The Time Machine: Environment Progress

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1 comments
I've been focusing on my environment more recently, trying to figure out the final shape of the building and the layout of the laboratory. As this small environment will be the main focus of the animation, it can receive a lot of design and attention, along with trying to make it as richly detailed as possible. Below are the first two layout tests I've put together. I've tried to think about lighting as much as possible, with the idea of using green-house like glass and stained windows as much as possible to give it a more interesting and rich feel. This is obviously still quite basic with no colour, but its definitely opening up some possibilities.  I'm going to work on a Pre-viz animatic this week to try and work out exactly how the time-based animation is going to work, along with a length.

The first design is a rectangular hall-like room, with a curved glass roof with one side of the room being windowed and the other half a glass green-house wall. This would saturate the room with lighting and god-rays.

The second layout is a circular area with a dropped floor, including a glass ceiling which leads from a more square part. I think this could be a good way to present the time machine, with it below the spherical glass, lit up with sun-rays.

I'm going to work on some further idea and possibilities, as well as getting the lab-details previz'ed such as the furniture and machinery.

The Time Machine: Further Design

Posted by Sam Hayes On Sunday, February 26, 2012 0 comments
I've been designing props which will feature in the environment of the laboratory/study. Below are some of these. I have also made a quick mock-up and paint of a time machine design, which I feel needs a lot more work, so I am planning on creating a new version today with perhaps a more interesting shape and more detail.

I will also be looking into more interior design and prop options and will hopefully have a refine environment concept completed in a few days.

Research: Cabinets of Curiosities

Posted by Sam Hayes On Thursday, February 23, 2012 0 comments
I've been working on some further concepts for the project over the last few days, however I still need to gather research to finalise my designs of both the environment and the time machine. Phil mentioned a Victorian trend of cabinets known as 'Cabinets of Curiosities' which would display relics, antiques, natural history items and works of art. These are closely associated with the collector/inventor type environments and should be a good reference to look at for the clutter in the environment.

1655 - 'Museum Wormianum'
Above is a drawing of a Danish physicist and antiquary Ole Worm's cabinet, or room, filled with objects. Whilst below is the oldest record of this type of cabinet in art - Ferrante Imperto's  'Dell Historia Naturale' or 'of natural history' from 1599.

Some more:

The Time Machine: Beginning Design

Posted by Sam Hayes On Monday, February 20, 2012 0 comments
Over the last couple of days I've been working on some rough concepts to visualise my environment as well as researching the architecture and interior design possibilities. I'm still quite far off any final designs, but it's slowly coming together. Below are the Initial machine concepts slightly altered.

Taking some advice from Phil on shape I tried out another design, more of a round-boat like shape with an interior. Alan also advised for me to look at different representations of time and how it works. The concept of 'time' should influence my design of the machines, something I'm going to focus on this week.

I've also started on some rough environment design, another thing I need to delve deeper into this week. My first vision of the lab is of an open-lit space, dirty, but with light beams cutting  through. Using some references of Art nouveau there are definitely themes I want to include, especially ornate furniture which I hope to portray with some prop design before production. The machinery is also going to have to have a lot more thought, the thumbnails below are simply trying to picture an atmosphere.

Research: Art Nouveau

Posted by Sam Hayes On Friday, February 17, 2012 1 comments

Phil recommended I take inspiration from the Art Nouveau style of interior and design. I mentioned I wanted there to be a contrast between the interior environment - a decorative romantic home-like space with the technology of the machine. Now that I am looking at the themes of industrial revolution and a dirty, engine powered contraption, the idea of having a more romanticised environment would fit well to give that contrast.

Art Nouveau - French for 'New Art' , is a style that became known from the 1890's (The time H.G Well's classic is set) and is inspired by nature, curves and plant-based decorations. I have been researching the interior design aspect of the style, finding the most prominent artists and examples of their work. The more I browse of this style the more suited it seems to a 'Time Machine-like' 19th Century laboratory, which can only be a good sign.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

According to the 'Design Museum's ' profile on Mackintosh in their 'Design in Britain' section:

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was an architect who designed schools, offices, churches, tearooms and homes, an interior designer and decorator, an exhibition designer, a designer of furniture, metalwork, textiles and stained glass and, in his latter years, a watercolourist.

There seems to be a lot of inspiration to be had from the designs he created which still exist and are treasured. One of these is the Glasgow School of Art Library, designed in 1909. It can be seen on the Guardian website as a panoramic 360 degree view, which allows all the details in the furniture and architecture to be seen.  The natural wood is splashed with colour of red, green and white along with coloured glass and iron bars decorating the windows.

It also has a glass open roof, with dark wooden beams, including curves contrasting with the light:

Mackintosh's exterior building designs also have a great 19th Century academic feel, which I think will inspire the design of the building where the laboratory is set. Such as these images below:
Glasgow Herald Building Tower 1895

Glasgow Herald Building 1895

As for furniture, the range of styles and shapes that are considered Art Nouveau is broad. One instantly recognisable styled piece of furniture is the 'Tiffany Lamp' created around 1895, which was made out of different types and colours of glass for it's lampshade. Below is a bronze/glass style of this lamp.

 Other examples of Art Nouveau furniture which I have come across are below.
Emile Galle Cabinet 1895
Emile Galle Desk 1895

Emile Galle Table 1887

Victor Horta Architecture (Horta Muesum)

Horta Staircase - Hotel Tassel, Brussells

I'll be looking into these in more depth when it comes to designing my environment. 

Time Machine : Initial Concepts

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, February 15, 2012 5 comments
This is the first attempt at visualizing the shape of a time machine. These are all constructed and based on machines from the Industrial era, with a bit of a fantasy feel. As I'm trying to move away from Steam-punk I envision them all running off Diesel fuel and electricity. Some of the silhouettes suggest there being a capsule where the time traveller would climb into, whilst a couple would have a seat on them. I expect I'll be looking at other themes as well as improving these.

Research: "Time After Time' and Industrial Machinery

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, February 15, 2012 0 comments
I've spent today researching some industrial machinery from the 1800's as well as producing some early silhouette concepts, which I'll post up later today. Firstly though, Alan recommended the film 'Time After Time' from 1979. Although not an adaptation of 'The Time Machine' it does feature H.G. Well's creation as well as Wells himself as the main character. It was adapted from the book of the same name written by Karl Alexander. The film seems quite tongue in cheek, with scenes such as the Victorian Wells running down an escalator and ordering in McDonalds "A big mac! Oh, and Tea!'. The time machine is a bit more elaborate than the one described in the original book as well as the machine featuring in the 1960 film version. It is more of a car-like bubble with glowing lights and a capsule to sit in. I like the idea of it being much more study than a chair and having a door, a bit more 'tardis-like'. Some screen-grabs are below.

My first theme to look into for the design of the time machine itself is a industrial-like feel. Throughout the adaptations the machine seemed quite 'clean' and sleek. With polished brass and copper and a shiny glass like feel.  I'd like to look into designing a more dirty, fuel powered contraption more suited as a result of the industrial revolution. Phil mentioned in the tutorial a possibility of looking into this, so I have been looking at some of the more heavy-duty machinery of the 19th century to see what would be available to a entrepreneurial scientist. Some of the machines I took reference from and used to form silhouettes are below.

19th Century Combustion Engine (Gas and Coal)
Despite this engine running off gas or coal, in the late 19th Century in the period where H.G Well's novel is set, the diesel engine was invented and was being built and tested. Meaning the possibility of using a dirty, fuel powered engine with exhausts is there.

Industrial Machines

Electrostatic Machine (generating electric using copper and water)

Experimental electric lamps (1890s)

Tesla Coil (Early 1900s)

I may also look at some of the more well-known inventors for influences on the laboratory itself.

Adaptations of 'The Time Machine'

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1 comments
I've got copies of both film adaptations of 'The Time Machine', there have been a couple TV series based on the novel, which I will also look into. The 1960 adaptation produced by Simon Wells is much closer to the original book and has a period feel, in both design of the machine and the surrounding environments. Below are some screen grabs of the parts of the book I want to produce, mainly the laboratory and the machine itself. These will be a base of what I want to avoid, so I can bring uniqueness to my new imagining.

The machine seems very traditional in this, with the large clock-face like backing and velvet chair seating. It has a steam-punk feel to it, with brass and copper tubing along with a primitive sci-fi control panel and lights.

The 2002 version has a more elaborate design, along with a more technical power source, some sort of laser effect transferring energy through the machine, it also creates a forcefield like bubble around the traveller, as seen below in the screen-grabs. It is clear that the design of the more modern adaptation was moving away from Well's original view of a more simplistic chair, something which I want to also do. Having the chair powered by technology that wasn't described will give me a good range of design options.

Once again the steam-punk appearance will be avoided as well and the traditional Victorian lab, which I want to redesign as something a bit more adventurous, including the building it is situated in.

A 1978 TV version re-imagined the story as being set in a Defence Contractor building in the modern day. It is quite ridiculous with the traveller going back to Salem and being placed in the Salem Witch Trials, threatened with being burned at the stake, only to escape back to the time of the California gold rush where he is shot at by miners. He then journeys into the future which is a little more faithful to Well's story. The idea of changing the machine to a more technological and advanced one gives it a uniqueness, even if the TV budget does give the set quite a 'cheap' feel. The option of moving the period the story is set in is a possibility, but I would rather change the method it is built in rather than the period. Below are some shots from the TV film (unfortunately Youtube quality)

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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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