Wednesday, February 22, 2006

storytelling and special (emotional) effects

Alan Lee on the creation of the shot in Fellowship of the Ring where they flee Moria: "...textures were taken from the filmed rocks and painted on to the digital ones to tie the whole thing together. It works, partly because of the skills of the modelers and compositers, but mainly because we are so misty-eyed over the loss of Gandalf that we can barely see the rocks, let alone look for where they are joined."
-The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook by Alan Lee

Good storytelling and good special effects go hand in hand. Many movies may have excellent visual effects, but a crappy story or screenplay where the world-building isn't self consistent, so the audience senses something is out of place and blames it on the effects, when actually it was the design or the screenplay or direction. Like so much mediocre art, you know something is wrong, but you can't say what.

At the same time crappy special effects may make someone complain about acting, directing etc, or superb storytelling can even cover for effects like we have in this case.
I felt like this as I went to class this morning:

This is an image by the pioneer digital artist Gilles Tran

Actually I had confused that image with this image "Leaving the Fifties" by another digiral artist Stephane Belin:

So I guess I felt a mix of the two.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

doodle of the day

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

the inefficiency of green

More Leaves

"The truth is that green is a rather inefficient color. We don't make green solar panels. We make black ones. Black absorbs light better. God is not a pragmatist, nor, in His art, is He a realist. He overdoes things. Spring winds can be a bit much. Not all of His rain is entirely called for. Anyone who has seen a snowflake knows that He micro-manages. A realist author, someone unafraid of the unhappy ending, of the seedy underbelly of existence, would never have made everything turn green as soon as the sun climbed higher in the sky. It just isn't believable. Plants would be black, or at least dark brown. A realist wouldn't have been afraid to make the jungles ugly. But no one who has ever tasted a spring breeze that really should be called a zephyr could think God a realist."
-Nathan Wilson in the new Credenda Agenda

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tree Column

Tree Column

My Gothic Architecture class was canceled today, so I took pictures of trees. This was my last picture as the batteries ran out (the shutter wouldn't even open all the way) I was amazed at how this tree looked like a column in a gothic catherdral.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

the surprisingness of trees

I think it is my goal to daily be surprised that trees exist, and perhaps to show to others how surprising it is, and many other things besides, but in the last few days, while riding under trees, drawing trees, living beneath and around trees, I find myself asking "What do trees mean?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

a poem-song

I thought/sang that while weed-eating at work about 2 years ago, and wrote it down on a break. That was during my brief spurt of writing poetry, I haven't written one in nearly 2 years. Comments and critiques welcome on poetry or formatting. It's an image because blogger has no formatting tools.


I didn't watch the super-bowl, but I did watch a few of the commercials today online, and this one (called Dragon made for United Airlines) is a nugget of beautiful visual storytelling, and seems to escape being propagandistic as commercials must by nature be. Here is the direct quicktime link. Other formats here, and an excellent making of video by the director James Caliri. I immediately thought it was by the same person who did the beautiful credits to Lemony Snicket, and it was:

I also assumed both were digital vector animations or something, but no, it was pure, painstaking, stop motion animation with real paper! Both this and the Lemony Snicket credits are just music with no sound or dialogue, but work very well. I look forward to more by this guy.

Thanks to the blog for the link to the making of video.

I am very low on sleep right now. I stayed up till 3am on friday, all night Saturday, slept a few hours on Sunday during the day, then stayed up all sunday night and monday day until 11:30 last night. I feel like an architecture student once again. It wasn't too terrible though, most of my class was there too. Those are my stairs, which turned out good. While I worked I listened to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Think wity and occasionally otherworldly historical fantasy by Jane Austin with long foot note on every other page.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The power of images is amazing:

Gas Attack by digital artist Meny Hilsenrad