Monday, 1 June 2009


Anyway in short thats all I can get to upload on here. It does feel very pointless now doing this post animation . My fault there in hindsight should keep a diary of it as you go along I just find myself getting caught up in the fun parts. As its probably my last blog I want to make a few aims for next year so I can look back at this and remind myself:
  • Learn Maya and at least experiment with 3D
  • Spend way less time stuck in work and transfer some of this time into animation time and give myself more free time. (referring to 3rd term)
  • Ask people for help if I am feeling stuck - early as opposed to dodging till its too late
  • Get a really good grasp of After Effects when combined with 2D animation or basically an improved knowledge of the Adobe Suite
  • Keep improving with pen tablet on photoshop with backgrounds and textures etc as its one of my favourite parts

Final Scene

This final scene above is supposed to be over the top and have a little bit of a fantasy element to it. It is the scene as Winnie returns from reminising but I thought it would work best if we brought Winnie back into her version of Hayle. There are so many things I would add now and change its annoying to look at.

Below are some of the parts I did. The video on the left if more to depict the background for the first scene as I dont have an RGB format Jpegs with me. The animation on the bottom right was done by Steph. I coloured her which is quite tedious. Alex and I wanted to do so much more to her in terms of texturing but time did not allow for this.

Bacgkrounds and stuff that will upload from project

Some backgrounds and stuff

Another background

After doing the concepts for all the scenes we combined these with the groups work and pulled what everyone had done together. I would put the concepts up on here but they are in CYMK format so the colours are all wrong and I cant edit them of this laptop. The above is one of the quick sketches I did on photoshop after the initial concepts as I tried to work out an interesting landscape that depicted Hayle in a morbid way. I started taking aspects from Hayle town itself from visists and photos of the place. There is the Hayle river that runs through the town with the bridges and also the church I thought would give it more of a mark as a place. I did't use these sketchs but it was one that led into the further backgrounds. At the time I was going for a camera movement through Hayle town to come to focus on the bench itself with Winnie on it but I soon changed my mind on that idea. (Above right - a concept idea for the sea scene)

I finally worked up a Final background and colour pallette for both the scenes, this was the final background at the time for the final scene.

Initial Conceptual Designs

I spend a while looking at various work and started on trying to depict the first and final scenes to get the contrast right. I wanted the first scene to be extremely morbid and to perceive Hayle as a complete polar to how Winnie saw it. I looked at characturizing the scenes to do this. The houses had to have character so did any trees. For the initial concepts of these 2 I drew out loads of different settings but all focussed around a bench from which Winnie would be reminising from. The above are some of the inspiration for the morbid scene.

Some Character Designs

At the beginning of the project I had a doodle for some characters that kind of characturised me, it varied from being slightly dozy to bright and cheerful. Its one of my favourite parts of animation. Character design is really hard to keep simple but be effective. I don't think I have a natural talent in it but It is really fun.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Epic Blogging session Begins

Should have done this as I went along , would have been quite useful in hindsight but I was more focussed on doing it as opposed to procrastinating and putting down what I have done anyway its so long ago this should be interesting.

In the beginning......

We put together our groups in a random order. At the time I had no idea what our group was going to be like and how it was going to work, we were all kind of pre production people which was a bit of an error as it made delegating roles and keeping everyone happy more of a challenge. Initially we sat down and picked our favourite 3 sound bites each and then made a final decision. Winnie was our sound of choice with her charismatic and batty approach and we focussed in on No Holiday. It was hugely important I felt to get a immense amount of character into her animation as she was such a funny little character. Above are the initial illustrations I was looking at. I was really keen for it to be sketchy and quirky as was Steph. Joliffe and Jess wanted different things. I then went back to the conceptual side and started to look at further images. I knew though that I wanted the animation to be lively, quirky, fun and colourful. Nothing over the top just a cool style that would be fitting with Winnies sound.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Rain Attempts


Haven't blogged all my stuff for a while and really should have as it would have been good to see my thoughts in order as they occured but ah well, I'll go back to them at the end of the project and try and explain my trail of thoughts. At the moment I just need to get out the frustration.

Ok so at the moment we have Tuesday, Wed , Thurs to pull this all together. We have all the scenes as a basic. The backgrounds however I have decided apart from the rugby one dont look coherent enough with Winnie herself. This is because it would take to long to colour Winnie in the same style as the backgrounds I think. Its my bad as I should have done an animation test earlier instead of just a concept still. Either way right now I'm animating rain for the first scene. Literally its pissing me off no end. I did a short simple version to get the idea of how to do it. I then did a new version of it last night to only decide at the end of it through being wound up about it to delete it. I'm still glad I did this as it wasn't good enough for the scene. I'm currently workign on it again but going backwards. I need to sit down, take my time and think carefully instead of just trying to bang it out and spending ages doing it but rushing and trying to re correct at the same time. If I dont do it by tomorrow I'm letting the group down. If I do do it I'll still be annoyed because the backgrounds still wont be completly coherent with the animation. If the animation doesnt look aestheticaly slick I will be pissed off no end. It will be my fault as well being producer with the final look in my hand. I'm just worried it will look tacky. The group have been fantastic so far with Steph working endlessly on the colouring and the first and last scene animations. James has produced the most dynamic and characturzing animations which are so much better than anything I could have done. Jollife has produced the sea scene entirely himself I had worries it might look a bit to different from the other scenes but it looks amazing and is so slick. 1st thing to do is this rain , I want the first scene together animated and looking swweeet , that will then flow in the second rugby scene easily and then into the cricket. Then that will just leave the final scene. I just have to get the first and last scene changed again to suit Winnie. I've messed around with these scenes so many times I'm pretty sure my mind is just clogged now and isn't thinking straight about them.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Final Project Briefing

We just had our Monday chat with Andy, watever he does it seems to work I always come out feeling extremely motivated and so keen to get working. It was a good thing as when I read and heard the brief for the project the thought "ah shit" came to mind. It sounded dull and uninspiring. However after cycling through them I have found a love for Winnie and her timeless re calling of her life. My favourite has to be for her love of Hayle and why she has never needed to go on Holdiay. When she talks you can visualise what she is saying. She has a lot of character and I think her memories would be fun to manipulate and animate.

We got the groups sorted and we are deciding on our roles. At the moment I would quite like to be producer but I'm not sure I can carry the responsibility. My drive fails me sometimes and I need direction. At the same time though I want to create this direction myself. Ahh group work, this should be interesting. We are all mainly pre production orientated. This should mean a soild backing from which to go on hopefully. And then errr yeah....... Animation. Ironic how we are all doing animation yet half the class are trying to steer clear of the animaion itself.

What I like about the group is there is firm belief in stylization, not just the animation. I want to half a concept art and character stylization that will merge with the animation in a way that makes it original and interesting. The pearce sisters that we were shown today was fantastic in its style for its dark humour. Anyway we are all having a gander at styles tonight lets see what happens tomorrow. Time for the beach.

Saturday, 18 April 2009


Finally got the finished ChewTv ident up on here. For some reason it still lags on here but at least its up. Overall its alright. I wish I had made decisions quicker and that would have saved me time. Often I tried to take shortcuts in flash and as a result I didnt like the outcome. I would then go on to do what I should have done originally and take up a lot of time for something that shouldnt. My main qualm is that the final animation lacks substance. I ran out of time after playing with ideas for too long and in the end the thought bubbles just ended up as lame banannas. The style of the bubbles also looked quite tacky. The explosion is also poor. I should have made his head inflate so it got the idea across of him just having to much in his head before it exploded so it was more like a grenade exploding. Some of the timing is out also. In short I didnt allow enough time for post production. I spent to much on pre production and thinking to much over it but not actually doing anything. The animation could have been much more slicker had I had the time after I finished it to look over and critically evaluate it. This was down to my lack of time managemennt even though I thought I had laid out enough time.

On the upside I like the character, he has the dopey look I was going for. Also the colour scheme before the bubbles are introduced gives it an alternative feel which I like. I find 2D really rewarding in that you can create a style that is more your own however I think the actual animation side of it is harder currently. Trying to maintain sizes and proportions through turning is hard and my character was simple.... Oh well first personal animation. Can only get better :)

Chew TV Ident - Better late than never

Friday, 13 March 2009

Animatic and Stresssss

Shit.... basically. I have just done another animatic, this time more detailed. I'm trying to effectively work up a sketchy version of everything I want before I go over the top of it, with a simple line and colour. The problem is, I have hardly any time. I'm just going to keep adjusting the time of it, untill it feels right, the problem is in that I only have 5 seconds. I have realised mine is alot about expression and anticipation. I dont have time for it! As a result there is too much going on in such a short space of time . I might need to change the idea a bit....... !!!

Thursday, 12 March 2009


This ChewTv thing ahhhh! I really like it but really despise it at the same time. It's allowing me to be as creative as I want which I love but I keep wanting to change my idea and move it in better directions, which I just don't have time for.

Last week was a wasted week I spent 2 solid days working and then my friends made sure my spare time was filled with them. It was fun, but left me with a week and half to produce something that I would actually hand in.

It's taken me a long while to actually get to the computer with this animation, I just kept fiddling with the character and it probably was a waste of time when I could have been animating. I have been learning a combination of photoshop, flash, illustrator and the pen tablet. All of which I really enjoy. The graphics tablet allows me to be sketchy from the off yet with the ability to go "undo", genius button.

I find it really frustrating though knowing what I want to do and taking forever to get there. Literally when you don't know your way around properly on programs, I kind of try and blag it not knowing if there is a quicker or more concise way. I need to swallow my pride and actually speak to people and ask, I find it hard as I feel I am to far behind. So far I have produced a really crude animatic, the 3 poses of the character , and I have a feel for exactly how the colours and story should be. In theory mine shouldn't take long to animate, but I need to learn so much before I animate it ,so I can do it to the standard I want. When I get into something I want it to be perfection which I forgot what I was like. I used to be a perfectionist, then my teacher told me to loosen up, I did to the extreeme and I tend to deviate all over the place now, throwing down sketches anywhere and not really considering them to be anything. I did this for the start of the project but I did it so much I ended up really just sketching the character with such minor changes no one would really notice but myself. Finally I sketched up a final view for the turnaround and scanned it in. This took me on to illustrator where I pened in the lines which took me a while to grasp and then finally to photoshop where I coloured it. I had a distinct style in my head when I coloured this, a cross between musiqotherapie, Jim Flora & Kate Larkworthy.But with a really distinct lighting to make the character look like he was under pressure. The character still had to look dopey and innocent so I maintained features that I had gathered up from characters such as Dopey from Snow White and other stupid looking monkeys on the net. He is still a really simple character though so he should be easier to animate with. I added in large eyebrows for extra expression as he won't really be moving so alot of the feeling is going to come from his face. Anway lets see what happens, if I don't hand it in, it wont be for lack of trying just for embarassment of what it looks like.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Concept Artist.....

I'm going to look at the Concept Artist as up to now it has inspired me the most, as it has most people I have spoken to.

Concept Artists are brought it in to produce illustrations that capture the feel of a scene or character. This could be throughout a film or just at certain points to help the animators know where they are working towards.

The concept artists often work closest with the Artistic Director or Graphic Designer. This allows them to work together to discuss and conceptualise the look and feel of the film well before shooting gets under way or the animation itself. This kind of work is very specialised and requires a great deal of skill, there is limited demand for this work.

The artist will often work alongside the draughtsmen in the studio and the specialist researchers crew. This will allow them to work in a close nit group with minimal cross over time, exchanging ideas in the fastest way possible.

Concept artists have a highly acclaimed roll as there work needs to capture moments in the film, this requires therefore crisp accurate drawings that are also striking.

The typical route of which the concept artists follows is:
Discussion ad production of ideas with Production Designer
Presentation to the Producer, Director etc
Discussion followed by ideas that the producer etc have
Re-evaluation and final concepts

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Lately I have been so busy, I had completely forgotten to write this blog of events. So here we go..

Essay, I decided to go with the CGI and realism question with my essay as it was the one that I was most interested in when studying the readings. I found that I have a real problem with structuring and argument and I feel as though I may have not focussed on one subject enough. I did alot of research but it did feel as although it was somewhat of a 'hightlights of the best arguments for realism'. Paul Wells was at the epicentre of this as was Moskovich as they raised some really good points. However I did feel it was little restricting and hard not to voice your opinion. It was only the final page I really got my own thoughts down properly and I feel it may have deviated away from what I had been talking about throughout the rest of the essay.

I found I got really into the research of certain authors and it did make me think alot more in terms of where animation is coming from and going, but I still hate writing with a passion. I think I will find the disertation we do next year, ( I think) really hard. Anway so glad its over with. I think the main problem for the essay was that it took the focus away from what I really wanted to do which was to learn Maya and get really into the background art...

Background Art

What I love about coming out of the workshop/lectures is that you always leave with loads of ideas and really want to get them down and out. Kathy showed us her background art and it was awesome & I just wanted to go out and get on it myself. In the end though it ended up taking a backseat priority which was in hindisight really stupid of me. In order of prioritys it went: Essay, Maya, Backgrounds. Yet It should have been the reverse, it was only because I felt more confident with the background art. Leaving it till the day before didn't really do me any favours but something was always going to suffer. My final background I did on canvas in oils & I found myself as always captured by the concept art and amazing colours invisaged from Pixar and also a combination of artists studied at A Level. I actually love the Ratatouille concept art and I really admire the artists who produce such mood inspiring work. My final pieces did lack the professionalism and slick look that was required, they wouldn't fit in as backgrounds to be animated on at their current look, I would personally be embarassed.

MAYA - Interior Background

This was literally a crash course of modelling in Maya, a lot of the stuff george had taught us had vanished out my head.

What george had taught us provided a really solid foundation for producing the room. I produced a train using the Learn Maya book to remind me of all the tools that could be used. I then went on to model the room. I found I really enjoyed doing this once I knew where the tools were to actaully be a little creative. The texturing and lighting didn't look great but I got the general effect Iwas going for. I found this exercise really useful in cementing a lot of Maya knowledge
My favourite aspect of my room was the train. It took me ages to model but stupidly as I went to save it again the PC crashed and I lost half of it so I cut my loses and went with it. The lighting on it was fun to do, trying to recreate a metallic look. I'm definatly going to keep teaching myself Maya from the books I bought for this once I get my PC working again.

We have been set today the Ident project. This sounds awesome, with the lack of real specs its allowing us to be really creative and let ourselves explore what we already know. It also is going to allow us to build on one area really specifically. I have a lot of ideas swimming around but I think the best ones will hit me when I'm not really thinking about it, this tends to be the case, so I wont settle on anything just yet. Can't wait!