Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Production Analysis

For the purpose of this evaluation, I'm going to look at each section of the project separately.

First the Title Sequence: this is the one section that I have been happy with throughout Production. I had planned to paint everything digitally as I had not worked that way before, but as I explored ArtRage I realised that my lack of experience was making it difficult for me to achieve the results I wanted. Using my personal work of the children's book as a base was very enjoyable but it made it very hard to move away from the original storyline when trying to storyboard the sequence. After reworking the storyboard and inking the backgrounds traditionally, I found it much easier to progress with the sequence, and everything came together. I enjoyed combining the traditional backgrounds with the digitally painted characters, and would like to explore this more in future work.

Character Redesign: this was the hardest section for me. I couldn't decide on the style I wanted during PreProduction, and on the advice of others ended up with one I wasn't comfortable with. Instead of fixing this issue, I continued working and ended up hating my designs at the end of PreProduction. Seeing how unsuccessful the designs were at this point, I then rethought my idea. I ended up with characters that I was really happy with, but then I didn't have enough time to do as much work during Production as I should have. I learnt that you shouldn't work on something you know is unsuccessful, and next time, I will make sure I keep designing in a way that is different yet still something I'm happy with.

Collaboration: I had a number of projects lined up but, due to different reasons, some of them didn’t work out. I found Beth's backgrounds hard: I am not good and need more understanding and practice in the area. Sian's colouring was the project I was looking forward to all year, but because she only finished animating a few days before the deadline, I had to rush all the clean up and colouring. I only did shots 1 to 21, and they took a lot longer than I had expected, so I felt that I couldn't work to my usual standard. Next year I will make sure it is started sooner so I can put in the time and effort that it deserves.

Overall, I think there have been a number of issues for me this year, some of them unavoidable but many of them due to bad judgement. Next year I will think about what I want to achieve at the end of the project, and want to work in a way that not only looks great but I really enjoy. That being said, I still tried really hard this year, and have produced some nice pieces that reflect this. Next year I‘ll focus on better scheduling, more confidence in my ideas, and put more thought into the decisions I make.

Animatic and Showreel

Here is my 2010 showreel with a variety of work that I've done this year. I'm quite happy with some of it :) and big super thank yous to Luke for putting the showreel together with the music, making it all sync up and look generally awesome :D you are first nicest! Music is copyright Coraline by Bruno Coulais and The Children's Choir of Nice.

Here is my final animatic for the Title Sequence - I had initial problems exporting it, and it ended up over 1.2GB! So I took it back into Premiere and compressed it to a more manageable size!

Hope these work!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Coloured Shots

*UPDATED* - The lovely Sian and Mat have new blogs now, so their links have been replaced - go and see their most excellent work!!

Well it's all over now :D I thought I'd just put a few videos up of what I'd coloured for Sian in the last few days (epic fun but so hard). I'm currently working on my showreel and about to submit the Advanced Tech. I will be putting up the Evaluation post soon too, as the final part of this project. More of the film can been seen on Sian's blog so you should go look there ^_^ and also, as Mat did the backgrounds, here's a link to his too:

Here are the shots I coloured for her:

All animation done by Sian Jefferson 2010 from the film 'No Pie For You'. All colouring by me.

I wish I'd had a lot longer to do this as many of the shots were not given enough clean up or colouring time, and as a result I feel I've damaged Sian's wonderful drawing and animation. So, I feel a bit rubbish about that.

Friday, 21 May 2010


Well, it's currently about 3.30am, the morning of deadline day, and I still have a number of things to do.

1) Two in situs done, will upload those in a moment, as I'm rather proud of them. One left to do.

2) Just about to colour in the poster, textures and all.

3) Need to do all the file organise-y stuff, as per usual.

4) Still have about 25 shots of Sian's film to colour. I'm really enjoying it, and it is what I want to do in my career - I didn't buy my own version of Animate just for the fun of it. But as she was so late in finishing the actual animation of her film, I've been given the responsibility of colouring the entire thing, today. I did it for about 9 hours straight in Uni, did shots 1 to 14 -_- there are 39 shots, though Sian has thankfully done around 4 or 5 at the end, and I think Beth helped with one too. But it's not just colouring - I have to clean it all up too, as Sian didn't have time for any clean up at all, and most of her frames are just construction lines! So I'm practically redrawing, lining up, setting out the timing from her charts and then colouring her whole film! Epic job, seriously - don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all, I just hope the tutors will know exactly what I had to do get it done...which I haven't yet but hey, optimism!

5) Need to take 10seconds of Sian's film for the Advanced Tech.

6) My finished animatic (yay) is over 1GB in size (booo) and I can't do anything about it as I had to change the file for storyboarding, so uhhh, sorry tutors!!!

I'm sure there was more stuff, but I'm very tired yet hyped on my second, or is it third, can of Relentless, and I have lots to do. I'm not alone though - Amy's on msn powering away with me :D

Here are the in-situs, and the final visuals for my animatic ^_^

In-situs (I can't decide which one to go with for the first one yet, opinions will be needed):

The first visual:

Second one:

Third one:

Fourth one, version one:

Version two:

Version three:

I think I'm going with version one, people seem to like it best.

Well there you are. I would put up my animatic, but it's massive. Sorry if this has been unprofessional or has lots of spelling mistakes - I'm very tired and not a little stressed, so I'm not sure I mind XD at least work is being done!

Saturday, 1 May 2010


So, the last of the characters, and my favourite of the men! Spike needed to look confident, strong but agile, and above all, threatening and a little bit dead. He is a vampire after all. I had a few problems at first, but eventually found a design I liked. Here are the initial sketches:

I then took this final design and did the base colours in photoshop (adding a background texture relatively quickly):

I again experimented with lots of textures, which was good because I was initially was going to use a leather texture on his coat, but found one much more suitable:

I had trouble choosing certain areas, so narrowed it down to a choice of four:

I then shaded with the colour burn too, adjusted the contrast a little, and ended up with my final Spike :)

So, now on to all the rest of the stuff. This week has been so stressful I can barely keep focused on what to do next, but we're all feeling it, but we'll all manage somehow :)


Giles was also very difficult to do - I didn't want him looking too cartoonish, but he is the most caricatured of the five characters, so his design needed to show this. These were the couple of sketches I came up with.

I liked the last one so decided to colour it up - here are the base colours in Photoshop.

I then did my usual texture experimentation, and came up with the following:

I then pick my favourite of those and came up with this:

Which I then coloured, using the burn tool which is not ideal but has worked well so far, and ended up with this final design, which I am happy with - he is tall and thin, bookish looking to reflect his wisdom and intelligence, with long thin fingers to turn the pages of dusty books, yet his large chest allows for his deep voice and authority.

Spike to follow, my favourite so far ;P


So, I've found he's the most difficult character to sort out, and it took my a while to work with him, but I think I'm pretty happy with him now. Here are the sketches and inked up designs I worked with.

I forgot to save the base colour image, so let's just skip to textures: here are the 10 different versions I chose between.

I then chose my favourite textures out of those designs and put them together in a final texture lay up, which I then shaded under. So this is my final Xander design (though it will be redrawn slightly)

Giles and Spike to follow :)