Merry Christmas Everyone!(a bit of animated cheer!)

A little bit of Christmas animation for the season!

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Queenstown Memorial Animation

Hi, just a quick post between many other things to show off a bit of 3D animation done recently to visualize a 10m tall sculpture proposed for a Park in Queenstown, Tasmania.

Proposed to commemorate a disaster which claimed 43 miners lives in 1912.

For the 3D enthusiasts out there, all work was done in Lightwave 11, it was my first test of using the new instancing feature in that software. Compositing and polish in After Effects.

Animated Idents

I had the pleasure of doing a smattering of smaller animation jobs here and there over the last few months. These have been fun as often they call on a variety of skills and the whole project needs to be put together quickly, so you’re usually with it from start to finish.

The two Idents (essentially moving logos) in this post were produced at Blue Rocket Productions under the direction of David Gurney. David is fun to work with and has a spontaneity that can take projects in fun directions.

The first is for Tasmania’s government funding body for film Screen Tasmania.

The soundtrack in the Screen Tasmania Ident was produced by the talented Nicholas Storr.

The second animation is for The Australian Script Centre. There is no established audio for this one so I grabbed some music from freestockmusic.com/.

Both of these Idents were made using 3DS Max, After Effects and Photoshop.

Little Tip: I really like adding grain to the things I do but find the film grain in After Effects takes far too long to calculate. I’ve found making a grain loop created in Photoshop does the trick, simply overlaid on top of the footage in Multiply mode then adjusting the opacity to taste. For all I know this could be the oldest trick in the book!

The Long Beach: a short animated film

It’s about time I released this film into the wilds of the internet.

Made by the talented Mauricio Milne-Jones and myself in 2006 and based on a short story and script by Helen van Rooijen (good on ya Mum!).

The original short story had no dialogue in it and I wanted to keep it that way to reach a wider audience and allow the narrative to come from the actions of the characters. It seemed more elegant that way.

It’s definitely one to relax and watch with a glass of red, weighing in at almost 12 minutes it’s a long short! While it’s not ‘arty’ by any stretch of the imagination it does ask you to put things together a bit.

It did ok at festivals for a long sentimental film that asks the audience to think a bit, if it were a short punchy comedy it would have done much better!

A big thanks to everyone who contributed, Alicia, Duncan, Matt D, Grace, Nando, Nina, the use of facilities at Blue Rocket Productions (and you David G!). Plus some helpful advice from Adam.

For those to whom like to know these things, made using 3DS Max, Lightwave and a bunch of Adobe products!

Oh, and if you see this broadcast on TV in the USA, let me know, I’d love to know who the distributor is so I can kick their backsides!

A Blast from the Past!

Sometimes going through your old art work can be a bit cringe worthy. Things you thought were really good back then are… well, not so great when you’re carrying the hard earned experience you have now.

Then again sometimes it’s just fun, and makes you realise you haven’t changed much at all. You still like the same things and probably always will.

This was the feeling I got when I was thinking of posting an old animation of Lleallenasaura
I’d done in association with a new artwork of the little Australian dinosaur. The only place I could find it was as part of an old demo reel, in amongst some other quite fun stuff. I was going to edit and just post the Lleallenasaura, then caught myself smiling at much of the stuff I’d put on the reel and thought it would be fun for more people than the 2 companies who gave me work back in the day to see it.

So if you like dinosaurs, a journey through the least carbonated beer in history, bathrooms with dodgy plumbing, rockets or fish have fun watching my Demo Reel from 1996!

Technical details: Made in Alias/Wavefront Autostudio on a Silicon Graphics Workstation.(was worth in the hundreds of thousands of $ range, lucky me got to sit in front of it!)

Playing in Grading Land..

Someone mentioned that I should have spent a bit of time doing some colour grading on the Tin Dragon animation to make it a bit nicerer. After scowling a little I saw it as an opportunity to mess around a bit in After Effects and you know, learn something.

I checked out the slew of tutorials on the interwebs and each seemed to do it a little differently. After trying out a few techniques I settled on a combination I thought looked nice. So here are the obligatory before and after images:

Original.

Graded.

While I like it on one level, this effect is so common to achieve a film appearance it might be worth looking for other options.