Have been hoarding together quite  a nice stash of books over the last year or two. Here they are. Its quite nice seeing them all together, like a big lump of inspiration:

Some of the highlights, 'The art of Pixar' series of books are nice to look through, and seeing their concept designs also. I wouldn't actually recommend the Toy Story 3 one, I found it was more of a 'fan' book, that you might by for an interested 12 year old. I guess by that point most the varied concept work had been done.

Perhaps better than any of those though, is 'Dream World's by Hans Bacher. It also contains pre production work for Disney, except, its him talking, and he is free to be more scathing in his tongue. He doubts the studios practice of going with the same old style, and you really see it too, in his fantastic drawings.

'Gonzo: The art' is really nice to flick through. I love Ralph Steadman. His Alice book is also there.

I really enjoy looking at the work of both Egon Schiele & Alphonse Mucha. Schiele especially just makes me want to draw. I think he's got such a good understanding of the human body and its extremities, and his pictures really speak for the underside of people. Mucha's are the reverse, they are beautiful angelic images, all of them posters i'd love to plaster my walls in.

The Jack Kerouac book of sketches has been in my pocket alot recently. The premise of it is this: A friend said to him, hey Jack, how about you sketch out in the streets like an artist does, using words as your pencil. That's exactly what he did. It is a free flowing series of 'sketches' of people and places and times... the same sense you get reading on the road, only they are less connected.

The 'Scorsese by Ebert' book is cool too. Quite simple really. Scorsese = genius film maker. Ebert = genius film reviewer. I always find reading one of his reviews he is just 'right'.

I got 'The Lee Strasberg notes' to learn a bit about acting from another master. It's all about the practice of method acting

Keith Haring's journals are an interesting insight to an artist with more than meets the eye. Very opinionated and thoughtful man.

And of course I, Partridge. Inspiration second to none. What a man.

PS check out my lunch box. Got it at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Nice to have something to remember the place by, as I have no memory of the place itself.

The rest of the books are: Swag 2:Rock posters of the 90's and beyond, Tezuka school of animation vol 1, How to draw comics the Marvel way, Bob Dylan Revisited, Graphic USA, Atget's Paris, Mr.Palomar, & The Flame of Life.

On top of all the dissertation reading, has been quite the year of the book worm.

ED - A few quick effects tests

based on what Mig did..
Blurred overlay adds a dreamy, dark effect

Blurred overlay again, perhaps too dark for the day time scene.

Altho this doesn't work for the whole picture, I quite like the detail it adds to the old mans face, and think it could look good in motion..

Glowing edges, could work for reflections in the water?
Just a few effects tests to get ideas(aka to procrastinate away from the dissertation..). I really quite like the last one, think that could work really well with some sort of moving water effect overlayed...

Escuridao Decente - You got the style

Heleoey. Its been a constant bug-bear thing for us to keep in mind the style of the piece. It may seem a little cock handed the way we've gone about it, but the main thing is work is getting done and its not wasted time. We want to wait, a case of getting the shoe to fit the foot, once the team is fully pieced together, it makes sense for us then to work out the style proper.

Anywho here's some tests i've bin doing.

This is how I imagine the colouring to look. Its kind of what i've had in mind since day one, after seeing Migs fantastic pre production art. I like the painted look. The only problem tho; we have to make sure its simple enough to animate. I think this colouring style is quite simple, and I think a productive technique could be built up in TVP (block colouring, then shading each individual part to keep consistency, even down to individual brush strokes like we did with the Royal Wedding vid)
. I'm not sure on all aspects, the main one being line:- do we show line or not? I personally dont want to; I love the way Dice Tsutsumi paints, especially with the hard, computer-cut edge, and would love to do something in that direction.

This is a colouring test I did. Its incomplete but is getting there. I need to cut around the edge still like above, so imagine it like that.

Have got another one that i'll update the post with tomorrow.

Finally here's two little sketches we did in different styles
Waltz with Bashir colour
Sin Cityish

The animation above counts for my 4th painting (Daily painting), and the old man is the 6th. And since the clock reads half 12, here's tomorrows/todays(?.. 25th..)

Tis from a life drawing sesh last wednesday, coloured in PS. Felt very rewarding to do actually. 

I've bought quite a few books in the last year and getting a nice little library together. One of them was Egon Schiele, & the others was of Alphonse Mucha's work. I want to have a go at immitating the two of them's styles. There approach to the opposite sex is quite different from one another (Angelic womanlyness vs prostitute demon ladies) so should be good fun.

Here's those Life Drawings from the other day too:


Just want to go back to style to finish off, and include a few animations i've seen recently.

First off, just saw this:

Really love this, one watch and i'm starting to think the Sin City route may be right for us. It would be quicker to produce, very stylistic, and fun I think.

Another, which i've been blown away by this last week:

Love the looseness. I can see this flowy style of animation working for us come the end of the film when things get a bit manic.

Al also suggested the other day we take a look at 30 days of summer. Its great, it has the contrast of Sin City, but instead of it being black/white, the white bits are essentially filled in. This is essentially a coming-together of the two styles.

I dont feel its such a tough decision, I think we're pretty clear, its a case of one or the other. I feel safe in the knowledge we can stamp it 100% once the team is together and we know, realistically, what we have time for and are capable of.

Escuridao Decente - Old man character

For the last week i've been keeping in mind 'how should the old man act', and now, i've got a pretty solid idea in mind. I found looking at him I was reminded of Keith Richards, the boneyness of him but also his elegance and vibrancy in movement... Have a look at this video

I want him to move alot like Keith Richards does.. imagine him by himself going about his home, routeing round his study looking for something. The only exception, is I imagine him to be a more depressed Keith Richards.., not so bouncy like he is. What I like is the way he flails his limbs about and is expressive in that way.

Speaking to Andy, he suggested a few things. The one thing that really stood out is the old man as being this kinda King Lear character, large, arched expressions & gestures. The wise old man.

I see him as about 75 (if only to directly compete with Kernel..), a bloke whos been a labourer his whole life, he's still got that strength and self assurance in his abilities, only now he's more fragile.

Derek suggested to me doping the character and this fits the bill perfect. This way he can still have these grand gestures and the self assurance to carry himself as he would do, except now he has a stutter to his movement, suggested fragility & effort.

When he walks, he walks from the hips. He kinda swings his torso about, and his shoulders arch to and throw. He holds his head high, wise & pride old man.

Kinda like how Jim Morrison arches about. I like the allusion to rock stars. I think the old man's got that in him, its much like how many of them tended towards growing a beard and long hair at one time in their life's..

It seems like a subconcious thing on their part to go this way... fitting the Jesus mould so to speak. The wise old man up on the podium or the stage spouting knowledge waiting to be a martyr.


Productions going well on the project and i'm having fun with it. We're wanting to stick to the schedule I layed out, and are eager for February to come, when we can get the second years properly onboard. More soon.

Daily Paintings

It's not taken long, but i'm already sick of copying pictures from photographs. Here's the 3rd one I did:
This is my dads dog, obviously unfinished. I find I get bored very quickly drawing anything other than people. I just don't find it enjoyable. Saying that however, I found the same thing with this one i've just been doing, again unfinshed: 

I think i'm finally starting to get sick of copying from photographs directly like this. I just dont see the point in it. It reminds me of those pencil sketches you can get of famous people in the arcade that just make you think 'might aswell of just bought the photo..'. this one reeks of that, it was of Keith Richards.

The exclusion to this rule is when you copy a photo but it feels like it's got something added to it from being a drawing, like the drawing slants the feeling subvertedly. I find usually this 'added thing' is drawing the viewers eye somewhere to something important. Kinda like the Johnny Cash one I did the other day, you're drawn more to whats important in the picture, JC's sorrowful eyes looking down. A better example would be this  selfportrait by Kathe Kollwitz:

Anywho will post an update on the painting again midweek. 

Daily paintings

Have decided to do some daily paintings in Photoshop to hopefully make me more productive in Photoshop.

15.1.2011 Johnny Cash

16.1.2011 Harry Redknapp caricature

I'll spend about an hour doing one painting each day. Most days will probably be less as uni work is really about to kick on. Inspired by this guy

Also good post from Charlie Brooker about the British Film industry,
and this amazing piece of work from Chris Milk/ Arcade Fire, that speaks of new possibilities & new ideas.

Brilliant music videos

After seeing this new music vid, I went on the hunt to see more by the animator. The animation speaks for itself. Immense.

The animator behind it is called Anthony Francisco SchepperdAnimation gives us the rare opportunity to spill our most coveted attribute, the imagination

this is an absolutely amazing animation. This proves so perfectly the mind blowing abilities of animation, in a music video. This is one of those times I think to myself, I will never make anything as good as that.

The 1st video was codirected with Chris Milk, who also has an interesting back catalogue..:

Dark Decente

Bonjour. Have been working on Miguel's film over crimbo. We managed to get the animatic down to 3:55, which is quite a chunk off the 10 minutes Mig originally presented. I'll post the vid up below. Excuse the slight errors but its just a dirty cut for us to work from. What is noticable in the shortened version (to me) is that you loose empathy for the character. This is down to the loss of build-up & the cutting of his wife from the film. I do think it still works as a short film however.

Essentially, this is the bare minimum that we need to make it work. Give or take a few shots, like I said its a dirty cut:

Its not half the film it could be, but its a finished film nonetheless. 

Besides cutting the animatic, also have been getting to grips with drawing the main character. Made this little walk through for how to draw him, link!. 

Tomorrow is go day on the project. Im going to get the turnarounds done, and hopefully begin animating. I really wanna just crack on with this, you can spend to long theorising, trying to get perfection, when really, the best philosophy is to think 'that'll do'. 

'That'll do' with the animatic for now. Yes there's a few kinks, but if we create that and get it done early like planned, that leaves a further 3/4 weeks for adding the shots we cut, in order of necessity.

Here's a 1st edition of the pipeline for the project:
I had a good think about how long things should take (in theory) and this is the summary. From this, I can scratch up a job list:
4x animators
1 layout artist
1 background painter
2x stylists
1 Sound person
1 Compositor.

We're really wanting to put together a fun little team and want to be on the ball with it, weekly meetings over coffee; weekly sweatboxes; our own corner of the studio.

SO here's a bit of number crunching:
 - 4/5 layouts a day (by Mig)
 - 2.5 rough shots a week (for each animator) for the next 10 weeks.
Each shot lasts for an average of 2.25 seconds.
The shots are to be animated rough, for the stylists to work up into the finished thing.
These shots are split up into different catagories by there difficulty. From these 107 that we need, 23 are difficult shots. The rest are either static or there's little movement. For this reason it's quite difficult to accurately judge how long the animation will take, but talking purely from a numbers point of view, 2.5 shots a week per animator.
That breaks down as:
 - 2 1/2 difficult shots a week produced as a team
 - 8 1/2 simple/static shots a week produced as a team.

If all the animation is going to be finished in a 10 week window then we need four people. If there's only two, it'll take 20 weeks.

 - 7 1/2 backgrounds produced a week (one a day) for seven weeks.
 - 5 shots a week (for each style artist) over ten weeks
 - Sound & compositing are being left till later, however i've left 3 weeks for compositing & 2 weeks for sound.

Im anticipating that the styling may take longer than i've alotted, and maybe the animation could be produced quicker (as its rough). It may be a good idea to get somebody else on board to help Mig out with the layouts also, that would free him up to animate too.

However, saying all this, it is quite difficult to judge, and we'll know much more by this friday after our first week in production.

That'll do for now, will do an update at the end of tomorrow too with the stuff i've forgotten.

Richard Avedon

What I love about these ones is the movement in them. They remind me of drawings we'd do as animators trying to capture the extreme positions. Makes me wonder if maybe Avedon had a background as an animator

And these are some of his brilliant portraits. I think again you can see that some of these are like drawings, or ideas you may have for drawings. The flatness, and the way he has subverted the people in them in a way that its not just normal life you're looking at.

Lament to a Beast

heres a stupid video about the exciting life of my dog