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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


  1. Great post, great work.. Great to see such quality as ever. Keep it up CGAA people.


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