Friday, December 01, 2017

Post With The Most 01/12/2017


Welcome to the latest edition of the Computer Animation Arts Post With The Most - the last before Christmas incredibly (where did that term go?).  Indeed, the UCA Christmas tree has arrived in our reception and our students have got that far-off gleam in their eye - not dreaming of sugar plum fairies, but rather of the moment when all their project work is done!  Well, we're not there yet and there's lots for them to do, so enjoy this selection of our students' most recent creative endeavours, beginning with the simple expressive pleasures of their life-drawings!

Ellie Row

Ellie Row (detail)

Greta Mongyik

Megan Robson

Rachael Holyhead

The What If Metropolis project challenges our first years to produce their first digital set - which sees them seeking to bend Autodesk Maya to the whims and fancies of their production design.  It's the steepest of learning curves and requires them to learn-on-the-job as very few of them arrived with pre-existing skills in 3D modelling software.  In addition to the task of wrestling Maya into submission, they must also demonstrate the conceptual flex and fleetness of foot to collaborate with another artist - a creative partner from the canon of established artists and designers picked at random from the course's celebrated 'mysterious blue box' and with whom they have to work closely in the imagineering of a fantastical cityscape.


Developmental thumbnails #1

Developmental thumbnails #2

Developmental thumbnails #3

Developmental thumbnails #4

Developmental thumbnails #5

Developmental thumbnails #6

Developmental thumbnails #7


Developmental thumbnails #1

Developmental thumbnails #2

Preparatory painting

Final concept painting


Developmental painting #1

Developmental painting #2

Developmental thumbnails

Concept painting


Concept painting




The season of goodwill to all men is nearly upon us, though it's usually at this time of year on CAA that tempers are fraying, as our Year 2 students experience the highs and lows of working collaboratively.  At risk of speaking too soon, it does appear as if the teeth-gnashing, temper tantrums and blood-letting is at an all-time low this year.  The students are making a series of skits starring a pre-existing 3D character - Moom - who they are accessorising in accordance with the needs of their respective scripts.  Right now, our year 2's are busy blocking their animations, with Moom sporting an impressive array of accessories!


Goth girl at Hogwarts - wip

Cheering audience at Hogwarts - wip


Developing 'The Granny' #1

Developing 'The Granny' #2

Developing 'The Granny' #3

Moom starring as 'The Granny', 'Nervous Guy', 'The Driving Instructor' & 'The Blind Man'

Moom starring as 'The Driving Instructor'


Elderly Bruce Banner getting angry - wip

The Flash & the stairlift - wip


The always exciting thing about year 3 projects is their range and diversity; 3D animation isn't a genre, it's a vast continent comprising a plethora of different approaches to film-making, storytelling  and visualisation. In the mix this year we've got projects harkening back to the rubber hose animations of the 1930s, and avant-garde explorations of the materiality of Autodesk Maya, animated shorts-in-the-offing about friendless jellyfish and Sisyphean escapees, documentaries about airfix kits and battle jackets, and a knock-about, anarchic journey into the pop-cuture-powered imagination of a super-hero obsessed  child.  As per all previous editions of the PWTM, just click on the students' names to access their individual course blogs for a more complete picture of their ongoing creative development.


Mr Plimsoll developmental sketches #1 / Katie Lima

Mr Plimsoll developmental sketches #2 / Katie Lima

Mr Plimsoll final character design / Katie Lima


Mr Polo developmental sketches / Katie Lima



The Fairy final character design / Danielle Gibbs

The Fairy & The Catcher final character design / Danielle Gibbs


Escape 3000 / Colour script / Tom Smith

Escape 3000 / Colour script detail #1 / Tom Smith

Escape 3000 / Colour script detail #2 / Tom Smith

Escape 3000 / Colour script detail #3 / Tom Smith

Escape 3000 / Character development  #1 / Tom Smith

Escape 3000 / Character development  #2 / Tom Smith

Escape 3000 / Character development  #3 / Tom Smith





Love Stung / Jellyfish character development thumbnails #1 / Becky Stapley

Love Stung / Jellyfish character development thumbnails #2 / Becky Stapley

Love Stung / Hermit Crab uv-ed model / Becky Stapley

Love Stung / Hermit Crab textured model (wip) / Becky Stapley

Love Stung / Environment concept painting / Becky Stapley

Love Stung / Colour script / Becky Stapley


The Spitfire / Time-lapse reference footage / Brad King

The Spitfire / Concept painting / Brad King

The Spitfire / Airfix-inspired 3D model #1 / Brad King

The Spitfire / Airfix-inspired 3D model #2 / Brad King

The Spitfire / Maya pre-visualisation  / Brad King


Battle Jacket / Hannah character design development #1 / Hannah Kubias

Battle Jacket / Hannah character design development #2 / Hannah Kubias


Battle Jacket / Hannah character design development #3 / Hannah Kubias


The Jayden Tapes / Animatic / Sam Johnson

In late August 2015, I sat down on an old wooden garden chair at an wooden garden table to begin writing the screenplay for our as then untitled adaptation of Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra.  On November 16th 2017, Red & The Kingdom Of Sound premiered at the Jeu de Paume theatre, Albert, France accompanied by the Orchestra de Picardie conducted by Arie Van Beek.   This performance was followed by another at the Theatre Municipal, Abbeville on November 17th, and then on Sunday 19th, it was screened in Jena, Germany, accompanied by the Jena Philharmonic. 

Rehearsal at Jeu de Paume Theatre, Albert, France #1/ 16th November, 2017

Rehearsal at Jeu de Paume Theatre, Albert, France #2 / 16th November, 2017

Rehearsal at Jeu de Paume Theatre, Albert, France #3 / 16th November, 2017

Rehearsal at Jeu de Paume Theatre, Albert, France #4 / 16th November, 2017

Rehearsal at Theatre Municipal, Abbeville, France #1  / 17th November, 2017

Rehearsal at Theatre Municipal, Abbeville, France #2  / 17th November, 2017

Rehearsal at Theatre Municipal, Abbeville, France #3  / 17th November, 2017

Performance at Volkhaus, Jena, Germany / 19th November, 2017

In the short space of four days, Red & The Kingdom of Sound was seen by nearly 1500 children in two different countries. Loyal readers of the PWTM will know readying our animation for this performances has been a long haul and a testament to the transformative powers of collaboration. The list of people who created this film is long, encompassing CAA teaching staff, alumni and current students and my list of thank yous to them would be considerably longer! Taking the Kingdom Of Sound from 'script-to-screen' has been an epic undertaking - fifteen different worlds and multiple characters brought together in one continuous adventure in classical music!

Red & The Kingdom Of Sound

The Overture








The Flute District






The Oboe District





The Clarinet District






The Bassoon District






The Violin District





The Viola District





The Cello District





The Double-Bass District





The Harp District






The Horn District





The Trumpet District





The Trombone & Tuba District






The Percussion District






The Maestro's Amphitheatre














Red & The Kingdom Of Sound can't be shared on line in its entirety as there are many more live performances of it to come - Katowice, Lyon, Zilina... - so enjoy this excerpt of Red's adventure's in the Kingdom's Percussion District.


Red & The Kingdom Of Sound excerpt / The Percussion District

1 comment:

  1. Really great work here! Congratulations everybody! :)

    ReplyDelete