Friday, 17 December 2010


So, another session of cupboard animating later, and we've got more animation!

(and yes, there was enough caffiene in our systems to crystallise on the paper.)

There's Scene 3, (here on vimeo) which was up here before, just keyframed. Now, it's all been inbetweened by Sarah Dargie and looking good - however, vocals may need to be recorded, so there could be another version with very slightly different timing around the lipsync.

And there's Scene 8, (here on vimeo) which is the still going on - this is a a first pass so I can get his leg action sorted before attempting to get his arm swinging.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


So, everything in Scotland has come to a halt thanks to the horrendous snow outside...except for A Sweet Disposition!

Thanks to the Batcave, Sarah and I are still going strong. We've got the two longest scenes semi-keyframed (that's nearly 57 seconds!) and lots more on the go.

They'll be up on Vimeo soon, and hopefully inbetweened very soon.

What's our secret?
See below :)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Recommended Viewing No.6

NBC Turkey Thanksgiving – Nathan Love (2010)

Some of the most adorable character design I've seen all year. Plus, it was animated partly in Flash, which always inspires massive respect from me.

Better late than never!

NBC Turkey Thanksgiving on Vimeo (in HD!)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Moving House...

A Sweet Disposition is now on BlogSpot!

Wordpress was getting grumpy with the amount of images I wanted up upload in one go, so here we are! I've just got to move the furniture around and lay down some new carpet and everything will soon be back to it's animation-y self.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's an animatic!

There's lots more posts to come, but for starters - take a gander over on vimeo.


Some excellent character design byLynsey Schaschke (head over to her team's 3rd year project blog and marvel) for the trio of children who mock John for being a mouse on Hallowe'en.

(I must repeat - I will not appreciate any theft of anything off the blog. You shall be visited upon by the herpes fairy if you do.)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A Sick Disposition

Yep. This pretty much sums up what's been happening over the last week and a half.

Both Sarah and I have been struck down with potential glandular fever.
We're still going on with work, and we're well over halfway with the layouts, and I'm catching up with dope sheets. However, despite gland related tragedy, we still only seem to be a week behind our pretty stringent schedule, so hurrah for that. Expect a new animatic soon!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Small Update:

Sorry to everyone who's tried to get hold of me over the last few days, I've had a horrible flu-like plague - I'll get back to you soon now we're up and hobbling again!

Thank you so much for everyone who has volunteered to help Sarah and I with the project - we'll be emailing names to Wayne ASAP so you all get proper credit - if there's anyone out there who hasn't told us what you're interested in doing, please leave a comment and let us know :)

Sarah has gotten some amazing backgrounds all inked up for using in the layouts - now it's up to me to get the rest in!

This week, we're planning on getting the Monster started in glorious 3D, finishing the layouts and getting an official set of storyboards put together.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

"No, it's 'aaaah' as in surprise!"

Just a quick post - our new animatic is finally finished after some lost harddrive issues! The audio this time if our final recordings, but we do plan on having some alterations to help everything fit together nicely.

For vocal talent we have:
Mark Haldane - Monster and Pirate
Joe McMahon - John, Devil and Clown
Lynsey Schaschke - Witch girl

New Animatic on Vimeo (in HD!)
(all comments/abuse gratefully recieved)

Friday, 1 October 2010


Some lovely people in 2nd and 3rd year have decided that they'd like to help get this film going! Thank you to all of them. I'll update the blog with a full list of names and their potential credits when I know what's going on.

Also, so many thanks to Mark Haldane, Joe McMahon, Jamie Keddie, Lynsey Schaschke and Sarah Dargie for all the vocals and background noises for the film - we've now got over an hour of audio that we can use :)

The first animation isn't really anything exciting, but it's a basic run cycle on a skeleton frame with John's proportions - I'll be using this mirrored in one scene (and that's all the animation for that scene done!) and using it as a reference for two others. It's also the first time I've done a proper test on my linetester setup - and I'm quite pleased! The lighting needs a bit of work, but it's early days yet.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Recommended Viewing No.4

Big Bang Big Boom – BLUBLU (2010)

Trust me - just watch it. You'll see why!

Big Bang Big Boom on Vimeo

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Animatic and audio galore!

Thanks to Sarah's keen eye for timing, we've now got a lovely animatic!

The timing is open to change, but right now, it's running at 2mins 7secs, which is a good length for a graduate film - short enough to be catchy and appealing, long enough to show off our talents!

The vocals, kindly provided by Sarah Gillespie, Mark Haldane and Joe McMahon, are also going to change due to small script changes, and they'll be better composited/combined with each other for consistency and general aural pleasure :)

Please, please, please - leave a comment and tell me how to make it better - that's what the blog is for.

A Sweet Disposition Animatic

on Vimeo -

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


So - as I'm back in uni, working almost full-time on my film, I thought I should probably add another post on here!

The wonderful multi-tasker Sarah Dargie is officially onboard with the project :) She's mainly working on backgrounds just now, and giving me some much needed perspective on what I've done so far - as well as sticking useful postits around the place to keep us all sane.

In short, I've got the almost final storyboards done (and have gotten the Wayne stamp of approval). The actual story, camera angles and movements are all planned, and are all ready for layouts! I'm excited. I'm hoping that some more vocals can be recorded soon, courtesy of Mark Haldane - and this means we could start getting some exact timings down on xsheets, and that's the beginning of keyframing.

Exciting stuff, huh? I'm attaching the schedule, which so far only goes up till the christmas break, but I'm hoping to get the majority of the actual animation done by then, so we should be set to go for 2011! Ambitious? Me? Nope. Mostly just a little crazy.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Recommended Viewing No.5

Mon(s)tre – Geoffroi Ridel (2009)

This is very relevant to my film - a small child, a big surreal monster...
It also combines 2D and 3D well (not perfectly, but very nicely all the same) and, contrary to animation standards of making objects live in time - this film makes objects stop in animation.

Note: On the vimeo page, he states it took 15 weeks to make - plus coffee!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Long time...

The title says it all really. This is the first time I've posted in a rather long time.

It's hard to say why - earning money, trying to move flat, no internet and dissertation writing combined with a looming sense that 4th year is going to be a complete spiral of panic and drama and deadlines all the while trying to crank out a degree-worthy animation. I'm sure everyone on this course has felt something similar at some time, but I can't seem to shake it.
It seems the best thing to do is keep busy - hence the 11th variation on my script!

It's not so different from the original idea, considering the number of changes I made, but it makes the whole thing shorter (easier to manage) less speech (easier to get recordings) and overall tweaked (easier to lip sync).

It's all written up right, formatted properly, and reviewed by the ever-helpful Sarah Dargie! Not only that, but she's also providing me with some spectacular background art, AND keeps reminding me that IT WILL BE FINE.

Getting the script finalised has made it a bit easier to kick-start the rest of the project, but if anyone's interested in helping out in any way, now's a good time to jump on board!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Recommended Viewing No. 03

Alma – Rodrigo Blaas (2009)

This is quite a well-known film, but I thought I should include it in my list of recommended viewing as it conveys the atmosphere I'd like to achieve with my animation. The surreal, not really real feeling of the shop full of dolls is just unsettling enough that you have an inkling of unease, but you don't know what's going to happen.

Asides from the atmospheric merits, this film is very technically impressive! The somewhat mis-proportioned Alma fits in perfectly with the surroundings despite the fact that they are very different stylistically. Also, the awards this animation has - really speak to it's quality.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

“Is it better to out-monster the monster or to be quietly devoured?"

The answer is neither! Feed it sweets, and it'll love you forever.

Here's the turnaround for the Monster. I wanted to keep the design simple, as part of the eerie-ness of the monster comes from his way of movement, and the voice. The 'in situ' image, is to show how he'll look in the actual animation, as he's partially transparent near his 'tail'.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


The lovely Freya Hotson has handed me the turnaround, and final design for John, my main character - I'm so happy with it! I can't see myself wanting (or needing) to change the design at all.

(PS: I should say at this point - if anyone takes *anything* off this blog without my express permission, they will contract some kind of horribly fatal herpes, courtesy of karma.)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Technical Failings

So, my long battle with technology has come to an end! My long serving, loyal and loved computer has gone motherboard up. I've lost all digital copies of my work for the past three years, and I'll be redoing pretty much everything.

Did I mention my deadline is FOUR WEEKS away? Yeah.

In a way, it's good. I have to rethink everything I've done, I'm forced to try and remember the things I've lost completely, it's forced self-review. Also, I do find it easier to work with tight, tight deadlines. I go a bit manic, get no sleep, drink far too much coffee...but it works.

Here goes...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Recommended Viewing No. 02

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! – Jake Armstrong (2009)

This is a thesis film, that was animated entirely in *gasp* Flash! Having seen all the crashing and swearing and tears that Flash has produced in my classmates, it marvels me that such an animation as this could've come forth from that hideous program.

I feel I must state - I do not like slapstick. Looney Toons, Tex Avery-esque animation and Animaniacs have never appealed to me.

However, despite this, the slapstick in this animation is so neatly woven into the story that it doesn't run cross-wise over my nerves, and in fact, makes me like it more! This is an example of excellent suspense and story-telling in the most classic tradition of twists and turns.

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! on Youtube

Behold Yet Again! Backgrounds!

Here we have some sketched background for my graveyard, and a colour version of the same - both done by Sarah Dargie, the animating architect! I love them!

(To see some of her other work, check out her blog :) )

Behold! Refined character designs!

Here's some of the lovely Freya's character designs for John! All variations on the theme of 'scared boy dressed as a mouse'.

(Freya is very talented, and you should go look at her work on her group's blog, right now!)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Recommended Viewing No. 01

Yankee Gal - Antoine Perez, CĂ©line Desrumaux, Francois Pons and Gary Levesque (2008)

This is film that is so captivating, that from the first second, you hold your breath. The stylised 3D animation combined with perfectly placed 2D is pure technical excellency. While I find the song in the nightclub jarring and somewhat disturbing, it only adds to the tragic descent of the aviator.

Made by four students from the Supinfocom animation school, every single frame of this animation has been so carefully considered it’s terrifying viewing for any student animator working on their final film!

Second Batch of Concept Art...

Wow... Looking back on these is...informative!

These are the set of concepts that I gave to Freya, who has agreed to character design for me, to sort-of convey the look I was after. I have a tendency for my drawings to end up looking rather too anime-esque, so thankfully, Freya's sorted out John's face, and now it looks really, really good. (Thank you Freya!)

Note: There is a page on the right linking to some of my classmate's blogs; go and have a look!>

First Set of Concept Art

This is what fell out of my head after I’d come up with the plot of my animation. Of course, now the character looks very different (and far better!) I do like the evil pumpkin though…

(If you don’t know what my animation is about, take a gander at the ‘About The Film’ page, up the top.)

(Drawn, scanned in, and coloured in photoshop, taking about 2 hours.)

A Brief* Introduction...

Our brief for this project is to create a Production Bible for a 3 minute animation (with audio) of our own making, a full animatic of said animation, including (up to) 15 seconds of keyframes and inbetweens. We can work in groups, or alone, or a mix of both.

The Production Bible ( aka PB) needs to have, essentially, the paperwork of the making of the animation. A script, research, references, concept art, storyboards, final designs, layout and a Programme of Study document - all of it. It's a collection of your work that can given to someone else, and they can understand your project, and hopefully(!), the way you work.

The animatic is simple in comparison; it's a video made up from the storyboards (with additional instructions, maybe) with the right timing that you want for the full animation. For example - if two people were talking for 10 seconds in the animation, the animatic could have a single drawing of the two people talking, held for 10 seconds.

The animation sounds simple, but it's not! Up to 15 seconds of animation means up to 375 individual frames (all individually drawn!), as well as the possibility of animating different object on different layers, which means the number of frames could increase massively!

Saying that, this all sounds rather serious and 100% soul destroying.

It's not! It may be hard work, but I love animation, and this is the first time I, as an individual, get to make my animation, from my story. It's...exciting.

*(Oho! The hilarity of puns!)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Testing, testing, 1 - 2 - 3...

Quick test post - There'll be more up here soon :)