Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Y esterday I had the opportunity to pitch Red to the 2nd year animation students. The pitch went well and I have had some emails regarding interest in helping already. I showed them all the storyboards, the intro to Red and what type of skills I am looking for to help with my project.

The areas that I have asked for help with are -

Modelling - Some assets for inside the book, trees, grass, bats etc.
Rigging - To rig these assets to move within the bo
Animation - Help animating assets and possibly some inbetweeners for red and the wolf
Concept Art – Some concept artwork and character design of red, the wolf, the book and of assets.

I hope to hear from everyone that is interested and although I may not be able to use everyone, it will be good to see samples of other peoples work for future ideas and collaborations.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Storyboards first draft

T odays lecture involved a talk from production company Carse and Waterman http://www.carseandwaterman.com/ on how important collaboration is. It was very informative and its given me a lot to think about for when I finish university. Starting a production company with fellow students would be a great experience and if it was successful would be an even greater accomplishment. I will just fantasise on this subject for a while.

I met with Woody Woodmass this afternoon to look at the initial drafts for the storyboard; I am really impressed with the drawing style and effort that he has put in the space of a week. We will be speaking again weds/thurs to discuss one or two changes I had. There is a part of the song that goes back to the start of the story and sees things from the wolfs perspective, this needs to be brought across a little clearer to the audience as my initial ideas were hard to read.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Interior and Exterior Renders

Two pieces created last year in my 2nd year at university for an advanced Modelling and Lighting module. The aim of the module was to model a scene from a reference image and try to match the render concentrating mostly on the lighting. The images were both modelled and textured in Maya, rendered in passes with Mental Ray and composited in Photoshop.

The Living room render needs a bit more fine tuning with refractions and some adjustment of certain shaders.

The Exterior render I am very happy with, the inspiration came from a very similar image by mtnarchitects-loghomes.com

Friday, 27 January 2012

<-------- Reverse Timetable

Worked out a reverse timetable today for Red, I have given my self (marked green) until 23rd April to have it completed. This leaves me with 1week to spare until FMX and then around 2weeks after FMX until the official hand in. I aim to work on some self promotional work and show reel during time.  I have set reasonable targets to reach on a week by week basis and aim to finish these by the start of the new week.

Today I have also started modelling a CGI environment for fellow student Chris Horne's project. I spent a lot of time working out a tricky bit of modelling with buildings arches. (Worked it out in the end :))Chris is looking for a realistic financial district to be the stage of his final piece. In return I have asked Chris to do some concept artwork for Red, however his modelling skills are very good so I may test these with some paper modelling in Maya.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

More Thinking...

Today something caught my eye and made my mind race on ideas for the characters, ORIGAMI!! http://www.wonko.info/365origami/?p=1560 This (image right) by Peter (wonko) Whitehouse, was created out of paper. What a simple and elegant idea for the characters in Maya, and would fit perfectly with the book and song style.


More searches online brought me to a brilliant digital artist-  Jeremy Kool who has been developing 3D characters made to look like paper. The paper Fox project by Jeremy Kool http://thepaperfox.blogspot.com/
He is currently creating 3D characters made to look like they are out of paper (image left)

I love this style I also came across this new Intel Video produced my http://johnmcneilstudio.com/
 New Intel Advert using Maya and Modo to create animated paper.
I will start to scribble some ideas down of my own, but how great would little red look in this style, I have already thought of a way to simply rig them too. Feeling very good about this project now!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Strategy Lesson

I have been racking my brains on how to bring Little Red and the Wolf characters to life. I've been planning since the beginning of this project last year to have them fully CG like the Captain Scarlet I modelled, pictured below. But somehow this isn’t going to look right with the style of song or current set that I have... Woody suggested a 2D approach to the characters having them pre animated and brought into Maya on a plane. This could work however I am concerned about the camera limitations with this. Will carry on thinking...
As a whole the lesson made me think about what is important on completion and I now realise I must create a reverse schedule for this project, even if it pains me to be this precise. I know with better planning I will achieve far better results, with the use of my time. My son is now 4 + 1/2 months and needs a lot of attention so when they are my days to mind him I struggle to have a great output in university work. This will need to be accounted for in my schedule.

Monday, 23 January 2012


Today I met up with fellow student Woody Woodmass, who had offered to help with the storyboarding of red. We met for a nice pint (or two) and a Panini, I explained to him my ideas for red and how I was struggling to visualise it on paper.

I went through the timing of the song with him and explained what the story meant. It was really helpful to bounce ideas off someone for this project. We came up with the idea of having the change of time in the story by reversing the frames and having this sped up, ready to show the wolfs perspective of the story. I felt that real progress was made today.

Woody is going to have a draft storyboard ready by next monday where we will meet again to discuss this further, in the meantime I am looking over ideas for the character animation

Words and the frames for the storyboard artist

Saturday, 21 January 2012

FMX 2012

This week I have booked for FMX 2012, for those of you that don’t know, FMX is Stuttgart’s Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia.

Last year I attended and it was a great opportunity to see what’s happening in this industry, I spoke to studios directly to see what they are looking for talent wise. This year I will be looking to hand out show reels, business cards and to meet new people in this industry. FMX 2012 - http://www.fmx.de/

It will also give me a chance to tick off some German beers and ales for my new 1001 beers before you die book bought to me for my upcoming birthday from my brother and his girlfriend - cheers guys!

So near yet so far away.

My final Semester at university started yesterday with the screenings of other students work from last semester, some good, and some bad. For my final project (Animation Direction) I get to be director, art director and lead animator to the finale of Red.

I will have to ability on this one to work on what I created previously and bring other students from 3D, animation and stop motion across to assist on bringing it to life. In watching everyone’s work I have a good idea on who would make a great asset to my project. I am keen for a storyboard artists help, a character designer and will be looking for assistance with modelling of assets and some animation.

I have a meeting with fellow student Derek Woodmass on Monday PM to discuss possible storyboards, as he is a keen drawer and should help me realise the rest of this sequence.