Wednesday, 27 November 2013

@Phil Concept Art: Maya Paint Over - Secret Lair Concept Art

I painted my concept art again, and as the world hasn't been destroyed I just wanted to make it look cold outside as the world has just a massive frost, but I tried to make it more interesting, with the solar essence being a part of a unique display, making it look feminine, and added some elements from older thumbnails, with the added prison hanging from the ceiling. Kept the more digital look and the colours warmth and sun based.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Animation Lesson 5 - Zoetrope Planning

This is my plan for my Zoetrope animation, the end does seem weird on 1 play through, but as a Zoetrope is a continuous looped animation, it doesn't matter. d(^.^d) Being as I like fantasy and mythical creatures a lot I decided to go for a simple animation of a mermaid swimming. \(^.^)/ For better quality see the youtube link (:

Film Review - Edward Scissorhands (1990)


Edward Scissorhands (1990) is another unusually beautiful film directed by Tim Burton. Tim Burton is known for his quirky and out of the ordinary style and this film is no different. Edward Scissorhands is a take on a mixture of the Frankenstein tale  and on the classic "Beauty & the Beast," tale, just like La Belle et La Bete (1946) though unlike La Belle et La Bete the context of the classic tale has a different approach in how it is placed in a contemporary society. It is about an kind and gentle young man who has scissors for hands and who falls in love with a beautiful adolescent girl, though the young man is actually an invention that was left unfinished due to the early death of his creator, a lonely scientist, who created him for companionship, teaching him art, poetry and etiquette. 

At the start of Edward Scissorhands the audience is presented by a shot that guides audiences through the inside of a snow globe that then leads us to a serene mystical castle in the snow, setting peaceful mood for the film, like the personality of Edward Scissorhands through the use of great visual language, this introduces us to the the start of the story. Shortly afterwards the audience is shown a grand master shot, that greatly shows the viewers the contrasting difference between the main protagonist Edward and the people of the suburban neighbourhood. Creating a highly colourful suburban area and placing it at the bottom of a huge dark mythical castle, the difference in style and colours was no mistake on Tim Burton's part. In the neighbourhood all the houses and cars are a shade of pastel and its inhabitants all wear brightly coloured clothes , the suburban neighbourhood looks very artificial, which audiences later find out reflects the personality of most of the neighborhoods inhabitants. "...gothic castle crouches on a mountaintop high above a storybook suburb, a goofy sitcom neighbourhood where all the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones of the Jetsons." (Ebert, 1990).


The film starts off with Peg, an Avon representative, doing her daily errands trying to sell Avon products with little success, until she stumbles across Edward's castle. Taken aback with delight Peg sees the beautiful garden of the castle, before knocking on the door, with no reply Peg becomes curious and explores the castle further, where there is a much different atmosphere. Left alone since his inventor's death Edward lives in a run down castle, the interior possesses a dark Gothic quality, it is surrounded by dust and cobwebs and broken windows, it all looks very dead,  something you'd see in a ghost story, which expresses's Edward's loneliness, but his garden is bright and alive with magnificent grass sculptures, a representation of when he is at his happiest, his kind nature and how his soul is very much alive. Eventually Peg runs into Edward, though startled at first, she soon realises he is not a danger and becomes sympathetic with him, as he accidentally slices gashes in his face every time he tries to move hair from his face, with Peg being a mother herself her maternal instincts kick in and she offers to take Edward home to look after him. "Peg is alarmed at first by the flash of Edward's lethal blades. But her maternal instincts are soon aroused. Edward is a hazard, slicing gashes in his face every time he wipes away a stray of hair." (Travers, 1990).



When Edward enters the neighbourhood, the inhabitants do what is expected and gossip about the "strange man" that is with Peg and they all ring each other up about it, with the religious woman claiming Edward has been sent from hell. In Peg's home Edward notices a family portraits, particularly Peg's daughter, before a series of events occur where we comically see Edward try to do everyday things like eat dinner or get dressed and we soon realise just how much of an outsider Edward really is in this suburban area. After Edward is introduced to the rest of the neighbourhood, forcefully by the self-proclaimed leader of the housewives, Joyce, they soon discover his innocence and kind heart, and take advantage of it as well as his talent. Edward starts creating grass sculptures in everyone's gardens and this shows that the heart of Edward and acceptance of Edward becomes apparent within the neighbourhood, for a time. 

Everything seems to be looking good for Edward and he becomes happy, as he feels wanted and welcome, despite his obvious deviance from the norm of the rest of the neighbourhood. From the hopes of starting his own business, to becoming a national  celebrity and the chance to gain real hands, and Joyce, being a lonely housewife even makes sexual advances onto him, though this isn't a good thing, however it shows that the people of the neighbourhood have looked past his unusual appearance and love him for his talents and kindness, but despite all this Edward charmingly and consistently maintains his lovable innocence. Until Kim, Peg's daughter, returns home and her boyfriend, greedy for his father's money, pressures Edward to break into his dad's secret room, using his scissorhands, as it was discovered earlier Edward could unlock doors when Kim had forgotten her key. Just wanting to please Kim and help people Edward innocently agreed to help Kim's boyfriend leaving him to get trapped and caught by the police, while Kim wants to go back to help him as he's innocent her boyfriend, a coward, drives off, not taking any responsibility. The police let him go as they realise he doesn't know any better and know he wouldn't do it with malicious intent. 


After this event the neighbourhood starts to turn hostile towards Edward, reinforcing him as a lonely outsider once again, with just Peg, Kim and the rest of their family supporting him, Joyce even claims that Edward made unwanted sexual advances towards her to the other inhabitants. This hostility becomes more intense when Edward unintentionally ends up harming those he loves, when Kim is in the midst of her feelings for Edward she dances under the an ice statue of Edward's. An iconic scene that people remember and love from the film, due to its beautiful and loving gentle display, before Edward asks her to be careful of the ladder he is on, as he doesn't want her to get hurt but accidentally cuts her face and Kim's boyfriend sees this in the wrong light and starts attacking him even though Kim admits it was her fault and it is nothing. 

The hatred for Edward escalates more when he tries to save Kim's younger brother from being run over by her boyfriends car, although he does successfully save his life he accidentally draws blood and he is chased out the neighbourhood. With Kim's boyfriend being the main reason behind the people's hate towards him. The ending of the film is bittersweet, Kim runs towards Edward's castle to see Edward and confess her feelings for him, which was not always so, when first meeting him she was terrified and hated him but she soon realised how gentle and kind he was and started to fall for him, despite his sinister appearance. When Kim tells Edward she loves him and asks for him to embrace her, sadly and sweetly Edward says he can't before Kim embraces him, then the boyfriend runs in tries to kill Edward before Kim kills her boyfriend, telling Edward to hide while she tells the angry people of the neighbourhood that both Edward and her boyfriend died, so that they would leave Edward alone. Kim never sees Edward again.



In conclusion Edward Scissorhands (1990) is a magical, visually stunning and heartbreaking film, the set designs are unique and clever, with the artificial "happy" neighbourhood representing the characters that live there well, excluding Peg's family, with their lies and false warmth and kindness as Peg was also seen as an unwanted inhabitant at the start of the film when she was selling her Avon products. Edward's castle showcases his loneliness and need for some love and care and the way the neighbourhood changes with the influence of Edward being more apparent as he is more accepted, even to the neighbourhood dogs. The visuals leave a massive impression on its audiences and so does the character of Edward. It is common play for Burton to create an outcast film, as they are more personal to him as he was an outcast growing up in California, but his personal touches make the films more magical and inspiring. "The Visual representation of suburban life is skillfully and imaginatively portrayed through the eyes of the outsider, of Edward and no doubt the eyes of self proclaimed odd-ball Burton Himself." (Horne, 2003).

Ebert, R Edward Scissorhands [Online] At: (Accessed on 13.11.13)

Horne, D Edward Scissorhands [Online] At: (Accessed on 18.11.13)

Travers, P Edward Scissorhands [Online] At: (Accessed on 13.11.13)

Fig.1 Edward Scissorhands [Poster Art] At: (Accessed on 13.11.13)

Fig.2 Edward Scissorhands, Neighbourhood [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 13.11.13)

Fig.3 Edward Scissorhands, Castle [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 13.11.13)

Fig.4 Edward Scissorhands [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 13.11.13)

Fig.5 Edward Scissorhands [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 18.11.13)

Fig.6 Snow Dance [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 18.11.13)

Fig.7 Ice Sculptures [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 18.11.13)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Rough Character Design - Solar Mob Boss

For the character design, I roughly drew straight into photoshop with a graphics tablet and then used influence from the comic books and pin up style of art for the very bold basic colours. I also wanted her to still look scheming.

Thumbnails Set 2

For these thumbnails I kept with the contrast between the cold and warmth in the colour scheme but also I did these painting straight onto photoshop with colour, without sketching it out in greyscale first. I also wanted to keep the idea of a gadget with the hero prop ideas, as well as the feminine symbolism with the garter ideas. Another idea from the OGR was to have Myra, my Solar Mob Boss, lock up a scientist who may have invented the Sun Essence, that Myra went on to steal from the world to exploit. One thing I need to do when developing these thumbnails is include the intense shadows, to stop it looking less happy and more sinister, because I was focused so much on getting an intense colour I had forgotten about intense shadows to get the atmosphere across better.

Thumbnails Set 1

As I recently started again, when it came to these thumbnails I wanted to take on ideas from my OGR with the planet freezing over due to the lack of sun, so I tried to include this aspect into my thumbnails. I have done my thumbnails rougher than previously so I can get a basic idea without taking too much time. So I quickly sketched out rough outlines then coloured them in. For my hero prop I thought of the idea of having a garter with the sun essence entombed into the garter, as my character is female, gems are a luxury and a garter is seen as a very feminine, sexy accessory. I also tried to make it look slightly robotic to make it seem more like a gadget.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Film Review - La Belle et La Bete (1946)

La Belle et La Bete (1946) was directed by Jean  Cocteau and Rene Clemet, it is essentially a French film. It is an enchanting film about a beautiful young maiden who falls in love with an ugly Beast, who at first seems to cruel and frightening. Something significant about the date this film was released, it was released a year after the end of World War II. Cocteau wanted to create an inspiring and enchanting film to help with the toll of War. "Cocteau, a poet and surrealist, was not making a children's film but was adapting a classic French tale that he felt had a special message after the suffering of World War II: Anyone who has an unhappy childhood may grow up to be a Beast" (Ebert, 1999). It is a classic Beauty and the Beast story, though there is also a lot of significance and relation to another fairy tale, the original Brother's Grimm story of Cinderella. 

In the original Brother's Grimm story of Cinderella, Cinderella's father lost his wife and married a rich woman, along with the step mother came the two wicked step sisters who forced Cinderella to work for them and mocked her. Although La Belle et La Bete doesn't showcase a step mum figure it does have the two wicked sisters explained, whether or not they're step sisters is unclear, which is not something that you see in modern takes on the story of Beauty and the Beast, such as Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Another link to the Brother's Grimm story of Cinderella in relation to La Belle et La Bete is the father temporarily goes away and asks the step sisters and Cinderella what they want when he returns, the step sisters asked for fine dresses and jewels, though Cinderella only asked for a branch from the first tree. In La Belle et La Bete typically the sisters ask for luxury items whereas Beauty/Belle only asks for a simple rose, which leads to the introduction of the Beast/Bete in the La Belle et La Bete. 

Belle's father runs into the Beast, while taking a rose from the Beast's garden which angers the Beast as he threaten's Belle's father, telling him that he will kill him here and now unless one of his daughters swaps places with the father and comes to him, the Beast. Because Belle feels guilty for her father's predicament she decides to go to the Beast, creeping away in the night on a magical white horse that the Beast gave to the father for that very use. It is within the Beast's lair where you see the beauty of the production design, not only is the exterior beautiful and grand, with the blossoming of flowers and life, which could be seen as a symbol of the character of the Beast himself, a flower waiting to be blossomed with a little love and care from another, Belle.  But also with the interior decor, when the audience is first introduced to the interior of Beast's enchanted castle there is a creepy yet captivating atmosphere. The castle itself is alive, the lights in the corridors are hands that move outwards to hold the light closer to the corridor, giving light.

It is within the Beast's castle, where you see clear influences for Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and how you can really see the separation between a children's film and an inspiring story. In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, instead of the furniture being eerily silent but still alive the furniture is transformed into lovable cartoon sidekicks, making it more child-friendly. The alive and silent hand candles in La Belle et la Bete may again have relations to the War that just ended, the hands look may represent the hands of the dead in the war that have awakened and carry on living in the homes of families, in their memories. A candle is also symbolic of hope in the catholic faith, and at the time of this film Catholicism was the dominant religion in France, and so the idea of hope after the War is very prominent and inspiring.  While Belle is exploring the castle in La Belle et La Bete there is a scene in which is Belle is going down a corridor and it looks as if she is almost magically gliding across the floor, increasing the magical and enchanting vibe this film possesses. The female statues also open their eyes and blow smoke, again pushing the aspect of the castle being alive. It can be noted that these statues also look incredibly creepy, which may frighten children, making La Belle et La Bete no mere children's tale. "Cocteau transforms the architectural space into living, breathing form." (Miller, 2002). 

Upon exploration of the castle Belle runs into the Beast, causing her to feint in sudden shock and fear, but instead of being a brutal beast that her father described and killing her, the Beast gently carries her away and lets her rest upon a luxurious bed. When Belle awakens the Beast asks her to join him for dinner, it is within these dinner scenes where the camera angles truly reflect the unease and deep thoughts of the character of Belle. Belle waits at the dining table and the Beast appears behind her and approaches slowly, much like the suspense you see in contemporary horror films. This shot not only represents Belle as being seen as a helpless victim but also as the Beast being an intimidating character, though it is the much the opposite idea for the Beast as the film continues and audiences truly get to understand the character of the Beast and sympathize with him. Although Belle appears weary of the Beast at first as the film goes on she continues to grow a fondness for him and enjoys being in his presence as he becomes this kind and generous character who yearns for nothing more than to be loved. "Beauty begins to understand the Beast and seeks out his company. He acts gallantly at all times, talking of how his entire kingdom is built from magic and showing that he is, perhaps, more human than anyone else that she knows." (Cannon, 1997).

The underlying meaning of the original story of Beauty and the Beast is never judge a book by its cover and the symbolism for this meaning is clearly portrayed. When learning of her beloved father's illness Beast gives Belle permission to return home to look after her sick and dying father, before begging her to promise him that she will return or he will die and giving Belle a magical glove, which takes her to the place she most desires, and a magic mirror to show her where someone is. Upon her return of home, the sisters once again begin mocking Belle and steal her mirror and when looking into the mirror they see an ugly reflection staring back at them, a representation of their ugly hearts, though they would be generally considered attractive on the exterior. But when Belle has looked in the mirror before she sees her true persona, showing she is true of heart.

Belle's sisters try to scheme behind Belle's back in an attempt to kill the Beast after learning of his riches, causing Belle to stay longer at home than she intended, which starts to have its affect on the Beast and begins to kill him, as he warned, though her father starts to recover. Belle starts to worry for the Beast as she now cares for him and returns using the magic glove, but as she arrives though at first she struggles to find the Beast she eventually sees him near death, dying on the garden floor. As the Beast is dying the sister's scheme is still in effect as the man who wants to marry Belle, though she refused before because she didn't want to leave her father, tries to invade the Beast's secret room, for its treasures. But is instead shot by an arrow from a statue that lies within and is transformed into the Beast, but dies and the Beast that we know is transformed into a Princely figure and recovers. Showing that it is not appearance that determines a Beast but the pureness of heart and soul.  Though confused at first Belle knows the man before her is the Beast as he has the same kind soul and they float off to the sky and live happily ever after. 

In conclusion La Belle et La Bete is a visually enchanting, captivating and inspiring film. The costumes are beautiful and the makeup of the Beast is incredibly realistic, and the special effects are superb considering the time period it was in. The camera angle shots are used incredibly well at giving audiences a clear view of not only the situation and mind set of the character shown but also at making the world in this film seem highly fantastical, surreal and magical. The sets are beautifully designed and there is a great use of symbolism, reflecting the situation of the country at the time was built, inspiring its watchers. La Belle et La Bete has also been a highly influential film for modern fantasy and fairy tale stories, Disney's Beauty and the Beast would not be as captivating and magical as it is today without the help of this classic film.

Cannon, D La Belle et La Bete (1946) [Online] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Ebert, R Beauty and the Beast (1946) [Online] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Grimm's Fairy Tales, Cinderella [Online] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Miller, M Simple Twists of Fate [Online] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)

Fig.1 La Belle et La Bete (1946) [Poster Art] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Fig.2 Sisters (1946) [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Fig.3 Belle in Garden [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Fig.4 Enchanted Castle [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Fig.5 Fireplace [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Fig.6 Mise en Scene [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)
Fig.7 La Belle et La Bete [Film Still] At: (Accessed on 7.11.13)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Animation Lesson 4 - Bouncing Ball

In this animation lesson, we simply used the light box and dragon software to create a bouncing ball, learning at what point in the animation, when drawing you speed up the animation or slow it down.

Influence Maps - Revisited

After the OGR I decided to start fresh for the third time. This time round I took on advice and looked at art styles that were suggested to me. These influence maps showcase comic book art, pin up girl art and pulp art. One thing I notice from all these is that there is a bright, bold use of colour and so I plan to incorporate this into my ideas. Powerful female characters are also depicted in these images, which relates to my character and would be a great inspiration for character design.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Secret Lairs - OGR 1

I started my new idea pretty much at the start of this week as I was struggling for interesting ideas originally last week. So please Phil offer your wise insight and guidance! (: As I'm still not sure if I'm allowed pursue this idea further, thanks in advance! d(^.^d)

Secret Lairs - OGR 1 by Ariesyme

What Is A Mob?

Starting fresh, looking back at my Solar Mob Boss character, although I started to look briefly at influences for a mob boss as some kind of male gangster character, I feel as if this path is too generic. Looking into further research as to what a mob exactly is, it is a group of disorderly, and sometimes aggressive people. I don't think it necessarily has to be a mob boss who deals and sells drugs, I think this is too generic and so I decided to start fresh.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Life Drawing - Development of Installation Photograph

In one of our Life Drawing classes we were asked to take a photograph of a part of the installation and develop upon it, either by drawing it out again, working into it or manipulating it in Photoshop. Although I have lost the location of the original photograph I took from the installation (I think I accidentally deleted it xS) I chose to quickly manipulate the photo I had taken to create a new image and scene, using photo manipulation this was my outcome, I had two variations.


Animation Lesson 3 - Pixelation

Our group had a lot of fun creating this animation, though at first we pondered for a while on what to do with this technique. We were really happy with our outcome until after previewing it fully we realised there was a massive unwanted area in our animation. So I took on the task of downloading a software so I could crop this animation for our group. (:

Animation Lesson 2 - That Escalated Quickly

This animation was amusing to create as it is a very dark animation, that was not intended from the beginning and pretty much escalated rather quickly, unexpectedly between our group, I promptly named it "Livi's Dark Thoughts." Keep an eye out for the evil waving creature underneath the already dark chaos of this animation.

Animation Lesson 1 - Face Morph

Maya Tutorial - Cups Modelling

Maya Tutorial - Alien Orb Lighting

Strangely when I loaded this onto my computer some parts didn't import properly.

Maya Tutorial - Pencil & Eraser

Maya Tutorial - Pencil & Eraser Modelling

Friday, 1 November 2013

Research - Influence Maps

For my first series of influence maps I decided to focus on the mob boss aspect, to follow, I looked at film stills from a few classic crime films such as Scarface, The Godfather and Pulp Fiction. This helped me get a sense into the environment and lifestyle of someone who is involved in crime and namely, a mob boss. From ongoing research I discovered a clear link into a mob boss's state of wealth, and the leaders of crime violence often tend to be well off, living in a life of luxury through the procedures made from, what is most common, their drug business. When looking through clips from the films the colours in the hideouts and lairs were of a dark nature. There was also a lot of violence and the presence of drugs and cigarettes was quite apparent in a lot of the shots and scenes, leading me to my next influence map.

In my next influence maps at first I looked a little into the "Solar" aspect, which led me to the sun in the solar system, which gave me a sense of the true colours of the sun, being as usually when you see a sun depicted in a piece of artwork or photo, the sun is usually portrayed as being yellow. Although it does have yellow colouring in it, when researching into the Solar sun, it is actually a more orange colour, which might help me with my colour palette when designing. Continuing with looking at the mob boss aspect, as mentioned there was a connection to drugs, violence and wealth. Therefore I researched images of confiscated drugs, drug farms and gang weapons, helping me gain an idea of what a mob boss might have in their lair.

Secret Lair Of.....

Once again the mysterious  blue box made its presence known and we had to choose 2 pieces of paper to decide our character to influence our visual concept for our "Secret Lairs" project. I received Solar Mob Boss, in all honesty I am not entirely happy with this outcome, mainly due to the Solar part. I am not the biggest fan of space and our solar system, however it will pose as another challenge to me. It's an element completely out of my comfort zone, and I hope this challenge will help me progress and improve.