Thursday, June 30, 2011

CG Arts and Animation New Designers 2011 page

Hi all,

Our page for New Designers has been updated ready for next weeks show. Here is the link

Thanks! :-)

CGAA Class of 2011 @ New Designers 2011

If you happened by the CGAA baseroom right now, you'd find it crowded with a serious of mysterious, colourful cubes in a variety of sizes and your mouth watering in pavlovian response, craving the taste and texture of licorice allsorts... No, this isn't some take-over by Willy Wonka, but rather the course team's preparation for New Designers 2011 - the premiere London-based graduate show, at which a selection of this year's CGAA graduates will be exhibiting.

Preparations for the show began many weeks ago. Indeed, the visual concept for the new show was first cooked up between Alan and myself over a coffee at last year's ND event. Encouraged by CGAA's 'Best in Show 2010' prize, we were determined to push things a little further...

As per last year, we were keen to ensure that the CGAA stand didn't conform to the 'Apple Mac Showroom' trap, but rather use the space to say something about the course culture, and about the creativity of its graduates. We wanted to pick up on the idea that CGAA graduates leave the course with a shared skill-base (Maya as the common denominator), but whose projects encompass a variety of highly individualised creative responses - rather like...

And so it was that the exhibiting students were asked to create a series of abstract images deriving from their respective cg models with a distinct set of colour values to be applied to the surfaces of specially constructed cubes, ranging in size from 25cm up to 100cm, that would be used to create the exhibition space. - a company specialising in stickers and vinyl transfers - very generously agreed to sponsor the CGAA show and printed all the artwork for us, and Tom and Alan spent an afternoon applying the large-scale transfers to the cubes. The course also owes UCA staff member, Glen Coleman, a big debt of gratitude for readying the artwork for Diginate's printers - thank you, Glen!

More CGAA @ ND 2011 updates will follow next week as we 'take the show on the road' and head up to London to install the exhibition and get everything ready for the private view and awards evening on Wednesday July 6th. Watch this space and wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Supplement: Jessica Joslin

If I didn't know otherwise, I'd think Jessica Joslin's dainty, decorative and bio-mechanical creatures had followed in Ivan's footsteps and escaped from Jolanta's mysterious workshop...

"I find things anywhere that I find myself…in obscure junk shops, flea markets, attics, taxidermy supply houses, specialty hardware distributors…or even just walking through the woods. Some of the materials used in my work are: antique ceremonial collar, antlers, bone, velvet, antique hardware, glass eyes, universal joints, springs, brass standoffs, casters, mink collars, saxophone keys, antique shoehorn, beads, lamp fittings, glove leather, music wire, cast pewter feet… The many components are assembled using as many techniques as there are parts. The fastenings for a crest of feathers are quite different than for a headpiece of brass on bone. In my work, I look back to a time when one’s craft was evolved over many years, honed through apprenticeships. The parts are integrated with the finely wrought craft of an artisan watchmaker. Miniature machine bolts, springs and couplings comprise anatomical structures. Many of the beasts have hidden movements: a spring loaded beak, snapping jaws, jointed legs and adjustable tails. Some creatures are free-standing but have mechanisms to allow for movement or multiple positions."


CGAA One-A-Day: Defective Detective

Defective Detective - an exuberant award-winning animated film directed by Avner Geller and Steve Lewis from Ringling College of Art & Design. I especially enjoyed the segues into the silhouette sequences and the economy with which the narrative was set in motion.

Need help Maya: chaning a resolution of a bump map in After Effects cs4

Ok few days ago I posted my E4 animation onto my blog. I got some feedback from some people and they all said the resolution of the texture needs to be less pixelated. The thing is I don't know how to improve the quality of the texture. I did the texture animation all in maya, I used some of my friends advice to make the picture bigger but it still comes out pixelated, am I missing something?
please if anyone knows how to fix this leave a comment
thank you

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CSS and HTML Help

I would like to attempt to redesign my blog to make it look a little more professional. However I can't seem to get the post transparency right. Does anyone know the CSS code I would have to use to make my blog post background transparent without it leaving that shadowed look?

The Supplement: Damon Bard, Traditional Sculpture

Here I present you traditional sculptor Damon Bard, Im pretty sure most of you know his work from film such as Shrek, Monster vs. Aliens, and the Kung Fu Panda Franchise or any other Dreamworks' film.

"Damon Bard
For close to 20 years, Damon Bard has been working as a freelance artist in the entertainment industry primarily as a sculptor but also as a designer of characters and creatures. Since then, he has contributed to nearly 30 films and other various projects during his career.

Damon has also been fortunate enough to have worked along side some of the most talented, acclaimed, and awarded artists and directors in the industry and on a few of the most successful films ever made; Coraline, Kung Fu Panda, Ratatouille, Shrek 2, Star Wars: Episode 3, Over The Hedge, and Madagascar, to name a few. Additionally, Damon works on his bronze figurative sculpture and oil paintings between and during projects as time allows.

Bard Sculpture Studio is committed to furthering the excellence of the art of character design in the Animation and Visual Effects Industry by continuing to create using traditional/modern sculpture techniques and design methods to bring the most memorable characters and creatures to life for audiences around the world to experience and enjoy.

Who likes baby po!?

It is great to see the use of traditional sculpture in the computer era, where the characters are so carefully transferred between these 2 different mediums.

For more of his work, check his delightful portfolio at:

Monday, June 27, 2011

CGAA One-A-Day: The Archiver

The Archiver - an animated short directed by Thomas Obrecht, Guillaume Berthoumieu and Marc Menneglier - and a nice example of the third act reframing your perceptions of the first.

Pixar's Brave - Teaser Released!

First Look!

CGAA One-A-Day: The Rocketeer

Some of you may not be familiar with Dave Stevens' retro comic book character, The Rocketeer, and those that are no doubt recall the 1991 movie adaptation (see trailer) directed by Joe Johnstone, and with a score by James Horner. Filmmaker John Banana is a big fan, and his Pixar-esque tribute is featured here. It's cute and feels like a bid for a new cg adaptation or television series.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cars 2: Pixar's first 'Rotten' movie

John Lasseter's Cars 2 is apparently Pixar's first sub 60% rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently rated at 34%.

And then what will the reception of Cars 2 do to the mindset at Pixar, if anything? The company is well-known for adjusting to material that doesn’t work, famously scrapping versions of films even when they’re pretty far along (such as the pre-Brad Bird version of Ratatouille) and working at a story until they get it right. The decision to make sequels for Cars and Monsters, Inc. has met with criticism and resistance, and even Pixar seems to be aware that people want the company to make original films rather than sequels. Just see the marketing ramp-up for Brave, a slightly darker-than-usual Pixar film, which most audiences will discover for the first time when a teaser runs in front of Cars 2. Will the rotten rating of this weeks opening push the balance back towards films like Brave?

So what went wrong?

Documentary: H.P. Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown

The works of H.P. Lovecraft have always proven a rich source of inspiration for CGAA students. When I encountered the documentary Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, I thought I'd share it here. It's got some quality contributers waxing lyrically about Lovecraft's fiction and its influence, including directors John Carpenter (Halloween 1978) and Guillermo del Toro.

Watch more free documentaries

In a previous post, I featured Back Porch Audio Books - a spoken word site featuring a great audio recording of Lovecraft's short story, The Shunned House. If you didn't listen then, have a listen now; it's richly descriptive stuff and certain to get under your skin. Go here for the The H.P. Lovecraft Archive, here for the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and here for Lovecraft's collected stories.

And finally, to round off this Lovecraftian-themed post, another chance to see some of the work CGAA students have created in response to this master of the eldritch and the weird....

Creature Design: Animals Real and Imagined by Terryl Whitlatch

Book Review: Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined: A fantastic visual voyage into the world of animals, both real and imagined. There is no end to the diverse and unique creatures that Terryl Whitlatch creates for us with her solid knowledge of anatomy and boundless imagination. Especially intriguing are the 100s of anatomical notes that are dispersed among her sketches, educating and enlightening us to the foundation of living bodies and their mechanics.

Terryl Whitlatch is an accomplished, scientific, and academically trained illustrator who extensively studied vertebrate zoology and animal anatomy. She has worked for various zoos and museums in the US and The World Wildlife Fund as Senior consultant for Wildlife Art and Animal Anatomy. She is considered to be one of the top creature designers and animal anatomists working in the field today. In a career spanning over 25 years, Terryl has many projects to her credit, including Star Wards: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Special Edition, Jumanji 1 and 2, Men in Black, Brother Bear, Dragonheart, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Curious George, The Polar Express, and Beowulf. For over seven years, Terryl worked for Lucasfilm Ltd., Industrial Light & Magic and George Lucas’ JAK Films. Her unique combination of illustration skills are comprehensive knowledge of animal anatomy and movement are essential components in the design, anatomy and physical animations aspects of believable creature creation.
Link here.

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined

Animals Real and Imagined