Research Study: Dieselpunk

As the steampunk trope gained the attention of the masses every kind of retro-futurism was labeled as “Steampunk” and most people don’t know or care about the emerging “Dieselpunk” genre, often considered some variant of either Steampunk or Cyberpunk.

Dieselpunk however differs both in timeline and themes from Steampunk, the only overlapping being the First World War era.

The Taking of the Enka Fields (3 van 21)The Lost Tea Party

Israeli illustrator lord_k collected some illustrations from the 1930s Republic of China magazine, which he called “Chinese diesel punk.” There are some sci-fi and steampunk styles.

Check Out These Great Dieselpunk Concept Designs  - News - GeekTyrant

Horacio Coppola, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1936.

One of my personal favorite series of movies Mad Max was also influenced by dieselpunk, and has certain cult fans.Mad Max by Vance Kelly *PHOTO: Cars to survive the post-apocalyptic world. #MadMax

Research Study: Steampunk

Steampunk features 19th century technology, complete with lots of steam engines. It is inspired by the Industrial-Revolution, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian periods of England, and was the first of the alternate-punk genres to appear.

Before the industrial revolution, the machine of the agricultural society was only a practical tool, and it was far from being able to step into the hall of aesthetics.

Classical aesthetics pays more attention to the beauty of pure harmony, which is a kind of beauty belonging to God and an eternal beauty. It is impossible to talk about aesthetic in the simple and bold artifacts. The Renaissance was a turning point. Artists such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Dürer had far more love for man-made mechanical devices such as airplanes and submarines than the functionality developed, and rose to the aesthetic level. Denying God, affirming oneself, human beings’ affirmation of themselves also brings about the affirmation of their own creation.

In Assassin’s Creed 2, the protagonist takes the flying machine made by Da Vinci.  

Airships, goggles, gears, clocks, keys.


Research Study of Subculture: Zoot Suit

The study of the cases in the subculture from the subculture how to resist the main culture (mainstream culture, subject culture, dominant culture), the style embodied in the resistance (subculture’s resistance to the main culture is not directly caused by the subculture It is indirectly expressed in the style.) And how the main culture captures the subculture from the perspective of cultural interpretation of the youth subculture.

With its super-sized shoulder pads, sprawling lapels and peg leg pants, the zoot suit grew out of the “drape” suits popular in Harlem dance halls in the mid-1930s.

The suits were worn by minority men in working-class neighborhoods throughout the country.

In 1943, young African Americans and Hispanics and clashed with soldiers  in Los Angeles. The riots were called “Zoot riots”

Zoot suits strengthen the wideness of wearer’s shoulder and the size of body, indicates power.

In Tom and Jerry, Tom wears Zoot suit to pursue the girl he likes and succeeded.

Zoot suit also influenced a trend “Power suit”, it was popular in 1970s and 1980s, even effected how movie stars and business man wears in Hong Kong.

Artist Study: Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw was born in Calcutta, India, and brought up in Kashmir until the long-standing conflict in the area forced his family to flee, moved to London in 1998.

His gloriously opulent paintings suggest a fantastical world full of intricate detail, rich colour, and jewel-like surfaces, all masking the intense violent and sexual nature of its imagery.

This priest-looked monkey reminds me of Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X.

His works are erotic and making audience uncomfortable simultaneously, which is unusual.

Inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s fifteenth century visionary triptych, Shaw’s series of works similarly titled ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ celebrate a society free of any moral restraint.

Raqib Shaw. (Indian, born 1974). Garden of Earthly Delights X. 2004. Synthetic polymer paint, glitter, stones, crystals, rhinestones, and gems on board, three panels, 8 x 15′ (243.8 x 457.2 cm). Gift of Adam Sender and George Lindemann, Jr. © 2008 Raqib Shaw
Raqib Shaw. (Indian, born 1974). Garden of Earthly Delights X. 2004. Synthetic polymer paint, glitter, stones, crystals, rhinestones, and gems on board, three panels, 8 x 15′ (243.8 x 457.2 cm). Gift of Adam Sender and George Lindemann, Jr. © 2008 Raqib Shaw
Raqib Shaw. (Indian, born 1974). Garden of Earthly Delights X. 2004. Synthetic polymer paint, glitter, stones, crystals, rhinestones, and gems on board, three panels, 8 x 15′ (243.8 x 457.2 cm). Gift of Adam Sender and George Lindemann, Jr. © 2008 Raqib Shaw


Indian Goddes Kali

Research Study: F64

F64 is a photographic group founded in San Francisco. The term f/64 referred to the smallest aperture setting on a large format camera. The aim was to secured maximum depth of field and rendering photograph evenly sharp from foreground to background. Their styles characterized by sharp-focused on and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western  viewpoint.

Carleton Watkins (1829–1916) was an American photographer of the 19th century. Born in New York, he moved to California and quickly became interested in photography. He focused mainly on landscape photography, and Yosemite Valley was a favorite subject of his. His photographs of the valley significantly influenced the United States Congress’ decision to preserve it as a National Park. He documented the rise of SF at19th Century. He doesn’t regard himself as an artist but an artisan. He has influenced f/64 a lot.

Imogen Cunningham at that time was the most experienced member and enjoyed an established reputation.

Willard Van Dyke gives his home at Berkley to talk about founding the group.

People that knows a little bit of art history may think Van Dyke is the most famous member, but this is another Van Dyke and he is not famous because of the beard.

Edward Henry Weston was a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers… and “one of the masters of 20th century photography.” He was the first photographer that got Guggenheim Fellowship.

Weston’s Works:

Ansel Easton Adams (SF!) was an American photographer and environmentalist. His black and white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park. I believe that he inherits the spirit of Watkins.He developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. The resulting clarity and depth characterized his photographs.

Adams’s works:

Analysis of Senior Thesis: Character Design 03

Step 07: simplify models


Tested in an auto rigging tool

When I was re-designing the armour, I struggled a lot, it always looked bad, and then I realised skeletons always look good, therefore I used ribs as reference.

Re-modeled face

Light testing: scattered light in maya

Step 08: design other characters

However I have not actually got a chance to use this model.

Step 09: Stage design

I attended a course called Wabi-Sabi: into the emptiness, which was to go for a trip in Tokyo and Kyoto, and then create works from the experience, I learnt a lot from the trip.


Analysis of Senior Thesis: Character Design 02

In the mean time, I was using sculpting class to build up this character.

Step 04: Designing based on characters I like (The Predator)

Combining the features from different characters

“Final Decision”

Modelling the mask and 3D printed it

First time entering the dungeons and dragons stores to get equipments to paint on the mask.

Final Sculpure

Step 05: Asset Design

Abandoned designs for masks

Actual armour design

However, it is nearly impossible to run armours in this kind of details in actual animation, therefore I needed to simplify them. But before that:

Step 06: Sound and Music

I used Protools to make the voice of my character, and the background music in the Sound for Animation class.




To be continued…

Analysis of Senior Thesis: Character Design 01

The aim of my project was to design 1-2 characters and the background story of them, and then build the world up and animate.

Step 01: Looking for references

I looked up mythologies from four different countries: China, India, Indonesia and Russia, found 11 gods/evils from them:

Mahāmāyūrī (The Peacock King) from Tibet (Buddhism)

Vajra Krodha Mahabala Ucchusma from Tibet (Buddhism) 

Mara-Papman from India (Buddhism)

Garuda from India (Hindu)

Kali from India (Hindu)

Rakshasa from India(Hindu)

Rangda and Barong from Indonesia (Bali)

Koschei from Russia

Leshy from Russia

Viy from Russia


Step 02: Start Doodling about the world I want to create:

Step 03: Start Modeling

First one was not that successful

I liked the second one better.

Also sculpted some skulls as references as well.

To be continued…

Study for Background Story 01: Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction, featuring the mixture of “lowlife and high -tech”, and the fear of the development of technology, unlike Steampunk (I will also write about this in future).

Tokyo and Hong Kong are the most popular city in reality for Cyberpunk fans to recreate. Tokyo is a city with top-class advanced technology in many areas, due to their large population, even the little branches of needs has people to study and fulfil. Therefore both of the robot, automatic and automobile industries in Japan are well developed. Also, they will never face the situation of lacking talented architects, Tokyo has many skyscrapers and buildings in avant-garde shapes. On the other hand, Japanese citizens also cherish their traditions, they kept ancient temples, palaces and even restaurants with generations of great reputations.

Akira (1988)

Ghost in the Shell(1995)

Cars 2(2011)

The reason that Hong Kong became popular in Cyberpunk is because it has some similar features with Tokyo, like neon lights, the combination of modern building and ancient styles, but most importantly, is because of the most unique slum in the world: kowloon walled city.

Cyberpunk is such a exhilarating topic to research, therefore  I will also post some new founds that can be great references .

As one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, the President of the former Yugoslavia opposed any form of “colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism” in that year, so naturally he would not submit to the expansion of the Stalin regime of the Soviet Union. As a result, the relationship broke down. It was not until 1955 that the former Yugoslavia and Khrushchew were involved. After the reform, the Soviet Union resumed normal diplomatic relations. After the Hungarian Incident in 1956, the relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia deteriorated once again.
In this political game, from Yugoslavia’s many symbolic monuments of socialism, it is not difficult to see Yugoslavia’s struggle and efforts to get rid of Soviet aesthetics. A relatively unique abstraction and barbarism made it a certain distance from the Soviet aesthetics of the same period.
There are some meaningful sculptures in the are of the former Yugoslavia.

The Wallace Collection

Last Saturday I went to visit the Wallace Collection when I heard it has many great works from Boucher and Fragonard, also I can get benefit from their armour collection for designning characters and outfits. However I went a little bit late and only got a chance to see the paintings and small objects before they closed.

The first thing I found interesting was a pair of pattens, the shape of it is very strange because of the narrowed front, seems like having longer feet was the fashion trend for high class people at the time.

Moved to the second floor, there are four large paintings from the famous Rococo painter Boucher. Rococo, also known as the Late-Baroque, was a delicate, asymmetry, sometime even flighty art style with many Naples yellow. It was influenced from “Oriental” art including Chinese Erotic Drawing and Japanese’s Shunga. Therefore the themes and the objects are mainly nobility and their lives, in stead of mythology or gods.

The craftsmanship of these decorative objects are really good.

These two are the most famous works in the collection: Fragonard’s The Swing, and Boucher’s Portrait of Madame de Pompadour.