Saturday, 26 September 2009

Yawnosaur sketches

Here are a few more Yawnosaur sketches of little Avril yawning away. This is the sort of thing that will grace the walls of the short film. I will play with colour when time permits.

Just looking at them makes me want to yawn :-)

Warren Louw Art

[Warren Louw image via his DeviantArt Site]

Gracing the cover of my latest copy of ImagineFX (049) was this gorgeous piece of art by Warren Louw. This art style resonates with me a great deal and if you look at his process and finished result is something very similar to the works I can see myself achieving. There is a clarity to the piece that I love, the mixture of tonality and line-art along with the exaggerated forms and a touch of cool.

Warren has a nice article inside walking us through a range of tips on working with female forms, dealing with perspective, balance, emotion, silhouette and more. Note the different hair colour versions in the article for the Becky piece.

Visiting Warren Louw's Deviant Art Gallery, we are treated to a heap more to inspire, here are a few more I like (note all the images straight from the site are bigger for you).

[Warren Louw images via his DeviantArt Site]

One interesting thing that I noted because of his little icon/avatar on the site was how differently an image can feel when we take a piece of it. His Lili image has a certain feel as the full thing, but actually improves when we crop out a tint piece of it like this:

[2 views of Warren Louw's Lili image via his DeviantArt Site]

Lastly he has some process imagery like this one on how he created The Face of Eva.

[2 views of Warren Louw's Lili image via his DeviantArt Site]

Aion Live

Yes, the next big thing in MMOland is Aion and with much fanfare it is now live. The trailers are full of game content and yet still have a rich cinematic feel. While the world is differentiated to some extent from the likes of WoW and the rest of the MMO stable, it doesnt feel like we are being treated to any kind of revolution here. We could say that WoW was the same, nothing too revolutionary, but full to the brim with class and appeal. If Aion can capture players through that same logic, it will do well, but it needs to compete in a much tougher market.

The graphic look seems like a mixture of traditional MMO and a console 3D martial fighter. The official site is rather low-key actually with very much a resource/wiki feel to it. This logic looks to be about building community and that is where MMO's live or die. The site has concept art and other imagery, which I have looked at before, so lets have a look at a few screenshots:

[Aion screenshots from the official site]

I do wish I had the time at the moment to dive into MMOs again, exploring and growing into the new game worlds is one of the things I enjoy most about gaming. If I did have the time though - then I would have to choose a game - Gah - with Aion, Champions, Warhammer and more WoW right now and thinks like Star Wars, Star Trek, FFXIV and more right around the corner.

Hmm, without actually playing, it does look like Blizzard are still the masters.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Avril the Yawnosaur Script v4

I've been working on the Avril the Yawnosaur script following the walkthrough with the group and our principle actor. It was clearly too long because of the amount of narrative, so I took to the prose. Now the story is ready to rely more on the visuals, perfect for the film medium and is the right length.

Below is the v4 script, I should do a scriptment, but may just go to a storyboard.


Avril the Yawnosaur


Graham Hannah
(With Kylie, Olivia and Ying)



(tired but happy from bed)
Daddy, you’re back.

Hi Little one, are you still awake?

Dad moving to the bed - having just come through door.

Avril Yawning

I couldnt sleep

Dad sits on the edge of the bed

awww that’s a big yawn.

Both smiling

Can you tell me a story



Hmmm, a quick one then.

Alicia nestles down and Dad tells the story with facial
animation, actions (sound effects are layered on as effects)

As the story is told, cartoon-like images of the creatures
appear and move about on the walls of the room - showing
Avril’s imagination playout out there.

This is the story of ... ah yes ...
young Avril the Yawnosaur.

On this very night, little Avril
just couldnt get to sleep. All the
other Yawnosaurs in her tribe were
already snoozing, oblivious to all
the strange jungle sounds that kept
her awake.

There’s the Stompadon, the biggest
and hairiest of all the creatures
in the jungle. He was out looking
for his comb and his thunderous
feet were stomping and stomping.

High in the trees a pair of
Poposaurususes were doing their
version of song, which included the
occasional POP - setting free a
cloud of leaves each time.

Then there was a lone
pteranoscreech swooping and
squeeling high above the dense
canopy, but the sound still
penetrated all the way down to
little Avril’s ears.
Pteranoscreeches learn to talk by
scraping their long claws on
blackrocks high in the mountains
and by the sound of things, this
one must have done lots of

Avril knew she was still learning,
but decided to give yawning a try.


Avril joins in as well (she yawns along with Dad each time)
But nothing changed. She looked
around her family for help, but
they all slept peacefully despite
the all the stomps, pops and

Avril the little Yawnosaur then
composed herself and did her
biggest biggest yawn.


At first the jungle seems just as
noisy, but then Avril heard the
sound of something very large
nestling down to sleep. The
Stompadon was no longer stomping.

Avril smiled, but then the loud POP
from high in the trees and that ear
splitting screech returned.

OK, she thought, closing her eyes
briefly in concentration, and let
out a huuuuge yawn.


After a peculiar pooooop sound no
more leaves are seen falling from
high up in the trees. The
Poposaurususes must be sleeping now
as well.

Avril thought nothing could resist
that yawn. But it wasnt long before
she heard that chilling squeal
again. Was there anything she could
do about the Pteranoscreech soaring
so high above the jungle where she
was trying to get to sleep.

Avril flexed her arms and looked
around at her sleeping family one
more time before letting out the
very biggest yawn the jungle would
ever see.


Avril and Dad do huge yawns. Alicia blinks a little
afterwards - looking extra sleepy.

Exhausted, head on her mossy
pillow, she listened hard for the
sound of the pteranoscreech. She
found it hard to concentrate,
feeling sleepier and sleepier.

Avril more rested now, contented, Dad talking more quietly.

The jungle was now quiet, no more
stomps, pops or screeching could be
heard and little Avril dreamed of
yawning, lots of yawning.

Dad slides a loose hair across Avril’s forehead

sweet dreams my little creature.



The Pteranoscreech plummets to the ground with a thud,
sleeping soundly :-)

FFXIV Trailer and Concept Art

[concept from FFXIV via neoseeker]

The hype around any and all the Final Fantasy titles is always impressive. Square Enix arent pulling any punches with the newest incarnation to be live and online in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV. There has been lots of press and release info coming for some time now and here is a neato new trailer coming via the Tokyo Game Show.

The FFXIV flash website has the usual promo material. I love the flying vehicle designs, they are original and have that quirky Japanese animation feel that sets it apart. Here are a few screenshots from the cinematic trailers via neoseeker:

[screenshot from FFXIV trailer via neoseeker]

And I just love concept art, so here are a few to inspire:

[concept art from FFXIV via neoseeker]

Video Class

The video lectures (and tutes) for my Video Construction course have been fun and I love seeing the countless examples of quality in film-making we are exposed to. Clearly we are meant to be watching ALOT of films. This week was all about Cinematography including framing, colour and lighting. The Wizard of Ox came up as an example in this lecture as well, clearly I should have the film - it is one of my earliest memories of a fantasy adventure film.

In the tute we worked with Compressor and DVD Studio Pro, making a DVD was pretty fun actually.

One of the things we looked at briefly was the Mark Romanek music video for Mick Jagger. The God Gave Me Everything I Want clip is shot the whole time using special harness rigs, they would have been tough to wear for an extended period but the effect was energetic and brought the characters forward.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

COFA Video Project progress

Our team is gearing up for our pitch for Avril the Yawnosaur, apart from a new edit of the script last night (much much better when it is cut down I have to say) I quickly made a little logo for GOKY Pictures (name is the first letters of our group members names - Graham, Olivia, Kylie and Ying) Go Team!

Script is now just under 4 pages and should fill nicely to the 5 minutes. We are doing tests for the various green-screen elements and pulling together all the other parts of the endeavour. The draft pitch doc is coming along as well, I am really enjoying the creative process.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Civ on the iPhone

Now there is an app full of all the addictive qualities of the original might that is Civilization, on the oh so accessible iPhone platform and battery life is all that will save us.
The Civilization Revolution version is simpler than the full PC versions, but has all the key elements of the game and I am having great fun with it.
There are nice reviews about, like Joystiq and Macworld but this is an easy pickup for any fans of the game.

[image from the Joystiq review of Civilization Revolution for the iPhone]

... just one more turn ... just one more turn ...

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Paper City in Second Life

The next two projects in Digital Computation Studio will take place in Second Life, on UNSW Atoll actually which has been transformed into a metaphoric paper cityscape. This is a little preview before the class on Tuesday.