Monday, 30 April 2012

Influence maps

     Naturally throughout the process of creating the basis for this animation so far, a lot of things have inspired me, particularly various images I found.

     First of all, as a standard foundation for my theme and concept, I looked at factories and studied the various little mechanics that cause everything to work as it should. I particularly looked at pipes and conveyor belts as these two pieces of machinery were frequently used in my storyboard.

     Next, I thought about what type of colour scheme I'd be using. Color is vital to portraying a certain theme and atmosphere in a scene and this animation would be no different. What I want the audience to see is a cold harsh and unforgiving environent in which the life of a cell is under constant threat from elimination for either not functioning to its peak efficiency.

     The various chrome metallic machinery only helped with this theme, so I looked at a few examples such as the Cybermen from Doctor Who, Lost Planet which puts particular emphesis on the constrast between blue and orange and the Terminator saga whose style of machinery is also a good example of what I want to portray in terms of style of technology.

     Since I also wanted to give a sense of the vastness of the human body as a machine, I also took a look at huge, techological cities of the future, particularly at how the various roads and tubes machinery zip-zag and criss-cross across one another in a cold, metallic series of webbing. I wanted to let the audience see the sheer overgrowth of technology, so much so that its taken a mind of its own, acting more like growing plants than organized, man-made structures.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Script: "The Human Machine"


The cell cycle told with a visually mechanical theme.

The audience flies through an immense factory that looks to be producing power cells, powered by nuclear-powered nuclei and chromosomes.


The story centers around the power cells and their journey through the cold, techno-punk style  factory that is the human cell replication cycle and it starts off just after the Mitosis phase after the cells have been split up and  they are now entering the G1 phase in their resting state. 
They journey on a convener belt throughout the cycle, passing the G0 phase for non-dividing cells, a giant incinerator and trough into the mitosis chamber. Inside the cells, claws extend from either end and separate the chromosomes, followed by the cell splitting in half. The cells are carried back to the G1 phase where they are assembled into full cells and cycle completes.


Enormous hammer-like crushers flatten metal into thin cylinder-like caps while on a conveyor belt going into the G1 phase.

Complete cells are on a conveyor belt moving across the screen.

CHARACTERS IN SCENE: Cells, G0 Incinerator
The cells continue to move along the belt while hooks scan and pick up ineffective cells, tossing them into the G0 incinerator.

CHARACTERS IN SCENE: Cells, Mitosis Chamber
The working cells make their way towards the Mitosis chamber ready to be duplicated.

CHARACTERS IN SCENE: Cells, Nucleus, Chromosomes
While inside the Mitosis Chamber, the cells duplicate.

The cells are carried down to the G1 zone and their construction is completed with a metal cap.



A huge metallic crusher slams down onto a conveyor belt.


A second huge metallic crusher slams down onto the conveyor belt.


The crushers are pounding the conveyor belt, crushing and flattening metal into caps and are carried into the bright, fiery, glowing entrance of a huge machine.

A giant crusher slams down into view.


Meanwhile, power cells are carried down another belt towards the G1 zone while in resting state. Metallic claws seem to pluck cells from the belt at random, carrying them off to the G0 incinerator.

As the ineffective cells hurtle down through the tube to the incinerator, the working cells make their way towards the Mitosis chamber ready to be duplicated.

While inside the Mitosis Chamber, hooks extend from either pole of the power cell's inner chambers and pull apart the chromosomes. Robotic hooks unscrew the cell at halfway point and carry them off towards G1.

In G1, the cells are carried down onto the  first belt where the robotic claws lower them onto the caps, creating new duplicated cells. The cycle completes.



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

(Ignore this post)

(Temporary upload to help out a family member)

Stage Scan Sketch

A power cell being checked at a checkpoint before it moves into the Mytosis section of the factory.

Power Cell Division Concept

Machinery designs

Choosing Idea 1's concept of giving the human body a more mechanized appearence underneath the skin, I'm starting to look at what I could do to turn each step of the cell division cycle into a factory-based construction sequence. I want to find out how I can turn chromosones into believable parts of a piece of machinery and how I can make the process appear automated and mechanized, but also identifyable with the real process of cell division.

What better way to start than with the cell itself. My first thought would be to make it some sort of power cell.


What I would also need to do is design it in such a way that it can believably divide into two of the same cells without the cell just morphing. Have you ever seen solid metal simply morph into two duplicates as if it were made of mercury?

I think a cylindrical object would be the best option due to the simplicity of how it would divide; simple screw-bottom and top.

Research into Cell Division (My brain hurts)

     For me to continue with the idea of the Cell Cycle as the basis for my animation, I first need to fully understand how it works. Being as experienced in biology as a frail old man is in gymnastics, I have to try and find something which explains it in layman's terms. Drawing up a simple diagram for myself would help.

Trying to wrap my head around this is a headache. I never thought I'd be doing science in a CG Arts course, but nonetheless I -think- I know how it works, or at least know how it works enough to make a 1 minute short film out it. The fact that I never learned cell division back when I was in school doesn't help either.

A couple more diagrams I found to help me learn the subject.

From what I've gathered...
(G1 phase) -> (DNA Synthesis)

1: The cycle starts with the Interphase in which the cell is in a resting state, the DNA replicates itself and the Organelles double up to prepare for division.

(DNA Synthesis)

2: The prophase, following the interphase, sees the spindles form from the centrioles, which are the long wiery arms depicted in the diagrams, and move to opposite poles of the cell while Chromosones begin to form from the organelles.

(G2 Phase)

3: During the metaphase, the Chromosones line up along the cell's equator and the spindles grab onto them.

4: Then in the Anaphase, the spindles pull, separating the Chromosones to each pole.


5: During the Telophase, a nuclear membrane encases each group of Chromosones and the Chromosones unwind back to Organelles. Cytokinesis begins.

6: Cytokenises happens and the cell pinches inwards, separating both cells.