Thursday, 6 November 2014

Illustration Project: Jeaniene Frost Vampire Characters

A side project for myself, I read Jeaniene Frost’s vampire books and was inspired by her characters that I wanted to illustrate them.

Left to right: Cat Crawfield and Bones 'Crispin Russell'.

Left: Bones with Platinum blonde hair. Right: Bones with brunette hair.

I want to continue with this project, as I really enjoyed experimenting with the designs for Jeaniene's characters. That and I want to see what the rest of the cast from her stories could look like. I'm currently working on Ian at the moment, but he still needs some work.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Animation Job & Assets

In September, I had an animation job making varied illustration assets and applying them to animations.
Once the designs were approved, I imported them into After Effects or GoAnimate and animated them.

This is one of a dozen animations I helped work on. I used both After Effects and GoAnimate.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Flora's Flowers: Corporate Design Project

This was inspired from a job interview for an animator/graphic designer role a month before. I didn't get the position though as the graphic design side of my work wasn't strong enough.
Looking back on my portfolio then, I understood the interviewer's decision. I had applied for the role but hadn't expected a such a quick response. In a panic, I prepped together what work I had and brought my graphics work dating from 2008.
Having studied animation for quite some time at university, I spent very little time on anything graphic design related. Still I thought it was better for me to bring something rather than nothing at all. At least show what I was capable of creating from 2008.

Despite not getting the role, I wanted to know how to improve my portfolio. So I asked my interviewer for feedback, he told me that I lacked corporate design work.
From then, I decided I would try my hand at Corporate design. So I based this brief on a pretend florist business called ‘Flora’s Flowers’. I chose the name Flora because it means Flower, and the name originates from the Roman Goddess of Flowers.

I wanted to take this project further by animating the logo I designed. That and I wanted to keep in-touch with my animation skills.
I like all the colour schemes in this animation, but my favorite would have to be the white, green and black. I didn't chose this though as it reminded me of Flower arrangements for funeral processions only.
Instead, I opted for the yellow, green, grey and white colour scheme for the corporate design collective visuals you see at the top of this post.
Still I think the other colour scheme stands out better.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Evergrad: Posters

Evergrad, a graduate recruitment agency came to me and asked if I could design some posters for them.
They wanted the designs to reflect their website:

Friday, 1 August 2014

Markel: Logo Project

For this brief, I decided to create a logo design for an imaginary hair & beauty salon called Markel.
I tried to simultaneously incorporate the salons three key elements in the design: Hair, Manicures and Massages.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Work Experience & Spare Time Work/Learning

Hi people!
I've been quite busy yet again. Here's what I've been up to:

Work Experience!
During March I did four weeks worth of work experience as a Motion Designer for 'Future', a Design/Animation studio based in Warrington, UK:

I figured I should get more experience, see what it's actually like to work in a studio environment with live projects and deadlines, and actually learn a thing or two.
It reminded me of college in a way. It was nice to be back in a creative space, using the Adobe programmes once again. I loved working there so, the time just quickly flew by.

I became re-acquainted with Adobe Illustrator, and I'm glad of it. I forgot how much I loved using the pen tools to ink. I use them a lot in Photoshop, but not so much in Illustrator till now. 

Whilst at Future, I worked on two animations/films.
One was called 'RPAssure' (film), the other 'Cogent' (animation).
My responsibilities consisted of generating illustrated movable components that would later get animated in After Effects.
I also had to tweak shot footage, re-align recorded audio to the footage and add titled text.
There was a fair bit of work involved, but I loved every minute of it. I was practically glued to the computer and reminded a few times that it was lunch, haha! :P

 I even got a free mug!

Before I left, I asked for some feedback on my performance at Future, and my portfolio/website. They were happy with how I worked on the projects and said they were more than happy to be a reference for me when I find a job.
I was advised a great deal of things too, such as:
  • Create a PDF CV - make it look more design like, add my logo, etc.
  • Perhaps get back into Graphic Design - couldn't hurt to.
  • Design wise, keep everything consistent on social platforms - easier to be identified on the net.
Thankyou for everything guys! It was great fun at Future, will miss you all! :D

Spare Time Work/Learning!
After finishing my placement at Future, I returned to my computer and books, trying to tackle Flash again. 
I decided I wanted to make some hand drawn animations in Flash first, before moving on to rigged characters. So I animated myself as a cartoon head, going through a handful of emotions. For me, it's an experimental piece. 
I've not finished it yet, I want to add some sound to it before putting it up fully on my Vimeo/Youtube. I just hope I don't freak people out too much when they watch it. You could say it's a short animation of myself going through PMS, haha! :D

I collated some footage and screen recordings of the cartoon me throughout the process. I should hopefully have a making of uploaded soon.
Like many people, I encountered a problem or two with Flash to begin with. I nearly finished drawing out the outlines when Flash decided to chew up the file beyond repair - making me have to start all over again. I wasn't happy, but it could have been worse. I exported a few copies of what I previously made on video files, basically making me retrace my drawings in Flash. I only found out after my file literally died that I had to save it as a xfl file - not a fl file through online forums. Oh well, can't say I didn't have a learning curve. <:P

At first I REALLY hated Flash. But it seems to be growing on me the more I learn about the programme, so we may yet become friends. I'm enjoying what I do and learn from it though, and I'm aided by a 'Flash for Dummies' Guide, so I shouldn't steer too far wrong. Just need to keep using it.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Mackinnon & Saunders Studio Visit!

A good few hours ago, I visited the Mackinnon & Saunders Studio with my little sisters and friend Charlie.
There we were met by Peter Saunders, who gave us a tour around and showed us some of the puppets.

When he showed us some of the puppets, I asked how long does it take to create them from conception to finished product. He said the process could take months. That finalized character designs need approval before they can begin the process of physically making them. And each character made will need several duplicates.
It's a lengthy but rewarding process. 'There's never a dull moment here'.

 Left: Peter uses a kind of screwdriver/allen key to change Emily's (The Corpse Bride) facial expressions.
Right: Peter asks us if we recognize any of the puppets. We sure did! :)

 Left: Me holding Frank from 'The Koala Brothers'. 
Right: Me holding the original cat from 'Postman Pat'.

Left: Charlie holding Victor from 'The Corpse Bride'. 
Right: My sisters holding 'The Koala Brothers'.

To see the rest of the pictures I took, click this: Mackinnon & Saunders Studio Visit

The visit was fantastic! I'd definitely go back again, my sisters and friend really enjoyed it.
Peter and the staff at M&S were great, they were very funny and entertaining.
Thank you so much for having us guys! :D

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Revamp! Updates of Design Work, etc.

Hello my fellow bloggers/readers! :D

Many apologies for not posting anything in soooo long. I've been working my butt off trying to find a permanent job, update my current portfolio work and revamp my online platforms - [have a consistent colour/design that viewers will recognise as my own work].

Here's the latest work I've been working on:
  •  I have revamped the blog!
As I previously wrote above, I thought the blog could do with a tweak in it's design layout.
I got some really great ideas from the website Beautiful Solutions.
As a result, my blog looks a lot more slicker.
  • I've changed my logo!

    I wasn't entirely happy with the previous design, so I thought I'd change it up a bit, or at least simplify it. I still liked the Pictogramme idea and I wanted to keep the cat theme in it somewhere.
    So I came up with the design above.
    I feel happier with this design. I think it conveys my idea better than the last one.
    Even though I had business cards previously made, I think I should have some more made with this current design.
    • Uploaded my first freelance animation work!

    The day after I graduated from University in July 2013, I began my first freelance job for a company called 'Linked Training Solutions'.
    They wanted some animations that made viewers aware of child grooming and exploitation.

    I could only show 30 seconds of each animation. But to view the work fully, the company will put it on their' website. As to when that will be, I'm not sure yet. I'll try to find out at a later date.

    Overall Experience:
     It has been an interesting experience working with LTS.
    The staff there are some of the nicest people you could ever hope to work with.
    With this being my first animation job, I agreed to do the work for a fixed price. I also needed the experience at the time.
    It has felt a little strange in some ways too. I might see them once in a blue moon to discuss the briefs and work in the office. The rest of the time I have worked from home.
    I think it was strange because I'm normally used to working with tight deadlines, but these animation works have had relaxed deadlines.
    • I've updated my showreel.

    I wanted to tweak the previous video and add the latest work I did for LTS.
    I also changed the background audio to incompetech, as I didn't have permission/rights to use the previous song. It was used temporarily and I didn't fancy getting into trouble :/
    You can use most of the audio from incompetech as long as you credit the artist: Kevin MacLeod.
    • My puppy video blew up big!

    I posted of my English Bull Terrier and her puppies on YouTube a couple of months ago, and it got a load of over 20,000 views!! O_O
    I never thought it would get so much attention. Unfortunately, my other animation videos don't seem to fair much with views.
    But I'm not entirely happy with them anyway. I've been meaning to pull them down and update them with my latest logo. If anything, this is something I wish YouTube would do with it's videos. Let users replace the files like one would do with Vimeo files. That way likes, views and comments aren't forever lost. There isn't that nonsense of deleting and re-uploading.
    Getting back to my animation videos, perhaps I've not advertised them well enough online? - Like sharing them on the right website platforms?

    I guess I'll figure it out sooner or later.
    I never seem to have much time on my hands lately, always busy working it would seem <:P