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Project 01 – Invisible Cities

Online Greenlight Review
VLAD YANKOV
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Contents:
- Thumbnails exploring the cities…………………………………….....page 3 – 8
- My chosen city, key descriptions and associated thumbnails….page 9 – 10
- Mission Statement………………………………………………………..page 12
- Exterior Influence Map…………………………………………………..page 13
- Interior Influence Map……………………………………………………page 14
- Key Thumbnails………………………………………………………...….page 15
- Creative Partnership…………………………………………………...…page 16
- Movie Reviews………………………………………………………….....page 17
- Maya tutorials………………………………………………………..…….page 18
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First Thumbnails:
My first thumbnails were too fast for my liking, we could only spent a minute for each cell. Strangely
thumbnail number 10 looks a lot like the final concept I picked for my city.
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Second sheet of thumbnails are a lot more bizarre and strange. In a different
context they would not remind of cityscapes – at all, but keeping the project
brief in mind some of them really look like visuals depicting distant, “alien”
landscapes.
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From all the thumbnails I have done, I would say, these were the least
inspiring ones. I know they are just experiments, but they turned out to
be less useful than the rest.
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The more thumbnails I sketched, the clearer it was for me to narrow down my designs to only one city.
While sketching a clearer image of the Spider-Web city started to form. With thumbnails #2 – 6 I started
feeling that and consciously tried to steer away from the city of Octavia (as can be seen on thumbnail
#7 where I started forming the same space and then quickly scratch it with frustration), so I threw in
some colour in the mix, hoping that I can explore a few more cities before deciding which one I am
going for.
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Once again, within these thumbnails I struggled to explore cities beyond Octavia, and once again I just
couldn’t help it. Thumbnails #8 and #13 are my favourites because they helped me explore the idea of a
floating above the abyss city further. 7
More and more ideas started to arise, like snowy peaks, suggesting that the city is very high up in the sky,
or bones scattered everywhere and building made out of them, also crystals, that somehow help the city
stay above the ground. I also quite like the idea of the city being completely cut off everything else, a
mini ecosystem where different laws of physics are present. This came to me as an idea when thinking
about spiders and their ability to climb walls and creating vertical habitats for themselves.
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My chosen city: Octavia
Key descriptions:
If you choose to believe me, good. now I will tell you how Octavia, the-spider-web city, is
made. There is a precipice between two steep mountains: the city is over the void, bound
to the two crests with ropes and chains and catwalks. You walk on little wooden ties,
careful not to set your foot in the open spaces, or you cling to the hempen strands. Below
there is nothing for hundreds and hundreds of feet: a few clouds glide past; farther down
you can glimpse the chasm's bed.
This is the foundation of the city: a net which serves as passage and as support. All the
rest, instead of rising up, is hung below: rope ladders, hammocks, houses made like
sacks, clothes hangers, terraces like gondolas, skins of water, gas jets, spits, baskets on
strings, dumb-waiters, showers, trapezes, rings for children's games, cable cars,
chandeliers, pots with trailing plants. Suspended over the abyss, the life of Octavia's
inhabitants is less uncertain than in other cities. They know the net will last only so long.
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Associated thumbnails:
First sheet of thumbnails concerning just Octavia. Nothing sparked my creativity really…
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More finalised thumbnails:
A few more “finished” looking thumbnails. I tried
exploring composition and perception with those
particular ones and somehow make my concept
a bit more believable. I particularly like 1, 2, 6 and
9.
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2
3
4
5
6
7 8
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10
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Mission Statement
After reading the description of the city over and over again an idea started to form in my
mind. I was somehow literal in my understanding about the city. My visual strategy is to make
the city “believable”, possible to exist and not to include fantasy elements that just look good
but actually buildings that have a purpose and meaning. Some of the themes I came up with
so far are oriental, rich golden colours, hidden underneath a lot of clutter and junk,
suggesting the failing magnitude of the city and how the idea of collecting precious objects
can turn into hoarding. There is a little narrative in my mind, the story of the city, with its
mechanical spiders that constantly bring more things from the abyss under the floating city,
making it heavier and heavier and the citizens trying to migrate to the surrounding
mountains, in buildings built directly into the cliff, but still lingering around Octavia as if afraid
of losing all their precious objects. The text refers to “ropes” many times but I substituted them
with chains instead, making everything feel heavier. The crystals underneath the city are the
reason everyone is trying to build more precious buildings and they capture the light of the
day, making things look superficially beautiful even though the problem of the eventual
doom still persists. The buildings are based on spider-web tunnels, long halls with webs
everywhere, a maze where you could lose your way out forever. I want the people to look as
if they struggle to escape from the city, not physically, but to be able to mentally depart from
it, as if trying to escape a spider web.
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Exterior influence map
Things that inspire me at the
moment are spider webs, the
crystal cave in Mexico and
temples built directly into cliffs.
Also (strangely) New York city -
the tall skyscrapers and Spider-
man somehow made sense for
a Spider-City. Trying hard to
stay away from already
finished fantasy ideas but I still
looked at a couple (just in
case I might be missing
something).
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Interior Influence map
My influence map for
Octavia is really simple
but it did give me
inspiration. The
keywords are clutter,
hammocks and
cathedrals. I am
thinking about spacious
interior that's filled with
hanging baskets, ivy,
hammocks and strings.
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Key Thumbnails:
Some sketchbook experiments for building designs and interior spaces.
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Creative Partnership:
Mailin Berg has left a new comment on your post "Maya character modelling tutorial":
I really like your characters, I made it up to the eyes on the pencil and then decided to have a break. Have you used Maya before? I couldn't imagine
to use it on a laptop but some people make extraordinary models with a mouse pad only...
Garrison Impala has left a new comment on your post "Maya character modelling tutorial":
Thanks Mailin,
never used Maya before, just followed the tutorials and hoped for the best. :)
Mailin Berg has left a new comment on your post "Dragon induction":
I really like this animation, did you have any specific inspiration or did you just use whatever you had and made things up on the go? My turn this Friday,
I'm very excited!
Garrison Impala has left a new comment on your post "Dragon induction":
The pressure was on for this one. Meg just smiled and said to make an animation :)
Think of things you can animate before going in (my friendly advice) :)
Mailin Berg has left a new comment on your post "More thumbnails":
Wow, these thumbnails are really beautiful and I can see how you imagine the city! I love the crystals at the bottom and the way you actually literally
hung the city between two mountains just with chains to hold them - how do the poor citizens feel about that? How many chains are allowed to break
before the city falls (and would thereby be destroyed)? How regular is the maintenance on the chains? I think your perspective work is definitely on the
right track (unlike mine, hah) so if you keep practicing they will soon look good in your eyes! These are solid thumbnails that can definitely be turned into
something great so keep it up! :)
Garrison Impala has left a new comment on your post "More thumbnails":
Aw, thank you for the kind words. They all look a bit "samey" to me, but I'll give some other ideas a go in the next few days. :)
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Movie Reviews
http://garrisonimpala.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Movie%20revie
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Maya Tutorials:
http://garrisonimpala.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/autodesk%20may
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