17 Dec 2012

more noir by moi!

More Noir By Moi!
Colour is not my favourite
Here are some title cards Ive based loosley around this image:
I also quite fancy this one but theres alot more work to be done and styles to try, fonts to faff with and such...


Over Christmas I will be creating title cards for a short film which will air on S4C and be screened at Ffresh Ffilm Festival 2013. The film will be set in the Welsh Valleys in 1960 so I will be creating some Film Noir title credits.

Ive always had an interest in cartoon title credits, the likes of which you'd find on an old UPA or Ren and Stimpy cartoon.  However, its never occurred to me to ever reference old film title  cards and so far my research is taking me to some pretty awesome art work.

Here's some of my favourite images Ive found during my research for this project:
I just love the print of the church and the shapes
 Some cleverly executed designs from some Film Noir title cards
I also have to create a logo for the company, we both seem to love this image right now.
 More imaginative text. I especially focussed on the church tower shape in the centre as the film is set in an old village where the chapel is central to the story.

26 Nov 2012


After Flash stopped giving me the hump I created this lil guy and was quite chuffed with the outcome:)
Im going to post an animation soon for Animade's 'Full Secs' challenge on Vimeo. You can see the entries here ( A LOT of very clever and hilarious ideas!). 
The best ones, I think, work with puns and word-play which takes me back to Tex Avery's 'Symphony in Slang' cartoon from the late 40's/50's.
Anyhow, heres some design ideas for a concept me and my boyfriend thought about a year ago.
 This was the original inked in TB with basic colours and faff put around it. The more I play with the idea of just having block colours the more I detest seeing black outline.  

 More to come!

16 Nov 2012

Action Man Plan! ...Or Action Woman more like...

Its plain to see 
that I'm currently getting nowhere with my approach to regular and animation job hunting. I partly DONT want a  regular job (dont tell the taxman!) because frankly another 3 years in a hell hole pub doesnt interest me anymore. For the sake of Canada did I only stick it out as long as I did but now things have changed substantially in my thinking.  

I believe, in some wierd way, that my desire for a serious go at obtaining an animation career has somehow deterred me from getting a regular job at say a coffee house or a bar. I think this lack of enthusiasm for such a hum-drum life has shown or is evident in my applications and it seems at this moment in time Im incapable of employment...in ANY field of work. So is it my attitude or is there a part of me thats saying 'Hey you! Stop being a dick to me and go out and get what I and you want for fek's sake!' Yeh, that girl screams out alot of profanity but she has a really big point.

Four freelance, yet UNPAID, jobs later and Im still no closer to that Studio job. I took these jobs for nothing other than to better myself (which is worth it just for that I suppose) but ultimately to get some experience working for clients to eventually succeed in getting a permanent job at a production house. Ive even gone as far as Vancouver in Canada to try my luck out there although thats a different story with a not so good ending so you can see my run of bad luck. 

Whats made me write this today is after seeing this, lead by a former lecturer at my University:

I nearly wrote a response to this video on what I thought about CP's opinions on animation education at UWN, but after 4 paragraphs I decided to stop being bitter. Ive been bitter about University for too long and possibly focussed on the things that went wrong rather than reading between the lines of what I gained from the experience. My next and first move closer to that Studio job was to seek help from a former favourite lecturer. I explained my predicament, what I was doing to gain work and asked what IT IS that I may be missing, under-selling, any particular content I was lacking in etc so I would be more employable to a studio.  Then I started to look through bookmarks of websites of studios Id like to work at and remembered, from the BAF panel what the DNeg manager said that they werent looking for 'creativity' but more a 'technical' showreel.  This says to me then that its a studio's choice what they look for in a candidate. That you have to KNOW certain things about that particualr production house and know if theyre looking for someone who is all technical with 0 personality/ creativity and just knows what buttons to press, or the houses that look for creativity as well as tech or both of those things as stand alones.  I regularly scour sites and try and get a feel for what they look for in an employee but their websites, lest we forget, are more about THEM projecting themselves as a business and you rarely find that personal touch which gives away any indication as to what they are like and what they look for. 

My next step then is to look at the studio's showreels and SEE what work they produce and feel the direction of their style/styles and see if I fit in with that at all. 

Here are some example reels of houses Id love to work for:

I could describe the 2D content in the 1st few seconds as:
#Stylized #Composited #Texturised #Bold #Graphic animation #UPA #MotionGraphics #Colourdriven #Simplistic #Aesthetically #Appealing#Commercial

Theyd probably use programs such as AFX, Premier and Flash maybe Illustrator and definitely plenty of Photoshop to get the textured finishes and the smooth key to key/ tweened animation theyve produced on this reel. 

Do I have evidence of any of this in my reel:
Lets be honest, NO.

Next Studio:

I could describe the 3D and varied 2D as:
#Modelsheets #Motiongraphics based #Cutout #Clean #Cartoony #Experimental #Interactive (elements of 3D/Live action composited into scenes) #3Dspaces #2Drealism #Varied #Styles #Commercial #Educational

Do I have evidence of any of this in my reel/work:
Caroony YES, Modelsheets YES, everything else:

These are studios of whos work I admire. Ive recently been getting into the styised UPA simplicity and love seeing animated content that pulls off minimal movements using AFX with gorgeous design and colour concepts which you can fully realise, in detail using  Photoshop. As youve seen in my recent doodles, Im attempting to execute a similar style of my own and create either a character performance or scene in order to better my AFX skills and get me re-aquainted with animating in this way. 


We have studios in Canada who produce work like this:

Alot of there work is produced using ToonBoom Studio, which seems to be standard (yey!) overseas. Their style and animation is:
#Stylised #Cartoony #Colourful #Fullyanimated #AlittleLimitedAnimtion #Toonboom #Inked #Texturised #Children'sentertainment #Educational

Do I have evidence of this in my showreel and work:
Fully Animated YES, A little Limited Animation YES, Toonboom PLENTY, Inked YES, Colourful YES, Cartoony YES. The rest, obviously not. But with this studio what I dont have is Canadian landed status and Im not living in Vancouver anymore. Had I tried a little harder or not given in when I did I may have at least been able to land an interview with the studio as it was only in Downtown, 10miles from my digs> <

What Im trying to outline in this post are things that Im lacking in my showreel that makes these studios toss my digital applications on the animated pixel fire and not consider me as an employable candidate. Its not simply going to take me moving to another part of the country or a different country for that matter, its going to have to come from content and me believing a bit more that I CAN do this and realising that for me, there is no Plan B.

5 Nov 2012

Bunny texture...

Im getting back into designy/ UPA/ texturing arty stuff again, its been too long since Ive challenged myself and set myself a personal project.  I want to try my hand (and grit my teeth a little) at AFX/ Flash animation using digital aids to move and animate a character so heres the prep work on a character design which Ill either stick to or adjust and further simplify depending on how accessible he is to animate in AFX. 

 Original pencil drawings will always look better than any digital rendering I think. This little guy's design is based alot along the lines of previous design work I did for an iOS challenge and seeing as they didnt hire me I figure theres no need to keep my designs in the dark as I liked them so much!

 Im enjoying playing with colour and dulling down tones Id usually apply quite thickly and brightly. I think its a toss up between these two as opposed to the grey original.
His arms wont be a problem but the legs are attached to the main body so this might be a bit harder to animate using the puppet-pin tool in AFX. Its all about experimenting of course Ive just been so ill Ive yet to come to any conclusion, animation wise!

24 Sep 2012

Print-Out Or Screen-Grab?

Today was a late start after doing some baking and seeing a friend Ive not seen since I buggered off to Canada 3 months ago.  I decided maybe my progress is being stunted thanks to angular issues with my drawings so far. The head is nearly always at the wrong angle so I pondered as to whether this would be because I was drawing at a different angle to what my eyes were seeing i.e. my monitor is vertical but I am working on a flatter angle at my desk.
So I printed out a copy of some Georges and tested whether copying from something that was on the same level as my sketchbook would be beneficial or the same/ worse.

 Compared to yesterday's attempt Id say barely anything has changed, gotten better or worse.
CONCLUSION B: You just need to keep practising!


 Drawing in a differrent sketchbook can make all the difference. The lined paper Ive been using has a horrible tendency to go 'bobbly' after you erase a few times leaving the lines you make afterwards really thick and smudgy. The George on the right in pink wasnt far off the original and feel like Ive made some progress here

23 Sep 2012

I dont like Sundays....drawings

Today I    S. U. C.K at drawing. I think 1 day off inbetween has upset my little learning curve or this room is just too damn cold Im not sure. Anyhow, heres todays pieces  (of PoOp!)

This was a very first ink using Toonboom Studio (which I havnt used in a while admittedly) and without really fully understanding and being confident with George's shapes and construction yet. So, lack of confidence in drawing him and using Toonboom again resulted in the 1st ink above. The 2nd ink is from his example of someone whos clearly comfortable in himself enough to do a good job. I guess my problems (which are sketchily outlined in Orange) was that I didnt use a thick enough line and didnt understand George's construction enough to give it as rounded a go as his assistant's on the right.  Im hoping Ill get better with practice.

These were some pretty terrible goes at drawing George's head again but I did think I started to get the eyes a bit better towards the end and a little of his major outline detail such as his cheeks and to some extent his teeth and cheeks too. I seem to just be getting his silhouette wrong so its time I sorted this out. 

20 Sep 2012

Liquor Before Bed....

Oky so I did an alright job earlier but as I had nothing else to do tonight other than faff I decided to give it another go. I guess its an improvement on earlier but theres still a fair few issued I need to resolve with this guy's head shape. Also, DAMN HIS EYES!!!

 This one missed JUST missed the mark. If Id have drawn his head fatter and made the nose bigger/ tilted the perspective of the whole drawing it wouldve been spot on!><

Little Opportunities...

After a brutal 3 month stretch living in Vancouver I decided the best thing to do to keep sane and try and maintain my happiness was to come back to the UK and start again.YET again. It took alot of guts to admit this wasnt working for me but now Im back and the animation industry in the UK continues to urk and try my patience.
About the only opportunity that doesnt lack fun is to ink clean up frames for Jon K. I really cant be bothered to write today so lets sum it up with :

If you want to ink you have to first learn and understand how to draw his characters. 

So this is what Ive done today:


 Not a bad attempt after drawing him a few times. The problem with this attempt: The eye is too curvy, the head not long enough/ too squashed, the angles in the cranium are slightly out, the eyebrows are a running theme of bad in all drawings shown and the ears.

My first attempt was the blue and the purple was directly after spending 10mins on the blue version, just to try and get the shapes right. I think theres a better 'squash' to the purple version in that left eye but all in all an unimpressive go at this 'neutral' pose. The green was rushed, can ya tell?

More tomorrow!


3 Apr 2012

My Art work, My Online Sketchbook, My Pages ...

To View my work please click on the above tabs marked:

Keys please...

My attempt to re-create a Ken Harris/ Virgil Ross Bugs Bunny rag-time dance.  This is a personal project where I timed the animation using a digital Metronome, found the beats and thus located the keys and extremes from the original test film (above). 

Im making slow progress but its a hugely rewarding exercise so far. Its a bit like working yourself through a mathematical equation; it takes alot of work but when you get the answer and check its right, it makes you feel super brainy and proud of yourself! :D

Shows examples of my attempts to grasp and emulate the UPA (United Productions of America) style. For my final film I was determined to understand perspectives and background design. I never really quite got there in terms of design and from what I referenced (which was mostly the grand master, Maurice Noble). Recently, I was inspired by a CGI film called 'Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs', so I looked into the artists that created the artwork and character designs and since then Ive seen alot of UPA art style cropping up in recent games and popular culture. So this page has designs based on UPA and again its all experimental, personal projects.

This is a collection of my life drawing, studies (mostly at work) and doodles of all kinds. This page is oddly the fullest, considering that I participate in life drawing in fits and starts. Everything is dated and the layout of this page goes from most recent, to earlier attempts back in 2010.

This has my most recent projects and illustrations displayed from most recent to early work in 2010.  Scroll right down the page to see compilation boards of my 2010 work, snaps from my pages (as listed above) and any freelance artwork Ive put up for you folks to see!

(IOS Game, character designs)