Friday, 29 June 2007

Push comes to shove

Just so no one forgets: Bill Plympton is the Man.

Good Day Bad Day

Okay, so today we went to visit the ever-snazzy Dinamo studios. This in itself was great, because they're a really strong company and only a few years old, but last night I left my keys at home and was locked out, and had to stay in Cardiff. This morning I had to travel back to Pontypridd to go to the estate agency, get a spare key, pick up my keys and come back down to Cardiff bay, so I was a little late. Still, I seemed to arrive in time for the good stuff, got the tour of the studio and saw some of the work they were doing for Cwm Teg; they've also done three series of CNEX, along with Griffilms. Some of us are already familiar with Aron and Owen and a few of the guys working there - in fact we know most of the animators because they were GCADT graduates! In the latter part of this training scheme we'll be sent to do industry work with either Calon, Griffilms or Dinamo. So far, I'd be happy to be sent to any of them.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

At the Heart of Things

Rounding off day 4 of our first week, we went to visit the Calon studios. Lynne Stockford, studio manager, gave us the tour of the two sites from which they produce their work.

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).

Monkeys & Nuts

So, who came to visit us today? Why, none other than Barry Michael Jones head of news at BBC Wales! Okay, so I hadn't heard of him before, but he came to do a kind of workshop thing on creative thinking. It was fun, I have to be honest - after introducing ourselves and talking about an object we brought in, we discussed thinking creatively for a while. You know, approaching things from a different angle and what not, not holdingh on to ideas (which is where the graphic story of the monkey with a nut chewing his own arm off comes in). Apparently, the sweetest bit of a banana is at the bottom, so you should eat that bit first and throw the rest away. Which I won't be doing anytime soon.

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!

Art, The Application Of

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


Well, my twelve month digital animation training at Cyfle has begun. It's based in Cardiff Bay, and this is the third day - by now the projector and the PCs/macs have been set up. Not bad so far - mostly it's been signing contracts, health and safety, trainee profiles, that kind of thing. Today we had a visit from Les Orton, who has animated on Soul Music and Under Milk Wood, among other things. He gave us a talk about industry practice, stuff about how to get on in a studio environment and working links. It was good stuff, and he told us about a film he'd recently worked on with Aardman, called The Pearce Sisters. It's an interesting mix of CG and 2D, and from what I've seen of it looks ace. Check it out on Creative Review. Now!

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!

Greetings From Cyfle

This is me, I am Ash, one of the trainess on the Cyfle Digital Animation Training Scheme. We've been asked to set up blogs to relate the events and niceness of Cyfle and the animation world. So here I am. More from me soon!