Thursday, 11 December 2014

Correspondance Archive.

Just an archive of the correspondance I'ce had with this project. Links to the relevant blog posts are provided while they are all listed chronologically fro mthe first post  onwards.

OGR 06/11/2014

Hi Mark,

That's one sensual, luxuriant city you describe - I was quite swept away by your lavish descriptions of this 'petal city'! I enjoyed your travelogue very much! You've given yourself a richness of detail there in terms of inspiring your next thumbnails - and it appears as if you're moving towards those dominant towers as being among your 'key assets' in terms of working in Maya. The only thing I'd say is be sure to go back to the works of Treacy as a touchstone even as you've identified 'petals' as a preoccupation of the designer, and as you move towards developing your key assets. Don't let this world of 'flower-like' forms as inspired by Treacy become a world of architectural flowers; look again at the essential organic shapes favoured by Treacy and ensure you maintain that same level of 'abstraction'; for example, the idea of having actual globe artichokes as architectural elements is too literal; and the idea of the city 'being' a lotus flower - is also too literal; for example, if you were to look at the Sidney Opera House, it's suggestive of lots of organic elements, but is not quite any of them either:

So, just don't take your eye of Treacy as you seek to take your city to the next level of refinement.

  1. Hello Phil

    I can understand where I may have been a little too literal as some of Treacy's hats do appear like that and I think I became a little too preoccupied with mimicking these designs.

    But true they are not his only forms, he is also known for abstract looping and folding designs as well as the usage of feathers. One idea I had earlier on was to take the shape and arrangement of the lotus petals but only as an outlining "sliced and laid out orange wedges" kind of shape. Some of his designs do appear as curved leaves, but they are also un-leaflike In terms of colour and pattern.

    I will look into making my buildings organic, but abstract. Part of the reason was perhaps I did not want to wander too far into the designs of Zaha Hadid who uses plenty of organic shapes but not in the same way Treacy does.

Mark - I think you're drawing in a too-complicated way; think about working up from silhouettes - knock the detail out; my point about 'too literal' meant you'd started drawing flowers as flowers, as opposed to deriving sculptural/structural forms from flowers. Stop drawing for a moment - this method is clearly giving you nothing new - try something else: look at some natural flower forms, turn them into strong, crisp silhouettes and then 'assemble' architectural forms from the silhouettes; once you've got a strong silhouette, you can draw the detail back into the form in the knowledge that it's looking strong. Stop drawing - start assembling! And keep real architectural stuff as your reference: imagine the sidney opera house as just a silhouette - see:

simple, strong, organic, essentialised... this is what you need - not complex pencil drawings, but punchy forms; why not take Treacy's hats and turn them into an inventory of silhouettes for recombining?

Time to change up your method!

  1. really like no 4, Mark! & 12 - this technique is working for you :)

    1. Once I got over the initial uneasyness of working with stamps (what this technique feels like) I think I managed ot get some good shapes out of it. I'd been debating to myself and had a brief talk with Simon about how much "me" should be i nthere given that I am confused as to whether i'm supposed to channel my designer or think of it as a collaboration.

      With the latter interpretation, I think such a combination may work as we both enjoy organic and nature-inspired styles and shapes. The brief felt quite brief on our intended relationship with our designers.

  2. Mind your spelling Mark - you have 'silhouettes of Treacy's various hates' there! That would probably be a different city altogether :)

    At the moment, numbers 4,5 and 8 appeal to me the most....

  3. Hi Mark, I think 4, 7 & 8 are my favourites as you've really managed to capture of feeling of depth in your thumbnails. They would also by good for layering up when it comes to putting together matte painting and Maya I think. :)

    1. I think I have settled on 8 for my concept proposal as I can see a fair bit of flexibility in it. I think I also like it because it steps away from what could be perceived as perspective exercises although maybe I should do a refined silhouette of 7 as I had considered that one for the master concept as well due to the depth of it.

  1. For me, number 1 just doesn't feel quite right - I think it is the vary large, very centralised building. 2 does it for me, as it has the most depth.

    Just a thought, could you post your silhouettes of the hats that you are using to construct these cityscapes, if you haven't done so already? (I have had a look through, but I can't see them...) I think it would be useful for your viewer to see what the shapes are derived from :)
    1. At the moment I am juggling between 2 and 3. 2 I like for the cityscape at the back and I could fit some sort of green space In the bottom-middle, 3 I like because I am interested in the idea of part of the city being a bridge over a canyon. It feels like an intriguing idea to explore especially with buildings on top.

      I'll see what I can do about posting my silhouette templates. I have a collection of the templates I used on my home PC so when I can I will see about pasting them on to a contact sheet.
  2. *very !
  3. I really like 2 and 3 here, I love the distance cityscape in number 2, makes it really look like a metropolis.
    1. Yeah I'm leaning towards no. 2. The distant cityscape is more noticeable and the midground could be used for something like a park, rather than what could be yawning chasm in 3.
Your rendering of your images has become a lot nicer in terms of not over working it, that's great! :^)

As Senbon Zakura is a Japanese term (I'm assuming from that one Hatsune Miku song...) would it be fitting to use it as a name for your city? Philip Treacy does do a lot with flowers and so cherry blossoms would be justified in that sense.. however he is Irish, not Japanese. That and you talked about your city perhaps being in a Chinese Valley. That could also be very contradicting. The same Kanji is used for "One Thousand Cherry Blossoms" in Chinese and Japanese but it is a different pronunciation. There's a clash of culture.

Curious about your reasoning is all, sorry if this sounds a little rude, I don't mean to be! ^^
You're not being rude it's fine.

I asked Tumo the other week to find a Chinese translation for "city of a thousand petals" (which I thought fit a city deeply rooted in flowers given the importance of certain flowers in China's cultural heritage. A thousand-petalled lotus flower is also the metaphoric representation for the crown chakra in TIbetan Kundalini Buddhism) and apparently "Senbonzakura" was it - So Hatsune Miku's song wasn't my inspiration. I was worried that it would in fact be a Japanese translation or that it would actually mean something completely different so I plan to change it if neccessary.

The China thing comes from an interview with Lux Magazine. Revolving around his Orchid Collection that was shown at the January 2000 Paris Fashion Week:

Near the end he says “I have my own style of shape so I can adapt what I do to anything potentially. Designing a building would be fun, in Shanghai, China; they are very open to the future." That's what inspired me to put the city in China because it sounds like somewhere he'd be interested in working. Plus China is known for its crazy and often organic buildings. I found several examples of organic architecture in several locations within China.

  1. Ah, that interview is a great find! I'm glad.

    I did some research trying to find the Chinese equivalent translation of "senbonzakura" and found "一千樱花" However, romanized it translates to "Yīqiān yīnghuā" which isn't as memorable unfortunately! (And perhaps not as accurate a term as you'd like)

    Speaking of memorability, when most people think about China a strong sense of historical, oriental buildings, and red is usually imagined. It would definitely be interesting to see how you can incorporate Philip Treacy's fashion with hints of China's culture. - If you can get the balance right!

    Good luck! :^)

  2. @Pin Buns: Thank you for your help. I stumbled across this site while looking for the English meaning of the phrase you found and I got "thousand cherry-blossoms". I used the site to find "花瓣" or "huā bàn" which means "petal" and about seven different ways to say "city" in Chinese although "市" (shì) appears most frequently but is often part of another word. I decided to look into "valley" which was an alternative descriptive and got 流域 (liú yù).

    So my deduction is "thousand-petal valley" (based on how cities in Europe have names like Ox-ford, Ham-burg and Buda-pest) could be translated as 一千花瓣流域 "Yīqiān huābàn liúyù" (probably an apeish translation but its the best I can work out.)

    Again, not as smooth as Senbonzakura and it is a lot more of a mouthful but I feel good I managed to do some research on it. The site has Princeton copyrights in places so I really hope these translations are genuine.

  3. Woo! That's good news. It'll add some "legitimacy" if you can figure out an effective name to describe your city like you're doing. (Although try not to focus too much on that, at the least make sure to reflect the name in your city!! i.e A city with Cherry Blossoms would need to be more pink!)

    If we do a narrative-based project I'm sure you'll love that. :^3

  4. I'll see about adding some plant life on the rooftops and on balconies at some point. It would be wierd to name this city after an abundance of petals...when there are no petals.

    I think narrative-based projects come later. So I look forward ot the prospect.
Looking great so far Mark, you have a nice composition going on here! I like how you clearly guide us through each step it's very useful in terms of being able to change things quickly. Though remember this is just a concept piece, I wouldn't get caught up in every tiny detail as these can be left for your key asset and orthographic sheets. Other than that keep going on with this! :)
I might have gone a tiny bit overboard with the buildings in the foreground (what with them being the closest buildings in the shot) but I have been telling myself to spare the detail towards the back of the piece so I don't overdo it with detail and thus lose the focus.

Hi Becky

I really like 17 and 13 for their modern-yet-traditional feel. The use of turf for your first thumbnail set adds a nice modernist-yet-country charm to the whole feel. 18 looks like a huge fancy tent. It really works as a bungalow.
That orthograph for the star-balconied hall is impressive!
Thanks. I think that might be my hero prop. Either that or the spherical;building behind it.

Very surreal. The floor from the midground and further back looks like it could be the patterns of a sprawling metropolis, with the gnarled outcropppings being megastructures. That's what I see anyway.

The sun being a ring is a very surreal addition.

Hi Mark!
Looks like it's coming along well....Looking forward to seeing the final piece on Friday!
My advice would be to put the film reviews on the back burner for now, and concentrate on getting the WIM done in time - you can wrap up any 'left-over' film reviews over the holiday :)
  1. Hmm, if you're confident that it's fine to put off the film reviews for the holidays (when I have much more time) I might. Might. Be able to get another building done if I'm prompt enough. Or it gives me time to work on the matt painting

That is looking really cool! I expect that will look magnificent once it's textured.
Looking good Mark!
Deep breath.... keep pushing on! :)

your mayas looking good have you had prior experience
  1. Jordan made the bulk of the blockout and I tweaked and lit it. The closest I have to prior experience is time spent toying with Google Sketchup and a couple of games that have featured model and map toolkits.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting journey so far Mark. Just a little note, you can put these at the end of your crit/ogr documents.