Saturday, October 31, 2015

Post With The Most 31/10/2015

At time of going to print, it's Halloween - but there are no tricks in this October edition of the Computer Animation Arts Post With The Most - only treats and an impressive haul of eye-candy! We're not even at the halfway stage of term one, and already our busy community of student blogs is pumping out some extraordinary stuff.  When it comes to putting the PWTM together each month, it's a lot like being a child in some enormous unsupervised sweetshop - a case of gimme, gimme, gimme! What is the visual equivalent of a sugar-rush?  I don't know, but you might experience one as you digest this little lot - beginning with these final paintings from our year one concept art project.

Our newest recruits were given five short weeks as concept artists on an animated adaptation of Italo Calvino's genre-defying novel, Invisible Cities - a curious book in which each chapter presents the reader with a fabulous city, richly described.  Calvino gives us cities on stilts and cities suspended between mountains; cities cocooned in string and cities criss-crossed by waterways and aqueducts.  Our students were challenged to imagine, design and paint Calvino's wondrous and often perplexing conurbations...  

Tom Smith - Baucis

Eleanor Spence - Octavia

Lewis Punton - Leonia

Becky Stapely - Diomira

Manisha Dusila - Octavia

Mark Bridgland - Octavia

Life-drawing classes are essential to animators; not only do the weekly classes on Computer Animation Arts provide invaluable opportunities to acquire technical knowledge and proficiency in regards to the nuts and bolts of human anatomy, gesture, pose and dynamism, they're also about students developing confidence in terms of personal style and expressiveness.  Our most recent life-drawing class got into the seasonal spirit of Halloween, as our model, Lydia, transformed herself into a Mexican 'Day Of The Dead' bride, complete with a rather under-nourished groom!  The student's drawings - capturing Lydia's balletic poses and regal comportment - are an absolute delight!

Becky Stapley

Beckie Stapley

Tom Smith

Kristina Botinova

Mark Brigland

Sam Niemczyk

Sam Niemczyk

Manisha Dusila

Our Year Two students are experiencing the highs, lows and swings and roundabouts of group work, as they battle their way through the complex terrain of collaborative working - with all the tongue-biting, 'creative differences' and collective triumphs so implied.  Strange but true - experience of collaborative working is one of the absolute 'must-haves' expected of animation graduates by industry - and yet collaborative working is often regarded by students as onerous, unwelcome, and as an encumbrance to their creative development: let's leave it to a certain Mr Steven Spielberg to put the power of collaboration into its proper professionalised perspective:

"When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it's you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.

What follows is a smattering of pre-production from our Year 2 collaborations - different ideas, different iterations of the same idea, and many other charming creative visions (with some destined inevitably for the cutting room floor). Will our groups find the ways and means of successful negotiation? Will egos and differences be subordinated to the greater prize of a completed film? Watch this space...

Mark Stamp

Vlad Yankov
Vlad Yankov

Eva Pinnington

Cat Barber

Cat Barber

Anderson Moshi

Rebecca Patterson

Charlie Serafini
Julien Van Wallendael

Charlie Serafini

Charlie Serafini

Julien Van Wallendael

At time of writing, our third years are preparing for their green light pitch, which challenges them to present the sum total of their preproduction for their respective final year projects.  The sudden freedoms of year three - in which students are required to determine completely their own briefs - can make for a daunting prospect, likewise the prospect of undertaking a year long project.  Initial wobbles have been all but banished and our third years are really motoring, their blogs a-buzz with original scripts, colourful character designs and concept art.  Enjoy this selection!

In other news... On Wednesday 28th October, we were delighted to welcome visiting lecturer, Tom McDowell to the Computer Animation Arts baseroom for a spot of show and tell.  Tom is a production and product designer for Mattel at HiT Entertainment, London, who designs and creates in the venn diagram between animation, character design and toy design.

Tom McDowell

Tom gave our students, staff and alumni a fascinating insight into his work on the vehicular characters in the CGI incarnation of Bob The Builder, and his development and design of the cast of animal characters in Little People.  Tom spoke candidly about the challenges of transitioning from 'just graduated' to employment and it was eye-opening to learn more about the ever-closer ties between animation, big brands and the toy market.

Bob The Builder / HiT Entertainment Limited

Scoop from Bob The Builder / HiT Entertainment Limited

And finally, congratulations to our award-winning CAA 2015 graduates Samantha Niemczyk and Peta-Gaye Brown, whose third year film, The Erlking, has just made the official selection for The World Animation Celebration Festival.   Well done, both!

But wait! I'm just receiving a news flash... In addition to her continuing successes with The Erlking, Sam 'Class of 2015 Niemczyk has just been offered an internship with CI Games, a studio based in Warsaw, Poland, responsible for Sniper Ghost Warrior and Lords Of The Fallen.  This is what Sam had to say: 

"I'm super excited about this internship! I wasn't really expecting to be accepted, as the studio works with 3DS Max and my expertise is in Maya.  After receiving so many rejection e-mails - or no replies at all! - this has given me a whole new wave of energy and excitement.  First I need to find a place to stay in Warsaw and once that's done, I'm ready to begin this new adventure! Wish me luck!"

Best of luck, Sam - we're super proud of you!