Thursday, 31 October 2013

Animatic - Ext Graveyard Sequence

I'm working on the more refined storyboard... which are really the cells for the animatic. I wanted to get an idea on what style the team are happy with... my original animatic wasn't very telling of the action though I had coloured it in and so on. This time the facial expressions, timing and actions are more important then making it look filmic for the animatic so I want to invest the time into getting the movements and expressions right through line... You'll see in this little snippet here.. detail where it's needed. Once I have all the cells and I've made a really rough animatic... the real work begins. Finesse the edit!

"& Son..." - environment concepts part 2

In an attempt to knit together the environment and characters, and to demonstrate the way the theatre box could work, I've mocked up a very rudimentary box in Maya and some back-cloths in the different styles we have been looking at. 
Thoughts please... :)

Video Logs: The Draft Animatic

Hello Everyone,

This post is once again about Sammy's draft Animatic which you would have already seen by looking at this post here. There have since been updates reaching the conclusion of the final storyboard draft which can be located here. Of course I felt that a little explanation is in order and of course a little snippet of Sammy working in premiere putting the still images together. So in the interest of clarity and to show a little more behind the scenes development I thought I would knock up a little video, and do a post showing where we were and where we are going.

Since starting these little logs I have acquired quite an amount of behind the scenes video so I am trying to use it to educate a little (or not at all). This is my promise to myself more then anything but I think I would have loved to have known how to do all of this a few years ago. The documented video for this post is quite short but I figure the shorter it is the quicker people with short attention spans can move on. These are all Sammy Butler's developments for the story of "& Son" I have included a snippet from her prior Unit 4 work all the way back in Year 1...

So take a look the essence of this story is still here after all!

The video above shows a bit of the editing Process with Polydoodle Pictures Sammy Butler. She is working in premiere putting all of those stills in one by one. The next stage in the process is drawing over them but we will get there. I thought I would just go over it a bit before revealing Sammy's already released initial draft. I think it is Act 1 just leading on to Act 2 right before the second prank from Benjamin. In this case though I have to say we have avoided the "little shit" territory we previously found ourselves at with his character.

Video Logs: "& Son" Tutorials - Week 5

Hello Everyone,

Another week gone and nearly another too! Things are heating up, we are looking to finalize our turnarounds and some expression sheets by the end of this week. There are costume and colour tests well on their way from us so keep your eyes peeled! We are using a really cool light box process which I got from the first Iron Man movie so Ill post up a little Intel on that when ready. We have quite a bit of work cut out for us still but I'm hopeful that most of the little odds and ends of our project will sort themselves out by the end of this week... We can get down to some concept art and maybe begin the Pre-Viz.

The audio logs for Week 5 only include Alan as Phil had a Crit with the Year 1 class. I spent the rest of the day helping Sammy stick down storyboards on her wallpaper (sorry I mean storyboard). Alan gave a few last minute pointers with regard to its direction and optimization of some of the panels. Sammy retroactively changed the storyboards to suit some of Alan's suggestions in the hope of making the story simpler in certain areas. There is no doubt in my mind that she is probably home right now inking up those boards for some inspiring animatic... Cant wait.

Clothing reference material

Clothing references for Benjamin and Young Barnabas...these are  English and from the right time periods & class. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Animation Branding

In preparation for our shirt I needed to get a final Logo for the animation it's self. From my Font tests we established which font to go with which I've now taken forward and made a little mock up sign for the Funeral shop front.

A mock up for our shirts (we'll each have our own preference in style and colour)

Benjamin's Build-up

I needed to have a practice drawing Benjamin from Chrissie's designs for the animatic so I thought I'd break him down into the shape build-up.

1. I drew over Chrissie's design
2. I used circles and lines to build up his structure and features
3. Check it looked ok without the sketch behind
4. Then used it to draw Benji again to see if I got the same character at the end
5. Yup

The main test comes when I have to move the build-up into a new position...

1. I had to create a new head shape but I could use the original as reference for proportion. 
2. Drew over the new build-up
3. Then added in a few details... 

A few tweeks needed but I can use it for the Animatic at least :D

"And Son..." VERY ROUGH Barnabas face sketches

After talking with Justin about hereditary features, these are very rough sketches of Barnabas looking at face shape, ears and eyes and how they could be transferred between father and son.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Rough Storyboard Complete

Tomorrow I start work drawing these up neatly for the creation of our animatic. Mounting these up on boards really helped plot the story because we had everything in front of us in order to follow the story and see where it might be lacking... That stage is complete now so we can move onwards. (Note: Scene 2 also has some alteration about angles but the actions play out the same.)

"& Son..." - revised Benjamin sketches

After a chat with tutor Justin, I have made some revisions to the Benjamin sketches.

Firstly Justin felt the black mourning outfit needed breaking up.  There are restrictions on our colour palette because of the narrative, so I have kept to a range of greys. The red-and-white bow tie is necessary to the story.
Justin also felt the original boots were "wrong": too stubby and rounded, so I have revised these using reference material.
Justin suggested making the coat tails long to help make Benjamin's clothes look too large, but I'm not sure about this, I think it makes it a bit too comical. 

The second set of sketches show revised faces now that we have settled on a face with widely spaced eyes, large low ears, and a wide forehead.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Video Logs: The Draft Storyboards

Hello Everyone,

This last few weeks have been a testament to our development of this project. I took this time to sit back and dig into a few hours of the footage which I have gathered specifically from Polydoodle to get another nice Doodler update for this blog and of course the 365 day project site ( After sitting down with Sammy at the end of Week 3 she took some time out to talk through the draft panels of our animated short for Q2 2014 "& Son". I thought I would capture this on my trusty camera although she was not very appreciative of its gaze.

After sitting down with Sammy she talked us through her vision for each shot, which she relayed on each storyboard panel. Chrissie and me were gobsmacked when checking out how long the storyboard was... Sort of put my 2012 "Ashen Bloom" Smoke Stack exploit to shame. Never the less the delicate nature of our short is what requires an abundance of shots for a simple gaze or tilt of the head can mean everything in this particular short. This is something we have all agreed on after discussing this over the past 4 weeks with our Tutors Alan and Phil.

Anyway lets check out the video with commentary from an invading Stitch!

The video above is based entirely on our first draft storyboards. I wanted this mainly so when we are sitting around at Week 15 wiping the sweat from our brow we can look back at this for some nostalgia. It is not only to show how far we have come but also to somewhat explain the storyboarding process for people who have yet to come to grips with its benefits. I do let my introduction trail off throughout the video just to let Sammy explain a couple of details in the short, things you will see come Q2 2014 next year should they make the final edit.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Video Logs: "& Son" Tutorials - Week 4

Hello Everyone,

Apologies for the delay on these logs! Stuff has been getting real particularly with the 365 day project ( Most of this week has been looking at the videos I got from some really receptive CG Arts students. I have begun doing a little editing, nothing major as of yet the big unveil wont be until next year. Rest assured nobody has been seen in bad light this far so nobody panic about what they did or did not say. If they went on and on or kept everything brief. It does not matter, these videos are a snapshot of you now... nothing more, nothing less!

The talk of this week has been more about refining our animatic and storyboards, all of which are on their way. I have personally been involved doing character stuff, just making sure we explored everything with enough scope. Character costumes are the next thing up for debate what will then follow will be colour choices. I just want to play with a couple of ideas before we get into the concept art stage of things. Chrissie has been doing the same thing, getting her hands dirty with more character stuff... The environments will come after this round of decisions.

Pre-Production: Main Characters - Head Tests

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for the delay but these heads took a bit of time to knock up. I wanted to make sure I wasn't repeating myself too much so I was trying a couple of different tactics to create them. That being said I gave myself some rules to follow when knocking up the young Barnabas as I wanted to keep it similar to the adult version of Barnabas. I also wanted to convey these curls of hair that could be optional for the adult Barnabas when he loses his strict "all work and no play" philosophy. I have to say I had fun knocking up the heads it was a good learning experience!

I have also been playing quite a bit with the father "Bernard Barnabas" mainly because he's the cause of such rigidity within Barnabas. The girls wanted me to shift an expression of Anger onto Bernard which is something I'm still refining, I accidentally keep making them look oriental. Suffice to say when I sit down to knock out expression sheets I will be looking constantly at my expressions book. You may also note that Barnabas and Benjamin start later in their alphabet, that's because there were earlier posts depicting facial possibilities... The links are here and here!

 Now lets get to the fun part of the post... THE HEAD TESTS!!
The image above shows the head tests I conducted for Benjamin. These basically continue from M and are a little jumbled but I figured as long as the letter is there it doesn't matter. The girls gave no opinions on these but I quite liked Q. S was a very close second mainly because I loved the curly locks. I wasn't sure if these curls were something we were showing on Benjamin before or after his Fathers adjusted personality but never the less I couldn't resist trying out lots of things with his hair. I also tried a few slight feature adaptations, I kept making the eyes progressively bigger with the forehead for example!

Monday, 21 October 2013

"And Son..." - Barnabas shaping

right - early Barnabas concept
middle - Barnabas drawn to our model proportions, before decisions were taken on shoulder size and aging
left - lightly re-sized Barnabas with younger face

"And Son..." - Benjamin in Funeral Clothes - concepts

The Storyboard

Over the last few weeks we've been really focusing on getting the story just right. The balance is really delicate between what's going 'too far' at a funeral and making sure the audience can read the character's motivations. I've been drawing rough storyboard cells which we put up on a board so we could go through and physically see the story and how it flows.. take out cells and replace them or leave it, see what is missing from the story etc. We've made quite a few changes from the first draft of the script and even at this early stage in the storyboarding the final story is coming together nicely.

I put together a really quick animatic to get a feeling for the timing. This only features the first two scene which have been altered slightly since I made this as well.

As I work on the ending to the last prank and the last scene, here are the Storyboard cells thus far. Once the story in more final I'll create more refined digital cells to take forward into an animatic. The key changes you might notice are the reactions and responses to the pranks. These alterations help the characters' development, build up the tension and also make it a little more funny.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Pre-Production: "Barnabas" Experimentation

Hello Everyone,

Its a late one but only because I had to get all of this stuff out of various sketch books as I have been drawing absolutely everywhere over the last few days. My exploits began in my IPAD as I am ever vigilant that doodling on a mobile digital medium is the bomb. That being said it was significantly quicker once I got back to my sketchbook and started firing out lots of quick ideas. I used a caricature book to study certain nose types and facial types. This made me consider a number of ideas for Barnabas drawing a little inspiration from Sammy's Original...

I will warn everyone now that a lot of these sketches make Barnabas younger then Sammy's original I guess I was going for a younger father figure but if not some could be adapted for the child Barnabas... That's if any of them are liked... I just wanted to have a little play with the character (hence why this is called Experimentation). I get that my style is vastly different from this project that being said I still would like to have some influence over the features... I do that best in the free hand sketch medium so I did lots of doodles and have posted my favourites below!

Enjoy the doodles and please let me know if any jump out!

The image above shows 6 facial tests that I conducted on the IPAD. I just wanted to play with features here, I wanted to see what would happen if I made the head bigger, made the eyes smaller. Shrank the head, strengthened the chin, weakened the chin, etc, etc. I didn't want to give up with just some basic ideas. I didn't start trying to change the nose significantly because I kind of liked the thinner nose... Still I explored the alternate in the next row of sketches and found something I liked even more... If I'm honest I liked E but that would only work as a child... Note the size of the head and eyes!

Pre-Production: The Form Army - Final Forms

Hello Everyone,

I meant to post this the other day but I don't know I had a bad day, first in a while actually so apologies for the delay on these. When I went into university Tuesday I sat down with Sammy and Chrissie as they debated the final 2 3D forms for Bernard and Young Barnabas. I stayed well out of it and checked out their final choices. Before I went in I lined up an entire Army of alternates for Benjamin and Barnabas as to make Barnabas's father and Young Barnabas. Allowing them to see and rotate around the 3D forms in Maya I felt helped them make a more informed decision.

As nice as it is seeing forms head on you are merely experiencing them flat. To be able to rotate round them tells you something about their construction and form. It even tells you something about how they look in perspective which is valuable information for concept art. Anyway after they made their decisions I lined everything up and they scaled the sizes of the characters. We didn't think it would be wise to keep Benjamin huge. After that I went home and knocked up a couple of images before tanking out in bed... The delay came the day after and I been picking myself up since...

Anyway the forms are here now so take a look at the final choices!!

We started out with what I like to call the Form Army... There were 20 variants of Benjamin's final form and 20 variants of Barnabas's final form. This not only allowed them to choose Bernard and Young Barnabas's forms but it also allowed Chrissie and Sammy the option of changing our chosen forms for Barnabas and Benjamin with one of the others. I wasn't against anything here as I knew the forms were sound just slightly deviated from each other... I didn't rock the boat too much on these alternates just to keep the form and character feel intact.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Pre-Production: "Benjamin" Rough Sketches

Hello Everyone,

Its been an interesting few days but eventually I have gotten there. This post is going to be all about Benjamin sketch wise... Its also going to be the last post dedicated to him. I still have Barnabas and Bernard to have a little play with. Not also counting the stylisation methods I have to try and adopt for the concept phase. There is also the environment stuff which will be happening this week so I will probably have my hands quite full. In other news I have also been posting over on the 365 day project site ( and my own personal blog

Things have been getting quite busy so I have been getting work in here and there and then posting it in about 3 different locations ha-ha. Anyway this post is the last in the sketching phase for Benjamin. Our lecturer Phil confirmed our art directors (Chrissie Peters) style for Benjamin so these sketches are kind of moot now but I thought they should be posted so it doesn't look like I been sitting on my hands. I do see the contrast of these sketches to Chrissies very British style so I totally get it. I guess I have to try and learn a bit of this style which will be interesting for conceptual purposes...

Anyway I did all of these sketches on my IPAD over a bit of last week :)

The image above shows Figures A - H which is actually the opposite order of when they were created. F, G & H were actually the first and were done very roughly and quickly before I had even met to discuss art with my creative partners. I drew these just to get the idea of drawing younger kids. Dennis the Menace was the inspiration I also did these based on the notion that Benjamin was a teen, this has since been changed... I knocked up A from looking at the Z Sphere form posed (its actually based on Pose 2 of Benjamin's pose test post here.) I based the heads (B-D) on the head of A.

"and Son..." - early Barnabas/Benjamin draft

Sammy's original Barnabas drawings are great and it's hard to deviate from them.  I've tried to soften his face and make him more sympathetic as he is now a kind character, and some wear and tear to his face as he is grieving.
I've matched some features between the two characters to indicate the family resemblance, notably the eyes, ears and feet.

"And Son..." - Influences for Barnabas and Family Dynamics

I have been looking at father-son images trying to catch the dynamic between a dysfunctional father-son relationship.  Most images are stock photos, and whilst they use exaggerated actions to suggest emotion they do not actually capture it in their expressions.
We don't want an exaggerated over-obvious statement between our characters, everything is conveyed with  subtle, natural glances, so I will be life-drawing this week!

Outfits for Barnabas are simple to find - funeral directors have not changed their traditional dress since Victorian times!

"And Son..." - More rough Benjamin poses

The Mother's Song

Possible songs to represent the mother. We discussed, with Tutor Phil, the idea of a song that represented the mother and her happy life philosophy. Something like 'Smile' but of the era... We're now in the search for the right one. Here are a few I've found that could work. A few of these are the cheery disposition songs and others are songs that might have been the mother and father's 'song'.

Some of the lyrics don't start till mid way through... be patient because their all beautiful!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Video Logs: "& Son" Tutorials - Week 3

Hello Everyone,

The tutorials for week 3 are up and not too late it being the early hours of Sunday. I know I previously said that I would post these up on the Fridays of our tutorial but I have decided against it due to activity over on the 365 Day Project site ( Basically I have been doing a regular "Doodler" update over on the website and I do an image grab from posts of the week, I also provide our tutorial audio files. For simplicity I decided to move it all to the end of the week so I can post the audio logs here and then on the 365 day project site... Only a 2 day delay!

There have been quite a few posts up on here and while I haven't got everything done that I wanted to I still have make quite a bit of a dent. This week I will begin the planning the environment planes for our short but before that I just want to get some character stuff out of my system. Most of you know by now that environments are not my forte so this will be interesting to attempt. Anyway tutorials of this week were handy we all know our animatic is the key to this short. The Pre-Viz is mainly to encapsulate basic character/camera movement... We got a lot ahead of us!

Pre-Production: "Bernard" 3D Form Variants

Hello Everyone,

Another update but more of an extension from the previous post. This post is about primitive forms (characters at a base level). Bernard is the father of our father character "Barnabas". He is only going to be appearing in a brief flashback which will require a basic rig... I'm not going to be pulling my hair out over this rig. Anyway these forms are to show a slight deviation in form to the son Barnabas. I still wanted Bernard to be a little imposing which is probably why I kept lots of his forms tall. I tried to implement a bit of a gut to differentiate him further.

Sammy (the director of this project) wanted to keep the form differentiation slight from the Young Barnabas to Benjamin from the Older Barnabas to Bernard. I tried to keep changes minimal but I also wanted to differentiate the forms to tell them apart visually. Moving a shoulder an inch or two is hardly noticeable, these are the final 20 forms so why not exaggerate to see if anything amazing happens. My creative partners Sammy and Chrissie will talk with me or post comments below these posts to pick their favourite choices. Of course I will make my picks throughout this post!

So lets get stuck in to some Bernard forms... Let me know the verdict!

The image above shows Bernard's forms 1 - 5. In the early stages as per usual the top forms are usually very close to the original design. I tend to start not adventuring too far in the beginning. I later load up other ZBrush forms previously created and adapt them slightly to create a moving design. This is usually why the later designs get interesting. Of these ones Form 4 is probably my favourite, I like the podgy belly and the fact that the father is leering below Barnabas a bit... The frame is near identical but the flabby belly could be attributed to Benjamin...

Pre-Production: "Young Barnabas" 3D Form Variants

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for the delay on these forms, I have been getting a bit carried away with drawing by doing my usual thing of taking years to refine them. One day I'll learn. Anyway this post is basically looking at the form of the young Barnabas. To do this accurately I decided to post it with our chosen Adult Barnabas and Benjamin Forms. I have only adjusted the designs ever so slightly for each form as I did not want them to be too diffuse... They also have to be similar to the adult and young Benjamin forms. Ladies, let me know what you think when you take a gander :)

For those of you that do not know we have a small flashback sequence in our short to when Barnabas is little and he's being yelled at by his dad. This means there is a small section for 2 extra character models... Sammy said I could just change the textures but lets face it that's not my style. Instead I have opted to create 2 extra basic characters, adapting them from the father and son like I have done here. This will mean that the Benjamin model will eventually also become young Barnabas and Barnabas will eventually also become Barnabas's old man "Bernard".

Lets run through these adjusted forms briefly! Yippikay!!!

The image above shows forms 1 - 5. Form 1 is probably the closest to the original Benjamin model. I just made sure I gave him a thinner waste so you could see the form translate to his adult form. Forms 2 - 4 were fundamentally made by increasing the length of his legs and trying to thin those down. I also tried adapting his physique a little more to cross over to the adult. Form 5 was a bit of a change as I started shrinking his arms and broadening his head back out. Part of me thinks Form 4 was the most successful for combining the two characters.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Concept Art - Mother's Chair

I have been thinking about the mother's chair and how important it is for it and the area around it to feel empty with only an essence of the women who once sat there. This is what I imagine it to sort of be like at the moment...

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Story Arcs

We discussed in our tutorial with Alan last week about the arcs within our story, how to have the happy and the sad mix together and also the character development of our main characters through-out the narrative too. I've put together how I estimate these two arcs to look on a graph. When we have our animatic I'll repeat the exercise with timings (as I know this graph is off) and with more detail. It's not vital but it is a visual aid for the team and I to see the narrative in a more technical way.

Initial Character Ideas in Sketches

I've been making a few quick sketches... some are from our sketch jam in week 1 and then a few more as we began to flesh out the character's details.

Barnabas Badgersworth

Working from our chosen form from Stitch's models I roughed out the shape and then added ideas out how the suit might fall on him. I imagine it to be quite rigid to reflect his own rigidity. I also looked at his face shape and proportions. Now the character motivation has changed I thought of him having a softer face, still long and shallow but with less edges and less exaggerated features. This will encourage the audience to feel greater sympathy.

Benjamin Badgersworth

Again I worked from the model Stitch had made, and we all thought worked the best, to sketch out these designs. Chrissie said she wanted a squashed circle head shape with long ears so I worked in those boundaries at a few variations. #2 is a copy-cat of Chrissie's I believe. We think the eyes are very 'Disney' but that maybe it's not a bad thing when trying to evoke sympathy in a short amount of time?

"And Son..." Benjamin Ideas

"And Son..." - More ideas for environment

Search for a Font 2

From that feedback of our team I've taken to fonts we liked started to look at how they'd work together with the rest of the shop sign or even if the font was the same right through the title. We've reverted back to an ampersand as it more true of a show sign despite the issue of where it would go in the alphabet (apparently symbols go at the end). 

NOTE TO TEAM: I think I like #3, but maybe a bold variant? #8 has it looks good too.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Video Logs: "& Son" Tutorials - Week 2

Hello Everyone,

Another consecutive post, as these are primarily for my partners in crime Chrissie and Sammy I will start this post by saying: "Click the play button on the little grey quick time boxes to play the audio files". I am just informing you of this as I did not in the first audio log post. They may take a few seconds to load depending on your internet speeds. Also listen to them one at a time unless you want recordings playing across each other. Again you probably know how to do all of this I am just mentioning it to set my own mind at ease...

I am catching up on a bit of a back log with these files (we are mid week 3 right now). I will aim to post future audio logs every Friday after our respective tutorials. I just had to find the right format here and get it under control. Every new thing I implement I have to first learn the proper HTML coding which can be confusing as I am not a programmer. Now that everything is set up, getting these posts together should be as simple as copying the code template of former posts. I just have to change the links, I had to use my personal web space to host these audio files as they are quite large.

Video Logs: "& Son" Tutorials - Week 1

Hello Everyone,

I have spent a chunk of today figuring out why my audio files have not been loading on this blog properly. Finally figured it out so now I am beginning the tutorial posts. These posts are to show the advice that our course tutors relay on us throughout the development of a unit, animated short, etc. We are given tutorials once a week on a Friday. In the case of our Studio group we see both of our primary CG Arts lecturers Phil Gomm and Alan Postings. This is utilizing both Sammy and Chrissie's tutorial time slots so we get both technical expertise and narrative advice. 

These tutorials are resources for the creation of our short, its a professional overview for our current progress. Each tutorial update will be in the form of an audio file which is because our lecturers are a bit camera shy. Still the advice is there for everyone to see. Who knows, when the short is created you will probably see some of their advice buried within its context. This is just another creative step in a massive line of progress. The recordings are taken by the Dictaphone on my Iphone so the quality is probably not the best... But you should be able to hear highlights.

Monday, 7 October 2013

'& Son' Script Draft 1

After many a group and tutorial discussions with Alan and Phil over the story we finally decided how we might possible fill in the plot holes of the original story. Our main concern was motivation, why is the son acting out and why does the father choose to reward him in the end? But we were also worried about overload. We could add so many dimensions to this story and drag it out for a good half hour animation... but our story is a simple one about a father and a son... and we don't have 2 years to animate it, so we can't try to fit in too much.

This reworking of the narrative adds in the presence of a new character, Benjamin's late mother. The story now focus' on the bereaved father and son struggle to reconnect after their lose yet have to deal with other mourners everyday. Barnabas chooses to bury himself in work as a distraction while Benjamin just wants to entertain and make those attending the funerals cheer-up. There are visual clues that the mother inspired the both father and son in their creative (the father's art and son's entertaining) pursuits but now both struggle to have a proper outlet for them until a final outburst reminds them of what is really important.

This is a first draft. The team are still working on refining it.

NOTE TO TEAM: I removed the butterfly- as we thought, it was just too much. As I wrote this it felt wrong and like she inhibited the story a little so she's gone.

First Draft
“& Son”



It is heavily raining. A horse and cart, driven by BARNABAS BADGERSWORTH drives into shot. His son, BENJAMIN, sits beside him wearing tops and tails like his father except for a flamboyant, polka-dot Bow-tie. The side of the cart reads "Badgersworth & Son"


"And Son..." - Mother Character

Benjamin's mother features in the script as a presence, and may or may not become an actual modelled character.  I am drawing her to get a sense of her whimsical personality and fresh colour palette.  I'm also looking at ways of including her within the animation, perhaps without showing her face or as a family portrait painted by Barnabas.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Video Logs: The Polydoodle Chest

Hello Everyone,

Nice to see that I'm setting the trend of being the "first post" in each section this far. Still that will probably change the closer we get to filling the production and post-production labels ha-ha. Anyway the video logs are largely to show the behind the scenes of "& Son" and thus "Polydoodle Pictures". For the sake of the 365 day project I named these videos "The Doodler" because it just sounded cool. Throughout the minor and major projects over the next year I will be documenting discussions within Polydoodle Pictures. I will document anything and everything that I can.

The goal of this is to give myself and my fellow creative colleagues a little window into the past. To see other videos from the 365 Day Project please visit the website: if you haven't already. I will be dividing my attention between 3 blogs but Polydoodle Pictures will be the blog I do the bulk of my crazy ramblings. In most cases these videos will have a small introduction from me before jumping into the action of the video. If it seems to be dull don't worry I'm sure it will pick up as long as you tough it out. It is not my goal to just Entertain but also to Educate with these videos.

Anyway lets get down to the discussion of The Polydoodle Chest.

The video above shows the very first "Doodler" video of my business partner Ross Castle May burning the "Polydoodle" logo into a box that I purchased from Amazon. Over the course of about 2 hours the box was complete. The video is speeded up in certain portions because I figured people would just want to see the action not so much at its normal pace. I even knocked up the animated logo for the doodler which I had quite a bit of fun making yesterday ha-ha. I wasn't even going to make this video but after sorting out the logo I thought "what the hell...

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Pre-Production: "Barnabas" Dummy Pose Tests

Hello Everyone,

A slight delay for this post but what can I say been kind of using the night oil yesterday particularly doing a bit of concept art on the ol IPAD. A bit fascinated at the moment but to be honest we are quite far along with this idea already. Sammy is working tirelessly on the story development sections of our short. I have a couple of sound logs to be posting up soon of our tutorials with Alan and Phil. These will fall under the Video logs section of this blog, having talked with Alan it was kind of suggested that I do audio recordings and not video.

I have a video of our briefing which I wish to put up but I'll ask about that when I go back on Tuesday for some Maya fun. This post is a follow up from the pose tests I did with the Benjamin base form. Alan was a little peeved thinking that these basic character forms were my way of declaring a development step with the model making. The truth is these forms are not a step at all, they are to convey form on a primitive level (i.e. the building blocks of a character). Before detailing a character sketch you would block out form, that is what these are... nothing more. My creating basic poses for these forms is to show my partners how our chosen forms animate... they are nothing finite.

These poses helped us narrow down the decision of the final form for Barnabas.

The image above shows two forms which we were stuck at a crossroads with for Barnabas's form at a base level. From a front perspective the proportions merely look to be the only obstacle (check out Barnabas's base form post here). In truth at this point I was outnumbered 2 - 1 by Chrissie and Sammy on the base form for Barnabas being Form 2. It wasn't until I showed them how form 19 and 2 looked while posed that got them to reconsider Barnabas's base form. I don't like to toot my own horn but this just goes to show that posing these primitive forms helped us agree on the basic anatomical proportions of Barnabas. You can sketch it, but I modelled it, roughly.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Pre-Production: "Benjamin" Dummy Pose Tests

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for the delay on posts and actual workload, I have been fixing up our blog here which is why it may have randomly kept changing the past day or so. I spent ages beating my head against a wall but everything is now fixed. We have a couple of extra features including a facebook page and a twitter account now. Temporary? Maybe. For now though I like the way everything on our blog now has a purpose. A lot of things had to be edited including the "Jump Links" which show the read more text. They just wasnt visible enough for me, people need to look at the posts!

Work wise I have been conducting a number of little experiments too sensitive for the eyes at this point but they will be ready soon. An update I do have is a few posed test runs for the Benjamin form which Sammy Chrissie and myself all agreed upon. It was form 16 from the original batch. Being a curious humanoid I went away and looked into making some crude poses which would allow us to see the form in some of Benjamins potential actions for the short. I find it amazing that at this base level you can pose models, I just love it!!

Take your shoes off, sit back, relax and... check out these Dummy poses!!

The image above shows the base form we chose back on the previous form post but in a couple of elaborate poses. The beautiful thing about building models using ZSpheres is at this base level you can move spheres around like armatures and create basic movement and stances. The poses above were created just by rotating joints around spherical pivots (ZSpheres). You assign the spherical pivots by drawing them onto a base ZSphere. From there you pull out arms, legs, a neck, head. This model is quite basic but I didnt want to get into it too much... not yet.

"And Son..." - Early Environment influences and ideas