Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Train of Thoughts...

Was watching Hustle the other day, great BBC tv series about con men. Anyway the thing that caught my attention in the Designer's Paradise episode was the antagonist fashion designer reasoning about Charles Saatchi and a tiger shark in a tank which sold for 8mil. The name Charles Saatchi rang a bell as I recalled an ad agency named Saatchi & Saatchi wasn't sure if they were related. So what did this guy and a tiger shark in a tank and $12 million had to do with fashion/art.

Charles Saatchi was co founder with brother Maurice of the leading global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. He is also known as an art collector and established the Saatchi Gallery in 1985. Charles Saatchi developed a strong interest in US pop culture during his early years in secondary school and had a strong enthusiasm for collections of Superman comics to Jukeboxes.

In 1991 Charles Saatchi commissioned Damien Hirst for whatever artwork he wanted to create, thus the creation of "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" ~ a 14ft Tiger shark preserved in a tank filled with formaldehyde, total cost of work was £50,000. On December 2004 Charles Saatchi sold it to an American collector for $12 million (£6.5 million).

Damien Steven Hirst dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990's, world renowned and reputed to be the richest living artist to date. His career in the 90's was closely linked with art collector Charles Saatchi whom commissioned him to create;

...which evidently became an iconic work o
f British art in the 90s and Brit Art world wide. Death is one of the themes in Damien Hirst's work, in which he was famous for a series of dead animals preserved in and sometimes dissected in formaldehyde.

Although he physically participated and the making of his earlier works it came to a point where the volume of work produced would requ
ire a factory setup where assistants will execute his ideas like a film director molds a film with the help of actors and a crew. Damien Hirst work philosophy wasn't much different than of Andy Warhol's that a legitimate art piece isn't the execution but the ideas and subject matter envisioned by the artist himself whom his assistants could execute it even better for him.

Andrew Warhola more so known as Andy Warhol was leading figure in the Pop Art movement in America of the late 50's. He had a successful career as a commercial illustrator and was later recognized as a painter, filmmaker, record producer, author and a public figure. His studio dubbed The Factory was a place where he worked and to setup an assembly line for the mass production of his silkscreen works as well as a place a where prominent people hung out and the setting for most of his film making with the workers who doubled as actors.

Though more known as the Pope of Pop in the pop art movement for his works of Marilyn Monroe silk screen prints and Campbell Soup Can paintings, he was quite an underground filmmaker due to the controversial, explicit, abnormal films he made and the reason why it remained underground as non of the theaters wanted/could show them as for those that did usually got raided. Of such films, his 1965 film ~ Vinyl was a BWhite experimental film early adaption of the novel "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess.

John Burgess Wilson (pseudonym Anthony Burgess), an accomplished musician, author and linguist. Most known for his novel "A Clockwork Orange" which was adapted into film by Andy Warhol in 1965 and later in 1971 by Stanley Kubrik. The title of the novel came from an old Cockney expression, "as queer as a clockwork orange" and thought he could use it punningly to refer it to a mechanically responsive human due to his time in Malaya as a teacher and education officer for the British Colonial Service in 1954.

John Burgess Wilson was stationed at Kuala Kangsar, Perak and taught at the Malay Residential School, established in 1905 the first fully residential all boy all Malay prep school dubbed Eton of The East, founded by Mr R.J.Wilkinson and headed by then the headmaster of Penang Free School, Mr W.Hargreaves. Besides the languages German, Russian, French and Spanish, John Burgess Wilson was fluent in Malay speech and Jawi writing. In addition to his teaching duties he had responsibilities as a housemaster in charge of the students who were housed at a Victorian mansion known as the King's Pavilion.

He devoted some free time to creative writing during his stay in Malaya and published his first novels ~ Time for a Tiger, The Enemy in The Blanket and Beds in The East was known as the Malayan trilogy and later published under a single volume The Long Days Wanes. In 1956, John Burgess Wilson composed the symphony ~ "Sinfoni Melayu", which draws on many musical styles he encountered while he was in Malaya, he described is as an attempt to "combine the musical elements of the country into a synthetic language which called on native drums and xylophones".

...End of the Line

Friday, October 30, 2009

What if they were real?

An article I read from my cousin's twit on Michael Paulus and his anatomy studies on cartoon characters.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

6th Place, Thank You!!!!!

Woot! I was not expecting to get anywhere near top 10 with this entry, but thank you all for your votes critics and comments for 6th place!

Thumbs and sketches

Last months entry took me about a month to complete, I haven't done a proper 2d for so long that it took me a w
hile to get use to the x sheet and all. And true to what I found out is that the x sheet really helped out in the timing and the lip sync as well as reduce that overwhelming feeling of endlessly drawing frames, the more you draw the less empty frames left to draw which you could visually count on the x sheet :)

Most importantly what I learned is that the amount of exaggeration you could pull off in an animation, well in 2d I felt that I wasn't restrained to rigs wh
ich felt liberating and just draw out where and how you want the character to move. And the more exaggerated I made the animation the more lively and fleshy it became. When I started off for the first half of the process most of my posses were very very stiff to the point of limited animation and animating just the head, during the second half of the process I decided to just go all out and apply more SQST all round and really squash that face and then stretch it in a way that it's grotesque and imagining it to fail miserably...... that part of the animation came out to be the best stuff of the whole clip.

The thing that made it so fun to watch was not because you could see the really squashed and stretched face but the overall feeling of it being really elastic and fleshy in sequence because of the exaggerated posses or shapes of a character. After all, those frames passed by 1/25th of a second each. It felt really squishy and pliable giving it more realism in a way to the character that her face was a real fleshy face.

Could have worked better with the overlapping of hair and cloth as well as volume and on model control, if you go frame by frame you can see the chin grow bigger and then smaller when she stands back up. Could have explored more with facial expressions as well. The second bang SFX in the clip was added in after and not from the original audio clip. I just felt like animating her slam her fist on the book and didn't really cared if there wasn't any audio for it.

Final Animation


Work Progression


It was a fun month to animate, killed 2 blue pencils though.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Insight of A TV Show

Was surfing The Tube, and watching interviews of cast members of House.

Then I came across this channel ; The Paley Center for Media, which has tons of on stage interviews with TV related shows and the directors, script writers, producers and actors, discussing about the process and behind the scenes, what goes into the writing scripts, character build up, acting choices and how it's delivered.

Below are just some of the stuff available for your viewing pleasure.

Prison Break - Robert Knepper on T-Bag

House - Hugh Laurie & Jesse Spencer on Inflections

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Last month I decided to take out my really old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old old ...... old .... stack of punched B4 animation paper and have a go at it, was wondering if I still knew how to do 2d after working on 3d for so long. The other reason was that I was too lazy to mod Norman into an old hag for Septembers 11 sec competition and thought ~ "Hey, here is a great opportunity to see how badly I'll fail in 2d" :)

~Mee make shift light table, got a back ache after a few days of hunching over it....

Anyway it took awhile to work out the work flow and how to tie it to the x~sheet and a while longer before I got used to drawing . Used Premier to get the audio timing using frame count instead of the usual time counter, jotted down the audio on to the X~sheet and worked on the Roughs.

Took a month to work things out, a wee bit too long but it was sure fun and for some reason relaxing inb
etweening those drawings though really tedious.... but relaxing. Also found out that you could really get away with very exaggerated posses Squash and stretch, crazy distortion poses which I would never/couldn't have done in 3d, I should look into that and see how far I can push Norman before he breaks.... sounds sadistic.

~What a 150pcs
stack of B4 paper look like :)

Anyway will go through the whole 2D Shabang in a few days time once the 11 sec results are out. Finally my hard~earned~manually~punched~half price~stack of B4 Animation paper put to good use
. Still 2 boxes to go......