Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Scouting for Sites

Rough test footage I gathered in an hour of the site around Waverly Station in Edinburgh can be seen condensed into a short video here. The footage is to help me to choose the shots and sites to film from. If there are any shots/ locations/ vantage points which you think would be good to use post a comment or send me an email with the time-code of the video.

2D Elements

As well as making a 3D building I would like to learn how to project my 2D backgrounds in a 3D space and apply 2D textures to 3D models. The project which I would like to test this out on is an ongoing one which began a year ago that I have been working on whenever I get a chance. there are only four shots done in total but I enjoy it and its really a medium for experimentation at the moment. The film is called leap year and full information can be found by going to my other blog here and looking at all of the Leap Year posts. The animatic for the project is here.

Today I decided to export shot 10 again as being back at uni means I have access to a decent version of After Effects. The camera is still not correct but its really to test if the many layers are lining up. Let me know if you spot any which are going awry as I may have gone cross eyed. I have uploaded the full background I created below. The new video can be found here.

Friday, 23 September 2011


As part of our research and methods element of the Masters course we have been asked to do a presentation about a film or artist who has inspired us and who will potentially be influencing our final project ideas. I will be revealing the film I have chosen next week and will hopefully get the final presentation online but until then I have posted up some of the contenders along with a short crit revealing what specifically influenced me in the projects. 

Steel Life - Mathieu Gérard

Film :
Making Of:

Steel life is an experimental master's thesis film finished in 2009 by Mathieu Gérard at the Arts et Technologies de l’Image Paris. Described as a "breathtaking tapestry of textures and light that evokes themes of genesis and rebirth" the film uses abstract realism, loving rendered imagery inspired by and incorporating real footage and photos from nature to build a reflective and absorbing narrative. Mathieu's goal for the project was to create an organic and dreamful aesthetic  musing using the power of contemporary CG and visualisation software. As well as this theme being inherent to the entire piece Mathieu's process was equally organic as he first gathered footage and effects and began piecing the film together without having an original structure for it. In order to create the final piece Mathieu used Maya and Real Flow combined with live footage and digital textures. When it was nearing completion he asked composer Mathieu Alavado to write a short piece and the wonderful soundtrack was recorded by the Star Pop Orchestra at the Conservatoire  National Superieur de Musique de Paris while the final scenes were being edited. 

I find this film interesting because of the questions and hypothesis it shows by portraying a built world minus any humans or organic life. By making the liquid steel the main character it highlights how abstract the Earth would be if it were purely forms and structures without nature to inhabit it. There is a good sense of pace which hides the freeform creation of the piece and I find the colour and composition of the shots both incredibly beautiful and well constructed. Although the imagery is of a high and interesting standard the music adds a depth and romantic element too it which makes re-watching compelling and absorbing. Of all the student films I have seen online or at festivals this is the film which I have re-watched the most. 

The Fall - Tarsem Singh


For those of you who haven't seen it I don't want to give much away except that it is rated 7.9 on IMDB trailer is above, it was produced by Spike Jonze and is probably one of the prettiest and maddest films I have ever seen. A very good example of magical realism the film has a dark sense of humor which cuts through the scenes which verge on being more pretentious and has one of the most vibrant use of colour and locations of any film [outside a nature documentary] that I have seen. The Fall uses a lot of photographic techniques and contemporary composition to create a visual feast with a strong, accessible story-line. 

Thursday, 22 September 2011


I was unable to attend the workshop on Tuesday so this is my post-it fueled attempt at catching up. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Collated Drawings

Final Elevations

This Is What Sant'Elia Drew in 1912-14...

Futurist architect Sant’Elia’s 1914 sketch for a train station angered and intrigued viewers, sparking debate in the practical and theoretical realms of architecture. Showcased in Sant’Elia’s influential ‘New Tendencies’ exhibition, the design embodied Futurist architectural principles and remains widely studied both academically and through the medium of cinema today. Despite its influence however, the design was never realised on an actual site, solely existing as a single perspective sketch. 

...and Here Is My 2D CAD Interpretation. Next Phase COLOUR

Back To The Digital Drawing Board

Potential master's project begins. I'm using CAD properly for the first time since I worked for Austin-Smith:Lord Architects, to draw a building which never got beyond a futurist perspective sketch. Tricky but strangely satisfying. More details to follow as soon as something gets approved/finished, but for now have an under-development snapshot.

Start as you mean to continue!

Today was the first introduction of the masters course. Went well and not just because of the free wine and sparkling water at the end of it. I think this year is going to be interesting. We had a meet and greet introduction presentation where we outlined to the class our backgrounds and what we want to do with the masters. Along with the showreel this was my presentation, simple but hopefully it works: