Monday, 29 June 2009

The Daily Commute

Some sketches from my daily commute to and from school. Enjoy!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Annecy 2009

I'm a bit snowed under with work at the moment so this post is little late in arriving..
As part of studying at the NFTS we get to go to an animation festival and this year they decided to take us to the biggest festival of all: Annecy!

Annecy is amazing! The weather was fantastic and the view of the lake and mountains was breathtaking. The town itself is made up of lots of historic buildings all crammed around little canals with lots of cafes and market stalls to explore, I never wanted to leave. Oh and the festival wasn't too bad either :P

There was a great buzz of excitement at the screenings, everyone throws paper aeroplanes at the screen and those that manage to reach the stage get a big cheer from the crowd. Another highlight is the trailer before the screenings; there is a tradition of a rabbit being hidden somewhere in the trailer so when he appears everyone screams 'Le Lapin' which was great fun. The films themselves were a great mix of stories and techniques, my highlights were...

Chainsaw Maid dir. Takena Nagao, Stop-motion Zombie horror! With a chainsaw toting maid, fantastic!

The Tale of Little Puppetboy dir. Johannes Nyholm, Bizarre stop-motion about a man waiting for a date to arrive, a flute playing imp and a VHS of Ivanhoe.. (no words can do it justice, you just have to see it)

The Mighty B! dir. Erik Wiese, Larry Leighliter, I'd not heard of it before but now I'm hooked! Hilarious 2D animation series

For Sock's Sake dir. Carlo Vogele, Winner of the award for best graduation film. My former classmate from Bristol, this was his graduation film made at CalArts, about a sock who escapes from the washing line to go to a nightclub.. (if you visit his blog in my links you can see the film)

And that was Annecy! I want to go back straight away. I now need to work extra hard on my own projects so I can hopefully go there with my own film one day.. In the next couple of postings I will try to show some of the designs for the character animation project I'm working on, until then...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Barry Purves

These past two weeks as well as designing the characters for our animation project we've also be training with the fantastic Barry Purves.
You can check out his work at (
he has a brilliant forum as well where he posts a lot of great advice).
Barry's work is very fluid and theatrical, he talked alot about liking animating to ballet and dance and I can really see this influence in his work. All of his characters have very graceful yet powerful movements.
We've been working under the camera with Barry, animating simple cut-out characters we designed ourselves and instilling them with personality. I've never animated cut-outs before so it was great to have so much time to really understand how we need to 'feel' the movement instead of just putting keyframes on timelines and letting the computer figure it out.

Barry's motto for the weeks was if we're going to move something then we have to be bold and really go for it and 'LET IT READ!', something I will strive to do from now on.

For the last project we each selected a type of movement randomly. I got 'someone marching' so I had to design a soldier with very rigid, ordered movements. I've included some of the sketches I made and the actual puppet itself (just bits of card and blu-tack) and also the finished 10-second clip (animated in 1 day). Barry was full of great advice so I hope he will come back soon to teach us again. Until then..