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Showing posts from September, 2014

Guest Blogger - Chrissie Peters - Using Thumbnails to generate ideas

"Thumbnails are a cool tool.....
As artists we tend to start with a single idea, sketch it, refine it, and polish it You invest your time and feelings into one concept and become attached to it, and it becomes harder to engage with other ideas. For most of us the first sketch will be generic and heavily influenced. Even if we make several initial sketches we have often already decided in our minds that the first is the best, and the others are just fill-ins to make up the numbers. 
The more variation in sketching, the more critical comparisons you can make. 
You don’t need to spend much time on this! Often you only need an hour or so to generate a variety of basic ideas.
This advice from Designshack is spot-on, you may recognise yourselves here!

Cool It on the Details, Picasso
Some of you out there are sketch artists. You’re never happier than when you have a pencil in your hands. Others are truly horrid with a pencil and can’t produce a decent sketch to save your life.
For the first …

FAO CAA Year 2: Revised Timetable Available - Delete The Old Version!

The new re-jigged version of your term 1 timetable is now available on myUCA in your unit folder - and I've also uploaded it here for easy reference.  Once again, apologies for making changes to your published timetables - hope no inconvenience has been caused.

Guest Blogger -Chrissie Peters - It's Monday!

I thought I'd follow on from my presentation to year 1, and show some stuff that reinforces the point on being open to influence.
Animator Lotte Reiniger (1899-1991) has had a huge influence on my work as an artist and an animator.  Her technique is interesting in itself - she was one of the pioneers of stop-motion animation, and she almost exclusively worked alone to create an entire film.
Sadly her achievements are overlooked: "Lotte Reiniger, when mentioned at all, is most often brushed off in a single sentence noting that she apparently made a feature-length silhouette film in 1926, The Adventures of Prince Achmed; but since that was in Germany, and silhouettes aren't cartoons, Disney still invented the feature-length animated film with Snow White. Anyone who has seen Prince Achmed wouldn't be convinced by this reasoning, but, alas, only a tiny fraction of the people who see Snow White ever get to see any Reiniger film at all. Few of her nearly 70 films are readi…

First Year Blogs: Bingo! Full House!

At last!  We have our first year full house of up-and-running blogs!  Thirty-four bright young things in need of your support, guidance, feedback and experience.  Everyone 'add' everyone and let's get this show on the road!
1 Tyler Lloyd @ 2 Dan Reason @ 3 Charles Serafini @ 4 Becky Patterson @ 5 Julia Mason @ 6 Julien Van Wallendael @ 7 Ella Pinnington @ 8 Chelsea Butler @ 9 Frame Phrommet @ 10 Jack White @ 11 Kayleigh Anderson @ 12 Sankavy Balasingam @ 13 Jacky Wootton @ 14 Lewis Maddison @ http://lewisma…

FAO CAA Year 2: Warning! Timetable Changes Ahead!

This is a heads-up, ladies and gents.  Due to circumstances outside of the course team's influence, we're going to be making some changes to your published year 2 timetables.  The changes will effect your Wednesday Critical Perspectives unit and your Friday Lectures/film screenings with Alan.  There will be two weeks when your Wednesday lectures begin at 11am instead of 10am - in week 4 and week 6. Note: the 2pm screenings in L1 are not effected.
It is our intention to move Alan's lectures and film screenings to Thursday mornings in the base room, with your Maya workshops following in DM5 as timetabled - beginning this Thursday (2nd October) @ 10am.  We hate making changes to published timetables - and we know you hate it too - so we're sorry for the switch-a-about but we're helping out some other course teams in terms of availability of lecture theatres for some bigger class sizes.  This means your Fridays become self-directed.
I will be updating your timetables t…

FAO CAA Year 3: Tuesday's Dissertation Workshop Cancelled

Apologies - your second timetabled Dissertation Workshop with librarian Adele has been cancelled this Tuesday (30th September), on account of staff illness.  It is our intention to re-schedule your session for Tuesday 7th October.  I'll confirm via a notification on here as soon as we've got everything sorted.  Watch this space.   If you could spread the word and ensure your fellow classmates are aware, I'd be grateful.  Many thanks - and apologies again.

FAO CAA Year 1: Invisible Cities Online Greenlight Review 08/10/2014

Wednesday, 8th October is your Invisible Cities 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. If you are still yet to get to grips with Scribdgo here for some easy-to-follow instructions. Save your documents as PDFs before uploading to Scribd, as this should mitigate against formating glitches. When pasting Scribd embed code into your blog, you must first select the HTML mode tab, then switch back to 'Compose' to view the embedded presentation.
Your OGR presentations should be uploaded to your blogs by 8pm on Wednesday 8th October. Written feedback will follow as a comments on your OGR post and will take between 1 and 3 days.
Invisible Cities OGR: What do you need to present?

1) Your 100 thumbnails exploring all cities (minimum).
2) Your chosen city, its key descriptions and associated thumbnails. (Please include the original text in your presentations, with key descrip…

CAA The Tune: The Piano Guys (Various)

The Piano Guys (actually one pianist and a cellist) are a 500 million + views Youtube success, whose pared down melanges of beloved film themes have inspired an enthusiastic following.  They've just released their latest mash-up of Batman themes, featuring a fanboy's fantasia of batmobiles in their video.  For me, their Lord Of The Rings cover provokes outbreaks of goose-bumps, and attests to the extraordinary achievement of Howard Shore's score for Jackson's impressive trilogy.

FAO: All Students

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. In case you didn't know the university is holding an open day tomorrow (or today if you have just woken up).

What does this mean for you guys?

Well Phil and I will be around and about on lower fourth, Phil will be in the base room and I will be based in DM5 doing a digital painting tutorial. This means you can have access to these rooms should need to catch up, do some work or hang out.

Opening times are 10:00 to 16:00.



Guest Author: The Supplement - Awesome Artists

Jason Porath
Ex FX animator for Dreamworks now blogger and author. He's not an artist by trade but the concept behind his work is interesting and making these women's stories more accessible to audiences. His blog is to see the full set.
La Jaguarina, Queen of the Sword

"In April 1896, hardened military veteran US Sergeant Charles Walsh, in front of a crowd of 4,000 onlookers, turned tail and ran. Mere minutes earlier, during a round of equestrian fencing, he’d been hit so hard he’d been nearly knocked off his horse – so hard that his opponent’s sword was permanently bent backwards in a U shape. In response, Walsh did the honorable thing: jumped from his horse, claimed that the judge was cheating, and fled the scene, to the jeers of the massive crowd.
His opponent? A woman known as La Jaguarina, Queen of the Sword – an undefeated sword master who later retired only because she ran out of people to fight. Had she born 25 years later, according to t…

Misty Road Studio - Add It To Your Blogger Reading Lists

Misty Road Studio is the studio blogof year 3 students Sam Niemczyk & Peta-Gaye Brown.  Sam & P-G are working on a CGI adaptation of the chilling poem The Erl-King by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and you should add their blog to your reading lists and follow their progress.  This is a year long project, so for all year 1 and 2 students it will provide invaluable insights into a creative process you'll be experiencing yourselves soon enough.  Follow their blog, say hi, and wish them luck - and take a look at their first draft animatic... it's pretty darn creepy already!

FAO CAA Year 1: Invisible Cities - Influence Maps

As you continue to explore your Invisible Cities through all those expressive sheets of thumbnails, it's time to start thinking too about gathering visual reference and inspiration to enrich and fine-tune your imaginings.
At Tuesday's briefing, I talked about the Influence Maps - digitally produced 'mood boards' that we use as a means of collating and curating image research.   A single project idea might generate multiple influence maps - and should do - as early impressions give way to more definitive directions.

You'll find the Influence Map template on myUCA in your Invisible Cities folder.  Below is an example of an influence map at work.  Here, the size of the image in the grid relates to the hierarchy of importance; in simple terms, the bigger the image, the bigger the influence.   A properly useful influence map isn't decorative or image-rich for the sake of it, but rather an exercise in distillation, reflection and clarification.  They are also a very…

Guest Blog: One-a-Day

Not a lot of babble today... just a couple of short animations that demonstrate the wide scope of achievement available in animation. These animations range from complex stories to simple concepts. Tex Avery Cartoons Especially his MGM works where he was working more personal with his '____ of Tomorrow' series. Unfortunately Warner Bros. (who now own these animations) have taken most of them down from Youtube :/ (because otherwise you might not buy one of their many Tex Avery dvds?)

Pixar Shorts!! Always so interesting and clever!

A YouTube Variety! This has been shared a few times on here but for the benefit of the new First Years... the animated answer to the question 'What if animals where fat?'

I came across this animation when looking for inspiration for a cute young boy character.

And just a funny animation that brings classic Looney Toons style animation into a 3D setting.

I just love the variety of animations available on YouTube and Vimeo etc. It's really…

FAO Year 3: Friday Tutorial Times

All Third Years

To confirm: 
The tutorial times for this Friday (26th Sept) are shown above. 

However, after this week the tutorial times change to Group A and B (Monday & Friday - listed on MyUCA).

Guest Author: Misc: CG and Theatre

Day two and I want to share some more about where inspiration for story and characters can be drawn from by looking at theatre. Maybe when looking for an adaptation piece or a method for story-telling or clear examples of story/character arcs, theatre has a lot to offer. PLUS with the increasing amount of intractability being offered through devices used for watching films and videos it may be some of that traditional theatrical interaction isn't far from being available.
These plays I'll share with you are mostly film adaptations or trailers because it's difficult to find a good recorded version of the live plays (and the effect is lost because you're not watching live)... but I hope they'll give you an idea for perhaps less mainstream forms of entertainment/ performance and offer a wider platform for research.

Power of Performance Punk Rock by Simon Stephens
He writes plays for young adult performers. This play is really shocking... it's about bullying and i…

FAO CAA Year 1: Space & Environment - Audio Available On myUCA + Your "Do's & Don'ts" & Creative Partnerships!

I hope you're all suitably revved up and ready to wow the CAA community with your first explorations of those Invisible Cities!  Just letting you know that the audio recording of today's briefing presentation is now available on myUCA/Space&Environment/Invisible Cities/Brief&Presentation.
See below - your creative partnerships for the duration of Project 1: Invisible Cities:

Tyler Lloyd @
Dan Reason @ Charles Serafini @ Becky Patterson @

Julia Mason @
Julien Van Wallendael @
Ella Pinnington @ Chelsea Butler @
Frame Phrommet @
Jack White @
Kayleigh Anderson @ Sankavy Balasingam @…

FAO 1st Years - Film reviews

Hello 1st Years!

I just thought I'd drop by and give you a couple of pointers for when you embark on your first film review...

1) Get it written asap - before you know it, it'll be Tuesday again, and you'll have another one to write!

2) It doesn't have to be a novel! Focus on the reason you are watching the film (the cinematography, the soundscape etc)

3) Use at least 3 images to back up your review; make sure you label them 'Figure 1' etc, and refer to them within your text.

4) Write in the 3rd person; this may seem really strange at first, but it is a good habit to develop early on, as your essays and dissertation will need to be approached in this way.  For Phil's excellent guide to using the 3rd person, go to your Invisible Cities unit, scroll down to below the Thumbnails template, to 'Essays & Articles'.

5) And finally...... The Harvard Method!  You must make sure that any of your written work - film reviews, essays etc - is referenced co…

First Year Blogs - We're Nearly There!

Another one-post anthology of new first year blogs to be added to your reading lists...

1 Tyler Lloyd @ 2 Dan Reason @ 3 Charles Serafini @ 4 Becky Patterson @ 5 Julia Mason @ 6 Julien Van Wallendael @ 7 Ella Pinnington @ 8 Chelsea Butler @ 9 Frame Phrommet @ 10 Jack White @ 11 Kayleigh Anderson @ 12 Sankavy Balasingam @ 13 Jacky Wootton @ 14 Lewis Maddison @ 15 Jamie Wathen @ 16 Ryan Brand @ 17 Anderson Moshi @ http://…