Friday, 30 April 2010

latest update

Lewis would like my shots done by friday the 7th, I think this is possible cos joshua on the third years did the guard reaching shot which is shot 14, i will still have a go at this myself, but a bit later on, as this shot wont really be needed for me to do, i have lip sync with the captain still yet to do, and i need Tom from third year to send it, so i will get the captain and do the shots with the guard for the time being.

i have a bank holiday monday so i think i will spend the time setting up all my scenes, getting them ready, acordin to the length of time of the animatics.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


a little block out i did before starting my guard animation

my blocking out in 3D quick work in progress still.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


Was a good day, alot of great speakers, gave some feedback on what I thought was great and what didn't work so well.

one thing I did the night before turning up on friday, I printed out a lot of examples of my work and laminated it so i had something to show the guest speakers incase they wanted to see some examples. Unfortunately i didn't seize any opportunities to talk one on one with them, but i was glad I did it anyway. I printed about 10 different things, but some of the speakers for the freelance broadcasting and the design one said "If you only had 3 pieces of excellent work, just show 3 pieces of work. Sid tompkins at Ogililvy did tell a story of a person he interviewed a week earlier who rought her whole portfolio to show him, with little to no preparation, her work was ok, but nothing special, he was set to turn her down, then she produced two pieces of work that were excellent, Sid was like she should have just shown him those pieces as the rest looked like someone elses work.

I did finally find out what "T shaped design was" finally after about 5 speakers hammered home the meaning, being focused on one thing , and having a massive breadth of work, finally, get it! :)

I thought the Pecha Kucha thing was great, really great idea. Rapid fire talking, speakers u don't wanna hear don't outstay their welcome (not that anyone was particularly bad) , one cool speaker i thought was Otku Can, he just talked about the things he wished he'd have done at my age, a few that stood out were take risks, get your hands dirty, don't be precious with your ideas, be prepared to reinvent yourself. these were pretty cool, last one was about not letting habit set in, have to stay fluid to stay relevant, cant keep milking old work. anyway, i found it very useful,

especially when it comes to what work to put in my DVD, i think i shouldn't be worried about including everything if i don't think its up to par with my lofty standards :)

Besides, Tanya, an ex Ravensbourne student working in paris for Ogililvy was saying its better to include the work you want to continue doing at the place you want to work. So in my case i have a lot of 2d work and am in the process of developing 3D , and that is what i would like to carry on doing, So i think for my showreel, including only a bit of really good 2d and maybe a little photoshop i did recently would be great. Padding is Surplus to requirement.

To be honest it was a great help , but industry day was more for the first years who weren't aware of these things, i am very much aware of making sure you make yourself indispensable to your employers and making sure to keep yourself punctual and a good person to work with as well as having kick ass cutting edge work, but its nice to be reminded and to have someone spell it out in plain english.

So in the end it was well worth doing!! :) It's helped give me a different perspective on my current work. :)

also i am going to do a search for Otku can, just going to check out his work as hes a brand strategist or futurologist, and also Nick Tahieri, another ex Ravensbourne student who set up Nieku as his website, i like his 2D style of work, he did a nice bit of self promotion in the collge for his recently founded website. That was nice to see sooo many confident speakers delivering a great presentation. Is great since I will be in a similar possition soon delivering my pitch for E&E.

i guess one of the things I'd wished I'd piped up about on the day was how long it took them to become confident at public speaking. I know I have abit more confidence than most at public SPeaking, but i still have trouble getting over the initial fear hurdle, and also if you aren't presenting to a group on a regular basis you fall back into the pit of inadequacy. i would have liked to see what kind of numbers they throw out, how many times till it was natural and they could project from a personal place of confidence. Ah well ill ask next time something similar happens.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


First thing, I couldn't do a weekly schedule, as the third years were really late getting the models rigged and ready for me to use, they are still working on them now. They really should have been ready for me to use, but here we are and i decided to divide my time daily.

I think 2 days is enough time on each shot to get the block out done and to refine it to readiness. I will be uploading the clips I finish on here as well as on the Third year students Pirates Blog, there are a few things that may happen towards the final weeks during rendering and refining the animation, Team whack'd and Gnome i will offer my assistance if they are struggling on their deliverables. I think most of the shots I have to work on are pretty basic. I hope this is not too optimistic but i may have a lot of the shots done ahead of schedule. I like to give myself a realistic amount of time to do the work, and I think i can have it all done with at least a week left for rendering and last minute refinements.

i will be following the animatic the third years have provided, so i will have a very good guide for my shots. Like i say, these will be uploaded on the blog as I go, giving the third years time to look at it and give me some feedback, incase what I animated is not the direction they want. I have taken the time to speak with Lewis Taylor at least once a week, I am sure we are both pretty clear what he wants for the clip as I have asked about certain things that may become a problem down the line when animating.
So i doubt there will be many secondary passes or refinements that need to happen.

This weekend i will start on the guard rig animation, I will get hold of the Captain rig possibly this friday or monday if I'm being realistic.


I had the idea to do a little looped dance animation using a maya rig model, have it keep dancing till the viewer presses a button to advance.

then u may get a little transition, but that may take a while to do.

I may just go with a few animated short bits i can use.

I will take a small bit of the dancing and make a looped piece of animation, depending on time constraints, it may end up being very short so i can get it all done in time.

I think the way I will edit it, i will pick a piece of music, most likely a minute long, any longer is too much i think. And will just animate for that length of time, i will probably loop an animation just to be more economical.

this is another REALLY WONDERFUL Idea for a DVD Menu i LIKED, THIS IS PROFESSIONAL AND I AM NOT SURE THIS IS ACHIEVABLE IN THE TIME, but yeah if i had an unlimited amount of time i would endeavor for something like this.

I think just delivering on a nice peice of animation, smooth transitioning, i should just be happy with whatever I put out and just strive to do it better the next time, Doning it for this unit will get me excited to try again for the year after. will have been fun, and i will try to squeeze more stylish content into the disc space, ring out as much potential out of the thing as I can.

this is a quick montage i put together of possible videos i would like to use as animation reference for my little dance.

I have been following Monty Oum's work

For a few years now, this guy was an animator at midway, and he's responsible for the Dead Fantasy short series. which is a series of martial arts fights done in 3D using the character models from the Dead or Alive and the Final Fantasy Cannon.
His work is reaaallly inspirational to me, and a testament to what one person can do when they really want to. He has of late been putting out a few short clips of his female characters dancing to popular canto-pop songs while the world waits for Dead fantasy VII. He was saying compared to the fighting animation, making the characters dance is much easier because he doesn't have to think about it.

This kinda gave me the idea to do something similar for my Dvd menu.


Shot 14, guard gives up trying to reach for the treasure box, then he has a bright idea

shot 15_ guard uses claw to get the box down

Shot 31 "Listen Lad.." Captain starts talking

Shot 50_ Captain slow mo jumps through the air

Shot 56_ sword is flung into the air..

Shot 57_ sword cuts the rope on the ship

Shot 58 the rope falls away

Shot 61_ the ship lands on the captain and the guard.

these are the shots from the animatic I will be working on. I will do a break down of each shot, figure out how much time it will take versus how much time i have, taking into account other factors.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


here are some examples of Rotoscoped animation i have been occupying my free time with over the Easter break.

I have been using a Robot rig I downloaded with the permission to use from the original creator niklas-wennersten.

I contacted Him on creative Crash to get his permission to use his rig for my animation, making sure i let him know its for my work and completely non profit.

I am in the process of contacting the creator of the Andy rig, but they haven't answered yet.

This i AM DOING MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE LECTURE I HAD last week about Copy right infringement. It's something i will have to take seriously sooner or later, making sure i credit my own work as well as work I have Borrowed. I found it very helpful indeed.

AS FOR DVD ideas, this is menus I would like to do, I had an idea suddenly occur to me when I remembered the GAMEPLAY from an old Button Promt arcade game called DRAGONS LAIR.

basically your a Knight who has to rescue a princess from a Dragon, it features animation by Don Bluth who prior to this did alot of work with Disney animation on films such as the Rescuers, Robin Hood and Pete's Dragon.

This game is considered the first interactive movie, or cutscene as they are now known, featuring in games Like Resident Evil 4 and uncharted, which means you watch the animation, and when a button would appear you have to press it in time to avoid death. This was an incredibly Difficult game, it basically tested the gamer's memory as you had to memorize the timing and combination of buttons to press, if you failed to act in time you see the lead character killed and you re-spawn a bit further back. As I say the timings were incredibly hard to get down, and gamer's would only learn by trial and error.

I THought this might be interesting to do for a dvd menu, maybe set up a 3d fight scene where the viewer has to actively participate to make sure the fight plays out correctly. This may make the DVD more engaging.

However it does have its down sides depending on who's playing, they may not understand what to do and get frustrated.

Plus i may not have the time to develop all the different outcomes as well as program where i want the viewer to actually go to see my work.
SO I will probably end up going with something a bit more user friendly and easy to navigate.


Here is an image of my guard animation before starting the block out. i find this very helpful, as its very quick to draw very basic and get the feet right. With the little stick man figure i think about what every limb is doing if he is walking in the shot. when it comes to lip sync animation, i tend to use my camera to record myself and have it playing somewhere in the back ground for reference.

Sometimes (if there is body movement involved) I will do some quick sketches for how to do animation for key expressions, what the body is doing, But i try not to spend too much time on this part, mostly because i like to be rough and raw, when i start meddling with the idea it starts to loose the point. Besides the 3D animation doesn't always look exactly how i had sketched it out, as i will usually come up with more ideas as I work or improve on some of the initial ideas.

I will do a storyboard if it is a complex shot with alot of elements happening in the scene I will need to be aware of:

like in this example ( which is unrelated to my pirate project as there is already a 3d animatic) but just as an example of a detailed storyboard :

Often if a piece of animation is too complex example : the character could be summersaulting in the air or doing a ninja roll it will be difficult to remember what pose they need to end up in. So i will draw out every frame before starting. This way of blueprinting helps me block it out and make refinements where needs be.

test driving the guard Rig

just to show the guard rig in motion

me showing a problem with the trolly, not good, needs a fix.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A piece of work thats inspired me:

this was a huge help, something i will deffinately think about doing when i do lip sync for the third years animation.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

has been a While since my last Blog entry

But now i have some thing to work on,

I met up with Lewis and Tom from third year, we discussed what shots i would be working on.

I have around 8 shots to be working on, which are:

Shot 14. Idea Guard , the guard is reaching and gives up, and is suddenly struck with an idea.
Shot 15. Claw Grab , the Guard decides the quickest way to reach the box is his little ultra hand or metal litter picking claw.
following shots are him struck by lightning,

I am considering the shots that take place around it so i can maintain continuity as best i can.

Shot 31. “Listen Lad” , this is the captain offering the guard a chance to hand over the treasure for his life, this is a line of lip sync and character animation i will do once the captain model is complete and rigged. i will take time to get this looking good and consistent.

Shot 50. "Slow-mo captain jumps in the air", this shot i was Asking lewis about as it may present a few technical problems. Such as if the captain is animated at regular speed and then slowed down, the animation will look jerky. So i could animate it and render out as more frames so as to give the illusion of slow mo. or just simply animate it normally and stretch out all the key frames. This one is a little complex as i have never done "Bullet time" before in 3D, and it can quite easily look silly if not done with care.

Shot 56. Sword Fling ,This is after the class with the guard and captain, where they are doing the classic hero faces villain look. There is a shot after where the captains sword is flung into the air and crashes into the pirate ship. This shouldnt be too bad, Although, Tom (third year) is doing the hero villain close up shot 54, Hayley (second year) is doing shot 55 where the guard shouts Never, and i have the shot after, so i will probably leave this shot till i see theirs finished, so i can match the continuity. If i run low on time i will just do it how it looks in the animatic.
Shot 57. Rope Cut This shot and 58 are quick insert shots of the ship when it starts rolling towards the 2 characters, these can be done pretty quickly. so these may not need too much attention.

and finally shot 61 "the boa landing", this is the ship when its been in mid air, flying it is a POV of the ship land on both characters, this will be a reaction shot of the two going Uh Oh! to the ship nearly on them, this shout be fine. has abit of camera movement, But i have done the exact same kind of shot in my term when i did compositing, so it will be fine.

Here is some work i did with the patches rig while i waited to get some work done:

Shot 58. Rope Drop

Monday, 5 April 2010

Just been reading the third years blogs,

Some images of some light tests i tried out, one with spot light and the other with volume, but i don't see much difference, may need to look at my lighting tutorial again.

seems they are working pretty flat out,

the pIRATES TEAM seem to have the models rigged, they have some jiggle physicals and stuff now i think they need to paint weights. I am hoping they will be done by tuesday if not by friday at the latest, I need to get cracking on their projects! :O

Team whack'd seem to be busy texturing. I did tell Arah from project Gnome recently i have commitments to the Pirates team, she was sayign they are still keen to have me do some animating for them, i was saying i would help if they run behind schedule but wont be able to be a regular.

Ah well, i guess i am getting desperate to get on with some animating for their projects, cos at the moment i am kinda stuck animating material i can put in my showreel.

i may well upload some of it at some point, but for now its just stuff to keep my hands occupied till they have somethign for me to work with, I did recently do a lighting test for the Pirates team,

Right now i guess if the third years are all taking their time getting started, i may have to do some more research for my other projects while i wait, i am currently writting out a top ten list of things i will have to consider when moving ahead in the industry.

Have been taking down notes for my 8000 word dissertation and looking at other articles similar to my subject, have signed up with some gaming journalistic sites like for industry insight, and where the industry is going, things like that to keep my time occupied.

rIGHT NOW I AM READING SOME BOOKS that might be useful,
one is the Ultimate guide to game writting, it has these little exercises i may find useful when i am playing a game next, its saying list all the things ass you play that are great and not so great, all the little niggling complaints write them down. it even has ways for you to construct the game narative yourself and see how you would do things differently.

I think this will be incredibly useful, I tend to play some games for about an hour between my animating, so thats a very useful thing to consider :)

Friday, 2 April 2010

some help with animating.

some videos i was shown that have made

and a test done by game designers

this is real inspiration, as it will be a big help when i come to anmating the characters in the third year project, i will probably take some video reference to aid my facial animation.

one thing i need to get to grips with is the graph editor, i will look through my animation book for what i can do.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

looks like third years have some rigs i can work with

mostly, this week I have been animating material for my showreel, its all personal stuff, mostly rotoscoped animation. I need to do a lot more "freehand" animation without much reference footage. thats where the pirates project will be coming in.

i knocked this out pretty quickly, so its not going to be as hard as i am letting my mind think it is.

I will need to have some rigged characters to work with soon or i will not have much time! :O

I will be in college today for lectures, I need to make sure the pirates team of third years have some fully UV'd and Rigged characters for me to work with over the weekend. I wont be in friday since its a holiday. :O

I dont want to delay animation any longer, i need to give myself enough time!

Anyway, i will try not to stress, I will get on with the animating as soon as its ready.