Monday, June 22, 2009


I had many problems with trying to apply textures to static meshes. I scaled the textures correctly in Sketchup, but when importing them into Unreal Editor and applying them again, some would be scaled minutely and others at the correct size. This meant that some textures have been applied to structures and cannot be seen easily. I have explained where they have been applied below.

To the carpet in the bridge, and the
interior of Madonnas building:

The platforms of Obamas building:

To the dining table glass:

To the table of the dining table and the walls of the meeting place.
Edited in Photoshop:
To movers within Madonnas building, and the mover from Madonnas building to the bridge:

To the cushions on the dining table seats:

To the movers from the bridge to
Obamas building, and from the base
of the building to the top of the building:


Obama movers

The square mover from the bridge to the base of Obamas building as below, and the mover up the elevator shaft in the second and third images, represent the smooth charisma Obama portrays. The outward radiating texture of the movers resembles the ripples in society that an action that Obama makes can create.

View from the elevator:

Up the elevator shaft:
Another mover was used that takes the player from the top of Obamas building, and deposits them on the first mover of Madonnas building. I did not take a picture of this in situ as I had issues with figuring out the lighting on all the static meshes. It is coloured and shaped to look like the podium with microphones that Obama would make speak from at press conferences.

Madonna Movers

Madonnas movers are curved in form, reflecting the same sexual aspects as the curved shapes of the her building.

The mover below takes the player from the platform on Madonnas building up to the bridge. It is cocoon shaped, almost like a bath, where the player feels enveloped. As it reaches the top, the player is tipped into the bridge.

A texture, used to represent the word 'sensual' has been used on the mover, but cannot be seen. I had problems trying to apply textures to static meshes, and not all came out at a visible size.

As a player is deposited onto Madonnas first mover, the mover rotates to drop the player slowly onto the next mover below. Each mover does the same action to give a cascading effect, slowing down the players fall as they drop from each consecutive mover.

The movers are shaped to resemble a cushion, so that the effect as one falls would be that one is dropping from cushion to cushion; being enveloped and then released to a soft landing at the base of the building. I wanted this effect to highlight the softer side of Madonnas sexuality as opposed to the dominatrix-like power that was mentioned in the mashup article. A texture has been applied that resembles almost liquid, curving forms that envelop each other.

Madonna Final

I wanted Madonnas building to be highly sexual, in reference to the mashup article I used.
The impression I get of Madonnas sexuality is one that is almost violent, but still highly sensual. It is highly charged, and used as a form of empowerment.

My aim was to make the overall shape of the building, the colour, and the movers reflect her sexuality.

The sleek black shape of the building I modeled on a female body, where the curves resemble the curves of a female body arching. This contrasts with the more solid, sharp shapes of Obamas building and enhances the difference between their two types of power; Obamas as charasmatic and bureaucratic, and Madonnas as sexual and expressive.

The black, which I like to think resembles PVC or a shiny leather, in juxtasposition with the softer pink interior, works to contrast Madonnas hard, dominating and overt sexuality with a softer and more sensual side.

The above image shows the dynamic between the two buildings, and how they relate to each other. The bridge acts as a foundation that Obamas building is built on, but also penetrates through Madonnas building. This can be read as either sexual, or as a sort of object trying to hold Madonnas building down. The latter is reflective of how it is difficult to catagorise or put Madonna in a box, as she is always changing her 'look' and outward appearance and personality throughout her career. Madonna does not conform to society, or to the expectations of the public, and is this attempt to escape from controlling factors and maintain freedom and power that the 'penetration', or meeting between the bridge and Madonnas building portrays, as the building can be seen to be arching and reaching away from the bridge.

The bridge reflects aspects of both Madonna and Obamas power. An example of this is the use of a shiny, chrome surface, which enhances the hard, professional aspects both clients embody. In contrast, the texture of the carpet represents the more intimate nature of the relationship of power I am suggesting between the clients.

Final Obama

My design for Obama's building is designed to reflect aspects of power that Obama embodies. The multiple layers of the platforms reflects the different layers both of his persona, and aspects of society he affects, and how they create a whole system.

The texture applied is to enhance the feeling of movement, of moving forward, which I think is an important aspects of the power that Obama embodies; always changing and always moving forward.

The outward reaching platforms enhance this same feeling movement.

The purpose of the shape of the building is to make the person feel intimidated, to feel powerless in the face of such an influential and all encompassing power such as that which Obama weilds. The overreach of the platforms, and the leaning of the glass blocks creates this effect. I wanted the building to be tall to enhance the feeling of power and awe, in the same way that the sails of the Opera House do, as we studied in BENV1080.

The shape of the building also reflects the patriotism of Obamas power by resembling the American flag, where the elevator shafts acts as the flagpole, and the platforms as the stripes on the American flag.

The use of materials, of reflective chrome, of the solid platforms, and the glass structure work to portray the different transparencies and layers of Obama power. Combined with the shape of the building, these work to create the feeling of dynamism and the thrust of the type of power Obama has.

Final Dining table

The dining table represents the different types of power that Obama and Madonna embody, and how, if they might act if they were to combine, The table and seating set show aspects of both Madonnas sexual power, and Obamas charismatic, political power through the use of pink cushions and dark grey table as can be seen the above posts.

The table is shaped like a swirl or a cyclone, with the seating placement in the middle. This is reflecting of the power and influence that surround the two client, and how they affect those around them.

The use of the single seat suggests the intimate power relationship that might occur if the two clients were to meet. Both clients are able to sit together in close contact on the center cushion, and recline along the longer cushion next to the glass. The glass would give them a sense of privacy, and is textured with a linear texture to reflect their movement and dynamism.

Progress and drafts

Madonna drafts

For Madonnas building, I wsa attempting to create an organic shape, fluid and smooth, and vaguely resembling a female figure. After several tries, the method I used was simply making a flat, curvy shape, joining up the sides with arches, and drawing lines between them to create surfaces.

While this method worked well to create the shape, it was very time consuming and I am not convinced it is the most effective method.

I had many problems when trying to upload my model into UT, without getting holes in the geometry, as can be seen below. This was fixed when I reversed the faces, and changed several of the settings of the texture I was using.

Obama drafts

I decided to change the shape of the Obama building to the one below because I felt that the earlier model was too rigid. I found myself simply trying to copy the facade and structure of American buildings from books. The model I eventually used I felt conveyed more movement, and was a more refined and clean structure.

The model is made up of platforms, reaching out over the entrance and connected by glass blocks which provide an interior space.

The elevator shaft has the double purpose of lending support to the platforms, and providing a space in which the elevator can move. I like the design as it contrasts a more dynamic, scuptural form with the solid, rectangular structures of the rest of the building.

Filefront link

edit: Corrected file

Madonna - Google Warehouse


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama draft + dining table draft

The dining table has only one seat, the pink cushion in the center, to emphasise the closeness of contact between the two clients, Obama and Madonna. The entire table surrounds them, representative of the social context in which they operate i.e. how parts of the political/entertainment, social, and economic world revolve around them. The glass wall enclosing the table is to give the two clients a sense of privacy, and a moment where they can escape the observation of all that follow their movements.

In Obamas building, I am seeking to portray the control, the dynamacy, and the sheer power that he embodies. The glass is stepped, noting the building codes American skyscrapers had to adhere to in the past, and reflects American society.

The black metal poles on the facade will all eventually penetrate into the building, to join at the base at a single point, either at the base or at the top. If at the base, the elevator will move up through this column of poles to the top of the building where Obamas office will be located. His office will have a view of the atrium where the poles join up, below.

If at the top, the poles with end at his office, and be supported by a central support in which the elevator will move up.

I am having trouble with this building because I have doubts of whether it is too building-like, too simple in shape, or even if it is the path I should follow. Hopefully this with resolve itself very soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Inspiration + Cool Images

An advertisment for something
Why: Unexpected revelation of the environment
Thomas Herbich
Why: Interaction of the environment with a person
Thomas Birke
Why: Colour contrast

Thomas Herbrich
Why: Movement of small pieces (top of the wave) to create a whole environment, and unexpected material.

Section of a lamb from my previous Animal Science course
Why: shows the complex inner anatomy. Also a bit gross.

Li Wei
Why: Movement and the shapes of the people in space
Herman Churba
Why: Contrast of the organic and inorganic and the relationship between

Jonathan Kitchen
Why: Movement and colourJonathan Kitchen
Why: Shape and destruction
Doris Salcedo
Why: Position of objects in space, challenges what is practical
Doris Salcedo
Why: manipulation of objects to create something new, while still retaining the same structure
Doris Salcedo
Why: same as above

Jonathan Kitchen
Why: Layers to create a whole, different textures and forms of the layersMunoz Villerz
Why: Organic shape

Doris Salcedo
Why: Placement of objects in space, a voice villed with repeating shapes
Li Wei
Why: place and movement of a person in space

Abracadaver-Lauren Brown
Why: Repeating units with a strong colour, arrangement on a vertical surface

Sneaker Burger
Why: Because I love shoes and food :D

Tuesday, June 2, 2009