Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Sketchbook Pro Is My New God

So. I haven't updated in a while. The early hours at my new job had me trippin' for a while but now I'm back in the game.

I come baring a rough sketch I did in Sketchbook Pro. You can just download it from the internet for free but I will definitely be buying the pro membership because it is beautiful to draw in.

It's not much and I still need to work my way around the program, such as how to change the resolution and things but for a first rough try I think it went pretty well! I might come back and add more detail at some point, but I'll just keep playing for now and see where it gets me.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Final Film

Another quick update. I thought I might as well post my final film here, it can't hurt. There are so many changes I'd like to make with it given the time, like the backgrounds and some part of the actual storyline, but it got me a degree so I can't hate it too much.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

I'm back!


So I know I sort of disappeared after my deadline. I'm sorry, I was a bit burnt out. BUT. I'm back, I'm graduating with a shiny degree, and I won an award for my final year animation! Oh and I went to Annecy animation festival in France. It was amazing and I didn't want to leave.

Anyway, I've been off the social media and chillin' but I haven't stopped drawing (gurl please). So I thought, as a first to what I hope will be a fair few posts in the near future, I'll drop some doodles and sketches here.

Hope you enjoyed and I'll post soon.

Au revoir!

Friday, 29 May 2015


So basically, my showreel guys. Its finally done after some vimeo issues I had, but here it is. Hope you enjoy!


Monday, 18 May 2015

Cheeky Promo

Mostly, the title is because I'm getting on board with the cheeky Nandos gag lately because it's hilarious. BUT I'm going to keep this really brief, my brain's a little melted as the deadline nears and I'm not sure anyone could handle the frazzle of my thoughts right now. However, I'm going to leave a couple promos of my series/short film here so you can see what is up.

The top one is what I imagine the end of the title sequence for my mini-series would look like while the ghost is just a quick promo I did to add to my end of year show. As you can see I like giving him a cheeky shadow. Enjoy and hopefully I will be updating short snippets if I catch a break. If not, I won't be posting until after Friday.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Colour Colour Colour

A week left now before the deadline for my film so I thought I'd post a short colour clip on here so you can see what sort of style I'm going for here. It's a bit Nickelodeon, but what's wrong with that? I still need to sort the background layers out so there is actually depth but I'll get to it soon.

Hope you enjoy!

I have to get back to editing and fixing bits now. Peace.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Animation Celebration

Praise the Lord!

It's finally time to show you show of my animation on my final project. Really sorry it's taken so long, I've been a bit caught up on posting for my business project and getting the website up and running. Mostly, it's just take me this long to find 40 minutes to upload this little section onto Vimeo, because Vimeo likes to be mega awkward. So apologies for that.

I'm not sure if I've shared the storyline for my final project on here before so, I'll just get to it now. It's a 2 minute long animation, which is sort of the pilot of a series, about a girl and a ghost. I'm aware that has potential to be depressing but I was incapable of going down the serious route, so this is how it goes down. There is a ghost in the attic but the girl (Jessie) is the only one who knows he's there. Her parents don't believe her when she tells them because they think all of the trouble the ghost causes is her, and she is just terrible as making up excuses. Also, the ghost loves food. I think I was really hungry when I thought up this film actually, there is so much food in it.

Here it is. Peace and enjoy!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Ultimate Image - Comic Style

So this ideas was slightly similar to the TV show idea but I really liked the idea of the comic book cover, as it highlights the most important parts of the comic. Alas, I thought, why can't a comic book cover highlight the important parts about me?

Exactly. So I looked around a bit, researching different types and I eventually came up with a very rough version of of my own to see if I thought the idea had potential. I eventually decided that yes it did, but not for an ultimate image. The comic book cover idea seemed more of a CV idea.

It has my name highlighted at the top, it was going to have all of my credentials and specialities on it. I also had a great idea of putting a qr code at the bottom, as you can generate your own, and then linking it to my website. So the comic idea was out. That just left me to my next idea. Which will be in the next post. Peace.

Ultimate Image - Revamped Work

So here are a few of my ideas for my ultimate image. There was a possibility of creating something from something I already had, and just spicing it up a bit but after looking, I think I want to create something new.
But I had an idea that I could create a TV poster, just the headline like these two to the right, a similar sort of thing that maybe had my name on it and highlighted my name and possibly my specialism as well.

I dabbled around a bit using a images I already had and got this out of it. I like it, obviously it's not finished, just rough but I decided to move on as it wasn't quite the right look I was going for.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Feast Your Eyes On...

These Backgrounds!

I know I promised animation next on my final project and that is coming in the next couple of days. But I've changed the colour and line work in some of my backgrounds so I thought it'd be a good idea to do a quick post.

I've decided that there will be outlines on the food as well as the things that the characters interact with, just to bring them forward in screen and make them stand out more. They're for the most part done. The only thing I am re-considering with these are making the kitchen counters and walls lighter so the rest stands out more. As well as a bit more line work and a few minor detail things.

So that's all there is to this. Oh! I got a small sample of work from my sound gut today and it sounds great so I'm getting pretty excited about all of it coming together soon.

I'm going to leave you with this opening shot of the house in my film, but I've left it with just the shadows and lighting. Tell me this isn't satisfying as hell?

Peace out.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Feel Like I'm Living a (Yellowshed) Dream

Holy moly Batman! I recently found out about this company and couldn't resist adding them to my list of dream oppurtunities because this is beautiful. Yellowshed is made up of two artists, Soyeon Kim and Todd Hemker. They generally work with really stylised animation, usually cut out. It gorgeous. On the left here is a halloween e-card they've created. It's a short narration piece and the puppet animation is simple but the backgrounds with the illustration style is so breath taking.

They have worked on many projects, both big and small to create some wonderful animations. I love NIPSCO advert that has some lovely backgrounds and characters in. The lighting and shadows add to the scene really nicely here as well. They've also done a few short works for the Natural History Museum and the cut out tree in #1 has some of the most satisfying shadows in. They have an affinity for texture which is another reason I'm probably drawn to them so much as I think it usually gives designs so much more depth.

Then we move onto some of the bigger projects they have done. Yellowshed have worked on the end credits of both Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, and Madagascar 2. Which, is pretty incredible and shows just how good they are I think. They're both cut-out animation but what is so great to note about these are the transitions between each scenes are so beautifully done in both films. They've also managed to take the elements of each film, like the fruit in Cloudy and the African influences from Madagascar that shows another perspective and adds to the film.

You can find more from these amazing people on their website. I'll leave you to browse and enjoy.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

I've Got a Dream(Works)

I come bearing gifs to furiously seduce you into reading this post. But why wouldn't you want to anyway, because it's all about DreamWorks! I think it goes without saying that I want to work here, so I'm just going to talk about animation. Now it was very difficult picking favourites here, but I did it, and they're probably the most mainstream choices I could have made. God I'm such a conformer.

The Road to El Dorado because well, Miguel. Nuff said, but I'll continue anyway. The animation is amazing, of course it is. And the painterly backgrounds are beautiful. I love that they experimented in this slightly and mixed in some CG animation, but it's not just about the quality of animation, it's - wait for it - about the story. I know, I know, I've said this in every dream post so far, and I will likely say it in them all. If you ain't got a good story you ain't got nothing. Truth. The story has to be spot on, especially with a company as highly regarded as DreamWorks, because the audience already expect a high quality of animation so they'll scrutinize the narrative more. And DreamWorks, you've not let down yet.

But what is it about the story exactly that makes me love this film so much? I think I've already touched upon it but; it's the characters. I mean, of course everyone loves Miguel, but Miguel wouldn't be Miguel without Tulio to exasperate and cause trouble with. The gambling scene for instance. It is best. Oh! and there's Chief and Chel. And the horse! Why are all horses great in animation. I will never know, but I approve. 

Speaking of stallions (sort of) let us move onto my other favourite DreamWorks animation, and isn't it most people's? Shrek baby! Because all the childhood feels (warning: overload). There really isn't much you can't love about Shrek. It's an amazing twist on the fairytale world, it's got an entire cast of hilarious and badass character's. There's an unconventional love story between a Donkey and a Dragon. They get married and have babies, what more could you want. Honestly. 

They've taken the traditional fairytale tales and stereotypes and flipped them all inside-out to create this hot, beautiful mess. The hero is the opposite of Prince Charming, the Princess has kick-ass ninja skills, the dragon guarding the castle is a girl-dragon who just wants some donkey lovin'. And the happy ending is when they both turn into ogres and live happily ever after. See it has sweet moments too.

Not to mention it's also happens to be one of those films where I love every single character. That is rare. I even love Lord Farquaad for heavens sake! I was happy when the Dragon ate him but he was small and had to consult a magic mirror to find a wife and that's just hilarious. Even the minor characters are the best though; Pinocchio, Three Little Pigs, Ginge. You remember them because they all have an important role in the narrative and of course, they each have a quote you can't forget. 

I swear, there are five films me and my brother constantly quote at each other and, as well as Madagascar, Shrek is one of them. I couldn't fit them all in this post, as much as it saddens me, but I picked a few and they're all of Donkey, just because, it's Donkey. Probably one of my favourite characters to exist ever. I don't think I actually need to explain myself. So I'm just going to finish right there.

These were just a couple of my favourites, there's still Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, The Prince of Egypt and the list goes on. You can find them here at their website. It makes me go all fuzzy and warm inside. Aaaaahh childhood memories. Now go forth and watch all the DreamWorks films.


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Website Development (part 1)

As promised here are some layout ideas for the design of my website. I've been roughly experimenting with blocks to see what I think could work and what doesn't. I know the basics of what I definitely want; links to social media in corner, show-reel or gallery of work to be the main focus of the page. But I thought this would be the best way for me to visualise it.

I don't think I like these three layouts much. It feels like there's too much happening on one page. And you would have to scroll down, which is a design I wanted to avoid. Although I've put show-reel here, I think it would be best to show a gallery of work and have a clear link to my show-reel instead. If the gallery shows a high quality of work and includes shots from films anyway, ideally that should be enough to make people want to enter the website.

This is much simpler. There would be no scrolling so you can view everything that is one the page at first glance which in turn makes it easier to navigate. This is important for a potential employer as they'll likely not waste their time if it's too difficult to find your work.

Now we're just left to sort out the composition of the page, now there's no scrolling involved. Here are two layouts I think work quite nicely.

In the black area of the design would be a gallery of screenshots or pictures of my best work, and arrows to click through them. I think I prefer this design to the one bellow, as the links to other pages may be more recognisable if they are separate from the gallery.
These designs came about as I thought, if there was only going to be a gallery of photos, why not let it take up the entire screen. Logically, it makes sense, rather than there being empty space.

Another reason I think the top layout would work best is due to the fact that I can take the design for the bar at the bottom and link it, as well as the font and colour scheme, to the linked pages.

That's all for the website design for today. My next step is to plan the layouts for the button's pages and see what would look good on that front, and then following that, it's all about colour and style.

This is getting exciting.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

I Have a Dream (to work for Flickerpix)

This company. THIS COMPANY. The home page of their website alone puts hearts in my eyes. I would probably sell my mother soul to work with these people. It's probably all mangled and deformed anyway but the sentiment is all that matters.

One of my favourite things that Flickerpix have done is the 'Five Fables'. I mean really, how gorgeous is this style. Its a BBC series based on Aesop's classic fables with a modern translation and narration by Billy Connolly.
The animation is done in with an illustration style that pays homage to the fact that its a children's tale being narrated.

Not only the style is beautiful, all with the illusion that it has been painted, but the colours that have been used blend perfectly as well. Both of the images I have selected here show that. Even the characters blend with the backgrounds in regards to this, using the light and shadows to make them stand out instead.

Another series of work created by Flickerpix that I want to mention is actually another BBC narrated animation, 'Wee Wise Words'. It's a show about children's opinions on a variety of topics such as the environment and such. The style is once again in keep with is that it looks like it has been animated for a kid's program. The animation is simple but effective and there is a great use of texture that a lot of kid's programs have.

The textures are used for much more than this however. They have utilised them within the animation for some great transitions when travelling from one child's thought to another, mostly through a paper background, and it's executed really well. The transitions within this are really important because they emphasise what the children are saying, which is usually pretty hilarious. I mean, one kid thinks Robin Hood was around the same time dinosaurs were around, and another thinks there wasn't any grass or leaves in the 'olden days'. You have to laugh, and having the children's thoughts fleshed out well, makes it all the more absurd.

So yeah, Flickerpix. They've got some really beautiful stuff going on. Here I will direct you to their website where you can feast your eyes on the woods with those bunnies from 'Five Fables' that make me coo like an old lady pinching a toddlers cheeks.

Until next time. Peace.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Blog Up (Research on Blogs)

Okay, so I got  sick of the whiteness of my blog. There was far too much white for such a dark cynical human such as myself. And also, every time I looked at my blog at night in the dark it felt like I was going into the afterlife, which is not something I want anyone to associate with my blog. I don't know, maybe it was just me. Either way, today was a day for change, so I changed it.

Here's a little of the research into creative blogs I did, because if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right dammit. And here's what I learnt; there are some beautiful blogs out there guys. Let me show you some.

What I liked a lot about this blog was the olden time newspaper theme it had going on, sort of a bit Oliver Twist. It looks really in tunes stylistically to that era, and it fits the theme of the blog really well too, as its written in that kind of tense. Like a telegram. Hence being called Lord Likely I presume.

One of the best things about this blog actually is the dedication to the tense. There's even funny little adverts along the side about buying wives and a list of Lord Likely tales. And of course, moustaches.

This blog is amazing purely for the simplicity of it. It is just visually pleasing, which is good considering its a design blog. Not only a design blog, but a website design blog. It would be a bit awkward if it was bad.

I really like the links at the top of the page as well, above the title. When you click on portfolio it takes you to his website as well which I thought was really good idea actually, having it all link up like that. It even has smaller links that divide up the blog, which is genius.

Now this is a blog that is really graphic. It revolves around blocks which is appealing to look at, and the bold colours stand out even more up against a pitch black background.

I think the graphic quality of this blog is due to the fact that the creator is a designer, once again. They have even worked for Adobe. Which I think is pretty impressive to be perfectly honest. I think black is something that works incredibly well with photos being the main component of a blog. I will for sure be taking this into consideration.

This blog is beyond pretty to look at. The idea of just having black and white works really well here, with there being a fair bit of grungy texture at hand.

It seems to be continuous posts of a comic strip but I could be wrong. It is a little difficult to navigate around as I can't understand a word of what I'm clicking on as I'm not French. I think its French. I did click on the bit that has an arrow flashing at it. Well done Demain, I see what you did there. That was the bit where it mentioned a PayPal account.

The link to this blog is broken. But it's called The Pixel Blog. I think, as an animator, this is one that really stuck out to me. Its fun. This is actually what I'd imagine Dreamwork's or Pixar's blog to look like. It's got such star quality to it.

I have no idea how they managed to have the branches stick out between each post though. I mean surely the length of it changes everytime? That is just, far too complicated coding for me, but hey, maybe one day I could learn how to do this?

From what I've gathered from these blogs is that there is a colour system that you should uphold to in order to make it look professional and work well. Between 2 and 3 main colours. I'm counting rainbow as a colour in this instance. I have already changed some aspects of my blog; the title heading, a bit of the format and the colouring. However, some more minuscule details may still change so be on the lookout for that.

 Sian Out.

Dream a Little Dream (of Bird Box)

The next animation company on my dream list is Bird Box Studio. This is the ultimate company for creating animations in a range of different styles. They're experimental and it works. From, watercolour to sketchy, to block colours, paper cut animation to CGI, they do it all. It really gives the impression that if you asked them to do an animation in a certain style, they'd be able to nail it on the head and get the result you want.

But what stands out the most from Bird Box is their ability to fit such clear stories into such a short time frame.

I think my top three favourites have to be 'Chop Chop', 'Car Park' and an advert they did for 'Three Olive Vodka'. Oh but I love 'Dinner' as well. Mostly because if you have a dog you know the chaos that is dog v.s food. All these shorts are completely different stylistically, but they are all funny and have a little twist at the end to add the cherry on top.  

gif animals animation crocodile wildebeest bird box studio
gif animals animation crocodile wildebeest bird box studio
Like Disney is known for killing off parents and having happy endings, and Pixar generally aims to make you suicidal in the first ten minutes of the film, Bird Box also has a few character traits that you expect when watching one of their animations.

The first and most prominent is the majority of their shorts have a comedic twist at the end. Often, it implies that whatever situation has just occurred is going to repeat itself again. Like in 'Wildebeest' wherein two wildebeest argue over whether the object in the lake is a crocodile or a log. The cycle continues as each wildebeest is eaten.

gif animals animation crocodile wildebeest bird box studio In 'Dinner' the same thing is done. The dog fights to get his bowl out from under the counters and when he does, he gets it stuck again. Its a pattern in their work. Something that shows that this is a Bird Box Studios animation.

This isn't always the case. Sometimes the twist is just slightly sinister and surprising, like the girl's snow-tank in 'Christmas Wish' or the cowboy shooting his companions in the 'Three Olive Vodka' advert. But it's something I expect, and I'm always surprised that the end twist.

Another signature style they have is having one animation on the same background. It's a skill actually because they never feel like they're missing any shots or are too much. It probably helps that the shorts are usually only just over a minute long, but it's amazing none the less.

I'd love to work for this company, or even just get some work experience with them for a few days actually. I think I'd be able to learn so much from them, they're such talented company.

Here is a link to their website if you want to see what all my fuss is about.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Website Research

After my short Easter break at home, I come back bearing blog posts. Today will pretty much be strategic plan towards the building of my website. I've been looking at a bunch of website for inspiration, from both animation comapanies to illustration companies to see if I could get a feel of what I think would work well for me and what wouldn't.

These are the illustration websites I liked. I have added the links to the websites underneath. I really liked the layouts of them as I felt it worked well for their medium. However, as the layout focuses purely on a portfolio of pictures I don't think this style would suit the animation medium, especially as I am not solely pre-production based. It wasn't wasted time though, as it is clear the websites are directed mainly towards children, very colourful and cheerful. It made me think a lot about the kind of colour palette I want to use for my website, as my work slights towards comedy and snappy animation.

So I began looking into animation companies of course. I looked at both big companies such as Pixar and Nickelodeon, as well as small companies like Cloth Cat.

I eventually decided through my search that, while I like the 'scroll down the page' set up of websites, I don't think I have a large enough body of work to sustain a website like that and make it look good at the same time. Instead, I will be going for the simple effect. I do however, like the idea of having the entire screen present either a show-reel of animation or a gallery of best work, so there will be more research into that.

And finally I looked at animation companies that had a much simpler layout for me to gain inspiration from. Although I love the animation on the Red Kite logo which was lovely, I think I will lean more toward the layout Pixar or Disney have go going on. I think to really show off I need to make my work the key focus of the home page. Information can be an add-on in the links to contacts and work etc.
For now, I know the rough layout I'm thinking of using in my website, I've been working on rough layout plans that I will post shortly. But there will be a couple updates on dream companies and final project work before then.
Until next time.
Sian out!