Thursday, 17 December 2009

Playground?!?!?! Idea?

Okay, so I think I've narrowed my research down to kids Playgrounds, or Parks, as I feel there's somthing quite eerie about them, when there vacant and still, as well as different periods during the day, and certain lighting,  incomparison to the instant rush of kids who scream wih joy and innocence....

I think this is definately somthing I can work with, especially with the child aspect, changing their innocent aura into somthing more sinister.....

InFamous....'Sucker Punch Productions'



















So I stated playin this within the last week and just completed it yesterday, and found the game overall statisfying, with it's Non-Linear (Sand Box)gameplay it leaves the game with alot of depth, and sense of personalisation, which is conveyed through both Good and Evil Parameters, allowing certain choices to detrmine the course of the story, as well as the free roam option, accessible both before and after the manin story's completion.

The story is set in a fictional city which has been 'attacked' by a terrorist organisation, unleashing a virus  in the form of a a bomb, that has given certain 'powers' to the organisation, as well as the Protangnist, which have all been sealed within the city after the Government placed a Contamination Barrier around the location, stopping all entrance and exit. In a nutshell it's about the struggle of bringing the city back to it's orignal state, and wiping out the terrorist threat, your traditional Superhero story, but with a twist, as the gameplay allows you to be it's 'Saviour', or it's 'downfall'...

Alongside this, the overall look of the game is great, with it's comic book origins, it sucks you straight in at important points in the game, and althought the key parts of the storyline are illustrated,(which are amazings vibrant and detailed, containg various amouns of textures, related to comic styles, as well as a paint spall in comparions to cutscenes within other games, it works, with the narration of the Protanganist explain the events unfolding, it really gives a edge to the whole game...





My only cristicism to the game itself, is that there was too much gameplay, althought the play was good, with it's 'Parkour' (Free Running) elements, enabling you to explore various cityscapes in the game, alongside the 'super-power' ablilities that you can evolve as the game progresses, there wasn't enough storyline to literally 'grab' the player into the game, especially how the game ends, thought there's room for a sequel, it's nevertheless a great game and a must play

Urban Decay/Abandoned Sites

Through a few of my searches, and some help from Jordan Buckner (thanks man) I managed to find a couple of really good sites that have beautiful images from different loactions.....

28 days Later.....Forum for explorers intrested in photography of the Abandoned, though not all are so artistic..
http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/




























































Opacitiy.....Website dedicated to the new life of a Abandoned Buildings
http://www.opacity.us/




 

 






 

There's some really amazing pictures on both these sites, the contrast from dark, rusting walls, highlighted by the natural light seeping through the crevases, with the vibrancy of moss and erosion, altogether giving a new life into the disfunctional and used, so it's giving me alot of scope in terms of the style and texture I want to go with, and I think I've started to hone down on the specfic environment aswell...

Abandoned Environments...

So following along the same principles as the previous post, I wanted to explore more abandoned environments, and how they really capture the sense of neglect and emptiness....















































Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Urban Decay..... Amelie Riis

So following along the same basis of desolate and decandent environments, I decided to look more into urban landscapes, and more grimey, empty spaces...and just stumbled across this artist....

Some of the work featured is taken in delapted and abandoned asylums and hospitals, that already carry a heavy atmosphere, and it's easy to say that she captures that esscence to the core...














































































Is it strange that I find some of this phot's beautiful? Even though there of broken places, I find that proabbly the most effective part, although the colours have a huge amount of atmosphere also...

Fallout 3

So i've been thinking about showing some sort of broken, desolate environment in my work, in contrast to a normal setting, and i'm really intrigued by the typical amercian suburbs, and it's darker side.....and this game fits in perfect, with it's quirky references to 1950, it's set within an alternate reality, based in 2277 AD
where the world has fallen vicitim to a nuclear war with japan, becoming a wasteland, over-run by radiation and mutation, some of the survivors living in the 'wastlands', where others reside within containment
facilites called 'Vaults'....

The games look is completely centred around the 1950's, aand although it's 200 years after the era, it mix's advanced technology with suburban landscapes, which seems entirely surreal, alongside this, there are elements within the game that reference the traditional 'perfect american suburban family' and those cheesey pin-up and catalogue poses......which they combine with horror, action, fantasy, sci-fi....a basci all rounder that works effective in all areas.

But here's the general look of the game....


































And here's some concept art....












Dead Of Night Excerpt 'The Ventriloquist'


















The Dead Of Night a brittish  which consisted of several different short horror stories, with a framing story around it, wherin the characters tell tales of the 'Uncanny'.....

One of these stories in particular, and probably the most remembered, was the story of 'The Ventriloquist', which gave way to a new intrepreation of how eerie they really are, now seen time and time again within modern day cinema....

Based in a mental asylum, after being accused of attempting murder, The Ventriloquist tells his story how his dummy was to blame, where we witness the downfall of his success as a performer....as the events unfold in one of his shows, we begin to see a power struggle between both the dummy, and the controller, which quickly switches to a role reversal, the controller, being the controlled during one of his shows, and this can be convyed through his facial features, look look of confusion and shock as his audience play along with what seems to be part of an 'act' as his confidence and nervous laughter portrays his....some what confused and bewildered state...which are key to reading how the dummy is really interacting with the audience....

Later, in his dressing room, there seems to be an eerie atmosphere as The Ventriloquist seems to keep up the conversation with the dummy after the show, as a visitor pops by, he acts very iward and reclusive, and quickly shuns the person out of the door, talking frantically about how he shouldn't listen to what the dummy said....















This again is highlighted before he slips into total hysetria at a bar some time after, when the same visitor bumps inot the Ventriloquist, drunk and down on his luck, witnesses somehow, the dummy, picks a fight (which is actually quite comical) with some ladies, which results in a bust-up, but the most intresting part is the poistioning of the characters, where the Ventriloquist is slopped over the bar drunk, yet the dummy is upright and talking very clearly...and in the remaining scenes, we are shown how the Ventriloquist came to where he was prior to the story, and the events that occured, which leaves very suggestive angles on wether the dummy itself is actually real, for instance, when the dummy, appears in the visitors hotel room, of it's own accord apparently, as well as when the Ventriloquist is locked up, in a cell, there is a surreal moment where he actually has a conversation with it, prior to which to us appears as a monolouge (which the director cleverly avoided previously) beknownst there people are observing him, to which he destroys the dummy, and slips into some sort of vegetable state...

Finally ending with the scene where the visitor who was almost murdered pays him a visit in hospital to try and trigge ra reaction out of the Ventriloquist from his blank state, seems impossible, but suddenly, he reacts, but the way in which he does is throught the voice, and the expression of the dummy itself, which plays on the viewers thoughts, if wether the Ventriloquist was actually destroyed, instead of the dummy, and if it was really 'Posssessd'...

Alongside this, the use of lighting in this black and white shot film, conveys a very dark atmosphere, with characters half immeresed in darkness it really works well at creating tension between the characters..
Again, altough there are some comical scenes throughout, due to it's time period, the esscence, and how effective the story plays with the suggestive, not actually painting a clear, definitive picture, where we can be sure of the outcome,  as well as the 'Uncanny Valley' really appeals to the genre, and really works well in portraying such,

Possible Settings For Piece....Idea's

Okay, so I'm still in early days gathering research at the moment, which I've focused mainly on the Film Medium, but I have some possible settings that I want to explore that I feel I can manipulate in such a way to portay the 'Uncanny', by turning the 'Fammiliar' against us....

House/Hotel (Directly tapping into the Unhomely)
Hospital/Police Station (Manipulates saftey)
Playground/Fairground (Plays on children aspect)
Street (Again, playing on the Unhomely dirercetly)
School (Plays on)

In hindsight, I don't particularly feel that the scene itself is that important, yes the suggestive elements within the scene should convey their surroundings, but I feel that the actual elemtents I have in mind are so simple that they could perhaps be included in most of these... and I especially want to focus on portraying an american suburb aesthitic...

I've been thinking recently that to capture the esscence of an environment, that maybe I should visit these places and take photo's of them, I've actually seen some good settings around, such as delapated buildings, powerstations...that I feel personally could add a whole new element to my work...

.....so that's probably my next step

Casshern 'Kazuaki Kiriya'















This live-action film bases it's story origins on an anime series of the same name, although recently re-done, it stays true to it's predecessors esscence, as well as its look, combining real-time with CG in a more stylistic method.

The basis behind the film is that our world, as many depict the future, has fallen to into a state of despair, with polloution and nuclear warfare, devouring and diminishing the people health with death tolls on the rise from radiation that defined the 'one nation' that has come to rule a remainder of the world, and empire almost, and as with any empire, it's leading, an old withering man, is trying secure his own life above others, researching and developing cloning techniques, involving life transplants, such as integral organs being farmed into a pool of DNA....otherwise dubbed as neo-cells, and by some godly power, these cells are granted life, animating them..












As there story progresses, the anime origins appear to become more apparent, with it's frequent fight scenes, packed full of action, and it's fantasy based plot, there is alot of interwining developments that give the story all the more depth, in subtle tones of flashbacks, and in all honesty, it does come across as quite confusing the first watch, with it's consistent twists, but nevertheless through the protanganist, and antagonists, we are drawn into a world of fighting about identity and belonging, surivial, war, friendship and family, as well as it's subtle love plot, this film really challanges the veiwer to think about moral beliefs, that are present in everday society, and will make you think well after the watch...

In no means apart from this, the look of the film itself is what gives that edge to it, with it's higly-stylised effects that have been intergrated into both the foreground, and background, trhough the use of maniplation, with use of 'Greenscreen' it almost has a 'concept art' esscence, with it's vivid colour palette, in contrast to some scenes shot purely in grayscale portraying time and location, capturing a surreal atmosphere and depth, almost has an elegance to it. Alongside this, the settings for the scenes themseleves appear to be straight out of an anime itself, and pays homage well, with scenes ranging from an futuristic, industrial metropolis, to a snow immeresed castle (packed full of robot's), to an overexagerate indoor greenhouse, some landscapes that couldn't be more contrasted...as well as this the characters themselves certainly have the traditional anime aesthitics, with their unique, stylistic sense of clothing, built for battle....











Finally, the soundtrack to the film really delivers the final blow to capaturing the esscene of it's anime origins, contrasting from portraying a fast-paced action scene, to a heartfelt ending, full of emotion, in a surreal element....and overall brings the film a defining position in it's genre.....

To get a feel of the film itself, check out the fight scene below.....




Friday, 11 December 2009

'Saw Series' James Wan

Now im not your vivid 'Saw' fan, that everyone goes crazy for blood and guts, to be honest, i think it's a cheats way out to attract an audience, an the story, in the first few films may have had some credibility, but it seems to me that they have become trapped in their own deivces...

Although, creativley speaking, outside of it's own generics, it does carry some really great elements, such as the overall look of the sets, as well as it's use of colour, the grimey, stained walls and decaaying surrounds really give the spaces in the film so much depth and style, as well as some of the use of colouring that appear to portray an eerie effect, and these elements are somthing I've been considering texture wise to include into my own work....

Here's some images from the series









































As you can see, most of the film's have this 'decaying' sense about them, with their colour pallete's staying loosely within green/browns, almost like a rustic effect, along with the stains, and the sense of neglect/abandoning, it really works well to convey the aesthics portrayed within the films

Wicked 'Apollo Victoria'
















So.....I actually went to see wicked last night, after arranging it ageeeeees ago with an old friend, and to be honest, the story behind Oz really interests me, and especially after seeing everyone's work from the 'Space' unit, I find different interpretations quite interesting, so, I decided to give it a go, even though it was a musical......yeh, me....at a musical......hahaha

But it really was something else, the set was amazing, with it's cog-work exterior, along with the thin branches intertwining into these, and it's changing scenery has elements of both Art Decor, along with this whole 'Steampunk' atmosphere, expressed through both the set, and the costumes of the changing environments really brings depth the the story, with it's scenes such as 'The Emerald City' which immerses the audience in this green glow, alongside this the 'Wizard Of Oz' with his huge mask, acting as a terrifying facade really does capture this element, the bulky brass head appearing solemn in it's wake....

Alongside the set, the introduction of characters outside the original films existence really does add more a edge to both the original, and the musical itself, such as the backstory behind how Scarecrow, Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion came to be, as well as a series of events that act as a catalyst from the past, effecting the future...but the main focus of the plot revolves around the White Witch (Glnda) and the Wicked Witch Of The West (Elphaba).......and how their relationship spins the plot in an alternate interpretation....

Although this was in fact a Musical, and im not a huge fan of them in all honesty, the sound of this production was amazing, and really created a magical atmosphere, and the level of skill both in choreography and singing was again, amazing, and well, I wouldn't speak to soon, but it has definitely made me think about going to see another musical, as well watching 'Wicked' again.....

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Morphsuits?

Haha, okay so i was just 'browsing' facebook, and saw this advert talking about a fancy dress item called Morphsuits, pretty much self explanatory really, they just looked really cool to be honest, so I checked it out.....but when I went on the link, there were some really good photo's, some of which, in the right context could appear quite freaky.....anyway, here's some of them in action































Research?

Okay...so I'm not too sure which dierection im sposed to be researching in, I mean it's hard to come by 'uncanny' artists, but I kind of find myself veering towards film research and how the 'uncanny' elements are captured and portrayed within them, both phsyically, and metaphorically.....and older films seem to be inriched in these qualities.....

On another note, I have some idea's swimming around my head, particualrly focusing on the 'suggestive', but nothing specific, like a scene, but the elements with them I have figured out....

Just a bit confused to be honest lol

Monday, 7 December 2009

Pirates Cove!

Here's the texturing of the pre-made image, with Sand and Coins....












And then with the Map, Pearls, and Gems....made a few changes with colour...











I found this exercise quite interesting, and effective, hopefully I'll be able to use these techniques in my work!!!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Maya....19-20...

Okay, so here's tsome more maya work I've done....im finding I'm gettin faster at this, which is pretty good!


Ron Muek

The special effect's-turn-hyper-realist-fine artist captures life in his sculptures to the best possible accuracy, from the invidual starnds of hair, down to the pores in the skin, it just goes to show attention to detail can really push an inviduals work that extra bit futher...to me personally, there really is this high sense on unease around his work, however fantastic it may be, perhaps it's the preciseness of that 'life-like sense in his work, alongside the inanimate status, that makes it appear that there is this 'pressance' about the figures, almost like a corpse if you will....as well as this, he further challanges our perception of the human figure by manipulating the scale of them, to either be realistic, or hugely over-exaggerate....