Thursday, 13 July 2017

YPGTTO - Commuter Walk Cycles #1

I've been working on the YPGTTO, I've got a lot of different animations to work on and will be posting my progress here and on the One is more blog. Here are the walk cycles I've done so far for the commuters!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Personal Work - Shaolin Granny


I've been smoothing this out a bit and changed up the ending slightly as I wanted a stronger pose.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Bedtime Story - Official Selections


I found out today that Bedtime Story was selected for a Japanese film festival, the New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival and it was also selected for the New Designers Screening Award!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

ND Prep - Bedtime Story


Personal Work - Animation Practice #1

I've been working on some little animations as often as I can to help make me quicker and better as an animator and to fill any knowledge gaps that I think I have. The first one is a little bit of voice acting, using a rig from Long Winter Studios.



Next up I wanted to work on bringing some character to a basic dog rig, I tried to capture some behavioural traits that I enjoy from dogs.


Lastly I am currently working on a shaolin granny, I wanted it to be funny and to give me a chance to work on something with a bit more action. This is how the blocking currently looks, any feedback for any of these is appreciated!

Monday, 26 June 2017

ND Prep - Business Card Designs

I've done a few designs for my business card, here are the options I currently have for the front:



and for the back here are my current options:




I wanted it to be quite a clean design, keeping it as simple as possible.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Personal Work - Crushed Soul Lip Sync #1


I decided that (as well as working on and improving my film) I would practice some lip syncing as it is something I haven't done a lot of. I'm currently working on the blocking out of the body and once that is starting to get a bit more refined I will then add in the lip sync. 

This one is a bit of a warm up as I plan on completing the 11 seconds club June competition, which is a lovely clip from Guardians of the Galaxy. This character is from Long Winter Studios, It has lots of wonderful features and the rig is really great to work with. Looking forward to getting this scene nailed and starting on the 11 seconds club animation!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bedtime Story - New Shot & Water FX

Part of my feedback from hand in involves me changing one of the earlier scenes to better reflect the wording of the poem. The poem reads "would wind up with him dead" so to illustrate this I have thumbnailed some of my ideas. It will be a 2D shot and at the moment I quite like 4 and 8, any opinions or feedback is of course welcomed.



I've been working on adding some 2D animations to help sell the water shots,I also tracked the particles in the underwater shots to create the feel of depth. I will be adding some kelp to further the z depth of the shot and to hopefully make the underwater scenes feel more underwater.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Major Project - Reflective Statement

I really enjoyed the major project, although it was a very intense project with a heavy workload I feel as if the reward of seeing my film come together made the whole experience joyful. Coming out of the minor project fuelled with enthusiasm I immediately started to refine and remodel the spider bed. This posed some interesting challenges, I found it difficult at first to achieve the look of the spider bed but with some advice and help from my tutors I was able to create a creature I was happy with. After the spider bed was finalised I moved onto getting the shark bed and blanket hand done which also had some interesting challenges to overcome, this cost me some time which cut into some of the time that I had planned for animation.

Unfortunately I didn't get as much time as I wanted to animate, a variety of things caused this and I lost time in jobs that I had planned less time for. This made the whole experience feel a lot more intense as when it came to animation I was forced to work quicker and more strategically. The animation in my film at the moment isn't where I want it to be, however I am very happy that I managed to get the whole film animated and rendered. Once the deadline crept closer I had to finalise the animation the best I could and move onto lighting. When I started lighting I really struggled to get shots to look how I wanted. It took me a lot longer than I had hoped but with the help of Alan I was able to achieve lighting that helped tell my story. 

There are a few things that I would like to add to the film, one is kelp during the underwater scene to add more depth and to create a more interesting space. The next is sound design, I feel as if I could spend a lot more time working on the sound effects. It is something I don't find easy but it is something that will help bring my world to life. I think the film is also missing a score, I had trouble finding a composer early on and as the deadline got closer it became increasingly difficult to step away from work and commit time to finding someone. Lastly I would like to touch up the animation, throughout the whole film there is a lot of work that can be done animation wise to really help sell myself as an animator. I want to choose two or three scenes to really put a lot of time and effort in to use for a future showreel.

The project overall has been very rewarding, I feel as if I have tackled all of the issues head on and attempted to make the best film I could in the time period. I am happy with how the film looks overall, however as previously stated I will be touching up the animation post hand in. Looking back over the last three years I really feel a sense of achievement, which I believe is reflected throughout my work. I can see a huge improvement over the projects and it is strange to think that this is my last project on the course.

Major Project - Submission Post

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Major Project - Lighting #4

I've been working on getting the shots lit ready to send to be rendered for hand in, I've found it very challenging but I think it is all starting to work together. The warm lighting of the room has been something I've really struggled with however today Alan gave me some really useful tips to get it looking closer to what I wanted. 


Friday, 28 April 2017

Major Project - Lighting Test #3


I added a lens to my camera in Maya as suggested by Alan, this helped me make the scene darker overall.


I then added some extra rim lights and a back light for the boy to make him pop. I also took the image into photoshop and adjusted the curves to push the values a bit more.


I went into the next scene and imported my lights to see if they work with close ups, after getting some feedback from Alan it was apparent that the lamp and bed need some bounce lighting from the wall, I went ahead and added that. I think it helps the image to pop out a bit more, however my render times are starting to creep above 5 minutes which is longer than I wanted them to be.

Major Project - Hand Scene #2


I adjusted the timing and flow of the hand scene and I think it is working much better now, when it comes to lighting these scenes I will add red rim lights to link the 2d and 3d world together.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Major Project - Hand Scene #1


Took the night off lighting and moved onto a missing 2D animated scene. It was a nice break from the challenges of lighting and I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out. I am looking forward to bringing everything together and having a nice mixture of 2d and 3d animated elements!

Major Project - Lighting Test #2

Lighting Test (no shadows)
Lighting Test #2 (fixed ambient occlusion)



Today I carried on refining the lighting in the bedroom, I want to create like a default lighting group that I can import into scenes and adjust as required. Here is how far I've got, I had some issues with getting shadows into my scene however Alan helped me remedy this.

I feel like the Boy needs a stronger rim light on his legs, however overall I am quite pleased with how this image has come out.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Major Project - Lighting & Mist Test #1


Today was spent trying to get some lighting set up in my scene, I spoke to Alan in the morning and he suggested trying to get the broadest stroke of colour in first using ambient occulsion. This is how it is looking so far, I quickly realised that it is tricky to light a night time scene, but I will carry on adding lights and finessing.


I also did a quick test of the mist in flash to see if it would work with my animation. there will need to be multiple layers of mist however I believe it will work quite successfully in the final film!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Major Project - Bedroom Modelling #2


I spent some time getting the assests ready to be implemented into each shot, I want to try to also create a "default lighting" that I can import with the room and adjust per scene. I'm a bit out of touch with lighting and rendering in general so that is something I will need to discuss with Alan.

There's still loads to do and some stuff to still figure out but I am ready to drag this film over the finish line!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Major Project - Bedroom Modelling #1


I've been modelling and getting the bedroom elements ready for texturing, here is my current progress and below is a test of the first shot with the new models. I think the boy and the environment fits quite well together, all the elements need texturing which will be my next job after the bed model is finished!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Major Project - Animation Progress #3


I've finished smoothing out all of the animation and now I need to start finessing, I also started working on some of the 2d animated elements. The whole thing is starting to get there however there is obviously a lot of work left to get it over the finish line!


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Major Project - Animation Progress #2


I've continued to smooth out and adjust the animation of each shot, here is how far I currently am. I will soon be able to move onto the polishing pass and after that I will focus on getting a couple of scenes as perfect as I can to use for my future reel. 

I tried adding some 2D flash animation to the spider beds roar scene to get a better idea of how it can all work together. I want to add loads of little 2D accent animations throughout and then use flash to also add the fog/mist into my scene, like the example below.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Major Project - Shots 12 - 25 Progress


I'm working through every shot smoothing out animation and tweaking poses where necessary, I had a lot of issues with the jump poses and after talking to Alan I reworked the whole shot and it is working much better now. I want to add smear frames for some of the movements to exaggerate things and add more of a cartoony feel to things, this will be added after the animation is polished!


Monday, 3 April 2017

Major Project - Shots 4 - 12 Progress


I've been smoothing out some of the animation, tweaking poses and adding inbetweens. Had a lot of fun really exaggerating the room transformation scene, lots of squash and stretch! 

Friday, 31 March 2017

Major Project - Shot 04 Animation Progress #1


Today i've spent some time adding in extra poses and smoothing segments of the animation that I felt needed smoothing. I wanted some of the actions to be quite snappy and others to ease in a bit. I used Jelly Jamm as a reference as it is the overall animation style I want to achieve! I tried to make sure I gave poses some time to breath in the animation and so far I think it is looking pretty cool, any feedback would be appreciated!



I always find putting breakdown poses in Maya a bit tricky so to aid with this I used a plug-in called bhGhost (image above), this gave me basically the equivalent of onion skin from Flash which is super useful for me when visualizing the pose.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Major Project - Previs/Animation Progress # 1

I added the new blanket hand into the previs and ran into some problems along the way, the rig I made didn't work completely but i figured out solutions while implementing it.


I also started to refine the blocking in the first segment of the animation, here is how it is currently looking.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Major Project - Blanket Hand #1


I've got the creepy blanket hand finished and ready to go into the animation, here is how it looks and a test of how it moves. It uses a spline IK and a curve to translate the model and then the hand has its own rig. Next I will get it into the previs and start figuring out its movement!


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Major Project - Blanket Arm Test & Previs Progress #7


I did a test of how the arm could work, I used a spline IK and a lattice to create this quick test. It seems to be working alright for what I need and the set up is pretty simple. I will move onto creating the actual arm next and then add it all to the previs!

I did some designs for the arm/hand that will be attacking the boy. I wanted it to feel more like a blanket and more cloth like. I think number 3 - 5 are working for me, its thin side on and had buttons where the knuckles are to attach the fingers. being thin it should wrap around the boy nicely!


I made a few tweaks and did a test animation of the mouth in flash for the sighing scene, it proved slightly difficult to start with but I quickly got the hang of it and overall I think it added a lot of life to the sigh.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Major Project - Previs Progress #6


Made some adjustments to the framing of some of the action shots and tweaked some shots as suggested by Phil. Next up I'll be finessing the previs and adding some more life to the boy.

Major Project - Previs Progress #5


the broad strokes of the previs are now in place, so I can now focus on tweaking it. The soundscape needs adjusting to fit better with the piece which is something I will fix soon. I will also start breaking down all the subtle details that each shot needs and work on bringing the whole thing to life!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Major Project - Previs Progress #4


Almost finished the first draft of the previs! The soundscape will need adjusting to fit better with the animation but overall it is starting to come together, very exciting.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Major Project - Previs Progress #3


It's getting there! Today I got through some of the action shots, this previs will hopefully be done soon. Super excited to move onto animation and to watch the film come to life!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Major Project - Previs Progress #2


I've been working on the previs, figuring out poses for the boy and roughly placing the environments, I am about half way through now so I should have it done by the end of this week!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Major Project - Previs Progress #1


I've begun work on the previs after adjusting the larger room slightly and fixing some minor skinning issues that the boy had. This is how it is currently looking, I've had some fun with the camera positions but overall i've tried to be as faithful to the animatic as I can.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Major Project - Dummy Room #2


I adjusted the smaller dummy room for the transition shot, this room still needs to be populated with more horrible wooden planks sticking out of the ground but it is getting there. I should move onto the previs very shortly!

Major Project - Shark Bed Animation Test


I did a rough test animation of the shark swimming, I noticed while watching some reference videos that sharks have a lot of subtly to their movements. It will be a challenge to get that right however I think this is a good starting point.

I still need to figure out the underwater fog which I will carry on experimenting with, next up I will get the additional rooms blocked out and start working on my previs!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Major Project - Shark Bed Rigging #1


Today I got the rig completed for the shark bed and added some rough textures, next up I need to skin it and then it will be ready for the animation.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Major Project - Shark Bed UV Layout


I got the UV's laid out for the shark bed, I ran into a bizarre issue in which one piece of geometry wouldn't display it's texture, instead it was completely black. I checked everything that I could think of like the normals, the node editor, the uv editor and all of its render stats but nothing appeared to fix it. I ended up exporting the geometry as an OBJ and re importing it which seems to have fixed the issue.

Next up is the texturing and rigging, which I hope I can get done by tomorrow so I can move onto modelling the extra environments needed for my animation/previs.

Major Project - Shark Bed Modelling #1

Today has been spent modelling the shark bed in preparation for the animation, he posed some interesting challenges like his tail which was a lot of fun to figure out. I'mg quite pleased with how he is looking model wise, as he is only going to be seen in the distance through some heavy fog, Next up I need to give him a quick texture and simple rig that can make him swish around.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Major Project - Dummy Room


Today i got the dummy room blocked out in preparation for the pre-vis and animation. I made sure that the walls inside the room are all separate so they can detach and shoot off into the distance when the room transforms.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Major Project - Animatic #8


I continued to add more sound effects to flesh out the animatic, I've also been emailing some composers and have a few that are interested in collaborating! 

Major Project - Underwater Test #2


I tried tackling the underwater scene again today, I still haven't been able to get the shadows to work yet. I think the shadows will help sell the scene a bit more so I will try to find what is causing issues. I added bubbles and particles to the scene in an attempt to add depth and I think it is somewhat successful. I think the bubbles are a bit too big but for this test they fulfilled their purpose.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Major Project - Underwater Test #1


I've been fighting with the underwater aesthetic today, so far I don't think it's there yet. The first attempt went pretty badly so I started a new scene and tried again, it still has some issues and will need bubbles or something in the foreground to break it up a bit.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Major Project - Animatic #7


I reworked some of the sound design following Phil's feedback, I still need to try the contrazoom's but I think I will experiment with that in maya for my previs. The boy needs a battle cry and a few other vocal effects which I will need to create.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Major Project - Animatic #6


Today I tweaked the ending of the animatic and continued working on the sound design for it, this is how it all currently sounds. I think the second half needs more work but overall I am quite happy with how it is turning out.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Major Project - Mist Test #2


This test scene is looking a lot more like what I had pictured in my head, there are still some tweaks needed to make the mist blend better with the water however I am really happy with how this is turning out. Eva gave me some great advice on creating a specular map for the water which really enhanced the scene. I think there is another level of complexity to add which will be the glistening of the water, but that will take some figuring out.


This whole exercise has been very useful for me to get better at compositing which is something that I have always neglected. I quickly realized that the compositing is what will sell the shot at the end of the day.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Major Project - Mist Test #1


I played around with some particles in maya today, trying to create a nice mist/fog effect as I will need plenty of it for my animation. I think this test went okay but it can still be finessed a lot, I feel as if I needed the fog to be thicker but it was something I only really noticed when I was compositing.

I also quickly discovered that I will need to render out objects that are in the water separately, as it will be much easier to blur them and adjust them where it is needed. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Major Project - Ocean Test

Today has been spent working on tests for the ocean scene, as it is one that will be difficult to pull off. Alan gave me some great advice on how to create it using the 2d placement node and soft bodies. Here is the end result thus far, I need to figure out a way of moving an object through the water while having it follow the movement of the ocean, so far it is just attached by a rivet.


Below are some playblasts of the tests that I did, It took a lot of adjusting the noise on the placement node to get a result that worked for me.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Major Project - Bed Animation Test #1

Today I worked on getting the teeth made and attached to the rig, I did this using the rivet script and parenting the teeth to the locators (I had to scale constrain the rivets to the global move group to get it all scaling correctly). I then moved on to creating a glowing effect for the eyes, this was done using after effects, this is something that I will touch up on and adjust to create something more interesting, however for a first attempt I think it works quite well. I just need to add rim highlights to the model which Alan suggested creating on the texture.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Major Project - Bed Rigging #3

Today I work on getting the bed to blink and to open his mouth, I did this via a duplicate mesh and plugged it into the main as a blendshape. I used blendshapes to also reshape the mouth as it opens, this then all got plugged into the main mesh.


This is what the blink and mouth opening look like, I still need to add the contents of the mouth which is what I will focus on next. I'm not completely sure how to make the teeth follow the mouths movement, as it is driven from a duplicate mesh. I may need to use rivets or something similar to have them follow the geometry but I am unsure at the moment.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Major Project - Bed Rigging #2


I've got the basic skinning done for the bed, so he can now move slightly! I had a few issues that I've now fixed, I needed to adjust where the IK's were for the rig to work correctly. Next up I will be working on getting the eyes to blink and the mouth to open.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Major Project - Bed Rigging #1

I started working on the bed's rig today, I did basically the same as what I did for the test except I added some extra joints and controls were necessary. Here is how the rig looks at the moment, I plan to use blendshapes for the mouth and eyes so that they can open.


I started skinning the legs, here's a little progress playblast:

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Major Project - Animatic #5


I changed up the ending and now I feel like it all flows better. Phil suggested breaking up the music into themes which I attempted here. It's still a long way off in sound design terms however as a reference for a composer it is getting there. Lots of sound effects are missing at the moment, I will have to record some asap!

Any feedback is warmly welcomed, sound design is definitely something I struggle with. 

Monday, 30 January 2017

Major Project - Bed Rigging Test #1


Following Alan's advice, I have put together a rough test rig for the bed. For the legs I used a IKSpringSolver, which has a handy little graph that can be used to dictate the weight it has on joints. I decided to use the flexiPlane that I've used throughout my project as the spine of the rig, that may be changed to a ribbon spine but at the moment it is doing the job required of it.

To test the rig out I put together a really quick animation, I wanted to see if the legs would bend correctly and the overall functionality of the rig. I noticed that the control that moves the leg joints for additional sculpting may need to be orient constrained to the leg joint as well as point constrained. This is because at the moment having only the point constraint limits the ability to sculpt as the geometry remains oriented to the leg.



Saturday, 28 January 2017

Major Project - Bed Textures #1


I've been working on the bed texture, it still needs some tweaking but it is starting to get there.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Major Project - Bed UV #1


I laid out the UV's for the bed today, all on one map and ready to have some base colours painted. I decided that I would like to take the bed into either Mudbox or zBrush to create some normal maps for the wood texture, some additional details will be a nice touch. It will also help me with texturing as I can use it a guide!

The bed is getting there, looking forward to rigging it and bringing it to life!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Major Project - Bed Modelling #3


I've been focusing a lot on my dissertation recently but I haven't abandoned the bed, this is how it is currently looking. I've added eyes, adjusted the legs and broke from the concept slightly to add some depth to its character. I've also modeled the throat, which I now need to populate with creepy bed springs for teeth and some wooden boards. I'm looking forward to getting the bed finished so I can start blocking out scenes for the animation!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Major Project - Bed Modelling #2

I took a break from my dissertation to work on the bed model, using the paint over as a guide. I used an Ncloth simulation for the sheet, I made a base for it to collide with and then i've adjusted it using the new sculpt tools. It still needs a lot of sculpting but the base shape is getting there and I am much happier with it compared to the previous model.

The legs need adjusting as well and the eye still needs building but I am excited to see this monster come to life.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Major Project - Bed Adjustments


I've been struggling to get the bed to work and after speaking to Alan today it was clear that the maya version of the bed had lost all of the influences and have just become a boring old bed. I took the top view from maya and did a quick paint over to add some extra curves and bring back some of the spider like qualities. I then went into maya and started to adjust the model, it is already starting to feel better, the legs will need some work and the model will look completely different when the covers are on but I feel as if it is a step in the right direction.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Minor Project - Reflective Statement

I found the minor project to be a really fun experience, from early on I knew that I wanted to make an animated short over the minor and major project. My initial plan was to be completely ready for animation by the end of my minor project. However, I realised that to create four characters to the standard that I wanted would take longer than planned. I put a lot of effort into creating the characters and I am disappointed that I couldn’t get the last character created in time for the minor project submission.

Throughout this project I’ve come to realise a few things about myself, one of them being that I find rigging and skinning to be a massive challenge. When I was rigging the boy it felt as if I wasn’t making any progress even though the project was moving forward. I think this step of the pipeline is one that costs me a lot of time because I always want to push myself and do the best I can, so I try to do slightly more complex rigs. Although it was time consuming I believe that it was a very practical use of my time, as I was able to get a good translation from concept to CG. I’ve also learnt that my knowledge around lighting and rendering is lacking, when creating the turnarounds, I struggled to get them lit nicely and unfortunately I over exposed the Mum turnaround with the rim lights. This is something that I really want and need to improve on, as it is extremely important that my animation is well lit.

I am happy with how the Boy and Parents turned out, I think that the boy is a very successful translation from concept to CG and I am very excited to move on with the Major project and to begin animation. I noticed a few things that need improving with the Boy as I created a test animation. I need to add a control which can move his mouth texture, preferably position and rotation so that I have more control over his mouth. Another very important thing I need to add is animated phoneme shapes, I’ve spoken to Alan regarding this and it is something that will be developed very shortly. With the Mum I need to re look at her dress rig, as all of its deformations are a bit lumpy at the moment. Lastly I need to finish off the Bed/Monster, I was having a hard time translating it from concept to CG. So far it isn’t where it needs to be and that is one of the first things I will do moving forward.

I think it is important to mention that at the moment I don’t think I am achieving the animation style I want for this project. It’s getting close but not one hundred percent there yet, I will make sure that I do a few more tests and get something I am completely happy with before committing to the animation for the short. I keep watching Jelly Jamm and similar styles to pick apart their methodology, this is something I want to make sure I get right as I want to sell myself as an animator.


Overall I am happy with how the project went, I feel as if I did as much as I could in the time I had. I am very happy with the Boy and I am very excited to create some rich animations that can be added to my demo reel. I feel like I am in a good place to go over into the major project and I will make sure that I quickly and efficiently get to the animation stage, so I can give it all the care it deserves. This project has largely been successful in my eyes and I think that being in University most days has really helped me to stay on track and to be motivated. 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Minor Project - Submission Post

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Minor Project - Art Of


 I got the art of finished today and I managed to get a bit of animation done, which is rendering at uni as I type this. I'm going to try to get some more animation tests done tomorrow ready for the hand in.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Minor Project - Turnarounds (no sfx)


Here are the turnarounds for the finished characters, I still need to add sound effects for the boy and the dads turnaround. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Minor Project - Bed Modelling #1

Over the break I worked on modelling the bed, unfortunately I didn't get as far as I had hoped but here is how it is looking so far. I'm not sure how to model the eyes but I will get back to this model once I've set up my turnarounds.




Minor Project - Boy Turnaround Progress #3


I tweaked the animation a bit and adjusted the texture on the base, so tomorrow I should be able to set it to batch render.

Minor Project - Boy Turnaround Progress #2


I've changed up the turnaround and added some animation to it, The snoring animation that is in the second cycle will be repeated for the clay and wireframe sections.

Next up I will be adjusting the base/bed thing as suggested by Phil, I want to dabble in substance painter, so it might be a nice opportunity to give it a whirl. 

Minor Project - Boy Turnaround Progress #1

I've started getting the Boy's turnaround ready, I still want to add some animation to him but here is how it looks so far:


This is how it looks rendered, the lighting may need a bit of tweaking to get a better look but overall I think it is working. Any feedback will be appreciated, as It would be ideal to start rendering this tomorrow!