Research: Chinese Rail Workers ('The Line')

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, September 28, 2011 0 comments
Our main history of the environment we intend to create is based around the mass immigration of Chinese labourers for the Transcontinental Railway. Alan suggested a documentary that we should look at called 'Seven Wonders of the Industrial World' the episode that focuses on the Chinese labourers is 'The Line', giving a dramatic historical account of the construction of the longest railway line every built at the time - 'The First Transcontinental Railroad.' The documentary gave a great insight to the culture and importance of these workers and showed the possibilities of the back story of our animation's environment. Much of the documentary takes place in Western American including the Great Plains, where our Western environment will be set.

Start of Pre-Production

Posted by Sam Hayes On Thursday, September 22, 2011 2 comments
Pre-production has begun for our project. Richard has created some thumbnails of the town we hope to design here. Next stage will be concepts, designs and further thumbnails so we can start to show our aim and the town we plan to create. It has been a while since I created concept art, so I decided to jump in and try further techniques which I haven't before. Below is a quick concept of a possible building that could be prominent in our environment, whether we further develop this or not will depend on the direction we take with our 'power-source' as well as the overall design of the town. The principles behind the image were trying to blend a bit of Western run-down desert feel into Chinese architecture. This concept could be refined much further, and may even be but more ideas need to be explored.

With more quick concepts and further research, our design of the town should start to come together. 

Self-Initiated Project Begins

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 0 comments
The third year has officially started with our open briefing for the 'Self-Initiated Project' on Monday. Richard and I have continued our progress under 'Green Octopus' into our joint-project. As described on our blog, we have explored a couple of different ideas and have settled on a film-idea which we see a lot of promise and possibility in. Our short synopsis is below, this will be expanded on after the idea is proposed to Alan.

An oriental western environment with an added Sci-Fi element: The environment, being the main focus of the project, would be explored by a character rather than a camera fly through. The environment would comprise aesthetics of oriental countries such as China, Malaysia, Thailand etc. and their ancient architecture. This would then be placed in a classic western environment for its harsh desert land. Within this setting there would be a deserted industrial town which would contain an exhausted power source. The character, being the secondary focus of the project, will be a mechanical drone on a search mission for an object within the town. The drone will be alien to the town, but will belong to the same world.

Richard has produced some Environment influence maps here, whilst I have researched some traditional Oriental props and architecture.

Our current challenge in this project seems to be breaking away from the generic and easily recognised tropes / conventions of these environments to create something as original as possible, this is where a lot of Pre-production including Concept / Technical design is going to take place. I am currently working on Concept art which should be updated on the Green Octopus blog soon.

Back to the Blog!

Posted by Sam Hayes On Thursday, September 08, 2011 1 comments

Only about a week left before the start of Third Year, so It's time to step up the blogging. I've finally got 'summer' out of my system after a week without technology in the deep Welsh wilderness, so now its time to look towards the Minor Project.

As Rich posted on his blog, we are collaborating for our Minor Project into a two-man Studio - 'Green Octopus' ( We had a initial meeting last week where we planned out the studio blog along with our first Idea for an Animation short, which I'm sure will be decided soon. I'm really looking forward to getting into the depths of Pre-Production to figure out the theme, style and scale of our animation, a 15-Week project seems like a huge challenge at the moment, but once it gets started, I'm sure it will start to make more sense.

I'm also looking into the dissertation, I've started a rough first draft and am working my way through a stack of films that I'll be referencing and contextualising in the essay.

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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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