29 September 2016

Animation and Character: Lesson 1 - Morph Exercise

Morph Exercise from Eleanor Row on Vimeo.

Drawing Session 2

Drawings from the session on 28th September.

15 minute pose - 4B Pencil

5 minute poses - 4B Pencil

5 minute pose - 4B Pencil

2 minute poses - Conte Crayon

30 minute pose - Conte Crayon

30 minute pose close up

27 September 2016

Maya Wineglass Tutorial

This is the work from Monday's session.

NURBS and Polygons modelling work

NURBS glasses
Nurbs glasses

The first NURBS glass I modelled

Polygon wineglass

Polygon wineglass smoothed

Polygon wineglass

Intro to Autodesk Maya: Modelling in 3D Software

Egg cups modelled in Maya. 

24 September 2016

Thumbnails 41-52




I much prefer the digital thumbnails and I find it easier to accurately visualise my thoughts when I'm working digitally.

I used a template from the Invisible Cities folder on myUCA for the digital thumbnails.

Illustrator Monster

We had to design a character for Pixar's Monsters, Inc. universe, based on randomly selected parameters. After a round of initial sketches we had to choose one to line using the Pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. I selected bookworm, 4 arms, 3 legs and 5 eyes.

Initial Sketches

Final Designs


Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, 1920

Robert Wiene’s ‘Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari’ (1920) is a film made to unsettle its audience, it is bizarre and discomforting in as many ways as possible. The set is twisted and angular, nothing makes physical or architectural sense and the shadows are harsh and strange. Audiences feel uncomfortable when presented with images that don’t make sense and the strange set is designed perfectly for creating a sense of unease, even before any action takes place. 'The visual environment plays like a wilderness of blades; the effect is to deny the characters any place of safety or rest.' (Ebert, 2009) 

Fig. 1 The bizarre set

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari’ is perhaps the most famous example of German Expressionism in cinema. German Expressionism was a movement in the early 20th century with 'distorted landscapes and subjects, the movement intended to give expression to things which were beyond words' Kryah, 2015). It is said by some that the film’s dark and twisted nature is a reflection of, and perhaps a direct response to, the trauma of World War I and the fear and uncertainty that followed. The nature of the narrative in the film 'conveys fear and continuity in a way that tapped into the attitude of a nation trying to recover from what was then the most costly war in its history.' (Kryah, 2015)

The strangeness in the set design varies throughout the film. No set is realistic, but in our first glimpse of Jane’s home the set is much softer and more curvaceous than at any other point in the film. This reflects Jane’s femininity and quickly gives the audience a feel for her character, without much time spent exploring her. The sharpness and distortion of the set varies between scenes of high and low tension, for example, the chase scene following Cesare's abduction of Jane takes place in a sharply twisted and shadowed series of sets. This works very well to bring a sense of trepidation and heighten the unsettling experience for the audience. At the opposite end, in the scene with Caligari being put into a straight jacket and shut away the set is lighter and softer, more open; this complements the feeling of resolution in the scene.

Fig. 2 Jane's Home

Fig. 3 Cesare escapes with Jane

'A case can be made that "Caligari" was the first true horror film.' (Ebert, 2009). Elements of the film can certainly be found in many films in and out of the horror genre, the slow build of tension when Cesare breaks into Jane’s home is a scene that has been repeated in many forms. In this scene Jane is at the very front of the set and the large space behind her shares its position on screen with the point at which most action takes place throughout the film. The positioning of this open space coupled with the large size of the window, the murderer’s entrance of choice, mean that the audience is already unsettled in the short moment before Cesare appears at the window. The audience knows that Cesare has come for Jane, but aren’t immediately provided with a conflict, as he slowly moves towards her. Tension builds and is at a high point when the struggle eventually takes place; this happens right at the front of the set, adding extra shock value to the short scuffle. The pacing of the scene is contrasts with the ensuing chase and adds variety to the film, allowing the set design to contribute greatly to the audience’s discomfort, without becoming repetitive. It all works very effectively to create a sense of horror and it’s no wonder scenes from this film have inspired countless productions since.

Fig. 4 Cesare abducts Jane

The bizarre nature of the set reflects the confusion and unease of the characters in the film. Towards the end of the film the audience discovers that Francis, the narrator and main character of the story, has been mad all along. In his telling of the story, Francis paints himself as a rational hero, the audience roots for him and is pleased when Caligari is caught. Nothing in the film can be believed and the audience is left feeling disconcerted; the distorted set works well to represent the dreamscape of a madman and disturb the viewer further. 'The world of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is meant to resemble ... the contents of the characters’ minds'. (Murray, 2014)


Ebert, R. (2009). Great Movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-1920 (Accessed on 24.09.16)
Kryah, K. (2015). The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: Dark Relationship with Postwar Germany. At: http://the-artifice.com/the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-dark-relationship-with-postwar-germany/ (Accessed on 24.09.16) 
Murray, N. (2014) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. At: http://thedissolve.com/reviews/1219-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari/ (Accessed on 24.09.16)


Fig. 1 The bizarre set
Wiene, R. (1920). Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. [Film Still] At: https://vintagemoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/caligari.jpg (Accessed on 24.09.16)
Fig. 2 Jane's home
Wiene, R. (1920). Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. [Film Still] 
At: http://strosechronicle.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/The-Cabinet-of-Dr-Caligari-Still-2.jpg (Accessed on 24.09.16)
Fig. 3 Cesare escapes with Jane
Wiene, R. (1920). Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. [Film Still] 
At: http://thedissolve.com/reviews/1219-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari/ (Accessed on 24.09.16)
Fig. 4 Cesare abducts Jane
Wiene, R. (1920). Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. [Film Still] 
At: https://thefanmetareader.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/tops.jpg (Accessed on 24.09.16) 

21 September 2016

Drawing Session 1

This is my work from the first Drawing session with Vicky Fountas.

Warming up, unsure on timing

5 minute poses

15 minute pose

Thumbnails 33-40




I used colour pencils to see if it would mean less time spent staring at the page, trying, and sometimes failing, to resist erasing something. I think they sped me up for that reason, also the colours themselves helped me to think of ideas and get them down on paper. I found it easier to move forward from one thumbnail to the next.

20 September 2016

Digital Painting and Thumbnails 25-32

These digital paintings and drawings were done in Photoshop on 19th September.

20-25 minutes
40 minutes
I forgot to time myself for the colour study so that's a rough estimate, I'd like to keep track of how long things are taking me in future.

Here are some Invisible Cities thumbnails completed in class.



Using the lasso tool in painting wasn't something I'd considered before, I really like the effects it can give and will spend more time exploring it. I'm particularly pleased with thumbnail 32.

Thumbnails 1-24

These were drawn on 18th September. I intend to take better photos of these or at least edit some of them better, but I wanted to put some version of them on here before I post anything else.





Perspective Exercises

One Point Perspective
Two Point Perspective
Three Point Perspective 

I am pleased with how these exercises came out, even though I got confused on one of my one point perspective drawings.

As well as drawing on paper with a ruler, I repeated the exercises freehand in Photoshop. I'm hoping this will help me towards making quick and believable thumbnails. These didn't take very long so I may repeat them sometimes before I start working.

One Point Perspective

Two Point Perspective

Three Point Perspective

17 September 2016

Concept Artist 'Who's Who?' - Paul Sullivan

Sullivan's website can be found here

And this a scene from Jorge Gutierrez's The Book of Life (2014), in which Sullivan's concept work comes to life.

9 September 2016

Summer Project 3

As part of the project we had to pick one structure, one machine and one life form. We had to develop these drawings into final designs and draw them from the front, back and side. In this post I have included the original concept sketches I chose and the turnarounds I drew.

98 - Life Form

26 - Machine 

13 - Structure