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Science Museum Robotics

February 28, 2017 in Photographic Research


From 8 February to 3 September 2017


From the dawn of mechanised human forms to cutting-edge technology fresh from the lab, Robots reveals the astonishing 500-year quest to make machines humanFocusing on why they exist rather than on how they work, our blockbuster exhibition explores the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our ambitions, desires and position in a rapidly changing world.

Robots takes you on an incredible journey spanning five centuries, illustrated with robotic artefacts from around the globe from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids:


How long ago do you think the first robot was made? 20 years ago? 50? 100? In actual fact the history of robots stretches back at least 500 years.

Featuring a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research labs, this exhibition will enable visitors to discover the cultural, historical and technological context of humanoid robots. Visitors will be able to interact with some of the 12 working robots on display. Among many other highlights will be an articulated iron manikin from the 1500s, Cygan, a 2.4m tall 1950s robot with a glamorous past, and one of the first walking bipedal robots.

Robots have been at the heart of popular culture since the word ‘robot’ was first used in 1920, but their fascinating story dates back many centuries. Set in five different periods and places, this exhibition will explore how robots and society have been shaped by religious belief, the industrial revolution, 20th century popular culture and dreams about the future.

The quest to build ever more complex robots has transformed our understanding of the human body, and today robots are becoming increasingly human, learning from mistakes and expressing emotions. In the exhibition, visitors will go behind the scenes to glimpse recent developments from robotics research, exploring how roboticists are building robots that resemble us and interact in human-like ways.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group said:

This exhibition explores the uniquely human obsession of recreating ourselves, not through paint or marble but in metal. Seeing robots through the eyes of those who built or gazed in awe at them reveals much about humanity’s hopes, fears and dreams.’


In every chapter of the 500-year story, robots have held a mirror to human society. Some of the earliest devices brought the Bible to life. One model of Christ on the cross rolls his head and oozes wooden blood from his side as four figures reach up. The mechanisation of faith must have drawn the congregations as much as any sermon.

Science Museum’s robotic delights hold a mirror to human society

But faith was not the only focus. Through clockwork animals and human figurines, model makers explored whether humans were simply conscious machines. They brought order to the universe with orreries and astrolabes. The machines became more lighthearted in the enlightened 18th century, when automatons of a flute player, a writer, and a defecating duck all made an appearance. A century later, the style was downright rowdy, with drunken aristocrats, preening dandies and the disturbing life of a sausage from farm to mouth all being recreated as automata.


For all the praise the machines received, the rise of the robots made people uneasy. Automated looms and spinning machines had already replaced skilled craftsmen and women when Maria, the first blockbuster humanoid in Fritz Lang’s 1927 film, Metropolis, questioned the place of humans in a world overrun by machines.

“If you create a mechanised economy, what is the position of workers in that? You become slaves to the machines,

Russell says.

“You work all round the clock just to keep them running.”

It is not only their bodies that have been made more human. Leaps in computing mean modern robots can converse with people in a meaningful way, provide information, and entertain more than they ever have done. And it is here that the exhibition raises the most pressing questions.

Will the technology bring us closer together or drive us apart?

Is it deceptive to build robots that look like humans before they match our intelligence?

“We want to get people thinking,”

Russell says. “

And if we can do that, we’ve done our job.”



epa05776130 An animatronic baby is displayed during the press preview of the 'Robots' exhibition at the Science Museum in London, Britain 07 February 2017. The exhibition will open to the public on 08 February and will display over 100 robots going back 500 years.  EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

An animatronic baby is displayed during the press preview of the ‘Robots’ exhibition at the Science


Realistic rendering and movement of humanoid figures:


Photographers gather around to take photos of a female-announcer robot called Otonaroid, second right, and a girl robot called Kodomoroid, right, during a press unveiling of new guides at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan in Tokyo Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The latest creations from Japanese android expert Hiroshi Ishiguro are the Otonaroid, the Kodomoroid and Telenoid, a hairless mannequin head with pointed arms that serves as a cuddly companion. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Photographers gather around to take photos of a female-announcer robot called Otonaroid, second right, and a girl robot called Kodomoroid, right, during a press unveiling of new guides at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan in Tokyo (2014)



“Morph” in PETER FOLDES ‘s animation

February 21, 2017 in animation, Photographic Research


I am going to make  morph drawing in next two weeks, which will link my lip sync character to Sabrina’s, I haven’t seen her first images, but I did some research about Peter Foldes’s work. The value of his work more than this point, and also include concept, logicals, and reflection of social issue.

The drawings below, I can tell he had very powerful ability to describe and analyze lines and shapes, very clear logical as well.  It is very useful for me to think about his work and skills, since all of these animate skill, are not only for  simply make up the film, but also as personal language of storytelling, and that is most important part.

06-peter-foldes-50watts_900 07-peter-foldes-50watts_900foldesinbetweens

Village of Idiots

February 20, 2017 in animation, Photographic Research

I like this short animation, I am not sure how it was made, I guess it mixed stop motion , cut out and 2D drawing. I particular enjoy the music, which working really well with the humour.The film is made up with nice Illustration, I really enjoy this storytelling.

hqdefault screenshot_from_the_animated_film_village_of_idiots village-of-idiots

Mixed-media Animation

February 10, 2017 in animation, Photographic Research

We have learned mix live action (green screen ) with drawing animation since two weeks. We learned AE and shooting skills, which helps with composition.  But the mixed media looks is the most inspired point for me during the study.

In a short word, this piece of work put 2D drawing and 3D element together, build a unexcited time and space. This is a not very unusual technology, but if we discuss this kind of skill, as a new language in animation, which could bring a lots possibilities. (what I mean by new animated language is that the narrative is not according timing, or space any more)

A quite successful mused-media piece by Chris Shepherd  


Storyboarding Tutorial – “The Do’s and Don’ts”

February 9, 2017 in More......, Photographic Research

An Article online I found useful MARCH 2011  BY  9Tutorials

Storyboarding Tutorial – “The Do’s and Don’ts”

I was one of these people who believed I was a storyboard artist too, a long time ago. I was given a swift dose of reality though when I saw one of my boards completed through animation and on the editing suite. There were mistakes, and I mean huge glaring mistakes which cost the company I was working for a lot of money to fix. I look back at it now as a learning experience and chuckle, but then, it was not very funny, as I came dangerously close to losing all credibility, and possibly my job.

That being said, many years have passed now since I learned how to do storyboards, and since then, I have done a great many. Now, I intend to shed some light on storyboarding for those of you who are still insisting you are storyboard artists, yet have no experience doing them. I will shed light on the “glaring mistakes” most commonly made, the “do’s and don’ts”, and things to watch for when trying to tell your story pictographically. Hopefully, by the end of this little lesson, some things will be etched into your memory for future reference so that one day, you might be able to do a board and actually get paid for it.


Rules in Storyboarding

1. Every scene must serve a purpose

When creating your storyboard do not cut to another scene, unless there is a reason to do so. Very often, I see unnecessary cutting, and all it does is confuse the viewer. Many times, board artists think they are creating an artistic mood in rapid cutting, but this is not always the case. If you do see something cutting quickly from scene to scene, it will more often than not be because the sequence is an action sequence. But the camera is still cutting for reasons, and not just because it is an action sequence. These reasons could be to focus on a foot impacting another character’s face, and then cutting to see a longer shot of the character who just had his face kicked hitting the floor, and then it cuts to show the attacker attack further, etc., etc. There is always a reason to cut though; something to show.
Cutting is used to shift the audience’s focus to important aspects of the story. For example, a character puts down a glass on a table after drinking from it. Not very interesting is it? So why cut to a close-up of the glass being placed on the table? Stay on the full shot of the character. Now if there is visible poison (for example) on the rim of that glass, and you want your audience to see it, THEN you can cut in close to the glass being placed on the table. This cut serves a purpose.
I am sure that many of you have seen two characters having a conversation together in a film or show. The two characters would be visible talking together, both on screen, and then there would be a cut in closer on one of the characters, and then even closer to that character again. Nothing really happens, but the board artist/director thought maybe the shot was lasting to long, and wanted to change it up a bit to break the monotony. However, this is not the way to do it. You cut in closer on a character in order to see his expression more clearly, or something of the sort, but never just for the sake of cutting out of a scene. This is one of the most common mistakes I see with younger board artists, and honestly, it drives me nuts.

2. Do not move the camera unless necessary

Young board artists tend to make a camera move in every scene, or close to it. I do not know why they do this, but it is certainly not benefiting your film, and making it more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Actually, it makes the viewer dizzy at times. Personally, I try to use camera moves as little as possible. I might use one for an establishing shot at the beginning of the sequence, but more often than not, that is all. Use camera moves to reveal jokes, or again, to direct the audience’s focus to something necessary for the comprehension of the story.
This is actually a problem more prevalent in 3D animation. I do not know why (but I have my theories), but 3D animators tend to make their camera move in every single scene of their work. I think it is because they had spent so much time in modelling their sets that they do not want any of their hard work to go wasted, so they make the camera revolve around the action so that the audience can appreciate their hard work too. This is the complete wrong approach and should be avoided, no matter how big the temptation may be. Show your hard background work in your establishing shot, and that is it. After that, it is just accompaniment.
Many people use a camera move because their original staging does not work for the entire scene, so they “adjust” the framing as necessary. Sometimes this works and can be effective, but normally, it looks like the board artist was too lazy to re-lay his/her scene out to work throughout. Sometimes this is impossible to avoid, but should be avoided as much as possible.

3. Watch for “jump cuts”.

A “jump-cut” is a cut from scene to scene that appears to “pop”. It usually comes from cutting from one angle/framing to a very similar angle/framing. This is very jarring to look at, as it will appear that things in your scene (i.e. character) will jump into their new position in the field.
When cutting to a new angle on a character, a storyboard artist needs to make sure that the camera in the new scene is dramatically either closer or further away to that character. If the character is too similar in size, your scene will jump-cut. A rotation will not solve this at all either.
The bottom line is, you must be sure that your character is framed dramatically different from one scene to another, or you will have a major problem In our film. Some people (directors, usually in live action) use jump-cuts for artistic purposes, but it is very hard to get away with, so it is probably best to simply avoid it.


(ABOVE) Notice the cut from scene 2 to scene 3. With this cut, only the camera angle changes slightly, thus giving the character a popping effect. She will appear to change in position just slightly, and the result will be jarring for the viewer.



(ABOVE) Here you will see that I cut to a close-up of the male character first in scene 3 so that we could see his excited dazed, love-struck expression, and THEN cut to the profile shot of the two characters. This allows for a smoother transition, and the cut will not jump.
4. Watch your composition
Be sure that you make the most of your negative space. Don’t draw a little tiny character in your frame, and nothing but background around him, unless you are doing it for a reason, such as showing how alone the character is, for example. If your focus is on the character as a whole, be sure that the character fits (just fitting all of the character and his action) in the frame. You want your shots to turn out as interesting as possible.
You should try as much as possible to show some depth in each shot as well. By using foreground elements sometimes you can achieve this. By setting up your scenes so that they are not shot straight on the character or in a straight profile, you can achieve this as well. These two angles, unless done for an artistic reason should be avoided, as a profile or straight on view of a character is more often than not ugly as sin.
On a side note, an over the shoulder shot of a character speaking with another is a lot more interesting to look at than a straight close-up. The over the shoulder shows the relation in space between the two characters and adds a bit of depth to your scene.

(ABOVE) An example of over the shoulder. Notice the small amount of negative space in the scene, and the scene is filled up with characters, which is much more interesting to look at than empty space (background). This also adds a small sense of depth to the scene, and if one really wanted to get artistic with the scene at compositing stage, a slight blur could be applied to the girl in the foreground, adding to the depth effect.

5. Watch your axis

In a scene, there is an imaginary line, called an axis. It is a line that your camera can never jump across. Consider, if you will, two characters speaking to each other. The axis would be found by drawing a straight line through the centers of these characters. You cannot cross that line, and if you absolutely NEED to, you have to cut first, placing your camera on the axis, and then you can cut to the other side.

(ABOVE) In this setup, we see two characters talking. Notice the dotted line drawn through the two characters. That is the AXIS. DO NOT CROSS that line with your camera. You can place your camera anywhere you want on one side of the line, but if you do want to cross it, you first need to cut to an angle where the camera is ON the axis, and then you can go to the other side.

6. Avoid complicated angles

It is highly recommended that you avoid overcomplicating your camera angles. If you do not NEED to have an extreme up-shot or down-shot (again, only do these if there is a specific reason for doing so), then do not do them. It makes your scene very difficult to animate, and the end result could be something very atrocious. You can usually get your point across visually without overcomplicating things, so I suggest that is what you do.

(ABOVE LEFT) This is an example of a shot to avoid. An extreme down-shot is extremely hard to draw ONE frame of, let alone 100.

This is a better solution. You could also, to make matters even easier, do a straight profile of the character walking across the screen, but it is not as nice to look at. This character is still walking in perspective, which some people still have problems animating, but at least, the character is level with the camera, so it is much easier to draw.

7. Be sure that your animation and camera instructions in your action columns are extremely clear.

Chances are that your work will be done by more people than just yourself, so you want to make sure that anyone can understand what you want and what you have illustrated in your board; especially someone who might speak a different language than you, as chances are that the animator will in fact speak a different language.

8. Watch your continuity

One of the most common mistakes found in storyboards is a lack of continuity. You need to make sure that everything remains constant throughout a sequence. Characters need to be in the correct positions from scene to scene, and you need to keep track of where they move to. Props need to be all accounted for, and sizes or characters and objects in the background need to be followed closely.
Now with 3D animation, this has become less of a problem, as the same set and layout is used for the entire sequence, and if something is not working correctly in the storyboard in regards to continuity, it is usually caught quite early and flagged. However, in 2D, the case is, more often than not, that the layout artists/animators tend to draw exactly what they see in the storyboard, correct or not. Most of the work is now done in Asia or some such place, and the people there are not paid to think about the continuity, so they don’t. In this case, you need to make sure that your storyboard is exactly on the mark to ensure that later on you are not surprised when you see your compiled line tests and realize that the sequence does not work, and there is nothing you can do about it because the animator is not at fault, and the scene is in his possession in Asia somewhere.

9. Don’t be lazy with your poses

A lot of people try to take short-cuts when storyboarding, and put as few poses into their board as possible. They assume that the animator will use their imagination and make the action work, and act naturally. The problem is that many animators believe it not to be their job to think about the action so much, and don’t; especially if they are foreign animators being paid minimal salaries to get the job done.
Be sure to put a start pose and a final pose, to ensure that your scenes will match-cut properly. In addition, act your scene out heavily and include any movement you envision for your character in the form of another pose in another panel. Once you have the first panel drawn and the composition worked out, additional panels do not take nearly as long to draw, so include as many as possible. If you want to add some more poses later, you can draw small thumbnail poses in the action area of your storyboard, labelling them with numbers, and indicate in the dialogue with those numbers what pose goes where.

10. When necessary, be sure that your light source is indicated

If your film has shadow effects in it, you will want to make it clear as to where your light is coming from. If you do not, an animator will (more than likely) take it upon himself to put the shadows wherever he wants to, which will probably be in the place that will make the least amount of work for him. This will make some mass confusion, and your shadows will be all over the place from scene to scene.
Draw and shade your shadow areas, or simply indicate your light direction using an arrow (if you really want or need to save some time). Drawing and shading your shadows is the best approach though.

11. Make sure your characters are acting in the correct camera direction

When characters are speaking, and you are cutting from one to the other and back again, etc., you must make sure they appear to be speaking to each other. If one character is speaking to screen right, the other character must reply to screen left. Otherwise, they will not appear to be speaking to each other at all, and the audience will be confused. This is particularly a problem when cutting from a close-up of one character to a close-up of the other, and your scenes will jump-cut (the first character will appear to magically turn into the other).
Also with camera direction and characters’ interaction in the camera, be sure that if your character is exiting for example in one scene and entering in the next, that they are moving in the same direction. It is very jarring to see the character exit screen left and then in the next scene, enter from screen right.

12. Keep in mind that all important action should happen center screen

Keep in mind that there is a safe frame that you must keep all important action inside of. Some televisions cut off close to 2 full fields from each side of your image, and if your action happens within those 2 fields, it could be lost to a lot of your audience. You always need to envision a frame inside your storyboard frame and keep it all inside it.
Many people have a tendency to always put a character’s eyes (the character who the focus should be on) exactly in the center of the screen. This is the wrong approach. You should favour the character to one side or the other, so that there is less negative space behind them, and more in front of them.

(ABOVE) This is wrong. It is not terribly pretty to look at, and there is too much negative space behind the character. The red area is the T.V. cut-off.

(ABOVE) This is better. The character fills the screen better, and there is much less useless space behind her.

13. Be sure that your posing is strong

Posing needs to be strongly drawn. There needs to be a strong line of action, and the characters’ poses need to be well silhouetted. This means that if you were to colour your entire character black, you could still tell what the character is doing. You achieve this by ensuring that you draw the characters’ arms away from the body, instead of in front of it, etc.

(ABOVE) This is an example of a weak pose. Look at the black version on the right, and notice that you cannot see what it is, or what the character is doing.


(ABOVE) This is a better pose. When painted black, we can see what she is doing by way of the negative space around her.

— End of article —

These principles and rules work for any medium of film. Do not think that they are simply limited to animation. Cinematography is the same throughout the film industry. Now that you know all these rules, you will be able to watch live films, and spot the directing mistakes.

Keep an eye out for the next guide to the storyboard process. We will explain the process in which most storyboard artists go through in order to ensure their cinematography is strong and stories well told by way of their storyboards.

Simon Starling

February 8, 2017 in Photographic Research


English conceptual artist and won the Turner Prize in 2005

  • The journeys made by people and objects, the origins of design, and the value of materials, are just some of the things that interest Simon Starling. Some of his most notable works have transformed one object into another.
  • Starling describes his work as ‘the physical manifestation of a thought process’, revealing hidden histories and relationships.
  • Starling’s art reveals itself through objects and images, films, videos and labyrinthine investigations. Without lengthy accompanying labels and explanations, we are lost.


The floor of another gallery is covered in a grouping of black glass balls, some as big as grapefruit, others as small as marbles. The arrangement duplicates the halftone dots that make up a section of a photograph which is displayed in a light box that faces through the gallery window on to the street.

The work was made for an art centre in Burgundy, in collaboration with another in Lorraine. The Burgundy gallery is housed in a building that was once a bottling factory for the local mineral water. The bottles appear in the photograph Starling has copied, using glass balls handblown in Meisenthal, in eastern France (where the second art institution is based). Not that I have first-hand experience of the glass-ball image, because to see it properly involves climbing up a scaffolding staircase to an elevated platform, and I have a twisted ankle. At floor level, it is all balls to me.

Art in America:

Pougues-les-Eaux, where “THEREHERETHENTHERE” continued, was once a thriving spa town, and its Parc Saint Léger art center occupies a small, churchlike building that has a high central space flanked by two aisles. Decades ago, the structure housed a bottling works for water from a nearby spring. Starling developed a new piece for Pougues, titling it La Source (demi-teinte) [The Spring (half tone)], 2009, as well as showing three other works in the small second-floor spaces at either end of the building.

Starling led viewers into La Source by placing a roughly 6-by-8-foot enlargement of a small halftone reproduction of an early 20th-century photograph on the exterior wall to the left of the entrance doors. The picture shows the building’s floor covered by neat rows of bottles, with workers in the background; a white circle, 2 feet in diameter, blanks out part of the image. Inside the building, Starling constructed a low boardwalk that ran the length of one of the narrow aisles. Viewers were instructed to remain on this walkway, which placed them within and slightly above the work. Ramps connected the boardwalk with staircases leading to two upper rooms.

Laid out on the gray concrete floor, La Source comprised 1,036 black hand-blown glass spheres of six distinct sizes (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 centimeters in diameter, or from roughly 1¼ to 7¼ inches). Each was set on a small rubber washer. Starling positioned the spheres at the vertices of a virtual orthogonal grid oriented diagonally to the boardwalk; the great majority were concentrated at one end of the space. In the rest of the room, the floor was mostly open, undermining one’s perception of the grid; the balls in this area were like little points of darkness. A distorted image of the building was reflected on each sphere’s surface, as though all were seeing eyes, an effect both beautiful and unsettling.

The abstract quality of this baroque installation made it hard to see what it represented: Starling had isolated a tiny detail from the disk he cut out of the water-bottling photo, enlarged it to the scale of the gallery and rendered each halftone ink dot with a corresponding-size sphere. Seen from the second-floor space at the gallery’s far end, the arrangement produced an image that remained frustratingly unfixable, elegantly in tune with the site’s long, rich and mostly lost history.

Poised on the brink of legibility, La Source was a chancy project, and as such indicative of Starling’s approach at its best. Artists tend to forget about loving risk when recognition comes knocking. The connections Starling weaves in his works may seem arcane or forced, and some works are visually unconvincing. But it is courting failure that gives Starling’s works vitality and, like his humor, takes us to unexpected places.

Sometimes, I like being lost. A pair of stainless steel objects stand on the gallery floor, like globs of mercury caught between coalescence and division. They bulge and extrude in some directions, shrink back into themselves in others, with our reflections slithering over their shiny surfaces. I can’t really get a handle on the compound shapes as I walk between these peculiar presences. Momentarily, I think of the sculptures of Jean Arp and Tony Cragg. I think of the liquid metal killer robot in James Cameron’s Terminator 2, then that’s gone as well. They are pleasurable and weird, both oddly futuristic things and base matter, a morphology of formlessness.

At his best, Starling’s work has many delights and astonishments, and one can gawp at the stupendous effort of his enterprise. His art courts both a paradoxically impressive degree of determination and an absurd futility, an endless weaving of thoughts and ideas, departures and arrivals, that sometimes make the world feel a richer place.

  • So is site specificity. Starling often develops his projects in relation to the venues where they will be first displayed, and as a result some pieces lose impact when shown elsewhere.
  •  Starling’s work is in a long tradition of art whose full appreciation relies on a corpus of knowledge outside the frame.  Many a Starling critic has been sucked into a vortex of exegesis (critical explanation or interpretation; an effort that tends to take a toll on one’s sensitivity to the artist’s humor).
  • Starling’s enterprises have repeatedly involved his getting from one place to another, with the means of conveyance and the journey being as important as the destination.
  • And there are submerged narratives.


This is the first part of a two-part exhibition to be realized at The Modern Institute, Glasgow and Hiroshima City Museum, where Simon will exhibit in January 2011.

  • The Mirror Room of the title refers to the dressing room in a traditional Japanese Noh theatre where the actors fit their masks and are ritually possessed by the characters they will perform on the adjacent stage.
  • It is a space in which identities are traded, in which ghosts assume human form , men are transformed into women, the young become old, and the old young.

The exhibition at The Modern Institute presents nine characters in the form of six carved wooden masks, two cast bronze masks and a hat*.

This cast of characters has been assembled for the proposed performance of a 16th century Noh play, Eboshi-ori, the story of a young noble boy who, with the help of a hat maker, disguises himself to escape enforced exile and begin a new life in the east of Japan. When populated by the assembled cast, this tale of personal reinvention, serves to mirror the complex Cold War saga that surrounds the double life of Henry Moore’s multifaceted sculpture Atom Piece (1963-65).

In the upstairs gallery there are new (300:1, After Willhelm Wagenfeld, 2010) as well as existing works.







screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-18-00-06 560e7a78c6538-large screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-17-58-58

(2010) film still, HD Film


(detail) Henry Moore


(detail) Oddjob


(detail) Anthony Blunt


(detail) James Bond

(detail) Colonel Sanders screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-17-58-47

(detail) Enrico Fermi

Carl Kleiner – ‘Anything Can Fly’

February 3, 2017 in Photographic Research

The inventive artist draws on clean, organized compositions and soft color palettes to form his visually pleasing portfolio. “Anything Can Fly,” Kleiner organized everyday items, suspended in mid-flight against a sky blue background. Each thing seen in the photographs can be acquired through the Avios system by cashing in accumulated points.

  • Pairing objects that function together, but also sometimes contradict, Kleiner playfully presents each scene by flipping the frame in any direction but right-side up. The result are these visually tricky and gravity-defying compositions. In his ever-humorous style, Kleiner brings us another incredible, visual delight.






Amanita Design

February 1, 2017 in Photographic Research

Amanita Design are my absolute favourite game studio. I don’t play a lot of games, but when I stumbled across Machinarium a few years ago I was hooked. Their games are point & click puzzle games, and are very obvious labours of love. Everything is so beautifully designed and crafted and I get giddy just talking about them. Their new game Samorost 3 came out last year and I only recently sat down over the holidays to give it the attention it deserves.

screenshots of Samorost 3 

Their games are always so painstakingly detailed and beautiful. Every single part of it feels deliberate and considered, from the background illustrations to their sound design to their super playful character designs.

machinarium-wallpaper-alley-1600x1200 machinarium-wallpaper-cover-1920x1200 machsongcharacters from Machinarium, in particular I love the bottom personified wrench character

I could literally spend all day going on about Amanita Design and the intricacies of the work they create and the stories they tell. They also designed and made the characters for Jan Svērák’s stop-motion movie called Kooky which centres around a teddy bear who gets lost in the woods. Having an ongoing love affair with sprouting vegetables, overgrown roots and dilapidated greenery (they are my all time favourite things to draw) the characters in Kooky give me a ridiculous amount of joy.

23_778-1030x689 19_113-1030x687 19_095-1030x687 22_157-1030x684 23_783-1030x689all images take from Jan Svērák’s website here 

I have each and every one of their games and I love them all equally. What was interesting playing Samorost 3 after Shaun’s technical Tuesday classes was my new ability to pick up on things like their use of parallaxing in their background to give the impression of depth. It’s really nice starting to be able to dissect and recognise techniques in animation, which in turn informs the decisions in my own work.
As someone whose practice is constantly informed by the discussion between intensely laboured illustration and sporadic loose doodles (I value both on equal footing), Amanita Design’s work provides an insight into how these two things can work together successfully. In Samorost 3 there are a series of books that explain the backstory of the game and provide hints if needed, which are playful and loosely illustrated in contrast to the highly worked setting they exist in.

screenshots of the game showing the difference in styles and how the two morph together in the bottom dream sequence

This combination of styles is something I really want to incorporate into my own work as our projects intensify and grow longer, and I’m glad I found a company who encompass everything I strive to achieve. You can check them out here and I really do envy those who get to play their games for the first time.

John Hubley

January 31, 2017 in animation, Photographic Research

Information From Wikipedia

Hubley was born in Marinette, Wisconsin to John Raymond Hubley (1880–1959) and Verena K. Hubley (1891–1978), a painter. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to study painting at ArtCenter College of Design for three years. In 1935, he gained a job as a background and layout artist at Disney, where he worked on such classic films as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi, as well as “The Rite of Spring” segment from Fantasia.

On February 25, 1939, the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright visited the studio, and brought with him a copy of the Russian animated movie The Tale of the Czar Durandai(1934), directed by Ivan Ivanov-Vano, which he showed to the artists, among them Hubley. Wright thought that the different style and design, that was very different from the typical Disney animation, would inspire and give the animators new ideas. Hubley liked what he saw and was influenced by it. He left the company during Disney animators’ strike in 1941, and found work directing films for Screen Gems and the Army’s First Motion Picture Unit until he joined United Productions of America which was founded by Stephen Bosustow, Zack Schwartz, Dave Hilberman and former Disney animator Ub Iwerks. UPA soon became known for their highly stylized designs and limited animation.

Animations worked with his wife

Robot Research

January 29, 2017 in Photographic Research, Reflective..


I have researched a lots of robot character, to see how their join are and the movement of its, so I have better understand how my character going to move, and how to build the join to work with its movement. This is my first time to build robot character, and these researches really help me in term of characterise robot.

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