Category Archives: Narrative structures

Video Essay Presentation

I made composition as my presentation’s topic. This video is aimed to research the composition in Quentin’s film. As I consider, In addition to the development of the storyline, the emotional changes that the movie brings to the audience are also be noticed. So how the composition is used in film and conveying emotions to the audience is what I am interested in. Plus, This is my first time dubbing; please forgive my weird voice acting.

Virtual VFX-Week5

As computer technology changes quite quickly, especially in computer graphics, we see more and more applications of real-time technology, especially when it comes to filmmaking. Recently, there is a new technology gains popularity, which requires almost no post-production. The whole process is on set. It is called ‘virtual production.’

  • Defines of Virtual production

Virtual production combines the live footage with computer graphics at once, which can help the director get real-time feedback on the set.

  • Advantages

reduce cost and time

Helping the director develop their idea smoothly and get feedback immediately, which helps them adjust the frames, actors, costumes, lighting, and blocking so on.

In the past time, the actor needs to be imaginative when they were acting on set. But now, the technology of VP can help them easy to enter the story and situation.

It is a more effective way to make special effects in the film. After the pre-production, the VFX industry might only require adjusting several disharmonious factors or adding detail to make the shot perfectly and in reality. It effectively reduces communication procedures and improves production quality.

  • Disadvantage

The problem with assets. It is a huge work to accumulate assets from delicate models to Hight dynamic-range images. The establishment of a material database is a huge digital project that is not only embracing but can also be retrieved. The project requires continuous investment and construction.

The immature technology might lead to the limitation of the picture quality onset or cause picture delay.

Ling Cage: Incarnation- week3

Ling Cage is a Chinese animation that launched in 2019. Although its images and characters haven’t reached the level of sophistication of Hollywood or Disney animation, I am still profoundly attracted by it.

The story is about the earth after experiencing a disaster; most of the remaining human beings moved to other planets looking for a new home. The rest of the people had to continue existing in the hostile environment. The story is focused on the small group of people left behind on earth.

What I like about this animation is the worldview, all of the elements like creatures, characters,” MANNA ECOSYSTEM,” and plenty of visual metaphors in this film. And the new laws of human existence were created after the destruction of the earth. How will human beings survive after the destruction of human civilization? What kind of creatures may appear in this land? All of these things that I’m interested in.

After a global earthquake, there is a myriad of underground monsters have been unleashed on the surface. Humanity is almost entirely wiped out. The last remains lives aboard the Lighthouse, a flying fortress. It is the last hope for man to survive on earth

Here is the concept art of the Lighthouse.

However, as the last habitat of human beings, lighthouses are both their homes and their cages. In order to maintain civilization, all interpersonal relationships have been abolished. All individuals live only in function to their role on the Lighthouse hierarchy, being divided into two Classes: Superiors, those who were born with desirable genetic traits, and who are given the most important jobs and best living conditions; and Inferiors, those who were born just as regular people, delegated to the worst living conditions and, “less important” jobs. Only Superiors are given names, while Inferiors are reduced to just to “Worker.”
Designers use costumes and props to differentiate the difference between superiors and inferiors. Senior residents always have powerful weapons and equipment with a blue badge. However, the laborer only has a green work card.

The third area of concern is the design of the “Marna Ecosystem”

  • About workflow

In the early stage of the project, The Studio has been preparing for about a year and a half, from the script, split, concept design to asset production.150 people worked on the project, with about 500 concept designs.

Concept art

Character design

Interior desgin

Proposals for research- week 2

The use of color by different directors

Color is a vital part of the film; it could help the director expressing their idea and building their style like American director Wes Anderson and Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai. Therefore I want to consider what influences their color style? Do they have different understandings of color in movies? Why and how to use it.

The relationship between Composition and storyline

How the director shapes the story through composition, and whether the audience can feel the director USES’s techniques in the film. Whether they can read the emotions that the director wants to convey.

How does light express the mood of a movie

Light and shadow is a vital way to express the characters’ emotions. All of the films need lighting, no matter black-white or color film. I would like to analyze the different feelings brought by the difference of light to the audience through the two films, the silence of the Lamb and Godfather.

How to control the rhythm in the film

Analyze the use of rhythm in the film and how the director USES these techniques to tell the story.


About the VFX industry- week 2

  • Concept artist

The concept artist’s responsibility is to translate all of the story’s ideas or script into images. In other words, they use the given information to design the creature or scenes mentioned in the script. Thus modelers and animators can make these ideas ready for production.These designs can be defined as concept art.

Many companies will employ designers or concept artists to exploit the characters or scenes included in the project. These artists should paint the illustration or sketch based on the director or author’s idea and help them to visualize the original idea.

The concept art can be specific and abstract. It can be created through any tools such as pencil, watercolor, or computer.   For example, the artist who created Alien, H.R. Giger, prefer penciling panting. And the Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, like traditional tools to make such as mark-pen, watercolor. 

Typically the concept art in film production can be defined into two parts. In the first place, before start shooting, the duty of the concept art team is to visualize the word into images and develop a possible idea about the project—for instance, the character design or scenes. Sometimes the first version might come from the director’s sketch or storyboard. The artist should make it more clear.

The second is making the unclear part of the first version more specific, which can help the modeling artist build a model. For example, detailing the decoration of the stage or show the building from different angles.

  • Matte Painter

Matte artists create digitally painting, which can be used in the background of the frames. Matte painting is used to create scenes that are hard to find in real life or change the details in the shots.

Commonly matte painting is used to set in the large-scale scene, especially for the long shot. Traditionally, the reason is that sometimes the reality scene can not meet the director’s need or fit the script. Therefore, the director will let artists painting on glass and place it in front of the scenes to reach the ideal result.

Norman Dawn drawing via Cinepatas

Matte painter will be involved in Digital Environment Department; their job can be divided into four parts.


They need to paint the background which is far away from the camera.  

Gone Girl

Set Extension

The matte painter needs to adjust some of the detail or materials in the shot.

Digital Environment

The design of the digital environment is quite complicated and challenging. It needs several artists to work together for many days.


Painting on the images.

  • Prep artist

Prep artists clean up the backgrounds of live action-footage and prepare the clean footage for the compositor. Prep artists use different techniques to clean the frames, such as Maya, Photoshop ,and Nuke. They remove any unwanted objects or scratches like the logo on the building or stains on the wall.

  • Compositing artist 2D/3D

Compositor combine all of the digital material in the final step to make them appear as one cohesive image and shot.

As a good compositing artist, they need a good taste for beauty and recognize what makes their frames appear realistic in terms of light, color, composition, and perspective. They need to excel in the 2D/3D programs such as After Effects, Blackmagic Fusion, Houdini, Maya, Nuke, and Photoshop.


Zwerman, S. and Okun, J.A. eds., 2012. Visual Effects Society Handbook: Workflow and Techniques. CRC Press.

week 2 Assignment

The use of colors in films

Colour is one of the essential parts of film design. The use of color can make the plot more vivid to attract the audience’s attention. Different color has a different meaning in the film. It is a useful way for the director to express their ideas to the audience. Here is a simple example of color used in the movies. 

The first time using color to represent mood in movies is The Birth of Nation (1915). In this film, the burning of the film was tinted red, the night scenes blue, and the exterior love scenes pale yellow. 


Composition is another indispensable element in film making. The composition of the frames is not only to express the emotion and ideas but also to direct the audience’s attention. It allows us to convey information and subtext instantly.

There are some basic methods of film composition:

  • Rule of Thrids

The Rule of Thirds is a method of composition that directors often adopt. Quite simple to evenly separate the frame into three sections vertically and three sections horizontally. Then place the character or objects at the intersecting points, like the picture shows.

Children of Men

In this image, the protagonist stands on the left hand of the frames, and it has been showing that his face on the first intersecting point attracts the audience’s attention first. Besides, there are several people on the right hand of the frames that far from the protagonist. This composition shows the picture’s depth and expresses the story’s plot where the hero is standing in the corner, listening to the information.

  • Angle and perspective

Typically most of the directors use eye-level shots to express the storyline. However, several formalist directors prefer extreme angles like Quentin Tarantino.

Low angle- Ingourious Basterds

Low angle gives the audience a feeling about threatening and insecure.

Pulp Fiction


Lighting is another essential factor in movies. The reason is that lighting tells the audience the key point in the frames, and lighting can reflect the actors’ psychology. Besides, lighting can be used to define the film genre for some directors like Kar-Wai Wong.

In the Mood for Love

Lighting can be used to highlight the character and make the composition to be more balanced.

Ingourious Basterds

Lighting can create the characters’ personality—for example, the murder in the movie The Silence of the Lambs and the protagonist in The Godfather.

Both of the plots are used top lighting to describe the personality of these two characters. In the first image, the top lighting gives the audience a feeling of mystery and worshipful. However, the lighting in the second picture described a horrible and abnormal person.


As I consider, rhythm is quite complicated and abstract in the movies. It can be defined as the conflict in the plots that can keep attracting the audience’s attention. The pace of the rhythm can be manipulated deliberately to fasten or slow down the conflict’s progress.


Giannetti, L.D. and Leach, J., 2005. Understanding movies (Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 999). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

week 1

I am not a big fan of film before I started my BA course. I have never touched this field of knowledge before, so all of the things like articles, knowledge and software is new for me and hard to understand all about it immediately.

However, I am fortunately got a chance to be an internship into a VFX company. As I consider it is not only a good way for me to bridge the knowing-practising gap but also a chance for me to be more interested in special effects in movies.

I threw my internship at Conceptual Design Department of PIXOMONDO. During this period, based on a short novel, I was assigned to restore scenes with favourite design forms. In addition to practical operation, I also obtained the knowledge from experienced designers about how to transform a story into magical motion pictures and add my creative thoughts into it with multiple ways, including collecting visual elements and analyzing them. This experience helps me a lot to acquire knowledge about the whole making process of postproduction and now I become more and more interested in VFX.

I hope I could be a good artist in this field and have more chance to attend some fantastic projects in the future. My goals in the coming years are to acquire more knowledge and skills during my graduate period as well as to engage in the field of visual effects, turn my hobby into a career for my long term. Therefore I am looking forward to the next year!   

Here are some artist’s works that I really love.