Thursday, 20 October 2016

My Crit Presentation

Animated Gif for Interior Establishing Shot

Animated Gif for Exterior Low Angle Shot

Animated Gif for Exterior Establishing Shot

2001: A Space Odyssey (Bibliography awaits)

Rob Ager describes the film as being ‘artistically and technically stunning’.

The film is confusing in its story line and the view struggles to understand what and how they are seeing the galaxy.  However the film’s main strengths are the stunning visual effects that won Kubrick his only Oscar. 

It is convincing in its portrayal of space.  You can hear the silence and the viewer feels that they can touch the darkness.  These two elements alone create the mood and the sense of isolation.

Dialogue in the film is minimal.  Instead the musical accompaniment plays the role of narrator and introduces each evolutionary step. 

John Mahoney was the original Hollywood Film reviewer.  He wrote:

‘There are over 200 special effects, inclusive of miniatures with perfect multiple insets of control personnel in action. It is an incredible, concert accomplishment, a projection as unreal and as convincing as the awesome realities of present-day NASA and JPL projects’.

The film is slow and fundamentally is about space travel.  It plays behind a black screen, which we are now told is the monolith, whose purpose is to represent the screen on which the film is being shown.  The monoliths are actually 1 x 4 x 9 in dimension--1 squared by 2 squared by 3 squared.  These details are contained in Arthur C Clarke’s book which also reveals that the monoliths are alien supercomputers capable of self replication. The Monoliths link the primeval, futuristic, and mystical sections of the film.

When this film was made in the 1960s,  special effects were still largely to do with model-making and clever cinematography.  This film however was clever because:
·      The camera was controlled mechanically.  This is evidenced during the opening scene the camera pans up from the pock marked surface of the moon in the foreground. However the perspective is from behind the moon and in the distance the Sun rises over the crescent shaped earth into the vastness of space.  For a moment the earth, moon and sun is aligned
·      They used the slit-scan process invented by a 23 year old animator to create the star-gate sequence in the film.  
This type of photography uses a technique where a moveable slide, in which a slit has been cut, is inserted between the camera and the subject to be photographed.  The cinematographer is then able to create a psychedelic flow of colours.  Today this effect would be created through computer animation. 

Beautiful images of space were captured and the tension was created  using one point perspective.  Their influence came from working closely with NASA and the realism of space was well and truly created.  However, for me the film was difficult to follow, this may be due to the fact that the images of space were so life like that I as a viewer became absorbed in its creation.

Reflective Statement

I am not going to pretend that this project has been easy because it has not.  I have come on to this course with little or no knowledge of Photoshop and I have at times been stressed and anxious beyond belief.

As I reflect today on the journey I have travelled I am reminded of the many things that I have learnt to do.  Some of these things have been technical hurdles that I have overcome, others have been more personal achievements.  The use of Photoshop and its many tools together with using the graphics tablet for the first time has broadened my understanding of how digital art is created.  I have been fascinated by the boundless opportunities that colour gives to create mood and atmosphere.

Researching concept artists and producing thumbnail sketches  has helped me to show how paintings develop and the importance of their planning.  There have been many times when I have  believed that  I could create the perfect image straight away.  Research has proved invaluable as I have tried to convey my own city and the influence maps has been vital in helping to develop my project.

More personally I have learnt, often the hard way about how to manage my time and self critique my own work.  At the same time I have discovered the benefits of giving and receiving feedback through the blog system.  Being unafraid to make mistakes has been a huge challenge for me - I believed at least for the first 4 weeks that everything had to be perfect even at the first attempt.  And so, I have learnt a lot.  A lot about art, a lot about concept art, a lot about computer animated art and a lot about me!

Invisible Cities 'Art of Sophronia'