Sunday, January 27, 2013

Post With The Most 27/01/2013

Better late than never!  Yes, this brand new edition of the CGAA PWTM is a little late going to press.  This tardiness is due in part to my recent adventure across the pond, which saw me discussing our course with an international assembly of learned sorts at the University of Central Florida, Orlando.  I could also blame the recent snow for the disruption or the triple dip recession or recalcitrant jet lag, but instead let's just get the show on the road...

... starting with a selection of year one work originating from their Term 1 'Secret Lairs' project brief, which saw them challenged to design, model, texture, light and render their very first Maya digital set.   The project began with students selecting two random story components from the infamous CGAA 'blue box of mystery': a character type + derivation (ethnicity, planet of origin etc.).  Our year one students had to first create concept art paintings of their respective characters' HQs, and then translate them into like-for-like CG sets.

Katy Fosdike - The Secret Lair Of The Pagan Colossus

Alex Edmonds - The Secret Lair Of The Martian Alchemist

Sam Niemczyk - The Secret Lair Of The Venusian Queen

George Hind - The Secret Lair Of The Sumatran Superhero

George Nwosisi - The Secret Lair Of The Hyperborean Cannibal

Emily Clarkson - The Secret Lair Of The Arachnid Knight

Lucy Yelding - The Secret Lair Of The Saharan Inventor (concept art)

Akinbiyi Barbarinde - The Secret Lair Of The Kung-Fu Thief (concept art)

Anass Moudakir - The Secret Lair Of The Electrical Secret Agent (concept art)

It wasn't first years alone synthesising bold, cogent visions from unpredictable beginnings. The year 2 Character Design unit began similarly with sessional lecturer, Justin Wyatt challenging students to devise a trio of original characters for a prospective cartoon series inspired by categories of character-types paired by chance.  For example, Tom Farrington was dealt 'Anthropomorphic' and 'Superhero' on the day of the briefing, from which he evolved Experiment IX - a fully fledged concept for an animation and its cast of memorable characters.  Check out Tom's character bible below - and enjoy some other highlights from this year's submission. 

Tom Farrington - Experiment IX

Alice Druzga - Mythic Pirates

Joey Ku - The Rise Of The Aesir Gods

Emma Foster - Interplanetary Lyra (sidekick)

Steve Payne - Snake Eyes (sidekick + prop)

The other big January news is that CGAA year 3 have now submitted both their minor projects and dissertations, which leaves the way nice and clear for the production of their final projects.  Can it really be true we're on that final countdown already?  It won't be long until thoughts of New Designers and graduation come to preoccupy us, but let's take a moment to enjoy the fruits of our year three's labours with this selection of their minor projects. 

Alex Zepherin - The Peacock & The Crane

Molly Bolder - Proportion

Character Turnaround

Domantas Lukosius - Art In The Dockyards 

Dan Rolph - Warbreakers


Bharathi Anthonysamy - Mahiki

Mahiki - Sound design

Andriana Laskari & Dayle Sanders - Kinnaree

Aidan Codd - The Bronze Ballet

Sam Tremain - Five Man (The Island of Dr Moreau)

Christmas must seem like a million years ago now (except the streets around my way are still strewn with forlorn looking trees awaiting their fate), but unseasonable though it maybe, I wanted to compile and share a selection of the festive-themed images produced by CGAA students as part of the CGAA Speed Paint Challenge - a daily exercise in impromptu digital painting that took place over the Christmas holidays.  I was personally very excited by the creativity, energy and enthusiasm with which the CGAA community greeted this challenge; it was a real joy to see new work arriving daily on your blogs.  Unlike Christmas, the CGAA Speed Paint Challenge isn't just a 'once a year thing' - so keep your eyes on the group blog - because who knows when the next challenge will go live...

A quick round-up of some alumni news now... Late last year I met CGAA graduate, Jon 'Class of 2010' Stewart for a a pint and a catch-up.  In truth, he was pretty tired - and no wonder, as he was spending his long days at Cinimod Studio making endless improvements to an aquarium's worth of photorealistic cg fish!  At last, the results of all that fish-finessing can be seen clearly in this video preview footage of Jon's fish interacting with delighted passers-by... amazing stuff, Jon, great job!

Meanwhile, Jolanta 'Class of 2012' Jasiulionyte has just been interviewed about her work in Lithuania's largest national newspaper, who were especially interested in her recent cg interpretation of The Baltic Pixie...

... and Leo 'Class of 2012' Tsang has just had his graduate film Isle Of Cirrus 'hand-picked' by the people at Behance for showcasing on their Motion Graphics Served sister site.

Oh yes - and just incase you'd got to thinking that all your tutor had engaged with in Orlando was roller-coasters (as if!), take a look at the correspondence below:

"Dear Mr Gomm and Mr Reeves,

I am writing to you both to let you know that I found your presentation at the HETL conference to be inspirational. After much deliberation, I have now started to use blogging with my students at the University of Bedfordshire Business School.  Your presentation inspired me to do this. I will continue to follow your work with interest..."

Job done! :D  But, lest anyone forget, Tony and I were talking about your blogs and your creative community!  And that's this edition's final word!


  1. I am amazed by the amount of excellent and inspiring work in this post! Especially all the work from 3rd year people - guys, keep it up, because you are an inspiration!

  2. Hey guys, Mark here from Nexus Productions! I'm going to single out my favourite thing from this PWTM, which is Molly Bolder's 'Proportion'. A really bold design and well executed. I think this style would benefit by having some of your shots be a little longer so you can properly orient yourself in the various abstract scenes. But that's a minor criticism! I also enjoyed 'Art in the Dockyards', which is a hypnotic combination of lovely footage and some decently integrated CG. And finally a nod to everyone showing off their character modelling skills-- this is the stuff we like to see! Although I think I'll need a pronunciation guide for Justin's disturbing HZIULQUOIGMNZHAH... I hope we get to see this beast in motion soon!

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  3. Oh wow! Thank you Mark! I really appreciate your feedback and am really glad you enjoyed my animation :D
    Nice work everyone! Some ridiculously good work here, you should all be super proud :)

  4. The standard of 2d work is great,well done to everyone involved,and never stop drawing,it helps with all aspects of 2 and 3D, Justin, very nice work allround,but the lighting seems a bit flat, maybe chuck a Rim in there, also I reckon you could do another fine detail pass on the Displacement/bump,really like the designs on the KINAREE project, I feel that the 3D needs to come up a notch to match the 2D on this one,, and your turntables are a little overlong,but some great stuff in there,really like the Fat Cat character too.....too much stuff, to much good stuff, well done to everyone involved.
    All the best Robin

  5. Thank you for your feedback on Kinnaree, Robin :) Hopefully once we start animating the characters for this semester then they won't seem as CG and those dynamic curves on the 2D drawings will show up on their limbs and spines in their 3D versions.

    Well done to everyone on this PWTM :D

  6. There is so much good work here! Andriana and Dale, its heartening to see the concept sketches and designs for Kinnaree, the pen drawings are beautiful and I look forward to seeing your characters come to life. Molly, I really enjoyed your film: abstraction is not easy in idea and representation and you've managed to make a beautifully animated and very mature little piece of animation there. Enjoyed the magical world Domanatas has created in the dockyard film.. and also ALex's bold and crazy peacock.So much good work, well done everyone. there are also some little gems like the xmas drawings in there. Thanks for sharing Phil.