Monday, 5 May 2008

Developing from the board and considering the brief.

My immediate reaction to the crit of my storyboard was to make this image using a photograph reference. I was heading for realism in my efforts but became bored eventually as usual.

By the way, my pieces keep getting this blue hue to them when I upload them and I can't figure out why. So.. my point about trying to maintain a sense of realism is essentially destroyed by this. Thanks blogger. I guess I can try to keep coloured images out of my posts.

I should have taken this as a sign that maybe I could've developed more cartoony ways of developing this theme like I'd shown in my avatar and doodlings earlier but for some reason I always end up down this shady looking realism attempt that never gets finished and lacks a certain gleam.

Anyway, I drew more and more cephlapod family creatures, to a fairly cartoony style actually, in order to get a stronger grip on how one moves and should be drawn like.

Looking back on it, what isn't important is being as realistic as possible. What is important, is conveying the ilusion of reality in the suggested movement and weight of a subject. So in this sense, a cartoon could 'feel' more real than a very realistic but 'lifeless' drawing of the same subject.
I have achieved neither pinnacle so far with these drawings and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on why I felt like this..

So here we have 3 frames taken from the story board: Before creature, during creature and after creature rises. The sequence is very sudden and shifts moods rapidly from placidity, to shock, to comedy, though you might skip the first frame altogether because it is so short and placed too closely to the second one.

This sequence was ok and could've been helped with a bit of refining like general tidying up and claryfication of what exactly is going on in the third frame but if I'd have been in a comedy frame of mind, this sequence could've been untilized.

After this I experimented a couple more times with the 3 image sequence of just a ship, then a squid then a reaction or nothing, rising and risen. I didn't particularly feel anything for either of these experiments so I began to dabble more with the power of a single image as I had been doing in the larger doodles besides my comic-like plottings.

Something I've always found disturbing about monsters in films, apart from sheer scale, are the eyes. Or both. A huge awkward looking eye is very frightening to me, kind of like the one shown below.

Although here in an otherwise amusing and cartoony situation, the stark stopping power of the eye is more apparant to myself. How could a disney/Jules Verne tribute stamp be so scary? The way in which the squid is positioned with it's horrible whip-like tentacles not only means that it covers roughly 70% of the space on the stamp but that your eyes follow the tentacles constantly back to the body and onto the eye. In a metaphorical sense, you're caught and pulled in like Donald is here and drawn into the terrible hungry core of the image, just by making contact with any of these dangling tendrils.

I immediatly felt with this drawing that I had crushed the whole storyboard I'd previously done (without the love bit) into a single image. This -mid action- freeze frame describes the movement of being submerged to surface-breaking creature, dwarfing a comparitivly tiny cruise liner. I should point out at this point that, the point of the brief is to MODERNIZE a tale of some kind, and I'm doing this by simply placing the situation in our time. Which I would guess if the 'event' occured out at sea and away from cannon toting navy, marine-swarming army or a nuke dropping air force, then the outcome would be very similar to if the Kraken attacked during Tennyson's time.
Maybe showing the use of radar or something would bring us into the modern era.

I'm aware that this might come across as a very 'tacked-on' approach to the modern theme but, I guess what I'm trying to get across is, given the right circumstances, a ship full of people is going to get obliterated regardless of the era if an ill-meaning sea creature deems it so. Which I think is something quite frightening thinking about it because I'm personally very accustomed to hiding behind my technology as a method of protection or source of food or income; my survival. So to think that something could just swell up and essentially absorb me without any of the governing bodies I've come to trust as my guardians being able to stop it... Blood chilling.

What I like about these single images is the pure power they can display. You're forced to convey a fair amount of pace and narrative in this one shot so you end up with some pretty dramatic scenes. I think though that you miss out on alot of the story in this picture because it seems to be dealing with the aftermath of the inciting incident of the arrival of this beast, rather than just before or during it. So, you're left feeling like you just missed something big.

Anyway, I think I need a better look at how other artists have rendered the mighty cephlapod.

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