Sunday, January 31, 2016

Post With The Most 31/01/2016








While the media are always happy to rub salt in the post-festive wounds by banging on about how lethargic and depressed we should all be feeling, the students, alumni and staff of Computer Animation Arts very wisely ignored the misery-making and got on with making some great stuff happen instead.

Our first year students are up to their proverbials in a rich variety of creative undertakings; life-drawing, sound design classes, writing scripts, designing characters, animating formerly inanimate objects, watching and reviewing Hitchcock classics... The list goes on, so here's just a smattering from all that's been happening while everyone else was stomaching their kale smoothies and renewing their gym memberships... 



Life drawing / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit

Animating taste 'Ginger' / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit

Character development / Project: From Script To Screen


Life drawing / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit

The Aristocratic Blob (work in progress) / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit


The Grumpy Square character development / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit

Wendy Winter thumbnail storyboards / Project: From Script To Screen

Wendy Winter developmental character sketch / Project: From Script To Screen


The Nervous Spinning-Top (work in progress)  / Project: From Script To Screen

Robot character thumbnails / Project: From Script To Screen


The Ecstatic Flip Flops developmental storyboard / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit

The Ecstatic Flip-Flops animation test / Project: The CG Artist Toolkit


The Patissier concept drawing / Project: From Script To Screen



Summer tree developmental studies / Project: From Script To Screen

Winter tree developmental studies / Project: From Script To Screen

The Dying Triangle thumbnail storyboard / Project: The CG Artist's Toolkit


Our second year students are similarly multitasking, working between two parts of their current Adaptation Project; part A requires them to devise and animate a short, snappy infographic - which is all After Effects, motion graphics and impeccable timing - while part B challenges them to transcribe an existing source into some variety of CG outcome - be it character design, game assets, digital sets, or animated short - and if that wasn't enough to be getting on with, some of them even find time for a spot of life-drawing on the side!


Life drawing #1

Life drawing #2

The Astrologer character development #1 / Project: Adaptation B

The Astrologer character development #2 / Project: Adaptation B

The Astrologer character development #3 / Project: Adaptation B


Character development #1 / Project: Adaptation A (Infographic)

Character development #2 / Project: Adaptation A (Infographic)

Character development #3 / Project: Adaptation A (Infographic)


Mantis character development (for Albert Roussel's Le festin de l'araignée) / Project: Adaptation B

Fruitworm character development (for Albert Roussel's Le festin de l'araignée) / Project: Adaptation B


The Dancer character development / Project: Adaptation A (Infographic)


The Soldier developmental sketches #1 (for Arthur Rimbaud's Le Dormeur du Val) / Project: Adaptation B

The Soldier developmental sketches #2 (for Arthur Rimbaud's Le Dormeur du Val) / Project: Adaptation B

The Soldier developmental sketches #3 (for Arthur Rimbaud's Le Dormeur du Val) / Project: Adaptation B


Georges Méliès test sequence for Signs You Are Watching...  / Project: Adaptation B (Infographic)



Our year three students have just crossed the halfway line of their final year with us.  For most of them, the goal of their minor projects was to have resolved fully their respective stories or project concepts, and designed and modelled their various assets. What follows is a showcase of story components, around which the students' major projects will continue to develop over the coming weeks and months.




Pre-viz / Opening shot (no SFX)






Rob-O-Matic / Animation playblast #1


Rob-O-Matic / Animation playblast #2


Oxygen character development / Element's Academy

Water character development / Element's Academy




Skye turnaround #1 / Skye


Skye turnaround #2 / Skye



Character turnaround #1 / Warning


Character turnaround #2 / Warning



The Beast clay pass turnaround / Legends Of Grimm


The Beast wireframe turnaround / Legends Of Grimm


Sukhvinder Ghai

Humbug turnaround / The Phantom Tollbooth

Tom Boothby


Captain Wonder turnaround / Captain Wonder


Scarlett Freeman

The Son production art / Untitled

The Son turnaround / Untitled

The Mother turnaround / Untitled



Kitchen set wireframe & final render #1 / The Leftovers

Kitchen set wireframe & final render #2 / The Leftovers




The Leftovers pre-viz (no SFX)


Nadia Yadallee

Diaa expression sheet / Diaa's Journey

Diaa pose sheet / Diaa's Journey

Bashar expression sheet / Diaa's Journey

Bashar pose sheet / Diaa's Journey

Diaa & Bashar turnarounds / Diaa's Journey




Sally smiling / The Tale Of The Bog Goblin

Sally scared / The Tale Of The Bog Goblin

Snod smiling  / The Tale Of The Bog Goblin

Sam Cannon

The Commuter / The Day Dreamer





The 'Giggler' model & orthograph 

The Smiler

The Giggler & the Hoover

Livi Wilmore

The Kitchen test render / What Would Meredith Do?

The course team received some wonderful news earlier this week: George 'Class of 2015' Nwosisi has started his new job at Antimatter Games, a games studio in Falmouth, Cornwall, who developed Rising Storm, PC Gamer's 2013 'Multiplayer Game of The Year'.  Congratulations, George!  We're proud as punch and wish you all the very best in your new exciting role.


See below -  the test animation AntiMatter asked George to create -  a digging loop cycle and a dialogue animation  - which they challenged George to create in a single week!  Talented lad!




And, in further celebration of George's achievements, why not take a moment to revisit his final year film, The Silent Story, in which his natural instincts for animation are showcased unambiguously.

The Silent Story / George Nwosisi / May 2015



More graduate news now; CAA has a celebrated tradition of innovative collaboration, first with ACT, which saw us working with musicians, product designers and kite-makers, and currently with the ONE project, which sees us working once more with a host of European orchestras.  Now CAA collaborates with MASK.

MASK - Mobile Arts Schools in Kenya - is a charity working with young people in Kenya. MASK trains young people to be more creative and innovative to enable them achieve better academic results and become future successful leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs.  The MASK Prize is an annual competition, in which young people submit their artworks online on any subject and in any media. The judges include creative professionals from some of the World's leading art institutions in Kenya, the UK and USA. An exhibition of some of the winning entries from the 2015 competition is coming to UCA Rochester in March.  In readiness, CAA was approached by MASK director, Alla Tkachuk, who was keen for the exhibition to be as dynamic as possible.  We were challenged to use animation to bring the winning paintings to life; more than this, we were challenged to work with the Kenyan artists to ensure the resulting animations were truly collaborative.  Showcased below are the seven winning artworks, from which the animations will derive.


Allan Kiptoo

Shela Forster

Edwin Wainaina

Fahima Munene

Paula Karanja

Louis Tamlyn & Samson Lazima Jali

Churchill Ongere

What we needed then was our own Avengers Assemble moment; a team of experienced CG artists and animators unafraid of collaborative working, who could bring their special talents to the task of extrapolating ninety seconds of animation from a single image...  I was spoiled for choice, of course,  and the course now has the very real pleasure of working again with CAA grads Emily Clarkson, Samantha Niemczyk, Vikki Kerslake, Steven Payne, Nat Urwin and Ethan Shilling.  Our crack team of animation alumni have been working with their respective Kenyan artists for a few weeks now, and you can follow their progress at the official CAA/MASK collaboration blog, but check out these examples of some of their works-in-progress and take delight in the variety of techniques and approaches on show:


Sam Niemczyk / Edwin Wainaina

Textured head model


Rigged head model

Animatic (work in progress)


Steven Payne / Fahima Munene

Texturing development test


Ethan Shilling / Louis Tamlyn & Samson Lazima Jali

Perspective projection mapping test


Emily Clarkson / Churchill Ongere

3D translation of Churchill's artwork #1

3D translation of Churchill's artwork #2

Animatic (work in progress)

Eye blink animation test


Vikki Kerslake / Paula Karanja

Rotoscoping test


The Last Word...

“I think animation is the future of contemporary art. Digital technologies, combined with fine art, offer a fantastic new artistic experience!" Alla Tkachuk, MASK Director