Monday, 30 September 2013

Feng Zhu Interview

I don't know if this will interest anyone at all but it really interested me. Just a short interview with Feng Zhu about his career, interests and inspirations etc. Anyone who is serious into concept art should defiantly give this a read. It really echo's a lot of Jordan's points today. By increasing your understanding of everything it leads to great design concepts he even goes as far as saying: ''Drawing is really very secondary to what I do.'' - Feng Zhu.

Here is the article:

Date of access 30/09/2013 :

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Enivronment thumbnails: 01-14

First thumbnail set for 'The Pit and The Pendulum'. This is proving to be trickier than I had thought as in the book there is not a lot of lighting in the scene so I'm going to have to almost make up the lighting scenario for this piece.

Although he talks about white angel like candles that he focuses on and then suddenly disappears, I feel this has potential to make a good illustrative piece with the lighting fading away in the frame like number 8. I also see potential in 12 even though its stretched I could increase the height to make it 16:9 and design a roof to the area. I'm finding myself loosening up in Photoshop now and starting to get ideas down quicker just from these initial ideas.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Influence Maps 1-6

Here are my first 6 influence maps for 'The Pit and The Pendulum' book that I have been given. At first I was looking at the interior of dungeons back in the 1800's and 1900's this was to help find out what the inside design could initially look like as there is very little description on what was around him.I also looked at torture rooms and London Dungeons etc. Due to the little description I feel as if I am going to have to add little bits like skulls and demon inscription/ art work on the wall etc.

Then I went onto what sort of pendulum it was going to be, I could imagine this being a medieval type of pendulum swinging from the ceiling. Furthermore went onto how I was going to light the shot and looked at film nior lighting and dramatic lighting effects, there seemed to be a lot of silhouette uses which could be interesting. These will help propel me onto my thumbnails and get going with this project :).

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Review

This review examines the film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) directed by Robert Wiene. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is an impressionistic horror film made in the silent move era and was

Throughout the years The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari had been very inspirational and influential to many other films due to its stylistic approach to film making. Most films in the 1920's had the tendency to capture reality, whilst Dr. Caligari did quite the opposite with its expressionistic approach. ''The 1920s were the decade that saw the rise of the Dada and Surrealist movements''[1]. This film showed a clear inspiration from the surrealism movement and alongside the German Expressionism with its abstract environments that almost looked like pieces of art work used as scenery. Although it is mainly art work and script writing that had big impact on the surrealism movement it looks like films such as Dr. Caligari had also moved in that direction too.

With this approach of surrealism being brought into the film it had a very unique approach to the environments. It seemed to be derived from original art works with big bold strokes, pointy grass, sleeping windows and jagged buildings. Frame this alongside dark atmosphere and interesting characters and you have yourself a very unique horror movie that does not seem a decay old at all. Whilst watching this movie I had several flashbacks of the more recently released movie Shutter Island(2010). Shutter Island seemed to have the same plot but without the same stylistic approach. This reinforces how era's can have an affect on how a film is approached, whilst we are in the era of special effects and realism they were focusing more on abstractness and symbolism; which raises the question which leads to a stronger and more unique viewing experience?

"Caligari" is said to be the first example in cinema of German Expressionism, a visual style in which not only the characters but the world itself is out of joint''.[1] Throughout the film it was clear that it was not set in a real time world. Rather it was set in the mind of the mentalist. This gave them the creative freedom to produce a world that was not of the norm and allowed this whole film a sense of non-normality to it hybridising fiction and non fiction. It was clear it was a film that was not suppose to be enjoyed for pleasure but to make you think and understand the situation that German people were left in after the first world war. It was even lead to believe that Caligari was a representation of Hitler and the germans where all his sleepwalkers under his spell in the book ''From Caligari to Hitler''. Although this was before Hitlers time it is always interesting to see connections between German expressionism films and the lead up to Hitlers rising.

Being part of the artistic movement allowed Dr. Caligari to approach this film with more of an artistic influence to it. After seeing the concept art you realise just how accurate this film is to art itself. This had inspired many other artists through the years, Tim Burton being one of the most noticeable artists and although the plot it self was not unsettling it was the surrounding environment and characters transform it into something weird. This made for a unique experience and it can show simply how simple set design and character design with the right execution can make for a very powerful experience indeed. It must of taken an excellent mind to bring this all together and to extract all the metaphors and meanings behind this revolutionary production would take a life time. Although this being a black and white film it was way above its time and even now in-between all the special effect hyper realism films being produced today this film should not be missed for pure quality of the production.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Environment Project: Book Excerpts


I don't really know why I stopped reading books because that was amazing. The image on the front of the book really describes it well. It was about this person who finds himself in a dark mysterious dungeon being tortured, surrounded by rats eating off of him and starved to death by the 'demons' in the cell. It was a really great read and look forward to doing some atmospheric paintings on this one. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Environment Thumbnails

These are my first set of environment thumbnails, this is my first time ever painting in Photoshop and loving it! After today's lesson it really had inspired me to hone my skills in concept art. They are random environments focusing on trying to get used to different brushes and brush settings within Photoshop. overall I'm really happy with these and look forward to doing more!


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Final Structure

Here is my final structure I decided to go for the more exotic one rather than the sci-fi one as I feel this one has more characteristic to it compared to the others. I also feel this one had more potential to create its own world with giant plants and colourful creatures.

Back Story
A little hut  made of giant leaves and a wooden foundation. Its located in the middle of an exotic island full of bright colours and mysterious creatures. The wildlife being mysterious as well along with the giant mushroom characteristics on the plants behind the hut. The island is also a floating island (much like the floating islands in Avatar).

It reminds me of Shrek's hut and I feel this piece is interesting with lots of personality to it - im overal proud of the design :). That's my summer project done for now, I lost count of how many drawings I done to get my final pieces but it could not be far off 101 :). 

Structure Designs

One of these designs are going to be my final structure although I am not too sure which one to do at the moment. I carried on the silhouettes from the previous ones.

21 - A little hut in the middle of an exotic land full of bright colours and mysterious creatures. The wildlife also being mysterious with the giant mushroom characteristics on the plants behind the hut. The island is also a floating island (much like the floating islands in Avatar), it also reminds me of Shrek's hut, I feel this piece could be very interesting with lots of personality to it.

22 & 23 - Two almost alien structures one is based in a junk yard with scrap metal.The other one in an exotic land scape feeling very foreign in design. They both have an alien encryption on them (the tattoo lines on them) to symbolize there race that they are from, the tatoo at night would also glow in the dark each of different colours.  I feel both have nice characteristics and could potentially be really good designs.

24 & 25 - Both more of a sci-fi design with stragiht designs. The second on have engines on the bottom making the structure float in mid air to protect them from what ever is below. 24 also is mysteriously balancing on the very tip on the building - some say its a force/spell put onto the building.

I like all of the designs but I dont know which design to take forward onto my final outcome, If I had time I feel I would do more than one but unfortunately I do not, so would love to know your opinion. Thanks for reading it all if you did I know its long :).

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Structure Silhouette's

Just like my machine's I decided to start from a silhouette base and work on top of them for idea's. So far I am liking 18, 6, 15, 16. I want to create a structure that also does not feel mechanical but from a more natural surrounding. From these I will carry on with my drawing and then follow up a final design.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Final Life Form

My final life form is a character that I could imagine living in an exotic jungle (like the croods). He is part of the bird family, but was born without any feathers apart from a few on his tail and a few on the back of his head, although this does not effect his outgoing personality.

This one derived from the life form idea sheet - #16. I was going to give him a hat at first but decided not to, but in the future I plan to do a high res sketch of this character, detailing him up to a complete design. I'm pleased with the overall character. Now onto Structures!  

Monday, 16 September 2013

Final Mech Design

Back Story

This Mech is designed to go into space for exploring and traveling the universe. It is light weight in design which gives it an advantage for high gravitational areas it is designed to withstand high pressure environments which us humans cannot be exposed to. Furthermore it has a radar system with the antenna on the top to send signals home about its location whilst scanning the environment for dangers.

Finally done my final mechanized design! Over the past 3 days I have been working on this, the front and rear view where the hardest designs to do trying to imagine what each side would look like was  a challenge for me. I feel overall pleased with the design itself. It's formed from silhouette #20 on the second design page. I used it as a base but took off the top platform. I done this becasuse I believe waht Feng Zu says: ''A design without a gun is an overall better design''. So I took on the challenge of making it look ''cool'' without putting a huge gun on it.

Now onto my life form and my structure designs!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Life Forms

Here are the start of my life forms drawings. I decided to stick to digital drawing because (despite not much experience using the tablet) I feel it presents my work better whilst gaining experience drawing in photoshop for the road ahead.

I'm overall happy with the life forms, I am liking 18,6,16 and 4 at the moment. I feel I need to do more before deciding on the final life form and then onto my structures and finalizing my designs for each category. Altogether 64 designs not many to go now!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Carrying on with my development with the project. Today has been mainly focused on the mechanized part of the project, with the walking Mech and alien spaceship.

In a later date when I have chosen my final designs, I clean these up a lot as they were only rough. This was one of the first time doing line work within Photoshop, I enjoyed it and plan on doing more. For rough ideas I am happy with the outcomes, and will focus on structures and life forms with my next lot of development. 


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Summer Project initial stages - silhouettes

After turning the original images into silhouettes in Photoshop, I re-arranged them to make some interesting design silhouettes. I have not used this technique much before, but after some inspiration from seeing design development from silhouettes and looking at the past years work with silhouettes I feel this being a great way to produce multiple ideas quickly and instinctively.

Some of these have really interested me, being 15, 12, 7, 18, 29, 3. I was thinking of mechanical working for the majority of these, can't wait to start drawing these and designing them!

Hopefully I will show you more progress over the next couple of days. Although I am not sure whether to draw these digitally and try out the tablet or focus on traditional medium, I think I'll mix and match.

looking forward to seeing everyone's work too!