Thursday, June 24, 2010

Square 1

Well I've just been to the library and whilst looking for the graphic novel The Watchmen, I came across a load of others that just have some fantastic artwork in them.

Had my end of term tutorial, so now the year is offically over. I got two 1st's, some 2-1's
and 2-2's so not bad really.

Kathy suggested, and I will do this, that for the summer I work on the 3D space of characters, so drawing them front back and side/angle. So they're more animation compatable, but still keep the arty/illustration side of it. This is to improve my concept work.

I'm also going to improve my storytelling and storyboarding. I thought comic books would help with this because they're very closely related to storyboards. Well...they're bassically the same thing. Which is why I was looking for watchmen. Also I wanted to read it, but anyway, I came across others and here they are;

Plastic Forks (this one is from book 2) by Ted McKeever (Epic Comics) - also the top image.

Stray Toasters by Bill Sienkiewicz (Image Comics inc)

And my favourite so far, Arkham Asylum (Batman) - Written by Grant Morrison and painted by Dave McKean (DC Comics)

The pen-line drawings are early thumbnails drawn by Grant Morrison when writing, he gave them to Dave McKean who painted from them and expanded the story into something more epic.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Ignore the odd head jump that's because of my excellent camera skills. I'll do this properly on tuesday. I'm going to have him run for a bit then tackle someone. Gotta get the run perfect first. It's close. But no cigar.

Ray Lewis looks alright though. Rawr.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gooberstory - the best amature animation ever.

This is one of the best I've ever seen. Unfortantly it's not on youtube. It's only on Newgrounds.

And for all the majority of shit there is on Newgrounds this is pretty darned good. It's about 6 years old or something like that and I remember at the time just being wowed.

It's called The Gooberstory


There's 2 more of these that cover a whole story. This one was my favourite. The best bit is mainly the voice acting. I'd like to create something 'snappy' like this.

The Last of the Dashkin - Adam Phillips (chluaid) - Newgrounds - Flash A...

Poor Bitey :(

Little Foot (Made by Adam Phillips)

Apparently he did this all on Flash.

Just been catching up on some animations I used to watch a few years ago. Remebered this beauty. His more recent ones are even better. This one always made me laugh though.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Learn to Throw

This is pretty much what I'm making it look like. just me and a biro. Outlines and a bit of hatching. Probably won't draw their faces unless I decide to do some close ups. I'll just leave it as the facemask. If you were being all conspiracy-ish you might say I'm trying to make a point by removing their individuality and reducing them to their number. I.e. that's not Shawn Merrimen, that's just number 56. Like a prisoner.

Maybe I am. It's not intentional. Maybe it's sub-concious. Or maybe it's because I suck at drawing faces and this saves me lip syncing 22 mouths all at once shouting daft things like, "Hey defence I gotta question for all you, how y'all feeling today? Agile, hostile, highly motivated, motivated, motivated, ahhhh!"

Gets them pumped up. Ooooh!

Anyway that's not the point, the point is this is just about movement. Because to be honest they don't half make some darned interesting movements. I suppose I don't have to limit it to just american football? I won't do Soccer,'s rubbish they don't DO anything. Have you seen the world cup? I haven't seen anybody run yet. Unless I was interested in grown men standing about then falling over and crying about it then it's useless.
Rugby might be quite Or basketball. not cricket. Actually I suppose animating the guy with the plank hitting the big red cork might be a challenge. Who knows. Anyway. Here's a thumbnail test. IT WILL GET BETTER!

(Put it on repeat or something it's only 2 seconds neeoww)

Try to ignore the jumpy jumpy that's because I've just done it now with my super steady hands and a digital camera. I'll use the studio camera tomorrow.

This is only the top half. I'm adding the legs and hip movement in after I get this right.

Immediatly I notice there is one frame where his throwing arm dips down quite a lot. Also the timing is off, he needs to do the actual throwing motion much much quicker. So the solution is I might take out the inbetween on that. At least he's going in the right direction though. Just quicker and snappier.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Animal Firm and bye bye.

Good to finish with rain.

Especially since in my Animal Firm world it always rains. If you were wondering why that is, it's because an Owl, shortly after discovering the secrets of magic and becoming aware of the threat of the rats, desided that Rat's didn't like water and so made everyone believe that it always rains.

To make it stop raining all everyone has to do is stop beleiving that it IS raining. But they don't so it keeps raining.
Of course these particular Rats actually like water because they're sewer rats so the Owl was a dipstick anyway.

But that's all besides the points. Here's some final snippit bits and pictures stuff. (up top)

I didn't draw in the rain for the character pages because it was too distracting.
My favourites are the one at the bottom (my splash poster thing, and the bird slums)
I think I got some pretty good characters. They're all distinguishable from one another which is the main point when the majority of everything is black.I went with using yellow for Vasaris beak.

The only one I'm not so proud of is The Great Hijra. He's still too birdy for me. William of Orange too is a bit wierd...Not sure a Raven was the greatest choice. I spent the least amount of time on those two, unfortunatly it shows.

I do like my Rat King though. And for those of you disblievers prepare yourself for something horrible but...amazing. Seriously though, if you're eating...stop for a minute, or finish.

Yeah it's real. It's in some museum in Germany. My idea was that all the heads for Cromwell spoke at the same time. And he can see in all directions, and then what connects them all is the twisted and knotted tails. But he only has on slightly larger body. And the ears come together at the top like a crown.

Anyway so thats pretty much what I came up with. Had to bomb it out this last week a bit because obivously I spent 95% of my time on the what what what what what project.

It's kind of wierd that we don't have an end of term seminar just as a goodbye or a round up or what to get ready for next year or even a tutorial or anything. It's just kind of phased away...

I would've liked a half hour bye bye seminar or something. I kind of need closure. But hey whatever.

These two projects have turned me into a work aholic a bit. I've tried to take days off but I keep finding myself going back and writing out dialogue or drawing something. Not idley...I mean work pace. So I'm going to do a summer project. I'm not much of a sunbather. Honestly I prefer winter. I can't really sit still on a beach for hours. So I'm going to do a 2D line drawing animation of something I've always wanted to do. Which is yeah you probably guessed...american football.

I'm going to animate a game, or clips of games. Like NFL Flims do for their best of the week or something. The only trouble is getting the radio sound bites. Can't download them off anywhere because theNFL protect them the bitches. So just have to invest in a microphone and pirate it I guess.

I had the idea waaay back when I went interviewing for the Animation course in Bristol. And everything was rubbish except this one piece which was just line biro drawings nothing else, of animals in a farm, lots of line boil and bassically the tractor sounds turn into city sounds and a city starts sweeping over the landscape. I just really liked the drawing. You'll see what I mean when I start making it.

In between that I have to make some money. So send some tourists this way.

Anyway I enjoyed the year. And I'd rather not have a summer holiday. Unless it was snow. I love snow. Also I like my coat and now it's too darned hot for a coat. And I have to shower 3 times a day and my neck is browner than any other part of my body which refuses to go un-white....

But I'll be back soon. With some film. You'll see. It'll be aces.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Female Birds



Grizzly Bear.

Now look at this poor thing. Possibly the wierdest animal I've ever seen? And it's called a Booby.

Mandarin Duck

Bet you thought this was a Peacock. Nope. It's a Victoria-Crowned Pigeon

Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove

Magnificent Frigatebird

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

A Bald Eagle

The Problem with Birds

I've only got one female character. I wanted her to be all fantastic plummage and extravogant and flamboyent...

The problem is female birds are always...always Brown.

It's for camoflauge for when they're mothering. And all the amazing colours and feathers are owend by the males who do their camp little dancing to impress the brown females.

It's kind of put a steel in the works. Even Peafowl (Female version of a Peacock) are brown and look like boring pheasants.

I thought about flamingos but they are so ugly.

I've settled on a Mandarin Duck because they have quite pretty eyes.

I've found some pretty amazing birds over my research travels. Apart from the pigeons and forgien birds, all my birds are native or at least mirgrate to the UK.

Even the Magnificent Frigate Bird which is native to places like Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean has been found as far north as the Isle of Man and Denmark. It's called Vagrancy when that happens if anyone is interested. (When an animal is found well outside of its normal range...I reckon they just go for a fly get lost)

I've used a Bald Eagle as well. And.. a Grizzly Bear...well actually on second thoughts only half of my animals are British. But they're either British or North American...or Visit sometimes.

Also Doves and Pigeon are the same thing. Technically Doves are smaller and Pigeons are bigger.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Had the "Screening" today. Saw everyone's work. Was pretty cool.
The only negative thing we recieved about ours was that it was square rather than widescreen. Personally that didn't even register with me. I don't know why. I just didn't notice. To make it widescreen would mean basically re-doing it and....we just don't want to.

At least all those hours in the studio paid off. If I'm brutally honest I think everyone else's animations would have been better if they'd come into the studio. Because whilst we were working on ours we had third and second years as well as george and derek looking at it as we went along and giving us little nuggets of feedback. Also all four of us were working simultaneously and as a group. I sound a bit like a naggy teacher but I know I'm also right even if it seems a bit high and mighty to say that I think the animations would have been better if they'd worked in the studio rather than in their rooms or at home. Also, I wanted to see what everyone was doing! I like seeing people's work.

Because honestly ours wasn't the best idea or the best story or anything but we made it good with blood sweat and tears. Except without the blood or the tears. Mostly just sweat. And sore eyes. And claw like hands from the mice.

Anyway my favourite was actually Olly, Dan and Hughs, the Noir Police one. I'm actually gutted they didn't finish it (took a week to render apparently). I thought it was a joke at first when it said unfinished. The sound track to it was great and the characters were great and it looked really professional. So yeah sucks it took so long to render.

I really liked the hobo one too by laurence miguel and andy. I loved the oooooooh at the start.

I liked all of them to be honest. I just thought some could have been a bit better. Obviously ours wasn't perfect. There were wierd bits in it. Like the scene when Dave punches Henson and he bassically just materializes (not my idea by the way, but I couldnt come up with a better one so I shut up) and it looks a bit funny. Or the hug because the shoulder was incredibly hard to model and animate and we just sort of gave up on it and never got back to it.
But on the plus side it made people laugh and the loved the style of it and my whole day of animating Michael Jackson and Ronald Regen dancing paid off.

It all worked and came together and we, well I know I did anyway, enjoyed the group. I think I said it before, but I'll say it again, to Charlie Sam and Ryan, great group, good work I really genuinley enjoyed it and I think we've deserved a time-out. Because I personally don't want to see another sodding motion tween for a good few months yet.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Animal Firm update

This is pretty much how the pdf 'design bible' will look. I've got another couple of character pages but they're too big a file size for blogger or something.

The place with the barbed wire fence is called The Pound and it's where the Hitdogs (Hitmen) live. It's not wise to venture there alone! woooaaooowoooo! Unless you have a bone or some chicken I suppose. For anyone wondering I've gone for Hounds rather than Terriers (Which are the logical choice since Terriers are bred to kill small rodents) mainly because Terriers, well mine are anyway, are far too nice and cuddly for such a dark saga as this. Although saying that Beagels are pretty animals. Too illustrate my point here is 'Monica' from google images.

Hardly an terrifying instrument of the facist regiem is she? Awh awww.

Where as this dog, A Scottish Deerhound has a menacing but at the same time wise face. With that they're a bit scruffy, a bit old looking which is perfect for the Father Columbide character because he's supposed to be old (age unknown, just old) and seen the world. Whilst also appearing to be potentially aggressive.

So I've gone with Hounds for the Hitmen. Bassically the idea is when you want someone killed you hire out the pack, lead by Father Columbide (the scottish deerhound) and they find the scent, track and kill. Which is how a hunting pack operates in real life. You have your scent hounds (Beagles, Basset Hounds and American Foxhounds), your gun dogs (Pointers, Setters, Spaniels) which help find the prey, and your retrievers which bring back the kill. In addition there are also sight hounds such as Greyhounds and Whippets that are bred around speed and sight.

Other than wikipedia another good website about all this is The Newforest one.

In real life obviously the hunter kills the game, but for Animal Firm that's going to be done by the dogs themselves.

So I've chosen because they more associated with packs and hunting wereas terriers are a bit more individual. Also the wide variety of Hounds and their skill sets should provide a lot of character ideas. For pretty much the same reason I've dismissed using the typical guard dogs like Dobermans and Alsatians. Whilst they're the stereotypical strong aggressive dog, it's toooo stereotypical for me and a bit predictable and easy.

Bassically the whole idea is that the Hitdogs are the only gang that operate naturally as a team (Besides maybe the Talon Company, we'll come to that later) using lots of different types of dogs.

The fence is just there to look menacing. Since the only other animals are birds and rats it's actually pretty darned useless. But I bet even rats and birds look at barbed wire and think "oh no! I bet that place is scarrrreeyyy!"