Wednesday, 28 November 2007

My Chair: Maya

After creating the chair last week I was quick to start sketching ideas for a new more characterized chair. I started by practicing drawing front, profile and orthographic projections of the original chair we were all going to be creating using the Maya program. Doing this helped me see what some of my initial ideas would look like as a 3D model. In all my initial ideas i have designed a chair for a specific type of character ranging from an evil horror character to a fairy godmother style character. I also realized that some of my designs could be used to represent two different types of character and that the colour of the chair and lighting would determine what type of mood and personality was portrayed.

I began developing ideas for a chair to suit a mystical, magical character but the drawings were too complicated and the chair began to look unrealistic. I changed my designs to suit a villain or megalomaniac character. A tall, modern looking arm chair with sharper corners and a flatter cushion. I shared some of my designs with James and he gave me advise on how to make the chair appear more like that of my characters. After researching further i realized that i would have to bring the side arches of the chair in because most villains in chairs would tend to try and hide their face.

Lighting in Live Action Films

I have explored lighting before. I remember in the original 1960 Psycho film by Alfred Hitchcock the infamous shower scene where the mother figure is just a silhouette adds to the mystery of the murderer and fear factor of the film. The scene at the end when the girl turns the old women round to reveal a skeleton. The light bulb is hit and the light around the room moves quickly and randomly over the contours of the skeleton in the eye sockets and cracks. It indicates panic and horror and is a perfect climax to the suspense at the beginning of the scene.

The 1949 film The third man,a british example of film noir directed by carol reed is a black and white film. The lighting plays a essential role. In the underground canal scenes the lighting is very dark with shadows and silhouettes which makes the audience feel nervous and excited because they can't see exactly what is going on. The romantic scenes in most film noir films will always have a soft light directly on the female actors face to emphasize her beauty and facial expressions so that the audience are drawn in and captured in the moment.

Complete darkness also draws an audience in as they are likely to look closer into the screen. this technique is often used when trying to startle or surprise the audience.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Maya: Introduction

Maya is a new software to me, I have never used it before. I knew that it would be complicated at first and that would never have the patients to learn software like this without a tutorial. At the beginning of the tutorial I knew nothing but after repeating some of the same tasks i found that it became easier and could see how maya is essential to modern day 3D design and animation. Maya reminded me of a piece of design software call pro desktop. Both the programs digitally build three dimensional shapes. I noticed some similarities between the two, however pro desktop is more to do with product design. I wasn't familiar with any of the terminology in the maya program but i gained confidence throughout the session and was comfortable experimenting with the shapes of the pillow and chair. I found the lighting part of the exercise one of the most significant it made such a difference to the rendered image. It gave the chair character. I will have to think about the lighting and shape of my own chair so that a strong character and personality can be seen. 3D animation is definitely i field i would like to go into so i look forward to learning more about maya.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Digital Anmation Practice: Throwing the ball.

I found this exercise by far the most challenging. As an animated i needed to consider the shape and movements of both a large character and a small character as well as there body language, personalities and emotions. I also needed to consider the way the ball moves and how it looks through the air and hitting the large character.

I spent the majority of the day drawing the small characters interaction with the ball. I think the previous work i have done in digital animation practice made it easier to know how many frames a certain movement takes. i waned my character to pick up he ball and dribble it like a basketball. I had to work out how many frames this took and also the direction and bounce of the basketball as well as the characters arm and body movements. I ended up drawing around three seconds worth of frames, nearly forty small drawings. I used the squash and stretch technique i had learnt for the bounce of the ball. By doing a line test i was able to see how the animation came to life, i did the piece section by section adding and removing frames if necessary. Finally the small characters movements were in time and looked realistic. The ball drops in front of the character, he then picks it up, dribbles it twice and shoots for the larger character.

Animating the large characters reaction will probably be just as hard.....