Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The sequence anew and mini evaluation.

So here are the redone images, all 6 of them pencil rendered for storyboard or development use.

I was unsure of them at first but looking over them now, for their purpose I think they are more then workable. Not too bad for a quick job.

I have to say that I prefer the first image because it shows my attempts to capture light refracting off the tentacles underwater well and although its maybe a bit over shaded for my previously stated 'hatching' efforts, it's a pretty strong image.

3,4 and 6 look a bit wooden to me. I have added more energy in the waves of 3 but the pointing finger on it's own seems very.. relaxed. I think if I had some more time, then adding more people overall and just more.. OOMPH! more action, more twisted and hurried movements in the poses shown to really get across this sense of danger and suspense would be necessary. Or if not more, then just focusing the image on these elements instead.

I would like to see alot more atmosphere in 6 especially because again, although the boat is being torn apart a little more ferociously than previously had been, the character rowing away appears from his stance that he couldn't care less about what was taking part in front of him.

I really need to spend some time talking and studying how to bring emotion into pieces and poses. Also, as I'd mentioned earlier, tips on making a picture just LOOK better, so that someone might want to actually look at them. I know that these images are meant for developmental purpose but still.. like in 4 especially I think, they look really rough and duller as a result.

In number 2, I'd brought the hands down so that they appear to be more natural to the positioning of how your hands might pose in that situation. This had been mentioned in the crit so.. I went ahead and rectified it.

I still wish that I had taken a lighter and much less form of both drawing and drawing style to make a storyboard more along the lines of the one shown below and had I had the time in these last 2 weeks, I would definatly would have made some attempt to get close to it. The vibrance and simplicity of the flat harmonious and mood-giving colours make this little narrative a real work of art in its own rights and I would love to do something like this as soon as I can find a window.

Under water view development sketches.

Yeah, here i'm trying to rectify the problem of people not being able to percieve what the first image in the sequence is by making it more obvious that you are looking from 'inside' the central view of a cephlapod. So, lots of tentacles everywhere whilst trying to work with the composition of the image and figuring out how a tentacle would look if it came from under your eye line and out in front of you.

I also redrew the 'descending' image completely to rework the perspective on it so that I could get the tentacles really popping out of the image but.. its very messy and difficult to tell whats going on. Like I mentioned before though, I'm pushed for time in these two weeks so unfortunatly this is going to have to do so I can move on.

I've added bubbles to the image to spark off the idea of water and movement but they're difficult to percieve in the mess.

More influences and such

Here are more examples of image sequencing, storyboarding and general image making that have influenced me through out this brief.

NOTE: NONE of the work in this post is mine, just stuff that made me cry with envy. Most of the work are from artists such as Fealsey and Vontoten but unless the image tag itself has the name of the artist in it, then I'm afraid I didn't record who's work it was at the time that I collected it. For that I'm sorry and please contact me if you don't want me to display your work.

What's the purpose?

I hadn't understood this question since Ollie had asked me earlier. My 'audience' had just been anyone really, the images are meant to be very.. involving.

But in a professional context, it hit me. I may have mentioned this earlier but to clarify, I'm working these images in the strain of developmental work. I had made some attempt at this using photoshop to colour but.. because I confused what time of the day it was in all the images, hadn't used colour and apparantly just arn't that good at photoshop, the images didn't feel right.

After seeing some of Ollie's work on a Reebok ad that he storyboarded, my sense of direction strengthened and I decided to just use pencil to create the 'stills' I was making; as if they'd come from some large storyboard. (Sorry if you didn't want me putting these on here Ollie)

So hashed strokes to indicate colour fills all round then. (Except, I try a couple of other methods as well to varying degrees of sucess).

2 More Weeks?!

So.. rather than just ending, we were assigned two more weeks to further develop our projects. Hmm.

What I chose to do with my time is to take what I could gather from the final crit we mustered up and apply what some people said about my work to the pieces I had presented.

The biggest parts I took away from that crit were that, my photoshop skills didn't work in my favour to present my images with some people actually liking the image in the escape raft specifically due to it's hand drawn-ness. Also that the colour and non-uniform shape of the 'kraken's eye view' image didn't work. In fact, the image itself was pretty confusing; alot of people had difficulty discerning exactly what was going on so I would need to clear this up a bit.

I know that I'd said that I should've gone down the doodle route in my earlier evaluation, but this extra two weeks is taken up with other projects really so.. I don't have the time to twist it down that direction. So, it's another crack at the storyboard approach.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Evaluation (I know! It's in the middle for some reason!)

Before the hand in, here are a few more influential images to me during this project coupled with some of my own thoughts on the work that I've made (i.e. regrets).

The work that I've come out with in the end looks really.. adoloscent and underdeveloped. I wish I spent more time honing any sort of 'image finishing skill' or maybe talked to someone with some about how I could help myself because this is a serious reoccuring problem for myself. I think overcomplicating images might have something to do with it but.. It's very frustrating that this keeps happening to me, especially when I'm trying to get some sort of portfolio set up :(

In a professional context, i.e. a development enviroment, the only images I would be even close to thinking about showing someone would be the 'plummeting' picture and and 'in the air' image. Maybe just the plummeting one. I say this because these iamges are the only ones that come clsoe to holding a mood of suspense or horror which I had planned to implant into all of the images.

I really wish that I had just stuck with my doodle-y style of drawing because it's one that is instantly recognizable as mine and I'm very comfortable with it; it comes easier to me. I say this because it's only at this point that I've noticed I need some assistance with a more 'serious' style of image rendering.

Final Images

Here I'll try to be as concise but self evaluating as I can as I show the process of how each image was created. Again, I feel the need to state that these images are intended for developmental and conceptual purposes, like a storyboard, although my execution of them is sometimes so murky and downright confusing that it can be difficult to see how this is so. I think clarity of the message and its delivery style are definatly something I need to work on.

I chose a square format for most of the images because it gives a uniformity to them and would allow them to 'flow' better if placed next to one another.

The first image is my least favourite (I know, start on a downer why don't you?) because it's just really confusing to look at. The initial sketch was much easier on the eyes in terms of colour but the scan quality, as with the other 2H pencil scans in this project is difficult to interpret again because it's really faint. So, for the future, show clear and well defined sketches so that those that need to know can understand what is going on.

The above red image is what happens if you upload a CMYK image to Blogger.

The image is meant to be showing underwater view of what the Kraken sees as the cruise ship passes over. You can tell its a tentacle although the perspective is off but at least I've taken into account that when viewed from underneth in water, objects on the surface become silohuetted so, we have some kind of foreground/background depth with light going on. Although, the way in which I've layered the different tones and lights is confusing the perspective a bit so, it's difficult to tell in alot of areas exactly how deep or shallow it's supposed to be.

Which you can sort of see in the two finalized versions but, there isn't enough definition and contrast to make this a good image. The cutouts on the colour tones are purposely jagged to give a rough and raw feel to the image as this is from the eyes of some feral monstrosity afterall. However, I don' t think that this manages to come out. The image just looks messy.
This is also the only image to have a bit of colour to it and I did this with the intention of it seperating the image from the other 5. This is also the only picture out of the sequence to be in portrait and not square format and this is for the same reason. Although these factors do seperate the image in this way, it's only because this makes the picture appear to be from some completely unrelated sequence or narrative.

So after dabbling with colour in the first image, I stayed well clear of it in the rest and chose to work exclusively with light and dark tones to bring moods. And I believe I did so much more strongly in this one.

My idea here was to realise this image of a murky and dark comms room aboard the vessel, with the only real light coming from the various illuminous devices on the desks. This was purely in an attempt to secure the horror tone to the image and I guess it does end up having some negative mood to it. How to tell the audience what was going on in the image I solved by having the piece of paper and the walkie talkie in the viewers hands so.. the crew member is making some kind of call about what they've detected.

Another picture I'm not keen on is the third on showing the 'arrival' of the first tentacle, with the viewer's finger pointing out at it in disbelief. Or thats what I had intended as I was scribbling but the strength of that idea didn't really come out. I think that the flat and awkward tones I made use of might have something to do with this as they break up the flow of the image a bit but general misuse of lighting here really doesn't do the picture any favours. Also, what is confusing about this image is it's effect on the rest of the sequence as this picture appears to be 'taken' from daylight or at least some other point when there is some sun light, whereas the rest of the sequence either completely lacks any kind of time telling or is very dark.

Now, I know myself that the entire sequence is meant to be in a sense without a specific time so my logic was that some frames should be during the day or without a definitive time at all in order to try and give a different perspective on how the situation would look in different lights; thus giving more power hopefully to the developer of the concept after me. However without this context, the sequence seems very VERY confused.

I constructed the image using these three layers of sketches and then composed them together, allowing me to manipulate how light played off each of them with greater freedom. I was inspired by this image of a cruise ship when it came to figuring out how the balcony should look.

The fourth image is my favourite because I think it is the closest that I get in all the images to capturing the drama and ferocity that I've been imagining throughout the brief.

I had gone a bit overboard (pun) with the sketching out of this image of an unlucky passenger being held high above the scene in the grasp of the kraken, showing the cruise ship (inspired heavily by this image) also in the grasp of the beast.

Whereas I felt I had already managed to get a decent framework and layout of image going, I thought that the image needed more.. anger and confusion to it. More horror. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be caught up in the air like this and I assumed it would be to say the least, a disorientating and unpleasant experience.
So, using the burn and dodge tools in Photoshop, I went about darkening and emphasizing the slippery texture of the tentacles, the sheer height that the viewer was at and how light would splash over the ocean below from the luminescence of the weary cruise liner.

And then the tentacle lets you drop...

The fifth image is in a similar vein really although with a somewhat more grim over tone that I was unable to properly bring out. I think that I didn't highlight the creature that the viewer is falling in towards enough as it appears you are falling into some undefined grey mass but I think that blurring the 'falling destination' really pulled this image out of the fire. A bit. What this did was clearly define that the viewers hands which are sharp, are not on the same plane of perspective as the mass below, which are blurry. I also quite like how the hands seem to be contorting in a manner of trying to stop the inevitable contact with the maw waiting below; adds a bit of horror tension to the image.
But definatly, the image still feels very flat so, contrast is needed.

The last image of the sequence is another that looked alot better in my head and I really wish had had more time spent on it. I think this because I'd had this great idea of the viewer frantically paddling away as the cruise liner is savagely torn asunder and you vaguely get that here. I mean, it is possible to understand that someone is paddling away from the site, but, they appear to be paddling very calmly and orderly away. The ship image which I seem to naturally focus on as I look at the picture also isn't strong enough. Sure, it is a picture of a boat being torn in half by tentacles. But, I don't FEEL that it is being torn. It looks like the tentacles are just waving at the viewer as they lazily flop all over this ship.
This image needs some passion instilling into it and to have the viewers hands, the ship and the tentacles all redrawn if I want to convey the mood that I had imagined. There needs to be desperation in the awkward and frantic paddling motions of the hands, fury in the tentacles and more obvious and explicit destruction on the ship.

Of course, if all of these images represented a dream sequence that I'd had or something, then it would be more excusable to have these surreal ambiguieties of mood. But, because it's meant to be this flowing horror sequence, it is much harder to forgive these flaws.

Now for an evaluation and a round up I think.