Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mailin Berg What If Metropolis Crit

WIM - Textures for my buildings

These are my textures for the buildings in the order I have come up with the buildings! All of the textures have been created by using Photoshop brushes that I have used for my concept painting to keep the same atmosphere.


WIM finalising my render

I went from this

To this today and am really happy with how my scene looks! I have put the lamp forward like Kayliegh suggested, added a rock on the side and made the floor a bit bumpier and uneven, also the light casts proper shadows now which looks much better.

WIM Scene

I have taken out the glow because it came up in weird dark patches, plus with the light it doesn't show that well anymore. I have enlarged the background buildings on the matte painting to make sure that they are visible and I feel like I am definitely getting there, am I missing anything?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My DVD Cover WIM

Maya is doing my head in so I did this in the meantime <3

WIM Progress

This is my rendered scene so far, I am happy with the background and the sizes and places of the buildings and lamps, but I'm still missing lights (which should cancel out a lot of the glow!) and will adjust my bump maps after the lights are put in, because now they just seem to change with every render. Plus everything is difficult today as my cat refuses to move from my lap, help .__.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Only God Forgives Film Review

Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives is a film written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and released in the UK in 2013, it main theme is of revenge and the oppression by a mother of her son. The film takes place in Bangkok where an American gets asked by his mother to avenge the death of his murdered brother which he always envied. Along the way the main character is pursued tenaciously by a Thai police officer which inevitably leads to acts of savagery and violence.

 The use of colour is vividly used throughout the film as a descriptive factor to the scene or sometimes the absence of it. At the beginning of the film, the colours red and blue dominate in which red is used to symbolize incoming or occurring acts of violence, sexuality or passion and blue mostly being the primal colour of the police officer who seems to have no emotions at all or at least his emotions very much under control. This contrast of colour perhaps illustrating the definitions and differences between these two characters.

Figure 1. Julian (2013)

 Also in the film there is a presence of vivid and overbearing black shadows which are a feature that perhaps seems to emphasise secrecy, this is masterfully coupled with the red in certain scenes to have a dramatic effect: as Pride states Red-slaked corridors that push toward darkest blacks in one-point perspective contain more violence than the guns and broadswords his characters wield.” (Pride, 2014:2) demonstrating perhaps the fear of inevitable violence the viewer experiences while watching the long shots slowly closing into the shadows. Towards the end the colours tend to show more yellow and natural seeming lights than reds and blues which might indicate a change of mood or mental state of the main character in relation to his mother and the new calm entering his mind.

Figure 2. Mother (2013)

 Sound is used effectively as a medium to perhaps sometimes distance the viewer from the scene as in some of the most violent parts, the sound of some scene cuts of completely and is replaced by music. Perhaps to emphasise to the viewer the content of the scene is so horrific it can’t be put into words, or sound.

 Violence is a very strong theme in Only God Forgives, crimes and torture scenes alike sometimes seem to be features only for an aesthetic purpose, as Adams states: In one torture scene set in a fancy bordello where Chang uses an associate of Billy and Julian for a pin cushion, it’s the images of the elegant prostitutes with their perfect make-up and hair closing their eyes to the violence at Chang’s insistence that tattoo themselves on the viewer’s retinas. Plot, what plot?” (Adams, 2013:2) This perhaps demonstrating that the film has moments of almost artistic gore and violence that do leave a lasting impression on the viewer, but perhaps some of the scenes have sacrificed a sense of reality and plot to achieve this. There are several moments like this throughout the film which sacrifice story for elevated levels of cruelty and violence.

Figure 3. Julian fighting (2013)

 The pacing has a very interesting timing to it as sometimes, the scene just seems to freeze where the characters and set cease moving, the viewer might perhaps be fooled into believing he might be looking at a photo with music playing over it giving a moment or two of heightened and brilliant suspense. These “snapshots” occur throughout the movie. In one such scene where the policeman is singing karaoke in a bar which already is very out of his character the camera switches to the audience, still and lifeless with the aquarium light dominating the scene. This almost gives the viewer a sense of surrealism, like it isn’t happening, perhaps a dream. The use of these moments is perhaps in attempt to unnerve the viewer and add spice to the violence of other scenes.

 Overall I would have to agree with Simms: “Baffling and hypnotic, OGF boasts an aesthetically assured composition but its flagrant dismissal of pacing and plot serve to undermine not beguile.” (Simms, N.A.:2). I found Only God Forgives to be aesthetically pleasing and interesting, perfectly delivering some moments of pure dread and terror as well as disgust but I feel these scenes overwhelm the movie and plot and perhaps at points almost ruin the movie itself, like adding too much spice to a curry.


Simms, Gareth. (N.A.) (Accessed on 09/12/2014)

Illustration List:

Figure 1: Winding, N. (2013) Julian [Still of Julian]. Available from: (Accessed on 09/12/2014)
Figure 2: Winding, N. (2013) Mother [Still of Julian’s Mother]. Available from: (Accessed on 09/12/2014)
Figure 3. Winding, N. (2013) Julian fighting [Still of Julian and Police Officer]. Available from: (Accessed on 09/12/2014)

All my Thumbnails WIM

I thought I'd upload all my thumbnails in one post so I will be able to easily find them on Thursday, if I need them for the crit. The last 3 sets got a bit lost which is why I am posting them now, I had a clean up through all my files to organise them and get myself mentally prepared for crit day ;-P

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Orthographs for my new building WIM

I did those orthographs yesterday but forgot to post them up, here they are!

WIM Progress

I have added a new building, toned down the glow factor for the lighting and added an initial bump map to give a more real feeling. I think I need to find/make a finer bump map and improve the middle building as it looks a bit dull and it is the center of the piece. Feedback welcome! :D

My Production Artist

Friday, 5 December 2014

WIM Progress

I've modeled two more buildings this afternoon and am happy to see that the scene is slowly taking shape! I will add a few more lamp posts, sort out the concept painting, have a closer look at the floor and install proper lighting, then the final piece should be ready to render :D

WIM Final set of orthographs - for now

These orthographs are for my main building which is already half in the background but I decided that it would be too important to not model it, as it is the religious center of the whole city. I will try and finish modeling and texturing the remaining two buildings this weekend so that I can focus on getting the scene right next week.

More Orthographs!

The orthographs for my next building. I chose this one next because it has a very different structure from the other ones so it should be interesting to model :)

Orthographs for my second building WIM

I painted these orthographs in the same style as for the other building with the lower two being my image planes for the front and the side for easier modeling.

Orthographs WIM

These are the orthographs for my first building, Jordan showed me how to do the top ones from different angles and shade then to create a better sense of space and I used the two lower ones in Maya to help me along with my modeling!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

WIM Maya progress

I have played around with the lighting for my street lamp a little and built a new house! This time I started the textures off at 2048 so it should look a lot nicer :)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Orthographs for my lamp posts - WIM

They are very simple, almost more black lines than a truly defined object.

Progress in Maya!

Maya crashed on me just after I finished the UV layout but now they are even better than before :) I have also started on the textures but I think it was a mistake to leave the settings at 1024 as everything seems quite blurry and not very sharp so I will change that in a bit.

What If Metropolis - Maya

After having my chat with Jordan on Monday he showed me how to start modelling on my buildings, so after opening my file today and finding out that its corrupted I installed Maya 2015 on my own pc and can now present you the beginnings of my Maya work:

I have only created a rough model for now, but I am happy that it's one object with a low polygon count and with a bit of tweaking and the right textures it should blend in with Kandinsky's style :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Suspiria Film Review


 The film Suspiria is directed by Dario Argento and released in 1977, in which a young girl moves into a ballet academy which turns into a witches’ coven disguised as a ballet company. Eventually leading to the gore filled deaths of several major characters and the fleeing of the main character from the ballet school.  It is a horror film that makes strong use of colour filters and symmetrical elements as well as a screechy soundtrack.

Figure 1. Stabbing (c1977)

 The lighting in Suspiria is used to deliver elaborate effects. For example , Stiglitz states: “For red, as all we trichromatic mammals know, is a singularly distressing color, and Argento's use of it, as far from subtle as you can possibly get, is designed with singular intent to put us on edge. Nor does blue, typically a soothing color, get it much better: the reds are varied but the blues are always blindingly over-saturated and completely nonsensical, and instead of calming the eye they clash with the red, and clash with our logic, and seem quietly menacing and uncanny instead of the alarming, screaming reds.” (Stiglitz, 2012:2) demonstrating the use of vivid and conflicting colours within the movie to both dazzle and confuse the viewer adding to the sense of dis-illusion and confusion which couples brilliantly with increasing the tension and fear that the viewer experiences with the scene.

Figure 2. Night Time (c1977)

 Smith also states: “And then there's Argento's masterful use of deep primary colours — the sets are bathed in garish red and green light (he acquired 1950s Technicolor stock to get the effect) giving the whole film a hallucinatory intensity.” (Smith, N.A.:2) further illustrating the films brilliant use of colours and filters to add a sense of bewilderment and extra intensity by confusing and misdirecting the viewer. The lighting has almost the effect of puzzling the audience by adding further shock value and fear to the scenes as well as adding intensity, when the lights start to fade red or change you know something is about to happen!

 The films soundscape uses the music of the soundtrack to complement the sounds and actions of the scene to further illustrate to the viewer the graphic or intense nature of what is occurring. Smith says: “Screams, wailings, hissing steam and some kind of diabolical digeridoo are punctuated with the occasional distorted shriek of "Witch!". “ (Smith, N.A.:2) demonstrating how the complementing high pitched sounds of the music track are further emphasised by the high pitched piercing sounds of a witches scream. The effect of this is to bring home the terror and unnatural nature of the scene to the viewer.

 Susperia also makes use of gore and violence in many scenes, which seem almost as dramatic as the extensive lighting effects, Vaux states: “When blood spills – and you can be sure that it does – it follows physical laws never seen on Earth, but which feel right at home in this upended funhouse.” (Vaux, 2014:2) This demonstrates that the blood and violence are deeply ingrained into this film and almost complete it while the physical laws do not seem to apply, the film in places almost seems to sacrifice the storyline to feed the viewer’s lust for violence and shock factor as stated by Vaux: “In plot terms, it doesn’t make much sense: draped loosely around the story of a young American girl (Jessica Harper) who attends a German dance academy that actually serves as a front for a coven of witches.” (Vaux, 2014:2)

 Overall Susperia makes amazing use of lighting and sound to emphasise its storyline and bring extra suspense and terror to scenes of violence. Though the film does to, at times, lose sight of its plot and over dramatize the gore for dramatic effect it does bring home a deep sense of primal terror and horror to the viewer and deliver a long lasting impression to all that watch it.

Smith, Adam. (N.A.) (Accessed on 02/12/2014)
Stiglitz, Hugo. (2012) (Accessed on 02/12/2014)
Vaux, Rob. (2014) (Accessed on 02/12/2014)

Image list:

Figure 1: Argento, D. (1977) Stabbing [Suspiria still] Available from: (Accessed on 02/12/2014)