27 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage: Storyboard

These should read horizontally, I probably should have included numbers and I may come back and add those later.

25 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage: Concept Art

Fantastic Voyage: Font Tests and Title Influences

I think I will go with the first font, but I am also tempted by the last one, any input is welcome.

I have decided that I do not want narration in my animation, so the text will be very important. I have been looking at title sequences and the dynamic uses of text that many of them display. I don't think that I want my titles to passively appear and disappear, having them interact with the world they described, even in a small way, could make it more memorable. I am considering have the title for each phase behave in a different way, so that they are distinguished even further. I could perhaps have them behave in a way that has something to do with what happens in the phase they describe.

Here are a few titles that I have found the most influential.

23 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage: Colour Tests - Opinions Welcome!

Colour Palette
Colour Test: Sister Chromatids
Colour Test: Cells
Colour Test: Centromeres

21 March 2017

@Phil - Fantastic Voyage: Test Animation

I threw this together in Animate to get an idea of how a particular scene in my animation could look. I am going to go for a big choreographed dance number that would begin inside a single cell and then zoom out to reveal lots of cells. At this point in the animation a voice over would explain that mitosis takes place all over our bodies all of the time. This is too fast, but I am pleased with the outcome otherwise and I am going to do some searching for ideas about other possible patterns for my animation.

Here is a slower version.

14 March 2017

Soundscape: Reflective Statement

I have learnt a lot from this project, including that I find sound design fascinating. Creating sounds in Audition has been thoroughly enjoyable and I often found myself having let hours slip by without really noticing. Learning how many different ways a sound can be changed and how mixing individual sounds can have such a drastic effect has been interesting and exciting.

I wish that I had attended more of the sound design workshops and that I had organised my files better. I find that the further I get into a project the more disorganised I become with storing and backing up important files. This is something I will work on improving, as I know it will become increasingly important to have files organised clearly. With bigger projects and more and more work in Maya I can't afford to lose any files, especially when I will be working with other people and render farms.

I hope to work much more with sound and I have added sound design to the list of things I want to experiment with in the summer. Soundscape has made me realise just how important sound is in making sure a film impacts on an audience and I am now consciously hearing things in films, music and television that I wouldn't normally have noticed. I am excited to use the knowledge I have gained in the Fantastic Voyage project, creating sounds for things that don't have sounds is a challenge and I will need to allocate a good amount of time to this task. 

Soundscape: Final Submission

Audition: Monster and Space Sounds

The outcomes from the first two Audition workshops. I know that I attended one more but I have lost the files from that session, I intend to organise my work better in future.

Soundscape: Sound Designer Profile


Isaza, M (2009). Ben Burtt Special: WALL-E - The Definitive Interview. At:

Wilson, M (2015). How Ben Burtt Designed The Sounds Of Star Wars. At: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3045177/how-ben-burtt-designed-the-sounds-of-star-wars

Geeta Dayal (2012). Ben Burtt on Star Wars, Forbidden Planet and the Sound of Sci-Fi. At:


Ben Burtt




Soundscape: Sonic Concept

13 March 2017

Soundscape: SFX

I have included a video with the SFX at full length, and a shorter video with them as 5 sec. previews, as some of the sounds are quite long.

10 March 2017

Animation and Character: Lesson 17 - Abstract Shapes to Music

Drawing 18

I did my drawings for this class using watercolour pencils and a brush pen. Some of them look a little strange where I tried things that didn't happen the way I expected them too, but it was a lot of fun and I plan to keep working with these tools.

9 March 2017

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Influences

This continues on from thoughts I had about showing mitosis as a dance. I was thinking of flashing lights representing signals the cell receives and the transition between one phase to the next. I could have text and a voice over to give titles to each phase.

I want to target teenagers ages 15+ that are in the middle of their GCSEs. I think that bright colours would be useful to engage this audience, but I am planning on doing further research into this. I might watch music videos that are popular at the moment and look out for recurring visual themes.

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Sketches and More Thoughts

These are some thoughts and notes about mitosis and how I could show it.


This is a rough storyboard to help me get my head around mitosis and play around with how I could show it.

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Thoughts

I have decided to explore the Mitosis scenario. This is the bit of the cell cycle that most fascinated me, the process of copying and dividing seems almost magical.

Word stacks:

Fish Eggs




Rock Pools

Cell as a dance hall
Nucleus membrane as a dance hall that dissolves away

Different kinds of dancers for DNA and chromosomes - a transformation. Dance partners separated. Calming music that builds up for when they are pulled apart and the cell splits. Like fish? Mermaids?

3 March 2017

Jaws, 1975

Fig. 1 Poster
Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (1975) is one of the most commercially successful films of all time. It is described by Mark Dinning, writing for Empire Online, as ‘a film of immense, visceral and psychological power’ (Dinning, 2000). As a cultural phenomenon, ‘Jaws’ changed the trajectory of film and was the beginning of the summer blockbuster. Mark Kermode of The Guardian writes that the film was ‘a genre-defining blockbuster that changed the face of modern cinema.’ (Kermode, 2015).

Fig. 2 Contra zoom
Spielberg makes use of a technique called contra zoom, originally used in Hitchcock's ‘Vertigo’ (1958), for a scene (shown in Fig. 2) in which he wishes to convey the horror and shock his character is feeling. There is a pivotal moment and the contra zoom changes the amount of the background that is seen, showing the character’s world warping around him as he comes to a realisation. Due to the massive success of the film, this type of shot became very popular and many people attempted to imitate its effectiveness in Spielberg’s film. Another shot that Spielberg makes considerable use of is the long shot, as shown in Fig. 3, Almar Haflidason comments on his ‘fearless’ (Haflidason, 2001) use of this shot and the way ithelps convey both isolation for the victims and endows the shark with seemingly god-like hunting powers.’ (Haflidason, 2001). 

Fig. 3 Long shot
A huge element of the success of these shots is down to the editing by Verna Fields, described by A.D. Murphy, writing for Variety, as ‘topnotch’ (Murphy, 1975). This editing is one of ways the shark is established in the mind of the viewer long before it is shown on screen. Shots from the shark’s point of view, as shown in Fig. 4, are used throughout the film to give the audience a sense of its presence without actually showing it to them. The shark is established as a ruthless killer through ‘factual’ discussion with an oceanographer and frightful images from pages of a book.

Fig. 4 POV
 As Dinning comments the unseen element, is crucial.’ (Dinning, 2000). The viewer’s imagination is a powerful tool and Spielberg is clever to make use of it here. The massive build up to the first appearance of the shark is important, Roger Ebert comments that The shark has been so thoroughly established, through dialogue and quasi-documentary material, that its actual presence is enhanced in our imaginations by all we've seen and heard. (Ebert, 2000). Spielberg makes use of floating objects attached to the shark, such as the keg shown in Fig. 3, to give it presence and character. Ebert also comments that the audience don't see the shark but the results of his actions. The payoff is one of the most effective thrillers ever made.’ (Ebert, 2000).

These techniques alone would have a formidable effect, but it is the score that gives the invisible film its full cinematic power. Alexandre Tylski, writing for Film Score Monthly, describes the way John William’s score mimics the shark, with sounds that suddenly disappear, exactly like a shark slowly circling its prey, vanishing without warning, then attacking abruptly from an unknown quarter’ (Tylski, 1999). This has an impressive effect and Tylski goes on to note that the audience ‘feel that something threatening is coming closer and closer but we can see nothing. Williams, by using the crescendo, creates an idea of distance and movement, transforming rhythm into a highly visual element’ (Tylski, 1999). The score complements Spielberg’s techniques beautifully and it is little wonder that it is so memorable.

Fig. 5 Pier
There is a particular scene involving a torn away bit of pier (shown in Fig. 5) that is particularly effective at building a frightening atmosphere. As the shark hasn’t been seen yet, it exists here as how the viewer’s imagination has combined their pre-existing idea of sharks with the viciously frightening image conjured up by the narrative, visual and musical choices made by the filmmakers. At the time of release, the audience’s understanding of sharks would be less than that of a modern audience and so there is more room for Spielberg to work his magic. As Murphy comments, implicit dramaturgy is often more effective than explicit carnage’ (Murphy, 1975).


Dinning, M (2000). Empire Essay: Jaws review. At: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/empire-essay-jaws/review/ (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Ebert, R (2000). Great Movie Jaws. At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-jaws-1975 (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Haflidason, A (2001). Jaws. At: http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/07/14/jaws_review.shtml (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Kermode, M (2015). Jaws: 40 years on: 'One of the truly great and lasting classics of American cinema'. At: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/may/31/jaws-40-years-on-truly-great-lasting-classics-of-america-cinema (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Murphy, A (1975). Review: ''Jaws': 1975 Movie Review'. At: http://variety.com/1975/film/reviews/jaws-1200423515/ (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Tylski, A (1999). A Study of Jaws' Incisive Overture. At: http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/articles/1999/14_Sep---A_Study_of_Jaws_Incisive_Overture.asp (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Illustration List

Fig. 1 Poster
Spielberg, S (1975). Jaws [Poster] At: http://www.oscars.org/sites/oscars/files/01_jaws_main_0.jpg (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Fig. 2 Contra zoom
Spielberg, S (1975). Jaws [Poster] At: http://www.dioramamagazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jaws-7.jpg (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Fig. 3 Long shot
Spielberg, S (1975). Jaws [Poster] At: http://viewandreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/JAWS-62-1.26.02-1024x429.png (Accessed on 03.03.17)

Fig. 4 POV

Fig. 5 Pier
Spielberg, S (1975). Jaws [Poster] At: http://www.top10films.co.uk/img/Jaws_The-Unseen-Monster_pier.jpg (Accessed on 03.03.17)