Some Grey matter for "A Grey Matter"!


Notice anything different with this post?  Maybe when you dispose of this window it'll flush into the ether clockwise instead of the usual anti-clockwise?  Yes that's right, I've switched hemispheres!  Smell the maple syrup on my breath?  That's right, i'm in Canada!  Yesiree, arrived in Vancouver a week ago :-).  I've always wanted to do a stint in Canada, so here I am, exciting stuff!  Between freelance work and a job hunt my short film will still roll along.  Check out some new prop action I've been working on:

You should totally view this full screen, it'll really - expand - your - mind! Badaboom!  :-P

So here's some development on a very important prop - a rather large brain in a jar!  It's not called a grey matter for nothing :-).  I had a lot of fun designing this fella, playing with little bit of a symbolic maze type look with the tendrils over his surface.  Also designing in hard(ish) edges on a primarily round object was also an interesting challenge and fine line to tread.  So not quite final yet but feel pretty good about the progress thus far!

This brain is also my first ever Mudbox model!  Really like using Mudbox, would love to do more sculpting just for fun.  Was an obvious choice to bring this guy into Mudbox, modelling all those tendrils would have been a nightmare!  Getting a technique for rendering liquid in my style has also been a really big challenge - a fancy sim seems like the obvious option but keeping things simple and hand made is the name of the game, so this technique (literally using two bits of geo Booleaned) seems to work much more.  Gotta bring out that top surface a little more and then I'll be laughing (at the moment I'm only giggling in a restrained fashion, much like a japanese schoolgirl).

A massive thanks to Daniel Phillis who helped out with some of the water effects using his Houdini magic.  What a champ!



Long time between posts is forgiven with the presence of a monkey.

Howdy ho dude meisters!

D'oh it's been a while since my last post!  Only one way to remedy this, behold my friends - a fresh steamy update!

Progress on my short is trundling along slowly but surely!  Check out blocking on a new shot here:

Jeepers this frog is really fun to animate, getting into the skin of  a cheery simpleton seems eerily comfortable to me :-P.  So I hope this piece is pretty clear - he's noticing himself in the mirror for the first time, confusion then playfulness eventuate :-D.  All the hard work on this rig is definitely paying off!  I'm open to crits if anything catches anyone's eye!

Here's a little project I got sidetracked with:

I gave myself a bunch of restrictions to try and keep a simple efficient design style.  So the rules were:  1 - No editing CV's/Vertices, everything to be made from deformed primitives 2) No UV's required - all materials are procedural (just ended up using Fresnel effects and a little bit of Sub Surface Scattering.) 3) Keep the render time low (this frame took 7 seconds at 720P).  Pretty happy with the result, although I do reckon this design could be improved with a little bit of extra geometrical complexity, surprised how good it turned out through!  Spent about two and half hours on it from concept to completion.

Also, check out a TVC I worked on recently:


I animated a bunch of the characters in the middle shots.  Really enjoyed picking up some simple characters and throwing them around.  Some good lessons in simplicity of design, nice contrast to the complex monstrosity that is my own short!  :-P.

Cheerio fellas/ladies!


Schoolism caricature and a short film sample

Heya people of the interwebs!

Check out a sample of my short film "A Grey Matter":

Things are rolling along well and It's great to finally get the look locked down!

I thought I might also share one of my assignments from Jason Seiler's Schoolism course, here's my caricature of Forest Whitaker:

And the original reference photo:

I learnt some really great lessons here about colour.  He introduced me to the "complimentary split" colour scheme which is pretty much a simple pattern to follow on the colour wheel which limits your range and generally gives harmonious results.  Learnt some rad new Photoshop techniques too with basing all my tones on my bottom layer, and adding colours on a layer above with the "colour" blending mode - great way to separate your thinking and breakdown tones from colour.

If anyone out there is considering a Schoolism course, you can get bit of a discount with this promo code:  c8z7w

Cheerio playas!



A frog, a pheonix and a large nose.

Howdy ho world!

Here's some progress on my short film "A Grey Matter":

This is the second character in my short film "A Grey Matter", a simpleminded but relentlessly happy little frog :-).  So I'm still experimenting away with shaders and the final look but I'm honing in on something that I'm really happy with :-D.

In other news, here's a TVC I recently animated on:

I animated several of the shots featuring the large red pheonix :-D.  It was actually a really fun TVC to work on and if you check out the making of:  (http://cirkus.co.nz/blog/2012/03/giadinh-bank/)  you can see how much of the set was actually physically built out of paper.  Blends well I think!

In even more news, here's a recent assignment I submitted for Jason Seiler's Caricature class at Schoolism:

So here he's getting us to focus on values and restricted us to a monochromatic painting.  I'm really honing my eye to see finer details which is great and challenging.  The source photo was a "civilian" which is actually one of Jason's friends :-D.

Remember you can get a discount at Schoolism with this promo code!:  c8z7w

Spread the positivity folks!


Back to Schoolism! Caricature with Jason Seiler


I'm now in my third week of Jason Seiler's schoolism course (www.schoolism.com).  I've braved something quite different for me, as this course is quite technical and has quite a big painting element.  I'm learning loads already, especially about keeping the likeness there in conjunction to pushing those proportions.  Here's my Tom Hanks, my first assignment after Jason's suggestions.  He was a really difficult character to draw especially getting that touch of anxiety in his eyes.  Anyone looking for a discount at schoolism can pop in this Promo code:  c8z7w.  It'll give me a bit of credit for my next course too ;-).

In other news, a film I worked on last year has been released and has done the cinema run in most countries already.  We worked on the bird and bee chase sequence which was an absolute hoot.  Check out my updated reel to see some of the shots I worked on:  http://vimeo.com/23622337.  There was some interesting new challenges here for me as I'd never actually animated characters in conjunction with live action plates before.  If you see the second shot on my reel, it's actually got digital doubles of the actors, that swap to a live action plate and then back to digi doubles again in the same shot - quite tough!

Expect an update on my short film soon!  I'm just touching up the shader work on my frog character and I've also started animation.  Exciting times!!!



Life drawing level up!

Howdy people of the interwebs!  Ah my first post of the year, I've got a good feeling about 2012, big things will happen.  Not in an apocalyptic way either - good stuff, bound to happen.  Just wait and see ;-).

Well, better late than never, here's my last 7 "Art Workouts" for 2011 ;-)

Art workout 2011, Week 46 of 52

Art workout 2011, Week 47 of 52

Art workout 2011, Week 48 of 52

I did a two day life drawing workshop at the Maleny Arts Retreat which was fantastic.  Here you can see a bit of my progress - particularly in relation to lighting with charcoal.  The first one I've really emphasized getting a thicker, stronger outline on the contours that should be in shadow, also trying to keep a good amount of contrast around a specific focal point (the head).  The second pic I was really working on getting a nice tonal range overall and concentrating on matching shadow tones through the drawing.  The third one I've focused on getting my flat tone strokes to roll around the "tubes" of her body to get more of a sense of 3D volume.

Art workout 2011, Week 49 of 52

Here's my first ever watercolour painting!  Lot's of experimenting and feeling my way around here, but enjoyed the medium none the less.  There's some parts of this painting I like, but overall you can see my tentative approach hasn't quite worked.  I can tell a key aspect of learning water colours is to generate a lot of free flowing confidence and be open to the accidental randomness that occurs.  Defo will be playing with a lot more watercolour in the future!

Art workout 2011, Week 50 of 52

Popped out the old SLR for bit of a play after spotting this guy jumping around my herb garden pots.  I think maybe the pots are a great refuge for these little guys as the little frogs tend to get eaten by the great big toads we have around here :-(.

Art workout 2011, Week 51 of 52

Art workout 2011, Week 52 of 52

And last off here's some doodles I threw together at the WoodFord Folk festival at the end of last year.  Random inspirations from the many interesting characters wandering around.  Drawn with a Biro and I added a little bit of tone in Photoshop.  I usually stay away from most photoshop filters, but I have to say I quite like the "Splatter" filter - I find myself using it often to break up that CG look of many brushes, looks quite nice like colour leaping through the texture of paper.  Right on!