Research- Edgar Wright and the Cornetto Trilogy

Admittedly, I had never heard of Edgar Wright until both Cassie and Ryan (he’s not even in our team and is literally a sixth member I swear).

Edgar Wright is the pioneer in visual comedy- many of his movies are classics and his style and ways of achieving laughs make him iconic in the industry. Comparing his work to American comedy of similar standard (for example Paul vs The World’s End), even with the same actors, just doesn’t have the same flow.

Cassie showed me this video which explained why this was and I thought it was very helpful in showing the different in comedy and Visual comedy.

The transitions a easter eggs is something we wanted to explore. Cassie pointed out a few things to us while watching the movies. (YouTube, 2016).

The first thing was the easter eggs or hidden things throughout the movie. In Hot Fuzz the detective sits behind a whiteboard with a spider diagram listing characteristics that are relevant to him. Also in Hot Fuzz, the twins (played by Bill Bailey) the twins read books by the same author- or so it seems. One reads a book by Ian Banks, whereas the second reads a book by Ian M Banks, showing subtle changes of character.

In Shaun of the Dead, the whole plot itself is summarised by Ed at the start of the film. Wright foreshadows the movie to us with out us really noticing, until the end.

The foreshadowing scene itself.

Bloody Mary first thing – The first zombie they encounter is Mary who they impale.
Bite at The Kings Head –  Philip gets bit by a zombie in the neck.
Couple at The Little Princess – They save Liz and her mates at her apartment.
Stagger back here – They arrive at the Winchester for safety.
Back at the bar for shots – They are in a rush to find shot gun shell behind the bar when over run by zombies.

In our own animation we could maybe foreshadow this plot- maybe through the book the character is reading. Titles like “how to steal a bulb,” “finding en-light-enment” and “lights for dummies” spring to mind.

Edgar Wright also has a characteristic and comical way of moving things in and out of frame, such as the cake in Hot Fuzz and the phone in Scott Pilgrim vs The World. We could probably play with this in ours as the woman find the bulb- could it swing into frame, like on a cord?

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Cake appearing from off camera. (Hot Fuzz, 2007).

The reappearing phone occurs in most of Wright’s films, including Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.

Edgar Wright takes advantage of the shot by shot progression- to give a set tone to his work. In Hot Fuzz this is seen in the Prisoner Line Ups, giving a very Sin City look and feel to the scene.

In Scott Pilgrim this is used a lot to replicate the comic like feel in most movies. I thought the end battle showed this pretty well.

 

Lighting cues are another thing used by Wright- explained in the video at the top of the post. One that stands out the most for me is that in Hot Fuzz. The flash of light on the hallions glasses is reminiscent of a Police search light. We could use this in our own animation- particularly the scene at the end. Could the nurse discovering the mum have a similar looking lighting effect as the door opens.

References

YouTube. (2016). Edgar Wright – How to Do Visual Comedy. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FOzD4Sfgag [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].

Shaun of the Dead. (2004). [film] United States: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.

Hot Fuzz. (2007). [film] United States: Edgar Wright.

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Set Design- Model Sheets

We each worked on a few model sheets to help with the modelling of the props in our set. I was tasked with the chair and the IV stand itself. Since the IV design our animatic has changed (again) and now we no longer need the drip cable to be attached to the character.

These sheets were based on the items from a previous post.

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IV stand.

Looking into the work of Edgar Wright we realised that some of the Easter Eggs could be hidden thoughout the scene. What if, for instance, the IV bag said ‘Cure for Sassiness’ on the label.

The drip cable itself could even be tied off, as if she is preventing the fluid from entering her stream. Or even the ‘butterfly’ clip these place into the back of the hand could be dangling from the frame- as if she has ripped it out. Yes- I have done this as a child and have no intentions of doing it again.

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The chair

I was able to take some reference photos of the chairs in my own work (our staff room has these horrible chairs). I was really happy with how this chair turned out as Lorna commented it “actually looked 3D.” I did a quick few side shots of how the rest of the chair would look from different angles.

 

Our Final Design.

We kind of had a bit of a collaborative ‘draw out the character onto all the boards in our room to finalise a design.’

We all noted the similarities in our drawings including;

  • the large glasses- we agreed on a more cat eye shape as it best matches that on Cassie’s Mom herself. We also thought they suited her personality a bit more- less owly and more sassy.
  • the short body height and rounder shape- it says a lot more about her we thought.
  • thinner/leaner limbs to suggest she would be weaker at walking on them so would therefore be clumsy when moving.
  • a straight, bowl like hair cut with a lot of bounce. Reminiscent of the Mean Girls quote “that’s why her hair is so big- it’s full of secrets.”

Hollie then kindly took our designs as drew them up into our model sheet. The bunny slippers were an excellent touch. They gave more of a ‘mumsy’ vibe to her.

10603969_1586763628315396_6773888407418180731_o.jpgOur final design!

Research- Modelling Artists

We created a Pinterest board as a group to have a look into Modelling Artists and how these go about creating their designs from the drawing to the model itself. Topology and geometry is another thing I wanted to ensure was correct and worked well.

David Barrero

This was one of the original models that had caught my eye. This girl model by Barrero is adorable and has a great likeability factor. Her eyes are large and doe like- reminiscent of the Preston Blair’s advice in Cartoon Animation. The model itself is based on a piece by Anderson Mahanski– whose work is amazing in itself.

Little Princess. (Behance.net, 2016).

This little girl character is lovely and her hair is very similar to that of our own character (minus the pigtails). I will have a look into how he created this look- maybe a quick email is necessary.

Below is another of the designs that I looked at by Barrero. This simplistic but lovely design from the project Dead Moon Walking. The facial features reminded me of our own design.

Dean Moon Walking. (Behance.net, 2016).

Freya. (Behance.net, 2016).

I really liked this design for the Gladiator inspired by designs by Jeremiah Alcorn. I thought the typology in the skirt would come in handy when modeling the the gown on the model.

Cecy Meade

This is another animator we looked at- and you can kind of see why. Her simple models are very beautiful and we loved the actual style in the colouring- the light effect made the lambert look like a plastic material?

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This it the model that inspired us the most. The large eyes of the girl give a sense of nerdiness in nature. Her lip biting also gives the sense of a shy nature. All these little character aspects help us get to grips with her personality.

The other characters we looked as. Much like the previous years ‘Toasted’ we wanted to explore the possible use of 2D facial features, rather than having to rig the face. This looks very similar to the facial features pictured above.

Zerbamine

We thought these little characters for an anti-smoking campaign were really cute and gave a basic idea of what our character could be created from- i.e. in a low poly.

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The little cute low poly character designs really caught our eye. (Zerbamine.nl, 2016).

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Full animation completed by Zolton Karai. (Zerbamine.nl, 2016).

Emberlab

This VFX website featured this model on their instagram page but unfortunately didn’t feature the artist who created this little guy.

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I really loved the softness in his features- something we will be trying to achieve in our own work. (Pinterest, 2016).

References

Behance.net. (2016). Behance. [online] Available at: https://www.behance.net/davidbarrero [Accessed 29 Mar. 2016].

Zerbamine.nl. (2016). stivoro : zerbamine. [online] Available at: http://www.zerbamine.nl/projects/stivoro/ [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016].

Pinterest. (2016). Ember Lab on Instagram: “A fun turn-around render from our project breakdown video coming soon. #vfx #animation #Maya #3D #creative @victoriorcg”. [online] Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/299137600231244347/ [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016].

A few ideas..

conceptsThese are some of the little ideas I had come up with, looking at the body elements to our world. Combining the research into the nervous system and Steam Punk. I really liked the idea of using the Red Moss and the visuals of a mesh used in Zdzisław Beksiński. I experimented further with these doing a few little digital concepts (below).

12764739_10201412598674908_3377275239093188638_oI combined some of the drawings in my sketchbook with these- looking into combing the various elements and taking different pieces from different worlds to put them together.

These will be developed further and had a look into more for the next meeting.

An Idea- Steampunk Inspired

Below is an initial idea I had created, inspired by the Steampunk research I had done. I tried to create this isolation of islands, corresponding with the different social classes in the city.

I tried to keep the shared them of the moss or nervous system between the planets, to make them look used and old- or like a living organism itself, as I had seen in both War of the Worlds (2010). Although I had looked into using a neon colour as a highlight in the world, to show the location of the power source, I decided to not include it. I went for a more grungy black and white look, inspired by the old 50’s videos of aliens ‘caught on camera.’

 

 The low tracking shot on a wide lens brings the audience down to the level of the character, making it look like something is following him. (YouTube, 2016).

I had been watching a documentary on The Shining (1980) and found that the camera movement implied in many of the scenes gives the illusion of another character watching the scene. The designs for the original set showed  a lot of human features in them- doorways shaped like eyes, the patterns in the wall paper like faces themselves.

 

(YouTube, 2016).

I actually really liked how this turned out, the middle world being the upper class planet. I wanted to give a marble like look to the middle planet. In actual models for the planet itself it would be nice to experiment with the glow on the middle body, giving it an electric like look to it.

world idea

References

YouTube. (2016). REAL ALIEN CAUGHT ON TAPE! Interrogated by the KGB!. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTfPSsw88P0 [Accessed 4 May 2016].

YouTube. (2016). “The Shining” – steadishot by Garret Brown. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy7ztJ3NUMI [Accessed 4 May 2016].

Research- Steampunk and Such

Inspiration comes from all angles- and in this case it was a shelf in my room. I was looking up at the books lining my ‘library’ (a girl can dream) and was drawn to the Terry Pratchett books I used to read as a child. The illustrations in it always stuck my attention as they were not as ‘clean cut’ as those that I was used to.

The drawings were full of colour and each piece had lots of different elements involved, entertaining for the eye. The characters involved were also very natural and were shown in a great light- more brutal and true to the character Pratchett had described or written, such as the trolls and witches.

Paul Kidby and Josh Kirby are two of the artists whose work I was most familiarised with, both the the Disc World Series and the Charmed Realm chronicles included their illustrations.

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The Fourth Disc World cover by Josh Kirby. (Pratchett, 2001).

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More work by Josh Kirby. I really liked the visual of the floating carpet/wagon in this as transport. This could be something we look into in our own world- could transport be by flying chariots?  (Pratchett, 2001).

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Disc World itself- a world on the back of a turtle, balanced on top of elephants. Could we incorporate the animals common to Rome in our own designs?  By Josh Kirby. (Pratchett, 2001).

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Not original artwork but I really like the muted colours in this. This piece by Bartosz Kosowski is an interpretation of Terry Pratchett’s Disc World environment. (Fleskes et al., 2016).

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These are some of Paul Kidby’s illustrations from The Wee Free Men. I loved the design in the characters in this and how Kidby really captured the Scottish look in their design.  (Pratchett, 2003).

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I loved the contrast in colours in this- the feminine pinks against the harsh Scottish Wee Men. (Pratchett, 2003).

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Another piece I love- the composition really shows the size of the Wee Men- the bird giving an idea of their literal height. (Pratchett, 2003).

When searching through some of the artwork for the books a friend suggested to me that I look into the artist Gábor Eszenyi, a sculpture maker.

I couldn’t actually find much about the artist himself, however, I was able to find a good few examples of his work.

Sound of the pieces I was inspired by. (Anon, 2016).

I really loved how he joined the various parts of the world or houses together with metallic pillars- I thought these really added to the patch work quality of the world.

Looking at this artist’s work really made me want to research ‘Steampunk’ more, as it is reminiscent of the style.

Steam Punk is defined as a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. Most of the elements of this world is mechanical or made from some sort of machinery. The term was driven by the fictional works of authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells (both responsible for books like War of the Worlds and Around the World in Eighty Days).

The word ‘punk’ used in the term is used to emphasise the need to go against the normal. Creativity and declaration of one’s individuality through style, gadgets, or attitudes gives this ‘punk’ nature to us all. Our world is the encapsulation of the ‘punk’ element as Roman citizens go against the world that they live in- standing up for themselves.

In this alternate universe there are certain characteristics that apply with the iconology. Buildings, machinery and even the clothing, all have mechanical elements to them. They are heavily adorned in buttons, nobs and cogs. These can actually provide a function or just be for fashion choice.

The worlds themselves often seem to be smog ridden, or blanketed in it anyway. The time period being that of the Victorian times which fits with this smog- burning of coal was the main fuel source.

Artwork by J.Otto Szatmari. (ArtStation, 2016).

I thought the artwork of J. Otto Szatmari was really helpful in showing this movement. The hot hair balloon/ blimp seems to be a common theme in these designs- maybe this is something we could use in our own work.

References

ArtStation. (2016). J.Otto Szatmari. [online] Available at: https://www.artstation.com/artist/jotto [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].

Pratchett, T. (2001). Mort. New York, N.Y.: HarperTorch.

Fleskes, J., Fleskes, J., Fleskes, J., Fleskes, J., Fleskes, J. and Fleskes, J. (2016). Spectrum Fantastic Art News | Flesk and Spectrum Fantastic Art Blog written by John Fleskes. [online] Fleskpublications.com. Available at: http://fleskpublications.com/blog/category/spectrum-fantastic-art-news/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2016].

Pratchett, T. (2003). The Wee Free Men. New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins Pub.

Anon, (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.steampunktendencies.com/post/76224272745/gábor-eszenyi-facebook-google-twitter [Accessed 26 Mar. 2016].