Summer Project: '1 Becomes 2'

For the summer, we have been given the opportunity to engage in a project and further our creative development. The project is very open as we are to respond imaginatively to an allocated 'soundscape', be it a full CG animation or something more specific such as a story or gaming concept with character and environment design. This can then be readied to be professionally printed as an 'Art of...' book. Most interestingly, the project is to be treated as a competition where entries will be judged by an outside panel and prizes can be won.

Its big, bold and exciting - so lets get the project underway!

The soundtrack I received is 'Soundscape 17':

The track is very evocative beginning with soft sounds of the eerie night, continuing with an ominous drumming that escalates to a crescendo of chanting and singing. Immediately, images of a tribal ritual dance come to mind with a wild and exotic nature. Yet, despite these initial impressions, I don't want to go for the obvious but rather try for something more inventive. As such, I hope to capture the spirit of the track with an inventive twist that remains fresh and appealing.

The main idea along this trail of thought is a microcosm where the remnants of mankind seems all but lost and forgotten. With a small tribe of humans reduced to a wild and natural state, they occasionally discover artefacts and technologies of humanities past such as a cassette player or set of keys. Although with no knowledge of what they are, they simply use them as little more than objects of jewellery or attire, where larger artefacts have become symbols of worship or reverence invoking such rituals as ascribed by the soundscape.

In this way, a creative twist can be applied to some everyday objects in a world where man has seemingly reverted back to a previous state. Nature rules once more as man has forgotten his past. Its a quirky idea but something I hope I can pursue and develop further.

While I may not specifically create a final CG animation, I intend to start by creating the building blocks of this world from character design and environments, which will involve drawing, concept art, modelling, texturing and most likely many more. This will certainly give me the opportunity to further develop and refine my techniques both creatively and technically.

Any suggestions or comments are most welcome.

Toy Story 3

Saw Toy Story 3 the other day, which I'm glad to say did not disappoint with a perfect return to the big screen.

Andy's growing up and ready to set off for college. Yet before he leaves, he must determine the fate of his childhood friends. Its a touching plot as there all seemingly comes a time in our lives where we put down our toys in beckoning of the adult world.

The characters and cast are as brilliant as ever, with Woody, Buzz and playmates lighting up the big screen full of charm and character. Some notable new characters include Ken and Barbie who share some hilarious moments, the master of the theatrical arts hedgehog Mr Pricklepants and of course the dominating presence of Lotso - a pink, fluffy, huggable bear who also actually makes a cameo appearence in 'Up'.

The movie takes a journey of a myriad of emotional ups and downs that will leave you in laughter and well... tears. A particular scene at the zenith of the film is diabolically heart-wrenching that had me watering up. Overall, the story and pacing was exceptional, which kept me guessing on the edge of my seat particularly in the final resolution of the film.

With two universally acclaimed films both attaining a perfect score at critics Rotten Tomatoes, the third entry to the series definitely had a touch act to follow. Yet, Pixar have done it again with an engaging and emotional return that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

A worthy mention is the Pixar short that is revealed before the movie on the big screen, with the short Day & Night accompanying Toy Story 3. It is surprisingly clever combining 2D and 3D animation as two characters exhibit day and night life within their silhouettes. The way in which the imagery and sound personify each characters is simply charming and surprisingly effective. It benefited greatly in 3D, giving an enhanced sense of depth to the visuals in contrast to the character silhouettes that worked particularly well.

New Look

With the approach of the new academic year, I felt a fresh new look was in order. Hopefully, everything survived the transition, but if there are any bugs or dead links lurking around then please feel free to let me know.

Leo Tsang Design v.1

Short & Sweet 3D

Hope everyone's enjoying the summer so far! Recently, I went to the Short & Sweet 3D session at the Barbican on Friday evening. Host to the UK's very first stereoscopic short film festival! There was a great collection of short films on show, from narrative to experimental shorts that put 3D to good use.

It was certainly inspiring, so I've tried to find some for your viewing pleasure. If you have a pair of polarised red and blue glasses then put them on to enjoy 3D!

Tina Braun - Deconstruct

A stereoscopic film experimenting in how we perceive three dimensions. The footage is shot by one camera with one lens, where the depth is created afterwards.

Santiago Caicedo - Moving Still

Another stereoscopic experimentation viewing the world from a train window.

Red Star 3D Ben Smith - Dracula 4D (Trailer Only)

A CG animation utilising the benefits of 3D. The '4D' is there as it is meant to be played in theatres where the seats move about, with blasts of air an such to simulate the ride.

Unfortunately, I could only find the next two in 2D.

MIE - Faithless 'Not going home'

A funky music video using 3D for an enhanced sense of depth.

Bjork - "Wanderlust"

One of the first stereoscopic music videos, shot in 3D with a mix of live action, puppets, scale models and CG animation. Definitely my favourite of the night. The making of Wanderlust can be viewed here. Fascinating stuff - you can skip to the 3:18 mark if your more interested in the CGI.

Overall, it was a fun night out with hopefully more Short & Sweet 3D festivals to come!