Monday, March 29, 2010

For Phil and Alan

Hi Phil and Alan,

Just a quick post to ask if Alan will be in this week, as last week I travelled in while Alan was still out sick. Hope your feeling better Alan.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Painting weights

I have been painting weights on my character, and they all just disappear and go back to where they started.... WHY?? Nothings been ''held''

Ive tried doing it when in the component editor as well and it just reloads joints that i previously zeroed out. Its so frustrating and Ive now wasted about two days. Help anyone please!

Adobe Photoshop CS5

Yes. Yes. Yes. YES.

Adobe has released some technical demonstrations of a new feature coming to Creative Suite 5 of their Photoshop software.

You can watch the Tech videos below on YouTube, and more videos at Abobe's CS5 Launch Site, which features a nice big hype inducing countdown.

Video 1: "Content Aware Fill"

Video 2: "Patch Match"

The end of the first video will blow your mind. Here's hoping it's not an early April Fool's joke ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

looking for an animation

I am looking for an animation.
It is about a farther who left his daughter at the beach and the farther sailed away. The daughter then carried on with her life but always returned to the same spot where her farther left her. Later the daughter grew old, so she took action. She crossed the sea of the beach (which turned into a grassy field) and found the boat her farther was in. The daughter then died of old age but in her death she sees her farther. The two of them then reunited.
It sounds wierd but the last time I watched it, the short was really good and touching. I forgot the title and the person how made it but the short is a couple of years old, I think.
If anyone knows the name of the animation I am talking about please tell me. I will be very greatful.

Modelling efficiency in Maya, how to become faster.

I was talking to James today about modelling efficiency in Maya, and gave him a few pointers on how to make it a more fun and creative process. Figured I'd make a post here, hopefully it will help some people out.

Firstly, when I work, I want to work with as much screen space as possible. So there are a few things I do to ensure this.

1. Hide the Start bar. Right click start bar, go to Properties, and tick "Auto-hide Startbar".
-The start bar will now be hidden at the bottom.Just move your mouse down there to show it.
-Any IMs received will make the the start bar appear.

2. Change the port views background Colour. Do this by scrolling through with Alt+B, I use the blue one myself. It's easier for your eyes. Less eye strain = more efficient.

3. Remove the User interface entirely. Ctrl + Spacebar to do this. You can access everything that the UI holds simply by holding Shift + Right click, Ctrl + Right click, and spacebar.

Holding Spacebar will bring up everything your UI displays any way :

Also, you can toggle through the shelfs with the function keys.

F1 - Maya Help
F2 - Animation Toolset
F3 - Modelling Toolset
F4 - Surfaces Toolset
F5 - Dynamics Toolset
F6 - Rendering Toolset
The only toolset missing here is the nDynamics one. For some reason it isn't hotkeyed to the function keys. There is a Hotkey for it, but for the life of me I can't recall it right now. But really, if you're working on nDynamics you might want the interface shown.

Also, you'll soon realise that you more often then not want to get into the tools attributes. (Move, scale and rotate tools). You can hold down the key, i.e W, E or R and hold Left click to get the options up in a menu similar to shift right click. But I have also included a screenshot below of a hotkey I have setup that allows me to bring the attributes box up.

The Command there, for copying purposes is :

toolPropertyWindow -inMainWindow false;
toolPropertyWindow1 ("Separate Window");
manipScaleValues Scale;

Of course, in this case you will need to learn more hotkeys. For example, Q,W,E,R for switching between, mouse pointer, move, rotate and scale. But if you get this down you will find that your modelling efficiency goes up instantly, and you also find that you become more free and creative, without getting bogged down with finding menus and toolsets which interupt creativity.

If you have dual screens, it's good to have Hypershade and such on the other monitor too.

As you can see I have the attributes box on the right open. Pressing Ctrl + A will toggle you through that.

Thanks for reading, enjoy modelling.


Blend Shapes

I no we had a tutorial on making these, does anyone have the PDF from myUCA, I can't find it!

If you do, please email me at


Saturday, March 20, 2010

For Time Machine Symposium...

Just a little something to watch before thursday for our symposiums - funny yet so true! :P

Friday, March 19, 2010

Squint/Opera Visit - Wednesday 31st March

Attention all CGAA students: Squint/Opera are coming to see us on Wednesday 31st March @ 11am in Lecture Theatre 2. They'll be talking about their work, the industry and professional practice. All students should attend: there will be the opportunity to talk with them 1-to-1 during the afternoon. Be there!

2d animation and premier pro

ok a little help for anyone who needs it, if anyone has any other ways of doing this then please say :D

so if you want to get you tiff images into prem and you want it to be the right frame rate follow these steps

1. load it up, cs4 seems to want to crash alot so i recommend cs3!

2. after clicking new project you will get a window with two tabs, click the second (custom settings)

3. in the general menu you will see alot of options, the first is editing mode, change this to desktop, this is so you can change the frame rate and res

4. the next option is time base aka FPS, change this to 12 or 24 depending on how you have organised your work, most people will need 12 fps.

5. the next option is up to you, you can either change the res to match the images, if you want to do this then open one of the images in photoshop and goto Image>>Image Size, then copy the size to prem. Or you can scale the image in prem which i will explain in a later stage

6. now just choose somewhere to save the file and name it and click ok

7. now the interface should load, to import an image sequence, right click on the project window (top left) and choose import.

8. find your images, click the first one and at the bottom of the open window you will see a tick box with image sequence next to it, click this and that all done

if you want to scale inside prem double click the imported file and it will load in the preview window to the right, click he effects tab, the click the arrow on motion, then click the arrow on scale, you can then change the scale of the image to fit.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MAYA 2010

Does anyone that's in uni today have maya 2010 on their home pc.. if so please can i grab the ''bits'' off of you to install it on my own pc..?!

Or can someone email me the folder? - PLEASE!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Alan is under the weather...

Just to let everyone know that Alan isn't well and will be away this week - and maybe a little longer; that said, all 1st and 2nd year Maya tutorials will be uploaded to myUCA, so there's no excuse for slacking! Please complete as per normal.

1st years are to attend their animation workshops with Meg on Friday.

2nd years are to attend their interim crit (tomorrow) with me in the base room as planned.

In the meantime, feel better soon, Alan.

Course Title for Third Years

I spoke to MPW today and he confirmed that right up untill we graduate the course will still be classed as Digital Three Dimensional Design, but when we graduate it will switch to CG Arts and Animation.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seminar in the Baseroom

I asked Alison about organising one of these and she said it was a good idea. I know that some of us are struggling to come up with a 3 act story for our objects and personalities. We either have no ideas or we have the really obvious, easy ones (if that makes sense). So Alison gave me the idea of organising a seminar, much like the one we had during Unit 4- Story-Telling. I've looked at the time table and for Monday in the afternoon, it's self directed study, so I was wondering if anyone would be interested in meeting in the base room at 2 (after lunch) to sit down and discuss and swap ideas etc.

Graduation Letter & Course Title..

I got my graduation details letter through, the course on there is under 'Digital Three Dimensional Design'. What gives? I was under the impression that we were now CG Arts and Animation. What will we be graduating with?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Norman Mclaren's 'Love on the Wing' 1938

This is the Norman Mclaren 'morphing' animation I was talking about today - it's a great reference for your new animation exercise involving the symbols derived from your name... Take a look.

"This artful animation, rich in symbolic imagery, is a short story about a love letter's journey between two lovers, and its contents. It is also an advertisement for the Post Office.

A series of two-dimensional white images continually mutate against a moving, multiplane coloured background. Accompanied by specially composed music, a drawn letter transforms in rapid succession, as it travels, into a variety of symbolic images. Starting as the man posting the letter, it takes the shape of a man and a woman, their lips, eyes, hearts; butterflies, a snail, a finger, a skull, a horse which disintegrates; and many more, all simple lines, black or white against a colourful backdrop. Then there are paired shapes: a man and a woman, two letters flying off into the sky, an apple and a mouth, a bee and a flower, a butterfly and a candle, a knife and a fork, a lock and a key and, finally, a letter and a stamp. On the letter it is written 'Empire airmail'. The letter folds itself up into a small dot and disappears into a black screen.

Love on the Wing was one of the first examples of McLaren's experiments in drawing and painting directly onto the film strip. One of his prime beliefs was that animation was not the art of drawings which move, but of movements which are drawn. Intended as an advertisement for airmail services, it was banned by the Post Office for its supposedly "Freudian" imagery."


You can view 'Love on the Wing' at

FAO First Years - 'unpacking' Tiff files via Adobe Acrobat

For those students who took copies of the Animated Portrait Tiff files from the Mac after today's animation workshop with Meg, you'll see that there only appears to be 1 file instead of the image sequence you watched in Preview via the power of my finger; the sequence of images is contained within that single tiff file, but require 'unpacking' before they can be imported into Premiere or FCP. See below...

Instructions for ‘unpacking’ your ‘Animated Portrait’ Tiff file into individual images in preparation for importing into Premiere or FCP:

Launch Adobe Acrobat

Open original Tiff File

Go to ‘File’

Go to ‘Export’

Go to ‘Image’

Go to ‘Tiff’ or ‘JPEG’

‘Save As…’


Important! 2nd Year Work Placement Unit

 2nd Year - Work Placement Unit – 26th April / Friday 28th May

Your work placement unit commences on Monday 26th April and lasts for five weeks.  

Second year students are expected to find their own placements with employers.  

Once you’ve established a placement with a company you need to supply me with the contact details of the employer – name, address, email and telephone number – so I can send them the necessary health and safety paperwork.   Employers may be able to offer you a placement lasting all – or some of the five week period.  You may need to consider multiple placements.

All paperwork must be processed BEFORE the placement can take place (i.e. before 26th April).

Start investigating potential work placements at the soonest possible opportunity.  

When you approach employers always be courteous, be clear and explain that you’re seeking work placement as part of your degree programme.  If interested companies want more information – or want further clarification from the University – provide my email ( and ask them to contact me.

We will be briefing you further at your Interim Crit on Tuesday March 16th

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Autodesk Maya 2011 announced with previews

Tonnes of Youtube videos with different new features. I certainly can not wait to check this one out. The new interface colour is certainly welcomed from me. I already have to have my background colour dark because it just hurts my eyes (Alt B to do this btw).

Release is expected to be next month (confirmed by Autodesk at GDC)

Emily Cronin joins the bloggo-sphere!

Emily C may indeed be leaving us next week, but she's up and blogging and will be our 'eye' 'out there' - follow her blog and stay in touch (and if you're lucky, she might even help you out of the Maya mire from time to time - if you ask her nicely).

DirectX 11 - Hardware Tessellation - Impressive!

Unlimited Detail Technology - Will Polys become old hat like Nurbs?

Check this out :

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Suzie Kent's Lecture Resources Available on myUCA!

PDF versions of Suzie Kent's lecture and accompanying artist references are now available on myUCA:

1st years - Unit Animation/Content
2nd years - Unit Transcription/Content


Congratulations to Emily Cronin! Our loss is Double Negative's gain, as Emily will be leaving us to join the UK's premiere effects house. Her final day with CGAA is Thursday 18th March. I'm sure you'll want to wish her every success in the future. (We'll miss you!).

Saturday, March 06, 2010

How to make maya 2010 files suitable for maya 2009?


Private View - 20th March - 2pm - Horsebridge Arts Centre - Whitstable

'Tutor Phil' & 'Photoshop Phill' will be showing work at 'P x 3 + J = ?' - an exhibition of painting and photography at the Horsebridge Arts Centre in Whitstable from March 17th - 22nd. The private view, which begins at 2pm, is on Saturday 20th. The gallery is beside the beach (and just down from the Pearsons Arms pub!) so hopefully it will be a balmy Spring day. Catch the train from Chatham and it's a 35 min journey to the seaside... 'Tutor Phil' will be showing photographs inspired by his secret love of horticulture (taken on a very old Praktica 35mm camera) and 'Photoshop Phill' will be exhibiting new paintings & clay sculpture (and not a graphics tablet in sight!).


A website & creative community with which all CGAA students might be interested in registering:

Eyeka connects Creators and Brands

"Filmmakers, photographers, animators, graphic designers, register for free on Eyeka, share your creations and participate in video contests and photo contests launched by Brands to win prizes and be recognized!"

Go take a look!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Free Sounds!

hey guys was working on a animation today and i needed some sounds, on of my classmates had posted the site Just thought i would share, I have made a user called CGArts and password is 1234, enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Useful Website


Heres somthing thats could be useful too you all, (that you may already know but I just found out)

While looking for helpful inspiration for my project and playing with after effects and photoshop I have found a short guide on how to use filters and effects that are in photoshop, (but not after effects, or gives a very differnet result in after effects) in your animation. A simple way to import and aply one set of effects to all frames at once.

Check out the link below.

Colin White says...

To all those students that attended the talk and subsequent 1-to-1 with Colin White - here's what he said about you:

"I did really enjoy myself and thought that the students were a great bunch, very inspiring. If there are any more gigs going definitely count me in..."

All going well, we'll bring Colin White back next year for a longer stint: Alan and I spent some time with him afterwards in the bar, and we talked non-stop about movies - and we all agreed that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was truly a pile-o-shite...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


At your Unit 4 Crit on Friday, I will be introducing you to Unit 5 'Animation' - but I won't be handing out paper copies of the new brief or timetable. Before Friday, can you ensure that you download/familiarise yourselves with both documents.

Your timetable is 'action-packed', with the return of life-drawing, more visiting lecturers on Wednesdays and some minor changes to your normal 'technical-classes-on-a-Friday' routine. Don't get caught out.

See you all on Friday (remember, be there at 9am so we can make a prompt start) - and, in the meantime, best of luck with the final push. I'm really looking forward to it!

Monday, March 01, 2010


As part of your forthcoming Animation project (Unit 5), you will be participating in a series of 2D animation workshops with Meg Bisineer – a sessional lecturer coming to us from the Royal College of Art.

Meg has asked that you equip yourselves with an ‘animator’s tool kit’. She recommends that you visit and purchase the following items BEFORE your first workshop on Friday 12th March.

Economy grade 60gsm A4 punched (1000 sheets – pre-punched) - £22.99

3-Pin Plastic Pegbar - £2.99

The pre-punched paper and the pegbar are both necessary for the effective registration of your drawings. You will be working on your own individual A4 lightboxes – which the course is providing. Yes, it’s going to cost you some money, but the pre-punched paper and pegbar will save you a great deal of time and prep. See below for further requirements for your animator’s tool kit

1) Sketchbooks: at least A5 size or bigger.

2) Pencils: HB & 2B.

3) Eraser / Sharpeners.

4) A blue or red colour pencil.

5) A4 paper - 60 gsm (60-80 sheets)*

6) A strip of thick cardboard : 15cm x 2 cm*

7) Masking tape*

8) Paper knife*

9) Ruler*

*Note – these items are necessary if you DON’T order the specified supplies from Chromacolour – as Meg will show you a basic way to create an alternate means of registration.

In terms of paper cost – share a box with a classmate and split the costs. The weight of the paper is important (60gsm) because it is translucent, thus allowing you to see through it to your previous drawings.

Also – if you haven’t got your hands on a copy yet, you should get hold of the following

The Animator's Survival Kit : A manual of methods, principle and formulas for classical, computer, games, stop motion and internet animators: by Richard Williams, published by Faber and Faber.

The Fundamentals of Animation by Paul Wells, published by AVA Publishing.

Meg has designed a very thorough curriculum for your 4 workshops - be amazing!

Can you please circulate this information - not all your classmates are following this blog!

Third year student survey

I don't know if everyone got a text from Jackie but we've been asked to confirm that we have all filled out the survey online.

Just wanted to post to let you all know in case you didn't get a text and also confirm that Ive done it.. don't know if any of you wanted to comment below to confirm you have also filled out the survey?