Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Travelling Tipits - FMX 2014: Third day

Owwww.... Getting up that morning hurt... My friend's alarm kept going off and everything!
Anyway, an extra 10 minute kip on the coach and into FMX day 3. This was the day I mostly split apart from the main group.

Since we got there extra early I snuck into the Filmakademie screenings which included this lovely and heart warming/tear jerking short

So after bawling my eyes out, I stayed in the Meidinger-Saal, for the 'Developing Games for Mobile', presented by Arash Keshmirian from Limbic. This talk gave interesting insight to the evolution of mobile games development and how audiences can change. They started out with TowerMadness, a highly successful game, that powered their company; with paid for unlockables. Later, however, when they went back to make a 2, they discovered that the older audience did a marmite, either loved it or hated it.
Very interesting talk.

I then went to a technical lecture on 'Gravity' and 3D conversion at the cinema, again interesting, but my notes are incredibly vague on it... I think it blew me away somewhat.

Staying there I then saw 'Behind the invisible visual effects of Rush' which was presented by Nathan Ortiz from Dneg...
THIS BLEW ME AWAY IN A DIFFERENT WAY. I had no idea how much Cg was in this film, it was all so realistic, which was crazy. Thankfully I sat with Remco and he managed to shut my seemingly permenant hanging mouth. The team work described in the Dneg team reflects on the time I went to see them, they are very much a community there and they want to work together to produce the best visuals. All fantastic.

I then saw the development of 'Manou the Swift'... I had considered working in Germany before, and after this it cememented the idea. I loved the concept of this film, the art, the models, the passion of the team, it all radiated the potential of the film. Looks fantastic and I cannot wait to see it... Am currently making multiple showreels... Definitely making one to send to Luxx studios!!

I stayed for the best of Siggraph Asia shorts that were shown, all amazing for different reasons.

I then ran to see 'Making Animation Blockbusters in France for Hollywood', which was more businessy than I somehow expected.

Stayed for 'Producing and Visual effects for the Grand Budapest hotel' which left me with the same feeling Rush did, I had no idea how much of it was visual effects. This was presented by Gabriel Sanchez, and others, but Gabriel I met the previous night at the party. So that was a funny meeting again, he's a lovely bloke. Seriously though, there was so much visual effects in that film, and by the sound of things, a great deal of them was because of mistakes made in the original shoot - CRAZY.

That wraps up the day...
But I went out to another party in the evening! WHOOPS... Still, it was an industry meet.

See ya soon,

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Travelling tipits - FMX 2014: Second Day

"Action >Obsticle > Objective"
Ed Hooks' acting for animators 2, fueled more animation ideas in the morning, with crazily important theories and tips for better story in animation. Trust me, if there's ever a talk presented by him go to it, he's fantastic, and has loads of ideas for people to learn from!

-Thumbs to come-

This lunch time was when I discovered a lush pizza place, with huge slices... VERY YUMMY... and great for a pizza fan like me.

Then I spent the afternoon in simulation, which provided insight into areas of animation I previously had very little knowledge about.

Frozen: Simulation was presented by Rajesh Sharma and Lawrence Chai, they dicussed snow and clothes mostly. The snow simulation fascinated me because of my physics background, Sharma and Chai discussed the equations that were used. Here's, more or less, most of that discussion in this video.

 But they also talked about Technical animation, and how that department takes simulated scenes and corrects them... I am now researching that area some more, as they seemed to be the department that pulls the final pieces of animation together, as they still were creating arcs and appealing movement.

Pixar's talk by Samantha Raja, consisted of loads of simulation examples dubbed 'motion that is calculated by software because it is too complicated to animate by hand'.. I wouldn't say too complicated to animate by hand... just tons more work for an animator to do, (but 2D does it)!
Either way, this was another interesting talk that I loved again for the subtle, appealing look of it. Mostly talking about clothing and how it interacted with the clothes in Monster university! FANTASTIC!

 In the evening I attended the afterparty with Remco van Dongen, and managed to speak with loads of people. Gave out as many business cards as I received, so I think I did well there! Met many people from different segments of the industry, all with different roles... Some roles I would not have thought about in the past. So overall amazing experience!

Managed to crawl back to the hostel at 4am.... Ow!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Travelling tipits - FMX 2014: First Day

So I have been and sadly left FMX... Sad times, had such an amazing experience there, would recommend it for any animator!!
So now to catch you all up...

Day 1:

Travelling -
A lengthy but relaxing coach ride all the way from Cardiff to Stuttgart! Was crazy, but, if I am honest, most of us slept through the majority of the trip. However we all did get up and out on the underground, and played catch... Which was funny seeming the small space! The ball did go under the coach a few times, thankfully though we managed to get the ball, and its pursuer, every time.
Must've been asleep when we came to the German border, as I remember reading french, falling asleep then waking up reading German :)

First thing, the building that Fmx was hosted in was gorgeous! Second thing, oh I was so hungry when we got there!
So the first thing on the agenda was setting up the stall, which we all did in double quick time- before heading over to 'The art of animation: Advancing Visual Effects in "How to Train Your Dragon 2"' in the cinema....
Which was basically a huge tease for the awesome animation, as well as including some sweet testers of fire effects and other nice visuals (snow for instance) used in the movie. I needed to see the film afterwards, but its still not out yet!!!
Then we ran back to the main building for 'Concept art: concepting for film', which was a lovely insight to some painting techniques and workflows.

For lunch we discovered a Subway like place... Which had some yummy sandwiches.

Then we came back, watched 'Frozen: The Art of Lighting', which summarised the films lighting with saturation = a tense, sad... Negative scene, whereas bright and vivid scenes were happy, or dramatic.

Then there was Ed Hooks' lecture on acting for animators! A fantastic way of thinking, that unfortunately has come too late for 90% of my final project... Although I have some ideas to incorporate it. Future projects though will not just contain animation, but also a motive for the movements in the character, even if it's body mechanics!!

After all that, we tried to hunt for food, failed, were taken to the hostel... Setup base there. Then went out for hunt 2... Found a local restaurant, had chips then had a larger... Got to admit was not fond of larger prior to the trip, now however I do drink the stuff!

So much travelling. 
Awesome art,
Amazing animation tips ,
And discovery!

See you all later,

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Monday, 21 April 2014

Website is ONLINE

Hi all,
In prep for FMX, and because I needed it done anyway, I have completed my website!

Any constructive criticism would be loved - what draws your eye, what repels it? Is it warm and inviting, or just plain chaotic?! Would love to know.

Website is HERE

Also my latest showreel is up and active, so take a look!

Also... that lady's voice? Yeah... That's mine!

See you soon,

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Friday, 18 April 2014

Practical Process: WIP - Editing

Hi all,
Thought I would add some more progress shots of my PMF project.. This time of the other character, she's a director, but I need more props to show that... Anyone got any recommendations?

A new part of my process is to take my latest playblast (When I can't think of anything else to do to it, but it doesn't feel right), and draw over it in photoshop... This helps me produce more exaggerated shapes, follow lines of action easier... and just generally have more fun!
Ta for listening,

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Deer animation

Hi all,
I don't believe I posted that deer sting I was on about... So here you go (please view in HQ!):

I was in charge of (in Pipeline order): Research, story idea, pose ideas, storyboarding, being a camera woman, deleting rolling shutter, working as a team to matchmove, Rigging, Animating, Rendering and post production - including colour correction, roto and shadow correction!

Thanks for visiting,

Find me at FMX

Hi all,
I'm going to FMX next week with some new business cards, my portfolio and a sketchbook. If any of you are going... I'll probably search you out! However I'm hosting the university of South Wales stand at 12 on Wednesday, and would love any company I could get - I promise to be a good conversationalist, especially about animation!
I'm very excited by all the companies that are attending the conference, and am looking forward to all the talks!
Ta for now,

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Monday, 14 April 2014

Industry indents: Bobby Pontillas

Hi all,
I have done them before, now I am making it a semi-regular thing! Every now and again I'll write an entry on what inspires my work, from artists to companies this section will explore different aspects of creativity. If I am granted permission I shall post knowledge I have gained from animation conferences that I have visited... Hopefully along with some new quotes!

For the first artist entry however I shall look at Bobby Pontillas' work, and show you all why I'm inspired by him.



Pontillas currently works for Disney Animation, having previously worked on Rio for Blue sky after graduating from Animation Mentor. From here on out this is purely my opinion of his work, as it is not backed up by other sources.
Pontillas has a talent for excitable movements, knowing how to overlap and follow through his work to portray the characters settling; this can be seen in his animation of Blue primarily, however also through Anna. Making his work an inspiration to me, mainly because although I can hit key frames, I struggle with believable 'moving holds'. Due to my struggle I went looking for other animator's work to see their techniques, and stumbled upon Pontillas.
In his scene with Anna, you can see his comedic use of timing when matching the music to Anna's arm movements, does not end with the note itself... His cushioning of her arms are minimal but can be seen.
The pattern I have noticed with his work is incredible speed to a key, which, once hit, slows down for cushion.
I am currently studying his work while animating my current PMF project...

However after stumbling across his animation, it struck me that I had heard his name before... Well... Not heard, read... So I found his blog.

Character Design
Not only is Pontillas a talented animator, he is also a talented character designer; his ability to pick out traits to caricature can be seen on his blog.
(I am hoping these link back to him)

I personally admire the texture and lines he achieves with his digital work, there's such a human quality to all aspects of his art and animation. If you are unfamiliar with his artwork then let me point you to the Art of Wreck it Ralph where his art is gorgeous!!
(I went to go and hunt y'all some of his beautiful wreck it Ralph pictures... But couldn't help but gaze at all his character arts on his blog)

On that note, I shall just leave you all to stare at his beautiful art on his blog and stunning animation on his vimeo!
Claire - OUT -

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Industry Indent: Double negative

Established in 1998 Double Negative, or Dneg for short, have worked on several exciting projects both for
major studios, Harry Potter, Skyfall, Man of Steel, etc. and independant film makers for films like Shaun of the Dead, Paul, Attack The Block, etc. 
They have won an academy award for Inception, as well as four VES awards (three for Inception) and two BAFTA awards, one for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and the other for Inception.

Their pieces range from Character animation (Paul) to vehicle animation (Rush) and crowd animation (John Carter), again another diverse range of work that thrills me when I see it.
Double Negative was another studio that visited USW in 2013, and gave a fantastic talk on their involvement with the animation of the Tharks in John Carter. Specifically they talked about the crowd scenes featuring the Tharks, such as the gladiator ring scene with the White Apes... Who are petrifying!
For all those who paint John Carter with the 'flop' brush, I urge you to watch the film again with fresh eyes, the VFX are glorious, the realistic character animation on the Tharks is fantastic, and how they solved the whole four arm idles is brilliant. The film itself is well worth the watch just for all the Thark scenes, as you can see the heart and soul poured into the characters, each bringing a believable human aspect to the film. If you believe the story has influences from other Sci-fi hits like Star wars, then read the origins for the script, as the book 'John Carter of Mars' was produced early 20th century, and is in fact the stem of the other Sci-fis!
Anyway, I'm detracting!

In fact this talk was the one to get me into rigging, due to the sequences they showed of all the facial animation, and how the deform shapes, and underneath muscles, were triggered by controls. However the main appeal of this talk to me how they interpreted the motion capture data for four armed characters, describing how the arms were arranged for dominate and recessive actions. This blend between motion capture and realistic key-framed animation is what drew me towards the studio.
I approached the team after the talk and I was very fortunate... and very cheeky as I asked... to arrange a visit to Dneg late last near when they were in full production of a film I cannot mention because of reasons... However I am very excited to see it in the Cinema!!

If you cannot tell from my typing, I have been very inspired by the realistic animation Dneg has produced over the years, and cannot wait to see more!
See you later,

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Birthdays and fun stuff

Hi all,
Been slightly inactive this week due to one major cause:
It was my 21st!!
Aiming to update with more precise details later... along with photos and things.
But in the mean time have a taste of what's to come... As I have a new tech baby!