Monday, 31 December 2018

December 31st 2018 Update

I figured since it's been so long since I've written an update on my blog, I'd make a quick post on this final day of 2018. It's certainly been a crazy year, and I don't tend to enjoy writing cheesy 'reflection' posts (especially on social media where it feels very show-offy sometimes). But, seeing as this is my blog, I've written reflection posts involving animation projects, and most of my year revolves around academics and careers I thought it'd be a good opportunity to talk a little bit about it even if it's just for myself. But I'm going to try to keep it as brief as possible.

R&J - Dream/Queen Mab Texturing Test #5

R&J - Dream/Queen Mab Texturing Test #4

R&J - Dream/Queen Mab Texturing Test #2

R&J - Dream/Queen Mab Texturing Test #3

So this year I've obviously managed to graduate from the CAA course at UCA, and I am very grateful to all of the staff on the course for helping me through it as well as my peers. It was an amazing experience and I honestly missed it before it was even over. It is really great to see the current third years working their way through their final projects and I can't wait to see the results. I continue to be proud of how successful my year has been in regards to film festivals and it is very exciting to see. I'm again very grateful for the continued support and interest When has received this last year. I honestly never expected it but it makes me happy that all of that hard work was worth it. New Designers now feels like it was so far away, but I look forward to attending ND 2019 to support the course, its staff and students.

ND 2018
CAA 2018

CAA 2018 

Factual Animation Film Festival 2018

I'm also very grateful that I have been able to continue working on projects with the course such as Romeo & Juliet. I admit I am somewhat disappointed with myself that I have been so busy and unable to work on it as much as I'd like to. Whenever I do get to sit down and work on it, it's like a whirlwind to get as much done as possible in the small space of free time I have, and I don't feel I absorb the visuals as much as I'd like. But, thanks to Phil and Ethan we have been making good progress and have created some interesting results. I cannot wait till I can see the final renders and what it looks like after VFX and compositing. Hopefully everything goes smoothly.

R&J - Love Scene // Scene 04 (Alive)

R&J - Love Scene // Scene 02 (Alive)

R&J - Love Scene //Scene 03 (Dead)

R&J - Love Scene // Scene 05 (Dead)

R&J - Love Scene // Scene 07 (Alive)

R&J - Love Scene // Scene 07 (Alive)

I was also lucky enough to go and see my family in America over the summer. During this time I also had the privilege of going to volunteer at the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver. Despite travelling to America on my own, I consider this trip to Vancouver the first time I properly travelled alone since it was an unfamiliar place and I didn't have a home and family to greet me. It was honestly an amazing experience. I had so much fun, met many amazing people (some of which I keep in contact and occasionally meet up with), and overall it opened my eyes and taught me a lot.

In addition to everything else, I recently started to get back into some traditional artwork which has been very fun and liberating. I've found it relaxing to just pick up some old paints and paintbrushes and create whatever I feel like that particular day. They may not be amazing, but I've had a lot of fun creating this series that I've for now dubbed 'Left Over'.

(Left to Right) One, Two, Three

(Left to Right) Four, Five, Six


Eight (Left) & Nine (Right)

(Left to Right) Ten, Eleven, Twelve

(Left to Right) Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen

Sixteen (Left) & Seventeen (Right)

(Left to Right) - Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty

And of course, I've managed to secure a job at The Flying Colour Company in London! I've now been working there for about four months and I feel I've settled in a bit more. It's very exciting being able to work on real shows...although I cannot talk about them just yet. Once I can reveal what I've been working on, I plan to! I've been lucky to have some amazing artists teach me how to use Autodesk Flame while I also work on some 3D work in Maya.

It's been scary taking the leap from education into a career and commuting into/out of central London every day is tiring and time consuming...but I'm excited to see where it goes, what I learn, and who I meet. Once again I'm grateful for all of the support I've had over the last few years and I look forward to working on more amazing projects.

R&J - Grand Party // Blue & Gold

R&J - Grand Party // Blue & Gold

R&J - Grand Party // Blue & Gold

R&J - Grand Party // Red & Black

R&J - Grand Party // Red & Black

R&J - Grand Party // Red & Black

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Romeo & Juliet: Intro #1

We have recently decided on a workflow since things have been a bit up in the air with this project. It has been fun, but time is running short so we had to try and streamline it a bit. Ethan is now creating the simulations...then I get the geometry to 'decorate' via texturing and lighting. I still have the ability to edit things using MASH if I wish, though. For this intro sequence, I tried to take inspiration from my first few tests for this project, my red cone renders and my initial intro tests along with Phil's animatic.

First I worked with red cubes on a black backdrop...the texture is using the 'wax' preset and I edited the subsurface scatter to give it an organic feel. I also began working a bit with depth of field blurring to give it a more dramatic effect. I don't necessarily like working with DOF in a 'destructive' way like this, but I think it gives a nice look...and considering this is quite a raw way of working, I at least don't mind a little bit of graininess (although this is not up to me).

I later also began swapping the colours so the geometry was black and the background was red. I have no animation for this just yet, but I quite like how this looks as well. I also tried out using subdivision to turn the cubes into spheres to see how it looks. 

Romeo & Juliet: Queen Mab Tests #1 & 2

It's been a little while since I've updated my blog since things have been so busy at work. Unfortunately I have been unable to work on R&J as much as I would have liked, but I've enjoyed it while I had the time to sit down. These simulations are based off of Phil's animation for the dream/queen mab piece of music.

I used CV curves to extrude along, and then converted the NURBS object into a polygon mesh so I could then turn it into a mesh light. I created an animated colour spectrum in AE that was driven by the music that I could then plug into the colour channel of the light. These curves are created using dream data that Ethan used to create various elements for this project.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Romeo & Juliet: Spectro Tests #5

Here are a few tests inspired by the 'intro' animatic for this project. I used the 'explode' feature in MASH to break apart some cubes... for #9 I animated some of the 'distribute' settings so the fragments eventually form a ring. For #10 I focused on a closed ring of dancing shapes. For #11 I exported the simulation to an alembic cache, then imported it several times and rotated each ring +20 degrees so they create a sort of spiral. I then combined the rings into one mesh and added a flare deformer to alter it into a more wormhole-like shape. I then animated the camera so the focal length becomes more distorted and gives a dolly zoom effect. I think it's a bit too fast and chaotic, but hopefully interesting at least!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Romeo & Juliet: Spectro Experiments #4

Not a massive update here, I've been really busy at work and things have been in a little bit of a limbo at the minute. However I hope to begin having more tests up for this project once I get a better idea of what 'feel' each bit of chosen music should have...since we now seem to have our chosen segments.

For this test I essentially took my previous cone animation, exported an alembic cache, then imported it. I then flipped it upside down and adjusted the lighting. I think it looks really interesting and intimidating. I think it would look better with some depth of field as I keep mentioning, I just don't currently have the time or space to render that pass. I suppose I need to clear out my computer soon to make some space.