Friday, 21 April 2017

Adaptation B: Dahlia, Queen of the Berbers orthograph

Adaptation B: Nearing the final design

After looking at the feedback from the previous post, I have places the top halves with other designs bottom halves. I also need to consider her costume as she will move around alot and will need room to move, so heavy armour would be taken out; the sitting pose design is the one i'm most happy with, and it looks from the time period of the Queen.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Adaptation B: Honing in on designs

After looking at peoples feedback, i spent some time using top and bottom halves of previously draw designs and attatching them together. For the face, i'm liking A, and for the body, #2, #3 and #7. Feedback is welcome!

Monday, 10 April 2017

World Cinema: Ireland - "The Secret of Kells" (2009) Film Review

Fig 1

Tom Moore and Nora Twomey’s Irish animated fantasy film “The Secret of Kells” (2009) tells the story of the real-life Book of Kells, that was worked on by monks in a remote Irish abbey who also lived under the threat of a Viking invasion. Moore and Twomey have also worked more recently on the film called “The Breadwinner” (2017) which features a similar style to “The Secret of Kells”.

Fig 2
The film focuses on a small boy called Brendan, who does chores for his very strict and controlling uncle, Abbot Cellach, and yearns to go beyond the walls built in preparation of an attack. Brendan overhears the monks speaking about a mysterious book that is unfinished, as well as the author, Brother Aiden, who then arrives at the Abbey. Aiden takes Brendan under his wing and asks him to venture beyond the walls in search of gall nuts to create marvellous green ink for the book. However, Brendan has been taught by his uncle to never set foot outside the walls because of the dangers that lurks out there, but, alongside Aiden’s cat Pangur Ban, they go into the woods in search for the nuts.

Brendan comes across monsters and diversions in his path, but the forrest spirit Aisling comes to his aid and helps him to find the nuts. Upon his return, Brendan and Aiden work in secret on the book. Eventually, the Vikings attack, and Abbot Cellach believes his nephew to be dead, when in fact Brendan and Aiden continue their work, and the adult Brendan returns with the finished piece to show his uncle. The film ends with beautiful animation of golden laced pages with intricate illustrative detail. 

Fig 3
The majority of the film is hand drawn, which is impressive in itself, but also as it is adorned with patterns and maintains its style which is charming and clear shapes can be seen in the characters. The 2D style is also unique, and Roger Ebert explains: […] these images move mostly from back and forth within the same plane, which is only correct since perspective hasn't yet created spatial dimension. But there's no feeling of limitation. Indeed, in a season where animated images hurl themselves from the screen with alarming recklessness, I was grateful that these were content merely to be admired.” (Ebert, 2010).

The film is also drizzled with intricate patterns and designs, much like the real book, as Marc Lee states: “Inspired by the pages of the Book itself (which is today on permanent display at Trinity College, Dublin), the look of the film is simply ravishing. The highly-stylised images – of a tumbling, tangled forest, ravening wolves, flights of black-as-night crows, shimmering snowscapes, the geometric lines of the advancing hordes – are all realised with a gorgeous intricacy.” (Lee, 2010). The film embraces the real-life book and uses it as inspiration to ‘decorate’ the majority of the scenes with luxurious textures and colours, but also made in a sweet child-like style which makes for enjoyable viewing. Lee goes on to say: “The quirky style of animation echoes the drawings and calligraphy of the Book of Kells itself, while the mesmeric tale weaves myth and magic together with the historical miracle of the book’s own survival through fierce and freezing times.” (Lee, 2010).

Fig 4

 The film embraces its Irish roots, in the form of accents, the infamous red-haired characters that derive from Ireland, and the colour palette being consistently green, as well as the iconic Irish music used throughout. Roger Ebert states: “The Irish are a verbal people, preserving legends in story and song; few Chicagoans may know there's a First Folio of Shakespeare in the Newberry Library, but few Dubliners do not know that the Book of Kells reposes in Trinity College. I viewed it once. It is a painstakingly illuminated medieval manuscript preserving the four gospels, and every page is a work of art. Many monks created it over many years.” (Ebert, 2010). In the end, the book was masterfully completed, and the beautiful illustrative display of pages at the end of the film shows the viewer a glimpse of what the years of hard work created. 


Ebert, R. (2010) (Accessed on 10/04/2017) 

Lee, M. (2010) (Accessed on 10/04/2017)

Illustration List

Fig 1: (Accessed on 10/04/2017)
Fig 2: (Accessed on 10/04/2017)
Fig 3: (Accessed on 10/04/2017)
Fig 4: (Accessed on 10/04/2017)

Maya Pipeline 1: Skinning - Part 1: Building a ribbon spine

@Alan Adaptation B: Designs #2

After reading feedback, the character does look too masculine and could pass for a male, which is not really my aim. I want to maintain her femininity, but she has edgyness. The game would consist of her healing the world from disasters and gaining followers/soliders along the way for a final fight; and fighting personified emotions such as rage, anger, sadness, racism etc. The cultural history derrives from Dahlia, Queen of ther Berbers, who lead her soliders to victory. She'd have abilities such as a healing aura, and perhaps a weapon such as a sword. Her taste would be that of a tomboy, but with a sprinkle of femininity, and her personality is that she is a tough leader with a kind heart. Based on agility, she would be running around a lot, but would also require some armour and have touches of the time period and place she's from. At this stage, the thumbnails still seem a little too detailed, but so far i'm liking #1, #4, #8, #9 and #12.

Some designs done before the thumbnails, however they are too detailed.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

@ALAN Adaptation B - Designs

I'm still trying to find a suitable style for the Arabic warrior; she would be the strong protagonist in a 1 player game, have muscle, scars and be more voluptuous. I'm struggling to create an armour design as I don't want to get carried away with detail, but I also wish to maintain her strength. 


These are the influence maps I have so far, looking at older arabian art and armour.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

World Cinema: United Kingdom - "Ethel and Ernest" (2016) Film Review

Fig 1

Roger Mainwood’s adaptation of the successful book by English illustrator and author Raymond Brigg’s “Ethel and Ernest” (2016) tells the story of Brigg’s mother and fathers life upon meeting each other, until both of their deaths in 1975. 

The tribute to Brigg’s parents is shown in the form of a charming, light colour book-style animation, with a distinct style of illustration throughout to show the heart-warming, and eventually, tear jerking story.  As Peter Bradshaw also explains: “Raymond Briggs’s graphic-novel tribute to his parents Ethel and Ernest, and their long, happy marriage has been lovingly turned into a feature animation that exactly reproduces the detail and the simplicity of his hand-drawn style.” (Bradshaw, 2016) 

Raymond Brigg’s is probably most known for his popular story called “The Snowman” (1978) which was then adapted into a film in 1982, and has since been shown on most Christmases.
The story starts in 1920’s England, and the set up makes for a very British story that is nostalgic; such as the outfits the character’s wear, the accents and voice work and the environments and historical buildings. 

Fig 2

Ethel was a hard-working maid, and Ernest, a cheerful milkman who had an interest in politics. They meet as Ethel waves a cloth outside a window, which Ernest thinks she is waving at him, and so he waves back. This continues for a few days, until Ernest arrives at the door to ask Ethel out. From there, Ethel leaves her job as a maid and the two later marry, buy a beautiful house, and have a son. The first half an hour of the film is presented in a sweet manner, with bright happy colours, and successfully shows the blooming of the two characters’ relationship. Ethel is shown to be more opinionated and stern, however, the best is brought out of her by the optimistic Ernest. Some of their contrasts in personality are drizzled throughout the film, as Anna Smith describes: “The contrasts between them are good for a few laughs as the film drops in on their life during times of national crisis: as he strains to hear the wireless, she chides him to switch it off, busying herself with domestic matters. There are gender and class stereotypes here, but they’re tempered by the huge affection with which Briggs depicts his parents.” (Smith, 2016) 

Fig 3

Ernest commonly listens to the radio, and once World War II is announced, the story takes a sadder turn. The couple have to send 5-year-old Raymond to live in the countryside with relatives to be safe from the war, which leaves Ethel in distress for her little boy. The couples house is destroyed amidst the war, and Ernest, who had become a fireman now, had become traumatised from seeing the deaths of people around him. 

The film then introduces the problem with Ethel; she is becoming more noticeably zoned-out and starts to forget things, and the film slips into the later lives of Ethel and Ernest. Ernest remains loving and caring to his wife, while Raymond, who has a fiancĂ©e and attended Art College, visit her. Tim Roby explains: “The slide into old age (and dementia, in Ethel’s case) happens without foreshadowing, and before you’re ready for it, like an hourglass jolted and suddenly unclogged. By his mum’s bedside, a sad-eyed Raymond can only summon a quintessentially British brand of small talk: “The A23 was a bit choked up?”. (Roby, 2016)
The then colourful environments and colours then change into more muddy and earthy colours, and in a way subtly shows the nearing of the end of Ethel and Ernest’s life; their candles are dimming over the course of their years of life. 

Fig 4

 A heart-breaking scene shows Ethel asking Raymond, “who was that old man who was in here just now”? Raymond explains that he was her husband, and so Ethel’s dementia is at a critical stage, and before long, she passes away. Father and son comfort each other at the sight of her body, something which would make the viewer upset having seen the beautiful start to the film, but highlights the debilitating disease. 

Ernest then lives on in his home; however, his time comes to an end in the same year that Ethel passes, and the end scene shows Raymond and Jean sitting by their father. Tim Roby states: "Briggs honoured his parents by playing up their chirpy stoicism, but theirs was a generation of vast change, which we wtiness overtaking them without their full understanding. The backdrop to this very English marriage - soot and grit survival, and that basenote of touching bafflement - means all the tears are earned." (Roby, 2016) 

A bittersweet ending, “Ethel and Ernest” is an insight to the journey of life, and in truth makes the viewer realise that we are all on the path to growing older, but our loved ones give us strength, and the memories created along the way will last forever.