Monday, 3 December 2012

Work in Progress after Luis Cook Critique

On Friday I had my animatic reviewed by Luis Cook, director of The Pearce Sisters. The whole session was really useful in making my project better. The comments included that:

The film was a bit confusing and too complicated at points. As it's aimed at younger children, it needs to be much simpler, using a linear narrative.

  Perhaps there are too many characters? Maybe cut-out the toothfairies.

Tilly needs to learn from the actions that happen in the circus, when she enters there, she becomes the adult and knows what to do to solve the issue.

  I began reviewing my notes and wrote a review of the story, making it much more simpler, using elements from earlier story ideas and the current one.

  My current idea is as so:

Tilly is tucked up in bed, the shadow of her mother coming from the door is seen to the right hand side of her bed. Her mother wishes her goodnight and asks if Tilly has brushed her teeth. Tilly lies and says she has, despite the fact she hasn't. Her mother turns out the light and Tilly falls asleep. The circus glows a warm yellow light. A few moments later, the circus begins to beep and flash. Daniel pops up through a hologram asking Tilly to come to the circus immediately. Tilly jumps out of bed, winds the circus up and goes to the circus.

As she enters the Circus, Daniel welcomes her. They walk over to Mark who is cowering in pain, rubbing his cheek. Tilly asks what's wrong. Mark replies with that he has terrible toothache, Daniel interupts by saying there's a big performance tonight and Mark can't do it with toothache! Tilly questions why Mark has toothache, Martina, lurking behind Mark jumps forward and explains why Mark has toothache. Martina saw her brother consume 4 big bags of sweets and didn't brush his teeth! Mark, looking sad, admits it's true and wishes he hadn't done it. Tilly, suddenly jumps with an idea. Let's call Lionel, he'll know what to do!

The gang all shout for Lionel, who scoots in on his unicycle. Jumping off, he asks, what's the problem. Daniel explains Mark has toothache and can't perform with it tonight. Lionel puts on his dentist mask and gloves and has a look. Mark has a nasty green tooth in the back of his mouth. Lionel removes it, leaving Mark feeling instantly better, ready to perform later on. Daniel exclaims at the time, the gang run off to get ready for the show. The gang perform a fantastic show and have a great time. After the show finishes, Tilly says good-bye and is sent home. She wakes up the next day and heads into the bathroom to clean her teeth, having learnt her lesson from Mark.

The End.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Monday, 26 November 2012

Animatic Review and Edits

I've been working on the animatic ready for tomorrow's hand-in. I've continually worked on it and refined it making it smooth and easy to follow. I'm using the narration in the style of Thomas the Tank Engine, in that the narrator also does the character voices too. I've been working alongside Kylie Burrell, who has been working on various parts of the animatic with me.

First Review
 No narration/sound effects:

Second Review:
I narrated this myself, just get a feel of the pacing and timing. However I still felt the piece was too quick.

Third Review:
With narration from myself and Sound Effects.


 Fourth Review:
Now with the final Narrator (Thomas Coleman - and Sound Effects.

I'm going to add more bits of narration in, along with some fast-paced music during the  fight scene part. However I am currently pleased with the progress the animatic has made.

Sound Effects from

Saturday, 24 November 2012

BAF 2012 and WIP

I had a week away from uni, working at the 19th Bradford Animation Festival as one of the BAFettes there. This was my second year of volunteering. So it was great to see everyone from last year and meet some new people.

The festival itself is fantastic. There's always something going on, whether it be a talk, screening, premier of a film or even meet-and-greets with people from the industry. It's always lively, so we were always on our toes!

I was lucky enough to meet Christine Phelan from the game company Valve and have a little chat with her about University and showreels.  I was also very lucky and met Vivien Halas, daughter of John Halas of Halas and Batchelor as she collected the Lifetime Achievement Award for Halas and Batchelor. Along with this, I saw various screenings including Aardman Animator Will Beecher on animating The Pirate Captain in The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists! I saw a variety of other screenings too, which was great and made me feel completly inspired for this year. (It wasn't all screenings, I spent a lot of my time opening doors, running around the museum collecting people, checking tickets and setting up workshops!)

Anyway, back to work:

I changed the story again whilst I was away, based on the critique from the Pitch, the week previous. I re-wrote the script and re-designed the storyboards.
Although these are very rough, it was just get an idea of the story. I was very unsure of the ending, but decided with Kylie that once the tooth monster is destroyed, it becomes tiny toothfairies which fly off out of the cricus. The story now consists mostly of the circus instead, and promotes the medical side in a very mild, silly mannor. The idea of it being that the circus are performing, Mark steals some sweets from an audience member who happens to be a toothfairy. Outraged the toothfairy makes one of Mark's teeth fall out which then turns into a giant green tooth monster which over-runs the Circus. Tilly and the gang have to use their knowledge of teeth to destroy the monster. I finished the animatic when I got back, with help from Kylie. With a review from Helen, I needed to add the narration & character dialouge for it to run much more smoothly. The whole thing was also much too fast, so I needed to slow it down, especially for the audience I was promoting it for.

This is the first draft:

I'm currently working on the re-draft. I narrated it myself, however I have issued a narrator to do the voiceover for me along with the character voices. This should be done over the weekend and I can edit it into the final animatic along with sound effects.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tilly Waving Test

Working on a few tests on how to animate my piece. I've decided to use Flash, using the bone tool. I've done a few online tutorials, but I'm still getting the hang of it. The amazing puppet-style effect it produces is something I really wanted in my pieces, plus I can import texture layers in from Photoshop to layers in Flash.

Storyboards, Pitch Bible and Critique.

The name has been changed and is now called 'The Secret Circus'. I changed the name after feeling that although I like the idea of using 'Underground' to illustrate secrets and mystery, I decided as it's for younger children to use Secret.
Storyboards are pretty much complete. There's a bit of editing to do, adding more scenes etc to make it flow. However I feel these are almost finished.

My Pitch Bible is also something I have been working on recently. I've had a lot of useful crit on it and took this into account. The character pages changed from having simple pictures of the characters, to ones I created of them with more life. I added personal information about each character and their friendships. Although some characters have stronger friendship bonds than others, they all remain good friends in the series. I've also decided to use Photoshop paint texture and scanned texture to give more depth to the characters. Here are the character pages, line-up and synopsis which went into my pitch bible;

I also emailed two close friends, one is a mother to two small children, the other has a young Brother and Sister. I emailed my characters and asked for feedback from the children. This is what I got;

Tilly -
Rhys: good imagination, thinks she's a good girl as she's helpful to her friends. Think she looks bigger and older than 5!
Paige: likes her invests in balloons and hula hooping, but doesn't like her outfit and would rather see her in a polka dot dress with tutu skirt!
Ramone -
Rhys: very talented.
Paige: again likes his interests as very similar to her own (cookery and music). Very clever for juggling 17 balls and he looks perfect.
Mark -
Rhys: says he doesn't like that he seems greedy about cakes and sweets, but does like how he messes with his hair to make it perfect and shiny.
Paige: likes him doing his hair, but doesn't like his meanness to Daniel over butterflies.
Martina -
Rhys: Rhys himself doesn't like dancing to favourite music so this instantly means he dislikes martina.
Paige: loves martina as she said she's just like me dancing to my favourite music and climbing trees.
Daniel -
Rhys: loves his waistcoat and thinks he should make waistcoat for the rest of the circus. Thinks his fear of butterflies is very silly and it should be bees. Oh he also thinks he should fire mark for being mean to him.
Paige: thinks he's very clever for making such wonderful clothing, but butterflies are harmless and he shouldn't be scared of them.
Lionel -
Rhys: likes that he is a dentist and dr and looks after the health and well being of his friends, and reminds him of nanny because he likes a cuppa and a good book.
Paige: as she also enjoys reading thinks this is a good thing. Likes his medical input to the circus, makes him kind.
They would like to see what adventures Tilly has with her circus friends, and have mentioned a circus skills school, and scary Halloween performance and a show on the beach.

Jasmine liked Tilly. She said her name was pretty and she liked her hair and liked the picture of her hula hooping.

They both liked Ramone. They said he was really cute, but Jasmine wanted to know why he hadn't got 2 whiskers on both sides of his face.

They said Mark has 'funny hair', but more in a good way, than a bad way. They liked the picture of him with the cake, and Jonathan wants a t-shirt with a 'J' on it, like Mark's with the 'M'.

They liked Martina too. Jon said she looked like Mark, so I had to explain they were twins. Jasmine said her bobble was pretty. Jon said girls don't skateboard, so I explained to him that they can.

Jon thought Daniel was cute, and Jasmine especially liked his waistcoat.

They both thought Lionel was really cute, and liked his mane. Jasmine said the picture of him with the tea was cute. I also like him because he likes tea and books like me! :D

Friday, 19 October 2012

Draft Storyboard Sequence and story.

I created a quick storyboard sequence for critique from Frankie. This was just to get an idea of the main storyline and for any changes to happen before I create a final storyboard. A few panels need to be added to it to make a much more smooth flow of the story and for more humour to be added.

Tilly is about to go to sleep. She is tucked up in bed, holding a small white tooth in her hand, rolling it between her index finger and thumb.
Say Tilly what's that you go there?
Tilly holds out the tooth to the camera
Ah a tooth huh? Put it under your pillow and maybe the tooth fairy will pay you a visit!
Tilly smiles. The finger puppet of Mark catches her eye. He looks pained with a small red bump on his cheek.
Uh oh, look at Mark, he looks in pain. Let's go visit him and see what the problem is.
Tilly puts on the finger puppet of herself, closes her eyes tightly and is whisked down into the circus through a cloud of blue and glitter. She re-opens her eyes to find the gang standing around, smiling, whilst Mark caresses a large bump on the side of his mouth.
Mark? What's wrong? Have you got toothache?
Mark nods. The gang look up to see a small thought bubble appear from Mark's head. Along with the time (like a digital alarm clock) saying 7.00 AM and next to it Mark eating a sugary cereal. Another image below appears with 12.00PM and Mark feasting on sweeties and jam sandwiches. Next at 18.00, Mark gorging a large ice cream. The thought bubble pops.
Y'know Mark, a lot of sugary foods can be bad for your teeth!
Mark sulkily nods. Tilly walks over and shows the gap in her teeth.
That's right Tilly, you need to keep your teeth healthy so your big teeth can grow! Let's go see Lionel, he'll know what to do!
The gang wander to Lionel's office. Mark perches on a chair and Lionel takes a look inside. He pulls out a nasty looking green tooth. Lionel disposes of the tooth, making Mark feel much better.
(A small speech bubble appears by Tilly’s mouth with an illustration of a toothbrush and toothpaste)
That’s right Tilly, brushing your teeth everyday can help make your teeth big and strong. Sweeties and sugar can hurt your teeth. I guess Mark's learnt his lesson! Anyway it's time for bed, Tilly! Goodnight and Good-bye Gang!
 The gang wave at Tilly as she closes her eyes and whisks off back to bed.
Closing shot of Tilly, fast asleep in bed, finger puppet still on her finger. A small fairy flies in from the corner, reaches under her pillow and takes her tooth away.
The End.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Pitch. Before and After.

11/10/12.  - The Initial Pitch.
I pitched my idea to the group, explaining the story, characters biographies and personalities along with the style I am aiming for. I received critique from 3 of my tutors which I found extremely helpful, this included:

  • Why was Tilly going to the circus?
  • Is Tilly the main character?
  • What is the relevance of the underground and the circus? Why are they major locations?

I had tutorials with Andy, Kathy and Frankie. This helped me an incredible amount. Frankie influenced how the atmosphere makes everything in a small project, not only through characters, but narrative too. Kathy and I discussed about making a children's show not only suitable for young children, but also for parents and guardians watching too. It's also making it that little bit 'special' something that truly makes the animation or the narrative a little bit different from other television shows, having a 'spark' which made it different. Talking to Andy about my story meant I got a better idea of what children's television shows need to engage the viewer. At the same time, Andy reviewed my character designs and discussed posibly making this more for pre-school, yet still retaining the sillyness that I wanted to keep in. I began watching Cbeebies for inspiration and research, with shows including:

Tilly and Friends,

Woolly and Tig,


Get Well Soon,

Charlie and Lola,

64 Zoo Lane,

Taking inspiration from all these, (especially Pingu for the sillyness) I decided to change the story. It's still a work in progress, however I have the main narrative sorted.

New Story Synopsis:

Tilly is a young girl of the age of 5. She is obsessed with the circus. Her room is plastered with circus posters, wallpaper and toys. By her bedside table, she has a wooden circus set, which opens up (much like a Polly Pocket) with finger puppet animals to play with. She makes a finger puppet of herself, so she can join in with all the fun and pretend she is at the circus. One night before bed, she leaves the finger puppet of herself on. She falls asleep, but soon after wakes up from her slumber, only to find she's become part of the wooden circus! She is greeted by all the animals, who show her all the circus and let her have a go with their equipment, showing her how to juggle etc. She has a fantastic time, but Daniel, looking at the time, warns her it is time to go home. She falls asleep and wakes up  to find the finger puppet still on her finger and the playset as she left it.

The show is a series, in which each episode something new happens between the characters. Tilly is either the catalyst for things happening, or the one to help sort things out.

As the story is still in working progress, I haven't completly smoothed it all out, however I intend to get this sorted tonight.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Lionel Walk Test WIP

After having a tutorial with my tutor and discussing my ideas, it's been decided I need to influence my character's personalities and biographies. I thought I'd begin with Lionel, and decided to create a short walk test to illustrate his personality. I've decided to make him rather bouncy and happy. This is a simple walk just to illustrate how he would move. Work in Progress of Lionel's walk. Done in Adobe Flash.


Tilly Concept. The Underground Circus

This was a concept for the first idea of my story, in which Tilly is transported to the Underground Circus. Inspired by the A-ha video 'Take On Me', Tilly would be sucked from the monochrome world she currently lived in, to this 50's esque world filled with colour.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Underground Circus. WIP Typography.

Using 1950's inspired typography, I created this WIP typography in Illustrator for the main logo and titles of my animation. Beforehand I drew a few ideas in my sketchbook to give me an idea of what to create.

(no copyright infringement intended)

The Underground Circus. Concepts

Concept for Mark's Munching Molar;

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Underground Circus Story.

I have finalised the story for the piece I intend to create. Rather than starting from the beginning, I am going to jump straight in with my story and characters.

Mark's Munching Molar

The gang are celebrating a recent success with a show. Enjoying cakes, sweeties and other sugary foods. Mark becomes rather greedy and eats most of the food. As the gang continue through the day, Mark is seen drinking fizzy pop, indulging in chocolates and permitting himself to a rather large ice cream after dinner. As the gang prepares for bed, Mark passes them by as they brush their teeth. Martina and Ramone express to him the importance of dental hygiene, however, Mark's ignorance becomes his downfall. Mark experiences a long night of painful toothache. In the morning, when he wakes, a large green molar resides in the back of his mouth. He visits Lionel (who I have created not only as a performer but now as a practicioner in Dentistry and Medicine, having a Ph.D in Dentistry and Medical Sciences - University currently unknown) Lionel takes a look, in a comedic Chuck Jones style in which Lionel finds a spanner, lego and various other items in Mark's mouth. A live-action shot of going into Mark's mouth to find a rather angry looking green tooth at the back of his mouth. Lionel gently pulls this out. Mark from then on is careful of the food he consumes and looks after his teeth. The End. There will be no dialouge, however I intend to narrate it using a male 1950's-esque voice. A concept sketch of my idea;

The current work in progress;

Concepts & Background Ideas.

Working mostly on Concepts at the moment, both of characters and backgrounds, establishing the style I wish to achieve.
After Crit from a tutor, I have decided to make my work much more detail, adding small bits of detail to make the backgrounds more interesting to look at. So far I am pleased with the characters, I am going to focus more of colour schemes and detail using various brushes/pens both digitally and traditionally.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

3rd year project!

Start of the the third year, my project is based on my second year project 'The Underground Circus'. All of the characters have undergone a redesign, as have the backgrounds. I've begun incorporating a slight Mary Blair style of design to my work.
I've also been working on another project, providing concept art based on the Norse Mythology of Loki's children, Hel, Fenrir and Jörmungandr. This is them as children;

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Red or Dead

So some animated backgrounds for the Red or Dead project, using the Red or Dead prints.

The Prince Sequence too for the final animation done in silhouettes;

Friday, 11 May 2012

Suzie Pea final

I'm currently working on the Third year project, Suzie Pea.
I've just finished the sequence I was working on, after critique, I've changed and tweaked a few issues. The background has had to be removed under instruction. Here's the finished product:

Boat Scene YesYesNo

Boat Scene (half finished) for our YesYesNo project.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Muchos Animation!

A completly delayed animation blog, however I've been pottering on with animation work. A few of the Yes Yes No scenes are now completed, hurrah! They're posted below. I've also been working on the 3rd year project Suzie Pea In which I created puppets, backgrounds and props for the characters. I've just started animation in which I've finished the primary animation for that, I am just awaiting a few more components just to polish it.

Yes Yes No Bar Scene - Opening shot.(Pirate animated by Luke, then compiled together)
Yes Yes No - "Ooh Yes!" Betty Scene (Pirate by Luke again) Frightened Man Scene

I'm really enjoying using Flash, I'm currently working on one of the ending sequences which should be finished soon. The Suzie Pea scene I created is the Dolphin Scene. It's a bit laggy and needs tweaking. I also am awaiting eyes/mouths for the chracters however here's what I've completed so far;


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter update!

Hurrah! It's Easter! I've been working on the backgrounds for the Red or Dead brief we've been issued. I decided it would be much easier to recycle a few of the backgrounds for our project for various scenes.

The Palace (the bike race & the Prince's return/the Indian's escape)

The Princess' balcony.

The Palace

The Wedding Scene 
(kept simple as the characters will become silhouette puppets at this point)
I'm going to keep working on them, smarten them up a bit etc.

I've also been working on the Yes,Yes,No project, animating scenes. Work still in progress, hopefully a render out soon!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Red or Dead

A new project, designing a small advertisement for the Red or Dead fashion brand. The aspect of their brand we're looking at are the bikes. We've been given the task of promoting the bikes using a 30-60 second animated advert to the story of 'The Enchanted Horse' from the Arabian Nights tales. The brief entitles us to as much freedom as we like, so long as we stick to the Red or Dead brand, The Enchanted Horse story and to try and make it feel as punky and kitsch to promote the style of Red or Dead. Our group has begun discussing ideas, we've decided to work with the very kitsch-punky feel to Red or Dead and develop it. As Art Director of the project, I've begun looking into the style of Red or Dead via their website for preliminary research;

From there began looking through Vogue, and various other fashion/homeware catalouges for inspiration. I've also been looking at various advertisements and textures.

Some advertisements I found particulary inspiring were that of a Carolina Herrera advert, promoting children's wear.

(c) Copywrite Carolina Herrera - As seen in Vogue, Oct 2011.
I found the composition interesting, with an incredibly busy area surrounding the children, along with the books promoting a serious, intellectual atmosphere, yet this is pushed aside with the playful atmosphere of the hand-made tents and bunting surrounding the children. 

(c) Mulberry - As seen in Vogue Oct 2011
I was also inspired by the Mulberry advert, in which the model is within a world of giants. There's a strange eerie-ness to it which I hope I can achieve with our piece. 

I began working and using the research I had found, I decided to begin working on a small collage piece. I scanned in fabric samples, which primarily consisted of clothes and decorative pillowcases.

Here's what I created so far:

The grass is created using a green base with texture brushes on top. I lowered the opacity down and varied the shade. 
I'm currently tempted to keep the white within the bike spokes. I feel this enhances the bike, especially as the background is quite loud. 

Monday, 27 February 2012

YesYesNo - more background designs.

More background work for the YesYesNo project. This is for the seagull's bell ringing scene
And for the fight scene on the boat, a simple design so other factors can be incorporated and not to distract the viewer from the fight itself