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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Making of... The Smurfs!


The film itself may be one of the most heinous blots on the history of mankind but this is video is quite informative. Interesting to see some 'in-software' video and how actually, it's actually just the same techniques you learn on CG Arts and Animation.

Maya Tutorial Help.

I know Katy brought this up previously but I don't know if she got a response or not.
On the Mustang Roof tutorial the rear light has already been cut out. Is there a tutorial missing or are we supposed to model the light ourselves? I just wanted to check before I start messing with the geometry :P

CGAA Unit 2 Space: Worlds Apart: Alien 1/11/2011

Summary: Answering a distress call from a far off planet, the crew of the mining ship Nostromo come across the egg of a bizarre alien species. Director Ridely Scott enlisted Swiss artist H.R Giger to design all aspects associated with the Alien and its environment while Ron Cobb and Chris Foss were hired to design the human side of the film. Though equally striking, it was Giger’s gruesome surrealist vision which reverberated the most with audiences, influencing Science Fiction design for years to come.
Analysis: “From the outset, it was Giger’s unique vision, a blend of nightmare surrealism with industrial design, that seemed to lift Alien out of the conventional, his creations shaping and challenging its production values. Alien is a perfect example of an image-driven film. (Raw, 2009:78)

Raw, L. (2009) The Ridley Scott encyclopedia. USA:Scarecrow Press Inc.

Release: 1979
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay by: Dan O’Bannon
Produced by: Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill
Genre/subgenre: S…

Problem with sound on PC

I wonder if anyone can help...having a problem with the PC. We have lost all sound, and its not letting us play music or videos via media player. It's coming up with this error message -

'Windows Media Player cannot access the file. The file might be in use, you might not have access to the computer where the file is stored, or your proxy settings might not be correct'.

When we tried the Fix-it through Microsoft troubleshooter, it wasn't letting us do that either! Any help gratefully received!

CGAA Unit 2 Space: Worlds Apart: King Kong 31/10/2011

Summary Pioneering special effects and production design are used to create the mysterious Skull Island’s lush jungles and vistas reminiscent of the ones described in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. King Kong astounded a 1930’s audiences with it’s incredibly lifelike animation of the giant ape, Kong, rampaging - with Fay Wray in-hand - through dense jungles pursued by dinosaurs and later smashing apart the streets of Manhattan. The films iconic final encounter atop the Empire State building is one of cinema’s defining moments.
Analysis: Note: O’Brien refers to the films Special effects artists Willis O’Brien
“King Kong was a milestone in visual effects history. In this amazing film O’Brien established brilliant methods of combining stop motion animation with live photography. O’Brien’s technical achievements laid the groundwork for furthering of the art of stop motion visuals by his protégé Ray Harryhausen” (Sawicki, 2011:78)
Sawicki, M. (2011) Filming the fantastic: A Guide to Vi…

Postmodernism: The Thing - The Musical

Okay, so, back in 1982, John Carpenter (dir. of horror smash, Halloween) remade The Thing From Another World (1951), and so unleashed some pretty amazing non-cg special effects set-pieces in which dogs turned inside out and disembodied heads sprouted legs.  This was the film that got the playground buzzing in terms of its extreme gore and 'out there' creature design.  A prequel to the film is due for release very soon, but it appears to this jaded viewer, that The Thing 2011 is just the The Thing '82 all over again - but with cg augmentation probably undoing all that was properly visceral and grisly about Rob Bottin's extraordinary puppets...  

Anyway, this postmodernism-themed post could be about the continuing slow death of the avant-garde in terms of film-making as Hollywood stagnates in a perpetual 'nostalgia mode', as it seeks only to remake and revisit its own back-catalogue, as the levers of capitalism demand bums on seats over art and innovation... But a…

Vimeo Music Store

Vimeo has just introduced its new music store, me being the in-house CG Arts Vimeo fanboy I thought I'd share with the community. As with all of these sorts of websites, it's some good, some bad. Either way - it looks really useful if you're looking for a royalty-free track to use in your animations.
Click here for the Vimeo Music Store

Postmodernism: Yeo Valley X Factor Advert 2011

A pitch-perfect parody of boy band pop/pap from some clever/creatively bankrupt ad agency for the Yeo Valley milk & yoghurt company; a manufactured pop group singing a middle-of-the-road ballad with obligatory key-change that is largely indistinguishable from 'real; manufactured pop groups singing middle-of-the-road ballads with obligatory key-changes...

Trailer: Para Norman (2012)

From the people who brought you Coraline...


Hey all,

I'm looking at buying Photoshop for my mac and while roaming around on the web i have come across two cs5's for two massively different prices. the cheepest one is -Extended student teacher cs5 for around 160. If anyone knows, is this a good one, so to speak and, do to help me work at home for all the photoshop needs :). I only ask due to the massive price difference and seems to good to be true as the other is just over 600 hundred for the full edition of cs5.

Thank you ;)

FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 2 Space 2011/12 / OGR - 8th November 2011

Tuesday, 8th November is your Unit 2 OGR
Your OGR is to be presented as a Scribd presentation on your blog, with your name, date, and unit title. If you are still experiencing difficulty using Scribdgo here for some easy-to-followinstructions. I suggest you save your documents as PDFs before uploading to Scribd, as this should mitigate against formating glitches.  Remember, when pasting Scribd embed code into your blog, you must  first select the HTML mode tab, then switch back to 'Compose' to view embedded presentation.

Unit 2 OGR: What do you need to present?
A short synopsis of your book(s) to include plot, author biography, social and cultural context (i.e. when the book was written and what was happening at the time of its writing that might have influenced its content), and summary of any existing adaptations (film, theatre, television etc.) key illustrations, associated artists etc.
A short statement identifying and justifying your Visual Concept in relation to your story (…

Production Art: Monster House (2006)

A great selection of production art from Gil Kenan's Monster House (2006) - courtesy of Living Lines.



British comics artist and illustrator, works include Stingray and Captain Scarlet concept artwork and the Wicked Wanda cartoons for Penthouse as well as hundreds of illustrations for children’s books in the 60s and 70s.
These images are from his many fairy tale illustrations, its worth looking at the actual books as the image quality does not do them justice.

FAO CGAA Year One: Unit 2 Space - FZD School

If you're not doing so already, you need to 'enrol' at concept artist Feng Zhu's online school - his Youtube channel that features many de-mystifying demonstrations of digital painting techniques.  The two episodes featured below are just the tip of this concept art iceberg.  It's important too that, as well as choosing role-models and running mates from within the CGAA community itself, that you get into the habit of following the blogs of industry professionals.  If you're truly serious about one day competing with these talents, it pays to heighten your awareness now of what it's going to take to make it.  A good start would be to follow Feng Zhu's blog - which you can find here.

Red Bull 'Canimation' Competition

Red Bull are running an animation competition named 'Canimation'
The brief being a 16:9 animation starring their famous branded can, must be under 2 minutes long.

The prize for CGI Student entries is a two month internship at The Mill, where you'll be guided by Jimmy Farrington who has worked on great animations from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to Where the Wild Things Are

The Open CGI prize is a high spec laptop and a copy of the Autodesk Creative Suite 2012

CG Zombie Halloween Party

Hey guys, so I'm posting about a fancy dress party me (Bob), Jack and Ilmi are hosting as a Halloween special :D. We're inviting everyone from all years, as we haven't really had the chance to get mingling on the course yet, so feel free to come. It's a zombie themed night, so if your planing to come as a fairy, then zombie that fairy up :D

We'll have bqq food, that Godwino's goign to be helping out with, so if you can bring some to help keep it flowing, that'd be great, as well as some drink. If you add one of us on Facebook, we can add you to the group or ask us in person we can give you details where we live :D but it's pretty much near Chatham station, Saturday from around 6ish onwards

Hope to see you all there....Tutors also WELCOME :D

FAO: Year 3 Tutorials

Friday 28th October - Tutorials

Due to the one off halloween film showing, scheduled tutorials will be replaced by 'first come' drop in tutorials from 10am - 2pm.


It's here by special request the 'best worst movie' Troll 2 (1990).

Directed by Claudio Fragasso this movie has to be seen to be believed.

All courses & years welcome.

Friday 28th October @ 3.15pm
Lecture Theatre 2

Bring your friends!

Diablo III Black Soulstone Cinematic + Making Of

Diablo III Black Soulstone Cinematic

Blizzcon 2011 - Diablo 3 Making of Black Soulstone Cinematics

Postmodernism: The Derrida Virus: Funny Games U.S 26/10/2011

Summary: A shot for shot remake of Haneke’s own 1997 film of the same name. Two young men hold a family hostage and use them to play sadistic games. Using postmodern techniques to subvert and distort audience expectation of genre conventions- the film can be viewed as deconstruction of how violence is portrayed on screen.
Analysis: Note: this quote refers to the 1997 version of Funny Games but is equally relevant to the 2007 remake.
“...He establishes Funny Games as part of the suspense thriller genre in order to lull the spectator into a false feeling sense of security, stating that: ‘Elements from the history of the suspense thriller appear as quotes – the classic opening, the scene where the boy escapes to the villa – very classical, like Hitchcock. And the audience only engages with the film when they don’t know whats going to happen, when they allow themselves hope’...while the use of generic conventions within a film indicates to the audience the course that they can expect its na…

Blogger settings...@Shahbir and anyone else not getting any replies to posts!

I have been experiencing some problems trying to leave comments on certain seem to be due to what the blogger has their comments settings set to. If you have not been getting as many replies to posts as you would have expected it might be worth having a look at yours!

Go to 'Settings' and then 'Comments', and change 'who can comment' to Anyone..... that might help!
SHAHBIR... I know for a fact that people are trying to leave comments on your last post! :)

FAO CGAA Year 1 Unit 2: Space 2011/12 - Dali Designed Sequence from 'Spellbound'

As previewed at today's briefing - Dali's dream sequence from Hitchcock's Freudian thriller, Spellbound (1945)

The Final Chapter Coming Soon....

Atom Pancakes proudly presents ...

Follow our official blog for all the progress at:

Or our Facebook page or twitter at: (respectively)

More updates will land on here very soon! 
Keep Tuned!

FAO: Year 2 Narrative 'The Pitch'

Location Details

The Pitch will take place on Thursday in the CG Arts Baseroom from 2pm

'The Pitch'

Each Studio will give a short 10 minute film pitch.
Each pitch will include & run in the following order:1) Branding:
Give a brief overview of the studio's branding (logo, blog, etc).2) Retrofest Requirements:
Present the films title, explain your choice of genre & method of approach (1, 2, or 3).3) Treatment / Plot:
Present a synopsis of the films plot and give a list of potential cast members.4) Character Design:
Present an overview of the design progress made in this area & explain how each character meets the requirements of the story.5) Environment Designs:
Present an overview of the design progress made in this area & explain how each environment meets the requirements of the story.6) Storyboard, Trailer, & Edit:
Give an overview of storyboard development before showing an Animatic version of the trailer (including temporary audio).After this feedback will …

CGAA One-A-Day: The Gawper

Saw this and thought of the Second years!

CGAA Unit 2 Space: Worlds Apart: Metropolis 25/10/2011

Summary: Fritz Lang’s 1927 epic Metropolis established the benchmark or originality, design and scale for science fiction sets which has perhaps yet to be bettered. Met with a negative reception upon release, subsequent restorations and critical re-evaluations have led it to be reclaimed as a masterpiece. With its fusion of grand modernist cityscapes and oppressive industrial working class machinery, Metropolis triumphantly heralded the ability for filmmakers to create entire new worlds. Its influence can still be seen in almost every science fiction film released since.
Analysis: “The set design, for instance, runs the gamut from cavernous Christian catacombs to abstract cityscapes in the tradition of the futurist architect Antonio Sant’Elia, from the mystical Tower of Babel to art deco interiors, from abstract moving machine parts at the beginning of the film to the Gothic cathedral at the end” (Isenberg, 2009: 175)
“The film reaches back into the mythical past and forward into the…

Just Arrived - 2 More Year 1 Blogs

Introducing 'all new' CGAA recruit, Ernesta Baniulyte and returning student, Ollie Fowls  Make them feel at home.

FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 2 Space 2011/12 - Your Creative Partners Announced

See below - your creative partners for the duration of unit 2 are listed below - and look, 2 more recruits; introducing Ollie Fowls and Ernesta Baniulyte - all names below are linked to their respective blogs.  If, for whatever reason, you're not already following your partner's blog, you should use the hyperlink to do so now. Nick B + Meg George + Chrissie + Mike Otis + NatStitch + Joey Shayne  + Sammy Tom + Emma  + IlmiSimon  + JoshLydia + KadeemAmrit + Anita Ernesta + Freddie + Ami Lloyd  + MagdaJake M + ParisSteve S + UrvashiGabriel + AnthonyOllie G + JamieAnastos + Andrew Aaron + CallumJake C + Alicja PSteve P + Mei + Oliver FOllie N + Alicja DI couldn't help but notice a comment on one first year's blog in response to the creative partnership that said, 'we need to show we're talking to each other so we can pass this unit'
Talk about the missing the point!  
The 'point' of your creative partnership is that it offers you an ongoing opportunity f…

Weird Message

Hi, Joey here- my internet's back online!! I've just went to check my inbox and found this company "printingamerica" messaged on my life drawing and company of wolves review on my blog. I've then checked to see it if the message is written on my blog only to find it that it didn't. I've also went onto "printing america's" website which its only for printing services. So, I'm confused... :S

CGAA Unit 2 Space: Worlds Apart: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 24/10/2011

Summary: Hugely influential silent horror film. Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr Caligari pioneered the use of expressionist sets in cinema, where deformed, wholly artificial and non-realistic sets were used to express the often delirious themes of the film.
Analysis: “In Caligari, an evil psychiatrist compels a young man, through hypnosis, to kill people... His skewed perspective is depicted visually in the skewed and surreal set design: crooked houses, windows, and roads; outdoor scenes that are obviously shot indoors, misshapen and disproportionately-sized furniture that looks to be designed by Dr Seuss. Painted Shadows.” (Sipod, 2010:44)
“Caligari’s expressionist mise-en-scéne supports both story and theme. Dramatically the set décor and acting help to render a tale told from a lunatic’s perspective. But these elements also work thematically. Caligari has been interpreted as a metaphor for the then recently concluded First World War...”(Sipos, 2010:44)
Sipos, Thomas M. (2010) Horror…

Interview: Joseph C. Pepe - Character Designer

Go here for an interview with Avatar character designer, Joseph C. Pepe - courtesy of the Academy of Art Character & Creature Design blog.

The Supplement: John Martin

John Martin is an interesting painter.  Although famous in his lifetime, in the 20th century he was much derided by artists and art critics, but has remained popular with the public (he was/is the most looked-at painter in the Tate), perhaps because his paintings have sometimes come to look like colossal 19th century heavy metal album covers.  In the 1930s you could have picked up one of his huge masterpieces for a couple of pounds.  In recent years his work has undergone critical reappraisal, and there's currently an exhibition at the Tate - have a look here.

His brother Jonathan was an insane preacher who set fire to York Minster: