Sunday, 22 February 2015


First use of the new gopro. duct tapped it into some tupperware, added water and dropped some powdered dye into it. Came out more interesting than imagined.

Friday, 14 November 2014

illusion of chaos blog 2

So these "weekly" updates need to become probably more like fortnightly as I always seem to busy to do them. And blimey it's week 7.

So what have been doing? good question as I barely remember myself.
Linking onto my previous post, I finished the storyboard. it's not extremely detailed as we are playing around with what we can do so it leaves space for cooler camera shots which I will come back an add.

And a rough animatic to understand flow more.

Other wise it's been a hell of a lot of R&D and just making mistakes some really cool mistakes.

Hamish Bengall is now part of my team, he's mainly interested in FX and is doing some really interesting stuff. I'm enjoying working with him as he explains what he is doing and continuously asks for feedback to get the best look. I think he's taken the project on and gotten really into it.  I am trying my best to give feedback that makes sense as I try and learn the 3D language. So far a lot of the R&D has been done in maya, cinema 4D and aftereffects. I only really know aftereffects so recently I have been doing some beginner tutorials in Cinema 4D to get my skill level better then 0.
My feedback recently in weeklies has been positive but I have been told to make mood boards and add to the concept pieces I already have as well as making sure there is a strong artistic style through the film and doesn't look miss matched. So I've made many many moodboards for each sequence and uploaded them to the drive so anyone who is working on that particular sequence knows what the look should be.

I then wanted to get some design ideas down for a polygon sequence. The R&D brought up that the shapes weren't really though through so I worked around do some shapes for a bit.

Me and Hamish have been working together to get the look of the first sequence of the morphing sphere down. One issue we were having was getting a nice glow from the centre with out making it look to 'sci-fi' I wanted it to look more stylized. Instead of playing around on the computer I made a paper mache sphere in the shape with ridges and pierced some holes in it to get a nice light effect.

I also have been doing some macro experiments for live action that can be incorporated. This one was just ink.
I feel as I am the director I do spend the majority of my time with elf, james and hamish looking at their work and making comments etc. I would like to be doing more practicle work myself but that will probably come with time. I would like to be doing some more R&D then I am doing and learning more 3D processes. So far It has definitely been a learning curb directing such a technical 3D base project but hopefully I am doing an ok job.

My next Jobs are to go more in depth and make the shots more interesting with better camera movements. Then make a 3D anamatic.

Till next time

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

illusion of chaos blog 1 (Major 3rd year project)

I'm going too post here (hopefully) weekly on status updates on my major third year project.

Last week we found out whose projects went through after our pitches. This was decided by an industry panel and our lecturers. 17 projects were pitched and 6 were to be green lighted. My project got green lighted...celebrations all round. Most of the work shown in my pitch are just the posts below this one.

 Anyway, first comes first gather a team. James Rowden had already wanted to be part of my project so he was in and Elliot Forrest also wanted in. Two people who are extremely talented and have high level of expertise in their chosen fields, so I am very very happy about this team. I decided that I was probably going to need some organisation help to be able to concentrate on what I want to achieve and learn this year so I asked Laura Andrews to produce and thankfully she agreed, even though shes producing another film and who knows maybe she will produce 6 by the end of this year. I like this core group and I think I will keep it around this size for now as I want it to be a collaborative environment where everyone has an equal say in the final outcome. Even though it is my idea I am happy to take on board what everyone thinks, 5 brains are better than 1. So I have a Director (me, though it feels weird to be called that) a Producer and two technical directors.

Into the first week of pre-production I go. So this week was all about sorting out many many excel spreadsheets.. very daunting but Laura seemed to enjoy it. I sent Elliot and James off away with some R&D work in after effects and maya to create a way of  doing certain scenes. And I knuckled down with a biology book too take on board what my feedback from my lecturers was:

The illusion of chaos
+Strong and focussed idea for abstract animation. - must ensure appropriate soundtrack
Needs to have a point or underlying theme rather than just pretty images. Spoke about essentially Entropy. Could be a nice VG piece but needs to be planned out to prevent it just becoming a screensaver.

Illusion Of Chaos

 Great topical biomimetic hook

 Needs to grasp the concept of entropy

 Strong piece in context for exhibit in a science setting for example the ESI

 More research needed into conveying visual biology
 Perhaps extrapolate with some cellular reproduction and more visual themes of chaos and

I  took Matt's advice and looked at the different biology topics he mentioned. I particularly liked cell reproduction. I wrote a 'script like' structure to my animation so I have a reason for the changes in state. Each change in state represent a change in the cells life; growing, mitosis, dying etc. This made my animation have much more of a backbone to it. I sat down with Matt after writing it to make sure I had grasped his ideas correctly and he seemed to like them. Though I left with a lot more things to look at and ideas. That man is extremely useful.

Onto thumbnailing. As I had already made concept pieces for each major change in my animation this was quite quick to do. Though I found that my scribbles didn't make much sense too Elliot and James so this week i've started re-drawing them on photoshop nicely so that Elliot and James have a base to work off. So far I have about half of it done.

Next week I want to do some live action tests filming water icing over and ink in water with a macro lens so hopefully this storyboard will be done by the end of this week. I also want to do an animatic to show how I want the movement to work. 

This project is already pushing me out of my comfort zone (which i'm happy about) as I have James and Elliot asking me questions that I have to be able to answer and I am not the most technical person so I try my best to explain what I want to happen. Then I remind myself that I am there for the ideas and art direction and they are there to create this and be technical. Plus I haven't ever been 'in charge' of a project either so it's something to get used to. So far I'm enjoying it and I think we are working at a good pace but I think I will still push myself to go faster.

Till next week.
good night