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!

Hello Cocky! (extant therapods for the paleo crew)

A little while back during a project at Blue Rocket Productions I was given the job of painting some parrots in the style of a bird book. My usual role at Blue Rocket has been very much the ‘3D animator guy’, and though I’ve done some illustration work and concept art there before it was nice to be the ‘go to guy’ for some illustration style painting. I’m pretty sure this blog may have had a little to do with the decision too.

In any case, I didn’t have much time so I knocked these out over a day and a half and had a great deal of fun doing it.

Galah

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Black Palm Cockatoo

Thanks to Blue Rocket for allowing the use of the images!

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!

Revenge is a dish best served by…Godzilla!

Recently got the terrible news that a friend and co-worker had been run down by a garbage truck. Thankfully Ching-Yee survived albeit with some pretty bad injuries. Now she’s stuck in hospital while she waits for her broken bits to get better. Ching’s husband James put out the call for her wide ranging artist and animator friends to get scribbling to encourage her to do some of her own drawing and keep her mind occupied, this is my small contribution. Predictably, a large scaly animal destroys something!

That’ll teach garbage trucks to pick on small animators on scooters.

War Paint: Styracosaurus

Argh! Angry spiky lizard parrot thing! Run away!

This guy has been slow going as I’ve been spending my days waving the digital brush at Blue Rocket Productions, so it’s been a little difficult motivating myself to do it all over again after the kids have gone to bed.

Styracosaurus has been a favourite of mine since I was a kid. The bizarre combination of spikes and scales and beak all brought together in a rhino sized bundle of weirdness is just so appealing.

My references were as wide ranging as Rhinos, Chameleons and Black Cockatoos, and of course some scientific literature about ceratopsian anatomy. I did play with the markings quite a bit before settling on the pattern you see for his ‘war paint’. I wanted to do something different to what I’ve seen elsewhere but keep it well within the realm of reality, so I found some great existing lizard markings which were similar and expanded on them to keep it functionally realistic for something this big…. I hope.

This painting started out as only a few gestural lines on paper, scratched down as I walked through the office on the way to do something else…The final image was already resolved in my head, and I knew I wanted to do it, but being time poor I didn’t want to lose it when I ran out of time and/or the next idea came stomping through and swept it away. It was almost like a post it note to do that thing, you know, right between doing the shopping and putting out the bins.

I’ve got another 3 paintings on the back burner, for those of you tired of seeing dinosaurs, at least one of them isn’t about large scaly extinct animals (it has an actual person and…uh…. angry clockwork monkeys!),  though I’ve committed to do another dinosaur pic before Xmas over here so it’ll be a little while yet before the blog sees something less dinosaurish!

Pinkie Paint

I did this little speed paint a while back, took about 45 minutes. It’s Pixel Pinkie, the main character from a TV series I worked on at Blue Rocket productions.
The painting really is just a sketch, though I concentrated on the face a bit more as it’s the focal point. Pinkie is a bit more tanned than she appears in the series, though that’s in part because I tend toward darker, more contrasty images as I fumble around looking for values.
If you haven’t already, check out the really fun Pixel Pinkie website where there’s heaps of games and interactive stuff to do: http://www.pixelpinkie.tv/

Hmm, I reckon this ‘fleshy’ Pinkie might creep out a few people who worked on the series …  Animators get a bit funny about taking clean 2D key line characters and 3Derizing them(shut up it’s a word).

I was tempted to do a wolf whistle version with more curves, one of the animators on the series did a few ‘grown up’ versions of the characters that were great.(Hi Air!)