Thursday 30 August 2012

Infected By HIV - Update 5

Still working away on this one and really enjoying the results. I'm beginning to arrange the voice over artists whilst making the next the scenes. Next up will involve the camera swooping into the bloodstream where we will see the HIV virus infecting a white blood cell.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Infected By HIV - Update 4

The pieces of the puzzle are starting to slot together. At this stage I have edited together the live footage, added ambient noises and key sound effects and merged it with the crossover CG shots. I am at the point just after the camera has flown through the epidermis, through the basal epidermal layer and into the dermis layer of the skin. It is now approaching the metacarpals or bones of the hand, so we can see tendons, veins and arteries. Here are is a sneak peak before I load the video.

Friday 24 August 2012

Project Goose

For the last week I have been working on a project which I'm calling "Project Goose". It's a joint project with a friend which came about after we discussed viral videos and advertising online. As I'm moving into my last year of university and the world of work is beckoning, I want to see if it is possible to increase my online profile and create a viral video.

My friend has similar ambitions, we talked about popular videos like "Snatch Wars" and "Brokeback to the Future" and have come up with our own idea. It's a true post modern project using the video mashup technique, taking material from two sources and combining them to make a parody film.

I have gathered the source footage and made a rough cut. Along the way I have added tongue-in-cheek visual effects using maya / after effects and made a professional looking title sequence. We sat down to watch what we have so far and agreed it is heading in the right direction. It's very funny, but the jokes are spread out. At the moment the film is 16 minutes long, my friend will be trimming it down to around about 5 minutes and will dub the voices. Because of conflicting schedules and other commitments we estimate that "Project Goose" will go live mid-September. Watch this space.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Dukebox Work

I was lucky enough to get talking to a producer /  director at a friends stag do last weekend. Thankfully for me he was looking for someone to animate a title sequence for one of his clients. I offered my services and when I got back home he emailed me the brief with reference photos and videos.

Graphics brief:
1. DUKEBOX logo appears on screen with an option for viewer to select the 'O' box within the logo (the cursor could probably turn into a hand when it passes over the box to indicate this to the recipient - just an idea)
2.   Once the recipient clicks on the box the crank begins to slowly wind (we will need the crank to be animated for this) to the slow/ somewhat eerie tune of pop goes the weasel (Audio Links below). Once this tune ends though we would like there to be a sort of explosion of logo itself whereupon the 'slideshow' of images, as it were, begins in sync with the track we've chosen.

Emails bounced back and fourth and the video evolved into two. I'm pleased with the results and hope the clients like it:

Thursday 9 August 2012

Infected By HIV - Update 3

Here is another update on my revisited Infected by HIV animation. It's still in post production, the final shot where the camera finally zooms down the hair follicle is only the beauty pass. Unfortunately I have to stop work over the weekend to go home for a friends stag do, but I will resume when I return.

Monday 6 August 2012

Infected by HIV - update 02

I've been working on this scene for a while in attempt to make the crossover from live action to CG as smooth as possible. Starting to get some nice results. Next up I am modelling the scene where the camera will zoom down a hair follicle and into the body....

World Animation Review (USA) -The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn - 2011
Director - Steven Spielberg

1) The Adventures of Tintin - Poster

Plot summary / review:
Based on the popular comic strips by Belgian writer and illustrator Georges Prosper Remi (aka Hergé), Tintin gets a modern day digital makeover by Steven Spielberg. Joined by his faithful companion Snowy, the intrepid reporter is thrown into a world wide adventure that would make Indiana Jones gulp. Tintin buys a model ship from a market stall, a replica of the Unicorn which was famously ransacked by pirates three hundred years earlier. When the sinister Sakharine tries to buy the model from Tintin, he discovers it holds the secrets to a hidden treasure. By chance, Tintin and Snowy are joined by drunken ships master Captain Haddock, whose ancestral links to the Unicorn run deeper than originally thought.

Fans were unsettled when it was announced that Spielberg's Tintin would be made using motion capture technology. Previous features made using this technique, such as Robert Zemeckis' Polar Express (2004), divided critics opinions. Many claimed the characters promote an uncanny feeling and appear zombie like. It can be argued that Tintin, voiced by Jamie Bell, has suffered from the same problem. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian writes "It's a photoreal approximation of live action that is technically outstanding, but it has, for me, none of the charm, clarity and style of Hergé's drawings and none of the immediacy and panache of actual, flesh-and-blood human beings." (Bradshaw. 2011)

2. Uncanny Tintin

The uncanny feeling evoked by the dead-eye looking Tintin maybe explained by robotocist 
Masahiro Mori. He observed that when robots reach a level of realistic human appearance, people were put off by them. By stylizing them, or making them more "cartoony", they were generally accepted. Spielberg's Tintin does have a hint of Hergé's original design, but he is predominantly human looking and not entirely successful. However, the overall look and design of the film is realised expertly. "Spielberg and a team of artists and animators have copied not the literal look of the Tintin strips, but the feel." (Ebert. 2011). Certain characters benefit from more artistic licence and caricatured features, for example the Thomson / Thompson detectives voiced hilariously by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

3. Thompson and Thomson or Thomson and Thompson

The Tintin universe is vast with Hergé completing 23 comics in the series between 1929 and 1983. This foray feels like the first instalment with producer Peter Jackson rumoured to direct the next. Spielberg's Tintin has his stamp all over it and can be compared to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981).  Like Indiana Jones, "there is hardly a moment of downtime, a chance to catch your breath or contemplate the tension between the animated Expressionism and the photo-realist flourishes. Relax, you think, as Tintin and the story rush off again, as if Mr. Spielberg were afraid of losing us with European-style longueurs." (Dargis. 2011). With the characters established and with a few tweaks and refinements, Tintin's adventures could be in our cinemas for a long time. What do you say Snowy?

4. Snowy


Bradshaw, Peter. The Guardian review 27th October 2011

Dargis, Manohla. New York Times review 20th December 2011

Ebert Roger. Chicago Sun-Times review 20th December 2011


1.The Adventures of Tintin - Poster

2.Uncanny Tintin

3. Thompson and Thomson or Thomson and Thompson

4. Snowy