Sunday, October 21, 2018

FAO CAA Yr 1: Project #2 / The What If Metropolis 2017: Examples Of Previous Student Work, OGR #1 Requirements & Your Creative Partnerships



At Tuesday's What If Metropolis ('WIM') briefing @ 2pm / Lecture Theatre 1, you'll once more encounter Computer Animation Arts' 'mysterious blue box' and everything about the way this brief works will become clear and your next creative adventure will begin in earnest!

If you haven't done so already, download the brief from myUCA. 

By way of preparation, I want you all to spend some time looking at the brief and likewise these examples of previous student work, which should demonstrate quite clearly the relationship between concept art and the creation of highly original digital sets in Maya.  Also included in this post is the date and requirements of your first OGR - which takes place very soon after the briefing. You need to think about your time management from the outset, as you have a lot to do in seven short weeks!


Vanlig / Concept painting / Meg Robson

Vanlig / Digital set / Meg Robson


Crit Presentation


Art Of



Einheit / Digital set / Adri Lopian


Art Of


Denoria / Digital set / Deanna Crisbacher

Art Of

Charlie Serafini

Haute / Digital set / Charlie Serafini


Crit presentation

Obiton / Digital set / Eva Pennington


Art Of

New Calyx / Digital set / Julien Van Wallendael







Thursday, 1st November is your first 'WIM' Online Greenlight Review (OGR)

Your OGR is to be presented as a single Scribd presentation on your blog, beginning with your name, date, and project title.  Save your documents as PDFs before uploading to Scribd, as this should mitigate against formating glitches. Your OGR presentations should be uploaded to your blogs on Wednesday 1st November.  Written feedback will follow as a 'comment' on your OGR post.

'WIM' OGR Part 1: What do you need to present?

1) A brief written summary of your artist/designer's key principles/ideas/themes/concepts/works (i.e. you need to show me you've researched your WIM collaborator thoroughly and understand why they make the work they do).

2) A definitive influence map illustrating your artist/designer's key principles/ideas/themes/concepts/works (i.e. you need to show me that you're able to identify and isolate the visual language of your WIM collaborator effectively).

3) Your travelogue - minimum 1000 words: describe your city to me! (What it looks like, who lives there, what characterises the city, what makes it unique? Your travelogue should be highly descriptive, as you'll be using it from which to derive your thumbnails, concept art, production art and final digital set. You should of course give your city a name!).

4) Your thumbnails in response to your own travelogue (numbered please) - minimum 75.

5) In addition, your OGR should evidence that you are up-to-date with your film reviews and ongoing CG Artist's Toolkit project work (life-drawing/Maya tutorials/Nat's animation exercises etc). Students who use their OGR to manage their weekly tasks in this way manage their workloads more successfully.

Please note: your OGR should be a professionally presented, spell-checked, with an emphasis on graphic design, layout and project branding.  For an example of what I'm looking for from you at this first creative checkpoint see below:




Please use your network of creative partners and social networks to ensure everyone has seen this post and is familiar with the requirements of the OGR 01/11/2017


And finally.... your Creative Partnerships!



Starting now, you're being grouped into creative partnerships for the duration of WIM 2017.  What's a creative partnership?  While we expect you're all following each other's blogs as a matter of routine, you're now being asked to give your specific and undivided attention to supporting the creative development of classmates in your respective creative partnership. Everyone likes receiving feedback, but not everyone is giving it and I want to see much more buzz and critical discussions going on between you all. It doesn't mean you suddenly stop taking an interest in everyone else's project development, it just means you now have additional specific responsibilities to your project partners. You're going to be going through lots and lots of ideas as you seek to establish your response to this new brief and I want to see you working together proactively - and standing up to each other too. If you think your partner's ideas aren't communicating, you should say so - constructively.

Your creative partnerships should feel active and exciting - you're learning how to collaborate and build professional working relationships - and no radio silence please. If you don't interact with others positively and proactively you're being unprofessional - simple as. Get involved. Be useful. Be honest. Come up with solutions. No 'lurking' please (that's the practice of being active on social media but not sharing or participating) - get out there and be a force for good!

Your Creative Partnerships for the duration of WIM18 are:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

FAO CAA Year 2: Collaboration Acting Classes Date Changes - Confirmed




Acting class date change

Dan's acting classes will now take place on Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th November. Please make a note of the new dates and don't forget to share them if you feel someone may have missed this post. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

FAO Year 2: Single Camera and Physical / Action Comedy (Please Watch)




The video essays below created by Tony Zhou (Every Frame a Painting) and Evan Puschak (The Nerd Writer) explore physical comedy and the staging of gags/action for film. Including, the importance of characterisation, physical performance, readability, using a single/static camera, selecting the correct camera angles, clear staging, and editing. These video's illustrate many of the fundamental elements you will encounter in making your film for the Collaboration project (and beyond). Please take the time to watch them either as a group or on your own.



Buster Keaton: The Art of the Gag

"Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him. Today, I’d like to talk about the artistry (and the thinking) behind his gags.- Tony Zhou / Every frame a painting". 



Jackie Chan: How to Do Action Comedy

"Some filmmakers can do action. Others can do comedy. But for 40 years, the master of combining them has been Jackie Chan. Let’s see how he does it - Tony Zhou / Every frame a painting".



Edgar Wright: How to Do Visual Comedy

"If you love visual comedy, you gotta love Edgar Wright, one of the few filmmakers who is consistently finding humor through framing, camera movement, editing, goofy sound effects and music. This is an analysis and appreciation of one of our finest comedic voices. - Tony Zhou / Every frame a painting".

The Physical Comedy of Rowan Atkinson (Repost)



A closer look at the incredible physical comedy of Rowan Atkinson.

Some of you will know Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean. However, throughout his career Rowan Atkinson has portrayed many different comedy characters. Including, various characters in the sketch comedy series Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979-82), on stage in one man shows, in sitcom comedies such as BlackAdder (1983-89) and The Thin Blue Line (1995-96), and multiple film roles such as Johnny English (2003-present), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), The Lion King (1994), and the Mr Bean films (1997-present).

What makes Rowan Atkinson' comedy successful is his ability to physically (and verbally) portray characters so precisely. In this video the Nerdwriter explores the nature of Rowan Atkinson's comedy and how skilled he is as a character based performer. In Rowan Atkinson's work there is a big emphasis on 'contrast' and 'accurate' characterisation. Whether that is a 'silly person in a serious situation' (Mr Bean), or a serious School Master reading out silly names (his stage show). This is particularly relevant to character animation and the Collaboration Project. One of Rowan Atkinson's less talked about works is Laughing Matters (1992) which is video essay on physical comedy - it is lost piece of 'educational gold' for animators. You can watch here or find it online.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

CAA The Tune: Thom Yorke / Suspiria


Thom Yorke talks about his soundtrack for the remake of Dario Argento's extraordinary horror film, Suspiria...




Suspiria 2018 trailer

FAO Everyone: A reminder - study guides are available on myUCA


Study Guides


Just a quick reminder that there is a very useful bank of resources available on myUCA, that you should all take some time to familiarise yourselves with... the guides cover aspects such as planning, time management, writing skills, presentation skills etc.  Go and have a look!

Find the full list HERE

FAO CAA Yr 1: Invisible Cities - The Final Push!


This is message for our hard-working first years in their final few days before their first crit presentation and submission!  We know you're very busy and feeling the pinch and we know you're nervous about Friday, but there are things you can do to feel less nervous and take more control!

1) Make sure you're looking at the information we've provided you and you're paying attention to it. The information is there to make your lives easier and your goals crystal-clear.   For your convenience, I'm including here the links to the original post re. your submission requirements, the advice and guidance re. What is an 'Art Of', and the examples of previous student submissions.



You're no doubt worrying about 'your grades' already and fretting about my feedback.  At the beginning of term, I shared with you (via email) three examples of feedback forms.  These are the forms you will receive when I've marked your submissions.  If you haven't looked already at these forms, I want you to look at them now. You can find them in a folder on myUCA/Environments/InvisibleCities (scroll down to the bottom of all the resources and you'll find it).  I've included a range of grades: a 'B+', a 'C-' and a Fail.  Please focus on the written feedback - on what I'm saying to the student in relation to what they submitted and how they spent their first five weeks.

Finally, some reassuring words about Friday's presentation: it is not an audition 'X-Factor-style', where you are fighting to stay on the course.  It's your chance to talk about the ideas behind your three paintings and for us to have a chat about those ideas.  You've all presented already (a few times in fact!) and Friday is no different: your biggest voice, banish your inner-monologue, and when in doubt, look at what's on the screen and 'say what you see!'.  It's really important you prepare for your presentations: think about what you're going to say before you say it.  Be strict - stay on message.  If you get stuck, I'll be there to ask a question or two to get the ball-rolling again!

The REALLY important bit of advice is 'avoid the melodrama' - don't spend this week whipping yourselves up into a froth of fear and anxiety on social media; don't feed negativity, don't dramatise your stress - just get ready and give your time and energy to doing the best job you can. 

Best of luck! Be amazing!