letter on either side would get extremely uninteresting after the first few. This issue is fixed with captivating dialogue sequences which appear to make up the majority of the film. As a result it is a truly charming part of the story and the voice actors do very well to capture the emotion in the written words.


Fig 3. Mary's House.

Despite a noticeable chunk of this film being comedic, it is truly chaotic in terms of its emotional changes and overall tone. One minute the film wants the audience to laugh, the next it shows very genuine moments of darkness in these characters lives. It is hard to tell whether this takes away from the experience or makes it all the more potent. One thing is definite however, it is hard to imagine this film telling the story any other way and still creating such a vivid experience.


★★★★☆ 
 

Illustration List
Elliot, A (2009) Figure 1. Mary and Max Poster. http://www.yourfaceisa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MaryAndMax.jpg (Accessed on 18/01/16)

Elliot, A (2009) Figure 2. New York City. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U7rhSiKQ3Os/Uvfoc1jtVjI/AAAAAAAACjM/0wmssjAfkxU/s1600/Mary+and+Max+screenshot+1920x1080+(3).jpg (Accessed on 18/01/16)

Elliot, A (2009) Figure 3. Mary's House. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cuIq3xxiiPE/Ub_wzxjTA5I/AAAAAAAACt0/TnsndIoB3i0/s1600/Mary+and+Max_1.png (Accessed on 18/01/16)

Adaptation A - Refined Style Thumbnails

After talking to Phil about finding the right style for my infographic, he directed me to the artist David Shrigley, whose style is purposefully rough and basic. His work seems to align itself quite well to my infographic, which will appear rough and slightly ignorant. After creating refined thumbnails attempting to draw my intended assets with his style, I am only more confident that it will work very well in getting the overall point across to the audience.


The next step now that I am confident in the style, is to create my script and storyboard.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Adaptation A - Refined Research for the Infographic

In preparation for writing the script for my infographic, I needed to collect some more data and statistics to back up my main points. Below I have listed the most useful sites and quotes for my 10 steps. This post is mostly just for my own reference but I felt I should upload it anyway.

1 - Turn the standby light off on your television.   
A- 'The Energy Savings Trust states that up to £80 a year is wasted in the average home due to appliances left on standby.'
http://www.uswitch.com/energy-saving/guides/standby-savers/

B- 'How much energy do household appliances use?
ApplianceWhen on (watts)Standby (watts)



TV10010'
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2057727/How-does-cost-leave-household-appliances-standby.html

C- 'Figures show that 8% of the total electricity used in our homes comes from appliances left on standby.
 Standby buttons on many appliances use up to 90% of their normal power in standby mode.
The biggest culprit is the stereo, which wastes £290m worth of energy and 1.6m tonnes of CO2 a year when left on standby. VCRs waste the second biggest amount of energy, followed by TVs, games consoles, mobile phone chargers, computer monitors, DVD players and set-top boxes.'
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2007/nov/02/pulltheplugonstandby

2 - Don't use plastic bags. 
A- 'Americans throw away almost 100 billion plastic bags every year, and only 1 percent to 3 percent are ever recycled.'
 'What’s So Bad About Plastic Bags?
Plastic bags are not biodegradable. They clog waterways, spoil the landscape, and end up in landfills where they may take 1,000 years or more to break down into ever smaller particles that continue to pollute the soil and water.'

switch to reusable shopping bags.
http://environment.about.com/od/reducingwaste/a/no_plastic_bags.htm

B- There are a lot of useful points on this website that could prove useful for the script.
http://bodyunburdened.com/stop-using-plastic-bags/


3 - Eat less meat, more vegetarian meals. 
A- Some useful points here.
http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/12-reasons-vegetarian-diet-good-idea


 http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-reasons-to-eat-more-fruits-and-vegetables

4 - Take shorter showers.  
A- 'Cutting shower time can save a surprising amount of water. Using an average number of 2.5 gallons per minute from the typical shower head, reducing your shower length by 4 minutes per day would save (assuming you shower every day, ahem) 3650 gallons per year.'
http://livinggreenandsavingenergy.com/green-tips 

5 - Avoid using water filters as they are wasteful.
A- 'Of course that is crazy, but let me put this in perspective.  A reverse osmosis system wastes about 4 gallons of water per gallon made.  If you use 3 gallons a day for drinking, cooking and internal consumption, that means you will waste about 12 gallons, making a reverse osmosis system about 25% effecient!  Is that bad?'
https://www.uswatersystems.com/blog/2011/05/is-reverse-osmosis-wasteful/


B- Seemingly has the actual facts about reverse osmosis and the pros and cons of it

http://www.allaboutwater.org/reverse-osmosis.html

6 - Know your place in society, be happy with where you are (don't aspire too high).  

7 - Let your government know what a wonderful job they're doing. They work hard to keep you happy and healthy.

8 - Limit the amount of children you have.
 A- 2 child policy in china. Is 1 or 2 children better?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-child_policy
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/nov/24/china-two-child-policy-sustainable-population

9 - Don't waste your time being creative (or studying art), do something more useful with your life.  

10 - Don't let your elderly relatives weigh you down, chuck 'em out.

A- Interesting debate here, could be useful.
http://www.debate.org/opinions/are-the-elderly-a-burden-on-society

B- More on the facts here.
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/archive/older-people-feel-a-burden-to-society/

Maya Tutorial - Particle Grids


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Maya Tutorial - Bridge High Res Modelling


Adaptation A - New Step 9 and Initial Thumbnails

As step 9 in my infographic is a bit too extreme I have decided to change it. The new step 9 I have chosen which I think will be quite successful is;

9. Don't waste your time being creative (or studying art), do something more useful with your life.

These are some initial thumbnails I have done to represent the elderly in my infographic. They are fairly simple but I wanted to get my own ideas out of the way. I have created these so that I can start to find the style for my objects and the amount of detail that will work best.


Friday, 15 January 2016

Adaptation A - Post Tutorial 15/01/16

After talking with Alan about my idea and rough step layout their were two main issues he found. The being that steps 9 and 10 were too extreme and run the risk being offensive, as such he suggested removing 9 entirely and tweaking 10 as it could be alright if not said too seriously in the infographic. The other issue he raised was that the inherent joke in the infographic might not be clear to the audience if it is not addressed properly at the beginning. It needs something in the opening seconds with the title screen that tells the audience this is not a serious infographic. After I feel that I have solved the problems I intend to begin writing a rough script in order to figure out how everything should be phrased. I will look mostly at 50's and 60's television/ advertisements in order to find the correct tone.





1 - Turn the standby light off on your television.
2 - Don't use plastic bags.
3 - Eat less meat, more vegetarian meals.
4 - Take shorter showers
5 - Avoid using water filters as they are wasteful (don't filter water)
6 - Know your place in society, be happy with where you are (don't aspire too high)
7 - Let your government know what a wonderful job they're doing, support at rallies/elections
8 - Opt into genetic testing
9 - Avoid helping the homeless (and refugees?) REMOVE AND REPLACE
10 - Don't let your elderly family members weigh you down in society (send them to our 'special' care homes, so you can removes the burdens in your life) REPHRASE


Normal and real environment facts
Slightly suspicious and non-facts
Very suspicious and completely biased

Adaptation A - Rough Step Layout

1 - Turn the standby light off on your television.
2 - Don't use plastic bags.
3 - Eat less meat, more vegetarian meals.
4 - Take shorter showers
5 - Avoid using water filters as they are wasteful (don't filter water)
6 - Know your place in society, be happy with where you are (don't aspire too high)
7 - Let your government know what a wonderful job they're doing, support at rallies/elections
8 - Opt into genetic testing
9 - Avoid helping the homeless (and refugees?)
10 - Don't let your elderly family members weigh you down in society (send them to our 'special' care homes, so you can removes the burdens in your life)

Normal and real environment facts
Slightly suspicious and non-facts
Very suspicious and completely biased

Even though the last few points are more extreme than the previous ones, the tone still remains calm and it will be phrased in careful ways to make it seem better than it is. It will still be picked up on as biased/wrong, I hope to achieve that through the careful phrasing and supporting graphics.

Let me know what you think and if you think any of the points could be improved or changed.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Adaptation A - Refined Infographic Idea

After talking to Phil on Monday about my adaptation projects, I have refined my initial ideas for the infographic.

'10 Steps to becoming less of a burden on society'

It will begin with the generic and well-known facts about saving the environment, e.g. turning your television off of standby and using less plastic bags. It will slowly escalate into more obscure and maybe 'less factual' facts and escalate further until the final few steps are very extreme views. They will likely be based on fascist ideals. These could be about 'removing' the burdens on society, anyone who isn't a fit and young could be the targets of these more extreme steps (the elderly, disabled and overweight).

While the steps escalate, the tone with which the information is given would likely remain the same. Non-intrusive text would enter the screen in a calm manner and would not be rushed. Another idea that perhaps needs more thought and research would be about a voice-over. The voice and tone that seems to resonate best with the way I want to deliver the infographic is the kind you find in 1950's and 1960's advertisements. It's a reassuring voice, and almost too positive and upbeat in a way that you know its selling you something.

My next step will be to make a very rough idea of my 10 steps and to find the style for my infographic.

Maya Tutorial - Bridge UV Layout


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Mudbox - Session 1

In this first session we were mostly working with the different painting techniques and how to move a scene from mudbox to maya and back again. Overall the tools seem quite easy to learn so far and I can see the uses this could have in projects later on.
 


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Adaptation A - Further Research and Links

'Saving the Environment' possible ideas:

http://www.50waystohelp.com/

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/save-earth-top-ten.htm

These two have a ton of possible ideas if I want to go down this route. However, if I do focus on saving the environment. A slight tweak in the title may work better. '10 steps to becoming less of a burden on the planet' would be more relevant to the message I would be sending. I think I will definitely need to keep that in mind if I choose to focus on this.

'Burdens on Society' possible ideas:

I have also found some interesting sites that talk about people who some consider to be 'burdens on society'. I will link them below. Using some of the facts they bring up could create an interesting infographic, either by speaking seriously about the subject or turning the facts on their heads. Then it could be more comedic and still ask the questions, 'are these people really just burdens?' and 'whose fault is this really?'.

https://alifeunexamined.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/burdens-on-society/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2215070/Are-contributor-burden-nations-finances--Squeezed-middle-increasingly-dependent-state.html

'Sesame Credit' possible ideas:

If I wanted to go more in depth into this there is a very interesting/scary development happening in china right now called 'sesame credit'. It works similar to the US credit score except it takes the concept much, much further. It could be worth talking about but it could be too much of a complicated subject to conclude even in 2 minutes. I found some more useful links for this below.

News Links:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34592186

http://metro.co.uk/2015/12/18/a-new-1984-china-has-gamified-how-good-a-citizen-you-are-5571604/

YouTube Video breaking down the subject:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHcTKWiZ8sI

So far these are the three main ideas I have found that seem to show promise but I can't yet decide which I would rather cover (or which would be best). Feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions.

Adaptation A - Chosen Title and Beginning of Research

After the pitch with Phil and Alan, we all agreed that '10 steps to become less of a burden on society' was the strongest and had the most potential. Phil suggested a few useful ideas which I intend to start my research with. One of the main points that was mentioned was all the small changes people could make to make a big difference e.g. turning TV's off of standby. He also suggested looking at airline safety cards for style inspiration.

Below are just a few of the safety cards I've found online. I've found quite a few more with a simple image search but thought it best not to litter this post with them. My next step will be to start collecting interesting facts that I could use in my infographic.

Easyjet safety card (page 1)

Easyjet safety card (page 2) 

Britsh Airways safety card

Friday, 8 January 2016

Adaptation A - The Pitch

After narrowing down my ideas I feel that these 10 have the most potential.






Maya Tutorials Term 1 Submission

Film review (Comedy) - The IT Crowd Episode 1 (Graham Linehan, 2006)


Fig 1. The IT Crowd Series 1 Cover.

The IT Crowd is a comedy series created by Graham Linehan. It follows the lives of 3 employees who run the IT department for a large business from its basement. As would be expected, the comedy in the series mostly relates to the general public's knowledge of technology. The majority of the comedy in the series comes from purposefully obscure I.T. jokes and bizarre situations that arise due to the strange personalities of the trio themselves.

In one particular scene at the very beginning of the first episode involves just one character 'Roy'. He is at his desk procrastinating when the phone on his desk rings. At first he ignores it and carries on eating his food. This goes on for a short time as the phone continues ringing while Roy continuously ignores it and finds other small things to occupy his time. The humor builds on this tension of him not answering the phone. Eventually he sighs and appears to reach directly for the phone when it becomes clear that he is instead reaching for his coffee directly behind his phone. Just when it appears the tension will dissipate it continues to build. This escalates the humor already evident in the scene. After that however, he finally sighs a final time and reaches for the phone itself. Then as if to read the punchline of this joke that has built up, he answers with 'Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?'


Fig 2. Series 1 Episode 1 Phone Scene.

The second character of the trio 'Moss' enters the office and sits at his desk near Roy. The phone conversation continues and makes the person on the other side of the phone appear to be terrible with computers. The conversation escalates as Roy gets more and more frustrated with the caller until they have a blown out argument and he slams the phone down. He then turns to his co-worker Moss and says 'That showed her'. The comedy hear comes from the fact that it has only just been revealed that the person Roy was so frustrated with was a woman. The rest of the scene continues from there as the two co-workers start talking.

Illustration List

Linehan, G (2006) Figure 1. The IT Crowd Series 1 Cover. http://nerdcityonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/theitcrowd.jpg (Accessed on 02/12/15)

Linehan, G (2006) Figure 2. Series 1 Episode 1 Phone Scene. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YhPejfTQfEA/maxresdefault.jpg (Accessed on 08/01/16)

Maya Tutorial - Pipeline 1 Complete Body Uv's


Saturday, 2 January 2016

Character - Environment Concept/Box Art

As my game is a card game, I felt that my environment concept should be the design for the game box. As such I have made it a block colour graphical concept in order to catch people's attention. As the main colour palette for the characters are green (plants) and purple (aliens) I tried to incorporate that theme into this concept. Feel free to let me know what you think about this.