Online Portfolio

Friday, 14 October 2016

Flight Page Update

I've just completed a quick update on my bird flight page - now the videos should play in all browsers. I received a few emails saying they were broken, technically there was nothing wrong with the movie files but unfortunately that type of embedded quicktime has fallen out of favour with most browsers. I could still get them to work on safari and internet explorer but on chrome and firefox they were bust. So now they're embedded from vimeo, however, if you want the movie files to study and step through, as animators are want to do, you can download the quicktimes from the vimeo page.

Just in case you don't know where the download button is on vimeo

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Cloudy 2 and Mune Showreel

I thought it might be nice to put some of the work from the two animated features I did back in 2013 and 14 into a mini reel. The first film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was a real challenge for me, I had done a lot of VFX creature work coming into it and adjusting to the style of animation took some time. As the project developed I gradually became accustomed to it and started to think more in the style, pushing poses more and able ignore my instincts toward realism. I feel the animation leads and supervisors felt this too and I was gradually trusted with bigger, more interesting shots. I think the highlight for me, is the Chester shot where he is presenting in the arena, I really tried to push the poses, gestures and arcs is this shot. It's a level of stylisation that I would never never have tried prior to this project.

The film project I joined after Cloudy 2 was Mune: Guardian of the Moon, unfortunately this film doesn't seem to have come to much, which is a great shame because the design and colour work are really stunning. I really like the film and feel very privileged to have worked on this small, artist driven project. Animation-wise, I feel that this film was really good for me as it cemented some of the things I had learned on Cloudy 2. As one of the more senior animators I was given some really interesting shots to animate and, as the animation wasn't as stylised, I felt I could combine my knowledge of creatures, weight and anatomy from VFX with the zip of the Cloudy style. I think I grew a lot through these two projects, learning a huge amount and becoming a more confident and competent character animator.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Brian Cox at djcad

The Dundee University, to which djcad is attached, is very fortunate to have the esteemed actor Brian Cox as its Rector. He was kind enough to come to the college to talk to the animation students about film-making and acting. Here is a snippet from his lecture in which he talks about his acting process and the importance of motivation within a character.

The talk was full of great information as you'd expect from an actor who has worked with the likes of Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Woody Allen, Paul Greengrass and Spike Jonze. Many thanks to Brian and we hope to see him again soon.

Goodbye Animation Industry

Well, it's time for me to bow out of the animation industry for the foreseeable future. I have decided to change tack in my career and step into academia and teaching. I have had a great time in the world of animation, and been fortunate enough to have worked on some great projects and with some of the most awe-inspiringly talented people in the world. However, after many years of trying to navigate the increasingly uncertain waters of the animation industry I have decided to come ashore. The increased instability has coincided with a decreased in satisfaction with some aspects of the job.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee or, as all the cool kids are calling it, 'djcad'.

Over the years I have tried to maintain links with the art college where I studied (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Scotland) and have always enjoyed researching animation techniques and writing up blog posts or giving lectures on these things. So when I saw a teaching post come up here, I decided it was time for a change. Hopefully, my departure from the animation industry will be good news for the followers of this blog. Now I am going to be devoted to the research and teaching of animation, I hope I will have much to share.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Favours and Inbetweens, feel the difference.

A short video made for an animation class to demonstrate the difference between a direct inbetween and an inbetween favouring a pose in a two frame move. All the eye darts take two frames. The ones before the blink are direct inbetweens, the ones after favour the first pose. The favours not only appear smoother but have more life to them too.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Mune Trailer

Here's a trailer of an animated film called Mune which I worked on last year in Montreal. We didn't have the biggest budget so I'm really impressed with how the final film looks. I think one of the most successful things is the lighting and colour schemes. The art director, RĂ©mi Salmon, who has a wonderful unique style, created the concept art at the start of the project, as well as overseeing the lighting at the end - a rare thing in animated features and I think this has given Mune a very strong and interesting look. This was also helped by Nico Marlet having a hand in the character design.

Mune concept art

I'm not sure when the film is coming out but hopefully soon. Enjoy.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Weta & Hobbit 3

Hello, just a quick update, I recently relocated to New Zealand and I'm now working at Weta Digital in Wellington.

For the past month I've been working with the talented guys and girls here to finish off the animation for the last Hobbit film (The Battle of the Five Armies) which is due for release in December. If you haven't already, you can check out the trailer below.