Sunday, 6 December 2015

What If Metropolis - Central Building

The modelling of the central building is now done - I have added the eye in the centre, now all that is left is to UV it tomorrow and add a texture to it.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

What If Metropolis - Second Building Progress

I have finished modelling the base for the second building, all that is left are the windows and door.

What If Metropolis - Central Building Progress

I have finished modelling my central building. Next, I'm going to model my two other buildings. I am leaving the UVing until Monday - I am going to ask Simon to help me because I am extremely confused despite the fact that I've watched countless tutorials on UV mapping.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Figure drawing flash animation WIP

I started over again, looking closely at reference images to capture the poses. When I have more time, I need to go back and add more frames to slow it down.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

What If? Metropolis - Production Art (repost)

I have resized the buildings and key assets so that they can be shown in relation to their scale.

Life drawing 2.12.15

Really enjoyed today's session. I experimented with charcoal and colour pastels. I am really pleased with my final 30 minute study, it came out pretty good! :)

Final 30 minute study 

First drawing far left - 15 minutes
The rest were 5 minute poses each 

5 minute poses

15 minute pose

10 minute face study

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Repulsion (1965) Film review

Fig. 1 Repulsion (1965) official film poster

Repulsion (1965) directed by Roman Polanski, is a psychological thriller/horror about a woman with an inherent fear of men and intimacy. The film is set in 1960's London, England and discusses the horrors of someone with a severe mental illness. The director cleverly places the audience in a voyeuristic state, allowing us to closely witness the protagonist's world crumble and fall as she gives in to her fears and loses her sense of identity. 'The film opens, as it closes, in darkness before the camera draws back and reveals itself as the pupil of Carol's eye' (Butler, 1970) 'In other words, from the start of Repulsion, we are not sure whether we are 'inside' or 'outside' Carol's mind.' (Brown, 2013) An ambiguous quality that makes the experience all the more bizarre and interesting.

The film first introduces us to pretty, Belgian manicurist, Carol who lives with her sister, Helen in a small, shabby apartment. From the very start of the film, the audience senses that there is something odd about the protagonist, Carol. She seems to always be in a constant trance-like state and her gaze is both empty and frightening. She is also very fearful of men and avoids any form of contact with them. As the film progresses, Carol becomes more and more delusional and out of touch with reality. However, it is not until her sister embarks on a trip with married boyfriend Colin, that Carol's condition truly worsens as she begins to be 'tormented by ghoulish beasts, both real and imagined.' (Miraudo, 2010) These 'beasts' take the form of a rapist in her bed, huge, gaping cracks in the walls and big, hairy hands protruding out of walls, reaching out to grab her. It is vital to note that 'since Carol responds to these occurrences as if they were real, it becomes difficult to tell which images are symbolic and which are literal.' (Brown, 2013) 'These strange and highly disturbing hallucinations gradually drive her to the brink of madness, resulting in murder.' (Hutchinson, 2012) She commits her first murder by bludgeoning her male admirer, Colin, with a candlestick when he forcefully breaks down her front door and enters her house. After killing him, she drags his body and dumps it in the bath. Colin's death was almost inevitable as he had committed a dangerous act: 'attempting to forcefully penetrate Carol's mind/personal space.' (Brown, 2013) This is something that she cannot allow and takes severe preventative measures to avoid it from occurring, by cutting the cord off her telephone and refusing to leave her house; subsequently cutting off all ties from the terrifying world outside her door.

Fig. 2 Repulsion (1965) Carol is tormented by ghoulish beasts...
The choice of music and the soundscape is chosen carefully to make the audience feel uneasy deliberately. The opening theme sounds unsettling with its monotonous tone and steady, slow banging of the drums, and there is a faint drone going on the background adding to the overall eery sound. As Carol's mind gradually disintegrates, the music becomes more and more disturbing and sinister.  The director's use of soundscape to evoke uncertainty and a sense of unease is very similar to A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a play written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Ella Kazan. After the death of her young husband, Blanche's life is shattered and she begins her dangerous descent into promiscuity and alcoholism. She is forever guilt-ridden by the circumstances of her husband's death and her part in it, and as a result, the nightmares begin haunting her daily life. 'Signalled by the music of the Varsouviana polka, which she danced with her husband on the night of his death, the events of that night play in her mind like a film, always ending with the shot that killed him.' (Sambrook, 2003) Like in Repulsion, the audiences hear all of this, however the other players on the stage hear nothing. 'Their inability to participate in this tragedy makes Blanche's [and Carol's] memories and experiences peculiarly private and contributes to her [their] isolation.' (Sambrook, 2003)

The sound of the ticking clock serves as an indicator that something terrible is about to occur, Carol is aware of this and she waits in terrible anticipation, before turning around to see her rapist in her bed. The camera then focuses on the two of them as she struggles fearfully and is viciously assaulted. In the same way, 'the sound of the Varsouviana polka grows louder and louder in her [Blanche's] mind, the revolver shot puts a temporary end to it. She comes to wait for the sound of the shot to relieve her of the nightmare, if only temporarily.' (Sambrook, 2003) Both women experience these harrowing nightmares of the mind on a daily basis and both women learn to live with it. Before her third rape, Carol is shown applying bright, red lipstick, this could serve as an alarming and poignant indication that she is starting to become accustomed to it, and is preparing herself for the recurring nightmare. 'This practical way of dealing with a nightmare is truly terrifying, as she accommodates the terrors in her daily life.' (Sambrook, 2003)

French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard's book The Poetics of Space was around at the time when Roman Polanski made Repulsion. In this book, 'Bachelard explored a third kind of space, the 'felicitous' space of the home and its domestic menagerie of tables, chairs, cupboards and stairs.' (Worpole, 2013) He was a 'phenomenologist, holding the view that there was a dynamic interplay between an active mind and its surroundings.' (Worpole, 2013) 'Polanski too made much of this interdependence in each of his 'Apartment Trilogy' films: Repulsion (1964), Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Tenant (1976).' (Woodham, 2013) These films all express how the nightmares in your mind can effect the space around you.

Repulsion was directed in the year 1965, an iconic decade most famously known for its popular fashion, ground-breaking music and the revolutionary introduction of the contraceptive pill. London had undergone a significant transformation, from the 'gloomy, grimy post-war capital into a bright, sining epicentre of style'. (History of London) The introduction of the mini-skirt by fashion designer Mary Quaint was a huge success amongst women of the 60's. With the rise in income, Londoners had more money than ever before and were looking for ways to spend it. 'Music was also a huge part of London's swing. While Liverpool had The Beatles, the London sound was a mix of bands who went on to worldwide success, including The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and of course, world famous band, The Rolling Stones.' (History of London)

Overall, it is a disturbing but interesting film. Polanski's 'depiction of a young woman's dissolution into madness is one of the most harrowing mental descents ever depicted onscreen, and it is one that you will never forget.' (Baumgarten, 1997)


(2013) Swinging 60's - Capital of Cool. At: (Accessed on 1.12.15)

Baumgarten, M. (1997) Repulsion . Austin Chronicle . 11-24-97. At: (Accessed on 1.12.15)

Brown, W. (2013) Supercinema: Film Philosophy for the Digital Age. (First ed.) Berghahn Books. p. 64

Hutchinson, T. ( 2012) Repulsion. At: (Accessed on 1.12.15)

Miraudo, S. (2010) Play it again - Repulsion review. At: (Accessed on 1.12.15)

Sambrook, H. (2003) York Notes Advanced - A Streetcar Named Desire. (Second ed.) London: York Press. pp. 62-63.

Woodham, N. (2013) Repulsion. At: (Accessed on 1.12.15)

Worpole, K. (2013) Book of a lifetime: The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard. At: (Accessed on 1.12.15)

Illustration list

Fig. 1 Repulsion (1965) official film poster. At:

Fig. 2 Repulsion (1965) A GIF from the film. At:

Monday, 30 November 2015

What If? Metropolis - Texture Swatches

Today we were taught how to make texture swatches in Photoshop. I took a marble texture from google images and used the offset tool to adjust the image settings, and then I cropped the image and duplicated it several times until the texture covered the whole canvas. Then, I used the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush to smooth some areas. This is the final texture swatch:

Then, I painted over the texture with pale cream colours and greys/ browns as my city will have a neutral colour scheme. This was just a practice exercise, later, I shall go back and create my own hand-painted textures using reference images. I just wanted to get a good understanding of how to create texture swatches using the techniques we learned today.

Intro to Autodesk Maya: Batch Rendering

Maya Tutorial - Part 1: Exterior Lighting for Animation - Mid Day

Mine came out a bit dark in the render so it looks more like an evening scene rather than a mid day scene. This is the final image in Photoshop after applying a Gaussian blur and some other minor touch ups.

It is strange because the image is not that dark in Maya...


Friday, 27 November 2015

Intro to Autodesk Maya - One, Two and Three Point Lighting Tutorial

One Point Lighting

One Spotlight
Two Point Lighting - Fill Light
Two Point Lighting - Softer Shadows
No Specular Light

Three Point Lighting - With Rim Shadow
Final 3 Point Lighting render



Intro to Autodesk Maya: UV Layout Tutorial

I initially had some problems because my cube would not unfold properly, but I managed to overcome that problem and it is now finally done. Below is the final rendered image:


Monday, 23 November 2015

What If? Metropolis - Chosen buildings

After receiving some feedback from my tutor and from friends, I have decided to pick these three key buildings to use in my final project. Tomorrow, I shall work on drawing my orthographic drawings and painting my production art. The rest of the buildings and structures will be included in the matte painting. 

I have chosen some colours based on my artist's work and also from my travelogue. 

My central building. I have changed it from an octagonal building,
as outlined in my travelogue, to a hexagonal building instead
as the form looks much better as a hexagon.

Maya tutorial - Old Alley Lamp

I have completed modelling the lamp. Next up is making the crates and then I can move on to Part 2: UV Layout and Texturing Preparation.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

What If? Metropolis - Compositional thumbnails

Life drawing 18.11.15

45 minutes study

45 minutes study

5 minute fast poses

15 minute study

1 minute fast drawings

@Phil WIM - Rationalised thumbnails

I tried to make new thumbnails by rationalising the shapes a little more and trying to prevent them from looking like sculptures.

Could these work better as building structures? Personally, I like 93, 96, 97 and 99. What do you think? Also, I was thinking of keeping some of my geometric thumbnails like A and B (at the bottom) B is supposed to be what plant life look like in my city. Also, I still like the idea of my central building looking like A. Bourgeois' work is a mixture of geometric and soft, round sculptures so I think a mixture of the two different forms in my world could work, but I do require your advice on all of this.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Maya Tutorial Digital Sets - Lamp Post Progress

With the aid of Simon, I figured out what I had done wrong and managed to fix the problem that I had. Not much left now in terms of modelling, just the swirly details and then mirroring!