Tuesday, 18 October 2011

museum degisn and Inspiration

I'm not very well educated in the world of architecture, but I do have a certain appreciation for it and my personal favourite architect would be Delugan Meissl of Associated Architects, who designed the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart.

Very simple angular designs using plain walls that rely on natural light to fill the room and provide the atmosphere.

Other interesting designs i have found

The new tale

It is still entirely based around the same character 'Newton,'  however instead of arriving home with the cradle, I will now tell the story of how he aquires the cradle from a science museum.

The story it self is incrediblt simple, Newton subtly arrives into the main museum floor through an air conditioning system, rapples to the ground via a rope suspended from the vents above.  Has a quick stroll around the floor out of curiosity, before making a B-Line for the cradle.  The moment that he lifts the cradle from the plynth, a laser security system is acivated which he has to avoid and navigate upon his return journey to his escape rope.  Unfortunatly however whenever he pulls on the rope it unwraps and falls from the ceiling and lands at his feet, leaving the poor raccoon trapped inside the museum......

It most probably will take slightly different twists and turns from this post but this should be the general 'jist.'

Major League Changes

After many many many failed attempts at a creating the forest set.... I have bravely decided to run from the problem and start a new, and produce a prequeal to the film that never was.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Closer to finished turnaround....

Getting purdy close to being happy with this I've been tweeking it all week now so here it is. (Moustache is an optional extra) I haven't decided on eye design yet so any helps would be very cheerily received, KTHXBAI

I think this here will be cover of my Pro Bible.......

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Even nicer Balls........

With reflections from invisible Fur, sure it takes 1.10 to render on my lapithtop but on the college ege ones that should be less than 1 min plus you only see him in reflections for approx 4-5 secs,  but still worked first time, surprised yet happy face! ( : ?                            ( just relised that thats elvis face from tother side! )


Monday, 4 April 2011

Cradling thoughts

Had some great improvements to the rendering of the cradle today, only took 15secs too, even on my laptop (Thurifur the greatest wone ever in existence...... : ) close bracket.

Here's new render, with a single sharpen edges in Photoshop

Where it was on friday....

Thursday, 31 March 2011


As I previously have said, like most people what turned me to animation in the beginning would be the Disney Renaissance period, (fond memories of childhood plus stunning visuals and sounds to match) However I wish to discuss my current influences/ ones that have led me down this path.
     Up until one year ago I would have always ranked 2D animation above 3d (despite my sheer undiluted hatred of animie, sorry anybody who reads this that really enjoys it, I've tried to like it, I've sat through films and full series, but I can't bring my self to it...point being despite this I adored 2D rant over) I felt that they had so much life and that you could feel the personality of the specific artist who drew each frame coming through the picture.  However after coming to university I learnt about and discovered so many great 3D animated films that I changed my tune so to speak.  The only prior 3d influence to that period of time would be the Dreamworks Series 'Father of the Pride,' which unfortunately was a monumental failure but nonetheless it's still my favourite animated series to date

The character designs we not realistic in anyway shape or form but they were able to seamlessly blend the mannerisms of the character to match the voice actors, if a link between voice and action is broken it I believe that it will alienate the audience immediately.  How the character was portrayed to the audience was done in my opinion very well, through the movements and idiosyncrasies of each of the cast was enough to tell you all that was needed to know about that individuals, attitude morals ect. In fact the pilot and following episode were never aired as there was simply too much back story, basically  throwing explanations it in the viewers face as opposed to them delving into the animated world.
       Appearance wise it was ahead of the curve for the time it was released as it was a Dreamworks piece it was very similar to Shrek in appearance (Donkey even made a guest appearance on the show, simply to advertise Sherk 3 but he never looked out of place so for an animated series to have the quality of a multi million dollar block buster really impresses me) the set/char design was quite cartoon esque however they utilize the 3d, so that the textures were deep, the set was detailed, the chars had realistic fur and gloss on their eyes, the shadows created such a more believable atmosphere than a cel shaded environment.  The simply topology and design combined with a more immersive visual is something I really strive to carry over into my own film. 

         Since then technology has vastly improved as have the appearance of the films, A great example of something that inspired me would be cloudy with a chance of meatballs, unfathomably far fetch'd but the visuals carry it off so well, again the caricature ish nature of it's design coupled with the realistic shading and lighting hugely enhance the immersiveness and believability factor.

I like the ldea of recreating complex textures in 3d hense my focus on Fur, films like Open Season, Madagascar, Over the hedge were simply awe inspiring for their fur, as tech progresses so do the outward appearing of the characters and it gives me something further to reference and more importantly to aim for.

1 Open Season 2 Over the hedge
As a Grammar school student my I was taught (ish) that classical artists were the most talented, the masters who could produce near photo-realism believe able textures.. so I guess I've migrated this view over into animation.  As I grew up I discoved Futurism which I become quite fond of, a photo realistic painting might as well be a photo-still, the futurists captured realis tic movement, using abstract subjects, which I can enliken to the simply char immerisive atmosphere that I previously mentioned.

Gianfranco Balla 'Abstract Speed' and 'The Swift'

Marcel Du Champ Nude desending the staircase No.2 (My favoutive painting of all time as it is simply a flipbook but on one fantastic place of paper.

I actually found this next artist by accident, simply through doing a google search for something completly different, ( the fact that the web address is http://www.mixolydian.biz/ has nothing to do with the major/minor/mixolydian scale thing I said in my welcome message just is a rather large coincidence!) Giuseppe Canino is a 3d digital artist who focuses on sculpture and topology exercises.  I see his work as an example of bring expression and life to a model and he avoids the uncanny valley (which is what my dissertaion is on) I have little intrest in the subject of his sculptures themselves, demons, mythological creatures ect but I can appearciate their technical brilliance.  His choice of lighting and shaders also plays a large part in the convincing 'aushend' of this work.

Beauty and the Beast 4, Head Study 2

Some Futher Character Design Ideas

I though that I had pretty much settled on these as they would be purdy functional and easy to animate, however I feel that they seriously lack a likeability factor, so i'm including and early corel paint work which I'm going to develop this week end that looks much cuter but it's current shape urmmmm.... let's say definitly does not lend itself to a nice n easy rig and thus animation..

Turn arounds standing and sitting

The 'Nice wee design,' even though the width of his head is the height of his body
 (I this was inspired my a design I saw on a t'shirt printing website, either wordans or cafe press i believe)
I like the idea of a brown and tawny colour scheme as it will blend much better in with the warmly lit tree surroundings, than the more traditional blueish grey tinge to the fur that is the image that comes to most people when they think of Raccoons,  If I can stretch out the stumpy limbs just enough so that they can comply with all the actions needed, I will then use this hopefully to produce a newer/better turnaround.  Plus it's really different to anything else style wise than i've ever drawn before.... Pat inspired me today to push this one forth

A futher colour test, I am using corel to blend the colours then these will be taken into maya and used as a texture the the ' 3D fur ' Will grow from and collect it's colour maps and infomation,  I like the ginger bits on the tail I don't know whether to use that and a base colour or use it very sparingly to accent certain features...

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A couple of quick character design(ish) Ideas

If all goes according to plan I can use a digital painting (these were done in Corel Painter) for not only the object textures but for all the necessary Fur 'maps'

Initial Maya Tests, Will it Blend!

For once maya worked first time! I even learnt blend shapes in the process, so here are the first few fur tests  Just playing about with multiple colour maps and scraggle, clumping ect...

Basic colour Map (there are 3 levels of lightness, darkest for the skin, middle for the base of the fur and the brightest for the tips)

How it should hopefully...

                                                 Yes, it blends

 Some wood sculptures, that I hope the set could look like.  

Lots of wooden textures

Reference images and Script udates

 I collected many reference images and simply things that would insprire me to go forth with the film, and turned them into poster/mood boards.

The movement and artistic sculpture of a Newtons Cradle


I know this will take up a huge space but meh.. here is my upated script.

Draft Script #002

Chris Walker


Opening, Night

A raccoon is sneaking home, ducking from cover to cover as he makes his way to and through the front door of his tree/house

Newton pulls upon the light switch and holds his swag bag up in the air in triumph.

He follows by removing his bandit mask and begins
to saunter over to his desk where he sets down remove the contents of the bag

He studies the cradle with intent, is intrigued by his own reflection.


Grabs a single ball pulls it up watches the result

His eyes travel along with the movement of the ball, expecting the ball to continue in one direction, he loses sight of it as it swings in reverse to complete it’s path, the sound of the metal colliding brings his attention back to the correct direction.

              Quiet mumbling and giggling

Growing more excited, he checks the room to make sure he is alone, no one else followed him or is watching him. He grasps two balls and watches the outcome, goes to stop the cradle with his paw, the balls stop, but hurts his fingers in the process.

Newton reaches up surveys the damage to his paw then takes a swipe at the cradle.

His claw catches a string and it snaps, the errant ball rolls off of the desk and out of sight, Newton looks for the ball, fails to see it, turns back to the desk lifts and looks at the cradle, sets it back down, as he turns to check the room again he cuffs the swag bag from the table.

Looking round the room he his eyes land on a light bulb,

He takes the bulb and attaches it to the cradle

 Pulls the ball nearest the bulb up and releases it, which proceeds to smash the bulb, bulb lights for a split second upon impact.

At the moment of connection/upon hearing the sound Newton turns away

Waits till the noise dies down and swivels back to look at the mess.

        Disgruntled Sigh

Looks at the cradle, eyes travel downwards, look at the empty bag, then up at the bookcase initially with just his eyes, his head then follows the motion as he looks upwards.

Face lights up with Idea
                    Montage of Building sequence

Grabs railway track from his bookcase,
Pushes trolley chair over to desk,
Casually tries to lift bowling ball fails,
Sits at desk slams fist on desk,
Grabs Christmas lights from bookcase,
Tries to lift bowling ball using both arms fails,
Sits at desk arms working over time,
Runs through shot carrying bowling ball,
Sits at desk tying on the lights,
Pushes Trolley chair to the center of the room,
Grabs welding equipment from the bookcase,
Puts on welding mask, slams down the front.

Other animals have gathering around Netwon’s home and peering through the window

Light rushes through the window from the welding taking place indoors the noise causes the other animals to scatter.
Inside morning light breaks through the window

Newton looks proud at stares at his creation.

Using all his strength he lifts the furtherest left ball as high as he physically can

The ball swings down, the opposite ball swings up further than he expected and smashes out through the window

Cradle continues to sway causing considerable harm to the home

Newton rushes outside to survey damages

Watches the ball swing in and out a few times, panics

Stands on a tree stump near to the window

Tries to catch the ball as it passes

Misses first time

Grabs it on the next swing, it’s has too much momentum for him to be able to successfully stop. Keeps hold of the string

Both Newton and the ball swing in and out of the space in which the window used to be.

(Off Camera) Newton lets go of the ball inside the house, lands with a crash

Stomps angrily through the front door

Standing outside, begins to raise an arm and finger as he tries to come up with an idea, turns to see that the other animals have returned attracted by the noises,


Makes a fist, as he cannot think of anything

Drops the arm, folds them, shoulders slump                  


Credits roll over top of film

Eyes go back and forth as the cradle still has yet to stop.
Eyes light up with idea

Newton stands on the tree stump with a baseball ready for the cradle to throw his a pitch

He swings the heavy ball breaks the bat

Newton bend down to pick up whats left of the bat

Ball swings over head

Newton stands up, sees the oncoming ball,

Ball hits him knocking him inside and uses him as a buffer to stop the cradle

Cut to black


Thursday, 10 March 2011


Just to start things on the right foot, this is a blog dedicated to my up and coming animation        

"Newton the Raccoon"

I'm just going to post any progress major or minor (mabye even mixolydian) here for all to see and hopefully somewhat enjoy, Thanks

           To begin with I'm simply going to talk about, my approach not only to this animation but to animation in general.
            Nearing the end of Grammar School I had to make the decision as to whether I went to a College of Music or College of Art, after a long debate I chose in favour of the latter as I felt I could flex my creative ideas in both a audio/musical way as well as artisticly, plus a career might be more likely be on the cards come the end of University!  It was the Soundtrack/score aspect that turned me to animation in the first place,   (when I was 16 my brother told me there were hidden messages in 'The Lion King' so we decided to see if there was any truth to that, we fast forewarded through most of it and discoved nothing, he said his friends were probbably lying so turned the TV off.  At dinner time I went back wound the tape back and watched it start to finish and was in awe of the Soundtrack, more so the score than the songs but I became hooked.  I then proceeded to drop Math and Physics after gcse/AS level with a much regret if i'm honest, and took up Art and Moving Image Arts, so I could simply draw pretty pictures to some chello based music, wind the tape foreward five years and i'm still doing the same. True story now back to the point at hand)
            I feel like I have come along way since then I have a much better grounding in the knowledge of how true animation works flows and the rules that must be followed, as well as improving my music theory in my free time.  I suppose I focused upon animation as opposed to painting, graphics ect. as like the scientific subjects it has an almost, right or wrong answer or aspect.  Each step needs to be done in a certain/correct  manner for it to work, and when it does not it is blatently obvious!  I know this sounds completely boring but I like following rules, working with numbers and solving problems, and from some point of views that is what animation is. (at least to me)
              I get my creative fill during the script writing, designing and Scoring stages, which keeps moral up, then the rest of the time, I enjoy arguing with maya ironing out its wee problems, following pre production art in the modelling stage, animating to a strict 'dopesheet' or using the numbers and timing from a music piece to attempt to link seamlessly link Audio and Visual.  (through a scientific method as opossed to TBA..... just my approach!)

Ps. i find at the early creative stages of a project (i.e now) if I try too hard or focus all my energy on one aspect, It sucks the life out of it for me, it loses the spontaneity factor that is what keeps the piece original and fresh, simply an excuse as to why I am experiencing slow progress with character design.