Monday, December 10, 2012

Post With The Most 10/12/2012

Fittingly, December's PWTM bulges as big and enticing as an over-stuffed Christmas stocking hanging resplendent at the end of the bed.  In common with Christmas stockings the world over, this plethora of shiny baubles and eye-candy is but an up-at-first-light-eating-Maltezers-for-breakfast prelude to a bigger reveal.  Come next month's PWTM we can look forward to seeing a showcase of final project work from years 1 and 2, whose deadlines for their current briefs run out at the end of this final week of term 1.  Like good children everywhere, we'll have to wait a little longer to unwrap those bigger treats and suffice instead with hints and glimpses of what is to come; a blog-based equivalent of squeezing gift-wrapped parcels.

With Christmas 2012 waiting impatiently in the wings, it doesn't seem possible that the CGAA course team should already be turning its thoughts to September 2013, but applicants for the course are already being interviewed as we seek to recruit another bunch of brilliant, bright young things for the new academic year.  I've been talking to lots of interested students and when they ask me - as they always do - how come the cgi produced by CGAA students looks so 'cool', I tell them it's because the computer only does what our students tell it to do.  I tell them it's because, first and foremost, CGAA students are talented 2D artists with great flair, skill and individuality.  And when they ask me what I want to see in their applicant portfolios, I tell them I want to see drawing - lots!

Drawing is fundamental to CG Arts & Animation.  Our students draw and paint every day - with pencils, with ink, with charcoal, with pen and tablet - and so first out of the PWTM  pillowcase is not a clementine or sugar mouse,  but a celebration of all things drawn. 

Every week our first year students attend life-drawing classes utilising a variety of media and undertaking diverse approaches to depicting the human form.  Enjoy the showcase of student work that follows - and in common with all work featured in the PWTM, you can access a student's individual course blog via their name.

For the last eleven weeks CGAA year one have been working with professional concept artist, digital painter and sculptor, Phil Hosking.  For many of the first years, this is their first experience of pen and graphics tablet and Photoshop as paint box and palette.  Phil is not alone in feeling great excitement at how dynamically CGAA year one are now working in terms of their digital painting, and this very small selection of some recent 'speed painting' exercises attests to their continuing progress as digital painters.

CGAA year 2 are having an equally drawing-centric experience of their current Character Design unit, working with Justin Wyatt aka The Phantom Doodler, professional illustrator, caricaturist and character designer.  Justin has challenged students to create 3 characters for an envisioned cartoon series - the hero, villain and sidekick...

In addition to their ongoing character design duties, CGAA year 2 are also collaborating in small studio groups to produce a short original animation.  You'll have to wait for next month's PWTM for the best of their finished films, but I can offer up this selection of WIPs for the whetting of appetites...

CGAA year 3 are due a rather different Christmas I suspect.  Yes, there'll be time for a few mince pies and a snifter of eggnog, but this year when The Sound Of Music begins to drag, I'm guessing it will back in front of the computer for a few more of those finishing touches (or sweaty-palmed Maya mayhem).  With a dissertation to finish and a minor project to bring in on time, Christmas 2012 is going to be busy, but our third years are already steaming ahead and things are taking shape....

... as Jono Pearmain makes the leap from 2d into 3d....

... and Domantas is blessed with perfect conditions for his HDR photoshoot.

Meanwhile,  Justin Easton's unpronouncable Lovecraftian horror gets more... horrible...


and Mango Mercury's Thai-inspired characters get more beautiful!

And while we're on the subject of beautiful things, Alex Zepherin's vapid and vainglorious peacock is becoming increasingly animated in preparation for strutting its stuff.

Elsewhere, Molly Bolder's character is running scared....

...and looking shocked!

Aidan Codd's Bronze Ballet animation is taking off - literally...

... and progress on Bharathi Anthonysamy's tiki-inspired gaming world is ticking over nicely.

Another gaming universe now - Dan Rolph's alternate WW1 scenario in which radio-controlled weapons are putting a speculative spin on military strategy - like this 'Flugbombe', which is all UV-ed and textured in readiness to do battle...

Oh - and by the way, CG Arts & Animation at UCA Rochester is now the subject of a chapter in a book published recently by Emerald in partnership with Higher Education Teaching and Learning.  Some of you may remember contributing to research on CGAA and its blogging community conducted by my UCA colleague, Tony Reeves; well, now lots of people are going to be reading about your course, your blogs and the way we do things here on CG Arts, so thanks for taking part.   Tony and I are off to the University of Florida in January to present at a conference, where we'll be talking about your course, your blogs, your professionalism and your 'community of practice' - which, in simple terms, means the great way students on CGAA look after each other, share stuff and generally help each other out.  So well done everyone  - you're inspiring others now too!

So that's pretty much it for 2012.  The next time the PWTM goes live it will be 2013 already! Doesn't time fly when you've got s**tloads to do?  Best of luck to all our students over the coming days and weeks.  You know the drill: back everything up and be amazing (in that order!).

The last word... courtesy of Granny O'Grimm!


  1. Some ridiculously impressive work here everyone, nice one! :D

    And don't listen to Granny, your Christmas trees will probably be be fine. Probably...

    1. 'You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry...'

    2. Ah. That's fine, I wasn't planning on sleeping tonight anyway.

    3. It's not just me that has an eye for the 'Christmas uncanny', Jon...

      Indeed - Christmas + horror goes together like mince pies and brandy butter - don't believe me?

    4. PHIL!! I couldn't even watch past 43 seconds on that last video! That horror is the stuff of nightmares! Yeesh... O_o

    5. Haha Phil, you're going to give Molly nightmares now! I'm the one that gets nutted in my sleep, thanks! ;)

    6. apologies Molly, but let's face it, there is something inherently 'unheimlich' about the idea of Santa Claus - Granny O'Grimm agrees!

    7. Oh it's okay, he's a great source for the unheimlich. I've got Rare Exports to watch yet, I hear it's got a great evil Santa that kills reindeer and steals children :P

  2. It's great to see some wonderful styles coming together :D keep it up guys

  3. such lushious post! (:] so so happy for you guys!

  4. Some excellent work, I'm looking forward to seeing them develope from concept to final production. I'm especially interested in seeing what comes of the HDR spheres, photorealistic rendering on the way.


  5. The Post with the Most's continue to get better and better..
    Good job folks, keep it up. It's lovely to see.

  6. As always very very nice work chaps and chapess'ss's'ssss
    Its all looking rather splendid, I'm not going to mention individuals work,but always keep polishing,never be Satisfied.....well not for long....maybe a bit, if its really good maybe quite a long bit.....of course it depends on how long a bit is, I reckon its about sooooooooooooooooooooo long......ish, kinda, maybe....well on weekdays

    1. Too much Christmas drinking for this one I think.