Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Maya Modelling

This is my first attempt at modelling some stairs seeing as I didn't complete the maya building last project. I think at the moment it looks too maya built it needs more shapes but atleast I have a basic version to begin with at play with. I did base these stairs alot on my own because I could see them from my computer and my own stairs, as you can see from my earlier posts, the banister and railings are quite square.

Scene Research Photos

I like this photograph where it's taken from a crouched down position looking through the bars. I like how it restricts your view making you want to look round the bars to see but you can't, however there are no local points and not much going on.
I also like this photograph because it was taken with me crouching down again but peering round the banister. It also restricts the viewer but has more going on.

To try and get more of a feel of what I want my scene to be and feel like I decided to get my camera out and start taking my own primary research images. I explored using different camera angles to get a different feel, some I've done peering out from behind the banister or looking through them to frame the scene. After Phil's comments I'm debating whether to drop the shadow part or just play about with it making it more abstract and cropped rather than the falling one.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

This was my original drawing. I thought that if I'm having a shadow of someone in mid jump there needs to be somewhere for them to jump from, it needs to be logical. So I drew this layout to show that they can jump off the banister.
These are just some thumbnails of the same scene but from different angles and also trying to make the scene interesting composition wise while also placing the shadow within the scene to make it seem real.

In the last photoshop lesson with Phil I started these from the 1st sketch just to add more persception within it.

These are some images of different staircases so I can refference them, I also researched them to see what kind of houses these more grand stair cases would look like seeing as my house must reflect that.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Further Shadow Tests

After my shadow attempts didn't go so well I spoke to Alan today and he said how I'm on the right track just needed to try some more things to get it looking better.

The shadow on the right has been painted on the wall and the shadow on the left was a plane with the outline of a person falling on and a light projected behind it.
I added this box in to test out how the shadow would act and the one that has been painted doesn't bend round the objects and therefore doesn't make a realistic looking shadow.

The shadow that is on a plane semed to work the best because it would bend round and object as you can see above.

I think I might use the plane with the shadow image on to make my shadow. The plane has been made to not be shown in the scene so once its rendered all your left with is the shadow it leaves.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Shadow test in Maya

For my Maya scene I thought I might try and use shadows because although we can't model humans yet I though using shadows to suggest there is a human might be an option. So, I have done a couple tests in Maya using the skills I've learnt to try and create a shadow, I then figured out it was harder than I thought so I need to ask for help on how I can do it, however this is only a test and I'm still debating whether to use it or not yet.
I got the idea of my shadow shape from this image Phil showed us, Russell I Sorgi, Suicide. However I didn't want to look at images of suicide so I looked at images of free falling and used that image for my outline of the shadow. I thought that if I import the shadow into my final scene it can look like someone's jump off the landing to either escape or commit suicide.

Pirate cove texture task

I have just finished doing this week's texturing task, I did have some problems though because my Maya was playing up and I ended up loosing the while scene and having a blank one. Unfortunately for some reason myUCA wasn't working on me either so couldn't get it off there however Leo managed to send me the original one so I could start again.

After the last crit I have realised that I can't draw that well so trying to get my point across is hard and also means that my final pieces aren't that dynamic, so I decided to look at refreshing my perspective skills.

These images are just some quick ideas on what I can do in Maya. I want to make something simple but then crop so that it doesn't give too much information, however the drawings seem a little flat but in Maya I will be making it a more interesting by using different camera angles.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Stepford wives

The Stepford wives is one of those films which exploits the whole sexist views on women being the house wife. In the film the women who first go to Stepford are quite out spoken and have different personalities and hobbies. The men on the other hand have different opinions and want to change their wives into something you would find off a commercial and make exact robots of them with the perfect figure, big breasts and make them the perfect house wife. In the end the women are living only to serve their husbands, they wear make up and look pretty and clean the house to please their husbands and don't think of themselves. I can see this film as being a man's perfect dream while it's a women's worst nightmare. Although even as a women myself I can say yes I wouldn't mind looking after the kids and being a house wife, there is no way in hell that I'm going to stop being who I am and only live to please a husband, so I can see why the women were scared of the Stepford wives at first. When the Stepford wives were talking in a group they did sound like they were in a commercial rather than having an every day conversation.

Monday, 7 December 2009


The film repulsion was a hard film to understand. Your not quite sure whats going on in her mind, if she's getting OCD or just going out of her mind. It was also this big question whether she was raped or it was just a metaphor, either way it could be read both ways. I saw it as she went through a horrible rape and it kept replaying in her head, hence why she didn't like men however looking back now it can be that she didn't want to have sex with men unlike the rest of society. This wasn't an average film where you have the story and you watch it unfold it was more like have this window into someone's life and seeing how their mind works. I felt like the house reflected her mind cause these cracks started to appear in the walls as she was going mad. I know how it is when your in your house alone your mind does start to play tricks on you and nothings always straight on sometimes the room moves and you do these weird things. I did enjoy how it was shot from all these different angles it did give me loads of ideas for my own scene. For instance what view I'd have if I was a painting on the wall who's frame was tilted.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Unit 3- Research into Tableauz Vivants and the Uncanny

After the two lecture I thought I might go back over what we explored just to make sure I'm on the right track.

Tableaux Vivant:
By my understanding means, a living image. Divitonary definition: 'A scene presented on stage by costumed actors who remain silent and motionless as if in a picture.' Tableaux vivant is quite theatrical.

(Edgar Degas)


Dictionary definition-

1. the process of setting a stage, with regard to placement of actors, scenery, properties, etc.
2. the stage setting or scenery of a play.
3. surroundings; environment.

My understanding of the term, mise-en-scène, is that it's staging an arrangement using costumes, lighting and human movement. Also by using certain camera work and editing you can crop that scene into what you want it to be. Just like in Edgar Degas' paintings (above), we are only shown glimpses of what's going on, not an overall view.

(Edward Hopper)

The work of Edward Hopper shows glimpses into people's lives only leaving slight clues within his paintings to guide you along, however you can never really know what's going on. His pieces of show tend to tell a story to some degree but usually let you make that story up for yourself. In the image above we can see a women sitting on her bed, on one hand she could have just woken up to a nice morning and is looking out the window to a nice view. On the other hand she could have just had an argument with a partner and has been left there sitting alone, possibly fighting back tears. Either way you look at it we'll never know. We also will never know what she is looking at outside the window either, we can see a glimpse of a building but it's not what she's looking at.


Dictionary definition-
1. doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention: to speak with ambiguity; an ambiguity of manner.
2. an unclear, indefinite, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc.: a contract free of ambiguities; the ambiguities of modern poetry.

The term to me means, images that cannot be defined or are vague or have an unclear meaning. I think if something have a touch of ambiguity to it then it is something that you just can't put your finger on but you know something is not right.

The Uncanny:

The uncanny Dictionary definition-
1. having or seeming to have a supernatural or inexplicable basis; beyond the ordinary or normal; extraordinary: uncanny accuracy; an uncanny knack of foreseeing trouble.
2. mysterious; arousing superstitious fear or dread; uncomfortably strange: Uncanny sounds filled the house.

I feel that the uncanny is easy to describe if you say what it isn't rather than what it is. It's hard to explain exactly what the uncanny is but I think it's like a feeling. It's different from what you would feel in a horror film because you know the feeling of fear, however I think it is something quite close because if you are unfamiliar with something that makes you fearful of it.

Here is an image of the "uncanny valley". It is a graph that helps us to understand what is more uncanny than something else. Things like stuffed animals aren't uncanny because they bare no resemeblance to humans while on the other hand a prosthetic hand or a corpse, while having no life of it's own, looks extremely human.

Important quote from the lecture: "The uncanny is.... a species of the familiar"

(Bernard Faucon)

Bernard Faucon uses ventriloquist dummys to play with the whole meaning of uncanny. These dolls unsettle us in a way because although they are harmless inanimate objects they can be brought to "life" with the aid of a human. Faucon places them in his scenes in such a way that they seem like ordinary humans from a distance but they're not alive, however they look as though they are going about their everday lives just like us.


Unheimlich basically means, unhomely. Objects such as, waxworks, dolls, and mirrors can be seen as eerie. The unheimlich can give you this doubt in the back of your mind whether an inanimate object is alive. The unheimlich is something that is lifeless but has an excessive likeness to the living. I feel that in the film, invasion of the body snatchers, what the people were feeling towards their loved ones was something similar to the unheimlich, while the "aliens" looked exactly like their loved one and bared a likeless to them. it wasn't them. These unheimlich things can unhinged your mind and play tricks.


Dicitonary definition: 'a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person.'

'The term has, in the vernacular, come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person, most commonly in reference to a so-called evil twin, or to bilocation. Alternatively, the word is used to describe a phenomenon where you catch your own image out of the corner of your eye. In some traditions, seeing one's own doppelganger is an omen of death. A doppelganger seen by friends or relatives of a person may sometimes bring bad luck, or indicate an approaching illness or health problem.'

Waxworks, dolls, and even twins can come under this phrase. I believe it is something that bares the same likeness to you while it is not you, somehow like your reflection in the mirror.

The image above is of, David walliams and Matt Lucas standing next to their waxwork counter parts at Madame Tussauds. Although the waxworks show how far we have come in creating a likeless to humans it is also unsettling to see.
This is an image from the film, 'The Shining'. Within the film these twins have been used to be quite creepy and unnerve you. I have not watched the film myself but this scene is quite famous that without seeing the film I know what's it's about to some degree.

The two images above are just some example of a dopplegänger. The baby dolls is one of many realistic looking baby dolls you can now buy, you can even get special perfumes so that they smell like a real baby. I myself find it quite unnerving looking at the baby dolls because they just remind me of a dead baby corspe. They are a bit too realistic looking for my liking and I didnt spend long on the (
www.reborn-baby.com) website looking for an image because I didn't really want to look at them. The China doll is another thing that I have found give people "the creeps". I don't know whether it's their eyes that stare or their smoothe porcelain faces but I have personally known a few people who are scared of them.

I decided to find some images of mirrors and shadows because I feel that they could be used within my maya scene to give it that uncanny feel. Shadows bare an exact silhouette of the human being stand in front of a light, they also can play tricks on your mind, for instance when you were a kid some shadows would scare you because you didn't know what they belonged to and therefore frightened you. Mirrors can also be quiet uncanny because they have your reflection within them, so although you are look at yourself you have to remember that it's not you in the mirror it's a reflection.