Thursday, 26 March 2015

New character design!!

 So I finally got around to creating another pirate character for my pirate crew, bringing the crew to a grand total of three pirates! Really gotta get my pencil working and create some more, I've got a few ideas in mind at the moment. I'm thinking that I will create either the navigator or the cook next.

Keeping it short and sweet for the time being as I've got a lot of things to get through tonight. I have uploaded my original pencil sketch as well as the digitized version, and an image with all three characters together. Adios!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Busy, busy, BUSY few months!!

Well, it truly has been a long time since I last updated the blog (May to be exact) and the reason is... I have just been so god d#@$ busy, which is most definitely a good thing, but I'm now starting to feel pretty burnt out and I am just looking forward to a well earned rest.

After the “Marty Goes to Hollywood” project that I worked on back in March/April (which, FYI, is still in post-production owing to some funding problems but is now scheduled to be released this year) I continued to look for work in the field of animation, but also to find work just simply to pay the bills. In June 2014, I was offered the position of 'Customer Service Advisor' at a call centre named Response in Glasgow, working primarily on their Student Loans campaign.

In addition to this, I also picked up some freelance work creating four separate adverts for a company named “Freetise.” I worked on these adverts in my spare time, whilst also working at full-time at Response which was, as you can imagine, very draining.

The Freetise website can be found here.

The first advert that I created was for the Business section of Freetise, and I worked on this from July to September. This advert took quite a lot of hard work to complete, mainly because I needed to come home after nine hours at work and continue working tirelessly on it. This process lasted for roughly 5 weeks until the animation was finally finished.

"Erik" the main character of the ad, perfectly conveys how I felt at the time.

As I prepared to start work on the Business ad, I was contacted by “Smudge Digital”, who I had collaborated with previously during the “Marty Goes to Hollywood” project. The women at Smudge wanted me to join with them, full-time, on a temporary basis to work on “Deep Roots - The Bloody Boyds” as part of “Homecoming Scotland 2014.” This would involve creating a nine minute animation about the Boyd family, in a team of three animators.

This opportunity left me with a very tough decision, as it would mean quitting my job at Response, which had taken me several months to find in the first place. I even considered at one point trying to continue working at Response, whilst working for Smudge and also trying to finish the Freetise work, which would have been absolute insanity. It was also in the back of my mind that I would need to return to the jobcentre after this temporary work was completed, an idea that I loathed.

Ultimately, I decided that it was in my best interest to leave Response in October, and to follow my heart. The majority of my group in work were eventually let go around a fortnight after I left, a few days before their probationary period ended. This leads me to believe that I probably would have been let go too. In retrospect, I made the absolute right choice, rather than now sitting full of horrible regret.

After working my weeks notice and leaving Response, I had a week or so before the Deep Roots project began. In this period of down time, I joined Smudge to take part in the 48 hour film project ( during which our team of seven animators, including myself, created a five minute movie, using Autodesk Maya. During this project we were given the required elements:

Character: Dusty Beaumont, Retired Entertainer
Prop: an empty jar
Line: “It's never done that before” or “it has never done that before”

We were then given the genre 'Film Noir' before setting to work on our project, wherin most of us stayed awake for around 40 hours. In the end, because of high rendering times, we didn't manage to make the final deadline for the project, but we were all insanely proud of the work we managed to produce, and hope to enter it in another contest in the near future.

So after having recovered from the exhausting 48 hour film, the Deep Roots project finally started a couple of days later. During this project, I was in charge of animating the character William Boyd, along with several other minor characters such as the maid, executioner, numerous soldiers and guards. This animation was done completely in silhouette, which I found very interesting as it was something that I had never done before. The backgrounds, on the other hand, were created by others at Smudge, which really freed me up to focus purely on the character animation itself.

During the time I was working on the Deep Roots project, I also managed to complete the Property animation for Freetise.

With the Deep Roots project completed by early November, I was once again free to work on the remaining two adverts for Freetise. I commenced work on the General ad in early November and completed it by around the end of the month.

The Deep Roots project was finally shown to the public, projected onto the walls of Dean Castle in Kilmarnock as the sun set. It was a truly beautiful, and also immensely proud moment for me, seeing my name projected in six foot lettering was fantastic!

The Deep Roots Project, projected onto Dean Castle. Epic moment!

 I began work on the Auto ad straight away, without even a break in-between which I would usually allow myself. I managed to get the Auto ad completed and sent to Freetise a few days before Christmas, giving me some much needed rest.

A still from the General ad.

In addition to the Freetise work that I completed in December, I also created a test animation for a company called “Catchup News Ltd” who contacted me to say that they might have work to offer me further down the line. Freetise also gave me hope of future work, that they will require “early in 2015.”

For now, I have snared yet another call centre job at Webhelp UK in Glasgow, working on their Sky campaign, which started on 5th Jan 2015. For now, I will be taking a bit of a break from animation whilst I recharge my batteries. I will be using this time to update my website with more recent work, and maybe work on a personal project, perhaps even create a new, updated showreel too.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Lots of exciting developments!

It has been a little while now since I have updated the blog, but I haven't been a total couch potato for the past two months, I have had some very exciting new opportunities recently.

First of all, I completed the work I was doing on a health and safety video for Touzie Tyke in Glasgow. This project involved animating two simple bird characters in a kitchen scene, which had been created in Adobe Illustrator. I worked exclusively on the animation in the scene, primarily using Adobe After Effects.

I also gained some invaluable experience collaborating with Glasgow company Smudge Digital, animating the main character in a low-budget Scottish documentary. The documentary itself was filmed in live-action, and a group of animators and I were contracted to create 30-40 second animated insets which broke the film up, giving extra appeal to the audience.

Now that the aforementioned project is in post-production, I have started to relax again and will be pursuing personal projects for a little while. I hope to have designed and digitised another pirate-style character to fit in with the others that I have designed in my last few posts.

Additionally, I may have some extra work coming my way from Smudge Digital. This time the work would guarantee pay, which is always a bonus. The upcoming project is, as far as I know, for an animation which will last around 10 seconds.

I will also, hopefully, be returning to Touzie Tyke to complete more work on additional health and safety bird videos in the near future.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

First Mate Arceus Firion

It has well and truly been a while since I last logged in to express my thoughts and to update the blog to reflect what I have been up to. However I'm here now, and have quite a lot of information to get through. First off, at the end of the last blog post in January, I stated that I would be going back to the new "Gump & Gil" cartoon and have it finished sometime the following week. I finished the two scenes that I had been working on and once again put the episode on hold as more important stuff came to my attention.

Since my last post, I have managed to secure some upcoming studio experience in an animation production company named "Touzie Tyke" based in Film City, Glasgow, and will soon be working on some commercial adverts for a well known power company, if things go to plan. 

I have also managed to get some animation work on an independent movie through my contacts at Smudge Digital, also located in Glasgow. I have already started some animation tests for the aforementioned movie, which I will share on the blog at a later date. 

My most recent work has been another character design, a character from the same pirate universe as the last one.

Next on the agenda for me will be to finish the animation tests for the movie that I mentioned and will also be creating some test work for the adverts for Touzie Tyke. I will also try to do another character design during this period, as it really helps me to unwind after animating.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Captain Avery Scythe

As I promised, the digital character design that I have spent part of today working on. Avery was planned to be the main character in my pirate comic, created as part of a university project. However, the project didn't really evolve into anything. I decided to just convert my sketch of Avery into digitally inked to get some practice in.

Next, as previously mentioned, I will get back to working on the next "Gump & Gil" episode, which I will hopefully have finished at some point next week. In-between working on this project I will also continue to design and digitize characters in order to build up my website.

My website is finally complete!

After a LOT of tweaking and playing around with various settings, my animation website is finally live! There are still a few things that I would like to add to it, and a few minor tweaks still to make, but basically, I'm finished.

Next on the agenda, I will continue to work on the "Gump & Gil" episode that fellow animator Jon and myself started a few months ago. I will also continue my work on character designs and digital work for the website. I will still continue to post on the blog, as well as the site, to retain a place in which to share my thoughts.

I hope you enjoy the site, and that it manages to showcase my work more effectively than the blog gas done thus far. My next post will most likely be my next piece of digital work, that is nearing completion, then this will be followed by the completed episode two of "Gump & Gil."

The finished site can be found here.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Finally, I Present My Second Demo Reel.

As mentioned in my last post, I was planning on putting together another demo reel featuring the work that I have created since the start of the year. I used work from six different projects, all of which can be found on my Youtube channel.

Next, I will start working on the website that I talked about creating to showcase all my work. Additionally, I have a number of ideas for my next animation (excluding the work on "Gump & Gil" and "Grumpy Gary") such as a comedy involving a bully and his victim (3D) swell as a road runner type story involving a fox (2D)