Monday, 2 June 2014

End of University Showreel

3 years of Uni life have stormed past!

Here is my current showreel of my university work, including bits and pieces from my final film! I'm keeping 'Cut from the Same Cloth' offline for now so i can enter it into film festivals.


If there was one thing i wish someone had told me earlier in Uni life, it would have been

  DO NOT USE ONION SKINNING WHEN ANIMATING! 

My work is in no way perfect, but i've improved as an animator since turning off the onion skinning facility on StopMotionPro. It takes some getting used to, but by flicking between the previously captured frames and live view, as well as playing what you've already captured. The animation becomes smoother.

Thats me out for now! No idea what my next post will be about but thats kind of scarily exciting.

Bye!

Monday, 26 May 2014

I've had a busy few weeks

Hello!

Lack of posts from the last few weeks are down to general stress of deadlines combined with a brilliant weeks work experience on the television show Rastamouse.

I'm sitting on after effects all day today ready for hand in for Glammies consideration tomorrow morning BUT over the weekend, i finished filming. Incredibly relieving and also really strange to know that the last 6 months work has almost come to an end, let alone three years at uni!

so over the weekend, I did something i've always wanted to do. a time lapse! More specifically a time lapse of me animating my second to last shot. I also did one for my last shot, but a combination of the ceiling dripping onto my laptop and me forgetting to press capture when i had a break towards the end meant i didn't properly finish it.

Anyway! here it is, my second to last shot with the intro music done by Alister Bunclark over the top.



Monday, 28 April 2014

Company Research Part 5, Three Stones Media

Finally for now, Three Stones Media. 

Although not technically an animation company Three Stones Media are the incredibly talented people that produce Rastamouse!


The first two series of Rastamouse were made by the welsh animation company Dinamo. Unfortunately Dinamo closed down in June 2013 whilst a third series was being developed. 

But don't panic! One year on theres talk of Three Stones Media still making the third series. 

I love the hand built children's TV show feel to Rastamouse with the combination of real fur puppets and 2D props and sets. 

This combined with the premise of a crime fighting detective mouse whose also in a band leads to a great show all around!


All in all i cannot wait to watch the next series and beyond that of Rastamouse and the Easy Crew. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Company Research Part 4, Famous Flying Films

I am incredibly excited by this next one, 

A few months ago my friend George sent me a link to a pilot episode of a children's TV show called 'Calamity Island'. I fell in love with the stylised character design and damn cute penguin. 

If you haven't seen it yet, watch it here, 

https://vimeo.com/37950651


Two years ago, David Johnson of 'Famous Flying Films', creator of the hit kids TV show 'The Koala Brothers' pitched the idea and I am SO glad its been commissioned. 52 x 7 minute episodes are in the pipeline with puppets made by none other than Mackinnon and Saunders! (The same people making the puppets for the Clangers and countless other kids TV shows as well as large feature film work). 


I don't know what exactly it is that I love so much about Calamity Island, maybe its the simplicity of the puppets, a distinct style that Famous Flying Films tries to stick to. But again i cannot wait to watch this series! If its anywhere near as good as the Koala Brothers it'll be fantastic!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Company Research Part 3, Factory Transmedia

On to the next!

Factory Transmedia pride themselves (as the name suggests) on working across all media, through animation, television, advertising, VFX and post production. 


MOST importantly, the animation! (I'm bias). Factory TM are incredibly skilled in developing new talent and technology whilst at the same time assisting in reboots of old shows. More specifically...

THE CLANGERS!!! 

Officially confirmed towards the end of last year, the BBC has commissioned a new series of the Clangers to be released in 2015. I for one am incredibly excited. Having been a massive fan of the Clangers growing up, potentially one of the first Stop Motion shows I ever watched, maybe along side Oakie Doke?


Factory TM, working closely with models from the incredibly talented Mackinnon and Saunders are working towards creating a show with a similar style to the original, but bringing it to the modern age. 


Its always great to see animation companies or broadcasters choosing to recreate old shows in their original format, when you look at the likes of Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and countless others that (in my opinion) completely lose their charm when transitioned from Stop Motion to CGI. (No offence to CGI, I just don't like change). 

Factory TM's history in Stop Motion children's TV show covers the likes of Fifi and the Flowertots, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion and Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band. 

I for one cannot wait until 2015 to get to watch all new Clangers!

Interior Set Build Part 2


Back to regular posts to split up these inspirational companies. 

The interior set!! Once the floor was down and set, I made the walls. Alongside this I cut out more miniature pattern pieces than i can count to hang between the two pillars seen below. 

I wanted to keep the set as simple as possible maintaining the hand built stop motion feel. For this, cardboard was the perfect material for the walls. 

I made the frames with thin pieces of wood which locked into each other and the base using carefully drilled holes, large bolts and wing nuts. 


The only issue with the cardboard is the colour, it was difficult to commit to a colour at this point as everything sits in the same sepia toned theme. I tried multiple colour swatches and in the end decided (with help from twitter) on the blue. 


However, when mixing the final paint colour I made it slightly too dark, this combined with the brown of the cardboard showing through made for a much different colour but overall I'm still happy with it. 


Below is an example of how the frames were made for each wall. this time in order to fit the door, which was made for my by Saeed, a 2nd year model maker. 

see his blog here! 



Extra props were made to generally fill out the tailors cutters. and make it look more aged and used. Fabric rolls were simple enough to make and luckily Saeed was nice enough to make some miniature cardboard boxes, visible under the table in the photo below. 


I also folded various fabrics and glued them onto a shelf to fill the blank wall space. 


Finally the outside wall! One of the other reasons for using cardboard was that it was easy to cut out a hole in a wall to insert a perspex window. 

This was simple enough to make, simply two pieces of cardboard with the same cut taken out of each, a sheet of perspex was glued between the two and balsa wood glued around the edges. The exterior wall was made by peeling off the first layer of brown paper on the cardboard, revealing the corrugated card. This was then painted a light grey.



Company Research Part 2, BlinkInk

Part 2! 
As promised, a look into 'BlinkInk' 

 


A company based in Soho London, creating breathtaking and innovative commercials, short films and music videos combining both live action and animation. 

Their most recent commercial work being 'Barry the Biscuit Boy'. An incredible seamless combination of live action puppets and stop motion animation. 


It's always great to see that companies are still working in the hand built world of stop motion animation. And even better to see Stop Motion developed into the modern world combining it with live action, 2D and CG. In a time when some people might think stop mo is dying out, its companies like BlinkInk that are helping not only to keep it alive, but to help it evolve. 

As well as 'Barry the Biscuit Boy', BlinkInk were also involved in the production of John Lewis' Christmas Advert 'The Bear and the Hare'. A beautiful combination of Stop Motion sets with 2D (3D printed) characters. 




BlinkInk are also very encouraging when it comes to short films, as shown by Joseph Mann's 'Sandy' and Mikey Please' 'The Eagleman's Stag'. 

Finally, BlinkInk are an inspiration due to their willingness to nurture 'fresh young talent alongside well-established directors'. 

Until next time!