Monday, 9 November 2009

Where I am at the moment

I have been preparing more of my essay on The Dark Knight. One of the things I will be looking at is how the design of the production has made the film more realistic from the comics or other batman films.

Ive only started this weeks batch of Maya tutorials and still need to do eight more parts for the house.

I've never seen Alien before and I enjoyed it. I thought it looked very up to date except for the scene when the baby alien run away. It was jumpy rather than scary. This was created by long scenes of not much happening with a sudden appearance of the alien, hidden in the shadows.

See the latest drawings and painting below in the previous post.


  1. Hi Ethan,

    glad to see your still sketching ideas etc. That an interesting point of view from the pit although at this angle the pendulum is losing its iconic shape, I think if yoiu stay with this angle you are ghoing to need to find a way to emphasise the nature and intent of the metal as it swings back and forth.

  2. Hello! Yes, I've had another look at the Pit images, and I agree with Simon... how about if your angle of view was more over to the right (where the big rat is)? Then you wouldn't be directly under the pendulum and you might be able to see more of its shape...

  3. Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

    Hi Ethan,

    You began this unit very confidently and your relationship to your blog is beginning to feel more immediate and self-directed; all of this is good, but, predictably, I'm going to urge you to keep building on this improvement. I encourage you to take a look at Ruben's blog for a clear 'yardstick' by which to measure your own workflow and engagement; yes, Ruben had excellent drawing skills, but it's his approach to showing his creative approach that I'd like you to focus on; the way he organises his pipeline of tasks - from book research and film adaptations, to the text, to preliminary sketches, to thumbnails, to the development of more resolved digital paintings; he archives every stepping stone - alongside his responses to the various movies and other observations. Think of your blog as a 'project document' - yours is still missing some information - some stages presumed, but not shown.

    Regarding your critical responses to the movies etc., you appear to be growing in confidence here too and I'm personally pleased that you've responded positively to the cultural programme; that said, one of the things I want you to build into your workflow is a more comparative approach to discussing the films; I want you to always accompany your reviews with some supporting reviews from other sources; this ability to find and use evidence to support your views is absolutely central to the construction of successful written assignments. I'm going to follow this post with a second, more general comment about the essay, included with which is a list of websites providing an exhaustive number of reviews - use them.

    Regarding the scenes themselves, Simon and Jackie are 'bang on' about the composition of the Pit and the Pendulum image; the pendulum is like the 'catchphrase' of Poe's story - the most recognisable, iconic element - and you should use it to your advantage; I'd also suggest that, currently, the audience of rats lend a more cartoony element to the tone of the image, which may - or may not - be welcome.

    In terms of balance, I find the first painting a bit disproportionate, with the wall on the right; if you were to create more of a vignette effect - with the view channeled through a view (the image balanced out by the limbs of a tree or another part of the building), then a greater sense of depth might be achieved; it might also feel a bit more voyeuristic, thus lending more menace and intent to the scene. I'd like to return your attention to that early painting you did of the crypt - it was very successful because it conveyed depth and a real sense of spatiality - something that is currently missing from your more recent images.

  4. Written Assignment stuff…

    Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

    “Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
    Read more:

    You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
    IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

    AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief précis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

    Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!


    The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

    Good Luck! ☺