Friday, August 31, 2012

Trailer: Toys in the Attic (2012) Dir. Jiri Barta

Okay, so I was procrastinating this afternoon by checking out any unseen trailers, and as I watched the preamble for Toys in the Attic - an animated film of which I'd never heard - I thought to myself, 'this is like Toy Story as approached by the likes of Svankmajer or Jiri Barta'... and guess what? This is a Jiri Barta movie - yes, him of that oppressively dark version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin - actually released originally in 2009, but now given a USA make-over featuring the voice talents of Joan Cusack and Forest Whitaker!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CGAA Misc. CG Pokemon

Here's a short article I came across about how environment artist, Christian Davis, spends his lunch breaks. This Blastoise was made using Z-brush, Maya and Photoshop in Davis' spare time and in under 5 weeks.

Click Here for Article

Sammy Butler

FAO CGAA Year 2 - Group Blog Authorship!

This is a message for all our about-to-be Year 2 CGAA students:  if you email me at from your personal emails (i.e. the ones you used to set up your individual blogs), I'll use it to make you a named author on the group blog, which means you won't need to login via the 'Class of 2011' password etc. Blogger will issue you an invite, which you'll need to accept. Spread the word!

Documentary: The Art Of Animation & Motion Graphics

A six minute history lesson - enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

@Alan, @Tom Beg @Anyone - Texture Problem can anyone help?

Hey guys hope your all doing well.
I have had this problem pop up and it's starting to really bug me.

The image planes in the back ground are messing up/glitching out and I can’t get them to go normal again. This has been happening to everything in the scene including the torso and has spread to other scenes in different projects. However the textures show in render but not in the view port. I have refreshed, re-saved even re-edited the texture files. As of yet nothing has worked. I even started a new project and it is still happening. If it’s technical I don't know what to do.

 I first noticed it happen a while ago while doing a tut. It happened a couple of times and lasted a couple of seconds (like a glitch).  Recently though its been a lot more, sometimes I would have to close the project and then reopen it again. i haven't used maya for a little while and i cam back to a project and it was just keeps happening. it won't go away no matter what I do. I don't know if I have caused this or its just a bug or something. The last time I touched this project everything was fine. :(

The back and side should look like this:

Just wondering if someone else has had this problem. 
Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Supplement: Tutorphil's 'Visitations' (Part 2)

If my previous Visitations were from 'beyond the stars', these alternate manifestations of time + light + 35mm are most likely from beyond the grave. Or maybe they're angels? Or demons.

Once again, I take only limited credit for the results. Long exposure photography is a dance in the darkness and these even more so, for this time it was the light sources that remained stationary, while the human figure ebbed and flowed and turned as if to smoke.

There is something inherently spooky about photography, the way a photographic image is sometimes able to capture what wasn't present at the time of its taking. I'm sure the luckless photographer, Keith Jennings, would agree. When I look at these images - especially the first two - there are things appearing out of those woods that I can't readily explain - and I was there.

When I was a child, I had an encyclopedia of unexplained phenomena, which I pored over, drawn always to the photographic 'evidence' of wraiths, spectres and revenants. When I look at these images and experience both triumph at the trick and a shudder, I realise the child I was is still looking at that book and hoping for ghosts.

So I'm calling this set of images Visitations Part 2 - but another title now suggests itself; how about just 'They're here'.

@Phil 3rd timetable

Hi Phil,

I was wondering whether the 3rd year timetable has been put together yet, as I need to know from now which days we will be in.


Digital Painting: Feng Zhu - Episode 56

Something new from concept artist Feng Zhu...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Tune: Composing LA. BBC Radio 4

There hasn't been a ' TheTune' for a long time! I listened to this earlier today on BBC Radio 4 and really enjoyed it. It's a fairly technical discussion about how European classical composers like Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg influenced Hollywood film scores from the 1930's onwards. Catch it while it's still available!

"Young British Composer Tarik O' Regan tells the story of how the tradition of Western classical music, its composers and maestros, underpinned the golden age of Hollywood film score.

More or less the entire Hollywood music scene, as it blossomed in the 1930s, looked to serious European and Russian composers for film score composition. Stravinsky, Schoenberg, two of the greatest composers of 'serious' 20th century music, both lived and worked in LA - much to the consternation of the European classical music establishment.

Many composers on the run from Europe in the 1930s would arrive in New York and, failing to make inroads into the concert scene or Broadway (as Kurt Weil had done), continued their journey West. Even as early cinema flourished, America was still struggling to find its own authentic 'classical' music - one that strived to be equal to the European symphonic sound but that had its own voice too. The film score was precisely that.

Meanwhile most of the Hollywood film orchestras were filled with British and European émigré musicians who taught American musicians the European symphonic style that became the hallmark of Hollywood film music. This programme also explores how some of the most successful soundtrack composers today - John Williams and others - are completely caught up in that sound-world."

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Supplement: Tutorphil's 'Visitations' (Part 1)

Maybe it's the quality of the dark or the size of the spiders, but for whatever reason I find my Summer holidays in rural France fire my imagination and turn my thoughts to phantasmagoria. 

The photographs that follow in this home-grown Supplement were taken in the Summer of 2011 and 2012 using 35mm film of varying speeds. Using very primitive kit - an ancient Praktica, a household torch, LED camping lights, a mosquito net, bamboo canes, plastic water bottles, vine leaves, recycling sacks, a paper lampshade, a green football, a hurricane lamp - I set about formulating some kind of creative response to the primal dark and cinematic expanses of stars that characterise this location.

There is something properly magical about long exposure photography. I am entirely absent from these images (the one visible figure is none other than 'Photoshop Phill'), and yet I am nonetheless in all of them. It was me whirling those comet trails through the night. It was me dancing in the dark like Wall-E and Eve. It was me covered head-to-toe in insect repellent spinning cheap made-in-China illuminations around my head - and yet, I've been effaced completely, the camera caring only for light and for filigree. 

But you never really know what you're making - that is, what the camera is actually seeing as you spin and glimmer before it. I had an idea, of course - a notion. I wanted something otherworldly, like something a child might glimpse on a sleepless night in a fifties b-movie, or like something Industrial Light & Magic might have created back in the early 1980s. Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed. The camera saw everything - every rotation, every loop, every arc of battery-powered light.

So I'm calling this sequence of images Visitations* - for two reasons; the first, because I only make stuff like this when I visit that old house in France with its space and privacy, and not forgetting all that special dark. The second reason is more obvious, for what really delights me about these images is the way they return me to childhood scenes of cinematic escapism. What are these strange lights in the night if not visitors from beyond the stars, or alternate worlds pressing up against the walls of our own, or the pretty beginning of some terrible end for civilisation as we know it - like the meteor shower that augurs so much carnage in John Wyndham's The Day Of The Triffids.

The keen-eyed ones amongst you will have noticed this post is entitled Tutorphil's Visitations Part 1. Indeed, Part 2 will follow soon, and if part 1 of my summer japes took pre-CGI science-fiction as its muse, part 2 takes as inspiration the elaborate fibs of spirit photographer William H Mumler.

Until then, ladies and gentlemen, please, do as the man says - 'Keep watching the skies!'

* No CGI was used in the making of these images! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keep healthy in a sedentary job

We all know as a CG course how sitting all day long in front of a computer screen can be exhausing. Most people would think it's actually less tiring working on a desk as it doesn't require much physical activity but in reality it can cause a lot more health problems than any other job.
What triggered me to post this is my recent visit to a doctor who found a small inflammation on  my kneecap (nothing serious) which was caused lack of exercise!I don't mean to scare anyone but just to pass on some advice about how to keep healthy and therefore work effectively.
There are  alot of ways we can keep ourselves healthy and still work in front of the screen. There is no need for very intensive exercise or an expensive gym membership to keep  active. Even small ways of moving about like taking the stairs instead of the lift or taking a break to walk can help.There are a lot of ways to exercise like working out at home, jogging or even cycling- whatever the individual prefers. Small differences like these, followed by a balanced diet can help us become less of 'pc-potatoes'.

Additionaly, finding alternative ways to do uni work like sketching outside, researching outdoors or even socializing with people for feedback can improve our work and give our eyes some rest from the screen.

There are a lot of websites with tips on this matter. These two are a couple of pages I found myself:

CGAA 2012 Graduate Ruben Martins Showcased in Digital Arts Magazine!

Congratulations to Ruben 'Class of 2012' Martins whose work has just been profiled in Digital Arts magazine's 'freshest creatives' showcase.  Check out Ruben's website here.

Tom Beg: Projection Mapping Installation @ the LV21 Lightship 18/08/2012

Today I visited Tom Beg's Masters of Arts installation at the LV21 Lightship moored at Gillingham Pier and wanted to share my experience. What an extraordinarily un-rectangular, idiosyncratic venue!  Once on board the bright red ship - which looked almost surreally radiant under the fierce glare of the midday sun - I had to descend into the bowels of the boat, my curiosity piqued by the enticing blue glow from below...  

What awaited me were a series of softly undulating projections comprising vibrant colour, caustic-inspired textures and LV21-centric data expressed through pulsing lines of morse code.  At times it was like being in some large tropical fish tank - somehow submerged and floating amongst shoals of vivid fish. There is something inherently magical about projection mapping, the way complicated surfaces and spaces can become precision-engineered canvases for moving imagery. The photos below can't really do  Tom's efforts justice, because they can't convey the sense of 'aliveness' coming off the otherwise inert objects and their surfaces.

What's clear is that Tom is now moving into some fascinating territories, not only in terms of animation and image-making, but in regard to the ways in which audiences encounter his work.  A while ago now, Tom was awarded UCA's Grossman Scholarship in recognition of his creative potential - the likelihood that he would go onto design, produce and execute new work that was speculative and exploratory.  Well, on evidence of Tom's successful transformation of LV21's dusty, forgotten corners into bejewelled, micro light shows, I'd suggest it was money well invested!  

Congratulations Tom, and best of luck for the closing stages of your MA.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

One A Day: Baidir

BAIDIR is TV animated series project in progress created by : Slimane ANISS, Charles LEFEBVRE and Thierry RIVIERE. "One morning Nayah is playing hide and seek with her big brother Baidir, when suddenly the room is destroyed and Nayah has disappeared. Baidir sets off on a wild quest in a fantasy world.". Like always it easy to recognise the work of some former Gobelins students, because they just always have this exclusively artistic trait of their works.

One A Day: Liars - Brats (clip wtf)

Here is a bit weird and interesting music video of the "Liars" with some interesting motion capture stuff going on. It is funny how completely broken skinning and glitchy animation can still work for this.

Director: ian cheng choreographer: madeline hollander producer: christian de vietri performers: david yijae, max van der sterre, ade chike torbert assistant animation: mike liu motion capture services: motion capture nyc, steve day, henry brito.

Friday, August 17, 2012

CGAA Misc. Pixar Concept Art.

Just caught this article on Empire and thought I should share it. A very lovely variety of concept art from different Pixar films has been put together here, so take a look! :D