And now, after being painstakingly restored using the latest analogue technology, Comet is available to watch in full HD. So click that maximise button, sit back and enjoy some "out of this world" entertainment.
I recently got a huge opportunity to produce a whole animated section along for Casual Film's "How To Make a Film Film." The section illustrates how an animation is produced and has a voice over in the full film which gives it context. I also made all the other little teeny animated elements and titles.
Take a peak at the whole film below. It's super fun and I think we can all take something meaningful away from the experience.
It was so much fun to be part of the whole production process and, you know what, I'd do it all again. Huzzah!
A teeny client test for a project focused on the power of sharing.
I was recently commissioned to produce a short animation for Heinz’s new recruitment website. The deadline was very tight (a couple days tight) but they we’re really happy with the results and I think the whole website is pretty damn fun. Take a look here.
I also did a quick drawing for Fiasco Design’s self initiated Draw To Explore project.
"Sorry for the smudges Im left handed," said the wolf.
The mega popular and amazing creative blog It’s Nice That featured Comet! Around mid-afternoon I received a tweet saying it had been put up and I couldn’t believe it. After closing and opening the link several times in quick succession, I decided to believe the great news and do a little dance. Thanks so much to Rebecca Fulleylove for writing such a lovely spiel about it too.
I joyfully went back to Casual Films this month to work on a few projects. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development commissioned two animations to highlight their role in Europe. The animations focus on the donor money they receive and how they use it along with the EBRD’s sustainable energy initiative. The client was extremely pleased with the final animations so I gave myself a sneaky pat on the back.
And finally, here are some little characters I’ve been drawing on the tube (a hobby I now refer to as #tubetime.) A style quickly developed and I quite like it. Maybe I’ll end up using them in an animation in the near future.
Enjoy the super sunny weather everyone!
I seemed to take time out from animation this month and ended up producing a lot of illustration work. Above is an illustration for the Co-op which will be printed as posters, in leaflets and other exciting forms. The Community Champions event will highlight special stories from within the community which have had a positive effect. I hope my illustration will have a positive effect and get lots of people involved. Hurrah!
I know everyone is at it at the moment, but I love Draw Something. I don’t even keep track of what turn my Mum and I are on now. Anyway, it keeps her busy and off the streets. I thought I’d start sharing a few of my favourite turns with you all so you can delve a little further in to my psyche. So, I present to you, a zombie and if you ever want a game, find me at email@example.com.
And finally, to add to the illusion I’ve had a pretty relaxed month, I went out and bought some Star Wars Lego. Me and my brother were obsessed with Lego when we were little so I had to buy some to reminisce. I also find it very relaxing and exciting to make, much in the same way I enjoy assembling Ikea furniture (grown-up Lego).
Like most freelancers, I love having really varied projects to work on. So, when I received the called to make a bespoke music track for FWD Creative’s 2012 showreel, I jumped up out of my seat, punched the air, got a bit embarrassed and then sat back down. They had a placeholder track to which they had already edited to so, I just matched the tempo and had a field-day. Turn your speakers up (not too loud, but loud enough) and enjoy.
Possibly the best thing to happen to me recently was acquiring a brand-new client. The story goes that Casual Films needed an animator quick-sharp, so they googled, “London animator,” and went through videos until they found something they liked. This was one of the best career-related pieces of news I’ve ever heard. I almost shed a tear.
Working there was amazing and my first commissioned piece was this for Betfair’s new branding, 'We Like Amazing.’ I only had a few days to complete the project but I'm pleased with the outcome and so were Betfair. Smiley faces all around.
Comet is complete. Hurrah!
I’m really pleased with the outcome and to have taken a piece from conception through to realisation is always an amazing feeling. Producing the sound-design and soundtrack was one of the most enjoyable parts of the project and I now feel at one with Logic Pro once again. As for the animation itself, it was all produced within After Effects as I started before I had a good grasp of Maya’s animation tools. So I decided to keep it all in within the same package. I thought I’d follow a little tradition of mine to post some of the storyboards just so you all get a feel of the processes behind creating my animations. Take a look below and if you want to have a really, really close look, click on each image to be transported to its Flickr counterpart.
Anyway, If you haven’t watched it already…what are you waiting for?
So here we are in 2012. Christmas already seems like a distant memory and my New Year’s resolutions are still going…just. 2012 has got off to a great start with lots of new and exciting projects.
I recently produced a VFX shot for a new Aston Martin Cygnet promo. The film, made by Khurrum M.Sultan, has gone live on all Aston Martin digital platforms and is already racking up the hits on YouTube. The particular shot I worked on begins around 2:36 and features the word ‘valet’ on a badge which I have super-imposed (take a peek at the pictures below). Although the sequence is short, positioning valet onto the badge was trickier than it would appear due to the speed it moves, its lack of distinct points to track and only having a day to complete the task. However, I managed to get the job done in a very, “I’m going round the houses to look for a solution in somewhere extremely random (probably a dustbin),” kind of way. It’s a great little film and I’m really proud to have a credit. Take a gander and keep a look out for my VFX credit.
I also illustrated a new “tab” on the Lincolnshire Co-op Facebook page. The brief was to create a fun, fresh page introducing the team behind the Co-op’s digital branding. First I created a few different styles (down below) that fitted in with the tabs they already had and when I knew which style they preferred I created the rest of the page. The Co-op and I are pleased with the result. Hurrah. Take a look for yourself here and I know it’s a bit late but, Happy New Year everybody.
Ahhh, my favourite time of the year (anyone who knows me will vouch for that claim) and it got even better because I was asked to produce FWD’s Christmas e-Card for the second year. The brief was very laid back however I knew it had to feature FWD and briefly introduce their new sister company Big Sales Engine. I took the Big Sales Engine logo as a starting point for the style and the rest manifested from there, quite literally in one of the shots where the animation intertwines to create the logo. It was great to work with Maya for the first time in a while and use it to create a very stylised piece. I’m really pleased with the outcome and FWD will be sending the e-Card out within the next few days.
Creating the FWD Christmas e-Card inspired me to create my own. So over the last few days I slaved over a little piece for your Christmas viewing pleasure. Again, I hope you enjoy watching it and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy right in time for the big day.
Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t wait.
Anyway, back to the real world, The Co-op requested animated sections for the short videos they will show at their annual general meeting this year. The brief was very similar to last year’s (The Co-op AGM 2010) so I had a good idea of how to produce the videos from the start. I’ve uploaded a combined edit of all the videos for your viewing pleasure as showcasing the videos out of context wouldn’t make a whole load of sense. You can see this piece and my other work by clicking here.
I’m really close to finishing all the shots for Comet too so expect an update soon. Then there will be the small task of producing the music and SFX. I can’t wait to have a finished piece to show you all.
As I promised, here is more of the Secret Operations Executive’s recon robot. I thought it best to post up some of the pre-production process too just to highlight an overstated but crucial point, preparation is key. This robot is my first character produced with Maya and I wouldn’t have modelled/animated it within the last week of the course if I hadn’t had a solid idea of what it would look like before putting it together. As soon as I had the concept for the airdrop scenario I drew sketches until I was happy with a design. I’ve included the most applicable sketches (not ones on the back of shopping lists etc) just to give you a taster. Click the images to see them bigger on Flickr.
Towards the bottom of the image collection, there are some simple renders of the robot which show how each feature translated from the page into the depths of my Macintosh and at the top of this post there is a little turntable video (if you have already watched it I hope you enjoyed it) which again shows the robot model in full.
So what next…?
For now, I have a freelance job to complete but after that I will be finishing off my animation/VFX showreel along with my latest short Comet. Exciting stuff! From all of that I’ll hopefully be able to catch some more fresh project contracts. As always, I’ll keep updating my blog and letting you know how things are going. Happy Sunday.
Three months has come down to this, 9 seconds of pure wonderment…Considering how much my class at Escape has been taught in since the last project, it’s a marvel we all managed to complete our 9 second brief on time.
So, as you can see this last VFX Production project required the class to put CGI elements into a filmed backplate. We were advised (listening to your tutor = success) to only use around 10 seconds of footage. I really wanted to create some drama within my piece to make it more than just an object sat within some footage so I decided upon the airdrop idea. The backstory behind the piece is one of espionage and adrenaline…The Secret Operations Executive (a real British WWII organisation founded by Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton to “set Europe ablaze,” by means of sabotage and reconnoissance behind enemy lines) have dropped a new special unit into enemy territory to potentially turn the tide of the war in the ally’s favour. This new unit is the robot you see in the piece. Ok so I’m bending reality heavily but as a premise, I think it works.
I’ll be posting up more from this project soon to give you an idea of how it was created and show a bit more of the robot that I laboured over for a day only to just have his head visible. Tragic! Anyway, a huge thanks has to go out to the team at Escape Studios. It was an absolute pleasure going to course every day (I felt as though I should have received a 100% attendance certificate, ahhh school…) and I would recommend it to anyone wanted to start a career in this line of work.
This is definitely not a finished product (there’s still a lot to sort out and finalise) but other than that, I hope you enjoy it in its full 9 second entirety.
I’ve finished the first half of my course at Escape. It’s gone far too fast but it’s been far too much fun to complain. I presented my work and it went down well so I’m pretty darn pleased. There are a few things that need tweaking but for the time being, I’ve had enough of touching up the Bush, and I’m sure you’ve had enough of the puns…(if not just drop me an email and we can get them out of our systems together!)
I’ve linked my completed photos from Flickr to here so just click on them to see them much bigger if you’d prefer. The before and after shots were a must to upload. I hope you like them.
Now I’m on to the next project which is to do some crazy VFX work and track loads of objects in to some footage. If I thought one still frame was hard enough, just think what 200 frames is going to do to me. Check back soon to see if I’m tough enough to get through the impending ordeal…of FUN!
Just a really quick update to show how my project at Escape is getting on. I’ve never modelled with Maya before and at first, the software was extremely overwhelming but now…I LOVE MAYA. It’s so much fun and it all makes sense. It’s really not intuitive sometimes but that’s part of its appeal. It’s so beautifully complex. Anyway, my radio has now been fully modelled. I’ve applied some basic shaders on it to give some idea of it’s colour. Here are some fun test renders to show you what it looks like.
The deadline for the project is in a week and a bit so I’ll be posting my next update around then. Have a great weekend.