And with only 10 animated shot elements remaining, the end is definitely in sight now...
Quite possibly the last character in this film who gets a full turnaround and symbol breakdown! This is a Viking who appears about 2/3 of the way through "Grave Mistake" for a few shots. He's not too significant, but he's got enough unique animation to justify the extra effort in him that won't be placed, for example, in characters in crowd scenes.
And with only 10 animated shot elements remaining, the end is definitely in sight now...
So the composer for "Grave Mistake", Henry Mitton, yesterday sent me the first full track for the film, and it is sounding pretty damn awesome. There are still one or two instruments yet to be added, but all in all I'm really excited to be able to show you guys the finished film - it's gonna be awesome.
So yesterday I managed to reach the 85% mark on completion of animated shot elements, and finish animating both Death and the Girl, meaning that all three of the main characters have now been completely animated, 5 days ahead of when I was hoping. It's a great milestone to hit, and means I can be confident that the time I'm about to take off won't jeopardise the quality of the rest of the film.
If I get some of the smaller remaining shot elements done in the meantime then I'll be even further ahead of schedule. I had ruled out applying a texture to the film to give it a similar feel to "Under the Weather" because I didn't think I would have the time, but looking at how I'm going, I think I may have to re-evaluate that.
I'm now at a point where 70% of the animation for "Grave Mistake" is complete - and all of the Guardian's appearances have been completed. My aim is to complete the remaining shots for the two other main characters by the 25th so I can enjoy the Easter break and still have time after it to complete the shots involving extras and complete the remaining backgrounds.
So, the Friday just past, "This is Normal" had it's 1000th comic! It's kind of incredible that it's made it this far - through two years of secondary school, two years of Sixth Form, and now approaching three years of university, and I've managed to keep this going the whole time. So many other projects have come and gone in that time, it's almost a little difficult to imagine life without this as just kind of a thing that I do in the background of anything else life throws at me.
Given how much it has changed, I can't help but wonder what TiN'll look like by comic 2000.
Guess I'll have to keep going to find out.
So I've been getting on with the animation phase of Grave Mistake, and I'm really getting into the swing of it. My current strategy is to go through it and focus on animating one character at a time, going through their shots chronologically. It's working well so far - I'm a third of the way through the shots featuring the Girl.
While making one of the longer shots today, I found a piece of animation that, if you reverse it, looks like dancing. It was funny, so I went ahead and made it.
I asked around at uni to see if anyone else was doing anything like this with their stuff. Apparently, it's not unusual.
Commission for someone who wanted a picture of themselves as a Pokemon trainer.
One-panel gag featuring a centaur character of mine that I've been drawing on-and-off since around 2008. He's part of a wider story that I have in mind, but this was just done as a one-off to entertain my DeviantArt followers.
So, I've finally got enough symbols together to start having test animation done to see how it looks. First results are fairly promising, and incredibly reminiscent of being at Sun and Moon.
Speaking of Sun and Moon, my updated CV is now available on the Work page to view and download. Once I'm into animating the actual shots of Grave Mistake, I'll probably update it again to reflect that, but until then, consider this one the most up-to-date one.
Today I've been working on symbols for the Girl character. Already got the three key angles done. I also have the same angles for Death too, so I should be getting some animation tests done with them soon and see how it's looking.
So, after the week working at Sun and Moon, I've returned to working on "Grave Mistake", firstly focusing on symbol creation for the character of Death. I've created an assortment of mouth shapes, arm shapes, hand shapes, etc, for him that should speed up the animation process and keep him looking consistent throughout the film.
I am quite keen to move quickly into the animation portion of production, so these symbols for Death and the other two main characters may well form a reference base to draw from and use when convenient, but I don't think I'll feel too badly about breaking off from the symbols for the sake of better animation.
Another thing I'm keen to get out of the way is the backgrounds, but that's more just because I don't particularly enjoy creating backgrounds so I want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.
I had a really good time at Sun and Moon for the week and a bit I was there. I was able to animate using their Flash character assets and start to get a real feel for the atmosphere of the studio. I helped out on their current project for the BBC - a series of animated shorts helping to teach some basics of KS3 Maths. I look forward to the next opportunity I can get to work with them again.
As a bonus, while I was there, Sun and Moon was given some free tickets by Aardman to the Shaun the Sheep "Family and Friends" screening of the Shaun the Sheep movie at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. I've never been up to Cribbs before, so even the journey there was an experience, but it was great sitting down to watch the best British stop-motion studio do what it does best. Having watched it, it's quite interesting to go back and look at previous Aardman films and see just how different the influence of Hollywood makes it. I think partnering with StudioCanal rather than an American firm helped them keep it very down-to-Earth and British, and to the best of my knowledge, nearly no CG animation at all. Definitely a fun film, and I highly recommend it to people who like stop-motion animation, cute things, and British comedy. And hey, maybe the kids'll enjoy it too!
From tomorrow until the 30th, I'll be working at Sun & Moon Studios here in Bristol! Considering their recent awards success, it's genuinely an honour to be working for them, and I've never been more excited and terrified by anything related to my animation before. This'll be a real challenge - one that I'm looking forwards to tackling head on.
So, Friday's "This is Normal" comic related to the 'Green surge', particularly relating to the membership numbers that have been coming out since the 14th as the Greens Party's membership rocketed past that off UKIP and the Lib Dems.
I posted the comic to Twitter and sent it to the Twitter accounts of the Green Party of England and Wales, and their leader, Natalie Bennett. Natalie retweeted it, and I've been getting notifications about retweets, replies and favourites for the last 3 days.
So in the last week, I've been paid to create a short animated loop for the unicorn character belonging to an online client.
Weebly's being weird about animated GIFs, so if you're on mobile or tablet, my apologies if this doesn't play/load.
I've been commissioned by the Senior Lecturer of Social Work at the University of Northampton to illustrate the chapter headers in a textbook that they're in the process of writing and editing. The deadline is extremely lax, which means this is perfect to fit around my current semester at UWE.
Here's some of the headers so far:
So, to kick off the New Year with a creative twist, I decided to get myself back into the swing of animation after the holiday by animating the second TiN of 2015. Seeing as how my site can't seem to handle a simple GIF image, check out the animation here instead!
As of yesterday, "This is Normal", my personal little webcomic is officially 5 years old. It's kinda incredible that I've managed to keep it going for so long. I can't help but wonder how long it'll keep going for. I'm not sure I ever meant it to be a permanent project, but I'm definitely going to keep it going as best I can for the forseeable future. Whether it stays going once I'm out of uni and in the real world is a big question, but it's overcome every life obstacle I've been through so far, so it wouldn't be too out of the realms of possibility.
Anywho, here's some of my favourite comics of the last 983:
Nothing particularly major changed, basically just added Sprakle at the expense of some minor bits, but considering the CV was updated, I thought it best to bring the showreel up to speed as well.
Finally decided to dust off my CV and give it a revamp, given that I'm hoping to get some kind of studio-based work experience in the next semester, it's probably best to have that little document ready to go to easily e-mail it off to them. I'm really hoping I can get into a local studio here in Bristol that focuses mainly on good quality Flash animation - I feel like that's where I'd be able to play to my strengths the best.
If you're interested at all, you can download it here: