Thursday, October 31, 2013

CGAA One-A-Day - Nature's Nuts

 I was just about to post another video when this advert came on before it. It's quite sweet and funny but what I think struck me most was how much it reminded me of claymation despite being CG...curious.

Production Art: Frozen (2013)

More here!

CGAA Misc: Thank You Hater!

Warning: this witty little video about racist, homophobic, misogynist online haters contains some very bad language and some strong sexual references. Watch it anyway. It will cheer you up. It did me.

Reminder - Zombie Flesh Eaters - Friday 1st November 17:00-19:00

Hi all,

Just a final reminder about the post-Halloween film screening tomorrow. It's a real classic of trashy 70's horror, and if you ask me probably one the best zombie films ever. Great special effects and some genuinely gruesome moments. Hope you can make it! :)

Zombie Flesh Eaters
November 1st 17:00-19:00

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Author in Residence - Wednesday - Jon Stewart


Hello again, Wednesday now. I'll maintain the same format.

Today, I'll be showing some work from another 3D artist I admire - Carlos Ortega Elizalde or 'Stroggtank' as he is known on the interwebs. In all honesty, I don't really have that many 3D artists whom I follow. Andrew Hickinbottom and Carlos are the two main guys. Mostly I'm more inspired and I enjoy 2D art a lot more. Which as a 3D artist makes a whole heap of sense, as what you produce often comes from 2D imagery.


I try to link each section together, so in this case; I recommend reading a great tutorial written by Carlos Ortega detailing the process of one of his pinups. Go here.

I was struggling to think what Animation to suggest today. I don't know too many. Brain Divided was a great one though !

Tune wise, one of my favorite music producers recently released a new album. 
and he was gracious enough to upload the whole thing to soundcloud. So go listen here maybe?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Author in Residence - Tuesday - Jon Stewart

 Alright, quick one from me today as it's been a long day at work!
Continuing in yesterday's fashion, I'll start with one of my favorite artists.

 Today I'd like to introduce you all to Matt Dixon. I've managed to meet him at a couple of conventions and he's a lovely guy. Again, he's a bit of a pinup illustrator, though he also had a period working in the video games industry.

Animation wise, one of the first that comes to my mind was this awesome proof of concept piece called 'Azureus Rising' which I really wish would have developed into something more. Shame really, check it out.

Recommended reading for today is completely unrelated to CG Arts, and isn't a specific piece of literature, but instead an author. I recommend reading some books from one of my favorite authors : Wilbur Smith! :) Especially the Courtney series of books.

I decided to add The Tune here. This isn't strictly 'music' but it's what I mostly listen to whilst I work. Podcasts. Here are the ones I listen to the most!.

Tell ' em Steve-Dave (This is part of the Kevin Smith Smodcast network, and it basically got me through University)

The Nerdist Podcast (This is hosted by a guy called Chris Hardwick and he has some very famous guests on there - Joss Whedon, Ken Levine, Tom Hanks, Seth Rogen to name a few. Very funny and entertaining) 

Crunchcast (This is hosted by a few video game artists over on Polycount and is very much CG and Video game related. Very interesting stuff.


Monday, October 28, 2013

FAO CGAA Year 1: Secret Lairs OGR 1 - 06/11/2013

Wednesday, 6th November is your first Secret Lairs Online Greenlight Review (OGR)

Your OGR is to be presented as a single Scribd presentation on your blog, beginning with your name, date, and project title.  I suggest you save your documents as PDFs before uploading to Scribd, as this should mitigate against formating glitches. Your OGR presentations should be uploaded to your blogs by 8 pm on Wednesday 6th November. Written feedback will follow as a 'comment' on your OGR post.

Secret Lairs OGR: What do you need to present?

1) A written character profile.  I want to know ‘who’ they are, ‘why’ they are, and what motivates them.  Please note: your written character profile should be concise – 500 words max. To include influence maps and any exploratory character sketches.

2) A short written statement identifying your visual concept in relation to your character's secret lair (i.e. what are the underlying production design principles driving your design ideas and from what and where are they derived - and why?  To include influence maps and key thumbnails.

3) Production art studies (Secret Lair).

4) A short written statement identifying your visual concept in relation to your hero prop ((i.e. what are the underlying production design principles driving your design ideas and from what and where are they derived - and why?  To include influence maps and key thumbnails.

5) Production art studies (Hero prop).

6) In addition, your OGR should evidence that you are up-to-date with your film reviews and ongoing CG Artist's Toolkit project work (life-drawing/Maya tutorials/Meg's animation exercises etc). Students who use their OGR to manage their weekly tasks in this way manage their workloads more successfully.

Please note: your OGR should be a professionally presented, spell-checked, with an emphasis on graphic design, layout and project branding. For some useful examples of previous OGRs, go here and here.  As a rule, avoid decorative backgrounds.  When in doubt, keep everything simple and 'about the work'.

Please use your network of creative partners to ensure everyone  is familiar with the OGR requirements.  

Many thanks. 

CGAA Year 1: Project Two: Secret Lairs - Examples of Previous Student Work & Your Creative Partners Announced!

Phew! Project two already! And while you've got seven weeks, you're also working creatively in Maya for the first time. Please don't underestimate the challenge in this!  You don't yet know what you don't know about this creative process and to begin with, your progress will be slow.  If you know you could have managed your Cinematic Spaces project more effectively, please take that knowledge forward into this experience.  

Once again, I'm including here examples of previous student work in response to this same brief.  By clicking on the student's name, you can access all posts related to their 'Secret Lairs' creative development.  I urge you to take the requisite time to reflect on their bodies of work.  If you're sensible, you'll take this opportunity to think about the ways in which these students organised, presented and published their creative development.  You should also use these examples to gauge the productivity, responsiveness and work-rate now expected of you too.   Happy browsing and get inspired.

Secret Lairs means 'Maya' and trust me, there are going to be times when you're in need of a quick fix outside of normal hours, or if teaching staff are otherwise busy. No fear! Be sure to 'Ask Ethan' by following the simple 'help desk' instructions as outlined here. In simple terms, you upload the 'Ask Ethan' icon to your blog and ask your question. If Ethan can help you, he will.

Jackie Hagan will once again be feeding back on your Mise-en-scene film reviews as and when you publish them, offering invaluable advice and weeding out any bad habits. Now that you've got the basics of academic writing and referencing, I've asked Jackie to be very picky indeed about the quality of your research, your style and presentation - and your spelling and grammar! Complete your reviews promptly after the film screenings to make the most of this support - and remember; you have a Contextual Studies written assignment to undertake very soon now and each review you write is you getting a little bit more confident in terms of this essential aspect of your degree experience. If you want the bigger picture, think on this: the 8,000 dissertation you will write in year 3 is worth 25% of your overall degree award - which means you'd better be pretty good at this stuff by then (and your film reviews are helping you achieve this).

You have new Creative Partners for the duration of this unit and they are listed below.  First job - go introduce yourself via a blog comment and get things rolling.  Remember, if you don't interact with others positively and productively you're being unprofessional - simple as - and professionalism is one of your key assessment criteria on all CGAA project briefs.

Creative Partnerships: Secret Lairs 2013

Gemma Titchmarsh @ 

Your first of two Online Greenlight Reviews is Wednesday 6th November (that's a week this Wednesday!), the specific requirements for which will be announced here on the group blog later tonight, so stay tuned, read the brief, read it again, use myUCA, read stuff, research stuff, draw stuff, enjoy yourself, work hard and 'be amazing!'

Tutorphil Is Stuck!

As predicted, Southeastern trains are a bit windswept and interesting this morning - which means I'm currently 'trainless' and therefore a bit stuck.  It looks to me as if a 'working from home' day is in the offing.  I'll keep my eye on the blogs and ensure the CGAA office is open for access to graphic tablets etc.  If you want some input, '@Phil' or email me at  I'm sure everything will be back to normal soon enough.  :)

Author in Residence - Monday - Jon Stewart

Hey guys, today is my first Author in Residence day - unfortunately I don't have the time to post all day, so I'll do a 'summary' post and include everything in one in the evenings (today I posted in the morning as I prepared this post on Sunday evening :) ).

A quick introduction for those who don't know me. My name is Jon Stewart, I am a graduate from CG Arts (Three years ago now!) and I graduated with a first class degree. I am currently working for Rail Simulator as a Third Party Downloadable content artist, and I create downloadable asset packs for people to populate their train lines with. That's pretty much it about me, feel free to visit my portfolio at 

My plan is to introduce you guys to my interests. Namely artists I like and things that inspire me. My main interest is Pin-Up art, but don't worry, that doesn't mean it's going to be posts of breasts.

Here we go then!

My first supplement is going to be an artist who I've been a fan of for a while, and whom recently became a friend of mine. He's a fantastic character illustrator who frequently works for Nexus and is a successful freelancer. His name is Andrew Hickinbottom. Here is some of my favorites of his work. 

 And finally, here's a character he created for a short animation, which will lead me directly into a one - a - day animation post!  


Here's a short little animation I absolutely love, it has a twist that you'll never expect on first viewing! The girl was created by the aforementioned artist; Andrew. Check it out!

As for recommended reading, I've posted this before, but it's so good that it should be posted often! Stop Staring is a definite must read for anyone that wants to rig and animate. It mostly applies to Facial animation, but it's a fantastic read, even for 3d modelers. You can get it on Amazon for around £20 and they recently released a Third edition too. Interestingly it was the number one source of research when I created Kiiro Blade with Pol Winandy.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Zombie Flesh Eaters FRIDAY 1st November 17:00-19:00

Apologies for lack of a screening last week for those who intended on coming. I moved it to this coming Friday to make use of the better equipment in Lecture Theatre One. The film is Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters, sometimes known as Zombie or Zombi 2. It's a classic Italian horror which was only  released fully uncut in the last few years. Expect a good old-fashioned gore-filled, flesh rotting, shark fighting romp. Highly recommend viewing. in HD - eye gauging and all. Hope to see you there! 

Zombie Flesh Eaters
November 1st 17:00-19:00

Tutorphil in Monday Morning 'Travel Chaos' - A Possibility!

This is just a heads-up incase the travel chaos predicted by the weathermen in light of tonight's big storm should mean tomorrow doesn't go to plan.  I fully intend to get to UCA tomorrow, but who knows what merry hell those 40+ mph winds will play with the trains.   I suggest all students seeking my input on anything put together an @Phil blogpost as a precautionary measure.  With a little bit of luck all this talk of the incoming 'weather-megeddon' will prove to be but a storm in a teacup, but if I do end up, Dorothy-like, on the wrong end of weather-chaos tomorrow, let's use the blogs to keep things moving...

FAO Everyone: Friday 01/11/2013 - Graphic Tablets Unavailable

On Friday 1st November, Jordan Buckner is working with students from Creative Arts For Theatre & Film.  This means all loanable graphic tablets will be in use in his class and not available to CGAA students.  With this in mind, I suggest you prioritise your respective schedules accordingly.  Many thanks.

FAO Anita & Mike - Saw This Thought Of You!

Hi Anita and hello Mike - saw this article on the Gothic in the paper this weekend and thought of you!