Paris the City of Art

Paris has always been known as the city of heart, love and romanticism, for me however, it has always been the city that inspired me to do arts.

In high school, the annual trip for the art/cinema/literature section was Paris. There was no way we were French and we would not go up to the capital to explore all the art it could offer. We would visit Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rodin but also Picasso, Dali and so on.

But I have always been in art in the classical sense of the term. Surrealism and modernism was always a mystery to me. Probably because it is hard for me to feel the way I feel when I see renaissance paintings, impressionism or romanticism.

Take Rodin for instance.

I remember strolling through his garden in Paris, now a museum, quiet and peaceful. It felt like a religious experience. The silence just felt right. The sculptures were majestic yet delicate, you could forget they weight tons. When you see “The Thinker” you feel strong, posed,in reflexion. When you see “The Kiss”, you feel moved, fragile.

I was so impressed by his work that I started drawing from his sculptures. I could perceive feelings coming out of them.

Finally, “The Gate to Hell” , one of the major work of the artist, also one of the hardest, made of more than 200 figures and groups, took my breath away. Not only in the incredible detailing, the size, but also the different emotions it conveyed. This is what I consider to be the work of a real artist. Art is supposed to be hard and to make you suffer for it, you will never really be satisfied. In the end, the real work is not only the beauty, but the fact that people can feel what you felt through the piece.

 

Telling Stories

This is the last sprint for this year. A one minute movie that will not only be graded but shown and used by the Children’s Society.

When you receive a project that already has an audio, the spectrum for telling stories is quite limited. You obviously want to represent what the audio is saying, but you also need to respect what the Children’s Society says as well as the tutors as well as the audience while trying to make something that you will like as well. It is a lot of people to please in only a one minute movie. T

he length is also a factor to take into account. The animation should go to the point, and to be devoid of too many complications. In such a short, difficult piece of animation, there was, to me, no way to think of a thousand backgrounds and characters. I wanted to stick to the audio and poetically represent the struggles my character is going through.

As a character animator, the first challenge was creating a background. I only have one, and it has to be perfect. My one minute animation is quite a simple one, but it was the option I chose since I wanted it to really work. I want to be able to take my time for it be fluid and moving. The biggest problem I have is my animations are quite ragged and flat. And that is quite a problem in animation. Thus, why I want to have time to work on this one properly.

The “Telling Stories” class arrived on point. It was important to know what detail should be kept in the animation for it to work while trying to not overload it much. The class was also a good way to start thinking of our final project next year.

As the tutor talked, I started to form a few ideas in my mind, eliminating the ones without enough structure as he went on on the arguments for a good animation.

Ready Player One

Going to the cinema is now a luxury that we cannot repeat often. When on break, I always try to go to the movies as much as possible. To me, if a movie is good, it will inspire me to create.

It was obvious that sooner or late I would go watch “Ready Player One” (Steven Spielberg, 2018). This is the kind of movie i am particularly fond of. Science fiction has always amazed me, and Spielberg is king of a king in this world. Moreover, the constant nerd references they were promising were in the movie were really attractive. As usual before a movie that is based on a book, I purchased the book first. I find it really interesting to be able to compare the differences. I could spot many in the first ten minutes of the movie and then during the whole movie.

Nevertheless, despite the differences, Spielberg did the job. The animation, 3d, special effects and motion capture were beautifully crafted. What is interesting is to see how, in a world where 3d strives to resemble reality and succeeds, the animators on this movie must have had fun to represent a more “simple”, stylized video games style.

The references were alone a joy to the spectator. From the famous Delorean from “Back to the Future”( Robert Zemeckis, also the name of a rubik’s cube that can turn back time, 1985),  to “Lord of the Rings” (Peter Jackson,2001),to Star Trek, to Tomb Raider, to King Kong, to the “Iron Giant” (Brad Bird, 1999),to Robocop, to Ninja Turtles, to Mickael Jackson, to Marvel, to “Adventure”, and so on. It was a pure delight for the nerd in me.

 

“Ready Player One” is everything we can expect from a Hollywood Science Fiction blockbuster. It is loud, it is impressive, it explodes, it surprises but it is also beautiful, inspiring,  and delightful. A movie that can inspire.