Hi all,

Just to let you know I have a new site coming very soon. A lot has happened recently and I am slowly but surely putting a portfolio of works together and hope to showcase them on this domain with a wonderful new site =]

Christopher Waywell

Hello world!

Ok so this is my first video on YouTube (or rather first proper) and it is a Lets Play! of the Indie game ‘Cthulhu Saves the World’. I had intended for sometime now to create a ‘Lets Play’ series but didn’t have the time or resources to do so. Well I am now happy to say I have both and the know how :) As a result, this is my first production. I apologise if I sound really rubbish or the comments aren’t what you are used to but I will get better, I promise. So with out further delay, I bring to you Cthulhu Saves the World.

Game purchaseable from Steam: Steam Store
Peace


Ok, having had our tutorials earlier today I have realised the piece I am trying to do is FAR to ambitious for my current drawing skill set and capabilities. As such, I will be re-thinking my idea over the weekend and putting together a new one ready for pitch on Thursday. I am aware this leaves me with very little to no time what so ever but I don’t have a great deal of choice.

The video displayed above was introduced to me by one of our course leaders, John Parry, and it has certainly got me thinking. Whilst the drawing style is incredibly simple it is also hugely effective and I really like the piece. I would be more than happy to do a similiar sort of style and I feel this is well with in my current skill sets. As well as this style, I have also been looking at ‘sprite animation’ (animated created using well known 8 or 16bit computer game characters such as Mario from the Gameboy or Sonic from the Mega Drive). Admitidally I am unable to use the sprites for either of these characters or indeed any others but I am able to make my own and, as stated, I believe this is well within my own capacity. As such, I will do some further research and hopefully form an idea by tomorrow.

 



I haven’t seen this series since I was about 12/13 but have recently ‘rediscovered’ it as a part of our animation course. The video above is one of the many intro videos found at the beginning of each episode. It is a perfect example of the style found inTenchi Muyo as well as some of the character designs.

The backgrounds found in this series are incredibly well detailed and look fantastic; some of the scenes I wish to recreate in my own work and, whilst the intro video doesn’t demonstrate it 100% clearly, I will post a few images of some of the background and settings found in this anime series. The characters, arguably, are of a manga style, a style I am very keen on and would love to recreate in my own work. Much the same as Avatar : The Last Airbender, the story is incredibly well written and the characters are well developed; again, the female characters tend to be far more developed than the male or certainly seem to play a much greater role than the male protagonist, Tenchi himself. Again, I may look in to doing this in my own piece.

Chris

Character Exploration: Katara

To get this started off I will begin with Katara from Avatar : The Last Airbender. Possibly one of the strongest and most defined characters in the entire series. She is the main female protagonist and is constantly presented as a strong minded, strong willed and an incredibly versatile character. Katara, unlike her later boyfriend Aang (the main character of the entire series), starts the series with very little; her mother was taken from her at a young age, war has ravaged her village and clan and she is forced to play a motherly role for her immature brother Sokka.

Katara

Katara – Avatar : The Last Airbender

The development of this character is so well written that we learn most of this in the first thirty minute episode of the series. We also learn how sensitive, loving and caring she is and, in some respects, how vulnerable she can be. Because of this, we instantly sympathise with her; sympathy is quite possibly the best way for an audience to engage with a character and it is done so well in Avatar : The Last Airbender that we connect with Katara from the very beginning. I would go as far to say that within the first couple of minutes of the opening episode we learn more about Katara than we ever do about some other characters. This serves to demonstrate quite clearly that a character can be incredibly well established even within a very short time limit – in my case, two minutes. I have every intention of attempting to recreate this in my own piece by producing a strong, defined character that an audience can relate to and connect with; I will most likely make one of my main characters a female as I have found, certainly in my own personal experience, that the are far easier to connect with than a male protagonist.

As a summary, to give Katara’s character depth a complication is introduced – in this instance, the story of Katara’s mother being taken from her; this instantly forces an audience to sympathise. This is shortly followed by the introduction of another character, Sokka Katara’s brother, who relies solely on Katara as his mother; again, an audience sympathises. Thirdly, the harsh conditions they live in are introduced and this sets the final part used to create sympathy towards Katara. These are the building blocks then used to continue establishing her personality and traits which overall, creates the fantastic character portrayed.

As a final remark, I have found the style of Avatar : The Last Airbender to be hugely intriguing. I have always had a strong interest in the anime / manga genre and find something aesthetically beautiful and stunning about the style. Whilst I myself am not a particularly strong drawer, I have intentions of recreating this style in my own work be it digital or hand drawn. Admittedly I have a great deal to learn before this becomes possible but I am more than happy to do so.

Would recommend the following link ; it is a very well written evaluation of the ‘modern princess’ found in many of todays animations.

Chris

Hello world,

So I had my first official Visual Culture strand lecture and seminar today and I have to say I actually really enjoyed both. Up until now I’ve felt like I’m doing a ‘drop out’ course – not to say that this is the case by any means, it just felt like it – and this module serves to remind me that actually I am not. Whilst arguably this is the only ‘academic’ module to the course I have chosen, I remain hopeful for the out come of the past two years and indeed the further one to go. Whilst I appreciate the industry I have chosen to work in is ruthless and unforgiving, I hope by the time I reach that stage I am more than prepared to meet it.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. So I guess the best way to start would be to summarise a few of the key points made during the lecture;

1. Tastes and values are NOT individual, instead they are influenced and shaped by historical, social, cultural and politics processes and forces.
2. Tastes and values are intertwined and cannot be separated; you value something you like, you like something you value.
3. Tastes and values have changed and adapted through the different eras (classical, traditional, modernism and then post-modernism).
4. Industrialisation and mass production have changed the way we perceive things and have ‘replaced’ folk culture and critical thinking with commodity culture and conformity.
5. Suggested hierarchy system; highbrow – the educated elite; obscure, abstract art. Middlebrow – the desire to have refined tasted; highbrow manqué. Lowbrow – lacks cultural knowledge/competence; likes popular culture / the obvious.

Whilst these are not all of the points outlined in the lecture, I believe these five are some of the key aspects of what was said. Whilst I agree fully or partially with most of the above points I completely disagree with points 1 and 2. Whilst there is no denying that external influence – be it cultural, political or social – do affect the way we think and indeed the things we like and value, I disagree with the lack of individuality. The ‘lack of individuality’ would suggest that every person in the world has similar, if not identical, tastes and values; this clearly is not the case. Whilst I will not base my argument solely on this point, I think that it speaks volumes to assume that no single human being has exactly the same tastes (likes) and values as another, therefore a degree of ‘individuality’ must exist. This is further expanded by the second point; I need not like something in order to value it. For instance, I do not like the concept of placing a monetary value on an object but I appreciate and value the need for doing so in order to keep society as we know it in exsistance. On the flip side, I like having a mobile phone but I do not value it; whilst I appreciate having one, I could do without just as easily. Now I know these are fairly small, insignificant and and personal examples to myself, but if I were to ask any single person whether they could think of an object that they like but do not value or vica versa, I’m sure many more examples could be formed.

Returning to my earlier point, would someone change their opinions, tastes or values solely based on their upbringing and ‘class’ at time of birth. Arguably yes as parents and family tend to be the biggest influences whilst growing up, however there is also the aspect of ‘rebellion’. Certainly in a post-modern society this notion of ‘rebelling’ seems to be getting stronger with children and young adults going out of their way to break away from the conventions and values laid out in front of them. This again leads me back to my argument that a certain degree of ‘individuality’ must exist and that tastes and values ARE actually still individual to each being and are NOT intertwined; you can infact have one without the other.

Anyway, this post is perhaps getting a little on the long side so I shall leave it at that. I merely wanted to share my ideas and views on my earlier lecture and will begin posting more regularly as I delve further into this module.

Chris

Hello world,

Ok, now I know I have said this many times before already but I am not 100% ready and committed to continue this blog and update it almost EVERY single day of my life. I have bought a great deal of software and hardware over the past couple of months including the ability to capture games from PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and many other consoles. As a result, I have every intention of beginning to do ‘Play throughs’ and ‘Guides’ of the various games I own, starting with [b]Venetica[/b] on Xbox 360. It may take a little while to get it going as I need to purchase one more thing for the 360 conversion and then I’m all set to go. As well as this, I am moving in to the realm of animation as I have begun the animation strand as part of my 3 year Media Practice degree. This should bring fourth a fair bit of work and I shall be using this blog as a means for keeping track of the various projects, research and links generated as a result of the course.

I will leave it at that for the time being, but will post again later this evening with a review of Venetica before I begin the play through footage.

Chris

Hello all,

Ok, so it’s been a VERY long time since my last post and quite a bit has happened in that time. Passed my first year at Uni with relative ease, returned to my previous job for the summer and now have the chance to visit Dubai for 4 weeks, been all over the country again, seen some interesting things, etc etc. And of course, this summer has been a fantastic one for film releases! We’ve had Inception, Toy Story 3, Karate Kid (not so keen on but still good in it’s own rights) and the A-Team (again, not so keen on but still a good laugh). Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance, despite working in a cinema, to see many of these films but I have every intention of before jetting off to Dubai.

Bit disappointing on the gaming front this year with the only major releases at E3 being Kinnect and the new Xbox Slim (already own one). Wasn’t overly impressed with the new releases; that said I am looking forward to Gears of War 3 and, whilst the initial price is stupidly high, I am slightly intrigued by Kinnect.

Apologies for making such a brief entry but unfortunately this is all I have time for at the moment. Am working my poor hands to the bone! I will return in the next few days and actually fill in the gaps.

Chris