Friday, 17 July 2015

End of Third Year at USW

The last 2 months have been GREAT!!!!! I had been organising the End of Year Show, finishing off my final major project and handing it in, having my end of year show, going to Annecy for the international animation festival, moving home & Graduating!!!! "pphhheewww I am needing a little break now" :P

So after the easter holidays and it being 4 weeks until deadline I along with two others were tasked with organising our end of year showcase for the entire animation division.......... It was an up hill task along with doing my final major, but the team was great and when we needed help from other students we got it! this helped us to have a great new USW animation showcase called 


Celebrating the 150th anniversary of alice in wonderland.

I was lucky enough to be nominated and win the best Dissertation Award on my report about "the role of Maquettes in the Contemporary Animation Industry". It turned out to be a great show with a lot of talent on show following the legacy of the Glammies. 


Since February I had been arranging for a group to go to Annecy for the international Animation festival which was just after my end of year show and before Graduation, I had arranged and booked for 14 students for the 5 day animation festival, however we were staying for 10 days! :)

I had never been to Annecy and had no idea what to expect other than viewing international peoples work from the last couple of years, IT WAS THE BEST PART OF MY 3 YEARS! I was so blown away by all the categories of animation, the Work In Progresses and feature films! SO inspirational and it was all in the beautiful city of Annecy! It had everything and MORE! 

I would need a separate post in it self to tell you everything I got to see and do (will hopefully post again about it). I already plan to go again next year! (if I have the money :P ).

After 10 amazing days in Annecy and coming back on the 22nd June it was back to reality and I had until the 30th to move out of my University house back home :( 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Collaboration- Finished!

Collaboration has finished! an so it is only appropriate to do a post of the final year film done by my friend Jason Evans.

The film was nominated along with 3 others in the best 2D category from my Universities end of year show "Animation" and it went down great with the audience!



Final Major Project- Final Update


So it has been EXACTLY 2 Months since I last blogged!! which is horrendous!!!! I have been really REALLY busy with so many things near the approach of my final major deadline, BUT I am here to update everyone on what I got up to!! :D

For this post I wanted to throw up my hand-in sheets for the construction processes of my project! I don't have many nice close ups of some of the work because it was all so quick moving after build with it going on display for my exhibition, so I think for now these will give a good idea of what and how I made my puppet, props and set. 

The four sheets below depict the start of the process for the Puppet, showing techniques and processes I used from armature construction-padding out.

Continuing the process of making the puppet I had to hand-in the exact process and techniques I used while making, along with photographic evidence. Below describes and shows the processes from silicon casting- a nearly complete puppet, this was a crucial stage of the puppet, not only because of time but for cost of materials as well.

At the same time of constructing the puppet I was also making props for my set, this included a small range of tables, candle sticks and A LOT of photoframes. The main processes I would use for making a prop was out of balsa/small beads/mountboad etc and then using silicone I created a mold which I would then cast the object out in resin. below are examples of what and how I made particular props.

AS WELL AS PUPPETS AND PROPS when I got home I was constructing the set! :D using what I learnt at chuck steel I had a clear idea how I was going to construct my first full set, so once I had all my plans I hit B&Q! and again below you can find out exactly how I constructed the set :)

Hope it was not too boring but a little insightful! I have enjoyed every bit of it while also pulling my hair out! :D

Thanks! another post coming soon with what happened after hand-in! 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Final Major Project- Set Design

So I am fairly amateur when it comes to set design, however I do love planning out the space and learning how it all goes together because it is really fun. 

It was also great to have experience in the art department of industry as it gave me a hands on view of the appropriate structure to a set, it really helped thinking back to how everything was measured, cut, put together and structured.

Here are the plans to the making of my manor hallway set :)

First Research, ALWAYS important!

I already had a basic idea of what I wanted to do structure why's because I had to plan it out for my storyboards, but I still worked on a little more designs for scope.

I then took my "more in mind" design and knocked up a birds eye view floor plan. 

The best initial way for me to sketch out my structure for the set was using google sketchup, mainly because it is less costly then building before knowing what I need at this stage.

Next I took my floor plan and planned out my dimensions with a measuring tape, puppet cut out and everything it was a little nerve racking! :P 

I also added 1/8th scaled measurements to the plan because SPOLIER ALERT I did a scale model out of foam board which I will be posting about next.

I took my initial walls and did my initial concepts for them which are basic furnishings and wall decor.

I then did some colour variations and decided that the deep sea colour was a really nice contrast.


And Finally a Props page listing what actually needs to be put into the set.

Hope you enjoyed, follow up coming soon! 10 days till deadline! (not panicing at all) :D

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Final Major Project- Concept Sheets

Here is the process to my Character concept development which I had not yet polished off or posted before showing some of my armature build.

The story is based around a young woman sophia living in the late victorian era in her large abbey family home.

 To start with I did some research which is very important! looking into woman of upper class in the late 1890's, I also looked into films based around the time as this could give me a better idea of style.

Then I looked into female puppets of animation concept design which I felt influenced my concepts.

I did some quick initial designs of what I thought the character could look like, trying to portray her personality as much as possible.
Below is also some action poses for the character with actions of her day to day life. 

Refining the character more from the initial designs I went onto an expression sheet which will help to give me an idea for when I do replacement faces.

Moving onto costume development I drew out her simple shape and printed copies so that I could draw on top of them with different designs, making sure to look back at my research.

Then I finally get into some colour! Once I had a idea of costume I picked two that I preferred and began to block colour them with different swatches.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Final Major Project- Sculpting Body

So the next step I did was to sculpt on top of the armature that i prepped so that I can make a plaster mold from it, which then can create a silicon cast of the body.

For sculpting I used Plastiline, medium which I have used once before but the hard one on a previous project, it was a nice material to work with and solid to shape once left for a little while. 

above and below are the procceses past roughing out the shape for the legs and which I have smoothed and then added detail.

Once I was happy with the legs I moved onto the upper torso, below are some progression shots.
I used normal model tools from metal wax tools to wooden ones.

Lastly here is a photo just before finishing up my sculpt for molding, after this I added more clay to the soles of the feet so to cover the foot plates. 

I was fairly happy with my sculpting because it is one of my favourites parts of model making, I just wish I was better with armatures to work over.

For my next post I hope to show some of my mold making process :)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Third Year Final Brief- Armature Construction Sophia

As you can maybe tell from my armature plan I intend to use Ball and Socket joints for this character (EXCITING!) I haven't had the opportunity to try ball and socket joints before mainly because I felt that for my previous projects it wasn't essential, however for my 3rd year final I really wanted to push to working with these tools.

I was recommended to use Malvern Armatures by other students who have used them and are using them now on their own projects. Jeff was exceedingly helpful when purchasing my armature and parts which he gave me more than enough information about preparation and cleaning with loctite during assembly, this was because I wanted to resize the armature myself. I would definitely recommend them and use them again.

At the beginning I was really bad with taking photos of the original armature, so I will try and explain what I did before the stage photographed below :) 

so I got delivered a standard Pro 2 Armature fully assembled in its box, I then cut and sanded all the M3 threaded bar to fit the armature of my character using a hacksaw, Files and some fine sandpaper making sure to leave at least 3mm for the ball to the sockets. Once this was all done I carefully added Loctite into the balls and threaded in the bars and this created each limb. I also filed down the foot plates using a file because they were a little to big for my characters feet.

I added K&S with epoxy to the threads for the arms and head, giving myself allowance on the hands to insert more K&S for when I construct the palms.

from this photo you can vaguely see how I made the hands, I used 3 strands of thin aluminium wire to make up some fingers which I attached K&S to and then this to a plate of aluminium using epoxy, along with one long strand that made up the last 2 fingers. Once it was all dried I then also added epoxy to the tips of the fingers so that when cast in silicon it does not tear through. 

I took this Idea of making hands from the blogs of model makers with great knowledge of puppet making which I will refer to a lot in my posts, check out there blogs here :)

I added miliput to the hands to make them super attached.

I also added a rig to the side and back of the character, I first filed down the side and bottom part of the upper torso joint and then soldered 2 pieces of K&S together which I epoxied onto the armature.

Lastly I added PTFE tape (plumbers tape) to and around the ball and socket joints ready for me to sculpt on top of. :)

Thatas about it.

Stayed tuned for my sculpty sculpting posts later!!! :D

Company Research- Part 5

The last company that I am going to be blogging about is also one of my biggest inspirations, their innovation within the Industry has brought life back to the stop motion these past couple of years and it is FANTASTIC! :D  


Laika is an animation production company based in Oregan USA and it is most DEFINITELY a internationally established company, it has a great reputation for its Animated features and shorts which have been award worthy.

Making a break through in the industry by combing traditional stop motion model making with modern technology Laika came up with a new process to making interchangeable faces for their puppets, 3D Rapid Prototyping. This process incorporates 3d printing into model making and was first used on Coraline which was released in February 2009.

This film marked a new beginning for stop motion as an industry because due to the traditional puppetry and realism of the environments this was a style that the matches the present leading CG films and it is more visually unique and interesting to audiences. 

Once Laika had established this new method of making with Coraline their next two feature films blew it right out of the park! Constantly they over came obstacles, refined and polished their process all by incorporating multiple medias of animation. Without a doubt they have an AMAZING crew who are very talented and innovative!

Another key thing I love about Laika is part of keeping traditional they bring in an incredible Sculptor during pre-production who is one of my FAVOURITE maquette sculptors of all, KENT MELTON!

The Man is Awesome.

Another cheeky member of their crew who I know is GREAT! is a friend of mine Sean, he is awesome enough to have moved aaalllllll the way to america to work for Laika for a year!!!!! INREDIBLE WORK AND A GREAT ADDITION TO THEIR TEAM, I wish him all the luck! :) 

And Laika just keep getting better and better with each new feature, exploring stop motion and creating new innovative methods through their vast experience and smarts. 

They are currently working on a new feature called "Kubo and the two Strings" which I am really looking forward to seeing! the eastern setting to the story will look great and I can not wait to see the masses of intricate contraptions they come up with to make this film! I will definitely be buying the "Art of Book" as well :)