Friday, 1 June 2012

Not dead!

I realise it's been a long time since I posted, and a lot has happened in that time! Thanks to my fabulous team: HUGH ELLIOT LYDIA DAN NIGEL ...Love Hate was finihed with two days to spare! They really are a top bunch of animators and left me (relatively) stress free once I knew it was in their hands and I'm super proud of what we've managed to create. And despite having a mad rush in the final week to write up 5000+ words worth of reports, I have now handed in every single bit of University work. Which has left me with mixed feelings about the whole thing, as stressful as this year has been I would gladly do it all over again (although, perhaps not the dissertation... you can keep that). The hardest thing has been adjusting to no deadlines and nothing to do now that my crazy 10am till 2am working days are over. Perhaps this summer I'll actually get a tan... Maybe. And now I've actually found I feel bad if I don't do anything, I redid my showreel today because I felt so guilty when I tried to play the Sims. I just hope this work ethic continues! Now that the film and everything else is done, we're hoping Love Hate will be able to make a run of the festival circuit! It's been entered into Bristol's Animated Encounters, so time will tell! (Sadly this means you won't be able to see it online, but there are snippets packed into both mine and Hugh's showreels). Now I must go and pack, for Hugh, Dan and I are off to Annecy! An exciting, but also scary prospect, so if there are any other animators out there who are reading this and are going, hopefully we'll meet!

Monday, 30 April 2012


So, I've been really rather quiet recently on the blogging front. Scarily we only have 17 days left of production time! However, I took time out yesterday in order to create a...


Expect this blog to get an overhaul in the future so I can be all matching. I'm also working on matching business cards as part of our Professional Practice module.

Professional practice is designed to get us in contact with people in the "business" before we become part of the "business" ourselves. This constant thinking of business reminded me of THIS (Lets pretend Andy Wyatt is Sam the Eagle and I'm Scrooge, and instead of saying the "American way", he would say "the Animated way").

Anyway, here's a couple of shots I've been working on in the past week.

(Blogger's new editing system is disgusting).

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


The past few days I've been playing with Dinosaurs.

Original photograph:

Separate parts for puppeting in ToonBoom Animate (the final one has more - the leg is in 3 spearate bits):

One of the first videos (the dinosaur was then edited to look more like the original drawing, larger head, larger belly, for a bit more characterisation):

It's actually a lot of fun doing puppet animation. It takes quite a while to set up, but after working on Barista and only figuring out how to do puppets 3/4 of the way through last year, the amount of time it saves animating is worth the amount of time it takes to set up. The final animation will probably have an outline around the dinosaur - I'm thinking graphite stick or biro, but considering the edit here is only done with the original photograph, I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. I've also been playing around with the credits, but dinosaurs are much cooler.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter Update

So the blog has been poorly neglected these past couple of months, which I tried to not let happen, but the juggle of dissertation, team management and animating in time for a professional guest sweatbox meant that the blog was last on a list of higher priorities. Now dissertation is done and dusted which means there's A. time and B. less pressure now I just have to concentrate completely on Love Hate.

There's a more up-to-date version of our work in progress, but this is the version we showed at the Sweatbox (and the latest online version):

(In an attempt to be a bit more professional, I'm gradually migrating to Vimeo, got to love those YouTube names created by your 15-year-old self).

Love Hate was well recieved by the guy from Industry (whose name escapes me at the moment, this is what happens if I don't write everything down), with only a few suggestions for change, some me and Hugh had already discussed before the sweatbox screening. The main concern is getting rid of the swearword in the beginning (I have promised the school I recorded at to send them a copy, however as it's a primary school the edit really needs to be clean). Since this is the only slip up language wise, we're going to hide it with the sound effect of steam (the coffee cup is going to morph to a teapot - or kettle - that spouts steam, thus to a 'sh---' noise. Cheeky.

This section of animation is being done by Lydia, my second year who has stepped aboard. She has been super speedy to recitify any changes I've suggested and she's not afraid of After Effects which is a big help. She's done some cool tests for the coffee already, using pastels (which fits great with the whole hand-drawn/graphicy style I want the film to reflect).

Lydia is also working on the fish falling onto the girl (another shot with suggested changes, the shot is no longer cut between the shot of the bird dropping the fish, but now a single shot):

Other team members who've been given things to work on over Easter are Dan and Paddy, Dan is set to work on the Slot Machine/Purple boy sequence and
Paddy is working on the bird catching the fish.

The goal over Easter is to get all the rough animation done, and then proceed to get as much of the neat animation done as possible for the rough cut deadline on the 27th of April. I leave you with some shots that I've been working on the past two weeks, so you can see how far it's come along since the Sweatbox.

Bus design:

For the credits I'm contemplating using the speech bubbles I designed as concept art for the pitch:

Puddle Girl is now completely (fingers crossed) finished:

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Animation Tests and Organisation

So this week I've been cracking on with animation tests, but I've also got back into producing and organising everything for when we start animating (next week - fingers crossed).

After our meeting with Andy a week ago, we set out a production pipeline...

... which has been a blessing for creating the final schedule.

I've also done a breakdown of every shot in the production, and have a nicely organised folder with the voiceclip quote and the corressponding storyboard for it:

LH_PRODUCTION - Shot List, Description, Designation

I've also created a form that can be used to document the individual shot's progress.

Which will probably end up looking a little something like this:

After posting so many schedules I'm feeling rather OCD, but this one is a weekly plan that I can give to crew members to outline the project's overall goal for that week, and they can use to fill in what they do each day... which is going to be a big help when it comes to writing the horribly long production report at the end of term and no-one can remember when they did anything (been there - don't want to repeat).

Aaaand, finally, a nice table to chart the overall progress of the project:

Right, now for the fun stuff, the moving pictures!

A video documenting the animation test progress of the Cannibal Pig... She loves bacon:

And, using the Cannibal Pig, a background texture test:

As per Rosa's suggestion, every week or so, I'm going to make an edit of everything we have so far, this is yesterday's one (and it's already had some more storyboarding done since then).

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Production Transcript

So, here's what Love Hate consists of at the minute, if anyone has any ideas for storyboarding sections, getting in contact with me and/or Hugh would be great.

Production Transcript

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Cracking On

To save my sanity, Hugh has been an absolute hero this past week while I pieced together my draft dissertation for Monday. The final voicetrack (for the forseeable future) is now in place and we're going to be working to it (perhaps with a few twaeaks here and there for timing).

When we showed them on Friday, Rosa and Derek seemed pleased with what we've accomplished so far, and the track got a few laughs even without the visuals to accompany it...

(The video is rather boring, but has some storyboard of what we've got planned thus far).

We're still looking for ideas for some sections of audio, but this next week is going to be about animation tests, ready for when we get our second years sometime next week.

Here's two Hugh made last week:

Donut Run Test. from Hugh Herbert on Vimeo.

Old Lady transformation test from Hugh Herbert on Vimeo.

And two I made today:

(It glitches slightly as I hadn't realised there was an additional frame when I switched from 25 to 12fps).

The pleasing thing is that these ones didn't take very long at all... I find it much easier to make my animation neater on paper than I do on computer, there's just something about having it there physically on the paper that makes it easier than a graphics tablet for me.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Into Production

So, it's already one week into term and I'm falling behind with the blog updates, somewhat hindered by my later than expected return to Falmouth due to a chest infection. That was fun.

Love Hate has been one of the final ten projects to go into production, (something that is both pleasing and extremely stressful when I stop long enough to think about it). Although it's unfortunate that a lot of my favourite projects didn't go through, this has only spurred me on to make sure this film gets completed to the highest possible standard, and some of those whose projects didn't get picked will help me on the way to achieving this.

Hugh is staying on as my Co-director and this week our job is to sort out the soundtrack and get it as finalised as possible. This will mean that we can really get to grips with pacing and storyboarding the entire film ready to start dishing out the animation asap, and give it to Rob to start playing around with some music for it. It also means organising and editing all the voice clips I collected over Christmas from my Mum's lovely workmates at Carers Gloucestershire, who allowed me to interview them all!

Emily has kindly offered her services to me and will be handling some of the design elements, this primarily consists of Character Designs, and she'll be giving my brief little stick figures an injection of much needed personality.

Currently I have no full time animators on my project, but Dan Emmerson & Tom Gameson have said they will lend themselves to a few scenes. Since the scenes are going to be short in length, I've pitched it to the other third years that while they work on longer, more animation heavy and time consuming projects, if they wanted to have a bit of a break and doing something a bit more free and fluid, they can work on a scene of mine , not only will this give them a much needed break, (this comes from personal experience of working on Barista last year - working in one rigid style of animation that you aren't necessarily comfortable with can get you into a bit of a creative rut, so it's nice to just have fun and do something different for a couple of days to get you back into the swing of things)but it will also greatly help to move my project along nicely. Although this is going to mean that the style of drawings varies from person to person, I think it will lend itself to the piece since all of the voiceclips belong to different individuals and no-one really sounds the same.

So, watch this space.