Friday, 27 April 2012

Final Major Project - Museum of Science & Industry

 

Seeing as my current project is heavily influenced by science and industry I thought I should do some primary research and where better than Manchesters Museum of Science and Industry. I spent a good 4 hours walking around, taking photographs and even managing to do the odd drawing. My time was rather limited, both by a lack of phone battery and a 5pm closing time, so I didn't get as much drawing done as I'd have liked, but it was an enjoyable day nonetheless.

What stuck out in particular were the number of machines, mostly engines of sorts (steam, jet, diesel etc) that has been cut up to form cross-sections. This proved something of an inspiration and set in stone an idea I was already having (sketches, etc explaining this will be uploaded in a later post.)

I also wish I had a microphone to record the ambient machine noises. The clanking of many stationary engines forming a hypnotic rhythm, which was definitely in need of recording. Next time!

 

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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Final Major Project - A proposal of sorts

Ok, so the time for my final major project has arrived and after much deliberation and procrastination I have finally gotten around to writing up a (semi)coherent proposal for it. I have spent the past few weeks playing around with my new iPad, which has made actually doing work somewhat less of a chore - something it really shouldnt be. I came across a neat little app (I still loathe that term) called Paper by 53 and its like a digital sketchbook, and such fun to use. I will upload these sketches within the next few days. The FMP is a pretty big deal, and I want it to be something that I enjoy doing, yet also try and push the limits of what I can do. I've opted for the theme of robots, as I love robots as a concept. This has probably already been noticed through most of my work. My main idea behind this project is to explore how digital media can be utilised for non-linear story-telling. My intention is to create a single long image (or series) which would (using flash) include interactive elements, such as mouse over gestures and pop-up text-boxes. The theme is one of a fictional company (possibly satyrical) that manufacturers robots, so the "book" itself would a sort of interactive catalogue and company website. Information in the book will be presented in such a way as to appear factual, but will be fictional (think 1950s American advertising buzz-words.) As regards to target audience my intended audience would be comic-book fans/technology fans I intend to keep the style simple using isometric vector graphics  and a minimal colour palette (mostly cool greys, blues and white.) While Flash has been said to be a dying language/medium it is the one I am the most comfortable with at present Illustrator would be used for most of the final STATIC imagery. I am also mostly using Paper by 53 for iPad for initial sketching along with images produced on isometric paper.

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Untitled

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Externals Project: Drop by Drop

One of the aspects of this module was to find a design competition with which we could exercise our creative muscles. I came across this rather interesting brief regarding UN water saving policy in Europe http://www.graphiccompetitions.com/graphic-design/the-future-we-want-drop-by-drop-competition

I thought why not give it a go.

From the getgo I seemed transfixed on the idea of pipes and taps (facets.) They bring us the water. With the message being turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, etc. The tap is the symbol of water wastage in the industrialised world, so I wanted the water system itself to have dominance within the picture. Initially my idea was a very simplified graphical approached. 2 lines of 2 colours connected together - pipe and water. The fact it was slightly boring notwithstanding, it had the problem that it implied that water was plentiful with the stream of water and the nice blue tones.

I needed to dirty this up. Single drops of water...the coming of severe water shortage. Drought.

The text from the pipe seemed a logical extension, plus it would tie the image and the text nicely together. The main problem I had with this was where the hell do I put the Drop by Drop logo. I copped out really and put it in a little neat white box in the top right hand corner.

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Overall I'm quite pleased with it. It was nice to do some digital painting for a change (though I dont claim to be particularly proficient at it!)

For more information on the Drop By Drop scheme visit http://www.dropbydrop.eu/en

And to see the piece above in the gallery go to http://www.dropbydrop.eu/the-world-is-thirsty_18952

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Externals Project: Son of Strelka, Son of God Chapter 1

In one of my many trawlings across the vast plains of the Internet I came across this little gem of audio wizardry http://www.somethingawful.com/d/comedy-goldmine/son-strelka-obama.php

I say little...it is colossal in its ingenuity. Dan Warren, the author, had painstakingly taken apart Barack Obama's self-read autobiography audiobook Dreams From My Father sentence by sentence and reassembled those sentences to create an entirely new story; a creation myth of 9 chapters. It is truly bizarre, but a joy to listen to. Obama, someone who I had once said I would like to read a bedtime story read by, tells the story of the beginnings of life on earth as created by the "proto-man." The proto-man has only to say words and they are born. The gets cocky and has some mishaps with gravity. He creates love and beauty, then vanishes. The rest of the "book" tells the story of his son, a dog headed boy who is ostracized by the world.

I emailed Dan a few months back, asking him whether, as part of my final 2 university projects, I could illustrate the entire book, with text layouts, etc. I have to admit I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew there. As it stand, with the amount of other work I have had to do for this project, I have not been able to complete even 1 of the chapters.

The first chapter is in a stage whereby the final illustrations should not take too long to finish. I wanted to stay away from the existing visual work done for this book (there are numerous animations and illustrations already... see the link above.) I have plenty of prep work done. I have trying to imagine the world in which the protoman is born. A world that is barren and craggy.

I got as far as completing only one finished double-page layout, though I am not entirely happy about it. In hindsight I should have vectored the image for a flatter, tighter quality. 

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I think it needs more chickens, geese and punctuation.

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Externals Project: Computer Game images - Uncharted 2

As part of the Externals Project we were given the task of finding clients. My brother got wind of this and decided he'd make himself my client. He has commisioned me over the next few months to produce a series of 10 A3 images relating to various computer games. While I claim to be pretty clued up whats happening in games (I am a geek afterall) I can safely say that I know nothing in comparison to him in this field. The first image, which started off a little sketchbook doodle to pass the time got him thinking...I want that framed, in colour, with more characters. The first game I undertook was Uncharted 2, a game I have only watched. So I did a bit of a Google image search for some game stills and promos and did some quick work.

 

 

I wouldnt say it's a particularly good piece of illustration, but I think I've got the likeness as well as I can without having actually played the games.

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I've only done this one so far in the series, but I'll update when I've done more (which wont be too long)

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Externals Project: The Bloody Chamber

The Externals Project started with a brief to produce 3 illustrations for 3 of the short stories in Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, with a view to entering them in the Folio Society's annual competition. The 3 stories were Company of Wolves, Puss in Boots and The Bloody Chamber.

With Company of Wolves being the shortest of the 3 stories I started there. While I didn't particularly enjoy the writing style of the story I found there to be some excellent imagery to work with. It conjured up images of early 1990s Norwegian black metal album covers, Scandinavian wood cuts, and the illustrator John Kenn. Bleak and desolate...with lots of trees.Some black metal album covers: 

And my personal favourite:

A drawing on post-it note of a wolf and a girl by John Kenn:

I set about drawing mostly trees and wolves int he moonlight. Rather cliche. I thought why not take the wolves out of the picture. The picture just needs to give the ambience. Dark and cold. 
As you can see from the progression in slideshow below there was I wanted the main focus to be trees

 

It is based on the part of the story where she is alluding to the story of Red Riding Hood (albeit in a very adult way.) I wanted to keep a simple colour palette (which for me is rather difficult.) Muted watercolour/gouache blues, greys, greens with black and white...then a small area of red for Red Riding Hood. This might be considered a bit obvious, but I liked the contrast.

I proceeded to read the other 2 stories and what struck me was difference in writing style. Gone were the extended metaphors which helped me greatly with Company of Wolves. I found these 2 stories much harder to work with especially when trying to apply some sort of visual continuity with the Company of Wolves piece.
With Puss in Boots is got fixated with the differences between rococco and neo-classical architecture (which the the cat picks up on in the story) so that was my starting point, I started drawing columns trying to get them from the cats perspective. I thought these to be a little bland (too much beige...er I mean yellow ochre!) I thought about the inclusion of people. Should I include the cat? But isnt the story from the cats perspective?! I tried one piece showing the cat, but it looked flat...almost staged. Odd. 

I went for the part of the where Puss is attempting to grab the attention of the women his master is attempting to pursue. Dressed in black loose clothing (nothing that would hint of a shape. Only her hand is visible to the cat. She bends down to stroke him...
I tried to capture this, but she ended up looking like she had severe back problems. Her figure is meant to be almost shapeless with the focus being on her white hand. 

I tried to capture this, but she ended up looking like she had severe back problems. Her figure is meant to be almost shapeless with the focus being on her white hand.Not entirely sure how successful this one was of the 3 Bloody Chamber pictures due to the perspective being wrong.
Now for the final of the 3, The Bloody Chamber. This story gave me the most trouble, due to the fact there was too much being described. I didn't know whether to draw the mansion, the swords, the husband with his mighty beard, or his secret room of tortured wives. I played with many ideas here, trying to capture the sense of impending doom from the main characters viewpoint. I inititially started by drawing the husband with his mighty beard, then moved to the part of the story where he, with sword above head, is about to decapitate his wife.

 

I wanted to capture the sense of impending horror that the protagonist is about to experience when she goes through the door at the end of the corridor. She knows that something isnt right on the other side.Not entirely sure why I chose to make the shadows square but visually it seemed to work against the curve of the corridor and the erratic red marks (blood?)

I had to do some post editting in Photoshop in order to make the red more luminous and so that it looked more like it was being lit by a flaming torch.I got a bit lost with this one. Do I draw the mansion? Do I draw the husband? Do I draw the girl? I opted for the door.

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Externals Project: The Bloody Chamber

The Externals Project started with a brief to produce 3 illustrations for 3 of the short stories in Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, with a view to entering them in the Folio Society's annual competition. The 3 stories were Company of Wolves, Puss in Boots and The Bloody Chamber.

With Company of Wolves being the shortest of the 3 stories I started there. While I didn't particularly enjoy the writing style of the story I found there to be some excellent imagery to work with. It conjured up images of early 1990s Norwegian black metal album covers, Scandinavian wood cuts, and the illustrator John Kenn. Bleak and desolate...with lots of trees.

Some black metal album covers: 

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Media_httpstaticratey_bbajs

And my personal favourite:

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A drawing on post-it note of a wolf and a girl by John Kenn:

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I set about drawing mostly trees and wolves int he moonlight. Rather cliche. I thought why not take the wolves out of the picture. The picture just needs to give the ambience. Dark and cold. 
As you can see from the progression in slideshow below there was I wanted the main focus to be trees

 

It is based on the part of the story where she is alluding to the story of Red Riding Hood (albeit in a very adult way.) I wanted to keep a simple colour palette (which for me is rather difficult.) Muted watercolour/gouache blues, greys, greens with black and white...then a small area of red for Red Riding Hood. This might be considered a bit obvious, but I liked the contrast.

Media_httpfc08deviant_izfnd

I proceeded to read the other 2 stories and what struck me was difference in writing style. Gone were the extended metaphors which helped me greatly with Company of Wolves. I found these 2 stories much harder to work with especially when trying to apply some sort of visual continuity with the Company of Wolves piece.
With Puss in Boots is got fixated with the differences between rococco and neo-classical architecture (which the the cat picks up on in the story) so that was my starting point, I started drawing columns trying to get them from the cats perspective. I thought these to be a little bland (too much beige...er I mean yellow ochre!) I thought about the inclusion of people. Should I include the cat? But isnt the story from the cats perspective?! I tried one piece showing the cat, but it looked flat...almost staged. Odd. 

I went for the part of the where Puss is attempting to grab the attention of the women his master is attempting to pursue. Dressed in black loose clothing (nothing that would hint of a shape. Only her hand is visible to the cat. She bends down to stroke him...
I tried to capture this, but she ended up looking like she had severe back problems. Her figure is meant to be almost shapeless with the focus being on her white hand. 

Media_httpfc06deviant_bynhd

I tried to capture this, but she ended up looking like she had severe back problems. Her figure is meant to be almost shapeless with the focus being on her white hand.
Not entirely sure how successful this one was of the 3 Bloody Chamber pictures due to the perspective being wrong.
Now for the final of the 3, The Bloody Chamber. This story gave me the most trouble, due to the fact there was too much being described. I didn't know whether to draw the mansion, the swords, the husband with his mighty beard, or his secret room of tortured wives. I played with many ideas here, trying to capture the sense of impending doom from the main characters viewpoint. I inititially started by drawing the husband with his mighty beard, then moved to the part of the story where he, with sword above head, is about to decapitate his wife.
 
I wanted to capture the sense of impending horror that the protagonist is about to experience when she goes through the door at the end of the corridor. She knows that something isnt right on the other side.
Not entirely sure why I chose to make the shadows square but visually it seemed to work against the curve of the corridor and the erratic red marks (blood?)

Media_httpth00deviant_wfnoe

I had to do some post editting in Photoshop in order to make the red more luminous and so that it looked more like it was being lit by a flaming torch.
I got a bit lost with this one. Do I draw the mansion? Do I draw the husband? Do I draw the girl? I opted for the door.

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

ILLUSTRATION FUTURES : easyJet loading screen

  While I have already uploaded the finished piece for this, I have decided to upload the many sketches and ideas produced. Most of them are drawings of planes (more specifically drawings of the same planes over and over again.) The initial referencing was of the planes used by easyJet (boeing 737-700s)and also the game Flight Control HD My initial animation idea was to have a map or a globe showing the locations that easyJet flew to but this proved problematic in visualising as parts would be 2D whilst others 3D. Also, I had to take into consideration my 'skill' with animation. Limited to motion tweening in Adobe Flash. So I set about simplifying it. My first animation attempt to was have the plane build up from nothing, using randomly placed lines which then form a picture of the whole plane (then perhaps take off.)

This looked a bit shoddy to say the least. It didn't not lend itself well to the sleeks lines of a jet aircraft, albeit a rather chunky cartoon one, so I started again and looked for new inspiration. I started looking at blueprints for the planes so as to get an accurate picture of how they looked then, continuing with the idea of constructing a plane from nothing then having it take of I thought about airfix kits. In an ideal world where I had money I would have bought one (and probably crashed it!) So taking the blueprint pictures I decided to vector them (with greater symmetry) into individual parts (like an airfix kit) My initial plan here was to do this from an isometric perspective, but again visualising the construction in 3D gave me a headache so I opted for an overhead view. EasyJet has a very bold, and easily recognisable, colour scheme : white and orange (i forget what the hex value is off the top of my head, but its written on one of the sketchbook pages above, along with the font) So playing with this I decided to make blueprints of a 737 from the original blueprints but hey would be orange with white lines. The whole thing would come together with in pieces, effectively building itself. To finish off the plane flies passed the easyJet logo and produces an air current (eddy?)

 

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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Illustration Futures : easyJet Flash loading screen

As part of my current project I have been asked to come up with an animated loading screen for 1 of 3 companies : Adidas, Coca Cola and easyJet. I decided to go with easyJet due to my love of transport.
After much faffing about drawing pictures of Boeing 737s I started playing around with the idea of having the plane appearing in bits, which then led me to styling it like an airfix kit.
Ideally I would have actually made an the animation using an actual Airfix kit, but due to cost constraints I worked directly from some Boeing 737 blueprints.
Tried to keep it as simple as possible utilising the easyJet corporate colours (orange and white) going for a blueprint sort of look to it

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Friday, 18 February 2011

boy pie - feeding time by *the-dumb-waiter

I've decided to make a webcomic of sorts. A place to vent dark thoughts or something.
This is the first strip.

I am calling the 'comic' BOY PIE (an homage to Roald Dahl's The Twits)
Check it out...its a bit sparse at the moment though
http://boypie.tumblr.com/

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Happy Families 1: Apple Family

First part of a project for a Happy Families games. The brief was "set by the NHS for ages 5-10" and we had to do 4 families (apple, potato and 2 of our choice.)

With the Apple family I went with the idiom "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". I kept it simple trying for a mixture of Stanley Chow ([link]) and Shag ([link]) , but with ofter shading more appropriate for the age group using this font ([link])

I\'ve tried to keep it simple from the start so that I could take elements from each charate and copy them over (and copy them over to the other fruit/veg characters in the series)

Illustrator then post editing in Photoshop

the sketchbook work will be up soon

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