Monday, May 27, 2013

Post With The Most 27/05/2013

That's it ladies and gents. It's all over bar the shouting. No more crits, essays, or Maya tutorials. No more film screenings, tutorials, seminars, or life-drawing classes. The baseroom will no longer smell of chips and ketchup and the lecturers will soon return to their musty wooden crates under the lower 4th stairwell where they hibernate until mid-September... 

Of course, it's not over - not really - all this talk of endings is an exaggeration. Indeed, I could just as well have begun this PWTM preamble as a pean to beginnings; after all, the end of the academic year marks the moment year one students become year two students, year two students assume the mantle of year three students, and year three students become graduates who must now make their first tentative forays into that place sometimes referred to as 'the real world'.

The May edition of the CG Arts & Animation Post With The Most has a simple enough remit - to showcase a selection of final student work from all three years. Be advised: it's necessarily video-embed-centric and your respective computers might chug and splutter in indignation, but there's lots to enjoy here, so do persevere, sit back and happy browsing. I've included a synopsis of the project brief to which the featured work relates and be sure to go further by exploring the students' individual blogs, which you can access via their names and where you'll find a plethora of pre-production and unpacking of technical pipelines! Enjoy.

Year 1 - Unit Storytelling & Commission/Project 'Fantastic Voyage'

"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 Year 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)."

Jake Bryant - The Cell Cycle

Samantha Niemczyk- The Prokaryotic Life

Emily Clarkson - Eukaryotic Cell Structure - App Demo

Vikki Kerslake - Eukaryote

Megan Howett - The Cell Cycle

Year 2 - Unit 'Adaptation'

"An adaptation derives from previously existing material reconfigured to suit the requirements of different media and cultural contexts. Innovative adaptations revitalise and reinscribe their original source and engage new audiences. The art of adaptation relies on the ability to identify essential characteristics, themes and information integral to the original and articulate them dynamically. This unit requires students to adapt creatively an existing source or body of information and marks a key transition from directed to self-directed study."

Ernesta Baniulyte - Metamorphosis

Tom Farrington - 'Lenny Knightingale'

Steven Payne - Making Plans For Nigel

Sammy Butler - 'Winter'

Alice Druzga - 'Tiffany'

Joey Ku - There's No Need To Be Scared At Night

(Joey's even gone as far as commissioning a toy-maker to re-create her fearsome fivesome as collectible 'plushies'!)

David Vandepeer - 'A Short Drive'

Lydia Caplan - Twenty To Nine

Anita Gill - Calypso's Island

Year 3 - Major Project
"The Major Project requires students to demonstrate innovative and sophisticated approaches to CGI and animation supported by an advanced creative methodology. Creative methodologies should evidence sustained and focused research, sophisticated concept development, design development, critical analysis, experimentation, refinement and advanced proficiency of execution. Independent learning, reflective practice and project work commensurate with professional practice are essential."

Justin Easton - 'Mars Earth Logistics'

Aidan Codd - France de Demain

Dan Rolph - Tundra Rats

Molly Bolder - Dream Cleaners

In other news...

If you thought that all our students have planned for the long summer break is lounging around, you'd be mistaken - as this round-up of other news from the CGAA community makes clear.

Congratulations to CGAA year 2 student, Nat Urwin  who has been selected from innumerable other applications to participate in the volunteer scheme at SIGGRAPH 2013.  We hope Nat will be blogging about her adventures at the world's number one conference showcasing new and emerging technologies so watch this space for some postcards from the edge...

... and in more Nat-related news, Nat is soon to commence her four week work placement at Nexus Productions. Well done, Nat - looks like you're going to be very busy indeed!

Meanwhile, CGAA year 2 students Steve Payne and Sammy Butler are interning at Picasso Pictures...

... while Tom, Alice, Emma, Ernesta, Lydia, Anita, Joey, Gabriel, Chrissie, Lloyd, and Urvashi  are all working with Butch Auntie this Summer...

... and big congratulations to Leo 'Class of 2012' Tsang  who is now working at Blue Zoo Animation.  Well done, Leo - great news, great stuff!

CGAA Artist-in-Residence Tom Beg  and GTA Jordan Buckner  are working hard to transform the wealth of synesthetic imagery created by students, staff and alumni during our last blog-based Speed Paint Challenge into resolved animated sequences. Between them, Tom and Jordan will be creating sixteen minutes of animation to be rear-projected behind the musicians of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne as they perform Darius Milhaud's ballet La création du monde (1923). This European-funded project is ambitious and exciting - and there are more projects in the pipeline - and here you can take a look at Tom and Jordan's progress so far.

The next edition of the PWTM will be a New Designers special. Over the course of the next month, many of our year 3 students will be revisiting both their minor and major project submissions and readying them for New Designers 2013  at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. As I suggested at the start of this edition, the end of everything is always exaggerated at this time of year. The end? Nonsense! It's just the beginning getting started... 

The Final Word...

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  Theodore Roosevelt


  1. Great work in this PWTM! Well done everyone!

  2. Congrats all!! Especially those in work placements kick ass!!! Good luck to all the leaving third years... we are not far behind you *Shudders*

  3. Nice collection of works overall here. Good work everyone!
    The ones that really caught my eye were Ernesta Baniulytes "Metamorphosis" animation, i liked the film noir angles, the use of light/dark and focus shifts really worked well here.
    I also liked Alice Druzga's "Tiffany" character, everything is really nice about this character, texturing/modeling etc.. all the small details really help to tell a story about her. Good work!
    i also enjoyed Aidan Codds - France de Demain animation, Justin Easton - 'Mars Earth Logistics' and Alex Zepherin Pinnocks - Anima animation. there's some really great mixes of stuff here guys. so keep up the good works!

    Just a thought about turnarounds though in general for everyone. Try to make sure your camera animation curves are linear rather than ease in / out splines if your turnaround is intended to run on a loop.
    Its also generally a good idea to show the "construction" stages of your character/model in order. Its more visually appealing for the viewer to see the final model at the end of the sequence, as a wire-frame is not so nice to look at and would be left with the viewer if at the end of the sequence.
    (so for example you might go : wire-frame > ambient occlusion / shaded > textured > atmospheric lighting > animated move / pose)

    Finally congrats to all you who have some places to be over the summer that will help your transition in to work after uni. You guys have some lucky opportunities in front of you, siggraph, a placements at nexus, picasso pictures, butch auntie,and Blue Zoo animations, who all do some great work! Hope you enjoy it all!
    i also fairly free at the moment so if anyone wishes for some comments on some works being readied for new designers feel free to get in touch!

    Fletch at Glassworks

    1. Cheers, Fletch:) Another bumper crop of supportive feedback - most kind of you, and much appreciated by everyone here.

  4. Thanks for the comment Matt

  5. Matt, thank you for your feedback!

  6. Congratulations everyone, there is some really great looking work here. An incredibly varied and thought out set of projects, all with there own unique attributes. Best of luck with New Designers and the future for all :)

  7. There is some amazing work on here. Well done all and well done Phil!

  8. I was introduced to the blog by Meg Bisineer... We teach together at Portsmouth Uni. The standard of work from UCA is amazing! We are going to show our students this stuff in an attempt to shame them into working harder!!! Well done again.

    1. Hey Tony,

      How nice of you to drop by - and as the saying goes, 'any friend of the marvellous Meg Bisineer is a friend of ours...' :) The students on CGAA really ARE the hardest working bunch of students - they have terrifying work ethics (and sometimes I have to make them eat and drink fluids in between all the polygon abuse!). We're very proud of them - they're a great bunch. I'm going to add you to my PWTM mailing list, Tony, so you can see what we're up to 'as and when' - give my regards to Meg - she's fab :)