Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Monday, 21 December 2009

fah lah lah lah laaaah, lah lah lah laahhh...

I finally have a day off! Hurrah! So i've been wrapping christmas presents :D I figure it's a creative process so I'm posting them on here. And anyway, they do look rather pretty even if I do say so myself. I knew that my drawer full of salvaged ribbons from christmases past would come in useful!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Change of plan for Christmas, I'm now going to be making my moulds out of Vinamold, which, even if I order now, won't be processed until after christmas (booo!). So over christmas I'll be making the armatures for all the models, and building a few of them up with plasticine ready to use to make the mould. I can probably start on the clothes and stuff too 'cause the plasticine models will be the same size as the final ones. The Vinamold can be melted down and reused so it'll be a lot more cost effective than using plaster as once I've cast a few models from one mould I can reuse it for the next.

I'm also meeting up with the guys from Odd Shaped Head this week to discuss the possibility of doing a music video for them. If it all goes ahead then I'll be doing it as one of my college briefs, and as I'll be getting paid for it, if I struggle to get a placement, I can use it as my work experience.

I haven't been too well today, so I've been snuggled up watching DVDs, drinking a lot of tea (as per usual), doing a little work on my armatures, and drawing a picture for my christmas cards! Rather than making loads of bits by hand for it like I have done in the past, I drew a picture on brown paper and have coloured it up in photoshop. I'm just going to print it onto photopaper and make some cards to put it on. Can't afford to buy cards this year, so a few people will be getting these. It's the thought that counts right?

Monday, 14 December 2009


this is why i love them so much....


Friday, 11 December 2009

So everyone in class is looking at Universities for next year, I've already done a degree so i'm not looking to do a third year, firstly 'cause I've got my Design degree to back up the two years i'm doing at the moment, secondly because I want to get out into the workplace, and THIRDLY it'll cost me 4 grand for the 3rd year and I don't get a student loan! So instead i'm looking at companies that I can target. At the moment my interest lies with model making, but I've only made one model and that might have been a complete fluke, that's why I'm doing my live brief in stop motion, to see if I can do it and so that I have something to put in my portfolio.

The only company I've looked at so far is http://www.mackinnonandsaunders.com/ which is very unlikely, a bit of a dream job!
This week I managed to make three of the armatures for my E4 project. After having a few problems with Grannys armature I made sure that this time I twisted the wire as tight as I could get it. The armatures have proved to be a little bit of a chore as I need to get them all the same size so that they fit in the mould I make.

Yesterday I covered one of the armatures with plasticine to flesh out the body ready to make a mould from it. I made the neck longer than it would need to be so that I can trim down the silicone and attach the heads afterwards. I did the same thing with the feet as these too will be added afterwards. I'm making the feet out of Polymer clay so that I can add tie downs as these can not be glued to the silicone afterwards.

So to make the mould I first made a box from card (with the help of Mr Folwell) and filled it with a layer of plaster. Once this had dried I placed the plasticine model on top of it and added another layer of plaster, filling from the corners to flood the mould, filling it up to halfway up the side of the model. Once this is dry, slip (water and clay) will be added to the top layer before adding another layer of plaster to stop the two layers bonding together.

There are a few areas on the mould where there is some undercutting, hopefully the silicone will be flexible enough to remove without causing any damage to the mould.

Mondays plan is to get some oil paint on the way to college to colour the silicone, add the 1mm wire to the armature to make the fingers and cast them with the silicone. I also plan to make another two moulds, another male figure and a female figure, so that I can be casting 3 figures at a time. Hopefully i'll have a few models to be working on over christmas to make clothes for.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

We had group tutorials today to see where we're up to with the stop motion project (the Granny one). As a result I have a to do list to complete for January 4th, the day I go back to college after Christmas...

1. Time Plan - I need to add to this and detail what scenes we will be working on and when etc.

2. Concept art - This will either be done by scanning a scene from Sams storyboards and colouring it up or photographing Granny in a pose and using that to create some concept art.

3. Building the set - the majority of the set work is done, it just needs printed off on a large scale to suit the models and mounted onto card.

4. Stock Footage - collecting stock footage for the montage at the beginning of the animation

5. Collect Sound - collect a number of sounds for the animation so that when we get back after christmas we have a large sound bank to choose from.

6. Pixelation - to create the scene where the hands are holding cutlery Pixelation will be used. I also need to make the cutlery props for this.

7. Create my own Timeplan - as well as the group stuff I have my E4 stuff to do, which is a lot of work! (9 stop motion models to make!!!) so I need to organise myself!

here's some doodles to keep you occupied...

I drew this at college today... when I probably should have been doing work :s I think I might draw it up properly and colour it up.

And this was something I doodled in bed the other night. Neil does this drawing a day thing, so I bought a little sketchbook, 10cm x 10cm, and was going to fill a page a day with a doodle. I did this one four days ago and haven't done one since...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mission (almost) accomplished...

The plan for today was to rework the story for my live brief, rework the storyboards and finalize my character designs. Unfortunately I didn't get a lot of it done. I did a few things off my 'PPD to do' list instead, just odd little bits and bobs so that took up my morning.

This afternoon I did manage to work on the storyline for my live brief, I changed quite a few bits though, to explain this I did a page explaining it for the Development in my sketchbook. I also typed up the storyline in a script format which I hadn't planned on doing. 

As far as character designs go I hit a bit of a wall. Nothing I was drawing looked right, so I was getting frustrated with it. In the end I coloured two of them up (see below) though they're bit rubbish. I need to find out if I need to do proper character boards for every character as I have about 8 at the moment, hopefully i will only need to do one for the two main characters and can just do a few scribbles for the supporting characters. These drawings will do for now for when it comes to dressing the figures. 

Hopefully tomorrow I can sit down with my lecturer and figure out what I need to order to start making it all!


Well I've put it off as long as I could but here it is, my showreel. 

Pains me a little to put it up 'cause there's so many faults with each animation so I'm a little embarrassed to post it, but i need to for my PPD Module. Ho Hum, all the more reason to do better this year so next years reel is less embarrassing!

It was really thrown together at the last minute for hand in too. I'd like my next one to have some of my artwork in, and break up the animations rather than just running through them all, just have little clips of them.

Ticking off the "to do" list...

Well I managed to get my 2D Pensioner very nearly finished on tuesday! was just after midnight when I packed in working (by like 6 minutes, so it still all counts as being done on Tuesday really...) but I had him drawn up in photoshop and coloured. 

I didn't get much done at all yesterday as I got to college and we had a computer lesson. We learnt how to use Flash. I didn't get much finished, I found it pretty frustrating to use, but I'll be going back to it as it looks like it'd be pretty useful for creating quick little animations and animatics once I get the hang of it. So hopefully i'll get on top of my workload so I have time to go back and play around with it.

This morning I finished off my 2D pensioner by adding some textures. He's not amazing but he's only to stand in the background so he'll do. I also typed up some Development work for my Live Brief work after my presentation the other day, taking on board some of the feedback from Dave. So the rest of today will be spent adding to the script, reworking the storyboards and hopefully drawing up the final set, doing some character designs, and drinking a LOT of tea.

These last few posts have been pretty wordy! so for those of you who don;t bother reading it and just look at the pretty pictures, here's Gramps...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

so far not sooooo bad...

Well I managed to get some of my stuff done today, just! and there's still an hour left so who knows what else I might manage to do!

Dave told us today he wanted all of our research finished... today. That hasn't happened unfortunately. I've managed to look at several examples of mixed media animations and techniques and save some images to annotate but haven't put it together and typed it up yet. I had the choice of putting my own stuff on hold or putting the group work on hold, and I didn't want to be responsible for holding the group project up when there's 3 other people to consider. So I prioritized as best I could.

So from my list for today I managed to sort out the script (changing some scenes round and adding new ones), type up the 31 questions we were given to answer as a group about the project, and do the images for the piles of junk for the outdoor animation scenes. 

I still need to do the 2D pensioner and a few props but hopefully they won't take too long and I can maybe do them tomorrow.

On the upside... The guys from boreal.org.uk have asked me to do the background for the website for christmas AND they sent me one of my designs in it's finished wallet form for my portfolio, and i'm super chuffed with how it looks all printed up and sewn together. Not sure whether to save it or use it! Will post some photos when I manage to get some.

Monday, 30 November 2009


As I'm not at work during the week this week I need to catch up on as much as possible, and as I'm supposed to be documenting all that on here I though I'd put a list on here. That way, when I haven't complete it you can all give me grief!

First up is the group project:

We're aiming to have all the set stuff done for Thursday so we can use Friday to do some line tests. My jobs are to do the set for the flashback in the Granny's house, which I've done, the piles of rubbish for building up the outside sets, which I want to try get done tomorrow, to design a 2D pensioner for the background characters and a few props for the granny to kick about, which i'll hopefully get done tomorrow too, but failing that Wednesday. Tonight I've been typing up out plan of action time table thing so we know what we're aiming to do as a group over the next few weeks. I also need to finish the script now that I've had some input from the guys, and it needs a little rejigging just so the ending flows a little better.

Next to do is my live brief:

I had to do a small presentation today so that my lecturer Dave knows where I'm at with everything. I had hoped to start making the maquettes this week and start making the clay models ready to cast the moulds, but it seems I need to work on the story. Dave suggests I do more stuff that can only be achieved as easily using animation, I guess, if this was for a client, as a way of justifying doing it in animation rather than live action which would be less time consuming. So I need to add a lot more to it. I did want to add more to it anyway but I was worried it might be too much, so Dave suggesting I should means I can just go for it. It's a good thing but it does mean it'll slow me down a little reworking it and redoing story boards. I also wanted to get more of my character designs down this week, so maybe I'll do all that on Thursday if I manage to get all the group stuff done according to plan.


Tuesday:       Outdoors Sets for Group project
                       Editing Script
                       Props - rubbish and granny's trolley
                       2D Pensioner
Wednesday: Completing any work from Tuesday 
                       Make a start on the next tasks if possible...

Thursday:     Rework story for live brief
                       Rework story boards, draw up plan of layout.
                       Character Designs finalized 

Friday:          Line test in group
                       Wire armatures for maquettes.

Well, I'm not so sure how well all that will go but here's hoping! Will try and post stuff as I do it so I can see what I have actually managed to get done.

Sunday, 29 November 2009


Man I'm glad this week is over 'cause I am POOPED! have been working all weekend, but managed to get a little work done, but not a lot unfortunately. One thing I almost managed to finish is the background for the group animation I'm doing with Sam, Katie and Karl. It's the background for Granny's house in the flashback scene. Still have the cupboard handles to do though, and a lot more other scenes! 

Thursday, 19 November 2009

live brief...

So these are two of the characters for my Live Brief which is for E4. These are pretty rushed (especially the colouring) because I needed something for my presentation, but they kinda show what i'm going for; something simple as they'll be made into 3D puppets.

I was going to make one cast to make all of the puppets from silicone, but it's going to be better to make two; one male, one female. I could have added padding to alter the shape of the figure, but I don't want them to be the same height, plus the feet will be an issue, but i'm going to have to address that when it's not silly o'clock. I need to work out properly how they're going to be made as the heads will be made from polymer clay, and something needs to be done with the feet when it comes to creating the tie-downs because silicone doesn't like you gluing stuff to it!


At college the other morning we were split into 3 groups and given a camera and a computer with frame thief on and told to create a short piece using pixelation - stop motion using people.

Straight away my group (Sam, Sophie, Charlotte and Gary) started brainstorming what props we could use. Gary's suggestion that we used the bin lead to a brief idea for the storyline which we worked out the basics for then, after assigning roles, we got stuck in with the animating! Charlotte worked the camera and captured the images, Sam and Sophie were the "puppets" and me and Gary animated the inanimate objects! though by the end it all crossed over and I did a little camera work too, using the zoom and moving it whilst Charlotte captured the image.

Working together was great, especially as, with the exception of Sam, I was working with people I hadn't worked with before, but we all got on great, put our ideas forward and took everyone else's ideas on board.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

This crazy woman is the inspiration for my tiny knitting, though hers is even SMALLLLER than mine...

Monday, 9 November 2009

I was killing some time on youtube and I came across this animation. It's so super cute and really simple I'd love to do something like this in my spare time if I had the room and the equipment!

Haven't watched any of her other stuff but I plan to.

One of my fellow Boreal Artists posted a link to a website for Clay Illustrator Irma Gruenholz.
Her work is totally amazing, and super inspiring. She creates scenes from clay characters and photographs them for use in illustration.


I really love the style of her work, it's so clean, and the 3D element gives it an edge. I think I might give it a go myself sometime. I wish I'd come across this when designing my 3D model!


I've finally finished my model!

I'm pretty pleased with the final result. SO much time and effort went into making it, I feel quite proud :D AND she stands up by herself! bonus!

I did a quick line-test to try her out and using the interchangeable mouths is pretty easy and works quite well. The line test isn't great as it was a rushed job, she's supposed to be sneezing and then wiping her hand on her skirt but it just looks like she has a crazy hand. I only used the tie-down in one foot too so she swiveled around a lot when I was animating. If I hadn't been rushing to get it done I would have taken more care. I will upload it when I get the chance, it doesn't seem to want to work at the moment.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

its the final countdown, dun nur nur nurrr, dun nur nur-nur nurrrr...

Have painted the slippers now, yey, but it took a few layers of paint. I painted them with a dark pink first then dry brushed them with a lighter colour but they were a little too bright and pink, so I pretty much repainted it with the lighter pink then made a mucky greyish pink to dry brush them again. This is how I plan to make her dead pet cat too, so that the fur looks all matted!

Her hands have been knocked about a bit so they needed a touch up. When I painted them first time round I painted them with the paint as it came, and it was a bit too dark and orange. This time I mixed it with a bit of white so the colour is a closer match to her face. Then I dipped them in latex again (I did start brushing it on but it was pulling the paint off), then I brushed over a little talc to get rid of the super glossy finish.

I've glued all the details on now too, her earrings, broach and glasses, using super glue. I also touched up her face a bit where paint had been knocked off during the making process and tidied up a few raggidy ends with some hairspray (not too much though, I don't want her looking too neat and well groomed).

Taaa daaaaaaaa.... just a few stains to paint on her clothes, and I'm fiddling about with a collar for the back of her neck to cover some of the mess up, but depends if it works or not.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

So, this is where I'm up to now...

... I've finally finished knitting her jumper. Sewing it on was a little fiddly round the neck area but it turned out pretty well. I also made a small collar which is sewn on top of the jumper. Her face needs a touch up as I've knocked it a few times when I've been sewing and chipped the paint, and her hands too, these need a little more paint and a layer of latex to tidy them up.

Next step was to make all the accessories and face parts. I was most worried about how her glasses would come out but they worked pretty well. I made them by drawing out the shape on some paper and cutting it out to use as a guideline. I rolled some polymer clay so that it was very thin and then cut out the shape of the glasses. Then I used some purple coloured polymer clay and rolled a long thin sausage shape then used this to make the frames. The mouths were made my rolling the shape I wanted and then using a tool to add the detail to make the shapes of the lips. I also made the eyebrows and jewelry using polymer clay.

Next I made the bottoms of the slippers. I made a template by drawing around the models feet and again rolling polymer clay and cutting it out, then I pushed a nut into the clay, this will be used when bolting the character to the set floor when animating.

Below are the finished pieces painted up; glasses, interchangeable mouths, eyebrows, broach, earrings and slipper soles. The mouths were painted with acrylic, as were the eyebrows. Pearl paint was used to paint the earrings and add a highlight to the broach. The pupils on the glasses are made from plasticine and so can be moved around when animating and the frame part was painted with white acrylic paint.

And this is what i'm doing right now; the slippers. I sewed the tights to the model around the edge of the foot and then cut the tights off the sole of the foot (so that the super glue would be attached to the armature rather than just the fabric) and attached the soles of the slippers to the bottom of the feet with super glue. I then brushed the top with latex and left to dry a little until tacky to touch. Next added wadding to the top of the foot and covered it with latex. When this is dry I'll paint it with acrylic paint and add highlights then brush on another layer of latex to seal it all.

sew sew sew...

I'm not the greatest seamstress in the world and sewing teeny tiny clothes is pretty difficult. The skirt wasn't too bad as i could sew it inside out and turn it the right was so the seam was neatly hidden on the inside, dye the skirt in some watered down fabric paint (this was more economic than buying a fabric dye and made it easier to mix my own colour) and then put the skirt on her. 

The sleeves were a lot more difficult as I wanted the seam to be hidden to make them as neat as possible. I had a practice run using some very thin elastic (as thin as cotton thread) to see if it had enough give in it for me to sew the sleeves and then stretch them over her hands, but it wouldn't stretch enough before it snapped. In the end I dyed the fabric before making the sleeves, sewed the cuff detail onto the edge of a rectangular piece of fabric and folded over an edge to create the seam. I then wrapped this round the arm and sewed the folded edge to the underlapping material. does than make sense? probably not! but anyway... voila!...

On the photo below you can also see the tights. These were made using actual tights. i bought some "pop socks" from Primark and cut off the tops which are like a large hem/tube. I found the inside of this tube had a better fabric pattern so i put the tubes of fabric on her legs, pinned them in order to take them in, and sewed them with invisible thread (it's not really invisible unfortunately, it's just clear nylon) then turned them inside out. I kept them long to that i could make them gathered at the bottom... old granny stylee...


My model is very nearly finished now so time to catch up on the process before I add the final bits....

After I painted the face I started adding the hair. The hair is embroidery thread which I added strand by strand. I painted PVA glue on the model then added the thread to that carefully and gently moved it into place with a modelling tool. Although it was very fiddly and time consuming I did it this way as I didn't want to paste the thread on and paint over the top of the thread with glue as it would have dried plastic-like and shiney.

Below is the head after being fully covered in the embroidery thread. If I have time I plan to add more thread to the hair, this time thinner strands, in a purple-grey colour thread to give it more detail and make it look more like my original design.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


I'm hoping to knit the jumper for my model, but as wool will be too big, the only suitable thing i could find is embroidery thread and 2mm needles, which is super annoying to knit with! as you knit the thread unravels to I end up missing strands and picking up strands where I shouldn't.

Here's my practice run from last week, took like half an hour just to achieve that 'cause it's so fiddly and tiny, as you can probably gather from the size of the keyboard! But if i get time it'll be worth it... hopefully.

Handy work...

Progress on the model has been slow over the last few days but today I did some work on the hands. First I tidied up the wadding with some more cotton thread. I want to make them as smooth as a can so that when I dip them in latex I get a better finish. I went over them again, this time with embroidery thread (as I wanted to use something thicker than normal thread) to fill the gaps in the wire where it had been twisted. Finally (although I forgot to take a photo of it) I went over them with some very thin ribbon so try make the surface even smoother.

I dipped the hands in latex the dried under the hand dryer to speed up the process. I did this 3 times. One of the hands will be curled into a fist so I'm not too fussed about the fingers, but for the other hand the finger sizes were a bit squiffy, so I added tips to the fingers using plasticine, then dipped them again, just the fingers this time, two more times (no photo yet though).

The next step is to add a layer of paint in a flesh tone then dip the hands again in latex, adding a thin layer to seal the paint in. I have chosen to colour the hands this way as adding dye to the latex can be tricky when trying to achieve a certain colour, and painting over the latex might mean the paint will crack when the latex bends and stretches. As the latex is shiny (and obvously human hands aren't) i'm going to try dusting them with face powder to take the shine off it. Using face powder rather than talc will mean I should be able to keep the flesh tone.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Model Boards Take 2...

I fixed the problems with my boards, two of them haven't really changed a lot so there's not much point in posting them again as it was just a bit of tweaking; I changed the font colour and coloured in a few bits I'd missed out by accident.

Here's the expressions sheet as that changed the most. I'd have liked to squeeze in a photoframe with a wedding photo of the character and her late husband but I don't really have room, or the time to draw it! If I'd had more time I'd have liked to play with the frames in photoshop to make them look more cartoony to fit in with my style of drawing, I might still go back and do that if I have some spare time at the end.

Model Sheets...

These probably should have went up before all the images of my model making, but ho hum.

There's a lot of things wrong with them that I need to change before I had them in this friday. The font is too hard to read on the boards because of the colour so I think I might change it to a lighter colour, maybe a really pale lilac so that it's still in-keeping with the colour scheme. I also missed out the hair texture on her eyebrows on some of the images.

As is was such a rush job to get it done for the last hand in the expressions sheet was thrown together and looks rubbish because the top of her hair has been cut off. To rectify this without wasting too much time I'm going to draw up a picture frame, maybe 2 or 3 different styles depending on time, and drop those over them.

I also want to add something to the Dynamics sheet as it looks a little bare, so might try to create a few more props.




Sunday, 1 November 2009

More Wallets...

I had a pretty busy weekend but JUST managed to do my other two wallet designs for Boreal tonight as they needed to be sent off tomorrow! *phew* so here they are, hopefully they'll be up on the website soon. They said they'd send me one for my portfolio but i'm not sure which one to get.





Friday, 30 October 2009

Boreal? for real!

So my wallet designs are finally up on boreal.org.uk

If you're too lazy to go look at the site (but you should) then here are the designs for your viewing pleasure. I have another two that I'm working on too but I need to get them sent off for monday if I want to see them realised any time soon! eeeek!





Halloweeny goodness...

So at the ripe old age of 24 I finally got around to carving my first pumpkin! I tired to be adventurous and add layers to it instead of just cutting out holes, and attempted to make the cheeks thin so that they'd glow... and it worked! *high fives all round*

Finishing the binding...

And finally.... I would have done these all as one post but blogger doesn't seem to like me so doesn't want to let me put the photos where I want.

So this is where I'm up to right at this very minute! 
Have padded out the palms a little with wadding and finished the limbs and bound them all with thread. I've done the body too, first with thread, but then to get a tidier finish I used some wool.

Next few steps will be to attach some bolts into the feet and maybe use some polymorph to gave them a little shape, the fingers need bound with something and then dipped in latex which I'm going to add some dye to so that they're flesh coloured. I think I might brush latex onto the legs, and put some tights on between the layers, but try and keep the texture from the thread a little so that they look like wrinkly stockings. Then obviously I need to make her clothes! I'm planning on knitting her a little tank top so that'll be the most fiddly bit! I just hope I have time to do it otherwise it might be something I have to go back to do later.

Polymer clay, Polymorph, Polytastic...

So the first thing I did with the armature was add the head. It was made from polymer clay so it had to be the first thing I did so that I could bake the whole thing in the oven without anything melting or setting on fire! I could have made it separately but I preferred it to be all one piece so that it was a bit stronger.

I shaped a ball of foil around the loop on the head of the armature to reduce the amount of clay I would need to use which would make it lighter too. It did end up pretty heavy still due to the hair because I built that up gradually so it was just solid clay. The oven is a bit useless so her head got a bit burnt, but nothing a lick of paint won't fix.

Next, I used polyform to make parts of the armature solid. I added this to the pelvis so that the wire wouldn't move there, and to the shoulders. I also added some to the ankles because of the way the wire is bent... the plasticine model had problems because of that; it kept squashing so she wouldn't stand up, she would just roll backwards on her heels and fall over.

Last thing i've done at this point is to start covering the wire. Her arms won't be seen but I wanted to give them a little more shape under her clothes and protect the wire. I wrapped them in wadding and then very tightly bound it with cotton thread.

The Real Deal...

This is the wire armature for the final model. I'd been toying with the idea of using Loc-line, but a lack of funds means I couldn't really afford it! I printed off a picture of the character to give me something to work off so that I knew my armature was to scale. the fingers are a little rubbish as the wire used snaps so easily when you bend it. Hopefully once they're dipped in latex they won't be so bad.


I've finally made a start on my 3D model at college so thought I'd document the progress before it gets too far in.

First up is the maquette I made. It has an armature made from aluminium wire which is covered in plasticine. I spent quite a lot of time on it so I'm thinking about making a cast of it so I can make one that I can paint up...

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Zombie Fruit?!...

applessssss... for a little thing i've been working on that might even bring in some pennies! hoorah!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Tablet: take two

So after a successful first attempt on the tablet I decided to have another go. I figure I stayed up this late playing with it, I might as well post it!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Coraline a la Lynsey

So about 3 or 4 weeks after I bought it I FINALLY decided to try using my wacom tablet, which I'd put off doing 'cause i knew that if I couldn't get the hang of it straight away I'd just get annoyed with it, shove it in the back of the wardrobe and it would never see the light of day again...

but turns out I actually love using it! so here is my first attempt! hoorah!