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Showing posts from May, 2012

FAO CGAA Year 1 - Your Unit 6 'Art Of' & Your Emails Plse

Hi you lot.... Can you all please upload your 'Art Of' documents to your blogs please if you haven't done so already - lots of you havent! Also, I'll be emailing you your Unit 6 proformas, so could you first please email me at so I've got your current emails.  As I'm sure you appreciate, there's lots of third year marking to be completed, so there might be a slight delay in getting your marks out to you, but I'll send them asap.  I'm sure that not everyone will be checking the group blog as regularly, so could you use your various social networks etc. to get this message 'out there'.  Much appreciated - and I look forward to seeing the creative trickle of those summer projects soon... :)
And finally - if you still haven't returned any course kit, please drop it in at reception promptly.  Thanks again.

CGAA Cinema: The opening of 'Written on the Wind' directed by Douglas Sirk (1956)

The opening of Written on the Wind is one of my favourites, even if relatively new to me. Directed by Douglas Sirk in 1956, the film depicts an unraveling web of unrequited love and desperation. In recent times, Sirk has been reclaimed as a director whose seemingly one-dimensional films have been debunked as the films they were once assumed to be. Look beyond the surface and you find scathing indictments of American conformity and family values. Whether or not this true is up for debate, but there's no denying he was a master of control. Visually, his films demonstrate an outstanding eye for detail and style. Though entirely constructed, it's a world designed to appear realer than real. 
The opening hits like you a speeding car, because that's what it is.  In the evening light, Robert Stack speeds towards an unknown destination - roof down, pissed off and bottle of booze in hand. In the background, TheFour Aces gentle crooning sits perfectly with the frenetic editing and…

Maya Sculpt Deformers Part 1 Muscles Problem

Hey everyone it's Emma here. I'm having a problem with the first sculpt deforming tutorial. No matter how many times I try and do it and follow the video it's causing a problem later on.
The problem takes place when I'm roughly at 5:20mins of the tutorial.

When I try and create the sculpt deformer, I create it but I don't end up with the result that the tutorial does and when I try and move my locator to where it should be after by setting all the channel box options to 0 it doesn't go where it should.

Instead I'm faced with the following warning when I create the sculpt deformer.

'Warning: Cycle on 'BicepShape.local' may not evaluate as expected. (Use 'cycleCheck -e off' to disable this warning.)'

When I ignored this the first time just to check whether it was causing a big problem I got to the part where you set the driven key ect. and when I scroll through the animation the deformation of the bicep just jitters about.

Here is an ima…

CGAA Cinema: David Gladwell's An Untitled Film (1964)

I'll kick this off with something completely from the left-field. David Gladwell is perhaps most famous for being the editor of Lindsay Anderson's disaffected classics  If... and O Lucky Man!. He is a talented director too and went on to make the utterly bizarre and disturbing Requiem for a Village, an anthropological study of the inhabitants of Suffolk farming village as machinery begins to take over from traditional methods of labour. AnUntitled Film, like Requiem, is a film of contradicting and unexpected images centered around farming. It's  filmed in  luscious slow motion, so that the actions of the humans and animals become both utterly chaotic and magnificent. It's quite strange, but let let the images suck you in.
Disclaimer: The film does imply that a live chicken is killed, but it's not graphic. However - don't watch if you'd rather not see!

A friend of mine is looking for some fellow concept artist to be buddies with.

Hay every one it s me Shahbir, just recently I have receive a message from a college friend named Luke and he is looking for other concept artist to be friends as well to make connections with.
If anyone is interested in becoming friends with him here is his blog address:

down side to this is that he might get pals who are better than me :( lol.

Introducing 'Cinema' a new CGAA regular feature!

Hi All,
This is the introductory post for 'Cinema' the latest in the CG Arts and Animation wunderkammer of regular features which allow you to showcase the works of others which you interesting or inspiring! I've set up this because although the existing showcases are inclusive of 'film', they are arguably more focused towards animation and the art of creating animation. However, we all know that film is as equally important to how projects on the course are approached and created.
This a platform to showcase anything related to the art of filmmaking which you feel doesn't fit within the existing structure of One-A-Day, The Supplement,The Tune or CGAA Misc. For example this can include anything from: cinematography, narrative, acting, sound design (as opposed to music) production processes, film festivals or film theory. You could showcase the newest Hollywood blockbuster release or the latest Austrian festival winner. It's up to you! Anything goes really!

The Fat Lady Sings...

Incredibly, it's that time of year again... The fat lady is preparing to sing as CGAA Year 3 put the finishing touches to their final submissions.  GOOD LUCK to all of you in the closing moments - dot every i and cross every t, then sit back and relax in the knowledge that you've done your best and there's no more you can do.As per tradition, it would be fitting of this illustrious occasion to toast your 'coming-of-age' in some sunny pub garden and everyone is welcome; indeed, the more the merrier!   We were thinking of a 2pm kick-off in a Rochester pub with a big enough garden; my suggestion was 'Ye Arrow' - the pub whose garden has that great view of the castle and the cathedral, but I'm open to the student vote on this one, as it's sometime since I've been out and about on Rochester Highstreet... If anyone has strong views re. an alternative venue, make them known on here asap.
Until tomorrow then - and once again, best of luck to all our thir…

Shahbir's: Name my Characters Contest The Winners

(Update: Now with pictures)
First sorry it took me this long to post the winners, I have been busy finishing off my project.
With that said, it is time for me to announce the winners :). As we all know the first winner for naming my worm character Stevie Wormer is Kayleigh.

Well the second winner for naming my Red Bird is ...Alan,

and the name that was given to the character is Reddy Red. A straight to the point name which I can work with. hope he likes his box of chocys when I give it to him.

The third and final winner for naming my Blue Bird is...Tom,

and the winning name for that character is Blue Bird King (shortten to B. B. King). Although this is a cool name, I think I need to talk to him about editing it slightly because I can't help but think that the name is based on a blues singer and I don't think that it would work for my bird since he does not sing the blues. Well I hope he likes the box of chocys I will give him.

Well that is everyone again thanks to those who en…

After Effects / Compositing and Video Support Group

Hello Folks,
       I'd like to say thanks to the 1st Years who have been slaving away over their Assignments, and popping in use of After Effects where they can.  You guys were really hard at it today.

For all years however, - for those of you who aspire to learn more about Cameras / Video / Compositing;
   I'd like to let you know of a support group that Simon and Myself have set-up on Facebook, which is aimed at people learning After Effects, and also using HD Video in their work.  It brings together a mixture of Professionals and Students, but is very informal - and is often just a great place to show links to things which cross over with Film Post-Production.

If you'd like to join in, or browse the collection of inspiring commercial work, you can click the Join Group Button.

Thanks again!



This is an important message for everyone.  It's now time that all CG Arts & Animation course equipment comes home to roost.  We know you've got course graphic tablets at home and lightboxes and Gnomon DVDs, course DVDs and books etc., because a) we lent them out in the first place, and b) because our cupboards are bare.  
Chances are you've gotten used to having a graphics tablet etc., but this is my polite reminder that the course equipment isn't somehow yours simply because no one has chased you for it until now.  CGAA is a small and trusted community, and we're keen to keep it that way - so please, it is now your civic duty to return our stuff. Don't disappoint us.
You can either return the equipment directly to us in the baseroom, or - if you'd prefer, you can return equipment to Mary on reception, Ground floor.  She won't ask questions or take names - just hand it over.
You may be thinking that this announcement doesn't mean you - it does. Yo…

Small Help!

Hello, 1st year student Anastasis here. I have a small problem with my export from maya.
I render with mental ray and the output is .tga file. Everything is ok with the rendering process. My problem  (when my frames are 125 which means 5 seconds and my animation settings are set to 25 frames Pal) is when i import this .tga sequence to After Effects to create it as an .avi loseless file I don't get 5 seconds of animation. I get only 4 or 4.06.  I don't know what is happening.
It's not a big problem but if everyone knows why this is happening i would very appreciate it.

I'm putting with this post my maya settings and after effects settings so if something is wrong and causing this loss of 1 second someone can tell me what is wrong.

After Effects and Maya settings:


FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 6 Commission 2011/12 - Your Maya Tutorials

... something to help you swim, not sink in your final week... Alan has kindly agreed to move the deadline for your completed Unit 6 Maya tutorials to Monday, 4th June.  Please upload to your blog as per...

Shahbir's: Name my Characters Contest Closed

Hi everyone it is me Shahbir, just to let everyone know that the competition for naming my character is now over and I have decided on what prizes to give the winners, a box of celebration chocolate. I know they are not much but I hope the winners will enjoy them. Thanks to everyone who entered, I actually got a nice selection of names for my characters , but the way I am going to pick them is by picking them from a hat/container. However there is one name that was personally chosen because a lot of people actually liked it. It is the name that was given to my worm character, he is now known as Steve Wormer. As mentioned before a lot of the public from the CGArts course really like the name so I though why not keep it. The winner of that portion was Kayliegh(hope I got the name right) and I gave her the prize hope she likes it.

There now two characters that still need their names which are the Blue and Red Bird, however if one or both of their names turns out to be based on a blues si…

CGAA One-a-Day: Tales of the Night (2012)

For anyone that's already seen/heard of this film, I believe it actually came out last year but I just spotted the review on Empire's website and hunted it down from there.
The trailer's in french but just watch it, it's a really beautiful style and anyone that enjoys Lotte Reiniger's work is going to love it for sure!

Now to find a copy! :D

Your PWTM Reminder!

Okay - there is a much bigger countdown underway right now for many of you and you all know where your priorities lie, but this is just a friendly reminder that I'll putting the next PWTM together over the weekend and early part of next week.  The last PWTM generated some great industry feedback, so get your respective houses in order and ensure your blog is a great place to visit.  Since the last edition, more people have agreed to participate, with individuals at Disney, The Mill, and AtomHawk Designjoining our impromptu panel - and I'll be contacting more studios and companies over the coming days.  It's a busy time for everyone, but I'm planning to publish on 02/06/2012... watch this space!

Presentation 1: Students working for Butch Auntie (Pete Wallace)
- Please edit together a short show reel of all the work produced for Butch Auntie. - Give a brief technical overview of the techniques used to produce the work. - Comment on your experiences working for a studio and client.
Presentation 2: Students working for Other Studios
- Where possible, please edit together a short show reel of all the work produced. - Give a short Powerpoint presentation detailing your time and experiences whilst on work placement. - Give a brief overview of any new techniques / software learnt. - Comment on your experiences working for a studio and client.
Presentation Dates:
Option 1:  Thursday 24th May @ 10am in Lecture Theatre 1
You may if you wish present your work as part of the Models & Metaphors crit on Thursday.
Option 2:  Monday 28th May @ 11am in the Base Room
Students finishing work experience on Friday 25th May are able to present on Monday …

FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 6 Commission 2011/12 - Submission Checklist & Crit Requirements 25/05/2012

A Unit 6 checklist of what you need to complete and submit for Friday's Final 'Final' Crit 25/05/2012

Creative Project60% 
In response to one of the scenarios presented to you at time of briefing, you are required to produce a complete 3D animation that demonstrates creatively your ability to interpret, transcribe and represent complex ideas in engaging and dynamic ways. Your final animation should demonstrate clearly your creative methodology as established by your Stage 1 curriculum, i.e. pre-production (production design and art direction via concept art and the structuring of time-based narratives via storyboarding and pre-visualisations), production (modelling, UV layout, texturing & lighting, and animation), and post-production (compositing, digital editing, sound design, publication and promotion).
Format Requirements
PAL 25fps 16:9 ratioMpeg or Avi
Please note: only royalty-free music is to be used and voice-overs must be professionally produced. The use of inapprop…

Maya Help Please!

Hello, I'm finishing some Maya tutorials and I have a problem. When I playblast through .avi video file the image gets distorted. This doesn't happen with all the tutorials, I'm experiencing it with tutorials that the windows interface in Maya is changed.

Attached picture with the distorted preview.

Both CG Arts Rooms Closed Between 9-10am Wednesday

Just to let all CGAA students know that both the big and small CG Arts rooms will be closed between 9am and 10am this Wednesday morning (16/05/2012). This is so the IT people can come and ensure that all and any Maya 2012 related inconsistencies etc. are resolved prior to the advent of rendering.  It's not great timing, I appreciate, but better now than never.  DM3 will be open as per usual. Thanks for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience!

CGAA One-A-Day: The Making of The Black Soulstone Cinematic

There has to be a reason why these big names from Blizzard like Diablo are so special and well known for more then 13 years already. I think the reason is that people working there are insanely creative and amazing. In this video they talk about the whole cinematic process and it is literally just mind blowing (at least for me).

FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 6 Commission 2011/12 - A Change to your After Effects Class 18/05/2012

Pete Wallace sends his apologies, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, this Friday's After Effects class has been postponed... You will now have 2 classes in your final week of Unit 6 - on Monday 21standThursday 24th.  This Friday's Maya classes continue as normal.

CGAA One-A-Day: Mio Mao.

Here's something from my childhood that I thought would be nice to share. A silly but charming example of how extreme squash and stretch can make something incredibly simple, a lot more fun.

And here's a very short and sweet video on how to make your own Mio and Mao:

CGAA Misc: Golden Words From Feng Zhu

CGAA One-A-Day: Nocturne

Nocturne by Guillaume Delaunay - something striking and rather magical, with a bold illustrative style.  Enjoy!

FAO CGAA Year 1: One Becomes Two Summer Project Briefing

Meet me in Lecture Theatre 1 @ 2pm on Monday 14th May for your One Becomes Two Summer project briefing.  The summer project is optional (i.e. non-assessed), which I guess makes the briefing optional too, but it is a competition.  Experience tells us that if CG students do absolutely nothing for four months, Year 2 can come as a bit of a shock.  The summer project is something to keep your grey-matter a-whirring and your cg skillset in rude health.  Don't worry though - your submission deadline isn't until September 28th!   I know you're all busy with cell-cycles and diminishing telomeres, so the briefing will be short and sweet.  I hope to see you there!
Oh - and what's that I spy? Could it be?  Yes - I think it is!  It's the return of the mysterious blue box...

The Supplement: Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka

Introducing Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, a father-son pairing from Germany who specialised in hand crafting glass sculptures of  underwater fauna and flora to a remarkably accurate degree.  Like the projects you're working on now, the Blaschka's mixed scientific accuracy with brilliant artistic craftsmanship, creating work which went beyond the category of simply being defined as 'scientific models'. Exquisite stuff! I like the Jellyfish the most...