Thursday, 24 November 2016

Lip Syncing | Maya Tutorials | Year 2

The jaw bounce is in place and follows the sound clip nicely. 

Chicken Run | Archetypes | Hero's Journey | Film Review | Year 2

Chicken Run movie poster
Chicken Run is Aardman Animations’s 2000 stop-motion feature length film. Its a popular film even to this day and is a great example of stop motion animation, which became the highest grossing stop motion film ever when it grossed over $224 million. 

Chicken Run can be analysed using the standard archetypes from the Hero’s Journey. Although some of the roles could be arguably missing, it is also a wonderful example of how some characters can reflect more than 1 role in film and in life. 

Ginger is our willing heroine throughout the film. Not only is she the protagonist and our main focus point to the story but she is the pivotal character of which we see a lot of her attempts and ideas for escaping the farm. She tries time and time again to escape, often sacrificing herself to punishment to save the others. Arguably a female lead is controversial let alone a female lead as a chicken but in this incident it works brilliantly for the story line. A lone female with strong characteristics is nice to see. Rather than have her cry for help we see her as a rebel within the opening to the film where we see her repeatedly thrown in ‘jail’.

The Herald is missing from this set of archetypes as there is an ongoing threat of death throughout the film. The ‘call to adventure’ was already there for Ginger, even before the film started but is reinforced when the Tweedy’s invest in a pie machine. Some may argue that this machine is the ‘abstract form’ of the herald but as the attempts to escape began a long time before its arrival, the herald has been made redundant in this film.

Ginger’s other half is a rooster named Rocky the Rhode Island Red or Mr Rocky Rhodes for short. Some would argue that Rocky is the trickster for this film as his role of teaching the chickens how to fly is based on a lie but his role may not be as clear cut as some may think. Rocky fits the roles of the mentor in the film due to his teaching skills. Not for being overly great but as he helps the others and guides them to work as a team which is ultimately needed to fly their creation out of the farm. Rocky isn't immediately the mentor but grows into his role. He does leave but the advert for ‘Mrs Tweedy’s Chicken Pies’ prompts his return and helps everyone escape.

Instead our tricksters our the travelling sales rats Nick and Fletcher. This pair also double up as the shapeshifter. Their mischievous nature and their constant quest for eggs in anyway possible is near perfect example of this role as ultimately we know that they are only interested in themselves and not in the survival of the chickens. Although they do get employed first by Ginger and then by Rocky, we do doubt their loyalty throughout most of the film and even more so at the end. Although they ‘escaped’ with the chickens, its not clear if they did so to better their own lives living in a ‘chicken sanctuary’ or if they are truly loyal to the cause.

Mr and Mrs Tweedy are two important archetypes as well. Mrs Tweedy is the Shadow while Mr Tweedy is the Threshold Guardian. Mr Tweedy makes a brilliant example of the Threshold guardian as his wife doesn't believe what he is saying but is often the one to catch the chickens in the act of escaping and thwarts their attempts many times, even before the film starts as we see on Ginger’s tally of days spent in isolation. For the chicken to leave they must outwit this dimwitted man time and time again before succeeding. Mrs Tweedy on the other hand is our ‘Shadow’. Her ultimate goal is to make large amounts of money out of the chickens. The audience is even lead to believe that in a darker scene, she beheads a plump chicken for dinner (presumably). Between this husband and wife, they foil the chickens plans many times before finally being defeated but not before we see Mrs Tweedy’s dark side surely when she tries to behead Ginger.

The allies of out heroine are Mac and Bunty. Mac the genius Scottish assistant and Bunty, the blunter more cynical character of the group. Both are detrimental to the plot and without them, several of the escape attempts would not have been possible. Mac is the brains behind the operation, proving the science and sometimes know how behind Gingers plans while Bunty is there to challenge and push better ideas and leadership out of the two. 

The story would not be complete without a father figure which in this case is Fowler. An ex-military rooster (although it is later revealed that he was only a mascot as chicken “weren't allowed to fly for the RAF”) He is the character that has the authority and power over all of the chickens.

Our mother figure of this film is a tricky one to define. Babs is a little dimwitted and has a very strong love for knitting but has a loving core and often looks out for Ginger when she can. Although not the strongest representation of an archetype in the film, without her we would not see those dainty pink scissors or have some great lines such as “I don't want to be a pie…I don't like gravy”. She’s also part of the comic relief to some of the dark scenes that we see. The child of the film is also Babs due to absentminded characteristics she shows. Her innocents provides her with a simplistic view of the world.

Ginger could also be seen as the maiden in the film but as her one pure intention is to help everyone escape and live a better life. She doesn't show the sexuality because she's a plastercine chicken and its family film but not many others could potentially fill this role. 

Overall, although some of the roles are a little hazy and some characters take one two roles, its a charming example of the Hero’s Journey. From start to end it is full of life and laughs making it a well loved film by families everywhere. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Guinea Pigs | Research | Character | Year 2

Scruffy Guinea Pigs
Close up view of Guinea Pig feet
View of mouth, nose and teeth
Long haired Guinea Pigs
Cartoon Guinea Pigs
Sleek Guinea Pigs
Size comparison of baby Guinea Pigs to adults

Pet Shop and Cage Research | Influence Maps | Research | Year 2

Standard outdoor hutches
Pet shop hutches and cages
Inside pet shops
Shelves and cages inside pet shops
Outside view of pet shops

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Script Idea | 3 Little Piggies | Character

This is my idea for the character project

Location: Wildcard - Pet store

Opening - Pet store front. 

We see a guy walk into the shop and hear the bell ring. Close up on the guinea pig pen. Close up of guinea pigs. Squeaking is heard. Close up of the father, licking his paw and smoothes out the younger guinea pigs hair out of his eyes. It flops back into place. The father says “So you know, the worse you look, the smarter they think you are” 

Camera turns to the fathers face to see dumb, vacant expression. Father looks considerably ‘worse’ than the son. The camera cuts to a 3rd guinea pig being lifted out of the pen by the shop owner for the customer. Camera shows face of 3rd guinea pig. It shows a very scruffy looking creature. Camera cuts to the son shouting up to the 3rd guinea pig “oh they’re gunna think you’re a genius Brian!”

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

1st Draft of Script | Dinamica ART Industries | Narrative | Group Project | Year 2


A drug deal has gone wrong and left the Mafia boss with a baby and half the cash he should have had. He decides to go on with his day with the baby in tow. The animation will follow his journey as he tries to carry out a full day

Conflict: Man Vs Family
Ending: “I backed away from him without a word and got out of the room.”
Genre: “Superhero”

Starts with a drug deal. The Mafia Boss has his back to the camera and we see another guy hand over a black bag obviously bulging full of cash. The other guys turns and walks away.

Scene cuts to the Mafia boss walking through this office door and drops the bag on the floor before sitting at his desk. The bag tips over and a baby crawls out. It crawls over to the wall where a pen has been thrown and it proceeds to draw on the wall as it crawls along. The Boss looks up and see some of the drawings and storms over to investigate.

He grabs the kid and picks it up. 

“Where did you come from kid?” 
Baby gurgles. He looks over to the bag which is on its side with cash scattered around it. 
“Are you kidding me?! They gave me half a bag of cash and a kid…what am I gunna do with you huh?”
Baby looks up at him and gurgles.
“Well kid, I don't even know you’re name…I guess I should name you. How’s about Snake Eyes”
Baby begins to cry
“Shit uhh I guess you don’t like that, Two face?”
Baby cries harder.
“Crap! Baby face just quieten down okay?!”
Baby stops crying.
“Baby face it is then”

Mafia boss is sat at his desk writing on something with the baby crawling around his feet. 
“You must be thirsty little man. Here you go”
Boss hands the boss a bottle of beer instead of milk. The boss opens his own beer and continues with his work. The baby gets drunk and is wobbling about before passing out.

Scene changes to the boss talking to his crew with them passing the baby around. Someone hands it a knife and they laugh at it waving the knife about before it stabs one of the guys in the foot. The whole crew erupts into laughter. 

Mafia boss take kid to drug deal. He’s rocking the baby in his arms trying to carry on but no one can take him seriously.

Scene changes to the boss talking to his crew with the baby wandering about grabbing cigarettes and cash from each persons pockets before shoving the evidence down its nappy. Crew stands up and arguments begin. Each blaming the other for their missing items.

The crew is shown sat around a big table all visibly annoyed and on edge. The Mafia Boss explains a heist drawn out on a board. Sends them all away before returning to his office. 

Boss opens the office door to find the baby sat in his chair with other mafia members behind him with shotguns.

Fades to black

“I backed away from him without a word and got out of the room.”

Slowly reveals Mafia Boss in therapists chair.

“Doc you gotta believe me man - the kids been playing me all along!”

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Kung Fu Panda | Hero's Journey | Film Review | Year 2

Kung Fu Panda movie poster
The 2008 hit film Kung Fu Panda is more than just a kids film. Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogan and Jackie Chan are just a few of its star studded cast helping to make it an extraordinary film. It also follows ‘A Hero’s Journey’.

Po starts out as just a simple panda (whose believes a goose is his father) who dreams of being a great kung fu master. We see him in a ramshackle noodle shop. Its clear he comes from a ‘humble’ home. It’s not long before his Call to Adventure happens when Master Oogway choses him to become the Dragon Warrior seemly by chance or maybe it was fate.

There are a few points when he Refuses the Call but the main point that sticks out the most is when he runs off and begins eating all the peaches from the tree after it is made clear to him that he is unwelcome within the palace. His love for Kung Fu and the immediate clash of worlds brings a lot of conflict within him. It can also be argued that its not just Po that tries to refuse the call. His father wants him to give up his kung fu dreams and stay with him to make noodles. An odd proposition but it is the family business after all.

Po arguably has several mentors or Supernatural Aids. Shifu is literally his master and mentor who teaches him Kung Fu but it could also be argued that Oogway and Tigress also share this role. Master Oogway could be seen as this figure as it was him who believed in Po but Tigress also shares this secondary role. Although Tigress is at first very hostile towards him, this could also be seen as tough love and unwittingly gives him the directions he needs as ultimately Po learns just as much from Tigress as Shifu.

Po Crosses the First Threshold pretty quickly. This ties in with his Refusal of the Call as it is when he enters the Jade Palace to begin his training even if he does not want to be there to begin with. Its during his training that he also goes through the Belly of the Whale as his training is not necessarily the easiest of fairest but he stays strong as the walks the Road of the Trails as he fails at almost every step of the way. 

Master Oogway also has a second role in this film as not one is he a master and a mentor but for Po, he also fits into the role of Meeting the Goddess. This is more commonly backed up by Oogway’s confusing stories and anecdotes about life that really make us think. For example, when he is talking to Po under the peach tree he says “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift thats is why its called the present.”

Tigress is a key character in the film as not only could she be seen as a mentor but also as the Temptress. Although she is not luring him closer, she is actually tempting Po to leave the Jade Palace and resign from his post.

When Po becomes disheartened, he returns home to his father at the noodle shop where his dad finally shares the secret ingredient of his noodle soup only to find that there is no special ingredient. This scene also acts as the atonement with father.

Following the steps of the Hero’s Journey, it is not Po who achieves Apotheosises but Master Shifu as he realises that he was wrong. It is possible to train anyone you just need to figure out how and that maybe not everyone is cut from the same cloth. He states how he cannot teach Po in the way that he taught the Five but instead realises that Po can be training with an aid. Food.

Po has now ultimately been through a lot. He was ‘accidentally’ chosen to be the dragon warrior and pushed to his mental limits as he is bullied but he Kung Fu masters before struggling to come to terms that he is stuck in two completely different worlds. Life is most hardest when he begins his battle with Tai Lung as they fight over the rights to the Dragon scroll. The Ultimate Boon for us is when Po realises the meaning behind this shinny scroll. It is the simplest of meaning but it also has the most powerful meaning and possibly the most profound. There is no ‘secret ingredient’. Po is the Dragon Warrior simply because he should be. 

As confusing as it may be, it could be argued that in this film that the Refusal of Return actually happens before the Ultimate Boon. This is because the most fitting scene for this to happen is when everyone finds out that the Dragon Scroll is blank and Po once again thinks that he was chosen by accident. “He picked me by accident. Of course I’m not the dragon warrior.”

The Magic Flight is not necessarily a flight but the fight between Po and Tai Lung as they chase the Dragon Scroll across the village. They start from atop the mountain at the Jade Palace and leave them snugly in the heart of the village. 

Rescue from Without doesn’t really happen in this film. It could be argued that Po needs to be rescued from himself as his thoughts of self doubt could be damaging enough for him to fail on his path to becoming the Dragon Warrior but there is no monumental section of the film where it can be definitively said that he has been ‘rescued’. 

Crossing the Return Threshold is also out of place in this list because it seems like it this happens when he returns to the village during the evacuation. He is mocked by to pigs as he passes as they feel that he has let the village down by not even attempting to save them from Tai Lung.

Po simultaneously becomes the Master of Two Worlds and achieves the Freedom to Live when he defeated Tai Lung and is cheered and accepted by the other warriors as well as the villagers.

Overall this is a remarkable film but although I have used Campbell’s Hero’s Journey step by step guide to analyse this movie, I would argue that Vogler’s version fits a lot better to this film. This is due to the way a lot of the steps have been merged for have a similar meaning and also allows for the more mismatched sequence like I have found this film appears to follow. A lot of the hero’s journey steps also have 2 or more possibilities through out the film making it a much more complex film than first thought. 


  • The call to adventure: Master Oogway selecting him as the Dragon Warrior
  • The refusal of the call: Running away from the Jade Palace
  • Supernatural aids: Master Shifu, Master Oogway and Tigress
  • Crossing the threshold: beginning his training at the Jade Palace
  • The belly of the whale: his training in the Jade Palace
  • Road of Trails: Po beginning his training with Shifu
  • Meeting the Goddess: Or God. Master Oogway 
  • Woman as temptress: Tigress
  • Atonement with father: when Po returns home and his dad tells him the ‘secret ingredient’
  • Apotheosis (God like status): Master Shifu works out the everyone can be trained but in a different way and uses food to train Po
  • The ultimate boon: He realises the secret to the Dragon scroll
  • Refusal of return: Finding out the secret to the Dragon Scroll is not as it seems.
  • Magic flight: the fight between Tai Lung and Po which stretches from the Jade Palace to the centre of the village
  • Rescue from without: Doesn’t really happen. Could be Po needing reducing from hi sown thoughts.
  • Crossing the return threshold: When he returns to the village doing the evacuation and some pigs mock him as he passes.
  • Master of two worlds: When Tai Lung is defeated and is cheered and accepted by the other warriors and villagers
  • Freedom to live: When the 5 and the villagers accept him as the Dragon Warrior and the village is at peace.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Blog is Live! | Dinamica ART Industries | Narrative | Group Project | Year 2

( )

My group blog is now live and ready to go! We are Dinamica ART Industries. 

I feel like I should explain our group name a little bit. 
1. Dinamica is spannish for "dynamics" 
2. It would have felt like a loss if we did not arrange our initials into the word ART and use it.
3. Industries because we hope to churn out some amazing work together.

The group is composed of myself, Almu Diaz and Tom Ward. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Campfire Under The Stars | Landscape Art | Photoshop | Personal Work

Continuing on with my own personal project of landscapes, I thought I would try to combine a starry night with a natural background. I think I have managed to get a nice depth to the mountain this time with the light and dark tones, and doesn't have an airbrushed feel. I added in a camping ground and two people snuggled on a log to give more focus to the the piece and help add depth to the foreground.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Starry Night Sky Over the Mountains | Landscape Art | Photoshop | Personal Work

Continuing into my personal project of landscapes and skyscapes, this time I tried a silhouette of a tree line with a mountain behind and a galaxy night sky. The tree line works well and was quite easy to layer up after creating 5 different tree shapes to add depth. The mountain was a lot harder to paint than I first thought it would be and instead  of opting for a more realistic look, I opted for a tonal approach to it. I think this worked well and was a great first attempt but looks a little too blurred and unfinished. The sky was fun to paint and I think I'm getting the hang of painting a blended and tonal sky, I'm just not happy with the 'stars' as they look a little bit like snow to me. This will definitely need more experimenting with. This was a good attempt but I think I will revisit this in the future and tweak certain aspects of it.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A Cloudy Sunrise | Landscape Art | Photoshop | Personal Work

Continuing on from my previous post, I've tried to keep with the theme of landscape art/skyscapes. I've been pushing my colour picking and blending to create a cloudy sunrise. Layering the clouds proved quite difficult. Adding depth to the piece also proved a challenge but I'm hoping that I've cracked it now!

In this image, I have attempted to blend colours with the blurred brush and smudging tool. I found that this worked brilliantly for the clouds but the sky itself needed a bit more persuading with this method. I also used several of the colour effects to heighten the sense that the sun is beaming through some of the clouds.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Sunset | Landscape Art | Photoshop | Personal Work

For a while I've been considering testing my landscape drawing skills as well as my colour picking and blending. I loved creating a sunrise look during the 'What If Metropolis' project and thought a great way to see my improvement from a year's worth of photoshop lessons was to start was a tropical style sunset/sunrise. 

I can already tell that I've become a lot more confident with brush strokes and I'm no longer feathering basic lines. My colour picking and blending has also come a long way and helped to create what I think is a gorgeous sky. The composition of the trees was also a lot easier to create and I definitely think this is a strong start to what I hope will become an ongoing project of my own.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Adventures in Lanzarote

In June I travelled to Lanzarote for a holiday. Unfortunately I forgot to pack a sketchbook (I'd left it on my bed - oops!) Instead I used the next best thing I had available - NAPKINS! I took some gorgeous shots of the island and I would definitely recommend it to everyone! I warn you it is a very windy island and it is very easy to get sunburnt there!

Lampost and flower bed. The Volcanic Green Lake El Golfo
2 of the many hundreds of cactus varieties that I found on the island

View of the Volcanic Green lake El Golfo and the view behind (this was a volcano that has since corroded into the sea so one side is open and the lake exists in what once was the crater) 
Some of the Volcanoes inside the Timanfaya National Park

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Art Of "My Science Project" | Fantastic Voyage

This is my Art Of for Fantastic Voyage. It is a work in progress as I plan to update it over summer as I enrich my project and my final animation.

CG Artist Toolkit | Maya Tutorials

Intro to Maya 2016

Modeling 1:

Lighting & Rendering
Night and Sunset Interior

Texturing & Shading 1
Tillable & Layered Textures
Intro into Substance Materials

Animation 1
Part 1 - on the Spot
Part 2 - with Travel and Rotation
Secondary Action & Overlap
Arm - Anticipation & Followthrough
Felix Jnr Rig
Walking Cycles

Intro to Pre-Viz
Part 9 - Camera Shake
Part 10 - Contra - Zoom

Rigging and Skinning

Interactive Weights
Post Weights & Interactive Binding

Modelling 2: Hard Surface and Organics
Hard Surface Model - Scooter
Organic Model

All tutorials can be found by the links above or from the "Maya Tutorials" Tab at the top of the blog.

Squash and Stretch: Jumping | Maya

Legs, Spine, Head and Neck | Rigging | Maya

Settle & Rest: Pendulum | Maya

Custom Camera Rig | Maya

Batch Rendering | Maya

Reflectivity | Maya

With and without shadow