Off Camera Title Sequence :
This is a little long in the tooth (2009 !!?!) but it’s interesting (& gratifying) to find online posts where you get a mention in relation to an assignment – you can find the entire piece covering the work here : Richard Morrison Associates / Off Camera Titles
Executed at London production company Th1ng, for Richard Morrison, a renowned film titles designer with credits including Attenborough’s “Gandhi” and Tim Burtons’ “Batman” & “Sweeney Todd” – who designed and directed the piece.
The brief was to animate a film festival logo, extrapolated into 3D, and my role was to bring in the various elements and composite them, in After Effects – the volumetric & projector beam effects were created entirely in compositing.
(Film Titles, Graphic Design, Animation, Off Camera, Batman, Sweeney Todd, After Effects)
Nina Paley designed this logo for me, mainly because it tickled her sense of the absurd, I suspect…and the turnaround was fast, within a matter of hours of cheekily FB messaging her…what’s it all about ?…well, ask the swami…(www.thenakedswami.com coming soon….)
A link to some recent personal work – re-imagining the iconic “FAB-1” from TV series “Thunderbirds”, in the wake of the new CGI series, and mentioned in a previous post.
A bit radical, but retaining the classic profile of the original.
Software : Lightwave 3D V.10
Link to Blog post (Bombay Duck) : https://rainingfishes.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/fab-1-part-2/
This post on Kevin McDonalds’ 2001 Oscar winning documentary is long overdue, but was prompted by an internet search for any mention of the computer graphics segments which were important in terms of clarifying the complex series of events which led to the tragedy which is the subject of the film – and which I was tasked with creating whilst working at the London animation studio, Passion Pictures.
For the sake of brevity on this blog, follow the link to read the full post here at Bombay Duck, which includes a set of links to online reviews.
A while back – during 2004 to be exact – I embarked on a personal project with no real aim other than to create a series of short idents with a retro sci-fi ambience, using 3D CGI.
“Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow” had just opened in cinemas, and although that subsequently sank like a lead “Steam-Punk” balloon (sadly) I felt inspired to try and create something in a similar vein, but referencing an earlier style of visual effects work – riveted rocketships dangling from wires etc.
The clips use a combination of dynamics and particle simulations alongside some character animation and compositing.
The music is by Barry Gray, from his score for “Fireball XL5”, perhaps appropriately…:)
3D printing is a recent addition to my range of skills – in 2012 I entered a contest to design a 3D printed mobile phone case, which prompted me to dust off an idea I’d been mulling over for some time.
The end result was the “Mobile-Suit” phone case project, which I launched on Kickstarter and a couple of other crowd funding sites – sadly, it was unsuccessful, despite some thorough research into possible mass production processes and the costs involved.
However, I still think the prototype prints were pretty impressive, and I had one on my I-Phone 5 for some time – the data has now been extended to include the later I-Phone iterations, as well as the original 4s.
Designing for 3D print was a steep learning curve and I was slightly ahead of said curve in terms of the software now available to make editing data more efficiently, before sending it to print (I used a bureau service) – CGI is a fascinating process, but being able to output real, tangible objects makes it more so.
In 2004, I was asked to design & direct a series of animated promo pieces for client Philip Walsh Associates / MICE, intended for a large corporate presentation to be held at Disneyland Paris – the spots had to feature key Hewlett Packard management from their various offices around the world.
The turnaround time was relatively short for what became 8 spots, each one a little humorous narrative capturing the essence of each HP head, so I had to come up with an economic way of animating and a style which would facilitate that, since the animation production was outsourced to various studios and individuals around the U.K.
The end results were a mixture of Flash and straightforward 2D on paper animation, finished digitally.
Here’s one of my favourites, because the animators managed to keep to the tight design & pacing from the storyboards which I supplied to them.
This piece of silliness was created as an internal promo’ for JWT London – directed by Will Barras@Th1ng – made up from pieces of various B/W noir films such as “The Maltese Falcon”, I was asked to provide a “40’s radio announcer” style narration.
I added the cinema interior & effects later since the original clip was quite rough and ready 🙂
Back in the day I was a big fan of the work of “UPA” studios, when it wasn’t so unusual to see the occasional “Mr Magoo” cartoon on TV – now, interestingly, reflected in the animated series (the new second series is being aired in the U.K at the moment) based on Rowan Atkinsons’ character, “Mr Bean” – the stylistic references to UPA (United Productions of America) are clear, both in the graphic quality of the design and also the economy of the animation, facilitated by up to date digital animation techniques, but without losing the charm of fluid 2D drawn animation.
Less well known perhaps, are UPA’s other shorts – my favourite is their moody adaptation of Poes’ “The Tell Tale Heart” – and inspired by that I produced a concept for a short animated piece based on the classic M.R James story, “Oh Whistle & I’ll come to you my Lad” – it only got as far as this single image – the character is a cel-painted cut out overlay, with a background in ink and gouache.
A while back I was invited to interpret some designs by some school kids by a friend, animator & illustrator Maxwell Oginni – Max randomly assigned a drawing to several artist / animator friends and we were invited to come up with an interpretation in our “own” style.
Working in animation, you do tend to have to adapt to different styles, so finding my “own” signature style is something that’s evolved over time – the drawing I was given was of character dubbed “Mrs Max” – a sort of living ice-cream van with super powers :
And here’s what I came up with :