Thursday, December 31, 2015

Post With The Most 31/12/2015




Out with the old and in with the new!  It's New Year's Eve - what better time to reflect on the creative achievements of Computer Animation Arts community in the knowledge that, impressive though they most certainly are, the best is yet to come?

For our year one students, the last quarter of 2015 has been about the dual challenge of taking on Autodesk Maya - and winning (more or less) - while developing their design skills as concept artists and production designers.  I'm sharing here a small selection of their final outcomes - their 'What If Metropolises' - extraordinary cityscapes inspired by a diverse range of artists, envisioned first as digital paintings and then transcribed into 3D digital sets.  Intrigued by the nuts and bolts of their creative process? Curious how a complete city might evolve from thumbnail sketch to 3D model? Click on the students' names and visit their individual student blogs for every creative decision taken since briefing day. 


Pip Harris - Sensdel

Final concept painting


Digital set

Kristina Botinova - Florayle

Final concept painting


Digital set


Thumbnail drawings exploring composition

Composition #1

Composition #2


Digital set

Joe Crouch - Gyro

Final concept painting

Digital Set



Final concept painting


Digital set

Becky Stapley - Antiqua

Final concept painting


Digital set


Since September, CAA Yr 2 students have been working on two projects simultaneously - a collaborative studio project and an individual character design project.  I've put a selection of work together here from both projects, which will struggle nonetheless to evidence the 'real' work that has been going on behind the scenes; i.e. the ups and downs of collaborative working - the tongue-biting, the courage it takes to acknowledge creative differences, the unseen sulks and reconciliations, the surrenders, defeats, frustrations and triumphs, plus the energy it takes to balance two projects, to keep things creative while maintaining too the simple slog of it, the going back and going back, and the going back again...

Cat Barber - Parvus (Character design project)








Julien Van Wallendael (Character design project)


















Charlie Serafini - (Character design project)



























All of our final year students have undertaken year-long projects. With the submission of their minor project looming, their respective story-worlds are coming very fully into focus, with characters and environments modelled in readiness for phase two.  Enjoy this walk and talk, as we first meet Ayunie Adiana ... who is adapting Jenny Joseph's beloved poem Warning, about a woman refusing to grow old gracefully.







Josh Aldis is producing an action-packed animated short about the adventures of a motley crew of leftover vegetables and their desperate mission to return to the fridge!






Adam Stone'animated short-in-the-offing introduces us to the Rob-O-Matic home help - a 1970's styled mechanical dogsbody with a talent for insubordination - and a hoover infatuation!




Ant Faulkner's protagonist Skye is a young girl suffering from acute agoraphobia. Unable to leave the confines of her bedroom, Skye must summon the courage to re-enter the world.






Will Huntley sets his dark, psychological narrative in the empty, ominous corridors of a space station... (Spoiler: Something terrible happened here!)

Space station exterior - 3D model

Space station interior #1 (wip)
Space station interior #2 (wip)


Sukhvinder Ghai is designing, modelling and animating characters from Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, including the pompous, blustering Humbug.

Modelling Humbug #1






Modelling Humbug #2

Modelling Humbug #3


Danny Rollings is busy transforming the elements of the Periodic Table into loveable characters for a cartoon show for children (and likely merchandising juggernaut!).

Finding Iron's colour...



Iron 3D model


Iron 3D model #2


Heidi Grover's ambitious mash-up of characters from the stories of the Brothers Grimm includes 'the Beast' - the villain of the piece, who is mad, bad and dangerous to know (and Heidi's most complex modelling challenge yet!).

The Beast orthographic













Ruby Newland's animation is an indexing of laughter-types.  Which one are you?







Scott Turner's Orb is an immersive app designed to drew you deeper and deeper into the world of unrealised architecture, inventions and ideas; a virtual museum of the unbuilt and the unfinished.

Visualising the Orb


Orb buttons





On December 7th, our animation, La création du monde, was screened at the Théâtre municipal, Abbeville, as part of the ONE is more programme of cultural activity. Created originally as part of the ACT/CAA collaboration, the animation was animated and art-directed by course alumni, Jordan Buckner and Tom Beg - but its imagery was 'crowd-sourced' from the entire CAA creative community as part of an innovative, large scale collaboration.



We were reunited once more with conductor, Arie van Beek, and the musicians and backstage crew of the Orchestre de Picardie. With the orchestra in place - and the audience in their seats - our animation was front-projected onto the stage of the theatre, as the musicians played Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet. Behind the scenes, Keith Burden, of Clever Projections, had installed and synched two powerful projectors to a bank of computers, enabling us to keep the animation in-synch with the live performance of La création du monde







As with our previous screenings, the animation looked utterly ravishing in-situ, playing out above the heads of the musicians, its flurries, colours and crescendos appearing in the darkness, as if summoned into being by the music itself.



On December 9th,  La création du monde was screened again at the Salle de l'Eden, Hirson. This venue was more intimate than Abbeville, without the formality of a proscenium arch or other theatrical trappings. In some ways, these performances captured perfectly the underlying philosophy of the ONE is more initiative - that sense of classical music and the visual arts being encountered by new audiences in alternate spaces. As the lights dimmed, and the orchestra began to play, and the first flurries of form and colour materialised on screen, the Salle de l'Eden was transformed, and its audience transported.






La création du monde - Tom Beg / Jordan Buckner




The Final Word...

"Happy New Year!"