Like.. a study in like.. greys? And an attempt to use min max filters and like.. stuff.. in Photoshop, for speech bubbles..
Dudel was aimless and shameless. His sons and daughters too.
Aimless doodle cuz of Rebelle 1.5 update. Which is not new but I just installed it now and doodled a bit. They fixed a few things, tools remember their settings.. which makes it, for me, much more usable now : > I want multilayer PSD export and then I can start a webcomic. Maybe. Maybe?.. Maybe..
On A3 paper. I never draw large format, especially not on paper. So this is new for me. I bought some watercolor paper cuz I wanted to draw stuff for some friends. And my parents. This first one is for them. They have an entire zoo at home, some 10 dogs and 10 cats. Nobody knows exactly how many.. at least I lost count years ago. In real life my parents are almost like normal people.. but I like to draw monsters, soooo.....
It all looks much better on real paper.. maybe because of the paper texture, clarity.. dunno. But I did improve my photo-scanning sills. Meaning I used the right exposure.. what a difference, I didn't have to destroy things in Photoshop anymo'.
Next 2 are attempts to draw something for my friend Octav, he likes mushrooms, motorbikes, and aliens. I think B&W is cute.. and I ruined it with color. Corrected in Photoshop and all the junk at the bottom was added in a desperate attempt to fix the pic... I just ruined it. I wish I had UNDO and all the markers I need for a subtle color palette. Color destroys lives. Like my life.
The next one is for Adelina and Ovidiu who just got married. The 2 monsters are much clearer on the original A3 paper btw..
Insane greens.. not happy about the colors. I tried to keep tones a bit closer, but more color contrast would be good. And lesson learned.. try colors first on a separate sheet. -___- Although it doesn't always work, more experience with real media needed here. Cuz of no Layers and no Undo button. : /
And this is me. The resemblance is not perfect.
My real portray skills are not so good. I tried portrays 1000 years ago, in childhood, I was kind of excited, I thought the resemblances were not that bad, I felt like I'm learning something. And then a certain person saw them and said my portrays don't look at all like the famous actors they're supposed to portray.. and that was it, I was heart-broken, pretty much.. never tried again. But I should.
Oh, I have some smallish sketches too. I think this green n yellowish-green works nicely.
And a boat-house that floats on the ocean.. maybe cuz of the floating stones in the foundation.
I just had an important thought. I thought I should share it, since it's so frightfully important!
When I was a young creature, only 12ish-14ish-or-so-aproximately, I was a master of The Absurd. I was steeped in the art of The Absurd. I was reading and writing 'vast amounts of' absurd fiction. I used to think that nobody can top my imagination, it's undoubtedly my greatest asset, period.
Immediately after becoming 16ish-or-so-aproximately though, I had this sudden revelation: The Absurd is stupid. Cheap, random, irrelevant, fake, empty, mostly meaningless, fraudulent, a lie, an insult to an intelligent brain. And me, as a creator of meaningless stuff.. I'm a hack, my imagination is not focused on anything useful. When I first saw Monty Python for instance, I thought I understood exactly where it came from, and that it was stupid. I didn't understand why the big deal, why would anyone think it was great. It's just absurd.
Many years later.. I became old. Older than 30 years old! I had vast amounts of time for thinking various thoughts about what happens to my imagination as I grow old. I feed it, inform it every day, with stuff.. Yet in the process of living my mundane, boring, shitty life, I feel like I stopped relying on, or using my imagination as much as I used to. As painful as it is, I must admit that dreaming and imagining isn't as core, as important to me now, as it used to be. Maybe it's because there is so much more to consume nowadays, and I became a consumer, more than a creator. So it happened that I woke up one day and thought: My imagination is dead! o__O
And then I was browsing YouTube or something and I watched this silly Monty Python episode and loved it!! What happened?? Maybe.. in the absence of a vigorous, alive imagination, The Absurd all of a sudden seemed vigorous, and started to appeal to me once again, simply as fire-starter for creativity. Maybe.. my imagination has never been freer and richer, yet I've always needed a crutch, something to lean on, something to start with. And my memories of having this boundless imagination are just myth.
If The Absurd is stupid, maybe the question that begs to be answered is: is it stupid enough? I think The Absurd is at times really intelligent and meaningful, at times just random and annoying. It's also wild imagination at play, which now I think is ENORMOUSLY important, inspiring, fun, funny, and actually.. useful!
Well.. to conclude.
How do you upset a cat?
You use it as vacuum cleaner. Insure good contact with the ground for maximum suction.
How do you teach a cat to read?
You put hot peppers in the omelette and rub it in its face. Next time it will read the recipe.
How do you confuse a cat?
After it learned to read, you buy it books on screenwriting!
Such beautiful title. I've been studying Fear.. lately. It's good stuff. Characters have to have fears. And fear is fascinating. We all live in fear of so many things.. and we fear admitting fear.
I got inspired by this amazing website called Deep Dark Fears. I thought I should make a list of fears, and try to categorize them.. And then I looked online, it's a messy subject, I couldn't find 2 sources that would write something kind of similar. But I did get a few more ideas.. Anyway, let's GO!
First of all, I'm talking about fears of the healthy mind. I will not go to the dark dark dark side.. and presume to understand what's there. I guess.. even more irrational fears than in the average, let's call it.. healthy-ish mind? I mean no one's healthy, we're all messed up, that's for sure. : P
Step 1. I think there are RATIONAL, IRRATIONAL, and IMAGINARY fears.
The RATIONAL is the usual stuff, motivated by something external, like fear of pain, of rejection, of the unknown..
The IRRATIONAL is motivated by bullshit. Well, unmotivated. Fear of rejection can be irrational too, as in.. there's no harm done [although that's subjective], or there wasn't even a real risk. But if rejection is a real risk, the fear itself is real and motivated. Fear of spiders is largely irrational.. but you could call it rational, after all, they can be poisonous.. just probably not the little guys we have here in Europe. Fear of supernatural creatures though, that's irrational all the way.
OK, and then there's the IMAGINARY. Rational things that are not possible YET. But might be possible in the future, so we can imagine being afraid of them. Like fear of duplication or teleportation. Fear of duplication can be irrational too, like if a mirror steals your image and makes a clone of you on the other side. But it can be rational, scientific, yet not a real threat just yet. So for now we just imagine how scary it might be to discover, one day, that you are a clone.
There are other ways to categorize fears, there is conditioned fear [learned] vs genetic fear [inherited]. Or conscious vs subconscious. Or.. external vs internal. As in: externally vs internally motivated. Fear is manifested internally, mostly [although it can affect external behavior and subtle body changes], but can the motivations/reasons be internal too? Maybe rational fears have external motivations, irrational fears have internal motivations.. I fear that might be simplifying things. Dunno.
Step 2. All fears, rational, irrational, imaginary, seem to be deriving from a small number of main sources. I'll give you 7, although Psychology Today counts 5. I will rename them a bit, just cuz I can.. and for clarity. And I'll go from what I think would be the most primal, immediate, and scary.. to the least primal.
1. Fear of DEATH.
Or of extinction, ceasing to exist.
2. Fear of MUTILATION.
Of dismemberment, disembowelment, loss of physical body parts..
3. Fear of PAIN.
Of injury, illness, accident, torture, anything that can lead to pain.
4. Fear of IMMOBILIZATION.
Or loss of freedom, paralysis, imprisonment, entrapment..
5. Fear of SOCIAL SEPARATION.
Or social rejection. Loneliness, social failures and embarrassment, all social hell goes here.
6. Fear of IRRELEVANCE.
Of living a meaningless life, being irrelevant to others, not being known or remembered.. Ego-death, loss of integrity of self.. Social Separation can lead to fear of Irrelevance, but Irrelevance is its own thing.
7. Fear of THE UNKNOWN.
The religious, the supernatural, the inexplicable.. maybe even fear of losing one's mind, although that probably should be category 8. Tbh I'm not entirely sure this fear 7 doesn't actually rely on other fears, like 1 2 3.. But there could be fears that transcend the usual pain and death, like the irrational fear for your soul.. Is that a real fear and how does it manifest itself? Dunno.
One fear can belong to one or more of the above categories. Death, Mutilation, and Pain can work together.. if you're cleaved in half for ex. But they are 3 major and separate categories because they are irreducible and can work independently. You can lose a leg, suffer no pain, and continue to live. You can die with no pain and no dismemberment. Or you can suffer pain and not lose anything.
Step 3. My long list of fears.. a bit of chaos here, but I tried to merge several related fears together. Feel free to imagine what main categories they might be based on.
of death, maybe in your sleep, coma, untimely death, and death aftermath
of water, drowning, suffocation
of injury, accidents, pain, torture, dismemberment, disembowelment, melting away
of accidentally injuring someone else
of doctors, dentists.. illness, brain damage, losing your teeth or other organs or body parts
of giving birth.. maybe to a monster.. especially as a male
of the dark, dark things, shadows
of mirrors, reflections, parallel realities
of sliding into alternate universes
of the unknown, not understood
of not knowing not understanding the meaning of something.. not having access to info
of the invisible
of sudden appearances or disappearances
of the irrational, unmotivated, surreal, supernatural, voodoo
of losing people you love or care about
of switching, being someone/something else, of different sex, race, species.. a robot
of machines, mechanical devices.. that could lead to injury. like elevators, industrial stuff, robots
of someone watching you sleep
of the unseen, what you cannot see, like under the sea.. or what others can see and you can't
of what you catch with the corner of your eye [you look again and it's gone]
of what's behind you
of being followed, stalked, or watched, maybe while doing something shameful
of the mundane turning supernatural
of being caught.. doing something shameful or illegal
of what happens when you're asleep or unconscious
of being invaded in your most intimate moments and places, like while u poop
of what's in your bed.. or under it [invasion of intimate space]
of body invasion, things entering you, living inside you
of mind invasion, people or things reading your mind, entering your dreams, knowing your most intimate thoughts
of monsters, vampires, ghosts, the undead, gnomes, little people, clowns
of ugly, bad, evil, weird men.. women.. old people
of clones, of duplication
of being locked, closed, unable to be free
of not having space, or not having your own space
of losing something
of locations, empty spaces, outdoors, indoors, closed claustrophobic spaces, unfamiliar spaces, outer space..
of time misbehaving..
of dreaming, nightmares
of unexpectedly being somewhere else
of heights, falling, flying, maybe uncontrolled..
of appearances and disappearances
of masks, of the anonymous face
of teleportation [dismemberment, death, duplication, imaginary]
of being mad, or being considered mad
of social embarrassment/public humiliation, being uncovered.. maybe unknowingly misbehaving
of being judged, misjudged, wrong, not fitting in, being unprepared, in the wrong place, late..
of being unable to speak.. or to explain
of being irrelevant to others, dying unremembered, living pointlessly
of objects that could be more than they appear.. like chairs that move
of weather.. wind, clouds, storm, lightning, rain
of god, religion.. being used or abused by it
of scary afterlife scenarios, like eternal loneliness, eternal torture..
of having unrealistic or fictional goals
of unexpected future
of missing out on something important
of growing old, maybe very fast
of an object that maybe represents something, an idea, a person, a torment
of stupidity.. loosing wits, maybe due to an accident
of insanity.. going insane, loosing contact with reality
of poverty, misery
of manipulation, being manipulated
Feel free to use these beautiful fears.. maybe to write stories, if you want. Mix them up, come up with your own inventions, or find your inner monsters.. Oh shit, I gotta go to the dentist btw.. o___O
A thing I've been recently trying to understand, study, internalize, and generally welcome into my life.. is that film is dialogue. Not only between 2 characters. I'm talking about visual dialogue between 2 images, 2 directions, 2 ideas, 2 POVs [points of view]. Could be between a character and any point of interest for that character.
I like to write about the things I learn.. and I should do it more often. I think a lot of time I'm writing articles in my mind, but they never reach actual pages.. : / Well, here's my analysis of this beautiful sequence from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur. Please watch the film first!
I'll be looking at cameras, reversals, POVs, 180 rule, pivots, continuity.. The book that opened my eyes and got me really interested in this dialogue thing [which is mostly about reversals tbh] is Grammar of the Film Language.
First of all, here's a rough location map I've drawn by looking at a few shots from the film. The red numbers represent action locations.
Hard to see but it's all there..
Quick parenthesis. Before this scene starts we have 2 transition shots that show nothing but environment. Corn growing..
Dunno if this technique of calm, meditative, environmental.. transition shots was first used in Totoro.. but the origins of Pixarian interest in this technique is most probably Miyazaki's work [because they talk passionately about it in interviews..].
OK, once again, what I mean by visual dialogue. Let's look at a classic 2-3 cameras setup that's designed for reversals. Something like this:
I'm just showing various positions in this drawing, but in a simpler example there should be 1 camera covering character 1, one camera for character 2, and maybe a center camera [to provide a more general view, like an establishing shot. Although an establishing shot could come from left or right as well. Or any other camera, like an aerial view or whatnot].
The part I want to emphasize is the dialogue between the 2 reverse cameras. If you have 2 cameras, you can keep cutting between them like in a dialogue: C1 says, C2 says, C1 reacts, C2 is angry, C1 something, C2 something else.. etc. It's really simple, but where it gets fancy is: it can be used for a LOT more than just verbal dialogue.
For ex. Character 1 is looking at something, so... we show that something. And then we cut back to Character 1. Apparently it's important to go from 1 to 2 and BACK to 1. Or 1 2 1 2 1 2 1.. etc. Not just 1 2. The reason: 1 looks at 2, 2 does something, 1 reacts to that. If you remove the reaction you don't have a proper dialogue.. or something like that. I don't understand why it works so well tbh, but it's a thing of beauty, the cuts feel motivated, things flow naturally..
It's a recipe though.. it should be used in context, not blindly.. depending on story needs. : ] That said, it's really flexible, because the 2 [or 3.. or more] cameras can be almost anywhere, as long as we don't cross the 180 line. I'll get back to that, because we can cross that line.. if we move characters around or if we have a pivot.
OK, so we start with Scene 1 in Location 1 [in red, on the map]. We cut between Libby and Buck.
[shot continues] Libby turns her head to LOOK AT Buck.. and so we connect with the next shot.
Now we can see what Buck is doing, from Libby's perspective. Not a POV, an OtS [Over the Shoulder], but personally I think the functionality is kind of the same: the shot says "1 looks at 2 and 2 does something".
Libby is left screen all this time.. The whole point of the 180 rule is to keep characters consistently left and right.
She hides.. It's amazing how just exiting a shot always works as complete invisibility for that character. o_O
We can see her hiding.. and yes, we now cut to Buck's direction / OtS. He moves right to left screen. It's OK when this happens because of visible character movement, it's not OK when characters just switch inexplicably.
Surprise entrance! There will be a few more.. [and this scene follows the birth sequence where we have quite a few surprise entrances.. and at least 1 'clean' surprise exit]. I'll talk about this a bit more further down below.
Because Buck moved to a new position, we have changed the 180 line. So next we're going to cut between them along this new line. The old OtS cam has turned into a center cam.
Pivots allow us to go around the 180 rule.. and create new imaginary 180 lines between characters. Say we have characters 1, 2 and 3, in a triangle. We can safely cut between C1 and C2. If we use C2 as pivot, as a character in the middle of C1 and C3, we can now cut between C2 and C3. So now we have 2 imaginary lines. One between C1 and C2, and one between C2 and C3. C2 being in middle, acts as a pivot, a link between the 2 lines. We can cut seamlessly between cameras X and Y in the next drawing. See more about pivots and camera moves and a lot more stuff.. in Hollywood Camera Work.
We only have 2 characters here, but moving in a triangle, so 3 [in fact 4] positions. Looking at the image above, we can imagine Libby going from position 2 to 1, and Buck from 3 to 2. So I think Buck is used as pivot because he occupies the middle position between the 2 lines now. And that's why we don't cut to her.
We cut yet again to his OtS. Which is also quite different from the previous shot, visually.
She also exits in kind of a funny way.. but not as funny as the surprise entrance.
And now we cut to her POV.
This is not just an aerial view or [very] high shot, it also cuts to the reverse. So Buck's direction. So we continue the dialogue: you see this and I see that and you see this and I see that. Very silly but very effective.
And now we elegantly cut back to the previous 180 line. This time both kids are the pivot..
And we cut to Momma and Arlo. At Location 2 [marked in red on the map]. The line that used to be Libby - Buck is reused for 4 characters.
And sure enough, we cut back for the reaction shot. And Libby exits.
And back to Momma and Arlo, continuing the same line, the same dialogue.. well, not verbally, but visually. I'd call this Scene 2, even though time and location are continuous.
Now Momma is going to be the pivot. And Arlo is the new element in a new triangle..
Although we don't cut to his POV or even his direction. This time we just use Momma's..
And back to center camera. Arlo exits left side..
And enters right side directly at Location 3. Which is a bit remote.. so we cut his voyage short. When I watched the movie I didn't realize the layout was as such, and the he is far from Momma here, because the exit-left and enter-right was so smooth, and the layout is not obvious. It doesn't matter, continuity is all we need.
This is Scene 3. You can call all this sequence a scene if you want, time is continuous.. and locations change very little. For clarity I chose to subdivide a sequence into scenes.
And again we cut back to reverse..
You got the picture..
Reverse to Arlo's POV.. We enter the coop, I marked this Location 4, cuz I'm silly.
Guess what? Reverse again.. This whole film is one long dialogue of reverse shots. Most of it.
New character's view.. this is the ECM [Evil Chicken Momma..] watching from the bushes. At first I didn't know exactly who's POV this was, it could have been the little chicken's POV. Until I analyzed the layout and of course, duh, it was ECM, not the little one. So we have a new triangle.. although you could call this an insert shot. ECM's POV will return though, soon, and with a vengeance..
Back to Arlo. Who acts as a pivot in the triangle Chick, Arlo, ECM. Although for now we haven't seen the chick..
We see just a bush. I like how many times they repeat this bush. For tension. And because if they would have revealed what's in the bush too soon.. it would have been dry and not nearly as powerful.
Arlo's POV btw, reverse from last shot.. of course.
Bush moving again..
Reverse.. and a bit of a surprise exit.. although it's not really an exit.. eh. The functionality is the same, I think. If you hide all of a sudden, and it's funny.. it's a surprise exit. Except yea, he didn't..
And a third time!!.. and only now we see..
Surprise entrance! [same shot]. They really like surprise entrances and exits, these Pixarians. They work, they're dramatic and funny. Soon we will have a surprise reveal shot!
And we keep cutting back n forth..
And cut to center cam, which is also ECM's direction..
Camera reveal. Pulls back, in the same shot. It's of course a surprise entrance too [technically speaking, although not a major surprise, we expected something].
And reverse on ECM.. camera goes up to reveal..
More reaction. And back to the previous 180 line.
Scene-ending. And no verbal dialogue for this scene [well, OK, Arlo talks to himself a bit, but I'm ignoring him, it could all have been entirely visual..]. Yet the editing is all dialogue: 1 2 1 2 1 2.. shot - reverse-shot.. question - answer.
Scene 4 and final. Cut to Location 5. And advancing probably a few seconds in time.. We exited right, we enter left. So it feels like we're going straight, along the same 180 line, and back to Momma's [and maybe that's the idea: 'run back to mommy']. But we're not. Look at the green paths on the map. Anyway, it only makes sense to exit right and create this continuity, why would we want to exit left? We entered the coop left-screen. It all falls naturally into place. And it's also a reverse shot again :P
Cut to close up.. and one more bit of a surprise entrance: dad's tail. And surprisingly... not a reverse shot. But a big change from wide, establishing shot, to close up!
And now we have a new line, we cut between Dad and Arlo. Philosophically speaking a triangle.. where Dad is the pivot.. but we don't see the rest of the guys for all this bit of dialogue.
Must have been scary for the storyboard guys.. and the animators.. etc.. to deal with these long necks and crazy verticality. Usually Dad's neck is lowered to Arlo's level.
Not a problem for closeups.
And now we interrupt the dialogue, the first time in this whole sequence I think, we exit a close up and enter another. Same character. Same direction, no reversal, not much change in angle. Just different framing, visually different location.. so the image looks differently. And there's a smooth exit and entrance continuity between shots.
There's action continuity with the shot above, dad finishes closing the silo. And now we're in wide shot. Yet again.. unconventional because they keep the direction, no reversal here. Just big change of perspective, from close up to wide.
And reverse. Parents' POV.
Medium close, not a POV. But reverse. So lesson learned here.. you don't have to return a POV with a POV, or overuse POVs, you can place the camera OtS or POV or close up or wide or whatever works.. in a combination, so it feels varied and natural. And of course, this is a lesson for anyone interested in this style of cinematography, if you want to do funny, flat staging, stylized, exaggerate crazy stuff, why not? But for who's interested in delivering something that feels natural to an audience.. the lessons learned from the Pixarians are of great value, me thinks :P
Btw, speaking of natural, I was looking at camera movement, it follows the actions with a bit of an offset, and it's mostly subtle. Maybe I'll write some stuff about camera animation some day : /
Again no reversals [cuz of the silo I guess?.. there's not much room for maneuvering and getting good framing]. But large framing differences [between close ups] and action continuity help.
Anyway, although I've been talking a lot about reversals, they're not the most important thing on Earth.. I think most films use reversals more sparingly. Aaaaand it's OK. Having enough visual difference between shots and cutting on movement, and when expected, allows smooth cutting anyway. Reversals only add this beautiful dialogue thing.. but not everything has to be A B A B A B.. forever. It's probably good to use dialogue where it fits naturally [and it can fit naturally in a LOT of places..]. But if you need some crazy montage or whatnot.. to spice things up, at the right moment, that would add necessary contrast or variation to the mix.
And speaking of variation, we have 2 similar 'stamping' shots, each looks a bit different.. Well, the marks are on different stones but still, they clearly changed the framing. One could say you won't be able to tell the difference in framing because of the cut-away. But maybe you can feel the difference :P
Back to med close.
And the same reversal.
And a new angle, to spice things up a bit.. and underline an important story point. Reversal..
continues in Close up, and the camera is animated to end up in a reversal..
Full shot reversal. Dad's POV [cuz he's doing the talking].
Close up, reversal..
And we end with a closer Dad's POV on Arlo..
And Arlo's POV on his goal.
And I spoiled the film a bit if you're reading this and you didn't watch it already, but you've been forewarned. : ]
And that's it. Probably my biggest post ever!! OMG. So maybe I learned something from what I just wrote.. I hope I can put this stuff to good use. : D And if it turns out to be useful to others too.. that would be epicness!
Why didn't I think of uploading my music stuffs to Soundcloud before??
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
I really like their player and how easy it is to upload and edit stuffs..
I'm a character animator and visual artist. I draw things, I write things, I like to experiment with 2D and 3D graphics, try out new tech, I dream, scribble, and plan projects I will never make, I script tools and stuff, I have a background in music composition so I also make noises and musics.. I like to walk around the world and see things up close.