Tuesday, May 31, 2016

FAO CAA Yr 3: Images Of Your Work For Royal Festival Hall Graduation Showreel!

I've been contacted by the nice people in Marketing who need a selection of eye-candy from your projects to populate the showreel that will play in the Graduation Showreel at the Royal Festival Hall.  Your images need to be a) landscape orientation, b) beautiful! and c) at least 200 dpi in terms of resolution. You need to send them direct to Chloe Thomas before the end of this week. Marketing will curate the showreel, so there is no guarantee that the images you provide will make the final cut, but if you don't organise any images there's no way your work can be considered for the graduation reel.  Email your images to CThomas@ucreative.ac.uk ensuring that you title your images with both both your full name and official course title.  Can you please ensure your classmates have seen this - many thanks!

Monday, May 30, 2016

CAA One-A-Day: Les Grands Mythes

Excerpts from an incoming French TV series The Great Myths... This is sure to inspire!

Post With The Most 30/05/2016

It's Friday, May 27th and I'm writing this preamble to the all-new edition of the Computer Animation Arts PWTM while sitting quietly in the CAA baseroom.  The tables that normally reside in the centre of the room are gone, replaced by rows of expectant chairs, and on the big screen before them, our third year  animations playing on a loop.  Last night at the UCA internal degree show I had the very real pleasure of watching audiences watching our students' final animations.  No disloyalty is intended towards our hard-working third years when this tutor admits to some 'vision fatigue' around their respective projects; we've all been thinking about and looking at this work for months and it becomes increasingly difficult to experience the animations as they're intended - as funny, or as poignant, or as informative or provocative.  Last night, as I watched audiences watching our students' films, I rediscovered their accomplishments.  I saw people dabbing their eyes as Ant Faulkner's Skye decided at last to leave the confines of her bedroom.  I watched people giggling at Ruby Turner's Dysonoris Vacuumoris and laugh happily as Adam Stone's story about a love-struck robot segued  into a bonkers pastiche of Dirty Dancing.  I likewise heard the hush deepen as Will Huntley's Espial darkened in tone.  In short, I witnessed our students' final animations find their audiences.

I say 'final animations', but that's not accurate at all.  In a month's time, give-or-take, our students - sorry, graduates - are off to exhibit at New Designers 2016, and part-and-parcel of our annual preparations for the event include our students returning to their respective films and fixing what needs to be fixed.  For some it's all about enriching the animation. For others it's about enhancing their assets.  Some need to be brave and make cuts, identifying punchier, pacier edits.  Others will return to their stories for a tweak here and there.  Even as the academic year concludes, no one is truly finished.  For students of CAA, there is always more to be done.  Enjoy these first assemblies, but do so in the knowledge that if something here bothers you, it's already on the student's to-do list...

Rob-O-Matic / May 2016

Ant Faulkner

Skye / May 2016

Skye / Art Of / May 2016 

Will Huntley

Espial / May 2016

Espial / Art Of / May 2016

Taxonomy Of Laughter / May 2016

Rosalyn Fenton

The Bog Goblin / May 2016

The Bog Goblin / Art Of / May 2016

The Daydreamer / May 2016

The Daydreamer / Art Of / May 2016

New Designers is a big deal for the staff and students of Computer Animation Arts. The show attracts visitors from all kinds of industries, which makes it a rich recruiting ground for our graduates.  The skills associated with animation, storytelling, 3D modelling, production design and motion graphics are applicable in lots of different ways to lots of different companies - animation-centric or otherwise.  In recent years, our graduates have found gainful employment in the toy industry, in product design, and in projection for events, as well as working for game and animation companies. 

New Designers 2016 Showreel

Last year's award-winning stand took inspiration from the machinations of Wile E. Coyote and his unshakeable brand loyalty to ACME,  trusted provider of economy-sized catapults and rocket-powered rollerskates.

CAA @ New Designers 2015 

CAA @ New Designers 2015

CAA @ New Designers 2015

This year, our guiding design principle has been 'From Script To Screen', using the stand to demonstrate how CAA graduates take the written word into CGI via the pre-production, production and post-production pipeline.  We've gone for a simple enough screening room affair, with flippable display units - courtesy of Flip File Displays - by which to showcase the graduates' early stage development and production art.  Once again, we have the pleasure of working with CAA alum and all-round whizz, Ethan Shilling, who is busy working behind the scenes to visualise and trouble-shoot our grand plan in readiness for the install at the Business Design Centre, Islington in July.

CAA @ New Designers 2016 show stand visualisation #1 / Ethan Shilling

CAA @ New Designers 2016 show stand visualisation #2 / Ethan Shilling

CAA @ New Designers 2016 show stand visualisation #3 / Ethan Shilling

CAA @ New Designers 2016 show stand visualisation #4 / Ethan Shilling

The next edition of the PWTM will be our annual, much-anticipated New Designers Special, wherein we will showcase the final final work of the Class of 2016, which should make for an impressive array of fresh talent. Watch this space - better still, come and see us at the show.  Our graduates will be exhibiting at New Designers from the 6th to the 9th of July at student number VC66.  Come find us and take your seat in the CAA screening room.

Phil Gomm / May 2016

September feels a long way off - even thinking about it feels like a form of masochism - but think about it I must because from the 1st to the 6th of September I'm exhibiting at Whitstable's Horsebridge Arts Centre in the company of fellow artists Phil Cooper and Phill Hosking Loyal subscribers to the PWTM may recall our last exhibition together back in February 2015 and the there of us have been meeting up to thrill nervously at the march of days between now and this new show's private view and encourage each other in the business of making new work.  At least we now have a name for our exhibition - Semblance - which seeks to encompass some of the ways in which our separate creative endeavours align.  The dictionary defines semblance in 5 ways:

1: outward aspect or appearance.
2: an assumed or unreal appearance; show.
3: the slightest appearance or trace.
4: likeness, image, or copy.
5: a spectral appearance; apparition.

I guess my interests lie with definition number five, as I continue my fascination with seeking to create 'in camera' phantasmagoria by coupling long exposure photography with the puppetry of LEDs.  Last Summer, I once again agitated the flora and fauna of rural France in a ten day sequence of conjuring, opening up ominous portals and igniting lightening in empty, stone-walled rooms. More recently, I took up residence in an old dark house much closer to home - a property in Rochester, Kent, that comes complete with its own chapel, grand staircase and cobwebbed, clammy wine cellar.  The photographs below evidence my preoccupation with all things 'Industial Light & Magic' and childlike craving for witnessing otherworldly phenomena.  I will be returning to this location very soon, as I was only able to explore a fraction of its many nooks and crannies - and this time I'll be doing an all-nighter...

Phil Gomm / May 2016

Phil Gomm / May 2016

Phil Gomm / May 2016

Phil Gomm / May 2016

I'm not alone in rolling up my sleeves and cracking on: in addition to the design and making of a series of miniature props for a stop-motion film with Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Phil Cooper continues to create his extraordinary, richly-atmospheric tableaux.  I featured Phil's work here on the group blog recently, but visit his excellent Hedgecrows blog for a proper insight into the art and craft of Phil's diminutive story worlds.

Philip Cooper 2016

Philip Cooper 2016

Philip Cooper 2016

Phill Hosking is likewise preparing to participate in the Semblance show in September.  Not content with his accomplishments as a painter, sculptor and Zbrush guru, Phill is now adding screen-printing to his impressive rosta of creative output.  Three Wishes is a limited edition screen print available to purchase here and will feature alongside Phil's newest works at Semblance.

Three Wishes / Phill Hosking 2016

Three Wishes/ Phill Hosking 2016

CAA year one-soon-to-be-year-two student, Tom Smith is also keeping busy now that the academic year is over and the long Summer break sets in.  Over recent days, Tom has been posting a series of delightful self-generated sketches and digital paintings.  Let us end this month's PWTM with a selection of Tom's work, which just goes to prove you don't need the strictures of a brief or tick of a client's clock to inspire creativity.  Great stuff, Tom - we look forward to seeing more.

Tom Smith / May 2016

Tom Smith / May 2016

Tom Smith / May 2016

Tom Smith / May 2016

Tom Smith / May 2016

The Final Word...

“You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?”
George Bernard Shaw

Re-Post: FAO Year 1 & 2: New Designers 2016 / Private View Tickets / Wednesday July 6th / 6.30pm - 9.00pm

I have a limited number of free tickets* for the private view at New Designers 2016 on Wednesday July 6th, starting at 6.30pm at the Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington, London. I always encourage years 1 and 2 to visit the event, so if you'd like a free ticket for the private view, please email me at pgomm@ucreative.ac.uk with your home address, and I'll get one posted out to you.

*Thanks to those students who have already contacted me.  I posted your tickets out on Friday.

FAO CAA Yr 3: New Designers 2016 Screening Award - You Have 11 Days!

For those students submitting films for the New Designers 2016 Screening Awards, you have 11 days remaining... (until Thursday 9th June, which I'm suggesting you think of as your deadline to mitigate against any upload/file transfer crises on Friday 10th!). Be sure to read the submission criteria before you submit!  Onwards!

FAO CAA Yr 3: Your 7 ND2016 Posters To Me By Friday 10th June

This is a message for all those students exhibiting at New Designers 2016.  I need to get everything to the printer by June 15th, which means you need to get your 7 poster images to me by June 10th. Some of you have already previewed your choices and got feedback - but many more of you haven't. Can you please make your 7 choices today, preview them on your blog for my attention, and we'll take things from there.  See Josh's post for an idea of what I'm expecting.  Remember, these images you provide need to be printed at A1 size, so you need to ensure the image resolution is as high as is humanly possible.  Spread the word! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

FAO CAA Yr 3: Create A Preview Of Your 7 Images For ND16

At today's presentation I asked all students exhibiting at New Designers 2016 to select 7 images for the stand's flippable displays.  I suggested that you think about 7 ways to demonstrate your diversity of skills: the quick, vital energies of an early thumbnail sketch, the cleaner lines of a model sheet, a rich slice of lavish concept art etc.  Before committing to your 'lucky 7', I'd like you to prepare a preview of your respective choices so we can engage in some feedback etc. and ensure your choices are all working as hard for you as possible.  When you think you have your seven images, create a blogpost preview with an '@Phil' in the title.  Remember to make best use of the portrait aspect ratio; this might mean reconfiguring some of your existing art work to make it suitable.  I look forward to seeing your choices asap.  Onwards!

FAO Year 1 & 2: New Designers 2016 / Private View Tickets / Wednesday July 6th / 6.30pm - 9.00pm

I have a limited number of free tickets for the private view at New Designers 2016 on Wednesday July 6th, starting at 6.30pm at the Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington, London. I always encourage years 1 and 2 to visit the event, so if you'd like a free ticket for the private view, please email me at pgomm@ucreative.ac.uk with your home address, and I'll get one posted out to you.

FAO CAA Yr 3 : New Designers 2016 Presentation & Screening Awards Countdown!

See below - for your reference, today's presentation!
*insert rocket fuel!*

Screening Award Submission Deadline / Friday 10th June

I suggest you seek to have your films submitted by Thursday 9th June - to mitigate against any 11th hour upload issues.  If we take the end of Thursday as your submission deadline, you have 18 working days to prepare and perfect your Screening Award submissions!  Your countdown has started!

Friday, May 20, 2016



CAA One-A-Day: The D In David


CAA One-A-Day: Death In Space

Funny, in poor taste, and a nice example of the animated-short-as-list genre.

FAO CAA Yr 3: Reminder: New Designers 2016 Briefing @ 10am / Monday 23rd May / Baseroom

On your mark, get set...

A reminder to all those year 3 students who will be exhibiting at New Designers 2016... I'm expecting to see all of you - rested, fresh-faced and determined - in the baseroom on Monday 23rd May at 10am for the ND briefing.  Get ready, ladies and gentlemen: as of Monday morning, your downtime is over... Spread the word!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

FAO CAA Yr 1 : CG Toolkit Proformas @ Your Ucreative Accounts Now

Dear all - your Toolkit proformas are available at your Ucreative accounts now.  If anyone hasn't received their programs, email me and I'll investigate.  Many thanks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Reminder: FAO Everyone: Friday 13th May / End Of Term Drinks @ The Golden Lion

Just a reminder that we're all meeting at The Golden Lion, Rochester High Street on Friday, May 13th to toast the end of term and the onset of Summer!  The staff will be heading down for about 6.45pm, and we hope to see lots of you there.  (If you're there before us, try and nab as many tables as possible!).  Spread the word! 

FAO CAA Yr 1: Your Fantastic Voyage Proformas @ Your Ucreative Accounts

Your Fantastic Voyage proformas are now available at your Ucreative email account.  Read your feedback carefully - reflect on it - and then read it again!  If you haven't received your proforma email me at pgomm@ucreative.ac.uk and I'll investigate.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Supplement: "What I Did After Graduation (and How I Picked Myself)"

A great article from Bloop Animation about post-graduation struggles. Definitely worth giving it few minutes. For the full article click the link below: 

FAO CAA Yr 3: You Are Here / Tuesday 10th May / Final Submission

It's finally here - deadline day for your Major Project.  Remember you need to create a) your submission blogpost and b) ensure you copy your files onto the PC in the CAA Baseroom and sign your name on the register provided.  You need to do all these things before 7pm. Nobody should be running in with just five minutes left on the clock.  If you're travelling in from home, set out early.  Leave nothing to chance.  This deadline is as strict as it is official.  It's your last hand-in of your academic career, so let's make it nice and dignified, shall we?

Do all the basic things: check the version of the film you're uploading/submitting is the definitive final version of your respective films, and not some  earlier incarnation (students make this mistake a lot).  

Ensure you've proof-read your Art Ofs - yeah, yeah, yeah - I say it a lot, and now I'm saying it again. No school boy errors please (like spelling animation incorrectly - which tired students do a lot). Similarly, please make sure you're spelling everything in your blog submission correctly, and ensure too that your blog submission itself is presented professionally (you'd be amazed how many final year students just cobble their blog submissions together without previewing or finessing). 

Finally, Alan and I wish you the very best of luck as you put the finishing touches to your projects and never forget, you've all come a very long way to be here today.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill

Monday, May 09, 2016

FAO CAA Yr 3 : Reminder: Wednesday May 11th / CV Workshops & Professionalised Social Media

Wednesday May 11th / CV Workshops & Professionalised Social Media / 10am CAA Baseroom

I've arranged two sessions for you on trouble-shooting CVs and professionalising your use of social media, to take place in the CAA Baseroom on Wednesday 11th May.  The sessions begin at 10am.  I know that last year, the final students who attended the event found the sessions to be eye-opening, sobering, and very useful.  Put the date in your diaries and use your social networks to get this information shared.  Many thanks.

FAO CAA Yr 1, 2, 3: Percentages Before Proformas

Dear all - this is just a heads-up about your forthcoming project marks: not only will you be receiving your marks as percentages (not letters), it's quite likely that you'll be able to see your grades via myUCA before you receive your written feedback proformas from Alan and myself.  This is because all student marks have to be with Campus Registry within a very tight timescale (by Friday this week!).  I'm informing you of this because I'd like you all to be nice and understanding and wait for your written feedback before bombarding Alan or I with emails asking for more information on your percentage grade.  Trust us - the written feedback is coming, and written feedback always helps students contextualise assessment, so no irate emails or unhappy glances please.  Once you've received your written feedback and you're still keen to discuss your marks, then yes, no problem, let's have a chat.  In the meantime, thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.  It's a busy time of year and we appreciate it.

FAO CAA Year 3: 36 Hours Until Your 7pm Deadline!

At time of going to press, you have 36 hours before your 7pm deadline on Tuesday 10th May!

You're all tired, but hey, Don't Stop Believing...

Thursday, May 05, 2016

CAA One-A-Day: Life Is Beautiful

And you thought the ending of 2001 was a head-scratcher! Enjoy.

Re-Post: FAO CAA Yr 1 & 2: The YPGTTO Kingdom Of Sound Speed Paint Challenge Still Needs You!

The Horn District / Eva Pinnington

A number of you have expressed the intention to participate in the YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge when things have quietened down a bit post-hand-in.  I'm confirming here that the Kingdom Of Sound project remains live, so I'm actively encouraging you to participate at your convenience.  The next stage of the project - where we seek to derive a storyboard for the 16 minute animation - will begin in late May, by which time we hope we'll have many more completed speed paints from which to divine our definitive art direction.

For your convenience then, all fifteen challenges listed here. Those challenges marked with an asterisk have no entries yet, so I'm hoping some of you might start at #15 and work backwards! Thanks in advance - and thanks too to all those who have already taken part.  It's always exciting working with you in this way (and the Orchestra Network for Europe agrees!).

The Double Bass District / Eva Pinnington

The Horn District / Vlad Yankov