Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Reminder for 3rd Years

Just to remind any 3rd years expecting to see me tomorrow afternoon - it's week five, which means that my days move around to accommodate the first year crit on Friday, so I'm not in on Monday or Tuesday this week. I will be looking at the blogs as per, so I'll endeavour to interact with you and your project development during this time. I'm currently working on a film for a big conference on March 23rd for the 'Making of Medway' partnership - so I'm fantastically busy with a deadline looming. I'll find time for blog-watching as and when... Be amazing! :-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A question about the Final Cut notes....

Can these notes be uploaded to the Second/Third Year MyUCA as well.

Thank you.

Yr1: Final Cut Lesson 4 - Compressor

For all first year students; the handout notes from Final Cut Lesson 4 (Unit 4 - Storytelling) is now on myUCA for you to download.
The final lesson covered primarily using Compressor to export and ensure you get the best quality video possible (e.g. correct codec and settings etc). The remainder of the lesson was a recap of everything we have learnt and for any Q&A.
A reminder if you need support during your project, please go to DM-Zero and speak to a DM Technical Tutor. If you need to see me, I am only available Tuesday and Thursdays (I work at UCA Maidstone on other days).
Hope you all enjoyed the lessons!
Mark Beer
DM Technical Tutor

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

female anatomy

hey people, dave has made this blog with some good anatomy resources on it, here.

Tod told me its from a mag so all good.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Suzie Kent - Visiting Lecturer - Wednesday 10th March

Suzie Kent will be coming to UCA to work with our first year CGAA students as part of their Unit 5 Animation syllabus - but ALL students are encouraged to attend her lecture starting at 11am in Lecture Theatre 2 on Wednesday 10th March.

"I'll talk about the effect my training as an Illustrator has had on my values within animation and how I'm pushing to find my own creative voice in an industry that is becoming more competitive and the concept of "originality" even more elusive. I'll be pulling apart examples of past projects and discuss what shaped them and the issues they brought to light in my working practices, then show my recent work made in an attempt to address these areas. I'll also be showing artists whose work has influenced my development, placing focus on those that are adept at dealing with abstracting the artworks environments be it in Animation, Illustration, Films or Gaming. I will analyze how they communicate their intentions in an engaging way that deviates from convention whilst still retaining clarity of thought.

After the talk will be a project to challenge the group to refine their own narrative methods and the way they characterize the content of the given topic through a single static artwork - no motion allowed. There will not be a requirement for a cleanly finished piece of work, be it hand drawn or digitally realized but I will ask that all ideas are visually coherent in this 2D image that will be put up for their peers to decipher at the end of the day...'

Looking forward to it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Attention 1st Years - Timetable Change Mon 22nd

Hi - Just to let you know that the showing of Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948) will begin at 11.30am on Monday 22nd in Lecture Theatre 2. The showing of Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) will begin as usual at 2pm on Tuesday 23rd in Lecture Theatre 1. See you there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photoshop Disasters

Here's a blog I follow, named Photoshop Disasters. Can you guess its content?

You should check it out, it shows professional retail images that have stupid obvious photoshop doctoring mistakes in there. Certainly one to follow in my opinion.

Time Travellers Accomplish Research Mission 1

To all CGAA first years who took part successfully in today's Time Machine Research Symposium - well done - some very impressive and lucid presentations (and some not so...). Of course, the point is to learn from experience and go forwards. It should be obvious to all of you now that knowing your subject and having the confidence to articulate it engagingly is its own reward.

For those students who simply didn't pull their weight - or skulked or dodged or buried their heads ostrich-like in the sand - you missed an opportunity to grow, both intellectually - and in terms of confidence. Lucky for you there's a second Symposium to prepare for in a few week's time. You are a creative community and you should support each other - if you didn't distinguish yourself this time, be sure to buck the trend and make an impact second time around.

Don't be an ostrich!

If you haven't done so already, please give me your Presentation PDFs so I can upload them to myUCA.

Final Cut Lesson 3 - Audio (inc Soundtrack Pro)

Hi everybody
This is my first post on this blog. I have been teaching the Final Cut lessons for the past couple of weeks for 1st Year students.
This week's lesson covered about the use of audio in Final Cut Pro, and to further use the audio facilities available to us by using Soundtrack Pro (e.g. adding sound effects from the audio libraries that come with Final Cut Studio).
A set of handouts for all of the lessons so far has been uploaded (inc this week's lesson) and you will find them on myUCA under the STORY-TELLING unit (in the Content section).
I work across both Maidstone and Rochester campuses, so I am only at Rochester every Tuesday and Thursday. Feel free to see me at anytime if you get stuck or got a question relating to Final Cut.
Mark Beer

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Up loading videos


I have been experinceing problems when uploading videos recently. The video clips of my work apear to work for the first day or two after being uploaded or after the post has been edited, but problems there after, resulting in clips that do not work for people to view.

Has anyone else been experienceing this problem? Does any know or can tell me a way to solve this problem?


External Examiners

For anyone that recieved a text for Jackie on the 9th of Feb about meeting the external examiners in the 15th of Feb from 10.30am, I think this is 3rd yrs only.

I will post updates as and when I get any, however I do know if this is for all of a select few.
A new message was posted on the myUCA announcements page on the 11th of Feb:

The EE visit has been postponed due to unforseen circumstances so the studio will be available should you wish to use it on Mon 15th Feb.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Word on the street is Third years have to be in on Monday... Is this true?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday 24th February - Visiting Lecturer - Colin White

Attention ALL CGA&A students!

Colin White will be visiting us on Wednesday 24th February to talk about his 30+ years of experience in animation - both 2d and 3d.

"I've been treading the animation boards for over thirty years now... I've done everything from assistant animation up to supervising director, taking in animation, layout, storyboards, animatics, design, timing and animation direction, along the way. I've worked on commercials (more than I care to remember) TV series and specials and feature films, 2D and 3D, both here and in the US. I've even done a couple of years as a CG digital character animator on Soft Image for ILM... I'm the first animator to have worked in both the US and Soviet Russia, not an easy thing to do back in the days when it was still communist. I also continue to dine out on having "Exposed" Jessica Rabbit to the world (thus emptying the shelves of laser discs for Disney in a single morning)."

Watch this space for more information!

Fable 3 - Behind the scenes video

Thought I'd post this behind the scenes at Lionhead studios ; Fable 3 video. Really interesting. I love how it's pissing it down with rain at the start, typical England ;-]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Final Cut Pro Workshop Notes now on myUCA!

Attention all 1st years: Mark Beer's Final Cut Pro workshop notes are now available on myUCA - under Unit 4 - Story-Telling - under 'content' alongside all other associated resources. If you've missed any of the lessons so far, you must familiarise yourself with the content now available to you. Further notes will be uploaded following your next FCP sessions.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Third years..

Would you mind posting your new, Final Major Project blog addresses in the comments under this so we can all become followers of one another? Just makes it easier then searching for every one's separately that's all..

Thank you :)


Elliot's new blog address

Hi - please note that Elliot has changed his blog address; please follow

Saturday, February 06, 2010

This is funny

Phil should not have given me this website about jokes. Its so bad, I have been reading them for around an hour and I'm only on page 39 of around 1000. I saw this joke, thought peeps might be able to relate... certainly gave me a giggle!

I was browsing through my Start menu, and came across "Microsoft Works".
I thought "No, it bloody doesn't!"

Friday, February 05, 2010

A message from our alumnus, Theo Majendie

I just wanted to get in touch to let you know about a new BBC kids TV show which I have been working on for the past 8 months called 'Spirit Warriors'.

The show's a huge kung-fu adventure where five kids travel into the Chinese 'Spirit World' and it has such amazing special effects which gained much interest from makers of Dr Who, who came down to see our work. I produced a large amount of work for the series including character modelling and animation, environment modelling, special effects, digital artwork and the keying and compositing of the actors into my 3D worlds.

The last episode is still in production at the moment but the first episode was aired two weeks ago so you will be able to watch episode 3 today (and episode 2 if you look on the iPlayer).

You can watch on the CBBC channel at 17:45 Fridays and it's repeated on Sundays at 09:00 on BBC 2.

There are 10 episodes in all and I've got countless bits of my work throughout the episodes but look out for shots such as the Monkey Palace, Ice Tunnels and Ice World City, Bamboo Mazes, Fire World scenes and Li's Palace.

The show should be a great example for your students of what quality of effects are being produced even for moderate budget TV shows and after production has finished I would be happy to come and talk to them about my experiences.

Please let everyone else know in the department and also any kids you know as it is a great TV show in it's own right.

Thanks and kind regards,


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Amazing action sequence!

Who needs CG Action sequences when you can make something as cool as this without :


As recommended by Emily Cronin...

Got talking to Emily Cronin today and she recommended the animated short 'Skhizein' by Jeremy Clapin; watch it here . A wonderful example of taking a small 'what if' and taking a big imaginative leap. This story takes a well-known figure of speech and makes it literal - to very moving effect.

HELP! Trying to track down a film

This is pretty random but I thought I'd give it a go.

From my major project I’ve been doing some research into time travel and interstellar travel and its led me onto wormholes.

I watched a film probably a good few years ago and I can remember a scene in the film where there was some huge machine that dropped a metallic sphere (with an astronaut in) through some kind of energy field or wormhole in order to try and travel to some other universe or something.

I remember that in the main character (think she was a blond lady) was someone working at an observatory or satellite centre or something like that and they intercepted strange noises or something from space or somehow got video footage beamed back to them (possibly with Hitler in it) or something like that and it was interlaced with instructions on how to build a machine to travel through the time space continuum or something.

Then in the film the Americans build one of these machines and while it was being used some like religious fanatic sabotaged it destroying it and killing the astronaut who was to travel in it. Then it turned out the Chinese had built one to and the main character then goes to china to pilot this machine.

I can remember the machine being like a huge thing with a spherical energy field then an arm like a crane drops a spherical ball (with the pilot or astronaut or whoever inside) into the energy field which is supposed to transport it to another universe or something.

When they drop the sphere through the energy field the main character is transported to another world where she appears on like a beach which is in a purple twilight with a few moons etc and an alien appears to her in the form of her dead mother or father or something?

Then she is sent back and everyone thinks the space travel failed as the sphere just dropped straight through the energy field and out the bottom.

That’s about all I can remember
If anyone had any idea what the film can they let me know

Thanks in advance


British Animation Awards

UCA Farnham hosts British Animation Awards Screenings

2 February 2010

Go here for screening details & dates.


New Designers 2010 Prepare Day – Friday 23 April 1pm – 5pm

New Designers would like to invite you and your student representatives to New Designers Prepare Day 2010.

Friday 23 April 2010, 1pm – 5pm: Business Design Centre, Islington, London, N1 0QH

New Designers Prepare Day will be hosting an afternoon of seminars to help you and your students prepare for the forthcoming event.

We will be covering:

  • How to get the best out exhibiting
  • What an awards judge looks for at New Designers
  • Copywriting
  • Costing and Pricing
  • How to write a Press Release
  • What the press are looking for

If you're interested in attending - leave a comment, as I'll need to fax student numbers to the organisers - cheers!

New Blog

Hey guys, for those of you even slightly interested in what I'm going to get up to for the next and final project, here is my blog... please follow.

Thank you... ME! XD

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Short & Sweet

Hey everyone, just thought I let you guys know about a weekly short film event known as 'Short & Sweet' in London. Each and every week is host to programme of short films from old films, new films, films from established directors to breaking new talent. Live action, animation to music videos - they show a lovely variety of films where there's something for everyone. The directors of films shown are often invited too so its great place to network and make new contacts. Best of all, its free.

Hosted every Monday from 7.30pm - 9.30pm, at Café 1001 - though you want to be there bit earlier for seats as it can get quite busy. It recently started back up again from the new year, so its a good time to get into it. You can find their website here for more info.

I've posted up my thoughts each week with sample films shown at Short & Sweet that I managed to find on the net. You can find it all conveniently, here.

Interested? Then drop in comment or feel free to find me sometime in uni for a chat. The more company the better!