Monday, 20 May 2013

2D as a ‘dying’ art form

2D animation recently has been described as a ‘dying’ art form, with many people saying that 3D is now the only popular way to animate and any other form of animation will eventually go all together. What I love best about this statement is how stop motion companies have turned around and gone out of their way to prove these accusations wrong. Stop motion animation was definitely having a comeback last year when Laika's second animation 'Paranorman' came out at the same time as Disney and Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' and Aardman's 'The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists.' But sadly 2D animation didn't quite have the same exposure last year. One thing I love though, is when visiting film festivals, the majority of students work selected were 2D, meaning that people are still willing and enjoying using such a medium, which hopefully means there will be a 2D revival.

I also really love that Japan still has an ever growing Anime following, with more 2D animated series' coming out each year. America has also continued this tradition by having their own animated series coming out of both Cartoon Network (makers of Adventure Time and The Regular Show) and Nickleodeon (Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents). Sadly Disney has closed it's doors to 2D animated films for the time being, but has recently released 20 animated episodes of new Mickey Mouse, completely restyled and in 2D. What I find most interesting is that Disney have chosen to try different techniques in 3D to give the same aesthetic and feel that 2D gives, showing more of the hand crafted feel, which can be seen by their latest short Paperman, and the software development behind that.

I could waffle on about this subject for hours, but these three articles I have found and collected from this year give a great insight into the so-called 'dying' art-form.

Drip Drip Drip

This film is one I worked on earlier in the year, but I am unable to really talk about it much as it has yet to be released. I was asked by Mike from Glow Productions to help in the art department, as I had previously worked with him before.

On the first night I arrived to the studio at 6pm and met Rachel Barker, who was this films art director, where we both walked around the set with Mike to see what was needed to be done the next day when dressing and distressing. The film itself was using some of the sets used to film the series 'The Syndicate', which for obvious reasons had to be completely stripped down with new furniture and props in (so nobody watching the short could tell!). On the day of art department work, Mike, Rachel, the other Mike (there were a lot of Mikes on set) and I started stripping the wallpaper of the bedroom.

We were low on people in the art department and it was coming up to midday, so I was asked to try and rope a few people in, but due to it being close to one of DFGA first year's deadlines, and not having many friends on Vis-com wanting to work in film, I was only able to get Jamie and Paisley (Fine Art first year) to help out. Which allowed us to quickly finish off stripping the wallpaper from the bedroom and add a yellow tone to the walls, before moving onto the hallway and stairs which needed the wallpaper chipping off in strips and that being painted over. We also needed to find rubbish to dress the living room as the wallpaper had already been sorted out in there.

On the first day of shooting we got to the studio early to set up the bedroom. Rachel needed to leave the set to buy a sofa for the living room, so I was stand by art director, leaving me to manage Paisley and Rachel. We first moved the bunk-beds in, and then dressed the beds and floor with toys, and I drew weird children's drawings all on the walls. However we had a problem with the height of the bottom bunk so some manic D.I.Y. and on the spot problem solving to ensure the beds were high enough off the ground whilst remaining safe.

Whilst they were filming in the bedroom, I was in charge of continuity pictures, and got called after every shot to recheck how the room looked.

Meanwhile I had to make sure that the other sets were ready for filming in later that day, which meant 'dirtying' up the kitchen and any props we had with coffee, butter, weetabix, crisps, biscuits, bread, pasta sauce.. anything that we could mix together to look gross. We then added marks to the wallpaper and rearranged everything to look 'random'. Our other task was to clean up the wallpaper from the floor in the hallway and finish adding rubbish into the living room. One thing which made this job difficult was that we were unable to make any noise whilst they were filming as the set we were working on was right next door, so we needed to work quickly during the breaks from each shot and over lunch.

I can't really give much else away, but there was more gruesome set dressing involved and problems which arose from this which luckily we resolved.

Overall I didn't think I would enjoy working on a horror film, but it was actually really good fun and the team was really lovely and great to work with!! I also learnt that as much as I hate being behind (or infront) of the camera, I really do enjoy art department work, and being a back up art director was less scary than I thought!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Saturday Art School

Another post about Saturday Art School, but this time working on the brand new animation course!!! I am so excited that it has finally been put in place and had enough interest to start running, as in my opinion it is so important to nurture talent and interest from a young age.

Before the sessions Chris and I put together a little 'animation pack' with key things to keep in mind when animating, useful links, examples of character sheets, the twelve principles and an example of each (purposely using stills from different techniques of animation, but recognisable ones for the children), and basic animation tests such as walk cycles and sack test for them to practise at home. As well as the hand out, we made a powerpoint of the twelve principles using short ten second clips, which were also the examples used in the hand out.

Over the Easter break Chris and I were asked to co-run the first course, which was two sets of two day courses. It was really interesting to see how each child had their own view on what animation is and had their own style and imagination, and how these combined to create such interesting short films. For the time they had we decided to teach them the very basic fundamentals of animation, then showed them our work, which led to character design (on paper) and modelling their character. Once they had completed this we split them into two groups, who then worked together in pairs or threes to decide a story for their characters to interact. Once they had came up with a simple (or complicated in some cases) story, we then took them to the mac suite where we taught them basic drawing tablet and Photoshop skills and they had time to experiment, and then further time to make their own backgrounds for their animation. On the second day we had a bit of time in the morning to finish off the backgrounds, but the rest of the day we spent in AV animating, and we taught them the basics of how to use Dragon Frame and basic camera settings. They then had the day to animate with both mine and Chris' help. At the end of the day we taught them basic editing skills on both After Effects and Final Cut Pro if we had time, and a few groups managed to find sound for their animations too.

All in all the four days were a great success and really made me proud that the kids went away so happy and proud of what they had achieved in such a small amount of time, with most of them able to produce a minute of animation. It also got me thinking about how much I loved teaching, and that I would love to keep this as a career.

Ghost of a Tale

When having my regular browse on AwesomeRobo I came across this beautiful looking game. Although it is still in development the background is really simple yet effective, and the character of the little mouse is so cute! I can't say much about this game really as the only thing online about it is on this link but it is well worth the look, and I may even consider buying it when it comes out!!

Trends in the game industry 1/3 - Is a degree in Video Games worth it?

Is it worth doing a degree in game design? Thats one question that comes up when talking about any art or media degrees, is it worth it, could you learn yourself at home if you had the software, can you really learn artistic skill? Well this article really goes into their thought on the matter..

With degrees in digital arts becoming more popular, with many Universities opening new courses to meet the demand, many people are starting to question if these graduates will find jobs in such a relatively tiny industry. This is why so many game makers are turning to creating their own indie games, at the risk of it being unsuccessful.

Which is why many people are now questioning is a degree worth it? If regardless of the piece of paper you come out with from University you become in the same situation with someone with the same skill without the degree who has learnt themselves, should you just learn what YOU want to learn and not jump through hoops.

Personally I have never agreed that degrees are the only way into getting a good job. Yes if you want to be a brain surgeon or dentist (I won't be letting any unqualified doctor come near me), but maybe not if you want to do something creative. University definitely helps give you the kick to learn with better hands on experience, but not every degree is good. More than anything you need to stand out from the crowd portfolio wise, which is why a degree is good as it teaches you things that self-learning may miss, but sometimes the creativity is drained from you having to fit the given brief. This often gives the self-learner an edge, as often they are still new to learning meaning they have the ability to make mistakes which let them find out different solutions to do something. Sometimes though, self-learners have a lack of motivation as there are no deadlines to complete work, which can be difficult to adapt to when working in the real world.

Overall I don't think it really makes a different if you have a degree or not, if you have talent and an impressive portfolio then that should get you noticed.

Pirating in the animation, film and games industries

However extreme Japan can be sometimes, I think they have it right when it comes to their copyright law. I think most people in the UK have used dodgey websites to get their music for free, watch films without buying them or found a way to turn demos of games and software into a long term way of keeping it. To be honest I don't know many people who haven't, and I admit that I have downloaded a few sneaky songs when low on funds, but there is no comparison to how much better the quality is when you buy these things properly. To stop illegal downloading Japan has put in place a rather dramatic law where you get thrown in jail if caught. For more on their law look at this article I think that this however is a really good initiative to help support creatives and hopefully allow people to see the importance of the media and entertainment industry, and these people need to be paid like any other person. I think what is even better is the 70% increase in music sales since this law in Japan, which I think just goes to show. 

What I think is good about this subject matter is that in the USA the box-office sales for cinema viewings of the latest releases have not dropped since torrent websites have been in use. Even when pirated versions come out people still choose to pay money towards seeing the latest blockbuster up on the big screen. This article goes into this a bit further 

As I am looking to work in the animation company, I am fundamentally looking to freelance and submit my work into animation and film festivals (which are becoming more and more popular each year) and earn money through that. But I will be posting my work online to view for free also. One issue I do think I may have is if I go into printed format, as people may steal my images and print them off themselves rather than buying a copy from my shop. One way I could solve this is to water mark my images, but I feel that this shows a lack of trust and can often put people off your work.

Getting yourself noticed as an animator

Since coming to Leeds my mission has been to get involved in as many projects as I can, and to start to get myself known in the art world. I know I have a long way to go, but here is my plan on how to 'get myself noticed as an animator' in the next two years.

I hope by the end of next year to make my first showreel, with work up to that point that I have produced, as at the moment my self-directed projects are not to the standard I wish them to be, and I am only allowed to use a limited amount of time for each project.

I have yet to make business cards, and feel that I need to brand myself before I even think of doing that.  My CV was recently updated (along with my Linkedin account) and I added a small bubble blowing bunny down the side which I feel might become my little logo, as the same bunny has been used in a different pose as my Twitter picture. Once I have started to brand myself I am hoping to finish off the website I have already been making myself on Wix ( which would then have links to all my other social media accounts.

I feel that once I have all of this done it will be easier to be taken seriously and can then show my work to speakers at events and festivals, and send my work to companies via email for studio visits and placements. When looking at animation festivals in the UK and around the world I came across this website which has an amazing list which includes the price of each as well as festival submission deadlines which is also handy for the future!

I currently talk to other illustrators, animators, comic makers and film makers via Twitter, but have started contacting these people over their blogs and Linkedin accounts. But the main way that people see my work is via my online portfolio which I create on whilst I was still at school. I have since updated my account deleting my old work, and keeping a bit of my A-level work on there to show my progression. I have made sure that I try to keep it up to date, and reply to any comments I may receive.

The last way I am hoping to get my work seen is to properly re-open my Etsy account ( and start to sell prints of my work as well as small toys I am hoping to make over the summer break. To get this shop known I am hoping to create small bundle packages (with a postcard print of my work, a temporary tattoo and a discount code) which I plan to send to bloggers who I feel is my target audience, in the hope that they blog about my work and their following will look into what I sell. Although this plan may not work, I am willing to spend a bit of money out my pocket to market myself.

Uk's funding for the arts.

Since looking at where is best to freelance after Uni, and the possibility of moving to Japan, I thought it was then best to look into government funding for the arts in the UK (just incase I have to stay in this country longer than I hoped for!)

Compared to other countries, UK Government funding for the arts is pretty poor, but I have knocked up together a few helpful resources for when the time comes. The first 'go to' place for funding for the arts is, The Arts Council

The Arts Council have also listed other places where artists can find funding for their projects here,

This link is also really helpful

Freelancers and small companies are now turning to self-funding through websites such as Kickstarter or applying for grants through Ideastap.

Window display for Travelling Man

Like the window display for Culture Vulture, I asked the comic book shop Travelling Man if I could do a display for them, but they have been slightly less keen and haven't replied to all of my emails, so I have decided to chase them up once I have my other display completed.

The idea for this display has only been drawn up as a rough pencil sketch, but the main idea is to have a large yeti as the centre piece with small super hero bunnies fighting around him, with a mine craft environment background... sounds weird eh!?!!!

Hopefully I will be able to complete this display over summer for them!

Window display for Culture Vulture

Being cheeky can sometimes get you work which wasn't even offered! I sent Culture Vulture (my favourite shop in Leeds) a message on Twitter asking if I would be able to do a window display for them for free and a link to my portfolio, and they said yes!!

I then drew up this small sketch drawn over the top of a couple of pictures of the outside of the shop I took, which they loved!

Due to illness I have had to push this project back a bit, but my designs for their next display have been okayed and they have a bubble machine ready! I am so excited about this project and couldn't be happier to be doing it for them!! Look out for further posts on this project!

Jumping into the Portal.

The Rabbitportal to be precise...

For my PPP presentation, I decided to discuss the work I did on a project, rather than work other people have done that have influenced me. As much as I enjoy taking inspiration from others, I find I learn a lot more when I try it for myself.

As I had only previously done stop motion a couple of times before, I was quite nervous when asked to help Matt Saunders of RabbitPortal with his latest animation, especially as it was a music video which could potentially be shown on music channels. But in true 'Sacha Style' I simply couldn't say no and let the opportunity pass so Chris Luk and I spent a good solid week in the studio helping Matt, and all three of us going slowly insane.

I was asked mainly to animate 'the elements', being the water, the snow and the volcano, but ended up being 'iron hands' (as my nickname for the week became) where I had to lower the drawbridge twice from different angles, frame by frame. I also had the job of 'floofing', which was basically moving the cotton wool which was used in most shots. Chris had the job of character animation, where as Matt had the job of directing and animating key sections.

It was great to work in such a small team on an ambitious project, but I think afterwards all three of us were feeling drained from it.

Things I learnt:
-Things go wrong, you just need to learn to be adaptable and make the most out of what you have.
-Be creative, sometimes the best ideas come out of nothing, the snow scene for example, who would have thought polystyrene blocks and a cheese grater could make such lovely snow (even if our ears were screaming at how horrible the sound was for the whole time)
-Things break. The puppets were really fragile so I had to mend them and make spares whilst Chris and Matt animated the beginning scenes.
-You can never have enough fluff, we literally used it for everything! 'We don't have anything for the foam of the waves' 'Use Fluff' 'We don't have anything for the smoke from the fire of the volcano' 'Use fluff' 'We don't have anything to use for the ice sheet on the floor' 'Use fluff'.... literally everything was fluff!
-Music videos are fun!! You have the exact timings to work to with the song, and the beat and rythm, so you know how many frames you need for each section, making it easier to animate!
-I love working with Matt and Chris! It was so good that none of us really fell out over the week, we had a few grumpy moments, but overall it worked well as a team.
-People need their personal space. Over the week we spent 12 hours a day together, if not longer. Which meant that we were together more than we weren't, with Chris staying at my flat over the duration too. I don't think Chris and I had been together for such a long period of time before, and it started to get a bit edgy as we both found it difficult to relax and sleep which made us overly tired for the following days.
-Hire the right actors if any at all! Matt had to re-shoot some sections with him acting as the actor he got didn't have enough time to do some of the sections.
-Tents are difficult to keep up, we had to keep repositioning them throughout the first few days, having tripods inside to hold them up, and various other random objects. They were also really difficult to film inside, and so small that one person could barely fit in, so doing the 'iron hands' bridge section was a pain!
-Have fun, have pizza and hummus, don't forget that you enjoy animation, don't give up, use pillows as knee pads so you don't get cold knees when kneeling, have layers of clothing (too many jumpers makes you hot, too little you get chilly, but it is good to have a choice), it's fun to work on other people's projects.

To view our finished animation, look at this vid below!

Little Witch Academia

So on a whim, knowing nothing about the hype for this short feature, I stumbled across this beautiful animation. If you haven't seen it, then I advice you watch it, all 40 mins of beautiful animation.

Personally out of the whole film I think the very beginning was my absolute favourite, it was so beautifully animated (especially the follow through animation of the hair), and I prefer the character design for when she is younger. I also love the how magical her experience is, and the vivid colours from the lighting and reflections in her eyes.

I really like this Mucha style poster, and how it is still staying within the design style of the whole animation.

 The character design sheets are so lovely and thought out perfectly.

I really love animation break-downs, and this one shows the character and her sheer motivation and determination at her peak.

Mackinnon and Saunders

A good few weeks ago now, Chris and I had our 'magical trip to Manchester' where we spent the morning in China town (getting inspiration for my game module.. and just allowing me to run around like a child asking for every pen and bracelet with a cat on.. and there were a lot..!), then midday we had the chance to meet up with our BAFette buddy Ellie and went to an interesting and fun animation talk, and then we ended the day back in China town with a big yummy meal.

The main part of the day, which is probably the most relevant to my studies.. is the animation talk we went to, held by Mackinnon and Saunders, as well as Max Hattler. Although Max's work was lovely, it was too info-graphicy for my liking, however his water projection work was amazingly thought out and I could really appreciate the work that went into producing that.

The talk by Ian Mackinnon however was much more up my street, as stop motion is a root which I am looking to go in perhaps in the future. Mackinnon and Saunders is one of the UK (if not the worlds) biggest puppet makers for animation. So getting to meet and listen to one of the co founders thoughts on the animation industry today, and how he made the company successful was a priceless experience (even more so when it was a free talk to go to!!)

Here are my notes from the event..

We also got to see some of the prototype models of Sparky (from Frankenweenie) and one of the finished models of him, along with his amazing armature.

Caine's Arcade

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

I found this video randomly on one of my internet sprees, and couldn't help but carry on watching. The ideas and inventiveness of this young boys project was so good, but what I really love is how much of a success it has become since this video was made. Caine now goes around schools giving speeches on how to run a business and the importance of creativity, with many children choosing to mimic him and create their own cardboard arcade machines.

For more info visit their website here:

Chris' FMP

Chris for his Final Major Project asked if I would be his colourist, which at first I thought would be an easier job than I expected. At first there was supposed to be four of us colouring (Rachel and I would be doing the majority, with Chris and Hannah colouring sections as they animated), but it then turned out that Rachel was unable to help with the project and Chris needed to focus on getting the animation right. Hannah did however colour the yeti as she went along, but I was still left with the three main protagonists to colour (who all appear in most shots).

The animation was done using Photoshop, which is a piece of software I am still learning but understand the basics of, which meant that colouring was easier than I had expected, allowing me to use still layers for when sections of the character doesn't move, and video layers for the elements that do. The main struggle I had was colouring the details of Toby (the main character), as Chris hadn't outlined where these would be, so I actually did a bit of animating without even realising!

After Chris' hand in, I still have to finish off the sections that I wasn't able to finish in time, and the sections which have still yet to be animated, with Chris' final deadline for the project in mind being the 31st of May (the last date of submission for a festival he wants to enter).

Below are a few of his tests for the final animation which have been released online..

I am sure I will post more about this project once it is fully finished, but so far I have really enjoyed being part of the team, helping come up with ideas at the beginning until now.

Moving to Japan...

As mentioned in my last blog post, I am looking into life after leaving University, and how to best continue animating and enjoy doing it.

For years I have been obsessed with the idea of escaping from grey Britain, to the slightly warmer, slightly more Asian, slightly more perfect Japan. I love almost everything about the country and their culture, and would move there in a heart beat if given the opportunity.

On a complete whim I found a woman called Christine Tyler's twitter, where she was discussing with someone her recent move from America to Japan. I then found out she has a Youtube channel and have been an avid follower since, watching all of her videos. This one however was the most helpful as she answers common questions about what it is actually like living in Japan. Saying this, all of her other videos are so lovely to watch, whether it is a personal video about how to bake bread or a recording of a visit to a temple garden.

This has to be the best discovery I have made about Japan so far.. Basically Japan chooses three animators each year to be their artist in residence, living in the heart of Tokyo for 70 days (around two and a half months). This year the maker of 'Oh Willy' Emma De Swaef got one of the three spaces, unsurprisingly really as her animation skills are mind boggling. During your time there (if you get a space.. usually there is around one hundred applicants, aged between 20 and 35, so with varying skill and experience) you are expected to show your film at various viewings, and get the opportunity to visit some of their best animation studios and education facilities. Along with all of the various visits, each artist is expected to create a new piece of work whilst staying there. This scheme sounds so much fun, and definitely something I will look into applying for after graduating, if not in the distant future.“animation-artist-in-residence-tokyo-2012-2013”-a-program-that-invites-creators-of-media-art-from-other-countrie/

I also found this blog post about someone else's experience in Japan, and how they freelanced in illustration over there. Surprisingly to me, it is quite easy to get a visa in Japan as a freelance artist, as long as you can prove that you are creating work while you are out there. This visa lasts 9 months, but after your stay there you are able to apply for a top up of 6 months extra (but there is a limited amount of times you can keep doing this.)

It was also relatively easy to find this long list of only a few of Japan's animation studios. Most of them will be Anime studios, but I am sure many will be for advertising and other forms of entertainment.

It is a common thought that Japan only produces Anime style animations, but Japan along with America are actually known for their vast amount of animation styles, which means that I wouldn't necessarily have to adapt my drawing style to find opportunities for work.

One thing I can justify doing (If I am unable to get a visa or any other way of working there), is to go on a holiday to visit. You are able to spend 60 days in Japan without a visa. As I am hoping to go to Hong Kong next summer with Chris to visit some of his many relatives, we were planning to perhaps fly from there to Japan for a few days before returning back to the UK. If that trip is successful I think after leaving University I may save to go on a long holiday there where I can collect ideas and items to inspire me to create different illustrations and animations when I return.

Where's best to freelance as an animator?

I have been looking into what to do after graduating for quite some time now, and where is best to be for animation (even if I am only freelancing). I know that moving back home to live with my parents in Telford would be counter productive, as I have already started to build up my name here in Leeds and moving back to an area with no animation let alone art ventures would be awful. Therefore I am aiming to look at living alone for a couple of years (or finding like-minded flat mates in different areas of the UK), before settling somewhere.

My first plan would be to stay in Leeds, mainly due to the network of creative people I have already got around me here. But I think it is important for me to look into where it would be best to do animation, which would perhaps mean moving to a different area of this country, or to another country all together.

From researching into this I have found that the best places in the UK to work in games (as my backup plan) or animation are..

Games- Edinburgh, London, Manchester 

Animation- London, Bristol, Manchester, ~ Other countries which are good for animation in no order are France, USA (Oregon, California), Canada, Japan

From this I realised how much of a creative hub Manchester is, and had a further look into what they have on offer for animation. I mainly chose to focus on that area as it is a relatively short distance away from Leeds, giving me the opportunity to commute, or if I choose to move there then it is a short distance to travel back to Leeds if needed.

Manchester Studios

Although some people may think I am looking into this far too early, as I have only just finished my first year, I think that it is important to have an end goal allowing me to start saving enough money and planning to the future. I also need to have a goal as to what level I expect myself to be when I graduate, making sure that if I am not on the path to that, then I need to put in extra time over holidays and free time to make sure I reach that.

My next post will be looking into how easy it would be for me to live the dream after graduating, and bite the bullet and move to Japan.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Gobelins summer school

If I wasn't moving into my new flat on the 1st I would have flown out to this amazing animation summer school (definitely something I'll be doing next summer either way!!).  Gobelins is the second best animation school in the world, and it is no surprise when you look at what their students come out with. As our course is heavily 3D and film based, I think that undertaking extra 2D animation classes will benefit my practise and with further my understanding and skill.

Here is a look into who went last year...

And now look who is there this year...!

Hopefully when I get chance to go next year it'll be even better!!!

Sushi Cats

In a crazy coincidence, Chris managed to find this website whilst I was still researching into my game. I absolutely love the randomness of the concept, and how the company have approached the theme of sushi in another inventive way.

Nintendo DS

Yesterday I finally brought a Nintendo DS on Ebay, as I am now eight years late in the trend, the old models of the DS (which are still fully compatible with the newer games, just not the specialised ones made for the DSi or the 3DS) are now ridiculously cheap. I managed to buy a bundle, with the DS, all of the extras that come with it plus 6 popular games for under £40. I couldn't quite believe it! Hopefully over summer I will be able to have a bit of a play on it and find some other well loved games for a lower price too.

I shall become a gamer. I shall.

Life of Pi review and making of

After watching Life of Pi over the Christmas holidays, I couldn't believe how amazing the VFX were. I managed to find all of these video's below showing some of the making of the film, which heightens how amazingly produced it was.

The film has since been in the public eye for a number of different reasons, but mostly because of the lack of acknowledgement the animation team received when winning awards, and then the closing of the company Rythm and Hues which suffered bankruptcy from creating the film. I could easily write an essay on how I feel on this, however this was so long ago now that it is better left unsaid. Either way though, if you get the opportunity to watch this film I strongly advice you do. It was phenomenal in 3D, but I am almost certain it will be just as owe inspiring to watch in 2D. My favourite bits of the film was the whale scene, followed closely by the mere cats and then the boat scene with the other animals, as all of the animals had been digitally created.

Projects that I was unable to undertake

The David Oluwali project was something I was really hoping to get involved with, but unfortunately due to time (mainly as I moved course, which took up every hour of my free time trying to catch up) I was unable to ever animate for them. I did spent a lot of time getting my concept together after we all had the opportunity to go and listen to the Leeds Young Authors. I was hoping to animate sea creatures swimming within the slow-motion water footage that Rachel and Sophie (both second year vis-com students) took. Below are some images I put together when I was developing my idea.

During my time volunteering at LIFF I was asked by a fellow volunteer if I wanted to help Lisette with her project, creating a short opening animation for one of Leeds Met's films. Although the subject matter of the film (war) was not something I am interested in, the opening speech to animate to was really interesting and full of vivid imagery.
To begin with I sketched out the images that were wanted..
 Which I then digitalised.. Here are a few of the finished images..

For the transitions between each image, I followed a few online tutorials on how to use particle effects on After Effects. I never actually had the chance to experiment doing this with my own drawings, as I never had any feedback on what Lisette actually wanted imagery wise or as a whole animation. This for me was highly frustrating, as I had to wait weeks to hear anything from her, and we would arrange to meet up and every time she would pull out minutes before. As I had wasted so much of my time already trying to do this project, as well as just starting the course, I had enough work to be getting on with, so I decided to cut my losses and use the work I produced for her as my own portfolio development and would only carry on with this project if I heard back from her and she showed a willingness to communicate properly (which never happened..!).

At the beginning of the year, the same time as me leaving course and the last two projects, I started doing some work towards the Leeds event Light Night with Hannah (second year vis-com). The theme for the event was Light and Dark so we decided to look at shadow puppets and then adapted this to sign language. Underneath are a few notes from Hannah and I.

I then set out to create the background wallpaper for the room which our shadows would fly around in.

I actually started key framing the squirrel and bird movements, and was slowly getting a believable movement.

 Like many of these other projects, I unfortunately moved course right in the middle of completion which completely knocked the project back. Hannah also became busy with other work, and this project was left unfinished. We have however, both agreed that one day it would be good to go back to this and complete it for our own work.

The final project I was asked to do, was to create some indents for the BBC, however like the others, this came at a bad time, and I was only able to get involved with creating a few ideas, but never any imagery. This was mainly due to the meetings being held on Saturdays when I was working on Saturday Art School, so I missed all the beginning introductory work, as well as having other projects on at the time, and the deadline of NEST magazine within the same few weeks.

Overall these unfinished experiences have seriously taught me when to accept projects and when to admit that I simply don't have the time or energy to undertake anything else. I will need to take this in mind more seriously when I get into my second and third year, as the pressure of my work load will be more than this year, and I need to learn to focus my time more.