This was a project as part of my University Degree; I had to create a 24 page book in 10 days after which I then had to convert the book into an animation. I decided to explore concepts based on Utopia & Dystopia. I researched into the many different sub-forms of utopias/dystopias such as dictatorship, freedom; wealth and poverty; death and creation theories.
I developed my art direction as I was developing this book, I like to think of it as a nice blend of retro vector art carefully utilising typography in select places. I have been developing this as the cornerstone of my art style since my early days in Sixth Form College. To further develop my style, design and a particular art direction for this project creatively, experimentally and practically I first looked for inspiration from other similar artist’s work. Back in College I was given similar tasks and so I had already built up a portfolio of artists (namely unknown artists found in places like DeviantArt only back then we we’re given a month or so months to produce a single design, here I created a double spread piece a night, but since then both my quality and efficiency had improved as I’ve had to work to tighter and more professional quality demanding deadlines.
I have been exploring my ideas behind the concepts of utopia/dystopia that we all discover throughout our lives in our own ideologies and those projected by others. I wanted to twist together themes from ultra-conservationism to blissful spiritualism. I explored each idea that I approached and narrowed down the subjects to just 12; covering concepts ranging from dictatorship to freedom and from happiness to misery. I approached my designs with the intention of change. I began designing a short book, incorporating a focus on a pure visual sense of direction; to bring together my ideas through imagery based narration supplemented with a minimalistic use of text where appropriate. Focusing on my ideas exploring these concepts deeper and working on what it is to ‘change’ something I decided to take my project from the tactile realm back into the digital realm in order to really play with certain 3D aspects. I broke my book apart, I wanted pieces to come alive and quite literally dance across the screen. Keeping with my theme of dystopias I took an incredibly emotionally deep and poignant quote from the film Apocalypse Now – which not only added in an extra audio depth but in watching my recording with the accompaniment of the speech I could see the text appearing in my thoughts already in place. I simply filled in the spaces where I could see the text laying and the animation fell just as naturally.
Once the page designs were completed I printed it and then began sewing it together with cotton thread. I was then given the next 8 weeks to figure out how to translate my book into an animation. I created my final piece using Autodesk 3D Studio Max to make the 3D character; Natural Motion Endorphin to assist with the animation (using a combination of both key-framing by eye and physics simulated animation); and finally Adobe After Effects to compose it together with the video footage.
Here are the pages of the book:
I’m happy with my final result, I reached a point which I wasn’t able to foresee when I first began, the project took some interesting turns and really helped me development my theological and visual narrative skills in new and unique ways, I was excited with the prospect of working in multiple dimensions and trying to break the thin line between to them to make the viewer question which reality they are looking at it.
As part of my development during this project I advanced my knowledge of
Motion Capture, Particle Effects, Depth of field, and UVW Mapping in 3DS Max.
As a side project, during the development of the character I used him in a scene
I created experimenting with Depth of field.