Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Monday, 12 May 2008
Thursday, 24 April 2008
This week, there's been a big shuffle, as new desks are brought in and everyone is moved around to make way for incoming animators; so whereas there were 8 people working in this room, (I have now been moved out of the CG room and into the 2D room) they plan to cram in 12.
Yes, they've been a rather busy company lately...
Monday, 31 March 2008
Warrgh, work experience placements began today. For the next three months I’ll be working at Dinamo, a place I’m already kinda familiar with. When I was at GCADT, some of my friends and I interviewed Aron and Owain for our contextual studies class, not long after they formed the company; when we started Cyfle, we went for a tour of the studio in Cardiff bay; and half of the employees are graduates from GCADT too!
In any case, Dinamo are busy working on a few projects at the moment, and one piece of software they use (as does a lot of the 2D industry I gather) is CelAction, so that’s what I’ll be using for the duration. One of the guys who work there told me that practically all the studios doing 2D animation in London use CelAction, and as I’m moving there with Kei in July, the coming months can only be a huge help to me in finding a job!
On a side note, Cyfle began its new course today, a three month digital animation lab: on this course, the trainees will be focusing on CG animation, and three of the trainees are my fellow GCADT graduates, and I wish them the best of luck!
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
How it was meant to work, was that we'd each come back from Thailand with an idea for a project, then pitch it to some people from the companies associated with Cyfle; out of the ideas, they would pick two, and we'd be split into two teams of three to work together on each idea.
It didn't quite go to plan.
Whilst in Bangkok, Kei, inspired by the flight to Thailand, had drawn a cartoon air hostess character; Mike and I saw it and the three of us began discussing an kind of animated musical dance sequence featuring this character. By the end of the trip, we had fleshed out quite a solid idea, and so decided to pitch this as a group when we got back to Cyfle.
Our thinking was that it would be 2D flash animation inserted into a CG environment created in Maya.
In any case, ours was one of the two ideas selected, and in the last couple of days we've been planning a production schedule, doing rough storyboards and character designs and - most importantly - finding the right music. At the moment we're timing out the stuff we've 'boarded out to the music, to create an animatic.
Have a look at this video of a tuktuk ride - these things are fun, if a little dangerous...
Ride on a Tuk Tuk from wesleyriot on Vimeo.
The Imagimax studio was awesome, and the stadd were all great to us. They even provided us with lunch, which kind of softened the blow of working from 10am till 7pm! We learned a bunch of stuff, software wise, as well; personally I managed to sharpen my Maya skills a little, as well as learning the ways of the vector mask in Photoshop.
What else can I say? The shopping was good. The cinemas were good. The temples were good. The bars? Oh yes, they were good. Oh yeah, and the Oakwood residence, at which Cyfle were kind enough to house us for the month, was wonderful, and made the trip that much more comfortable.
I might as well point out that this trip was the first time I had ever flown, an experience dulled only by the fact that the airport lost my luggage on the way over, and then mutilated my suitcase on the way back. Cardiff Airport and KLM airlines - a losing combination.
Whilst out there, I recorded some of my experiences on Tumblr, as well as uploading a vast amount of photos to Flickr. We also managed to complete two podcasts on the trip, which can be seen on the Cyfle page on Youtube.
Despite all this, it's good to get back to Wales!
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
To start off, Ben from Dinamo came in and showed us around the features, and gave us all a week-long brief: this involves animating a scene from a short synopsis, about a junkyard owner who builds a rocket-simulator so that come children can pretend to go into outer space. A week isn't a long time, but then again the scene won't be very long. After playing around with ToonBoom and learning the basics, it seems similar enough to Flash that it shouldn't pose too many problems.
I just can't decide whether to do a cut-out-ish style for the clean up or do it straightforward hand-drawn.....
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Actually we've been on AE for about two weeks. We spent a week learning After Effects with Matt, but everything I rendered would NOT work... as it turns out there was a problem with my Quicktime settings, but Mike fixed it for me. So, here's a quick video of some of the exercises we did with Matt; he gave us a bunch of resources - videos, music, images - so that we could learn how to do things like masking, effects, compositing, and so on. He didn't give us the music in this video though - I added that to make it more exciting.
It should be noted at this point, that Matt has inhuman levels of patience, matched only by his bottomless and encyclopaedic knowledge of software like Maya and After Effects. If that man has a Twitter account, I'm using Foamee to owe him a beer.
Now, we've received our briefs, and mine and Ben's is from Griffilms. What we have to do is, create a 20 second title sequence for a (fictional) cooking show called The Big Feast; we also have to create 5 second stings for two segments called "Feast Off" and "Feasty-cuffs". I'm not sure entirely what I'm doing yet, but Griffilms said we can use whatever music we want, so I'm going with Eat the Rich by Motorhead..... I've also decided that since it's an entirely fictional programme that I'm going to have Arnold Schwarzenegger presenting it. Yup.
So here we go: first of all, a 5-second sting for "Feast-Off", featuring Jo Brand. know it's not very accomplished, but by this point I was running out of ideas, as well as After Effects know-how!
Here we have the other sting, for "Feasty-cuffs"; a very difficult proposal, this section of the challenges contestants to eat some cream crackers as fast as they can.... in any case, for this one I made a body for Arnold in Flash, then used After Effects CS3's brand new puppet tool to make him move. yes, this was my first time using it, which is why it looks quit iffy lol. I quite like the way that the music synchs up with it though!
Friday, 21 September 2007
Yup, believe it or not this took three weeks! Not inlcuding the week we spent cramming Maya information into our brains. Basically there's my little ole granny iMac whinging at the Razr phone. The weird flickering light there is meant to be the TV in question, but I guess that didn't turn out quite right. As for the composition, when I was actually using Maya, everything was in shot; when it was rendered, the top of the computer got cut off a bit. I suppose that's because Maya sucks (it really does).
Monday, 17 September 2007
Yeah so I didn't manage to update at all last week.... Maya is a real bitch. I can never figure out how to do what I need to do when modelling. I'm there, almost, but I still need textures. And now comes the nightmare of animation! And I still need to figure out how th make the lighting look like the glow from a telly.... hmm. Anyhow, the dialogue I'm using is from the old TV show Dinosaurs (I think), and has the grandma character moaning about television to her daughter:
Grandma: "Television is responsible for the utter degradation of our society. We should write letters."
Mother: "Get a life."
So there! Now I shall get back to it, and hopefully get this thang finished by the end of the week! In the meantime, here's a picture I drew....
Friday, 7 September 2007
Last week (or rather the friday before) we began learning Maya, with the aid of Matt Leonard of Sphere VFX. Let's just say that it's lucky for us he knows his onions.
Anyhow, we started of learning the basics - creating shapes, moving around the workspace, modelling and all that - and spent the week learning a buttload of things that we would surely forget the next day. Nevertheless, Matt provided us with some spiffy notes and books to reference, and this week we were given our industry briefs. This time mine is from Griffilms, and involves animating an inanimate object to some dialogue of my own choosing. This is infinitely more tricky than it sounds. I have chosen my objects, and I am modelling a G4 iMac and a Motorola RAZr because.... why not?
I shall reveal my chosen dialogue.... next week!
Monday, 3 September 2007
So a few of us have met him twice before; once when he did a talk at GCADT and once when he did a talk at a WAG meeting, so we'd seen a lot of his stuff before. This time thouhg he brought a DVD packed with bunches of other stuff, including recent showreels, his student work, and bits from TV shows like Creature Comforts and El Nombre, and an animated version of Peter and the Wolf. He also had a lot of solid advice to offer on acting in animation, because he's a very good character animator and is known for being able to put a lot of subtlety into his work. he is also, by the sound of it, one of the hardest working animators in animation! I say this based on the amount of time he spent travelling to different companies and looking for work when he started out, going all over the country and arranging interviews with bunches of companies in the same areas! All in all it was a good morning, and he even brought some artefacts from stuff he's worked on like scripts and production scrap books and the like. Hopefully he'll be coming back in the not too distant future
Monday, 20 August 2007
Okay, this is the result of the Dinamo Flash brief that I've been doing. Kind of.
When I tried exporting it as a .swf file, it kept putting one of the sound effects out of place; then I had trouble publishing it as a .avi, but when i finally did, it seems to have put some of the animation out of place (as it is here). I guess I need to try exporting it on my home computer. Anyway, have a look and see whatcha think.
This morning we had to pop over to Dinamo and present our aniamtion to the fellows in the studio, namely Aron and Ben. They seemed quite pleased with what we had produced, although Ben was somewhat confused becasue he had written the brief believing that everyone would be doing it, rather than the setup we had where 2 people worked on one of 3 briefs. We left the Flash files with them so they could have a look at our file and layer organisation and naming (oh bloody hell mine is gonna give them a headache) and they should be in touch soon.
Friday, 17 August 2007
Monday, 13 August 2007
Friday, 10 August 2007
Progress on the Dinamo Flash brief continues. Here's the character designs I've done, I've just finished some lip synch and now I have to continue making body shapes in the library before animating. So much do, so little time (one more week to be precise)...
Monday, 6 August 2007
Friday, 3 August 2007
On Monday we got our Flash briefs for the next three weeks. The Bobinogs brief from Calon was assigned to Mike and Ben; Griffilms gave Kei and Gary a brief based on Mr. Stunt Butt; and Jen and I got an animation test brief from Dinamo.
Monday, 30 July 2007
This was quite surprising, considering it's rather cheap-looking and features a one-eyed alien (not the first thing you'd associate with Wales, but there you go). So over the weekend I've been tweaking the animation and grabbing some simple sound effects to use. Now I've given Mike the .fla files, and it's up to him to come up with a t-shirt image. Me, I'm just happy because over the weekend I found my DS, and we saw the Simpsons film yesterday; it was freakin' sweet.
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Finally, seeing as I like to accompany as many posts as I can with at least one picture or video, I've uploaded a bit of some test I've done; they're utterly pointless, this was just me getting to grips with using nested graphics and tweens.
In any case, here's the finished digital storytelling:
Monday, 23 July 2007
Friday, 20 July 2007
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Thursday, 12 July 2007
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
So, this week we began our two week digital storytelling; after coming up with ideas for a two minute story about a personal experience, we have to record a voice over and then set it to a sort of comic-book style video thing (it'll make sense when I've done it and uploaded it). To that end, Ian Staples came in, to do a creative writing workshop and help us thrash out some story outlines for our project. It was quite interesting; let's just say that I won't be able to look at Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater in quite the same way again...
Friday, 6 July 2007
Having said that, I have to admit that there were moments that really made me laugh (such as Sleeping Beauty attacking the castle guards by falling asleep on the ground and tripping them all up), but they were rather few and far between, and didn't save it from an entirely predictable plot.
Oh, and on top of all that, this afternoon I have to do a presentation on Diana Walczak. Marvellous.
...Just did my presentation. Not bad I thought, just a bit anaemic due to the lack of real information I could find. We're meant to link to these things so.... here it is.
Thursday, 5 July 2007
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
"Seven?" said I, because although I take sevens or eights, I could see that he had a plastic bag with trainers in, and wanted no part in whatever he was trying to foist upon me. In fact, for a few milliseconds I was afraid he was going to ask for my shoes. As it turned out, he apparently had these "brand new" Nike trainers, worth £120, but he was trying to sell them for 15 quid because he's got a "pregnant wife" to look after. Leaning over me, ginger whiskers brushing my face and trying to entice me into buying apparently legitimate expensive footwear for next to nothing, I attempted to explain that I was broke. This disturbing gentleman moved on to other patrons, continuing his quest to sell some shoes that he probably stole from someone's feet. The bar staff soon clicked, and began following him across the room, whereupon he left. I was able to enjoy my Newcastle Brown unmolested and quickly render this sketch upon the back of a steak menu.
Anyway, here are our cats doing what they do best: stupidity.
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Monday, 2 July 2007
Friday, 29 June 2007
Thursday, 28 June 2007
The stop-mo studio was awesome. It was huge, for a start; situated next to an indoor karting centre, in a big industrial looking building, filled with animators and artists working on Hana's Helpline. We got to see the sets and the animators at work, the set building and dressing, the puppet making and even some of the post production work (we even spotted another graduate there on work experience). It was most impressive.
Then we headed over to Mount Stuart Square, to see the other part of the studio, where the 2D and After Effects stuff is done (where we spotted another graduate on work experience), and saw some of the animation and storyboards for Bobinogs. We also and had a look at Andrew Offiler's office - which was quite frankly amazing. Stuffed with books, comics, models and posters, it was a veritable treasure trove of artistic goodness; woe betide anyone who has to sit in that room and have a serious conversation without being distracted by the amassed glory! We came away from there with a mass of postcards and a warm glow from all the animated magnificence (not to mention the multitude of cels from animated films covering the walls).
We also paired off in order to come up with ideas for the ultimate bathroom.... I won't go ino detail, suffice it to say that make up dispensers and toilet made of sand probably won't be revolutonising public restrooms anytime soon. Barry also pointed us towards what he considers to be the ultimate bathroom - but it all seems a little extravagant to me!
These are some images I've uploaded previously on other blogs. I just though I'd stick them here to show that I actually can walk the walk.
Yesterday was fun. After creating our blogs we got to look at the other trainee's previous work, to get to know their style of animation and what they've done. I've seen Kei's and Jen's work before, seeing as I studied at GCADT with them, but it was fun to see Ben, Gary and Mike's stuff for the first time.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Today we also met Dan Thomas and Adam Partridge from Film Agency Wales, who talked about film funding and stuff, Sioned from Griffilms, and Gwawr Hughes from Skillset, the organisation involved in accrediting training courses and universities. So far, it's all good!