Sunday, 28 March 2010

"Ta Daaaa" AKA "One down, many more to go..."

Once I'd had enough of faffing on with her face I drew in the hair roughly...

On a separate layer I coloured in roughly what I thought I wanted the hair to look like; where the dark and light areas would be...

Then I tried to tidy this up with a finer brush ...

I really struggled with the hair (I kinda wish I'd made her bald!) so I decided to cheat and colour the background.

The point in this exercise was to do something different as everything I draw is so flat and I've never drawn anything this way before, and I do feel like I've learned a bit. Although it doesn't look like Alex's style of colouring, I've reached the conclusion that it's a good thing, I've used her advice and come up with something that reflects me and my style of work; neat and clean. I'm actually pretty pleased with it.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


Tonight I've been working on the mouth and eyes. I'm pleased with how it's going as it's my first attempt but it hasn't got the same painty finish to it that Alex's stuff does which I really like, I guess, like she said, I need to not be so neat with it. Oh I shaded the ear too, which I can't seem to get right, I actually did that first, but I had a few attempts at it then decided to move on 'cause it was annoying me.

work in progress...

Well it's not turning out as bad as I thought it would and I'm actually enjoying doing it! so much so that I've stayed up far too late considering I'm at work all day tomorrow :s

Friday, 26 March 2010

Noooooo Yorrrk

I had the opportunity to apply for a free place for the New York trip with college, so I wrote a personal statement about why I thought I deserved a place and handed it in with a copy of my record of attendance and crossed my fingers... and the finger-crossing worked! So a week after being told I have a place I'm offski! and I can't wait! :D hopefully I'll take a million photos and see some uber cool stuff that I can post on here too. And maybe even come back with a few goodies!

Here's a doodle of me in NYC, which I put on the bottom of the statement I handed in, I thought a cute little drawing might be nice and show i'd spent some time on the statement, definitely didn;t do me any harm! Was quite fun to draw as it was the first time I'd really used my 0.05 pens so I drew it really tiny, kinda wish I'd just drawn it straight onto the statement though 'cause the scan doesn't look as good.

Once I get back from NYC the college is closed for 2 weeks (boooo), so Pa Gray was nice enough to pick me up from college today so I could take pretty much everything I need home. So when I get back next weekend I'll be making the plaster moulds for the band members and casting them in silicone. so once again fingers will be crossed that it all works!

Rather than stressing myself out trying to get stuff done before NYC when it ain't gonna get done, I decided to have a night off, and tonight I've been doing a little drawing. I'm rubbish at life drawing shizzle; faces, people etc etc and I really need to learn because I should have some in my portfolio, pretty much all of the job roles I looked at on Skillset required evidence of life drawing skills.
Our student teacher, Rachel, did a lesson this week with us using They have these 30 second drawings with various poses, each pose stays on the screen for 30 seconds and you have to draw it, then it changes to the next one. It was pretty frustrating, but useful! She said that she would do a few a day or week and keep track of how her skills progressed, so I think once I get back I might try that myself, even if I spend 10 minutes on it a day.

I love sitting watching Alex Davy drawing and colouring in PS cause she's freaking awesome at it, I'm always trying to pick up tips and asking her stuff, and tonight I thought I'd give it a go, so I found a picture I liked on google with some nice lighting and have been having a go at drawing it up. It's also the first time I've drawn something with my tablet as if it was a pencil! I usually draw stuff by hand and scan it in then use the pen tool to create the outline, which works 'cause everything is usually very clean lines, so this was new for me, but it works well for Alex so I thought I'd give it a bash. So here it is so far, it doesn't look exactly like the girl in the photo I used but I guess it's more an exercise in colouring. I'm taking screen shots as I go so I can refer back to it if it goes well. Here's hoping!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Finishing the mould...

It's taken me a while to get round to updating this! The next stage with the Alice mould was to start adding the second half of the silicone. First I painted the top of the first half of the mould with a solution of melted vaseline and white spirit, so that the two halves wouldn't bond together...

I then added Silicone to the mould bit by bit until the feet were completely covered too...

Once the silicone had completely set I removed the cardboard box by cutting the sides with a craft knife. The silicone came away from the sides of the box really easily thanks to the layer of parcel tape...

The vaseline and white spirit solution had worked an absolute treat! So i'll be recommending it to everyone! There were a few bits where i'd dripped silicone on the side of the box so the second layer had bonded to it (the mould in the photo below is upside down) but these were easily cut with a craft knife...

The mould opened really easily with little Alice in tact and a really clean impression of her. The pencil holes to act as pegs also worked really well...

The model pulled out really easily, and as the plasticine had dried out and hardened there was none to clean out of the mould. There were a few bubble in the bottom half of the mould, but these are very small and will be filled when painted with vaseline ready to cast the silicone body...

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Alice concept art...

So this week hasn't gone quite as I had hoped, and then I've been in London this weekend so haven't been able to get much done.

I had a meeting with the band I'm doing the video for this week and told them my idea for the storyline, which kind of ties up a few loose ends, and they liked it, so I've started on the storyboards and can start working on designing the sets and other characters etc.

I've been gathering up stuff for my portfolio too, though I haven't got a lot and most of what I do have I want to rework so I have a lot to be getting on with, maybe for over the easter holidays.

For now here's the concept art for the Alice book cover I'm doing. Once the model is finished i'll be recreating this image in 3D and submitting it to the Penguin competition.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Oscars 2010, Best Short (Animated)

After watching some nominated animated shorts from previous years yesterday, I decided to see what the 2010 nominations were, so here they are...

"French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert

I quite like the character design on this one but I didn't think the story line was all that well written, I think it had a lot of loose ends. I really liked how they used the mirror behind the main character for the outdoors scenes though as it was unusual.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell

I was less keen on this one. I like the idea of an old granny telling fairy tales and twisting them and scaring the kid, but I think the storyline could have been more developed. I did like the use of 2.5D animation to show the story as she was telling it.

The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia -

I really like the character design for this one, the little old lady, the reaper and especially the nurses as their faces are similar to my style so I can see how mine would work in 3D.  Again my problem with this one is with the storyline, I like the idea of death and the Dr fighting over the old lady, but I think the ending was a bit poor, it could have been more emotional with her wanting to see her husband etc.

A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park -

I struggled to find this one on youtube so I've just posted the trailer. I did find it in two parts but it's dubbed! I'm sure most people have seen it anyway, I watched it when it was on TV which I think was the christmas before last? I love wallace and gromit, and stop motion is by far my favourite media for animation, but I remember being disappointed with this one when I first watched it, though I can't remember why, maybe it was because I was looking forward to it for aaaages and in the end it didn't live up to expectations.

Logorama Nicolas Schmerkin - 2010 winner

All I could find for this one was a trailer, but I think you get the gist of it. I get the impression it's one of those pretentious protests against consumerism or some such thing, but maybe I'm totally wrong! The animation isn't great but I guess they're limited to what style they can use when they're using recognisable logos and brands, so i'm guessing it won based on the content rather than the animation itself, which again leads me back to my original assumption! I'll have to see if I can find a full copy of it so I can get a better idea of what it's all about.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


A friend of mine sent me the link to this animation recently, I absolutely love it! It's called Alma.

The character design is adorable, the storyline is cute but sinister (a theme I like to use in my work), and the whole look of the film is just so appealing. For some reason I love the noise her eyes make at the end too.

3D animation isn't an area I was interested in myself but after watching this I want to work on my skills and try producing some of my own characters in Cinema 4D to see how they work.

I SERIOUSLY recommend you watch it!... or else...  :D

For any one who is interested...

... on Sky Anytime you can watch three previously Oscar Nominated shorts, i've posted the youtube links to them too...

   The first one is a Hungarian animation, Maestro by Kedd Bemutatja, a computer generated short about a cuckoo clock. It was nominated in 2007 for the Oscar, and has won three other awards. I actually came across this a while ago when I was doing research for a project. The story line isn't so bad, but I just find it boring and not in the slightest bit appealing, the colours are drab as is the lighting, and I don't care much for the character design.

   The Second short is an Australian short, Harvie Krumpet by Adam Elliot, a stop motion animation made using clay models about the life of a polish imigrant with incredibly bad luck. The character design is basic but works well and I really like the animation overall. The story is really quite sad, but still manages to be quite amusing, probably due to the way it's narrated like a childrens TV programme. It won the Oscar in 2004 along with 19 other awards!

   The Third one is Anna and Bella, a dutch film about two sisters looking back on their life together. It won the oscar in 1986, and won one other award. I very much like the style of animation, it reminds me a little of older disney films, and reminds me of one of my favourite graphic novels, Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds who has the same sketchy-pencil style.

Monday, 8 March 2010


As I'm sure pretty much no one reads my blog 'cause it's full of ramblings, here's a pretty picture for you to look at instead. Some robot doodles I did for the guys in the band for their website...

I drew them by hand then drew over them in ink, after scanning them i used the live trace tool in illustrator to clean them up a but keep the line work a little messy....

This weeks plan...

After a hand-in last week I have this week off so I'm hoping to catch up on some work!...

Alice in Wonderland book cover:

   My Silicone arrived at the end of last week so first off I'm hoping to finish the mould for my Alice model, then I can open it up, take her out, strip all the plasticine off her, put the armature back in the mould and then fill it with silicone. If all goes according to plan by the end of the week I'll have a body for alice and can start making her clothes! 
   After hand in I did some more work on her head; painting it and starting to glue on the hair, I'll put some photos up when I've done a bit more.
   I also need to start drawing up the set pieces and colouring them in Photoshop.

Music Video:

   This weekend I made the basic parts of the armatures for the video, there are 5 in total. Today I'm hoping to finish them off (adding the thinner wire to bind them and make fingers) and start working on the polymer clay feet. If I manage to get this done today then I can start fleshing them out with plasticine. Once the armatures are fleshed out I can start making the heads, which will be made the same way Alice's head was made. 
   I'm hoping that by the end of the week I can be making the moulds for them. For the 3 band members i'll be making the moulds out of plaster, this is a much quicker process so I could manage to get them all made in one day if I really try.
   I might be meeting with the band this week too so I need to draw up some rough storyboards to show them so I can start thinking about making the sets too.

Final Show/ Portfolio:
   I really need to make a start on this as I have such a lot to do. Recently I've been working a lot on my modelling skills as this is what I want to do, but I need to brush up on my other skills too to add to my portfolio. So I plan on attempting to get the following done!...
   * A hand drawn pose to pose animation - something short but sweet
   * Modelling a character in C4D and creating a walking cycle
   * A short 2.5D animation using C4D
   * A short animation using Flash - maybe reusing the frames from the hand drawn pose to pose animation.
   * Some still images, created in C4D, using tutorials from the greyscalegorilla website.
   * Giant plushie squid for final show
   * A number of plushie zombie apples for final show
   * Boba Fett Helmet
   I'd also quite like to create another stop motion model using a different technique to the ones I'm currently making, and I have a 'Top Secret Project' to work on with Chris Folwell! though that will probably roll over into the summer. If I have time I'd like to maybe create more sets for the Alice model I'm making to produce more photographs/illustrations of different scenes from the book so that I can print them off for final show, and to use on my business cards. 

   Over the course of the next week we've been asked to prepare a portfolio and showreel, a work schedule for the remaining weeks on the course (for all the stuff I've listed above!) and look at idents and stuff for self branding, which is something i've started thinking about already, and have even bought my domain name!

   So I think you get the point... lots to do! wish me luck!