Monday, 12 May 2008


What am I up to now then?

Well, the big furniture shuffle is done, and due to the unfairly hot weather, the place is full of electric fans (no complaints from me there). At the moment they're workin on this thing for S4C, and rather than animating for the last week or two I've been building props in Illustrator (including cows and rugby balls) - which is good on the one hand, because I've been getting to understand Illustrator a bit more, but it's also bad, because I hate Illustrator.

If you're wondering what that brown bit on the front of my PC is, that's power button guard. The computer I'm using has it's power button right on the front corner of the machine, and I was warned that even the slightest bump with my knee would be enough to switch it off. so after I moved rooms, Ben created this wonderful button guard using only cardboard and scothc tape. Hurah! Office supplies to the rescue.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

More Dinamic

So I've been at Dinamo for 4 weeks now, and it's going well. After playing around in CelAction with a couple of scenes from something Dinamo are working on, I'm having a go at animating a character for another thing they're producing for TV. I'm still getting to grips with this software, and I think I'm getting the hang of it (albeit very slowly). I'm sticking to my method of writing every shortcut I learn on Post-It notes that I've stuck around my monitors, much to the amusement of some of the staff.

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

6 Weeks.... GO!

Okay, so now we're back from Bangkok, and we've been to Ffresh, it's time to get down to the business of this final project before we get sent on comany placements.

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.

Back From Bangkok

Wow. What a month. The whole Bangkok trip was an amazing experience. The food... the sights... the people... everything was brilliant! Well, not everything - the weather was blisteringly hot, but the air conditioning inside nearly every building and taxi made up for it!

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!