Thursday, 9 December 2010

bill plympton guard dog global jam

amazing 2d animator bill plympton is asking seventy participants to reanimate one shot from his oscar nominated short, "guard dog". i was quick to become involved and began creating some illustrative imagery for my scene, number 39, where the mole drills a hole into the ground, throws a bull to the bottom and covers the hole with some grass, allowing the "trapee" to fall through into the bull pit (classically random and funny).
here is my first image. using watercolours and ink ive painted a mock-up of the setting, which i intend for the final picture.

here is the lower half of the foreground. with this shot, we can see the mole digging a hole, and setting the trap.

here is the sky, using plenty of colours gives it much more appeal.

ive come with some cloud designs. everything is completely in the experimental process at the moment.

some more clouds, bearing in mind the colours i used for the backdrops etc.

ive painted and inked in some nice looking trees. theres certainly an autumn feel to this. i think the right tree looks the more interesting.

building on the previous post ive painted some more trees. ive injected some of those purples and oranges, which make a bold presence in the sky images. this will help tie together all the layers in the final composition. its clear to this point that i have my limited palette.

these topiary looking trees also look quite interesting. there is competition!!!

ive began to design some illustrative looking mole characters. more soon.

the bull ive drawn shows resistance. the bottom design (arms crossed) could back up bill plympton's funny nature.

so here ive cut the paintings up and began to compose them into after effects. it looks very interesting with the light shining onto the different layers. it represents a theatrical style, or childrens pop up, rather like terry gilliam's cut-out technique.

ive cleaned up all of the layers, making them a lot more crisp, added some trees and various lights (including a backdrop sunlight). the overall look is definitely getting there.

you can see here, a lot more clearly, how the layers are arranged into 3d space, giving depth in the theatre-style layout.

ive began to put together the mole in a layered composition. the idea that i have, just to go down the different route, is to have a fat, evil, lazy huntchback "igor-like" mole mechanically spring itself from the ground; because hes lazy! attached to a bungee rope, he will plough through the ground, nose first, and then spring back up to the grass!!! using further mechanical/rope ways he will carry out the rest of the scene; im yet to think of how the rest will work, but i though the ropes etc. will fit together well with the style; theatre!

 so since my last post, ive really cracked on with the animation...and im finished!!! once i started i couldnt stop! i really enjoyed doing this short! 
bill plymptons work boasts a great example of movement and perspective! i didnt want this to be limited with my board-theatre-like style! you can see ive used the puppet too, for added dynamic movement! it gives each character much more life! as the mole dives into the ground, ive used a multiple-opening-door technique to create the hole...i was constantly trying to achieve things with the style in mind.

 maintaining a consistent method, the mole lethargically pulls the bull into scene, before dropping it into the depths of the hole! the grass blanket was quite tricky to work out! i wanted to keep the presence of the rigid layers, all the while given the impression of a large blanket. i took the idea, from bills original scene, and unrolled the sheet, before gliding it to the ground; ready for the man to fall through into the bull pit! hahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!(evil laugh).

im really happy with how the sequence came out. the camera and lighting seem to work together very well! the timing and movements of each character are very gilliam-esque, and im hoping it does mr. plympton very proud!!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

we’re turning the screens on the underground into a digital playground

so for january, "smile for london" want to get together 50 various animations/films/moving image to broadcast on london underground, for all the commuters suffering from the early january blues!! the object, to make people smile!

having already started a style for the 'plympton global jam', i am going to continue this with the smile project. the animation is to be 20 seconds long, which isnt a long time. my aim is to make it short, sweet and funny!!!

so ive got straight into it! ive been completely spontaneous with this one. the idea is that, when i wake up in the morning, there is one thing i crave; a cuppa tea! im definitely not the only one. so, im playing on this idea, something that i want to excite people with on the underground, along with a bit of humour! using only ink, ive drawn multiple parts to a character! with quick, funny movements, hes going to pour everyone a cup of tea!!!! well, maybe not everyone. ill cut out all of the parts and create the animation in after effects.

ive began to compose the images into after effects. the character firstly appears miserable.

hoping this part will create a few smiles, a bizarre and strained smile comes out. 

he pours some tea for passers by.

it ends in tragedy, the door closes on him, and makes a mess of all those teas! waste!

and so, here is the finished animation. i wanted to keep it very simple, 20 seconds is not a long time for people to take things in at that time of the morning. so something innocent, hopefully funny, and succinct was intentional to fit the bill!!

Monday, 6 September 2010

the lost levels, deadlight

music video for the bbc music video festival 2010.

directed and produced by jack stewart
animation by mike blackman, matt roe, jo elliott


as soon as the website has been re-designed, this will be used as the homepage animation for


entry for e4 stings competition