In the past week I celebrated my 21st, moved to Dundee and started back at uni so I haven't had the chance to work on stuff as much as I would of liked. I'm going to once again attempt to make these posts a weekly occasion instead of just posting whenever I have anything new. The plan is to post every Friday evening, starting with next week.
I'm back to prop modelling as I still have a lot of objects left and they are relativity easy and fun to create. I'm becoming increasingly concerned with the polycount of the environment so I've been trying to limit the detail of objects but I'm finding it pretty difficult. I have no doubt Unreal Engine 4 will be able to cope, the problem is more that my game may not run smoothly on the university PCs.
Recently I've been combining dissertation research with 3D modelling, which I've found to be incredibly helpful. While I'm modelling in Maya or texturing in photoshop I'll be listening to horror documentaries or podcasts in the background.
This week I watched -
- Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film
- Clive Barker: The Art of Horror
- Grounded: The making of The Last of Us
For the most part they weren't particularly relevant to my dissertation but they were enjoyable to watch and did have some good pieces of information. Nightmares in Red, White and Blue discussed how Val Lewton believed that in darkness the audience (or player) will imagine their own worst fear. This was one of the areas I wanted to explore in my dissertation so I did some searching and discovered that Lewton did indeed believe this. He was quoted in a Life Magazine interview (Feb 25, 1946) saying -
"I'll tell you a secret: if you make the screen dark enough, the mind's eye will read anything into it they want! We're great ones for dark patches. ... The horror addicts will populate the darkness with more horrors than all the horror writers in Hollywood could think of."
The documentary also featured John Carpenter who had several great quotes throughout the feature -
"There are two kinds of horror stories. In the first, the evil is out there in the dark; it’s the people that don’t look like us, the other. The second tells that evil is here; it’s in our own human hearts. We are the enemy. That’s a much harder story to tell."
"Audiences don’t want something too horrible. That’s not entertaining for them. They want to be entertained. They want to have a good time. They don’t mind some of the characters on the screen getting bumped off, even in terrible ways, but you can cross a line, and the audience will turn against you. And if you’re a filmmaker, you can sometimes use that to your benefit by teasing the audience. The audience will say, ‘Are they going to show me something I don’t want to see? I’m getting nervous now… this director may show me something that’s really going to disturb me. If you can find that niche, it’s great because the audience then provides most of the action for you in their heads."
I also had my first honours supervisor meeting this week, which was mainly just discussing research methodologies and rough time schedules. I forgot to take notes, but I will definitely be doing that next time as I have a terrible memory. We were told to focus solely on our honours projects for next week so I'm planning on just following the same formula of this week and 3D model while watching documentaries.