Researching ideas and inspiration for my final piece

After finishing my last thumbnail sketches, i decided that by taking a look at a few artists and their works would be a good idea to get the feel and inspiration that could help me with my own work. Also certain styles could possibly inspire me to use something like them in my pieces.

The first artist i looked at was Marc Gabbana, the french born artist.. He has done a lot of amazing work on massive films, such as Star Wars and Hellboy. But the work that most interested me, was that of the motion capture film Beowulf. The reason that i liked this work so much was because it gave the look of dark, dingy and damp surroundings, and of course that is exactly what i am trying to portray with my ideas for 2000 leagues under the sea. I havent seen this film, but after seeing his and others work on the film im very keen to do so.

Also they way he does his preparation sketches are amazing, and would love to be able to do quick sketches like that someday.

James Clyne

I really like his work, obviously his work on the X-men and star wars is great.. But there are two areas that i like in his gallery. The transformers, even though this nothing to do with what i am researching, i love everything about transformers and think that the art work that goes into it is formidable. Secondly there is a piece called The Fountain, i am drawn to these images because he uses objects close to the screen and it makes you want to see behind it, or around the corner.. Also the lighting affects he has used in these stills are beautiful and i would like to be able to take that into my work, with the light coming from the sun down into the sea and lighting certain areas..


  1. Hi Matt, quick tip ... always scan your sketchbook pages, then crop and tidy them as it aids presentation and of course you can use them as a beginning layer in PS

  2. Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

    Hi Matt,

    Okay, so you've pretty much lost a week - and it shows; first things first; if you're not able to attend - for whatever reason - contact Jackie. There's nothing anyone can do if you go off radar; if you were in the workplace, you couldn't just 'vanish', so get used to managing your personal circumstances professionally; no one is going to begrudge you an absence if it is unavoidable, just keep the requisite people informed.

    More specifically, Simon is absolutely right; what is the point of uploading work to a public-facing blog that cannot be viewed because the quality/cropping etc is bad? You are a designer, Matt - a guy with an art education steeped in visual culture - your blog should be an artwork in its own right. Obviously, you're uploading in a hurry, but if you're doing it to simply appease me or the demands of the online review, then you're missing the point. The blog publishes you - it is an extension of your professionalism - so no more tat!

    Please go visit Ruben's blog - it represents a very solid body of work and what I generally expect from students at this stage in a unit; notice too how he organises his workflow - evolving from text, to thumbnails, to more resolved digital paintings. I'd like to see you better shape your own pipeline of work.

    Please see second post for general advice re. the written assignment

  3. Written Assignment stuff…

    Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

    “Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
    Read more: http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Production-Design.html#ixzz0WRjZ6wTX

    You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
    IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

    AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief précis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

    Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!



    The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

    Good Luck! ☺