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)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Time to step up and be more professional!

Having started to focus on my animation again, I have decided to switch Youtube accounts to a newer, more professional account. I wish I'd been able to change my less-than-professional username on Youtube, and this could all have been avoided. I felt it best to change things now before I start looking for work, just to be safe.

Link to my new Youtube channel:

It has been all about change this month for sure, I have also changed my email address to be more professional. This, coupled with the fact that I've also changed my phone number pretty much makes my business cards absolutely useless. Might change my name too... Hercules Skywalker perhaps?

I have also decided that it is about time that I created my own website to help showcase my work. My blog has been very useful, and will continue to use it to release my thoughts. However, I feel that I need a site to help show, not only my animation skills, but also modelling, digital drawing and character designs. I will begin work on that very shortly and post the link onto the blog.

First though, I am going to start work on my demo reel, that will showcase all the different work I have produced since the turn of the year. Wow! I have so much to do.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I'm back!! Et Rapta (The Kidnapping) and plans for the future.

Well, it has been quite a while since my last post in relation to my work on "Tim's Time Machine." I have been on a much needed hiatus after the mayhem of my Masters degree. The break has felt amazing and has allowed me to spend quality time with my beautiful girlfriend, Amy and amazing son Logan. 

The constant and unyielding flow of assessments feels like a distant memory, and I'm already starting to look back on it with fondness. I feel that now is the time to get back to work and start creating more animation. Below is my final piece from my degree, titled "Et Rapta" (latin for "The Kidnapping") Et Rapta was created in Toon Boom Studio 6.0 and took around a month from start to finish.

"Et Rapta" takes place in a small town named Lardeen, during a time when a series of child kidnappings have taken place. A total of thirteen children are officially declared missing, with no leads as to their whereabouts. The story follows mischievous ten-year old Rex, who accidentally flies his toy plane through the window of a derelict old mansion. However, upon entering, he finds far more than he bargained for.

Please watch "Et Rapta" before I go into more detail in regards to the plot.

So, yeah you probably seen that coming. Hopefully the plot was clear enough that you understood everything that was going on. Alex West (the creepy scientist type), who I consider to be the main character, was a renowned and amazingly gifted surgeon, who sadly lost his son Timothy after a long battle with Leukemia. Alex (as can be read in one of the papers Max notices) tried his very best to cure his son, but only managed to prolong his death.

Alex went off the rails after Timothy died, driving his wife away and becoming obsessed with bringing his son back. Eventually, he became insane and increasingly desperate, resorting to kidnapping local children and operating on them to look similar to Timothy. He injects them with Curare, a strong paralyzing agent, throughout the process before locking them in glass cases like dolls, naming them "experiments."

The target outcome of this project was to create an animation that would be considered creepy and somewhat scary. This animation deals with darker topics than what I, as an animator, have dealt with in the past. This is what encouraged me to see it through to the end, it was something I would need to adapt to, and test my skills. Usually I focus on creating comedic animations and knew that the horror genre would be a big challenge for me to overcome. 

I was inspired heavily by the types of stories that I read in my youth, particularly those from the "Goosebumps" series of books by R.L. Stine. These tales, more often than not, ended with a shock twist. 

"Goosebumps" was a big influence on this project. 

In my personal opinion, the final piece came together quite nicely. I feel that I am most likely capable of better work, although I do stand by this piece fully. The area that I feel I didn't quite do enough with was the back story of the scientist character. I had it all planned out, as you can see above, but perhaps it is a little too subtle, particularly as some of it, like the newspaper articles, are "freeze-frame" information.

The amount of exposition for Max I feel is the right amount because, as mentioned, I consider him to be a secondary character, with the scientist being the real important character. I also cut quite a lot of Max's scenes for time reasons, but there was originally a scene with max walking through the garden and a scene in the main hall of the mansion.

I learned quite a bit from this project, particularly with the storytelling aspect. As mentioned, I usually veer towards animations with gags throughout, similar to Tom & Jerry. As a bad habit, I used to only have a rough idea of where the story was leading when I started animating, causing difficulty later. This was mainly because I was impatient with such things. 

However, I have since learnt to take my time and fully flesh out my storyboard before starting. I have learnt to plan ahead with story from the start, having a start middle and end before going ahead and animating.  

Next on the agenda for me will be trying to find a job within the animation industry. I know this won't necessarily come to me overnight, but I am willing to work as hard as possible and will hopefully see it all pay off in the end. Asides from this though, I will also be returning to my animated piece "Grumpy Gary in Dog Daze" which is about one-sixth complete. I also intend to create a second episode of "Gump & Gil" with fellow animator and friend, Jon Campbell. I also have quite a number of other exciting ideas for animated pieces that I will hopefully get around to working on in the near future.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Tim's Time Machine

Well, as mentioned in a previous post, I chose to create storyboards for a story about a boy genius who has an obsessive love for everything related to Vikings. He therefore decides to build a time machine in order to bring a Viking of his own into the present day. Initially I had intended to create the piece in 2D using Toon Boom Animation Studio. However, I learnt afterwards that our lecturer wanted all of our work to be created in 3D and so I instead had to quickly model and rig a character (which isn't my favorite task) I also decided to change the name of my character at this point from Ted to Tim, as I felt it gave the title a little more appeal.

For this project, I chose to create the first thirty seconds of my two minute storyboard, which has my character finishing his Viking book then going to collect another book based on "Time Travel". Below is the completed piece, though the quality isn't great, the HD version can be found on Youtube here


Changes that I would make to the piece, in retrospect, would be to cut down on the ladder pushing/pulling scene to just having him push them towards the bookcase. I included two separate scenes for the ladder pushing to allow more animation of my character, and also to add a little humor into the piece. Our class had roughly a month to complete this project, but this included the sessions with Mark Andrews, which ate up about a week of our schedule. However, as I had planned on doing 2D I didn't consider a number of factors: the modelling, rigging or render times, so I caught myself a little off guard. In the end, I managed to get the entire project completed in about 10 days.

Overall, I am fairly happy with the final outcome of the assessment. We have had quite a number of assessments this semester, far more than I was used to during my time at my previous university. Our second semester has officially come to an end with this assessment and the third semester will officially start on Thurs 30th May 2013, where I will be creating a dark 2D animation, based around a child snatcher, more details to follow.