Monthly Archives: October 2013

Creative Elements: Create A World (Part 3)

From the previous team’s concepts for the Create A World project we brought the two together and thought about what kind of a story these concepts were trying to show. We came to the conclusion that this was a voyage to the centre of the sea story. Quite likeJourney to the Center of the Earth, The Seven Voyages of SinbadHomer’s Odyssey2,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Atlantis.

We also talked about Star Wars, because one of the concepts suggested this idea, for one creature to eat a ship and a bigger creature to eat the first one. We even looked to cinematography as inspiration for our story and concepts.

Alfred Hitchcock, North By Northwest

For one of the scenes, North by Northwest provided a good basis as to how to lay out our idea, where the creature chases the ship.

Star Wars

This video provided inspiration for one of our scenes in our story. We expanded on it, so that one creature tries to eat the ship and another larger one comes along to eat that creature.

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For the creature’s design we looked to cinema dragons for inspiration. What we wanted to create was a caricatured style for our concepts, as though they would develop into an animated movie or game.

stage 1 stage 2 stage 3

These were the various stages to create the concept of a scene in the story that we had all discussed; the idea was based upon Star Wars, where one creature tries to eat the ship and is eaten by another bigger creature.

how_to_train_your_dragon_concept_art_18 how_to_train_your_dragon_concept_art_22 how_to_train_your_dragon_concept_art_shane_prigmore_01 how_to_train_your_dragon_location_04

Our inspiration for the style of the Create A  World came from Nico Marlet, concept designer for How to Train Your Dragon.


Another concept artist who inspired the creature design was Kei Acedera, Art Director. What sprung to mind was the idea of coral for the creature’s horns, and that it blended in with its environment.

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I found this image of some under water creature that I thought looked interesting for the idea of the creature design.  This image reminded me of Kei Acedera’s concepts as seen above. I also looked to the snapping turtle as inspiration for the creature’s skin texture; I also felt that the snapping turtle reminded me of a dragon, and looked interesting and menacing.

This book provided the perfect means of understanding cinematography; our aim for this project was to create concept art with a cinematic effect/style. We had been asked to think of composition and colour, but, also how it would play in with the story. We had to imagine moments within the story; and then visualize how the scene for that story would appear on screen. So we had to think about the camera angles and position of our characters within the scene.

THE STORY – Our story is set in a world under the sea, it is a story about a father and his ill daughter, who is going to die unless he can take a journey to find a cure. He take an expedition under the sea, and is chased by a creature deeper into a pit, where he is lost for days, and as his oxygen is getting lower, he begins to hallucinate about his daughter; the hallucination guides him safely back to safety. We think that the cure is located in the belly of the creature, or that the creature guards the cure like a dragon guards its treasure.

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world entity colour action scenes

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Plan out of some colour and scenes. The colours we chose for our concepts were murky and shadowy, light plays an important role in our story as the creatures and the ship provide the light source for the dark and dank underwater world. Blues , greens and hints of  purple were the colours we chose; also for the scene in which the father hallucinates about his daughter, we wanted to use bright colours to suggest a mirage; this scene is very dark and so, yellows, white and golden colours were used to establish the scene.

Father and daughter

sea monsters

world entity colour action scenes 2

monster chase

Our underwater world was to be a dark and murky place to live, the creatures had to blend within their environment as the predators stalking their prey. The only light would come through their eyes, and for one creature a pouch on its belly provided a light source. The ship in which the father is cruising needed to have light to be able to find its way through the darkened world.

Creative Elements: Create A World (Part 2)

With the new project my new team and I faced a difficult problem; we were given a world with a very strange appearance and design, it was a galaxy based on a water drop and reflection in the ripples; the idea was that this was a world with a parallel world, and that every time it passed through a horizon point it was destroyed and the world reproduced itself all over again. This would happen at the end of every cycle. There was also the idea of two suns, one fire the other ice, this is where it got a bit confusing for us. We first got the impression that the world rotated around and once it went through one of the suns they would be destroyed, only to come out of the other side to begin the cycle of evolution again. We asked the previous team about their idea and were told it was the horizon point that would destroy the world, and once it passed through it would then go back to evolution/ reproduce its world again. It was very confusing to start off with, and we tossed and turned over our ideas to build on it, till we all finally decided to go a different route for the design of the world; but, to keep to the spirit of the initial idea. We kept the idea of two suns; one would be a red dwarf sun and the other a normal sun; we then looked at a piece of animation that a team member had suggested and this gave us our inspiration to turn the world into a world made entirely of metal; that the creature would build and build and that there came a time in life when the building got too much and the world would collapse and be sucked into a ray of white light. With this we had another idea that we added to it, that there was one creature that had a timer and would know exactly when the world would end, so he would freeze time/ slow time, and had a limited amount of time to save the world. These events were a constant loop and would happen again and again, hence the idea of the previous team that was reproducing/redeveloping of the world. Our idea is that even though this reoccurs a lot, there is one day that this creature is destined not to save that world. This came from an idea another team member suggested about the Aztecs/Mayan Calender; there is a certain date when the world will come to an end.








For our idea we researched a lot of artists/ digital artists’ works; we found some interesting ideas that helped us to develop our own concepts for this project. We even found some interesting pieces of models and this influenced our ideas for how the creatures would look. Our idea is that the creatures are made of metal and have flesh; or, they are creatures that wear armour/ are controlled by robot armour. The armour would be made by the same metal as the planet.



These were some references we took of demolished buildings. They provided the basis of inspiration for the concepts of our world; we had talked about building/ demolishing as the time is frozen or in slow motion. We imagined this one creature as a time keeper travelling through many obstacles, to reach his goal.

world pieces grey world sucked into light concept grey world destruction grey scale World action concept greyscale robotmanconcept grey

With the tonal concepts the team and I wanted to capture the sense of the frozen in time setting we had placed our character in. We played a lot with grey tones, considering the contrast of light and dark tones. Our world began in an apocalyptic/Armageddon, it was the struggle of this lone cyborg that was to venture into this vast destructive world, that had been frozen in time. The problem was how would we capture this sense of motion, how could we create scenes that would represent our idea? We managed to think of ideas of pieces of building scattered about the sky, and our hero skipping along them as though he were building a path for himself to get past obstacles, as he ventured to the core of the problem with the world.

What we also had to think about was perspectives within this world, how would the inhabitants of the world fit within their environment and adapt to its climate, seasons, vegetation etc. What would their living conditions be within the world and how would they survive any obstacles?

With our metal world the team really knew that the world would be heavy; we picked one of the world’s strongest metals as reference, Osmium; this would explain how the metal world would eventually collapse in its Apocalypse, etc.  If we were to have two suns within our world, which did come up in conversation, and two moons, these two elements would therefore change the tides of that world sea and the shadows would alter.

Destruction of buildings ideas concepts world pieces World action concept building designs Concept test 1 world destruction Fire and Ice Giants Concepts icefirecreatures Fire Ice World Concepts Ice world Ice World Concept 2

Before we changed the world to a metal world, the previous team had an idea that had a world that was divided into ice and fire; we had to change this theme as it had already been taken by another team. The designs I had made for the fire and ice world I eventually used for ideas in my metal world, shapes etc.

metalic world Caves colour test tomb colour scene metalic world Caves colour test concept world testing colours world destruction

Our final task for this project was to use colour and composition; we found a book calledComposition, by J.M. Paramon, this explained everything about composition and how light and colour help to establish a mood. We were also advised to research Joseph William Turner (The Painter of Light) and watch a presentation video called Gnomon Master Class, Efficient Cinematic Lighting, Jeremy Vickery.

In our world we knew reflection would become a key element to our world, as metal cannot be called so, if it does not have a reflection, mirroring its surroundings.  A team member found a helpful little tutorial about how to paint metal surfaces.

This explained a lot about building  the colour and the purpose to define the shape of a metal object; this method was an interesting way to make the work become more believable and have the images of metal pop-out. However, it still became a challenge that we all found difficult. It wasn’t easy to paint an object that only had grey color tones, we had to find a way of creating mood through light and other colours we all felt established the mood of tension and isolation;  purple is such a dramatic colour in that it seems to strike as menacing or tension, blue establishes more cold and isolated; so by using these colours we managed to capture a mood for our hero’s surrounding, that the viewer could identify.

17768861 Eyvind Earle Sleeping Beauty Concept Painting Disney 1959 image-from-disneys-sleeping-beauty-eyvind-earle tumblr_lqcm38W1DI1qj5qvfo1_500

Eyvind Earle was an interesting artist whom I researched through the development of my work; he became a great influence in my style, and used similar colours to what the team and I were discussing for our concepts. Eyvind Earle is noted for his concept art and creating the style of Disney animated movies. He uses a lot of Low and High key color contrasts, to establish the scene he is trying to present to the viewer.

Eruption_of_Vesuvius_1817 Fishermen at Sea exhibited 1796 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Joseph William Turner was another artist that I referred to for influencing my ideas for colour and composition. This artist understood light very well, and I have chosen two pieces that have become my favourite pieces of his works. He was a crazy influential guy who painted mainly landscape, using watercolour and oil; known as the “painter of light”, because he mastered in the art of painting light.

Colour Theory

Color theory encompasses a multitude of definitions, concepts and design applications – enough to fill several encyclopedias. However, there are three basic categories of color theory that are logical and useful : The color wheel, color harmony, and the context of how colors are used.

Color theories create a logical structure for color. For example, if we have an assortment of fruits and vegetables, we can organize them by color and place them on a circle that shows the colors in relation to each other.

A color circle, based on red, yellow and blue, is traditional in the field of art. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Since then, scientists and artists have studied and designed numerous variations of this concept. Differences of opinion about the validity of one format over another continue to provoke debate. In reality, any color circle or color wheel which presents a logically arranged sequence of pure hues has merit.

Three color wheels - Harris, Today, Goethe

Primary Secondary Tertiary Colors

Primary Colors: Red, yellow and blue
In traditional color theory (used in paint and pigments), primary colors are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues. 

Secondary Colors: Green, orange and purple
These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.

Tertiary Colors: Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green
These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That’s why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.

Video Reference


Creative Elements: Create A World

Our next project was to create a world; this world could be anything at all. There were endless possibilities which we had suggested. One idea was to create a bum world and the people that lived within that world were “bums” (metaphorically speaking); the people would be a kind of race of being who were “wasters”, and unaccomplished; (and there were also some actual human bums within the world as well, just to make it somewhat comical).

Another idea was to create a vice-versa scenario, where clothes shop for people and fish (go fishing) for humans, weird but, humorous. We were throwing in some pretty good ideas and possibilities, for the world.

Then we started questioning some more intelligent ideas. Sci-fi/fantasy was the root that we finally decided upon, because there was a more logical explanation for it, and it just grew from one member and another suggested possible elements that would work within this kind of world we were imagining. We suggested the idea of a “world within a world”, a hidden world, that was there but no one could find.

With this as the basis/the seed or core element of our world, we began looking at mythology and the world around us. One side of inspiration, was the ocean; this was something I suggested to the team because I have always been interested in underwater life, and it was the prime example of what a hidden world was. The ocean is a vast unknown world, that varies from our own common existence. I went to the library and found a fantastic book called Art Forms in Nature, by Ernst Haeckel. This is a fabulous book with amazing and interesting underwater fauna and flora; when I found this book I brought it to the team and they loved it. Some great ideas and inspirations began to develop.

One Idea was that the underwater world would have tunnels; this idea came from a previous idea of a world with tunnels, that linked with dwarfs in mythology. Then we had another idea that involved a sacred ritual/ spiritual belief from that world; it was a gas that came up from the cracks of the sea bed and consumed the life force of the beings. The creature believed this gas to be a kind of entity/ god-like religious belief to these beings.

Below are some of the concept designs I produced for the world and the creatures/beings that live within the world.

This concept was for the overall appearance of these beings that would live in this world; I took inspiration from what the team had decided on and other concepts that had been produced. This was the first of the actual structure of the beings’ form and shape. The head was inspired by what we had suggested, and the concepts I had seen from another member; so, I took their ideas into consideration for this piece.

My biggest inspiration for the design of the creature’s structure came from a documentary I had watched a while ago; but, I have forgotten what it was called, though I do remember that it was an explanation, or investigation/ theory of how, if humans were to be like fish or birds, what certain shapes and forms we would have to have. Our physical appearance would be far different, if for instance we were to live underwater, most of our muscle structure would be found in our legs and arms; we would have to have a lean swimmer body, for agility to be able to change direction in water.

Mainly the most power would come from our legs, which would be flipper shaped, for speed and agility. The same principles would be for if humans could fly; however, our chests would be huge and masculine, our lungs would have to be big enough to hold in helium to allow us to make flight, just as birds do. Our bones would be light, and our power would come from our wings/arms.

Knowing about these theories, taken from what I had watched/heard on that documentary, I wanted the beings to have a logical and believable structure and form.

This was a concept design for the look of the world underwater; we researched a lot of undersea flora; and thought: what the buildings would be? what would these creatures build with?

For the creature we looked at lots of fish and marine mammals to get an idea of how they would look. The next problem we faced was what these creatures would wear. We came across a book called Art Forms In Nature, by Ernst Haeckel. This began our inspiration for the armour that the creatures would wear. In this book were loads of references to underwater cells and plankton etc; it was full of wonderful sketches of flora that were found under the sea. These ideas and shapes were perfect influence for the buildings and armour. We also looked at samurai warrior armour as a basis for ideas of what kind of style our creatures’ armour would have. For the creatures themselves we referenced from the structure of a giraffe’s (as well as fish and marine mammal anatomy) neck and face; it provided an understanding of their anatomy and helped to draw their faces in different poses. The giraffe also played a part in the influence of the marks on the creatures and the colour of their skin.

The Multiplane Camera

The Mulitplane camera was a revolutionary break through for animation, it was a special motion picture camera used in the traditional animation process that moves a number of pieces of artwork past the camera at various speeds and at various distances from one another. This creates a three-dimensional effect, although not actually stereoscopic.

The predecessor to the multiplane camera was used by Lotte Reiniger for her animated feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926). The first multiplane camera, using four layers of flat artwork before a horizontal camera, was invented by former Walt Disney Studios animator/director Ub Iwerks in 1933, using parts from an old Chevrolet automobile.[1] His multiplane camera was used in a number of the Iwerks Studio’s Willie Whopper and Comicolor cartoonsof the mid-1930s.

An interesting variation is to have the background and foreground move in opposite directions. This creates an effect of rotation. An early example is the scene in Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs where the evil Queen drinks her potion, and the surroundings appear to spin around her.


Sir Isaac Newton  (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727) was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica(“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”), first published in 1687, laid the foundations for most of classical mechanics.

Newton’s Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. It also demonstrated that the motion of objects on the Earth and that of celestial bodies could be described by the same principles. By deriving Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of theheliocentric model of the cosmos.


Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.