Thursday, 30 December 2010


It is 2791 minutes till new year

(which is also 167460 seconds)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

500 Internal Server Error?

youtube have got a sense o' humor


also, when i was saving the actual print screen I have randomly stumbled upon this:

This is how I explained some basic percentage maths to my step father over email. Pretty funny! (at least to me it is ... :) )

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

more toys

Next in line is a very nice, very smooth, very cuddly all-adjustable Great Dane Rig

He (or it?) bends in your fingers and easily undergoes all the necessary dog-training, so big thanks to Chris Baker.

A. attempt A. The right back leg is bugging me at the moment.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

bouncy bouncy Ü

(so yea I know this mushroom shake is awesome in terms of the pivot and all the rest of it.)

Basically here is a small test where I didn't even bother to tick the lights on the squirrel properly, but I am going to leave this one for now and go play with some other rigs.

Still a lot of stuff to be added to this one, but it will do for now

check out the ninja hold in mid air....

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Shhhhhh! don't tell my producer...

what are they? I am going with "wears"... +more mr doob's harmony

Sunday, 24 October 2010

"Stuck Alone"

This is a picture created using a very yummy bit of coding indeed. Thank the talented Kat who introduced me to Harmony

Intuitive and lovely to use. Took me less than an hour

* a melancholic dragon

Monday, 18 October 2010


The First.

Well the year has started. This is going to be a short post. Short like my hair.

First and foremost, avoid the trivial yadah-yadah rubbish about how hard this year is going to be. (We already knew.)

For me its all about the momentum. I need to feed upon certain emotional and intellectual push in order to drive forward. At the moment things are sporadic and unclear and most of the work is having to be done through a substantial strain. Withdrawing from the current state with alcohol and apathy really doesn't do much.

People have their bonuses... Some of us can really go on and enjoy the last year for what it is, the working frenzy. Its all about being adaptive to the current state of play. Those who do not adapt do not survive. Simple laws.

It might be a forward motion... but it's certainly a moonwalk. How not to look back at the first two years? How to get to grips with my own life and stop being so smacked-on-the-head the whole time? Howto howto howto....

It's OK though. I don't fancy starting work with this kind of attitude. It's destructive and I am likely to build my own problems into the work I'm producing. It's going to be good again. Definitely. got to be.

Plus this interesting lecture about the quantum computing, everyone is on about. Let's hear what the physicist have got to say.

Suzanne Gildert on Quantum Computing

Friday, 11 June 2010

Negotiated Brief Eval.

My project involved timing frames to a soundtrack to produce a working animatic. I did mention that with enough time there will also be fully animated shots. Now that was the task.
As I mentioned before most of the pre-production for this animatic was already done and thought of in my spare time. However the main character did have a few issues with it concerning just how poorly it reads to the audiences due to its peculiar design. One thing i learned while studying here is that everything has to be as obvious to the audiences as possible. So after a few sessions with Derek new look was introduced to solve this issue. Now this does actually mean that pre-production wasn't done as thurully as i believed.
A lot of problems went with it. Due to extreme occupation with other project I wasnt really working enough hours. Most of the work was done in sketchbook in the form of quick sketches when i should have been thinking of the music and working from there.
This relied heavily on teamwork. But again due to the amount of projects people had to be involved with I soon decided to do everything by myself. After all an animatic on its own is an achievable goal. However heavily reluctant on some strong visual concepts my project actually lost quite a lot of quality without the work on the backgrounds as planned.
The issues with the actual script. In respect to the nature of the soundtrack the story elements had to be simplifyed and later discarded completely. To me, this music piece lead to abstract visual elements. It's is important to note, I usually spend long periods of time planning animations in my head. In this case the animation had a variety of possible storyboards and yet i picked something completely "story-less".
Some research went into it as well. Musical artist Moby had a definite influence on my composer friend's work therefore musical videos like "Sunday" help to understand how finished animation might look in CG.
I was constantly driven by my musician friend to proceed with the task as he wants to get it finished as soon as possible and it will be a nice collaborative piece of work for both of us.

Fair to say that it was probably a different type of project to what was planned originally. Stated in the brief, wish to produce an animatic approximately one minute long, with some animation in it. Animation and timing were the focus. But it so happened I still worked my head around the final design, comparing different ideas, applying storyboards. So it's worth talking a little about character design as well.

Problems. Its essential to point out just how rubbish the whole system has been lately particularly from the point of view of 3d people and anyone who relies heavily on software. Yes, everything still theoretically can function but it takes up valuable time to solve computer-related faults.

For the actual animatic the most challenging thing so far is to get it understood. If i can make the visuals legible and obvious but grotesque and intriguing at the same time it would be ideal. I want the spectator to play along with it, to want to enter it or chase after it. In a way I have been doing a director's job instead of being an animator.

Character design went longer way than meets the eye at first. First of all the characters had a story behind them and had to fit with it. But as I went frier in terms of the world in which they live (partially because of the soundtrack) the characters started to morph by themselves into what they are now.

All in all its a good first step towards making a short.

finished-ish Animatic,

as The Batman would point out to you "the Mission is never over".... if not for the deadline....

more pictures, but this time slightly older ones

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Negotiated Brief Images

So ok. Bear with me as I am trying very hard to get anything in the studio work. In the meantime here are pictures for the negotiated brief...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Whatever Derek says goes....

my scribbles. Illustrated the Luckdragon Falkor from Michael Ende's "Neverending Story"
Add Image

Thursday, 4 March 2010

did you know?

there's this thing called BRAINS, it helps if you use it. At least sometimes. Oh and also there's this thing called WORK. Is basically when you use computer for something other than facebook

Saturday, 27 February 2010


A 12 year old next door apparently hates religious education, likes English and is OK with his maths "as long as there is someone who can teach it". He writes music, makes wonderful books full of Songs, sticks papers together in a peculiar fashion, partially illustrated. Is very able to carry a decent conversation with a near-seventy year old, no swearwords. He plays many instruments, or so i've been informed and is full of opinions about his former school system. I want to hear it, see it. There are poems too. The truth is... in a need, a sudden urge to offload a piece of music coming from nowhere like avalanche into one's mind. I have no right words to talk about it. My English is dead and repetitive, disgrace to someone with a large enough vocab. Want to see the kid for myself.

Sweet. One am. What I was going to say... This year has been all in fractures, almost unable to make one single pie out of it. Less faces, and where is our "team spirit" (utterly Jonny's play on words :)? Attitudes have changed not necessarily for the best. Gosh I miss US. If anyone reads this... we are in a separate togetherness. Naive... (not "Super") but will hope that our year - and the other years - can get together again. We are one big loony farm-family type establishment, lets keep it that way.

P.S. photographed a pretty whirlpool at Gylly the other day

Friday, 12 February 2010

Coffe film

When I work non stop for days I get so ratty no friend can even approach me with a cup of tea. Concentration mixes with unhealthy kind of determination and turns into something dangerous. Wild and crazy (and untamed...). Just on a special once-in a-blue moon occasion. [I remember chemistry classes back at school, no one can do the test. I got flooded with papers flying from all directions right onto my table with messages like "bla-bla-bla, here's the equation, HELP!!!! URGENT!", five at a time. I was so angry but the anger helped to do the work, strangely enough, I'd bark at the class mates "let me finish my own test first, i'm almost there!" and then ( Flash Gordon speed) I would do all the other peoples' work...]

Anger. Right now I'm angry at microsoft. Stupid Bing search engine, god-awful media player, enternet explorer seems undeletable from the machine no matter what i do. Like one big disaster. I'm switching to bloody linux next. had enough.

So yeah... Coffe film. Done pretty much in two days believe it or not. Non stop working, well, ok, a little sleep, back to the lightbox right from the bed and animating. I was properly running out of time.

Its was one thing to set the whole working space up. Really enjoyed making a "nest" in mom's apartment in London. Here's a picture.
The lightbox rests on psychology magazines, toothpicks to the left are used to poke around the frames, the brown stuff is leftover coffee and an uber-big mug of green tea to help me be. Note, Karl Marks saves the bum.
But the really interesting bit is the camera off course, on the next picture I've circled it with a very manly-coloured arrow ->
There you go, Its a web-cam, saletaped onto a lamp. Only cost me something like ten pounds, truly wonderful when you dont have a proper camera all set-up on a tripod. Genius suggested this, so I can't take any credit. He also suggested I use MonkeyJam free stop motion software. The only thing missing in that program is onion-skin, but we could live with that.

So the next stage we proceed with the film-making. ..

Here goes the first step. And a yummy one indeed. You start from a scratch. Not CG, where it's calculated, not even a well-storyboarded traditional medium, here you have a canvas and you make the first step. Like chess. It gave me butterflies in the stomach for a moment.

However characters have existed long before the start (as always). (But as the sketches can't be scanned in at home, will have to show you some other time).

The little fox, also known as Dee or just Black Fox is really like a little innocent picture you see before you go to sleep. (Actually the whole Coffe Film is like that). Some children grew up watching winnie the poo, or the muppets, or the clangers... or what-have-you.... the truth is that you never forget about them. I suspect all my characters in this film came from exactly that dreamy innocent nostalgia.

...And true love for coffee.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Taking to blogging like an oxygen-hungry fish would take to water, with desperation and somewhat greed and later pleasing satisfaction. Confuzzled as to where to begin...

For the sake of rationality and sanity lets try and divide our blogging plan into several different sections. Here's first attempt.

Projects, in terms of what's on now and what I didn't discuss, projects I do in my spare time, classes I take, side-interests, including technical stuff, research and pieces of work that don't really belong to a production. Also there should probably be a section on something less visual like thoughts about my dissertation. Likely to include information from a range of different subjects.

So here Is a list and I will cross over the bits when they are done. A bit like a shopping list maybe.

1. The 11 seconds Club. - Production process, thoughts, concept art.
2. The experimental project, stop-frame with sand - concept work, thoughts, prod. report, stills.
3. Life drawing classes, not just random, but to show how things have developed. Even if I hate to do this.
4. CG? Discuss the interesting bits from seminars, state your opinion, add some research if necessary.
5. What's going on in the world? Seriously. Update!!!, bitch
6. Post-production project - state what it is we're aiming at, show work in progress
7. Pre-production project - discuss
8. What is there to script? Little bits de la bobs of programming.

Ok. This is mainly for my use, so IF confused DO ignore this post

oh and P.S. here's a link to a real girl's jewelery catalog.

Friday, 15 January 2010

"Collaboration project"

The idea of this project (as soon as we came back from the Christmas holidays) was to "take us out from the winter stupor" by giving us what essentially was 3 days intense studio work between ourselves and (more importantly) the writers.

The Guinea Pig approach on Andy's behalf has actually worked well: making the writers work with us helped to 1. give us a kick 2. practise different roles within a group 3. realise that writers actually exist.

The main aim:

writers must come up with a story, we suggest, collaborate, bounce ideas off each other and grant them that in the space 72 hours it will magically make into animatic.

Then we WORK on it...

Here is the report:

1.What was it about?


Taken from the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, its in a way a comedic re-make. In terms of the genre (we were given Dramatic Narrative) it was interesting to play with this particular story as it lacks some of the basic traditional story-telling elements (like beginning and end). It does not prove of disprove any moral codes of the time it was written in. It has clear “bits” missing from the main protagonists personality (or “character”) hence its hard to tell the motives of their (her, Goldilocks) behavior. For example, what made her come into the house and start inspecting it? We
don't get any information on her background, or where she comes from, etc. As a story it didn't meet certain criteria of a classic faery tale narrative. Not intending to fill these gaps we just had “a play around” with the story, twisting and turning the events to make it (hopefully) funny.

The new story summary follows:
1.Goldilocks (who is now being transformed into a Hollywood type-attractive sexual stereotype of a young woman) is lost in the middle of the Alps. By accident she stumbles upon a lonely cabin and decides to let herself in.
2.To her surprise she finds the interior of the place very modern, facilitated with kinds of things you usually find in a night club or a bar.
3.She again helps herself to one of the three ready-made cocktails (hinting to the possible number of characters to show up and to the likely lack of time before they arrive), tries to sit down in one of the three armchairs, soon discovers a door to sauna, takes a towel from a rail and enters the it. Again, Goldilocks three times adjusts the temperature before satisfied.
4.Meanwhile other characters being three gay bears Julian, Horatio and Gunther come back from a skiing trip and discover someone definitely been messing about in their place, one notices that his towel is missing.
5.They enter the sauna where Goldilocks already made herself much too comfortable, are stunned for a moment . She is shocked too as she sees the three silhouettes of bears staring at her with a wild expression.
6.Instead of attacking Goldilocks or chasing her away the bears suddenly decide that she should stay for the night's party. After all she does have amazing looking hair/cool nails...

2.What was your role?

Originally it was suggested that I should be the designer. Personally it suited me fine although I probably would prefer other roles under different circumstances. An animator for example.

3. What did you previously know about the role and did you do any research?

I knew the designer is responsible for the final look of the film and can probably be called “the visual director”. I didn't do much research as there wasn't enough time for it. When working in a small group you have to compromise and sometimes take on different roles, no solid model of a role is strictly followed.

4. Did you think the role played to your strengths?

Yes. I can draw extremely fast and people seem to like my visual style. Hence being able to have extra time to go through other peoples' work and give it a touch of my style.
However I didn't think there was enough time to supervise the look of every shot as it should have been done.

5.How did the team work together?

To me the team worked pretty well together, but not everyone was happy with their role. The producer in particular is an odd one for having to be flexible, sometimes harsh and having to multitask. People coped with extra responsibility outside their normal artistic role but found it a bit strangling. The hardest of all was getting things done on time, but is always a bit of a problem in any production. We didn't have a real timetable to follow but enough people were enthusiastic and hardworking, able to push themselves to go that “extra mile”.
Communication within our team seemed reasonable, majority of cases we were able to pass jobs to each other quickly. People were ready to do more things when having a little extra time gap.
All in all we worked fast and did a good job. Even though some of us seem to have lost enthusiasm at the end when having to rush things.
The writers remained very open to suggestions and worked well and hard on their part.

6.Did anything not go according to plan?

Yes. Underestimated the number of things to be done. Hence were a little too relaxed in the beginning and rushed at the end. From the technical point of view didn't allow the extra time just for errors to be fixed. Struggled a lot with having to render the final animation out which usually is a quite straightforward process.

7.What went well?

Most definitely had a lot of fun in the very beginning (day 1) when having to pick a story and assign the roles. It was very pleasant to work with the writers on the whole. The designs of the characters on Jake's and my behalf were (to me) well done too, the storyboard artist made fantastic clear shots to work from in a very little time.

8. .How did you find it working with the writers?

On the one hand its always a bit of a “cat in a bag” having to work with people you don't know, on the other it makes you learn to adapt to different situations better. Our writers were very open to any alterations in the scenario, pleasant and seemed to like working with us. I am very pleased that they didn't get carried away with the plot and kept everything reasonably simple yet witty. They were also very enthusiastic and easy to communicate with.

9.Did you enjoy the project?

Yes It was a nice project on the whole. Loved meeting new people. Loved drawing a lot of pictures.

10.What did you learn?

To allow time for errors mainly. I learned that you will always be five minutes short no matter what your project is. Therefore its better to be prepared for the unexpected as well as to preempt the expected.

11.Would you like to collaborate with the writers in the future?

Most certainly will consider involving them in my own practice as well as suggesting the same thing to other people. You can never be an extra pair of hands short.
Off course the writers too create an extra “dimension” to the animation by adding to it from the new perspective.