Thursday, 20 May 2010

DVD Showreel

I've put my showreel together using DVD Studio Pro, and have divided it into 5 sections; '2D Animations', '3D Animations', 'Editing and Storyboards', 'Digital Art' and 'Life Drawing'. The latter two are slideshows which showcase my best art and using the tutorials Alex Hulse gave us a few weeks back I've added sound and a fade-in/fade-out transition between the slides. I've also been able to add frames around the menu buttons so that when they are selected they change colour, thus helping the audience with navigation.

Credits for music;
'Time Lapse'
both found on the computer program 'iMovie'.

All that is left to do now is burn it and hand in :)

Looking back over this project I feel that we have performed very well as a group. Our shared interest in 2D animation was a key factor in the outcome and we all managed to meet the deadlines set as we were going along. If there was anything I would change about this project it would be to allow more time for the editing and sound effects as I think we had only a couple of days towards the end to focus on them. Nevertheless Jon did a great job with the edit and the sound technician eventually pulled through so that we now have two different versions of our project - one with sound effects and the other without which can both be found on the disc we submitted.

The showreel was a great opportunity to look back over my work and compile the best parts together, it will definately save me a lot of time and hassle in the future when applying for jobs but I should keep it updated. The only thing about it I would change would be the appearance of the case, I didn't have time to create anything that unique or interesting so that is something I can perhaps focus on over summer.. I put all the content on the DVD that I wanted though so I hope it will show a good range of my work.

I feel as though my skills in flash have definately progressed through the practice this project has given me and now I just need to continue working with it over this long summer coming up! I have a couple of projects I plan to work on to do with 2D animation to keep my skills up to date and of course I will continue sketching and creating illustrations when I am able.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Another portion of the term we are getting marked on is our showreel. I have already begun to assemble pieces of my showreel for my application to the Bournemouth 3rd year, the links to which are below. They will be a good starting point as they show what I believe to be my best pieces of work and show a variety of styles I can create.

Portfolio of my concept work and life drawing, both personal and for college;

Animation showreel;

In particular I want to focus on the animation side but I can still have a slideshow on my DVD for the concept art and life drawing work.
We have already had a tutorial from Alex about the software DVD studio pro and the different things you can customise about it, all I need to do is add these files onto the program and work out how to present it which I will do next.

Friday, 23 April 2010


We've done it! Wooooooo :D
Handed our work into the Rave Live team on Wednesday evening and as we have not heard back from them with any problems it seems to be fine.

Jon completed the edit of the animation, there were no real problems although at some points we all wanted a slight change to the edit, and in the end I think we managed to change it enough so that everyone is happy with it.

The only real problem was that the sound designer was not able to complete the music or sound effects in time for us so we had to improvise and use music Emma had found and bought on the internet. I don't think this poses a huge problem though - there is already so much to our animation too many sound effects might overwhelm people! The music goes very nicely with it as well.

From here we are going to go back over the animation and add things we didn't have time for before.. The animation may even turn out a bit longer since we had to cut some of our work to meet the time constraint. There is also the sound to think about which the sound designer has assured us we can expect next week.
Overall I am happy with how our work turned out, the quality of the animation is good and it is consistently in terms of style and humour. It's a piece of work I am definately proud of and am proud of my group for completing :)

Formative - 20/04

Today was the formative with Jared. By this point we had already completed our animation but were still in the process of editing so we had a lot to show him.

Overall I think we did quite well as a group but my blog lagged evidence for some areas - I hadn't posted the animatic Jon made, or commented on our progress as a group but I've since gone back and done that so hopefully I can recover those marks for the summative. It was a good opportunity to see what was missing in my work and to realise I need to begin using my blog to post the status of my showreel! After the hand-in for the Rave Live animation I will start doing that here :)

My team members did well in their formative too, but Jon had marked himself very harshly and Jared had to raise his grades to compensate. I think me and Emma may try encouraging him more since he is always so down about his work when he doesn't need to be.

Monday, 19 April 2010

animated scenes

Since we have such a short deadline for this project, we are going to have to rely quite heavily on tweening. Emma has created some flash templates of the characters faces and bodies from different angles so that all we need to do is tween them and then animate their expressions, arms and legs on top of it.

I've just completed the rest of my animated scenes, but there is still some room for editing;

We still need to add the main character being hit by the words 'spotty' 'greasy' and 'nerd' and we're going to redo the spinning part at the end so that there isn't just a blank block of blue attacking him and instead the entire block has the spinning pattern on it.

This is most likely the shortest scene in the animation so I didn't want to put too much detail into it otherwise it would distract from the main character who doesn't really move. Some of the background characters are cameos of myself, Jon and Emma :)

This is the final scene for our animation and there is already a slight problem with the length but we are going to sort that out properly during the editing stage. I may also try and add a few more effects to the scene like a flash of light appearing with the hobo. I also made the background slightly bigger as at it's previous size you couldn't see the characters clearly enough.

My group are overall pleased with the animations however so if we do run out of time this is how the finals will look..

the funky chicken animation

One of the scenes I had to animate involved the boy dancing at a disco. Emma asked me to animate him doing the funky chicken but after searching on youtube I couldn't find the move she wanted (which she demonstrated one day in class). Then I recalled that The Mighty Boosh featured this dance move in one of the shows songs;

(At the time during 41-43 seconds)

Here is my version of it;

It doesn't look exactly right but since in the reference the character is spinning in a circle it was hard to accurately capture it. I've showed it to my group since and they are happy with it so it's fine to leave it like that. Emma and Jon even suggested that we use it at the end for comedic effect :)

I may have to edit it a little more to see how it looks like at a slower speed but for now that part is finished.

Friday, 16 April 2010

10-16th April

I had one final background left to draw which is for the pedestal scene at the end;

Kept it simple in the same style of the others and tried to use colours that complimented each other.

For the moment we are on track with our schedule and things are running smoothly. We are working well together as a group meeting deadlines and when we have issues to resolve such as details in the background or changes for the character designs we are able to find a way round them to benefit everyone. I am very pleased with this group, plus our shared love of 2D is great since it seems like most of the class prefers 3D.

Jon also finished the animatic;

So now that that is completed we can begin animating properly... We have also gotten one of our classmates Tom Ritchie to do the proper voiceover and are trying to get a sound design student to help with the background music.

This week on the 13th we also have a DVD Studio Pro walkthrough with Alex for working on our showreels. It was a useful experience as I had never used the software before and I know now how to present my CD showreel better. You can change the backgrounds, add buttons to link to different animations, create menus and slideshows.. It was a little complicated but I've made notes and am confident I can work the software.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Backgrounds complete..

Here are all the finished backgrounds bar one which I will try and complete asap (it's the one at the end with the hobo on the pedastal...)

I got feedback from my group to improve most of these;
-adding feet onto the disco people
-zoom out of grannys house
-darken the lighting for the street scene
-add a skirting board and more detail to the 'c-box' one
and i drew two new ones.. a classroom and a random brick wall for the beginning!

We have been powering through the work this week and Jon and Emma awesomely got the sound done with our classmate Tom Ritchie as the voice-over. I feel as though I need to work much much harder, I'm very worried that I'm holding my team-mates back so I'm doing loads of animating this weekend to make up for it.

We've decided to do 10 seconds of animating each and mine is the first ten seconds so it will mainly be focused on the boy and his facial expressions... Should be good hopefully, I intend to finish by Monday!

Friday, 2 April 2010


I spent most of today working on creating the backgrounds for our animation...

The motorway scene...

Two different shots for the disco.. one for the girls dancing and the other for the main character doing the funky chicken!

Two random shots from the boys house for when he's pretending to play videogames with the box..

Granny's house! for the present scene.

and finally a random street for when the box is used as an umbrella :)

I have posted these images to show my group and after getting their feedback hope to improve and add on these.. I think the designs may be a little too simple in some of the cases like the street and the boys house but I didn't want it to detract from the main animation so I made it simple and had the colours be a little 'wishy-washy' to push the background back a bit.

Weds 31 March - Fri 2nd April

We have completely finished our work on the storyboards now and are beginning to think about the animatic, backgrounds and character designs!

During our Thursday lesson we started to decide vital information about our characters. About a month ago, Emma attended a Pixar lecture that told her about the use of shapes in character design - comical characters are round, evil characters triangular, and sturdy characters are rectangular.. interesting snippets like that. Taking that into consideration we began designs.. Both the hobo and the grandma are quite comical characters so we made them kinda fat..
The designs I concentrated on were that of the main boy and 3 of his classmates..

Here are some quick sketches of the main boy... He's pretty regular-looking which is the point.. but I tried slightly different styles and showed my group, they seemed quite happy with the designs and I think Emma is going to try and develop them further..

Concept art of his friends... The guy on the left is the main friend and he's a bit 'cooler' than the main character and acts more arrogantly so I tried to get that across in his figure and face... The two girls are going to be randomly dancing at the disco!
We have also decided that if we need more characters we might try and cameo some of our original ones made just for fun.. Should be good, we won't make a big deal about that though :)

Anyway, we managed to present our storyboards to the Rave Live team yesterday and they seemed pretty happy with the work. I talked them through it and Jon accompanied by showing images (unfortunately emma had a doctors appointment) but it went very well and the only thing they warned us about was using too many flashing images in case there are epileptics in the audience...

Our aim for the weekend is to finish the animatic and be ready for animating next week..
I am going to work on the backgrounds and have them ready to show.. Jon is going to complete the animatic and Emma is going to further develop the characters... I believe they will continue to do a fantastic job and just hope I can keep up with their enthusiastic pace :)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

2nd Week - Tuesday 30th

Over the weekend I worked on developing a storyboard for the cardbox box idea;

This is still just quite rough but I got in as many of the ideas brainstormed as I could and I tried to make it comedic...
I pitched it to Jon and Emma today and they seemed happy with it, although they had some kick ass ideas of their own and helped me improve some of mine like the beginning, we developed the character more and thought about what kind of guy he would be and how he would react to this mysterious voice-over ordering him around.

All these new ideas we then drew into a final storyboard, wrote the script for and thought about the sound effects we might need. Emma will upload the storyboard in the next day or so (which I will then place a link to) Jon should upload the script and below I've written out all the sound effects;
-Speeding cars
-Skateboard grinding the pavement
-Unwrapping (for the box)
-Record stopping
-Glass Smashing
-static television (white noise)
-CDs falling over
-Celebratory Trumpet
-Gears turning (squeak of the pedastal)
-Bag being knocked over

There are a few sounds that are quite bizarre and are hard to describe... for example when people are talking in our advert, instead of speech we thought we would take a leaf out of Peanuts book and have the speech come out like this (trumpet-ish....);

It's funny and it won't detract from the main voice-over.

We also had a meeting with a sound design student today to discuss the creation of the background music and sound effects. I think it went quite well, the only thing is that he will need at least an animatic before he can start work which is another reason for us to get that together as soon as possible.

Unexpectedly we also had to do a presentation to the class on our project. Emma did the majority of the talking while Jon backed her up and I felt like quite the lemon. I'm really no good at presentations.. I could feel everyone's eyes on us and I pretty much just stood there avoiding eye contact. I feel like I let the group down, I'll have to work harder on the animation to make up for it :(
On the plus side, Jared was fine with our idea so all that's left to do is finish the storyboard and maybe think about an animatic for the end of the week :)

25/26th March

Sorry for the late post, this covers what happened at the end of last week...

We did a lot more brainstorming and finalised our ideas down completely. Below is my quick brainstorm and development of three ideas that Jon and Emma came up with last Wednesday...

The main brainstorm can be found in Emma's journal entry (click to view)
As stated in the previous journal we are going to do a comedic advert so I tried to develop some comedic ideas for 'darkness' 'socks' and an 'empty wrapper' but I am not particularly proud of them, I feel my talent lies more in carrying out ideas then generating them, although I have given it a try..

I also did a rough version of our schedule for the next 4 weeks...

There's a properly typed up version but its on emmas computer, once I nab it back off her I'll post it up here as well though.

After some discussion we decided to either go for advertising a Hobo or a Cardboard Box, and we left last week each to develop our own storyboards for it.. I chose to develop the cardboard box idea and below are some of the concept sketches and ideas written down for it;

The ideas are not all mine and I only developed the ones we were most likely to use... I really like the idea of using the cardboax box as transportation though, me and Emma have discussed the idea over the phone so we plan to develop that a little more and make it more comedic if possible :)

Finally, to end the week we went to the Rave Live presentation and found out we didn't need to pitch anything until this Thursday when the Rave Live team would visit us and view our storyboards. Hearing about Rave Live was interesting, it's pretty cool that it's going to be shown at Matter in the 02, seems like far away but I'm sure the deadline will rush up...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Wednesday 24th March 2010

Today we made some great progress ^^
Rave Live got back to us and agreed that we can do an animation, it needs to be ready to pitch on Friday and fully storyboarded by next week Friday.

I also created a schedule for our work which Jon has uploaded and which I will now post to my own blog;

After a short brainstorming sesh in the morning, we came up with a few ideas for what we want to animate...
-A serious scene with a humourous twist (for example a marriage proposal that gets ruined somehow...)
-A real life occurance (like swarms of pigeons flying and attacking people at train stations)
-An advert for a seemingly rubbish product (i.e. dirt, socks, air...)

Eventually we decided on the latter, it would be the most comical and we felt the most passionate and excited about it! There are a few similar parodies we found online for it;

'Ren & Stimpy - Log!'
Not quite sure why anyone would actually want a log but it was funny :D Something about showing people getting excited by the most random things is what makes it worthwhile...

'The Snuggie'

What scares me the most is that this is a real advert!! It seems like it should be fake.. there's no animation but the stupidity is what we want.


This one is the closest to what we want I think... It's a bad product being advertised in a good way which is what we want really :)

'Cyanide & Happiness - Book'

This could be very close to what we want... The animation style is probably close to what we can create and the humour is spot on.

Basically we want to do something like the above but with our own ideas...
Some of the ones we have come up with are; air, socks, dirt/dust, acid, a portable hole, darkness, an empty wrapper and hobos.
Tonight I am going to brainstorm ideas on a few of these and create a schedule! I will post more of our exploits tomorrow~

Tuesday 23rd March 2010

First day of our new unit!

In the morning Jared walked us through the brief. We need to submit a group film suitable for broadcasting, a journal and an interactive DVD showreel. The last two I can complete easily enough but the group film was another matter.
He explained that there are 3 different possible routes to choose for it;
1) working as a junior on a BA film project
2) working towards Rave Live
3) finding an external client.

We listened to both the BA and MA students pitch their ideas to us after Jared's lecture, but as all of them required 3D work I didn't want to pursue this option.
The external client idea was looking to be the most positive but then we had a lecture from the Rave Live team. They were looking for students to either create some 3D idents (again 3D so I wasn't keen on it..) but they also spoke about creating some short 30 second animations for the 'inbetween' parts of the show and this interested me as we could use 2D!

After speaking with two of my classmates - Emma Wyton and Jonathan Blake, we all realised we wanted to do the same thing - create a short flash animation so voila! We have become a team and are going to pursue this option!

We finished the day by deciding to go away for the evening and think about what to animate as well as look for useful flash videos on youtube that would inspire us.

I've created a youtube playlist of the ten flash shorts I found that might help us...

Jon and Emma also posted playlists of short flash videos they liked...



The ones in particular I think are most useful;

'The Man Who Could Sit Anywhere'

This is a funny little parody... It's quite a simplistic style and I believe we're going to try and be a bit more developed than this but the humour is sort of what we're looking for...

'The Dark Knight Meets Superman Part 2'
embedding was disabled but click the link to view. This one parodies well known superheroes and makes fun of them. We all agreed that if we're making a short animation it shouldn't be too complicated and should play on something people already know about. We aren't intending to use well-known characters like they have here but we want to do something similar and instead use real life situations.

'Awesome Center: Under the Awesome REDUX'

We loved the facial expressions in this one! We aren't sure how much we want to rely on sound which means the expressions will be important in our animation, and the animator of this 'EgoRaptor' is a master of this! Also the animation has a lovely flow to it that we could try and imitate :)

'Bob and the Apple'
possibly my most favourite flash animation of all time! Very random, exactly the kind of humour we like and not too shabby animation either :D

So far...
We have sent an email to the Rave Live team letting them know we're interested..
(the email can be found in Emu's blog entry... CLICK HERE TO VIEW)

And we've assigned basic roles to ourselves as well as put up our individual blogs.

JON - Animator, Editing, Storyboard/Animatic, Research, Character Design, Concept
Blog -

EMMA - Animator, Hitler (Director), Storyboard/Animatic, Research, Character Design, Concept
Blog -

MICHELLE - Animator, Backgrounds, Colour, Research, Character Design, Concept

I think we're all going to try and animate 10 seconds each.. Either that or concentrate on certain things like one person does the key poses, another inbetweens, another does the secondary animation etc. Although the first option might be more feasible because the deadline is the 22nd of April and I'm not sure how often we can meet and work together at college!