Monday, 22 March 2010

Plant research

My Tutor has given me a wonderful list of plants to look at and take into consideration for the design of my pot plant character. From these plants I will take what I need to apply to the character I was designing beforehand.
  • Nepenthes

"Nepenthes come in two distinct types, the highland and the lowland. These plants are commonly known as pitcher plants or monkey cups as the tips of some leaves form jug like structures which hold a digestive liquid ready for the unsuspecting prey to fall in to. Generally speaking the lowland types of Nepenthes have larger and more colourful 'pitchers' than the highland species but they require more cultivation than their highland cousins. Typically these plants come from place where the temperature is high as is the humidity level - places like Madagascar, Borneo and Thailand where they grow along side orchids such as Angraecum and tropical amphibians such as Mantella."
Also showing the characteristic that could be a reason as to why my pot plant is so full of himself and wants his own way all the time comes directly from this next quote:
"You can recreate their natural habitat in a variety of ways including greenhouse growing and large terrariums which look magnificent in the home - and are quite a talking point!"
  • Sarracenia

"Sarracenia's are native to North America with most species being found in the south eastern states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and the Carolina's.
Sarracenia's can vary in form and shape from one species to another, but basically they all share a common method of attracting and capturing insects. The plant basically consists of a trumpet like pitcher arising from a rhizome, the mouth of the pitcher is covered by a hood. The height of the various species can vary from several cm to over 1 metre, Along the hood and the mouth of the pitcher is secreted a nectar like substance that attracts both crawling and flying insects."

Quote taken from

Notice how the quote mentions how the plant has a "mouth", another interesting point which could be physically manipulated into a characters mouth.

  • Venus - Fly - Trap

"Darwin was fascinated by carnivorous plants in general and the Venus flytrap in particular, I think, partly because they go against type," says Don Waller, a botanist at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, US.
"In his time and ours, most of us feel that plants are passive, harmless, and can't move. But the Venus flytrap acts like an animal, it moves fast and eats fresh meat." - Don Waller, a botanist at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, US.

Quote taken from

This quote shows how the carnivorous plant is like an animal, its quick and hunts instinctivley. This could also help provide a boastful personality for a plant, plus its "big mouth" providing a physical joke for this trait.

  • Phalenopsis

 "Phalaenopsis come in many different sizes and colours striped spotted mottled blotched plain white or a combination, flower and plant size vary depending on the parentage.
They make excellent house plants, but don't forget to make certain that the temperature at night stays above 58deg. f or the plant will suffer."

This quote already shows that the plant is typically demanding and requires attention all the time.

"These orchids are the easiest and most rewarding of the family for the home grower as they produce arching spikes of ten or more flowers as often as three times a year, and which can flower for months."

This quote shows how the plant lives for quite a long time, so could be old and experienced, hence his fastidious nature towards everything.

"The plants are shade-loving and grow on branches or on rocks where the air is warm and moist."

This quite could give the very reason my pot plant wants to move location.



  1. Online Interim Review 23/03/10

    Hey Chris,

    I've had a good look at your storyboards - but I'm not sure that your story communicates; it comes, I think, from your understanding of fastidious - it describes someone who is never happy, very picky, acutely fussy - a bit of a 'diva' - rather like a customer in a restaurant who drives the waiting staff mad with stupid requests for 'steak - but without the mushrooms' etc. Above, you commented that orchids are terribly difficult to keep alive (they are!) because of the very specific requirements of their upkeep and care; this makes orchids characteristically 'picky' and therefore a good subject for your 1 minute animation (your current story idea is too complex - you've got dialogue too and I think the prime challenge of this project is to convey character without the 'get out clauses' of add-on faces and speech). I can think of one very specific environment in which plants are treated like divas - with their every need met - the flower show, wherein there are awards given for 'best in show' - perhaps this might provide you with a setting that more immediately tells us something about the plant's character and standing? Also, in your previous story idea, the plant isn't really shown to be fastidious through its own behavior; i.e., turning it's nose up at the things offered it, or being very demanding about its needs (more sun/less sun/more water/less water/more plant food/less plantfood).


    For advice re. the written assignment please see following post - it's very important, Chris, that you show improvement with your essay component - give it the time.

  2. Use your introduction* to state clearly the investigative intention of your written assignment and the means by which you are going to support your discussion; for instance:

    ‘This essay will investigate the animated films of The Brothers Quay in relation to Freud’s theory of the Uncanny - with particular focus on Street of Crocodiles (1986) and The Comb (1990)…


    ‘The stop-motion animator, Ray Harryhausen is arguably the father of modern day cinematic fantasy. What follows is an investigation of his life and work in relation to the development of special effects…’

    Stylistically, it is often clarifying to begin with a key-note quote or bench mark statement that sets the scene for the discussion… for instance:

    ‘… the Brothers Quay's works are independent of any definable genre; indeed, the imitation of their unique style which can be observed in films of other animators are a complimentary gesture to the auteur style they have developed. Throughout their opus, a continuity can be observed - Quays' devotion to the marginal, the nobody and the unnoticed, elevated into the sublime…’ (Buchan: 1996)

    In her essay, Shifting Realities – The Brothers Quay – Between Live Action and Animation, Suzanne Buchan observes that other animators have imitated the unique style of the Brothers Quay. This investigation seeks to trace that influence by comparing their short 1986 film, Street of Crocodiles with Henry Selick’s Coraline (2009)…

    * If you can’t provide a succinct introduction for your discussion, chances are you’re not quite ready to write the essay. You need to make your argument clear – without one, you are submitting a ‘blancmange’.

    When referring to a film for the first time, always give proper title (with capital letters!), release date and director; after that, you can use title only. Please check spelling of film title – if it’s a made-up word, the spell check won’t know the difference!

    When referring to a person for the first time, use full name – after that, use surname only.

    You must use Harvard Method for quotations!

    Use footnotes for ‘additional’ information that is important or contextualizing but ‘outside’ of the main body of the essay.

    Please double-space your written assignments!

    You must provide a paper-copy at time of crit!

  3. Thank you Phileh! =)

    Big help

    and ive finally got a character design down thanks to the plants you threw my way. Cheers!