CSUEB Electronic Art Seniors share their thoughts!

Archive for the month “June, 2014”

Stereoscopy Curiosity

For a while now I’ve been seeing a lot of this “wiggle” gifs as I call them because I for the longest time didn’t know the correct name. I thought i could just take one shot and mess around with some photoshop effects and viola I had a wiggle gif. Not even close! But I was determined and the Senior Project proved to be the perfect opportunity for me to attack this challenge. I later learned after many failed attempt that the interaxial space depends on the distance of the object from the camera, which makes perfect sense if you think about it… Here’s some of the firsts gifs that got me.



Karen Marshall


Production Design and the Creative Process

I am fascinated and inspired by movies and the film industry and particularly by the use of computer generated imagery (CGI) and how it is increasing being integrated into film production in a more and more seamless manner with each new film.

I recently had the opportunity for an inspirational talk with Scott Chambliss, a prominent Hollywood production designer who is an alumni of Cal State East Bay and a native of Tracy. Chambliss has been responsible for production design on movies that include Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission Impossible III, Salt, and Cowboys & Aliens, and he just finished work on the upcoming film Tomorrowland. He began his career in production design working on the television show Alias with J.J. Abrams.

Scott Chambliss
© Innovative Artists

Production design is the process for creating the overall look of a film or television show or other visual media. Production designers used to be known as art directors, and they are increasingly important for films today and have a major influence on the creative process. They work closely with the director to bring the film to life and help tell the story visually.

Production design is fascinating because it integrates many aspects of art and many different media, including drawing, storyboarding, painting, sculpting, materials and textiles, and computer graphics – including everything from 2D and 3D graphics to motion graphics to highly advanced and realistic animation. It includes the scouting and selection of locations for live sets, the creation of virtual sets using CGI and green screen techniques, and the integration of live and computer-generated sets to produce a seamless and believable result.

I was able to talk with Chambliss when he visited the CSUEB campus in April, where he gave a talk on his work and presented a screening of the film Star Trek Into Darkness. He talked about his journey from Tracy to Hayward to Broadway in New York and eventually to Hollywood, and all the various jobs, both artistic and not, he had along the way. At Cal State, he used to design costumes and sets for University Theatre productions and one of his early artistic influences was Watteau, an 18th century French painter. Chambliss talked about the process of creating the visual concepts for his films, getting them approved by the director, and working within the budgets. He showed his design sketches that ranged from the bridge of the Enterprise to the weapons used in Cowboys & Aliens. One theme he talked about was balance. For the Star Trek reboot he needed to appeal to new fans while not alienating the die-hard Trekies. For Cowboys & Aliens he had to balance the Old West setting with the advanced alien technology. But his goal is to always be true to his own vision and not be influenced by what he thinks other people want to see.

When we spoke briefly after the public talk, I asked Chambliss how he decides when to use “real” sets versus when to use computer imagery. He does prefer to use live sets whenever possible, but often needs to augment them with CGI. For example, the bridge of the Enterprise is a real set, but most of the displays are computer graphics. In addition, for scenes that are grand or epic, often the foreground details are filmed live, and the background is generated digitally. The key is to make it all a seamless and believable experience for the audience.

This experience was inspiring for me in two ways. First, it showed me how someone from humble beginnings and a graduate of Cal State East Bay can rise to become a prominent and creative force in Hollywood. Second, it informed me about the world of production design, a discipline that integrates many different aspects of art to produce an imaginative but believable result to delight and entertain people.


By Brandon Powers


Character Design inpirations

For character designs, I first look at designer toys for inspiration. For those that don’t know what they are, they’re pretty much expensive pieces of vinyl plastic collectibles (see here). But I am more intrigued at the work of James Jarvis. I don’t know what it is, but I just like his simple character designs. Another illustrator that I like is Tim Tsui. I’m starting to think that it’s all those thick outlines and the simple colors that both artists use on their characters that gives that cartoony feeling that I want to mimic.

James Jarvis’ creations turned into vinyl plastic

Tim Tsui


– Gian Albano

Islamic Arabic Motifs

Islamic Arabic motifs have inspired me from earlier age, since I was in high school. I still remember my Art class teacher when he was explaining about how the motifs can be complex or humble meaning. To know more about motifs we must know that they represent deep layers of meaning for a lot of people, whom are prohibited from drawing or designing any human or icons. Therefore, the need of an inner expression to the beauty of nature was translated into motifs.

The main components of motifs are Arabic Calligraphy, Geometric art, Natural Graphics, Light and Water. This is observed in many of the architectural buildings, fine art, and craft in Muslim countries and expanded community. The mixing and harmony in colors and patterns makes me feel the tranquility and peace of mind that inhabits the artist who make it.



Illustration/ Character Design

Living with three brothers have grown me to take interest in the gaming field with the inspiration of how beautifully rendered the characters are in RPG gaming. Since childhood, one of my inspiration comes from the character design of many famous titles Tetsuya Nomura. The way he design his characters is what grabs my attention to draw the way he illustrates. I am drawn to how beautifully the characters come out in the games and this is my inspiration.

-Nancy Do


An Escape

What inspires me? Lots of things. I don’t turn to one particular source to spark my creativity. My inspiration comes from several different places. I get inspired when I watch an animation, play video games, or even listen to music. Sometimes when I’m outside, I see things that will suddenly inspire me. If we’re talking about specific artists that inspire me, then my number one inspiration would be Hayao Miyazaki. There is something about his stories that I feel a deep connection with. His animations bring me to another world, a world that I wish I could live in. With that being said, here are some images from Miyazaki’s work that inspire me the most.

house howls 1083_019812B.jpg spirited-away-001 spirited-away-2a

There is something so magical about his work and it is this magic that I would like to bring into this world. However, I want to diverge from the path of animation and bring magic to this world in another way. I love video games and I have been playing games all of my life. I love the idea of creating a magical world that you can be fully immersed in where you are in control. Another inspiration of mine, as far as video games, would be the Syberia series created by Benoit Sokal. This was one of the most beautiful games I have ever played. It was visually stunning and the story was impeccable. It’s based on sad forgotten places that were once beautiful and full of life. The protagonist is on a quest to find the thing that people are no longer believe to exist. I feel like it is a metaphor for the magic that people are so disconnected from. Here are some images from the game.

Syberia_04_-_ValadilèneBarrockstadt University Inside

Sometimes people need an escape from this world. I want to be able to create a world that someone could escape to. There is a feeling that I can’t explain when I see an animation by Miyazaki, or when I play certain games. I guess the only word I could use is “magical”. For those of us who need more magic in their lives, i want to be able to create it. I want people to experience, if only a little, the feeling that I get when I become inspired.

– Christine Bui

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