Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Barry Purves

Today I had the great opportunity to attend a seminar with legendary stop motion animator Barry Purves. Barry has animated a countless amount of films but most recently worked on Peter Jackson's King Kong as an animation director as well as an animator. He also works a lot in theatre and direction.

The talk was pretty much what I was expecting and was quite vague because he was dealing with students from different courses. However it was very inspiring and he really brought home what animation is about. Technicalities can come into anything but with animation it's always about doing something you can't do in real life and to visualise things in a new way. Also it's a great medium to show the world how you see it and not the way everyone else does.

So I walked away wanting to make my individual project even more "animationy" which is great! What's the point in animating a guy playing keyboard realistically? Not that I was going to but still.

I also got a chance to talk to him quickly at the end and he's a really nice guy but some other guy cut me off and he had to leave.

Damn you other guy!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Norman rig WIP walk cycle

Here's a walk cycle I've been working on to show at my presentation for my individual project. It's still rough, the legs need more work and I need to add the arms in.

WIP walk cycle from Bryn Richards on Vimeo.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Individual project stuff

I've been working on some of my Individual Project stuff today. First off, for now I'll call this project "Phonecall" just so I don't have to sound really formal all the time.

Anyways, I've worked out my set layout/design and my simple (and I mean simple) storyboards. Here they are:

I have to pitch the idea for my animation on Thursday so hopefully they'll let me do it. Basically it's about a guy playing keyboard, trying to write a song but his phone keeps distracting him, things get a bit surreal and he looses his temper which ultimately ends in the destruction of his keyboard. Silly man.

Oh and I'm COMPLETELY cutting out modelling and rigging as far as characters are concerned. I'll be using the Norman rig. Here he is pulling a throwing pose:

On the website side of things...I'm going to redesign it all again I think. I want some more personal and original. The design I had looked too clean and polished. I want personality. So that's going to go at the back of the list but should be up in time for my showreel to be complete (next year).

Friday, 16 October 2009


That's right! I've designed myself a website (for the fourth or fifth time) and a friend of mine is currently putting it all together for me. It's just something really really simple looking for the time being. I might actually change it again to make it more personal because right now it looks like a company website hehe. We'll see though. Either way, I'll have a proper website soon!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Thoughts on Up

Last friday I went to see Up with my girlfriend and some friends and what happened next was very confusing for me.

........I didn't like the film! It was a scary feeling, I was watching a Pixar film and I wasn't enjoying it. How could this happen? I have no idea but I bet having high expectations didn't help but I had high expectations for Wall-E and I love that film.

To me Up felt very empty and it didn't really feel like a Pixar film. It started off great with a sequence about the main characters life which was really moving but after that it was (in my opinion of course) quite stale. I didn't feel inspired at any point in the film and as far as I could tell there was no climax. Things just seemed to happen really loosely.

Story and characters aside the animation was perfect as Pixar animation always is however it was very realistic and I forgot I was watching an animated film which is a good thing but it made me focus more on the fact that I didn't like the story. My favourite thing about the movie was the bird character, she was really funny and her movements were great.

It's quite weird, I'm giving a Pixar film a bit of a crappy review. At least I loved Cloudy...I even went to see that for the third time the day after I saw Up!

But saying all that, my girlfriend and our friends all enjoyed it as I'm sure lots of other people did but it just didn't do anything for me. Now I'm hoping Toy Story 3, The Bear and The Bow and Newts will be more inspiring.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cloudy with a chance of AWESOME!!!

 As I mentioned in my last post I went to the cinema today to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and was completely and totally blown away!

This is one of the first CG films that I've seen that hasn't been a Pixar that has inspired me so much and left me feeling crazy excited about getting on with my animations and learning more to be the best I can. The story was great, the characters were appealing and relatable, the animation was perfect and the music was so fitting that it was unbelievable. Oh and it was REALLY funny too! An all around great film, Sony seem to be really pushing through with their work.

So, if you get the chance - GO SEE IT! You wont be sorry.

Also, just a quick note about two other blogs I'm writing at the moment for uni to keep track of my progress. Check them out:

Facial modelling and animation
Personal Project (short animation)

"Research" Day

I'm off to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs soon. I originaly saw the trailer and thought it would be awful but then I saw more of it and some reviews from other animators and apparently it's good and really funny. So hopefully I'll have a good time watching it as well as researching it. I don't feel too bad paying about 5 pounds on a cinema ticket if it's an animated film because I feel like I'm learning something from it at the same time.

Anyways, on another note I'm happy because I believe I'm allowed to use a free rig in my individual project which cuts so much unnecessary time wasting out of my schedule it's unbelievable. And what's even better is it pretty much gives me the entire time I have to complete this project to focus on the animation! Amazing! I don't know if my tutors will be that happy with me using a free rig but I talked to Ben (professional animator and co-owner of RedStar) and asked him if he'd be put off by animators using free rigs in a character animatoin showreel and he said "Not at all!" Which was exactly what I wanted to hear.

So when I get back from the cinema I'll start working on my rough storyboards and ripping my idea down to the core to see how simple I can get it and how short it'll run.

Also, here's a sketch I did for my friend Rob last night:

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Character concept

Well I've been working all day on my two animation projects for uni.

I've managed to:

Facial animation
  • Narrow my 4 quotes down to 1.
  • Edit the audio clip (after my friend Orrin ripped it from his DVD) to sound louder and fade in/out.
  • Research good CG and drawn characters.
  • Create a drawing for my character.

Individual Project
  • Choose an idea/story
  • Work on and adapt the story/idea
  • Establish character/s
  • Design character/s
So it's been a good day. I've still got quite a bit to go but this has been a good start. Here's my character concept for both projects and a random doodle:


Thursday, 1 October 2009

A great day!

Today's been a great day!

First off - I emailed an animation company yesterday about work experience and also asked them how often they take on 3d animators etc etc. To my surprise they actually replied and invited me to their studio in December! So I have to go see them and show them my work which should be fun! It'll be great to hear what they have to say about my work.

The second thing that made my day was when I showed my animation tutor the lip sync animation I'd done he told me that if I produce another animation for the module on that level or higher then I will get a first. It's so reassuring to know that I'm animating on the level that I'm expected to be on. Let's just hope that the last animation wasn't a fluke! :P

Apart from that - my facial modelling and animation lecture was cool. We went over the stuff we'd be doing, watched examples and did some research. I have four possible quotes at the moment so I need to decide which one will be the most entertaining and fun for me to animate. I'm also working on my character for the lip sync module and individual project. I'll probably post pictures of that soon as it needs to be finished by next week but I'll be working on it tomorrow.