BLACK HOLE WORLD / UTOPIA

THE BLACK HOLE WORLD: BEYOND THE EVENT HORIZON

Trying to stay true to the first team’s garbage world we tried to think of many ways to carry on the theme of an intergalactic dump without being too pedestrian. I came up with the idea of using a Black Hole as the focal point of our world, as Black Holes are essentially an extremely dense mash-up of everything and anything that gets pulled into it. As we have no idea and have no way of finding out what happens once everything gets pulled into a Black Hole, we invented a scenario whereby when everything that gets sucked into the Event Horizon (the black circular bit of the black hole, if you will) merges into the point of singularity (when all the matter is compressed into one super-dense volume) it is merged together into the oddest combinations. The part we invented was what happens next: when all the matter that falls and is compressed in the black hole expands again on the other side, Beyond the Event Horizon.

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Everything that falls into the Black Hole – planets, suns, life – merges into strange combinations of the lot, creating mountains of foam and spaceships, leopards made of fire and bicycles, skyscrapers made from a turtle and bats wings. Everything odd and wonderful.

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Farewell to the Human Beans

We were split up after the first week. Team Human Beans was no more. Myself and two other Human Beans were joined with three members of a different team and were given the task of picking up from where the previous team left off (we were moved to a different table.)

The previous team left us with a bit of a problem. Their idea was described as being over-used and unoriginal, so we basically had to start over using elements from the previous team’s idea.

The previous idea was a dumping-ground world, much like Wall-E, where Earth or another planet similar has been abandoned by all sentient beings and is only used as a place to dump waste. Over time the smaller, more resilient creatures and plant life combine with the junk and form a new super-species of cyborg/animal/plant creatures.

That time when we came up with a bunch of ideas but never settled for anything

“Create a World”

That was our briefing. We have to create a fully functioning, habitable (by anything; machines, aliens, creatures, plants, bacteria etc) world that could fit inside a coffee cup or stretch out across galaxies. Our team for the first week, The Human Beans as we called ourselves, started off by brainstorming what a world is.

We narrowed the concept of a world down to two main factors: Literal and Perceived, the literal world being an ecosystem or environment and the perceived world being one inside your head. This project could have gone in either of the two directions. We each came up with a few ideas and shared them with the group.

Some of the ideas included:

  • Existential Nightmare World – A man is trapped inside his own little “box”. He believes he is the only thing that really exists and everything else is just in his head. Nothing is real.
  • Coffee Cup World – The coffee is the universe. The “big bang” is when the water meets the granules and the end is when the last drop has been drunk. Civilisations and class-systems are formed by the Human Beans who live in the coffee.
  • Traffic Light World – A world inside the traffic lights. The Red, Amber and Green lamp people live to warn the humans of the dangerous vehicles.
  • Alternate History – The meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs never struck Earth. Dinosaur keep on evolving into super predators and even dragons. The rest of life on Earth adapts with the dragons to form bigger, stronger and stranger to harmonise with the new sentient beings.
  • Sock Drawer World – Dust Mites living in the sock drawer who eat socks. This is why you always lose one of your socks.
  • Stove World – A never-ending war between the Fire People and the Coal People.
  • Yellowstone World – The Yellowstone super-volcano erupts and wipes out humankind. The rats and corvids mutate and take over the world.
  • Inverted World – Everyone lives on the hollow interior of the planet and adapts to this weird, dark environment.
  • Meteor World – Life on a meteor flying through space. Most meteorites are made from amino acids, so the creatures/plants/formations would all be made out of proteins.

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We never got a chance to fully settle on one particular idea before we switched tables.

When I drew a naked person for the first time

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This was my first ever attempt at Life Drawing. It was rather daunting at first but after a while the atmosphere was a lot more comfortable and I as well as everyone else in the room felt at ease with drawing a man’s naked butt.

Some of these sketches I like better than others, though overall I think I surprised myself because I don’t pride myself in my drawings of humans at all. I can see an improvement from my first sketch to my final (decent) sketches (the 30 second sketches were really sketchy). Unfortunately I cannot for the life of me figure out how to re-organise these pictures so I can’t actually show everyone which pictures came first and which came later, but hopefully you’ll be able to see and work it out for yourself 🙂

Imaging and Data Visualisation

Imaging and Data Visualisation

Concept art
Concept art

A completely new idea we had was the create an image that portrayed the creation of ideas. A very simple idea was the lighting of lightbulbs which traditionally signified idea creation. The conveyer belt goes into the man’s brain through his ears and there his mind lights up the bulbs. This was only a rough drawing and will be revamped in the future.

conveyer belt concept2

This was the final re-vamped image. I incorporated the earlier idea of the Dark Side of the Moon spectrum “of ideas” as well as taking into account our feedback. Conann wanted to see what was going on behind the eyes, so I drew a brain with lightning shooting out of it which can be seen through the corneas. I added extra detail to the lighting and hair texture as well as actually putting effort into the conveyer belt.

The beginnings of the second image

Imaging and Data Visualisation image:

The keywords we decided to elaborate on here were “Structure”, “analysis”, “dynamic”, “conceive, create and apply” and “awareness”.

Here we began to think of eyes as the primary element of the picture (as visualisation is in the title and eyes are important generally in this line of work)

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An idea we liked was the idea of including a visual representation of divergent thinking, and I thought since imagination is usually expressed visually as being magical and colourful we could use a rainbow or the colour spectrum to represent it.

We used the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album as inspiration:

Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon album cover
Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon album cover

The idea of the beam of white light hitting a prism to separate each hue looks visually stunning, but the generation of one colour into many could also represent divergent thinking. We came up with these sketches that were inspired by the album cover:

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using a brain instead of a prism we tried many different combinations of ideas. There's the explosive brains with straight lines, the wispy lines, the storyboard lines and the comet which was quite random
using a brain instead of a prism we tried many different combinations of ideas. There’s the explosive brains with straight lines, the wispy lines, the storyboard lines and the comet which was quite random

We came up with this final image for this concept:

we used an eye instead of a brain to symbolise visualisation and kept the rainbow. we made it as colourful and striking as we could to make it interesting
we used an eye instead of a brain to symbolise visualisation and kept the rainbow. we made it as colourful and striking as we could to make it interesting

Another idea we had was to elaborate on “data visualisation” and we looked to the film The Matrix (1999) for inspiration because a large portion of the movie is about visualising data and manipulating it in the digital world

some Matrix-inspired doodles
some Matrix-inspired doodles

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Both of the above images are stills from The Matrix (1999) and were only used as inspiration for our design.

To finish we made this concept image (using a completely original character) visualising a world of data Matrix-style

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New Narratives

New Narratives Image:

We decided to elaborate on the keywords “linear narrative”, “organisation” and “animatics”. At first we pondered on the idea of progression, such as a series of sketches getting more and more refined as we go along

some brainstorming showing our progression from keywords into concepts
some brainstorming showing our progression from keywords into concepts

Our second concept was an elaboration of progression which was evolution. We considered ideas of dinosaurs evolving into birds or the life cycle of a butterfly or a frog, and eventually narrowed it down to two ideas: the evolution of man and the life cycle of a chicken.

early concept art of the life cycle of a chicken for our project
early concept art of the life cycle of a chicken for our project
early concept art of the evolution of the animation student
early concept art of the evolution of the animation student

Here we see the young animation student slowly but surely progressing from a carefree, innocent caterpillar into a sleepless, murderous butterfly plagued by fatigue from the many hours of dedication to his homework.

A very minimalist and cute life cycle of a chicken that very clearly shows the linear progression of time
A very minimalist and cute life cycle of a chicken that very clearly shows the linear progression of time

Another idea we had was the Animator’s Toolkit

final toolkit idea
final toolkit idea

The chicken idea was meant to be minimalist and portrayed the idea of linear narrative clearly and simply. The aptly named Evolution of the Animation Student was a parody of the famous Evolution of Man image of the ape through various stepping stones in time becoming a modern human.

After some refinement the finished concepts for the chicken and the evolution of the animation student looked like this:

Here we see the young animation student slowly but surely progressing from a carefree, innocent caterpillar into a sleepless, murderous butterfly plagued by fatigue from the many hours of dedication to his homework.

This became the chosen image for New Narratives.

Animation Student and Notorius dragon enthusiast