Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FAO CGAA Year 1: The Time Machine Timetable/Brief Now Available on myUCA

Your Time Machine theory timetable and brief are now available on myUCA

timetable @ Unit Information
brief @ Unit Materials

See you all @ 11am Lecture Theatre 1 on Thursday

Help With Storyboard, Animatics and Character Design.

Hey Guys!

Found some interesting stuff that might help when it comes to storyboarding or animatics.

There is a show on Cartoon Network called Adventure Time. Some of you may know it (its amazing, watch it)
Well they release a lot of storyboards and pre production content for Adventure Time neatly packaged in a scribed format.

"Evicted" Storyboard

This is the board for 'Evicted'
Its pretty useful to look at some of the directions and how you could use their techniques.
I will certainly be using there format and a cleaned up version of their board, which I will upload at the bottom.

Also they have done some animatics.

And to add on top of this, they also release backgrounds and Character Designs-
Here are a selection.

So yeah. Interesting stuff.

Here are some links for your eyes.

Adventure Time Storyboards

Adventure Time Animatics

Adventure Time Art

Art of Adventure Time


Life Drawing is CANCELLED tonight - 31.31.12

To all First Years:  unfortunately life class this evening (Tuesday 31st January) is cancelled due to unavailability of both model and teaching support staff.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Important Notification for CGAA Yr 1: Animation Materials for Unit 5

No - you haven't fallen asleep and missed Unit 4!  For Unit 5: Animation, you will be creating an original one minute HAND DRAWN animation.  You will be working with animator Meg Bisineer - and she runs a very tight ship! 

You need to order the following materials in readiness for Unit 5.  It might seem a long way off, but please don't wait, as delivery can take longer than expected. The materials you need to order are listed below - and hyperlinked to the supplier's website.

Pre-punched paper and pegbars are necessary for the effective registration of the individual drawings or frames that comprise an animation.

And if you haven't got your hands on these yet, you need to...

You'll want to already be familiar with these books before Unit 5 begins and you commence your animation workshops.

Not everyone follows the group blog as closely - can you please use your network of creative partners to spread the word.  Don't delay - order your materials today! 

Saw This, Thought Of (All Of) You...

Okay - the following clip contains repeated use of the f-word, so if you're easily offended by potty-mouthed VFX artists, this is not the Youtube clip for you.  However, if you want to smile wryly and knowingly, press play...

One A Day: Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Recently there was represented enchanted edition of The "Witcher 2" developed by Polish studio "CD Projekt RED" that will come out this year on the 17th of April for XBOX. I think this new amazing CG intro might be interesting for most of us. ""The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings" features a thoroughly engrossing, mature storyline that defines a new standard for realistic,non-linear game narration."

CGAA Unit 4 Storytelling: La Jetée 31/01/2012

Simple but stunning - Chris Marker’s seminal La Jetée is a short, experimental Science-fiction film. World War III has left Paris in ruins. Deep underground, scientists search for a way to secure mankind’s future by utilising time-travel.

The film employs numerous innovative techniques which help to drive the bold narrative – most notably, the film is made up entirely of atmospheric still images. Influencing countless circles of science-fiction culture, La Jetée remains as fresh, thought-provoking and beautiful now, as it did in 1962.

“La Jetée‘s virtue is its immediate, haunting ability to evoke the emotions of love and desire; its use of photomontage poignantly conjures up the frozen moments that constitute memory. As the man remembers his past, and the woman, he relives it – never really sure if he is sent or if he is dreaming – one snapshot literally coming alive with his subjective colouring. The familiar SF framework is merely a narrative hook by which Marker hangs this essay on Inner Space.” (Sellars 2005)

Simon S. (2005) Retrospecto: La Jetée http://www.ballardian.com/la-jetee (Accessed on 30.01.12).



Chris Marker

Screenplay by:

Chris Marker

Produced by:

Anatole Dauman


Science-Fiction, Experimental




Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux

Selected Director Filmography:
Sans Soleil, A.K, A Grin Without a Cat, La jetée, One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich, 2084, 'Les Astronautes

Related Films:

Twelve Monkeys, Blade Runner, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

ISS/NSS Reminder!

Yes - another reminder re. your ISS & NSS survey duties!  

Thanks to those students who have already completed theirs.  A few year 1/2 students have been wondering where to find their log-in details.  Your username and password have been emailed out to your ucreative email address - so that's where you need to look.  You're asked to simply copy/paste this info into the survey's login - to avoid any clerical error.

Again - just to reaffirm the purpose of the surveys - they are the means by which you can assist the powers-that-be to  monitor teaching standards etc. on your degree courses. If you're reading this and thinking 'my input doesn't matter' - you're wrong.  For the resulting statistics to actually mean anything, they need to be representative of your student community - all of you.

It only takes a short time, so find me a few moments and complete the survey - much appreciated.

Go to the original notification here - where you should leave your 'Done it' as a comment.

Many thanks! :)

CGAA: One-A-Day: Doomed

With Year 2 CGAA students turning their imaginations towards their up-and-coming Transcription project, I've had a number of conversations about emphasis - i.e. what emphasis should and could Transcription take re. character design and/or animation.  Perhaps this short, sweet, bizarre and really rather wonderful animation by Alla Kinda for Pocoyo's director, Guillermo Garcia Carsi might help clarify things - for here we have some striking character designs, the animation of which serves to further communicate their character (as opposed to 'tell a story' or satisfy a complex narrative structure).  This animation showcases series of small, perfectly-formed performances by a set of cute and quirky character designs.  Watch and learn (and maybe downsize your expectations of a 10 week project accordingly...).


Hi Phil, is there a timetable for this unit? As i'm not doing this one or the last I don't have the project folders in myUCA available to me but id still like to keep a check of what's on where kind of thing. Could you let me know please :)

FAO CGAA Yr 1: Unit 4 Story 2011/12 - New Resource Available on myUCA

Animation - The Art of Layout & Storyboarding by Mark T. Byrne has just been added to myUCA/Storytelling/Unit Materials.

Friday, January 27, 2012

CGAA One-A-Day: The 13 Clocks

I loved this - a macabre, animated, Neil Gaiman narrated overture to James Thurber's 1950 'fairy story', The 13 Clocks.   There is something wonderful about having a story told to you - and the painterly, faux-naive Phil Mulloy-style aesthetic is fabulous.  Enjoy.

The Supplement: Nicola Yeoman

Unit 3's preoccupation with all things 'unheimlich' may have been and gone, but I saw these installations by Nicola Yeoman and was so reminded of Urvashi's 'birdcage place' and Chrissie's dressing table-in-the-forest, that I wanted to share.

"Yorkshire born Nicola Yeoman moved to London in 2001 and worked at the Guardian as a picture editor whilst studying furniture at Guildhall University. Her combined love of photography and her practical skills as a designer led to an accidental career as a set designer. Now, at first glance at least, it is her eye for the theatrical, honed and developed in this latter role, that most informs her current artworks. Yeoman’s childhood spent growing up on a farm in North Yorkshire is also a big influence on her work: the dens she made in barns are still evident in her work today. Her sets range from elaborate interiors, to junk yard sculptures and ethereal and dreamlike worlds. She uses a wide array of different materials as well as everyday and discarded objects. The installations whether they are built in trees or industrial interior spaces are built to specific vantage points, play with perspective and always have hidden surprises, stories and details entwined."

Goodbye dissertations! :)

Well done to all the 3rd years who handed in their dissertations today - one project to go, and you are off out into the real world! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CGAA Yr 3 Dissertation Hand-in - Good Luck & Well Done!

Another deadline - another milestone!  Best of luck for tomorrow's dissertation hand-in!  And, whatever you do - enjoy yourself this weekend - do something lovely (and which doesn't require a Harvard citation!).

Boardwalk Empire & Brainstorm Digital

Boardwalk Empire showreel from Branstorm Digital,
New York City.

Brainstorm Digital is an Emmy award-winning effects house who service all the major Hollywood studios. Working for HBO they recently produced all the digital effects for Boardwalk Empire. Take a look at their recent show reels below:


I don't know what difference this makes, but it might... students whose first language is not English, (you know who you are! :)can put a post-it note on their dissertation stating as much... on both copies please!
Good luck to all of you!

FAO Year 3: Major Project Brief

All Year 3 Students

The Major Project brief is now available on MyUCA

Click here and go to Unit Matrials.

Turn it in Plagiarism Disclaimer Form

Just to notify my colleagues who about to hand in the dissertation tomorrow, and need to print a plagiarism form. After some time of searching myUca, it is visible that the plagiarism form on the dissertation unit folder is not the right now.

in order to download the right one, you will have to go a couple of subfolders. the right form will be at:

Dissertation (30credits) > Unit Assessment> Help with Turn it in> (then the 4th or 5th option).

the right plagiarism form will need to have the turnitin reference option on it.

hope it helps!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maya Help

I'm working on the barrel from the tutorial and it has spontaneously decided to become transparent. Up there is everything I've meddled with. I have no idea what I've done; if anyone can help I'd be much obliged.

- Meg

Dissertation Questions

Apologies for another post, but I just wanted to clarify a few things before printing.

- When submitting to "turnitin", shll we include the bibliography? And do we have to print anything from turnitin to attatch to the dissertation?

- The word limit allows for 10% over?



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

84th Academy Awards - Animated Short Film Nominees

Ok - The Oscars is unarguably one of the most horrible, pompous 'cultural' unevents to plague this planet BUT the award for Best Animated Short Films is usually quite interesting. I don't think anyone would disagree with me when say it's the standard of the work everyone on the course strives for. Trailers or full film below where possible...

"Dimanche/Sunday" Patrick Doyon

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

"La Luna" Enrico Casarosa

"Wild Life" Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby - FULL FILM HERE

FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 4 Storytelling 2011/12 - Your Creative Partnerships Announced

Hi everyone - see below.  Unit 4 will see you writing your first script for a proposed one minute animation - the precise constituents of which will become apparent at Monday's briefing *Tutorphil laughs cruelly*.

Fact: the challenge of creative script writing is made easier if you're bouncing your ideas off other people, and this time, your 'creative partnership' sees you working in a 'writing group' - your stories are separate, but you should seek to work closely with each other as you develop and devise your story ideas.  I want to see you functioning as a creative team; a few pleasantries via the blog or Facebook isn't going to cut it in Semester 2.  You're going to need each other!

If you haven't done so already, you should be familiarising yourself with the Scriptwriting Resources available on myUCA/Storytelling/Unit Materials.  If you're reading this and already thinking you can wait until week one to make a start on Unit 4, this is me urging you as politely as possible to think again. You will be writing your first script - and these resources show you how.  Trust me (and ask any 2nd year) - you need to get ready for what's coming your way - it's a goodie, ladies and gents, but it's a biggie...

Your creative partnerships/Unit 4 Storytelling 2011/12
Nick Baker
Chrissie Peters
George Whiley
Anita Gill
Joshua Etienne
Emma Foster
Lloyd Prior
Paris Peonides
Fred Rolph
David Vandepeer
Otis Taylor
Magda Karbowska
Margaret Leslie
Michael Smallwood
Andrew McDowe
Urvashi Lele
Gabriel Burokas
Steve Payne
Jamie Tibbott
Simon Bloyce
Joey Ku
Ilmi Omar

Jake Malin
Oliver Gadsby
Anthony Duke

Anastasios Ntinopoulos
Ernesta!!! (sorry!)

Kadeem Molyneaux-Reid
Lydia Caplan
Ami Weightman
Shayne Foskett
Sammy Butler
Amrit Chohan
Mei Noguchi
Callum Harvey
Jake Carpenter
Oliver Nichols
Thomas Farringdon
Alicja Druzga

A quick question

Just a quick question, Im doing the tutorial Shot 1:Pan shot which I have done. How do I save the small film clip into a format I can put onto my blog? Its prob easy but I only know how to save images in maya.

Any help would be very helpful :)


FAO Year 2 & 3: Timetables

Year 2 & 3 Timetables are now available on MyUCA

Click here and go to Unit Materials

Note: The Major Project briefing will take place on:
Monday 30th January at 10am in the CG Arts baseroom

Click here and go to Unit Materials

Note: The Transcription briefing will take place on:
Tuesday 31st January at 11am in the CG Arts baseroom

Research Framing Practice Timetable

Click here and go to Unit Materials

GEEK2012 - Video Games Festival 15th-19th Feb

Something to get your mouths watering... Geek 2012, featuring our very own 'Photoshop Phil'. Check out the 'Geek Game Jam Challenge' ... Go for it.

Researcher Needs Your Input!

As some of you may remember, Tony Reeves, a Learning Technologist at UCA (he of the soothing voice on the Turnitin Video tutorials!), is looking at CG Arts and its use of blogs as a research subject.  Tony's interest is in 'communities of practice' - the way in which like-minded people work and support each other in specific disciplines and subject areas.  

Tony wants more of your views on blog use on CGAA - and if you visit his latest blog post  - you'll see he's asked you a new question and if you could leave your response in the form of a comment, Tony would welcome your views.  For an idea of how it worked last time, see the original Q & A here.

Tony will be asking more questions of you in coming days, so look out for the prompts via the group blog.  I know Tony is looking forward to hearing from you.  He'll be keen to hear from our new first years, most of whom are new to this blogging lark, but old hands and alumni are encouraged to participate too.

Thanks in advance - and watch this space for updates.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Transcrption Timetable

I noticed the timetable for the next project is not on myUCA yet. Does the briefing on Tuesday start at 10:00 in lecture theater 1?

Dissertation Questions? @Chris

Hey Chris, 

I just wanted to make a post to check some final details for the dissertation before hand in.

- The word count is 8,000 - 10,000 words (with an allowance of 10% on either side)

- Do footnotes count as part of this word count?

- Do references count as part of this word count? For example, after a quote will (Geist, 2007:238) be included in the word count?

- I noticed that on myuca, it states that we need to hand in a submission form with each copy, is this available yet or is it simply the plagiarism form?

Thank you

The Supplement: Anita and Elena Balbusso Illustrations for the new edition of 'The Handmaid's Tale'

These were featured on the Guardian website and I thought they were absolutely FANTASTIC! These are new illustrations done by Anita and Elena Balbusso for The Folio Society's edition of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel 'The Handmaid's Tale'.  I love the strong use of primary colour, particularly red - a classic symbol of power - which seems almost contradictory to the chiseled expressionist designs and the hard, modernist surface qualities these images possess.

CG Companies

Mind is a blank and was wondering if anyone could post up some popular cg companies that are out there, needed for dissertation, thanks.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spectacular Science in 3D Artist Magazine Issue 37

Spectacular Science - the UCA/UoK collaboration, which saw CGAA graduates create original animations in response to Dr Peter Klappa's bioscientific scenarios - is featured in the latest edition of  3D Artist magazine.  Well done once again to Tom Beg, Simon Holland, Pol Winandy (& Jon Stewart!), and Sebastian Schauman - and if you haven't yet had a chance to see the resulting animations or want to revisit Tom's snake-hipped basidia, go here.

Maya Help

I have spent the last 2 hours trying to figure this out and I'm sure its so very simple but, on the tutorial of the texturing of the x ray and the water droplets  I'm having some problem in the hyper shader.  The part I'm stuck on is where there are several 'Ramp' which need to be connected to one of the 'place texture' that comes with the ramp when you select it. In the video he seems to hover his mouse over the place texture and then to the ramps which connect the two with a yollow line. How is this done? what is it that i have to press in order to do this as i have tried almost every but tern on my lap top with no luck.

This is what it looks like if my wording is confusing.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

National Student Survey/Internal Student Survey 2012

Student satisfaction surveys need your input now!

This is your chance to have your say about your course, your campus and your experience at UCA.  The survey is important to our understanding of what you think about us. It informs us of the things we are doing well and where they need improving. Your feedback (good or bad!) is used to improve the student experience and the results become part of formal monitoring processes within the University and it’s important that all of you take the time to complete it for the views expressed to be representative.

The ISS is for year 1 and 2 UG students and is administered in-house.
The NSS is for year 3 students only and is administered externally by Ipsos-MORI.

The survey asks you for a satisfaction rating via multiple-choice questions for the following areas:

1 Teaching
2 Learning
3 Assessment and Feedback
4 Personal Development
5 Work Placements (Not yet applicable to year 1/ year 2 students).
6 Organisation and Management
7 Academic Support
8 Learning Resources
9 Services and Facilities
10 Overall satisfaction with the quality of your course

There are also two free-text questions that will ask you to indicate what you like most about your course, and what improvements to the course or campus you'd like to see.  It’s good to be specific here and list your reasons etc.

All students eligible for the ISS have now been emailed a username, password and weblink for their particular survey to their ucreative inbox, so please check.  You should copy and paste your password into the relevant log-in fields of the survey to avoid any error. The login details are UNIQUE and not the same as your usual ucreative log-ins.

All students eligible for the NSS will be contacted by Ipsos-MORI. 

You can access the survey through the web address www.ucreative.ac.uk/surveys

You don’t have to be on campus to access the survey; it can be done from any computer.

The survey will need about 15 minutes of your time.  You MUST click ‘continue’ on each page until the final ‘thank you’ page appears to confirm your responses have been recorded.

All responses will be stored confidentially.
If you experience any difficulties please email sss@ucreative.ac.uk

Once you've completed your survey, can you leave a 'done it' comment beneath this post - many thanks!