Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Film Review: Paprika (2006)

Paprika is a Japanese Anime film directed by Satoshi Kon in 2006 and is based on a novel written by Yasutaka Tsutsui which goes by the same name. Kon started out as a manga artist, creating work such as Toriko (1984), it was not until 1997 until he made his directional debut with Perfect Blue. Since then he has directed many other anime films and has won awards such as the Public’s Choice Award at the MontrĂ©al Festival for Paprika. Kon also likes to use the female gender as a theme in his works, he stated that female characters were easier to write because he is not able to know the character in the same way as a male character.

The plot of Paprika is centered around a group of therapists and a device called the DC Mini that allows other people to see your own dreams. However, when this device is stolen chaos ensues as the thief starts to enter other peoples dreams and wreaks havok on the public's psyche's. It is then a race against time to stop the thief before the dream state and reality merge into a mixture of conscious and unconscious. 

For a newcomer to anime, Paprika is a very hard animation to follow. From psychedelic dreams containing marching musical frogs to other scenes of characters merging into huge golden robots, Paprika tries to create a theory around dreams and reality. It is difficult to understand when you are viewing reality from a dream, and also who Paprika actually is and where she came from. Personally I have never had a dream quite as psychedelic as the ones shown in this film but nonetheless the animation of the film is very visually striking. The bright bold colours and amazing transformation scenes create a very eye-catching piece of work. Although a beginner to the anime genre, I'm sure more viewing of this particular style will open up the wonder that is the anime world.

Adaptation A: Cats vs Dogs Title

Monday, 26 January 2015

Adaptation A: Basic Storyboard

Adaptation B: Company Research

For my Adaptation B project I am going to be using large multinational corporations as Wacky Racers therefore I decided to do some research into the biggest global companies. For this I used Forbes' Global 2000 list which was created in 2008, this showed that the top 3 highest ranked companies were HSBC Holdings, General Electric and Bank of America. I also used to look at a 2014 Global Top 100 companies list which showed Apple to be the most valuable company.

However for my project I am not going to use companies purely because they are the most valuable companies globally. I want to use companies that are well known by the general public and also have unique characteristics and archetypes. Also I'd like there to be a wide range of company types, such as Electronics, Banking and Food.  For example some popular companies to use could be Coca Cola, Microsoft/Apple (rivalry), Nestle, BP, Boeing and Disney.

Adaptation A: Cat and Dog Designs and Textures

Adaptation A: Fonts and Colours

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Adaptation B: Refined Final Idea

From my last range of ideas I decided to focus on using major corporations and turning them into some kind of satirical animation. After my tutorial I landed on an idea to use corporation archetypes and include these in a racing game based upon Wacky Races. This would then allow me to create many different character designs for each player. I can also include many other elements into the game such as rivalries between two racers/corporations such as the battle between Coca Cola and Pepsi. Other elements I could also use would be creating your own corporation/racer and being able to customize your vehicle, and also specific powers and traits unique to each company and their archetype.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Adaptation A: Script

Script / Directions

  •  "Cats Vs Dogs" opening title. Cat and dog paw tears title into two halves revealing first scene containing each pet in each half.
  • Playing - A stick/ball is thrown in the dog and cat half. The dog chases the toy out of shot, the cat walks in opposite direction to toy.
  • Previous frame rips into Hunting scene - The cat is taking its time stalking a bird, dog bolts past the cat and scares the bird away.
  • Previous frame rips into two sections for dog and cat for Eating - Messy dog getting food everywhere, cat pushes bowl away and turns away.
  • One frame containing cat watching a fish from edge of a pond, dogs swims past in pond chasing fish away.
  • Two sections again for tricks/obedience - Dog shown sitting and rolling over, cat walks away from owner.
  • One frame showing range of dog sizes with tallest dogs head out of shot, 1 small cat next to largest dog looks up at tall dog then walks away into the next scene.
  • Two sections for sitting - Cat from previous scene jumps up sofa and sits on owners head. Other section shows dog quietly laying by owners feet.
  • Final scene shows dog humping a toy/leg. Frame zooms out showing the cat staring at the dog. Cat walks away.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Adaptation A: Style and Colour Tests

For my Cats vs Dogs infographic I have decided to go for a geometric style. These two mock ups of possible scenarios were a test to see how difficult it would be to use geometrics and to get a sense of what the final outcome would look like

Saturday, 17 January 2015

@Alan - Adaptation B: Ideas Rethink

After my tutorial and further discussions about my project, I have a lot more clearer path I am going to go down. I am going to focus mainly on character design possibly using comedic and satirical influences. I also think I'd prefer to go down a table book route for my project rather than an actual short animation.

Possible ideas so far:

Seven Deadly Sins as Corporation Companies - For this I would match a large multinational corporation such as Disney and attach it to one of the 7 Deadly Sins (Lust, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Pride, Gluttony). From this I would a create a character using elements of the company and the sin. Artists such as Ron English would be good inspiration for this idea.

Alcohol Characters - Another possible idea would be to use alcohol brands and use their image to turn them into the type of drunks/people who drink them. This could stereotype each type of drink, for example, trying to shape a Stella Artois can or bottle into a character could lead to designing it with a wife beater vest and fag hanging out its mouth.

Contemporary Spiritual Gods - This idea would take all kinds of Spiritual Gods and show how they would look like as just a normal every day person in today's culture. For example, Buddha could be seen as the obese lout who sits on benefits all day never lifting a finger.

Child Drawing Freak show - This idea probably wouldn't be able to be a table book and would have to be a short animation. The thought for this idea would be to take children's drawings of people and characters and then turn them into actual 3D model characters. I could then take these characters and interview them in a Creature Comforts style for short animation as if they were a part of a freak show.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Film Review: Mary and Max (2009)

Mary and Max is a claymation film directed by Adam Elliot and produced by Melanie Coombs in 2009. Elliot was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1972 and has created 5 notable claymation works, winning hundreds of awards including an Oscar for Harvey Krumpet and the Annecy Cristal for Mary and Max. Elliot says that most of his films have a bittersweet nature to them and more often than not are loosely based on his personal life widely revolving around family and friends. Mary and Max also uses highly recognized actors and actresses to voice the characters in the film including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Eric Bana and Barry Humphries.

Mary and Max follows the story of 8 year old Mary Daisy Dinkle living in Australia and her 44 year old New Yorker pen pal, Max Jerry Horrowitz. After finding Max's address in the phone book Mary and Max become great friends through helping each other with similar problems such as bullying and discussing common interests such as chocolate. The film shows Mary as she grows up into an adult and the strength of the two pen pals friendship ever increasing.

I believe that Mary and Max sets out to present the message that friendship can come in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone is a particular age, in a particular place, or even in a particular state of mental health does not mean they have to have friends of a similar nature; Mary and Max shows this through similar problems and interests even though they are on the other side of the globe and have a large age difference. The film uses two main colour themes,browns and greys. these two colours help distinguish between the countries. The brown to represent the desert and sands of Australia and the grey to represent the concrete buildings and skyscrapers of New York. The tone and emotion of Mary and Max is wildly altered throughout the film showing scenes of silly humour immediately switching to a scene of impending gloom. However this all adds to the success and originality of the film.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Adaptation B: Possible Ideas and Thoughts

Famous Criminals / Serial Killers:

People such as Vlad the Impaler and Jack the Ripper could be a good source to produce a unique animation and provide me with good character design. It could also be useful in environment design.

Music Video:

Initial thoughts for a music video would be a one continuous shot animation containing weird and abstract visuals. Inspiration such as:

Famous Speech:

An idea that first came to mind was Charlie Chaplin's speech in The Great Dictator. However I'm not sure how I would go about producing a 3D animation, I can only imagine a 2D infographic style.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Adaptation A: Post Pitch Thoughts and Ideas

My selected infographic title was "vs", from this I though of a few possible subjects. These are:

  • Apple    vs    Microsoft
  • Men   vs    Women
  • Right    vs    Wrong
  • Religion    vs    Science
  • North Korea    vs    South Korea
  • Films    vs    Books
  • Cats    vs    Dogs
  • Babies    vs    The Elderly
  • Cops    vs    Robbers

The best received idea was Cats vs Dogs, this because the subject of common pets is very popular with today's culture and is a massive craze through the Internet.

Some possible ideas that I could use in my Cats vs Dogs infographic could be:

  • Playing e.g. Throwing a Stick
  • Water e.g. Swimming
  • Training
  • Size
  • Eating
  • Hunting

Monday, 5 January 2015

Presentation - Character

Game Front Cover - Character

Full Level Environment - Character

Hero Pose and Orthographics - Character

Villain Pose and Orthographics - Character

Henchman Orthographics - Character

Envrionment Section with HUD - Character

Posters & Powerups - Character

These power-ups will be plotted around each level to aid the player. The posters will also be found in the background of each level.