Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FAO CGAA Yr 1 - Perception: Re-scheduled Presentations 8th December

Perception unit – re-scheduled presentations

Thursday 8th December

The following students must present their essay topic and theoretical ideas in the lower 4th seminar room as follows:


Simon Bloyce
Aaron Hayre
Otis Taylor
Ami Weightman
George Whiley


Jake Malin
Andrew McDowe
Kadeem Molyneaux-Reid
Oliver Nicholls
Ilmi Omar
Paris Peonides
Lloyd Prior
Freddie Rolph

Inspiration & Motivation

I thought this would be good for everyone to see considering the love hate relationship with Maya we all have, every once in a while its nice to have a motivational pick me up.

Imagine, one day soon we'll be able to animate as smoothly as this :O
(Around 8:33 is a really funny well animated piece :3)


CGAA Misc. Stop Motion Jellybeans!

Here's something that's sweet in more ways than one! Whether you like the song or not, I think the stop motion jellybean animation is really quite special! :D

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FAO Year 2: Remaining Semester Check List

Post-Modernism: 2000 Written Assignment

Deadline: 9th December (12 – 12.30)


Part 1) Studio (Group) Submission:

Deadline: Thursday 19th January

On your group (Studio) blog and for the presentation (Festival):

- Completed film trailer with Submission Documentation.

- Three 300dpi ‘stills’ (The best promotional shots)

- A Promotional Poster.

- ‘A making of’… Document.


Q. Is the design of our studio blog and project marketing part of the marking process?

A. Yes. The project submission includes the branding and promotional material for your studio, such as the design of the blog, logo, and ident.

Q. Should this work be submitted on a disk?

A. Yes. One collective disk should be submitted for the group containing the above elements and a PDF version of your group blog.

Part 2) Individual Submission:

Deadline: Monday 23rd January

- An up-to-date individual blog containing your contribution to the group project.

- All technical tutorials uploaded to your individual blog (See Below).


Q. Should this work be submitted on a disk?

A. Yes. Containing a PDF version of your personal blog.

Part 3 Maya Technical Tutorials Check List:

- Animation 2: Lip Syncing

- Modelling 3: Automotive Modelling

- Pipeline 1: Cartoon Characters Part 1 - Modelling

- Pipeline 1: Cartoon Characters Part 2 - UV Layout

- Pipeline 1: Cartoon Characters Part 3 - Skinning

- Pipeline 1: Cartoon Characters Part 4 - Rigging (In Progress)- Pipeline 1: Cartoon

Characters Part 5 (Still to Come)

- Animation 3: Animating an Action (Still to Come)

Film Reviews:

Ed Wood (1994)

Best Worst Movie (2009)

The Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007)

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

District 9 (2009)

Mars Attacks (1996)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Blade Runner (1982) (The Final Cut 2007)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit 1988 (Still to Come)

Freaks (1932) (Still to Come)

The Exorcist (1973) (Still to Come)

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon 2006) (Still to Come)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tangled: Concept Art, Storyboards & Character Sheets.


Some really lovely visual development work has been put up on Living Lines. I don't know about you guys, but I fell in love with the character and environment design in this film and the variations in style shown on the blog are really wonderful.

You can find everything here.

Have a look! There's something for everyone :D

CGAA Unit 3 Environment: Cinema of the Strange: Don’t Look Now 29/11/2011

Set to the backdrop of 1970’s Venice, Nick Roeg’s Don’t Look Now is a subtle and unconventional thriller about a married couple coming to terms with the death of their daughter. The meandering streets and canals of Venice are used a narrative device to present the viewer with symbolic imagery and recurring motifs. These techniques coupled with the films notably unusual fragmented editing style, assist in manipulating and adjusting way the viewer perceives the reality and themes of the characters in the film.

“It is a film which explores beautifully the effects of location upon individuals. Out of season is major character in the film and is shot with an eye for the locale’s decaying grandeur. It delicately presents totally believable and fully rounded characters and their relationship to us” (Nicholas and Price 1998:119)

Nicholas J. And Price J (1998) Advanced studies in media Cheltenham:Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd


Nicolas Roeg

Screenplay by:
Allan Scott, Chris Bryant

Produced by:
Peter Katz

Thriller, Psychological

British and Italian coproduction

Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania

Selected Director Filmography:

Related Films:

FAO CGAA Yr 1: Unit 3 Environment 2011/12 - Wider Reading & Making Use Of The Group Blog

In addition to the briefing presentations, film programme and reading list on your project brief, there is a wealth of associated subject matter available to you for research purposes via the CGAA group blog.  Many of you are still not making best use of what is already available, and as you'll know by now, reading and researching widely around your subject will enrich and inspire your creative development.  Go here for an archive of 'CGAA Unit 3' related posts.  Alternatively, use the label cloud to seek out key terms and access the existing library of Unit 3 content.  Go beyond what your tutor puts in front of you. Explore!

Maya- Something I pressed or has it corrupted?

These textures seem to zig zag and move around, not sure why, it just suddenly started doing it. Any idea if it's something I pressed or it has corrupted? I went back until it stopped and no change. Also, I haven't been working from the video so I was wondering if I had done something wrong.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Secret Santa anyone?

Ok guys so it's nearly December and we are all getting into this Xmas spirit. So we thought how about having a secret Santa thing going on? Not sure how it's gonna be done yet but we'll have to make sure enough people are up for it :P  So what do you think? :)

CGAA Unit 3 Environment: Cinema of the Strange: The Innocents 28/11/2011

An adaptation of Henry James’ famed novella The Turn of the Screw. A hedonistic and wealthy bachelor hires Miss Giddens as governess to look after his adopted niece and nephew at his enormous countryside mansion house. Enamoured with their charm at first - she is later unsettled by the strange behaviour of the children and mysterious figures she see’s on the mansion grounds, Miss Giddens is convinced the spirits of two dead workers have possessed the bodies of the children.

“Just as Hitchcock had gone back to black and white for Psycho, director Jack Clayton shot The Innocents in black and white, which, by 1961, had the curious effect of intensifying drama while creating distance between audience and characters...Cinematographer Freddie Francis reported that he devised special filters to blur the sides of the frame to make the film more claustrophobic and an element of mystery as to what was lurking in the corners...the result was an enduring gem of a ghost movie. Its ghosts could appear anywhere: out in the bright sunshine; in a reflection; deep in the house. The suspense of when the ghosts would appear was equalled by the suspense of whether and when the governess would go completely insane” (Ochoa 2011 :132)

Ochoa, G (2011) Deformed and Destructive Beings: The Purpose of Horror Films. North Carolina: McFarland and Company Inc.


Jack Clayton

Screenplay by:
William Archibald, Truman Capote

Produced by:
Jack Clayton

Horror, Haunted House, Thriller, Psychological

United Kingdom

Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Peter Wynegarde, Meg Jenkins, Martin Stephens. Pamela Franklin, Cytie Jessop, Isla Cameron

Selected Director Filmography:

Related Films:

Early "Black Cauldron" Drawings.


An example of how tone and movement can be captured with very little detail. There's plenty more of these fantastic drawings over on Andreas Deja's blog: Deja View. Lovely stuff! :D

Friday, November 25, 2011

FAO CGAA Year 1 Unit 3: Environment 2011/12 - Brief Now Available on myUCA

Your Unit 3: Environment 2011/12 timetable, brief and supporting materials are now available on myUCA.  Please ensure you've read the brief carefully prior to the briefing presentation on Monday 28th November @ 3pm in Lecture Theatre 1.

A selection of student work from previous Environment projects is featured below.  The student names  hyperlink to their respective blogs for Unit 3.  Please take the time to review their archives in preparation for your own creative project.

Final Scene/Digital Set + Matte Painting

Matte Painting

Final Scene/Digital Set + Matte Painting

Matte Painting

Final Scene/Digital Set + Matte Painting

Matte Painting

Final Scene/Digital Set + Matte Painting

Matte Painting

Final Scene/Digital Set + Matte Painting

Matte Painting

Your Creative Partners for the duration of Unit 3 are listed below:

  • Chrissie + Shayne + Ollie G
  • Magda + Emma + Aaron
  • Anita + Nick B + Jamie
  • Urvashi + Fred + Paris
  • George + Gabriel (Sorry!)
  • Ilmi + Sammy + Otis
  • Lydia + Joey + Ollie F
  • Mei + Ernesta + Simon B
  • Anthony + Alicja
  • Tom + Ollie N
  • Kadeem + Meg + Mike
  • Callum + Andy
  • Josh + Lloyd + Anastos
  • Ami + Steve P.
  • David (Stitch) + Jake M.
  • Jake C + Nat + Amrit

I look forward to some great partnerships for unit 3.  Go introduce yourselves and get started!

Happy Feet 2 Flops - 600 Staff Lose Their Jobs.

Happy Feet 2

Unfortunately Happy Feet 2 has flopped (finacially) worldwide resulting in the loss of over 600 jobs from Dr D Studios (Australia). To add to the poor box office the project went over budget by $32 million and was heavily marketed. The film was made in conjunction with Warner Brothers who were convinced they had a hit. It goes to show that money and star power don't always make a hit.

Very sad for all involved.

Click here for the full story

3rd Year Tutorials Cancelled

Hey guys - third year tutorials are cancelled today as Alan is ill.

Get well soon Alan!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thursday Evening Already

Right Guys, I will be at Uni till 19:30 again on Thursday (tomorrow) so the offer extends for you to join me. If you need any pointers, questions then don't hesitate to find me from 14:00 onwards.

Turning Exported Blog Into PDF


Does anyone remember the website to turn your downloaded blog into a PDF?

I can't remember it again :/

Love Jut xx

Bad Kids Go To Hell

I was checking up on IMDB at previous lecturer, Matthew Spradlin, who created a comic book called 'Bad Kids Go to Hell'.

I remember Matthew telling us that his comic will be adapted into a movie at some point and he wanted to keep it as true as possible to the original narrative, which is every writers wish when it comes to their narrative being shown on the big screen but apparently according to IMDB. he is directing it :D

I think the film will be released in 2012, so maybe if we can grab a copy somehow.... (not saying how) we can watch it together. For those that have not read the book, I will leave my copy downstairs in the Baseroom for a couple of days.

Making of.

(@Phil) Digital Tutors Statement of Payment - ? Help ?

I'm aiming this mainly at Phil but if anyone else can shed any light on this...

I seem to be being charged for Digital Tutors even though I never ordered.

I've just received a statement from UCA finance about the Digital Tutors deal that has been offered to us. It's telling me that the payment of £165 is due by the 5th December.

As much as I would like to take up the offer, I simply can't afford it and that's why I was surprised to see this today as I never put my name forward.

Is there a way to remove this from my UCA invoice and cancel my order as I obviously don't want any fees accumulating in the background.

I've emailed UCA finance for advise but thought I would also post it here for any input

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I found this blog the other day and thought it might be of use to you guys Robh works in a graphic style building up elements to create a surprisingly painterly result. He also produced some wonderful concept environments for the game Uncharted 3, well worth a look:


Trouble with OpenOffice/Powerpoint

I've been wanting to add sounds and music to a PowerPoint presentation or an OpenOffice Impress (OpenOffice's version of Powerpoint), but I simpyl cannot figure out how to add in multiple sounds (An ambiance and a music track) to either to make them play uninterrupted over multiple slides. I also might need help on how to make them stop when I want them to.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

Tom Farrington - CG Arts.

Photoshop file size

1st year Jake here,

Towards the end of my first final piece, I noticed that it became increasing long to save. I checked the file and the size grew from, when I last saw it, 78 mb to 104 mb. That kind of growth is bizarre, considering I was just going over the top with an air brush. Now that one didn't bother me so much, however my recent piece has grown to such an extent it's ridiculous. The file size grew from 72 mb to 143 mb to 330 mb to a whopping 440 mb! I can't understand why it's growing so rapidly. I've cut around the image to make sure there's nothing off canvas. If anyone can help, I'd greatly appreciate it.

For the First Years

Hi Guys, there will be a folder going up on the tutorial blog in the near future with the extra resources to dress the finished scene.

This was compiled using the assets in the folder and then lit and rendered it using the principles learnt in the lighting and rendering tutorials from the first five weeks. The assets folder will contain 2 different colour and specular maps you can use on your models (assuming you lay out the UV's the same as the texture file), several textured tileable road sections, lamp-post, birch tree and a nice retro Citroen BX. 

If anyone is wondering about the most significant difference between Macs and PCs beyond the short cuts then I would have to say the display on a Mac is much brighter / cleaner (nicer) than a  standard PC. So if you are working from Mac to PC bear that in mind.

How Important Are Social Skills in an Animation Career?

Just saw this over at and thought I'd share it - not because it will be news to most of you, but rather as a reminder of all the tacit opportunities for career development with which your provided on CGAA via your creative partnerships (yr 1), group projects (yr 2) and minor project collaborations (yr 3).  Guest blogger, Jean-Denis Haas, has this to say about the importance of social skills in an animation career...

"Social skills are very important because you're not a one-man-show.

You have to work on a team and get along with the group. Everybody is there to help the client finish his/her movie. Every project will go through crunch time, where everybody has a lot do and people are stressed out.

It is during those moments where you have to be able to stay calm and get your work done, regardless of what is happening around you. You will depend on other people's help and vice-versa. Again, it's all a team effort.

There is no room for an ego, jealous behavior, or other attitudes and your animation skills alone won't save you. You also need to be comfortable receiving feedback as well as giving feedback, especially once you become a lead animator, supervising animator or beyond that. Sooner or later you will have to deal with production people around you-- producers, directors or whoever is involved with the project you're working on. Having no social skills is not going to make those moments very enjoyable.

I haven't been involved with interviews but I would definitely look for appropriate social behavior in an interview. People will judge you and if you come across as arrogant, awkward or selfish, etc., then your chances of getting hired will diminish..."

FAO Year 2: Submission Disks

Year 2:

A short post to confirm that project work should always be submitted on a CD/DVD for marking purposes.

This includes a PDF version of your blog.

FAO Year 2: Narrative Film Postponed

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

This weeks narrative film is postponed due to the low attendence as a result of the character design crit.

We forgive you just this once.

The timetable has been adjusted accordingly and the showing of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' will take place next tuesday.

Everyone is expected to attend.

No exceptions next time!

FAO Years 2 & 3: Timetables Available for Weeks 11 to 15

The timetables are now available on MyUCA for weeks 11-15


Year 2: Click here & go to Unit Materials

Year 3: Click here & go to Unit Materials

NOTE: The Interim Crit will take place on:

Wednesday 30th November @ 10am

Location: Baseroom (TBC)

Monday, November 21, 2011

FAO Year 1 Unit 2 Space: Maya Tutorials Submission

Unit 2 Space submission: MAYA TUTORIALS

To confirm: I will be marking your Maya tutorials after:

5pm on Monday 28th November

(that's 3 days after the main critique)

Use the extra time wisely and make sure you upload all the required tutorials to your blog.

Good Luck!

FAO Year 2: Character Design Final Crit.

Final Submission
Thursday 24th November
CG Arts Baseroom @ 10am



Submission Requirements:

Part 1) A .PDF (Onscreen) or Printed Character Design Bible Containing:

A) A synopsis of the show.

B) Three fully resolved characters – Hero, Villain, & Sidekick.

C) Expression Sheets for each character.

D) Character Turnarounds for each character.

E) Completed weekly tasks (Either on your blog or as part of the final bible).

Week 1: Introduction to Character Design

Week 2: Building Blocks of Character Design – Shapes & Proportions

Week 3: Drawing in the Third Dimension

Week 4: Drawing Stuff

Week 5: Personality: The Spark of Life

Week 6: Distinctive Characters

Week 7: Monsters & Creatures

Week 8: Working in the Real World

Week 9: Setting the Scene

2) Blog & Development Work

A fully up-to-date blog containing your research, development, methodology, sketches, and finalised designs.


For the Final Critique Presentation

Each person will be given 10 minutes to present their show and final characters. The running order for each onscreen presentation will follow the outline below.

1) State which two words you were given

2) Present the story synopsis for your show. Remember this should be brief but informative.

3) Present the Hero: Including turnaround drawings, expression sheets, coloured versions, and any additional objects or weaponry.

4) Present the Villain: Including turnaround drawings, expression sheets, coloured versions, and any additional objects or weaponry.

5) Present the Sidekick: Including turnaround drawings, expression sheets, coloured versions, and any additional objects or weaponry.

6) Present a one page character comparison sheet (Hero, Villain, & Sidekick).

7) Make any further comments or show any additional work.

Good Luck!

One A Day: Secret of Kells Trailer

"Secret of Kells" directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey is a truly fantastic animation. I have no Idea how I haven't seen this yet. Just in case if somebody doesn't know about it I wanted to share this.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Academic Writing: Avery Index etc

The Avery Index, Arts Bibliographic Modern, British Humanities Index, and the Design and Applied Arts Index are key resources for finding art-centric information in journal and newspaper articles.  See below for a reminder/refresher re. accessing the resource.

Academic Writing: Art Full Text

Art Full Text is a database where you can search for journal articles - see below for a reminder/refresher on how to access and use the database etc.   

Academic Writing: JSTOR

JSTOR is a database where you can search for journal articles - an invaluable resource for your written assignments and dissertation.  See below for a refresher/reminder re. accessing the database.