Bluezoo Masterclass Animation

February 18, 2015 at 8:47 pm
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Deadline day over! After hours of lovingly moving nurbs curves around I have created an animation!

Bluezoo, a multi BAFTA award winning animation studio in central London set a small group of animation students from Bournemouth NCCA a project. The brief was to animate a cartoony scene whilst focusing on body mechanics. Both scene and camera were provided. This was such a fantastic experience, possibly one of the most fun projects I’ve had at uni so far. It was made even better by going to the studio in London and getting personal feedback. I hadn’t done much cartoony animation prior to this and I’m extremely pleased with the result. Wahoo!

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Kuadro – Reference Image Tool

January 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm
Kuadro

So here’s a cool little tool for helping organise reference images on screen – Kuadro. You can open up any image files and arrange them on screen without all of the messy borders/tools that the default image displayer uses. Really handy for modelling rigging or animation. You can also save your organised layout for next time you resume working. A great little free software package! Download it here: http://kruelgames.com/tools/kuadro/

Final Major Project

January 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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So final major project has been underway since September. For the first few months we worked to solidify the narrative, as we would not have the chance to go back and revise this once we started the production of assets and characters. This was a really important part of the process as the story that we have now is far, far better than what we had at the start. The original idea (pitched by Letty Murray-Tyson) was a vfx piece, based around the idea of animal metaphors; e.g. frog in your throat, butterflies in your stomach. Something that we wanted to take literally and present visually. Due to complications and university guidance, this had to be changed. We now have a fully cg-animated narrative, the focus is now centrally based around a love story between the personified sun and moon who pass each other every day on a staircase – dawn and dusk. The characters still have the animal idiom of ‘butterflies in your stomach’ which appear periodically after they see each other however all other animal metaphors have been cut. Read More…

Happy 2015!

January 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm
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Happy New year!

It’s been an exhilarating 3rd year so far, after completing both animation and matte painting assignments and starting our final major project, christmas is warmly welcomed.

It’s going to be a really interesting year for me, as this will be my last formal year in education. Time to find a job! So exciting to finally be involved in the industry and start working on films and games that I love. I’ve started applying for jobs and will increase the search closer to graduation.

Instead of a new years resolution, I’ve set myself new years personal projects:

  •  Muscle systems in quadrapeds
  •  Fur dynamics
  •  More indepth knowledge of Python/C++

Fingers crossed on the job hunt!

Matte Painting Assignment

January 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm
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— I’m in the process of editing this post. Both breakdown and final video will be up within the next week. —

 

Another assignment we were set this year was ‘Matte Painting’. This was something I had not done before but having lots of experience with Photoshop proved to be invaluable. The aim of the project was to take a photograph, edit it in Photoshop and finally create a 2.5d camera move using Nuke. After scouting out potential locations in and around Bournemouth, I settled on a quiet alleyway near the cinema (that last year’s 3rd years used for their final major VFX project, famous alley huh?). The location was set, all that was needed was to hire out the camera and get up early the next day ready for the shoot.

It was a bright but overcast day – which was good as I could demonstrate a nice sky replacement. I took over two hundred photos (some for the actual base image, and others for source and texture reference ready for patching). It was naturally dark, so had to compensate in shutter speed, though this was not a problem as it was a very quiet alleyway and I was using a tripod. Read More…

Quadraped Animation

January 2, 2015 at 7:39 pm
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One of the first assignments we were set this year was animation. We were given the option of 3 different briefs; creature animation, character interaction or submitting in the november 11 second club competition. Initially I wanted to pick the 11 Second club brief as it would have been really fun seeing what other people created with a different viewpoint on the audio. However, november’s audio didn’t fit well to the brief we were set, and so I picked the ‘creature animation’ brief. The specs of the brief stated that we must use a quadraped, which was a real challenge as I had not animated a quadraped prior to this.

During this assignment, I overcame some problems that slowed down my work process. One of which was the lack of an onion skinning tool. Whilst there are a few online tools, none that I found created transparent copies of the original mesh (similar to the tool found in Modo). Left to my own devices, I set off to create my own onion skinning tool. I was really pleased with the results and it helped to speed up my workflow. I was able to see the arcs, and iron out the occasional ‘pop’. Fantastic. I wanted to share this with my collegues, so I created a gui and passed it around. I got some great feedback and it was really satisfying to see people use a tool that I created speeding up their workflow.

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BFX Awards

September 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm
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So BFX is finally at an end. The awards ceremony was an incredible experience, all teams attended as did a sprinkling of industry proffesionals (including Paul Franklin). Any members of the public could also attend free of charge. Our team recieved two awards for:

 

  • Best Concept Art
  • Best Editting

So incredibly proud of the team and all the hard work we put into this project producing a fantastic 30 second animation. Hats off to Team Plucked for recieving a staggering 7 awards, though my heart will always be with Team 3 and a half beards for the sheer creativity of their animation. Read More…

Business Cards!

September 25, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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My new business cards finally arrived! Time to hand these out at the BFX festival! Cost, delivery time and quality = A* courtesy of www.moo.com . “Read more” to see cards.

 

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BFX 2014

September 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm
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What better way to start off a blog than the BFX festival? This is the second year of Bournemouth’s Animation and VFX festival with a host of guest houses coming down to speak, including MPC, Framestore, Axis Animation, Chaosgroup and much more! It has also been such a pleasure to take part in the national BFX compeition for students, comprimising of 8 teams battling out for 7 weeks to produce a 30 second animation. During the summer I made many friends and learnt so much by taking part in this compeitition. The team I was in was called “Team Beard”.. funnily enough there were 3 other facial hair related teams too just by pure coincidence! (And there we were thinking we were original!)

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