Monday, 26 March 2012

Initial Bow Tie Designs

Any suggestions welcome. I'm storyboarding at the moment and I want to knock out any design kinks in the bow tie before I start my actual animation.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

@Phil Unit 3: Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973) Review

Fig. 1. The Wicker Man Poster

 The Wicker Man focuses on the story of a Scottish police officer, Sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) who is a devote Christian. The film opens up with the sergeant flying an airplane around the desolate isles of Scotland letting the audience soak up the surroundings in which the film will take place. Back at the station Howie is ridiculed for being a virgin due to his faith and also his uptight character. He receives a letter about a missing girl, Rowan Morrison, and asks for his assistance in locating her at Summerisle, a remote island off the coast of Scotland.

Right from the start Hardy sets out to create the mood that drives the rest of the film. Flying around in the seaplane at the start wasn’t just for show, it acts as a film device to show just how isolated that region is, to make the audience feel out of place in a strange world. Hardy then shows Sgt. Howie’s rigid religious standing and his stature as a loyal righteous police officer.

When the sergeant lands at Summerisle nothing out of the ordinary stands out but then the audience starts to catch a bit of strangeness when all of the locals seem oblivious to the fact that Rowan has gone missing. This sets in a state of uneasiness, the audience knows that a letter came from the village about the girl but now no one even knows about her. Next the person whom Sgt. Howie thinks is the supposed missing girl’s mother doesn’t acknowledge the girls existence either. At this point the uncanny factor is starting to rise within the audiences mind, all of the village people seem suspicious but at the same time you start to wonder if the letter was even real.

Fig. 2. The Villagers
Sergeant Howie soon realises that the entire isle has abandoned Christianity and practices the old Pagan traditions. “From the moment he arrives he is assailed by images of paganism, children dance round maypoles while the schoolteacher lectures on its phallic significance; sore throats are cured by holding toads in the mouth; naked girls jump over fires in fertility rituals(Smith, 2006), all of these things which mock Howie’s religion and his rigid ways. In a sense Howie is alienated from the rest of the village for being normal and at the same time being wrong, this creates an uncanny tension within the film because although the villagers and the village itself seem normal there is still something off putting, like something bad is happening behind the scenes.

Fig. 3. Phallic Symbolism
All the while Sergeant Howie is being distracted by all of the Paganism, the old traditions, freedom of love, and sex, he can’t seem to get any closer to finding Rowan. All of the villagers, despite their Pagan ways, act innocent or better yet, just contain a lack of guilt towards the supposed abduction of the girl. This lack of guilt and lack of caring towards something so serious creates an odd atmosphere that drives the audience towards the uncanny.

In the final moments of the film the true theme of religion really makes an appearance as Howie is about to be burned alive, “The culture war between the libertines advocating free love and the uptight Christian establishment advocating censorship, comes to a cruel ending” (Schwartz, 2006). It feels as though the Pagan ways of sacrificial rituals should be a myth but clearly on this little isle it exists in its entirety. The film ends in an unresolving clash between two faith systems and leaves the audience wondering if it could be possible that somewhere in the world there is such a strange village.

 Fig. 4. The Ending


Smith, A. (2006) EMPIRE At: (Accessed on 20.03.12)

Schwartz, D. (2006) Ozus’ World Movie Reviews At: (Accessed on 20.03.12)

Illustration List

Fig. 1. Robin Hardy (1973) The Wicker Man Poster At: (Accessed on 20.03.12)

Fig. 2. The Villagers (1973) From: The Wicker Man Directed by: Robin Hardy [film still] UK: British Lion Films At: (Accessed on 20.03.12)

Fig. 3. Phallic Symbolism (1973) From: The Wicker Man Directed by: Robin Hardy [film still] UK: British Lion Films At: (Accessed on 20.03.12)

Fig. 4. The Ending (1973) From: The Wicker Man Directed by: Robin Hardy [film still] UK: British Lion Films At: (Accessed on 20.03.12)

Maya: Pre-Viz 1 - Dolly Shot

Maya: Rigging 1 - Legs

Unit 5: OGR Part 1 20/03/12

OGR Presentation 1

The Cantankerous Bow Tie Script v1

The Cantankerous Bow Tie Script v1

The Cantankerous Bow Tie: Premise, Logline, Step Outline v1

The Cantankerous Bow Tie Logline v1

Monday, 19 March 2012

Cantankerous Bow Tie Story Development

Haven't gotten around to posting these story ideas yet so here they are. After a talk with Phil on friday it was decided that I should stay away from animating hands (although my V1 has hands) and that the bow tie can have complete free movement with animalistic movement.

Act 1 -- A man's wife calls to him that they need to leave soon if they don't want to be late for an event, to which the husband replies he'll come down as soon as he ties his bow tie.
Act 2 -- The man starts trying to tie the bow tie but after he finishes it just droops down, aggravated the man straightens the bow tie again but once again it droops, only on one side this time however. The man tries once more to straighten the bow tie, it holds perfectly for a few moments and once the man puts his hands down the bow tie suddenly completely unravels itself. The man grabs the bow tie and throws it on the table at which point it finally decides to tie itself perfectly.
Act 3 -- In the end the bow tie simply gets replaced by a tie and the bow tie starts sulking and walks away.
Notes: I'm staying away from this story because it will involve drawing hands too much which will consume a lot of time.

V 2:
Act 1 -- This version opens up in the same as the first. The man's wife calls to him telling him to hurry or they'll be late to the event. He replies that he needs his bow tie but can't find it anywhere.
Act 2 -- Unnoticed by its owner the bow tie crawled out of it holding box and hid behind it acting like a scared little animal. The owner finally notices where it's hiding and says "ah I found you" but the bow tie suddenly scampers between boxes until it decides to stay behind one box. The box gets lifted up and the bow tie ties itself in a flurry of motion and becomes a moth and flies up towards the light while aggravating its owner.
Act 3 -- The man tells his wife off screen that he'll just have to wear a tie in an annoyed voice. When the bow tie hears this it flies back down into its box and ties itself properly only to hear the door shut.
Notes: Although I avoid drawing hands in this one the third act seems unresolved and a bit lacking so onto version three.

V 3:
Act 1 -- The wife calls to her husband to hurry up or they'll be late for an event. The husband replies back that he would but he seems to not be able to find his bow tie.
Act 2 -- The man notices that one of the lids from the boxes moves slightly, he looks closer and sees that his bow tie his hiding behind the box. As the bow tie peeks around the corner of the box and hears the man noticing its presense it starts running away but the man quickly slams his hand down on it and catches the bow tie. The bow tie is then around the man's neck ready to be tied however when the owners hands reach up to tie it the bow tie slaps his hands away much to the owners shock. The bow tie then proceeds to tie itself but ends up doing it completely wrong so the owner reaches to tie him correctly but gets slapped away once again. This time the bow tie ties itself wrong again and the man says no, and then keeps retying itself repeatedly getting it wrong every time until the man finally explodes in anger and rips it off his neck.
Act 3 -- The scene changes to the view of a shop window with random things for sale and the man's bow tie is on display at a cheap price. The camera zooms in on the tie showing it all neatly tied and then it loosens and unties at the last second.
Notes: This version does involve drawing hands but not at a complicated level and at the same time the bow ties cantankerous expression is better displayed in this version when it keeps pushing the hand away and annoying its owner. I'll carry on with this version as my final script.

Maya: Pre-Viz - Roll Shot

Maya: Pre-Viz - Crane Shot

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Animation: Gesture Drawings

These are initial ones from last friday:

And these are the drawings made in my own time:

Monday, 12 March 2012

Animation: Pencil Drawn Bouncy Ball

First drawn animation, I made the floor a bit too low at the end due to misjudging the aspect gate. I duplicated a few of the beginning frames because it was too fast.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Unit 5: Influence Map

A few bow ties and how to tie them and tying in action. Added Carl in there because he has one and he matches the word cantankerous pretty well in the first part of Up.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Unit 5: Research

This link showing how to tie a bow tie should definitely help me understand more how to animate one if I want to make its movments seem realistic.

Unit 5: Cantankerous Bow Tie

I can finally start my unit 5 so here's a post on my mood word and my object.

Cantankerous - difficult or irritating to deal with

'a cantankerous old woman who insisted that nothing should ever be allowed to change'

Here's an application of my own: "the cantankerous bow tie refuses to be tied correctly"

And a little video of a cantankerous old man portrayed as a lemon, why not:

Bow Tie 
Pretty self explanitory so I'll just add a picture of a bow tie; I'll do an influence map as a seperate post.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window Review (1954)

 Fig. 1. Rear Window Poster
 Rear Window follows the story of Jeffries, a professional photographer, who’s stuck in his apartment recuperating after a leg injury on the job. Right off the bat we’re stuck in his apartment barely able to freely move around due to his wheelchair creating a personal atmosphere between the audience and Jeff as we witness his boredom and need to release his adventurist energy.

 Fig. 2. The Neighbours
Six years earlier Hitchcock produced Rope in which the viewer is also trapped within a confined apartment; two major differences separate these movies however. In Rope we are shown the secrets of the movie, in a way becoming the accomplices in the murder or witnesses at the least. It was Hitchcock’s way in letting the viewers in on a dirty little secret that was bound for disaster using suspense as his primary tool. Rear Window changes the angle of involvement for the viewer, unlike Rope we are kept in the dark, viewing the events as they unravel. It still contains suspense but it gives a feeling of mystery more than anything.
Fig. 3. Voyeur 
The film heavily imposes the human nature of voyeurism through Jeff’s window bound experience. Jeff can do nothing more but to spy on his close neighbours across the garden; the way Hitchcock directs the camera at eye level and pans around as if we’re looking through Jeff’s eyes puts us directly in his wheelchair, we become the voyeur and we experience first-hand the lives of ‘our neighbours’ and as Robert Ebert states that Rear Window is “a film about a man who does on the screen what we do in the audience--look through a lens at the private lives of strangers.” (Ebert, 2000)
Hitchcock’s clever use of point-of-view camera directing and James Stewart’s (Jeff) subtle acting cues (i.e. use of his eyes, scanning the scene) truly create an enveloping feel that brings out our inner most curiosity that can make us go too far sometimes, as Jeff “gets so preoccupied with the stories happening across the street that he neglects his own life and his stunning girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly).” (Simonpillai, ~96-12)
 Fig. 4. Caught
As the story pans out, along with Jeff, we gather our own opinions and little looks into the neighbour’s happenings while not wanting to get caught. We happily view their lives from the comfort of the apartment until unwittingly we glimpse something that resembles a possible murder. Since Hitchcock keeps Jeff, and in turn the audience, within the confines of the apartment the whole time it places a sense of danger over the voyeurism, you cannot help but keep watching through the window waiting to see what happens next.


Ebert, R. (2000) At: (Accessed on: 06/03/12)

Simonpillai, R. (1995-12) AskMen Entertainment At: (Accessed on: 06/03/12)

Illustration List

Fig. 1. Alfred Hitchock (1954) Rear Window Poster At: (Accessed on: 06/03/12)

Fig. 2. The Neighbours (1954) From: Rear Window Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock [film still] USA: Transatlantic Pictures At: (Accessed on: 06/03/12)

Fig. 3. Voyeur (1954) From: Rear Window Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock [film still] USA: Transatlantic Pictures At: (Accessed on: 06/03/12)

Fig. 4. Caught (1954) From: Rear Window Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock [film still] USA: Transatlantic Pictures At: (Accessed on: 06/03/12)