Thursday, 11 October 2012

Online Greenlight Review - Space and Environment

Online Greenlight Review - Space and Environment - 11/10/12

1 comment:

  1. OGR 12/10/2012

    Hey Luke - joke :)

    Hi ALEX,

    Okay so I'm encouraged by the methodical way in which you've approached your 3 excerpts and you've got some great environments to depict. That said, in both your influence maps and your thumbnails there is a genericism about your visualisation that I'd encourage you to shake up a bit.

    In a way, The Time Machine, more than any other book is asking you to think very conceptually and excitingly about designing worlds. Like Metropolis, you've got a divided society, one defined by culture and advances, the other characterised by avatism (look it up). Put simply, you have a design job of contrasts, which means you have to figure out 'why' your 2 worlds look different - i.e. what has shaped them.

    Let's start with the Morlocks' cave and their machines; you're right, that environment is under-described - which is a gift really, because that's exactly why a concept artist might be called in to help steer the production design. I think it interesting that your thumbnails essentially opt to depict generic cave imagery, as opposed to getting to grips with what is 'cinematic' and fantastical about Wells' vision. The issue of what these machines might look like is a design brief - the true challenge of this first brief - and I strongly encourage you to commit to it more proactively.

    Some ideas then; one approach is to design Wells Morlock machines by thinking like the author himself. I've talked a lot already about how cultural and social context shapes the way that people imagine the future or imaginary civilisations (you'll soon see how the fashions and drug culture of 1968 absolutely shapes the alien worlds of Barbarella, for example). So, by this same logic, perhaps the machines in the Morlock cave might derive their form from technologies contemporary to the time in which the orginal book was written? Take a look then at images of steam-powered technologies - Victorian technologies, mining technologies. Remember the summer project, which challenged you to find new and speculative forms from the shapes and silhouettes of real world objects? Well, I'd suggest this challenge is no different; consider combining the forms and mechanisms associated with Victorian heavy industry, and from that derive your 'alien' Morlock machines.

    This approach is a conceptual one - i.e. identifying a design idea and using it to shape your world. So, by the same principle, if the Eloi are representative of the most advanced race, than you could look at which art styles were considered the most fashionable, most chic, most sophisticated at the time of the book's writing - for example Art Nouveau/Art Deco: for inspiration see:

    Right now, you're just drawing pictures of images from a book, not designing a coherent world that feels like it could exist. This project is properly challenging for this reason - you need to grasp the difference between drawing and drawing in support of design.

    So - in short, Alex - you need to deal with the issue of contrast that is key to this novel. You need to think much more conceptually - and creatively - about the design logic that is going to help you construct coherent spaces and compositions. I'm not instructing you to look at Victorian heavy industry vs. Art Nouveau, but I am instructing you to work out a visual concept by which you can signal this world of cultural and social contrast. Time for the real work of this project to begin!