Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tom & The Syndicate Factory

Here is a video that I did the animation and compositing for.  It is called 'Tom & The Syndicate Factory' and I made it for a YouTube channel called Beach Games TV in collaboration with several video game commentators from across YouTube, as well as several illustrators and a sound designer.  Have a look and share it :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

New project

So, I have submitted the segment for the 'To This Day' project and I can now announce that the film is going to be released on February 19th, this Tuesday.

In the meantime, I have just taken on another project which is actually for the Random Acts strand on Channel 4, so if this all goes to plan, this could be aired on Channel 4.  The project is based around a poem called "The Lazy Dog" and they want me to animate against the lyrics of the poem, much like what I did for the "To This Day" project.  I have already come up with a fairly good concept for the piece, which will have a fairly gritty feel to it to complement the lyrics, which are essentially about a crack dealer who is struggling to make a living.  I will post up concept work when I finish them and I will keep you posted about the progress I make for this project.

Monday, 4 February 2013

To This Day animation segment... done

Yep!  The animation that I was producing for the "To This Day" project has been completed and a week ahead of schedule.  I think it looks really good and I am really pleased that I managed to get it done against all the odds.  I am not going to upload it yet as I would like you all to see it as part of the final piece but I am happy with how it looks and I spent a lot of time perfecting the colour schemes in each part of the piece, as well as applying a few effects in after effects to give it a foggy atmosphere.

I am really looking forward to seeing the final product in a few weeks time and I will be sure to put it up here when it's done.

As well as animating for this project, I have been actively working on getting my foot in the industry.  I had an interview for an internship at a creative agency called Superhero on Friday which went very well; it was my first job interview for a role within the creative industry so I feel that it was a giant leap towards getting to where I want to get.  When I entered the building on Goodge Street, I immediately got a good vibe about the company.  The two guys who interviewed me were very friendly and asked me a range of questions about my work (including the To This Day project) as well as how I normally go about planning and putting together creative projects.  I found myself hesitating a lot as I was thinking about what to say but I think I gave adequate enough answers.  Perhaps I could have come across as more of a generalist though as my CV and portfolio clearly gave away that I aspire to be an animator.

As well as this Superhero interview, I also have another interview this Wednesday at...believe it or not... Framestore!  This interview is for a casual Runner position and I would be doing around 1 to 5 shifts each week.  I have already started preparing for it by asking some old uni friends who work at Framestore about typical questions that they ask and I have started researching the company so I know what they are about, as well as some of their current projects.  One piece of advice I was given was to "Be Confident", this will definitely be a challenge for me but I feel that if I am friendly with them and show myself to be a professional individual, the interview should go down well.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


A bit more head movement, blinking, tidier lines and some colour.  Looking good so far, hopefully I can get the bulk of the flash work completed this weekend.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Progress so far...

I have just under 3 weeks to get this project done in between also working a part time retail job.  So far,  I have visualised my concept and come up with this animatic.

I have also been working to get some flash animation done and I have put together this walk cycle for the main character.  I was originally going to animate this walk at 24 FPS but I found that the walk was moving too fast and was to fluid for the pacing of the project so I reduced it to 12 FPS and it works much better.

The next stage now is to tidy up the shoulders and arms of the character and then to add some more head rotation and eye movement to give him some more life.  After that is done, I will apply some colours to the character and then export the whole sequence to a PNG Sequence with an Alpha channel and then composite it in After Effects.

I still have quite a bit of work left to do including drawing up some backgrounds and producing some painterly textures in Photoshop, but as long as I keep managing my time well, I should get it done by February 10th.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Concept Art for the 20-second segment

I was originally going to do a moodboard that would consist of all the imagery that I had collected to influence the 20 second segment that I am animating for the To This Day project and I intended for the moodboard to have four central images that represent each part of the animation.  However, I eventually came up with four separate images that I thought spoke for themselves and I have sent these to the director instead.  Have a look...

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy New Year

Hello to everyone that still follows my blog and a Happy New Year.

I still have yet to find a job in animation but I have still been very active.  I have made quite a few professional and artistic decisions to help myself develop and become more employable.  I have decided to continue focusing on animation and pushing myself further as an animator, but I have also decided to incorporate more motion graphics stuff into my work.  I have also decided that although I have focused quite strongly on 3D CG animation, I have decided to bring a lot more 2D into my work, which will mean that I will be doing increasingly more After Effects and, dare I say it, more Flash animation.  I am hoping that this will help increase my versatility and make me more employable.

I feel that this would be a good move as I am currently developing a pilot for an animated web series called Fenton Gray with a personal friend of mine called Josh Kendell and we have pretty much visualised this concept using 2D imagery so it is likely that this will be a 2D animated series.

As well as Fenton Gray, I have also very recently signed up to an exciting new project called To This Day.  This is a really amazing project that seeks to tackle the subject of bullying, something which in my view, has never been challenged adequately or accurately.  The film project will consist of a very powerful poem by Shane Koyczan and will be accompanied by several 20 second sequences by numerous animators and motion graphic artists.

Given that I suffered bullying pretty badly all the way from primary school through to sixth form, I can say quite strongly that bullying is something that has been very poorly addressed and a lot of anti-bullying campaigns that I have come across have been patronising, half-hearted and pretty much a cop-out.  They make a lot of assumptions about how the victims feel, but they barely even scrape the surface.  Another thing that irritates me about many anti-bullying campaigns now is that they initially purport to be against bullying of all forms, but then their campaigns and materials focus squarely on Cyberbullying, which is ultimately only ONE variant of bullying (not that I am trying to undermine the effects of cyberbullying).

I have been given a piece of the poem to animate against, which belongs near the end of the poem and speaks of how we overcome bullying and we make it past all the bad things that happened at school.  I have quite a string visual concept for this 20 second piece already and I am starting to think about the methods that I will employ to realise this project.  I will start to post up mood boards and concept art over my next few blog posts so you can see how I am getting on.