Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coming Soon...

The Summer Speed Paint Challenge... coming soon!

FAO CGAA Year 2 & 3: The Big Switch

This is a message for our year 2 (formerly year 1) and year 3 (formerly year 2) students: as you know, your course title is switching from 'Computer Generated Arts & Animation' to 'Computer Animation Arts'.  For many of you this means updating your blogs etc., so this is a reminder re. 'The Big Switch' and a gentle deadline for making the change: could all student blogs make the change to BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts by the end of July please. Why not use this as an opportunity to freshen-up your blogs and spring-clean your personal brand.  It won't be very long now until a whole new batch of first years arrive looking to your blogs as exemplars, so get things ship-shape. Please use your social networks to get the message out there: make the switch by July 31st.

Many thanks.

New Designers 2014: On Your Marks, Get Set...

The CGAA baseroom is now crowded out with bubble-wrapped screen prints, cabinets, giant picture frames and 18kg of Everton mints!  Not long now until all of this finds its way into the back of a transit van, as we head once more for the Business Design Centre, Islington, and the eye-candy onslaught that is New Designers.

Everyone is working very hard putting the finishing touches to their exhibition films and accompanying visual treats, including slideshows of production art and demo reels.  In addition - and in keeping with this year's stand's 'artisanal' theme - we're creating an exhibition of screen-printed artwork celebrating our graduates' 2d talents.  

Mrs Parsloe production sketch - Alice Druzga

Character development sheet - Nat Urwin

Benjamin Badgersworth early sketch - Samantha Butler

Simon Holland, CGAA alum and tutor, has been turning our graduates' Maya models into the semblance of plaster of Paris prototypes for the show as another means of exemplifying the art and craft of our graduates' skillset.  Suddenly, these mutant cats, villainous teachers and melancholy undertakers assume the grace and purity of works of art (which, of course, they are!). 

Tom Farrington's Fat Cat

Urvashi Lele's Frank

Alice Druzga's Mrs Parsloe

Joey Ku's Sea Cow

Tom Farrington's Kat

Sasha Hart's Tyler

Emma Foster's Plant Form

Polydoodle Picture's Barnabas

So, Monday morning is build-up day part one of our 2014 New Designers adventure.  More updates will follow soon as we seek to transform all those bubble-wrapped bits and pieces into a striking, engaging show.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

VFX Merger - DNeg X Prime Focus World

News just in... 

"Prime Focus World and Double Negative have agreed to merge in a deal that represents a major shakeup at the top of the visual effects business.

The combined entity will be the world’s largest provider of visual effects, animation and 3D conversion services. It will have the Double Negative name, and be led by DNeg managing director Alex Hope and CEO Matthew Holben. “We’ve made it clear from our side: You guys run visual effects, we’ll run 3D conversion and animation,” Prime Focus founder and CEO Namit Malhotra told Variety. ...

London-based Double Negative is one of the world’s top vfx studios. Christopher Nolan routinely brings his pictures there and the company won an Oscar for his “Inception.” His next picture, “Interstellar,” is in production there now. The company has also announced a feature animation division."

Read more here.

Project Requiem: The Sculptures Have Been Built!

Latest update from Project Requiem ... our Kinect data-derived sculptures have now been fabricated by Tim Hall in glorious sheet steel!  Tim provided these sneak peaks of the sculptures as they awaited their respective paint-jobs.   Not long now until they're looking resplendent on the perfect green lawns of the Royal Opera House High House Production Park.

Graduation Day - Class of 2014

"Congratulations! You bloody well did it!"

Congratulations to all our year three students who graduated at the Royal Festival Hall today!  The sun shone, smiles beamed, and hats flew skywards.  It was wonderful to see Jonny Sharples and Mike Holman in the mix, and for all those year three students who weren't able to attend this year's ceremony, I genuinely look forward to seeing you at next year's hats-and-gowns shindig.  It's a special day - and a very busy one, so not everyone was able to congregate for this impromptu photocall.*  If Alan and I didn't get to speak with you personally today, rest assured we're hugely proud of your achievements over these past three years and it was great to see you all dressed up and looking dandy on your big day. Well done all of you!  

I love this photo!

Oh dear - Fizzgig and Alice's mortar boards fall down a stairwell following some over-zealous hat-chucking!

This sort of looks as if we're about to escort Tom from the premises...

Jojo & her henchmen!

* Many thanks to Jake Bryant for taking the photographs in less than ideal conditions!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ACT 2: Project Requiem - A Summary So Far

What follows is a round-up of recent posts from the ACT blog summarising our progress on Project Requiem as we move closer to completion, beginning with a complete catalogue of the 3D forms created by students in response to a) the motion-capture data curves derived from the conductor's movements and b) from their own synesthetic responses to the seven movements of the Requiem.



Dies Irae



Agnus Dei

Lux Aeterna

Libera Me

From the forty-two student submissions we could only select one sculpture for each of the seven parts of Verdi’s Requiem.  
The selected forms were as follows:

Because of the complex and varied nature of these sculptures we needed to find a common method of abstraction in order for these sculptures to be fabricated. The method we chose involved processing each sculpture into seven flat, interlocking shapes, which are generated from their profile at seven equidistant angles. Think of them as snapshots, which when recombined, form a buildable structure.


Dies Irae



Agnus Dei

Lux Aeterna

Libera Me

The outcome of this is that we now have our final seven sculptures representing the seven movements of Verdi’s Requiem. You can view the all the turnarounds in the following playlist. (Note the colours used in these turnarounds do not represent the final chosen colours).

The seven sculptures have since transitioned from digital data to physical forms, as Tim Hall, our fabricator, revealed the laser-cut maquettes of our seven Requiem-derived sculptures.  There was a real sense of excitement as Tim unwrapped the bubble wrap and we could see the sculptures-to-be for the first time.  Now all you have to do is imagine them four times as large, welded together from sheet steel and painted in solid, bright colours! 

Dies Irae



Libera Me

Lux Aeterna

The Final Seven
On July 3rd, we'll be collecting the finished sculptures from the workshop and transporting them to the Royal Opera House's High House Production Park in Purfleet.  The seven sculptures will be installed on the lawn in readiness for a live performance of the Requiem taking place in the evening.  Perhaps one of the most fascinating moments will be when conductor, Arie Van Beek, first encounters the seven sculptures derived from his own movements!  

Watch this space for more updates in the coming days - and to all those students who participated in the challenge, many thanks.  Inspiring work as always from the CAA community!