Thursday, 30 June 2011

Cartoon and Comic Arts at Staffordshire University

Cartoon & Comic Arts at Staffordshire University

Just to let you know the wheels are turning and the new cohort is getting ready for the imminent arrival at Staffs uni in September. I've started to deck out the new Comic Arts studio with Ikeas finest, starting off with the comfy area, a place where the great minds can relax and contemplate! I'm very keen to make this into an actual studio rather than a teaching room, I want the students to come in a feel that there is a definite step up from further Education into a more professional based curriculum aimed at developing a work ethos!
Anyway enough of the big words, just have a look at my spotty sofas!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Degree Show up date.

Degree Show
Staffordshire University

The degree show has been running for a couple of days now and there seems to be a never ending supply of the public, teachers and school parties making there way through the building. 
here are some high light that I've put together of the show from my point of view. 

First of May Jowd, Tom Grainger,Alex Young and John Colenso film that I storyboarded on a little earlier on in this Blog.
You can have a look at the images I drew off their designs and how they  ended up in real life!!

Above and below from concept in the storyboard process to the finished article, Alex Young became a dab hand at the creation of Latex foam puppets.

John Colenso's Fox, there was an offer of £40 for the final model

Same Edwards life size Robot brought to life in his animation.

John Fox received an award, not for the home made Spiderman Suit but for one of the best and imaginative CV's. He did his as a comic strip!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Scribbles of a Mad Man 05 Space Cops

Space Cops

I must admit the idea came to me early last year whilst I was reading Tom Strong and sort of developed from there. Having said that the more rounded concept above was shaped by a 2nd year 3D student who produced these 2 Characters for a module I run on Character Animation & Implementation. It is about designing character understanding characters and being able to animate them because they have goals objectives and aims. I never understood just animate something and then animate it doing something else!! Ed Hooks gives an excellent talk, which I'm not going to try a replicate here in this blog spot, but if he comes to Staffordshire university, I would strongly recommend you see him!!

I would have loved to try and come up with a story and filled the book from beginning to end in this style.

Above is the original concept art for the main bad characters, a robot and a Darth Vader like creation!
Below is how the ideas developed and show you some of the places where the influences came from!

Obviously Darth Vader played an important part in the development of the character on the Right. I wanted a scared figure who has to hide himself, so to make himself loathing and wanting to take revenge on the world for the curse that befell him! The other Character, I was reading in a book by Scott McCloud, how people draw human faces and how they try and pull out those things that make faces faces! So close up of spiders and flies repulse us! I went for a more Cyclops view, while this doesn't really demonstrate McClouds' view it is a realisation in the same way that Darth Vader is scarred and has to hide behind a mask!!!  

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Scribbles of a Mad Man 04 Primeval & Fringe

Sky Viewing
Primeval & Fringe

I notice that Watch in showing the new series of "Primeval" (Series 5). I've been a big fan of this since it started, in fact it's origins were born out of the "Walking with Dinosaurs" series by Tim Haines who went onto develop other Prehistoric shows where paleontologists went back in time to see under water creatures or the birth of mammal's etc. I think the idea is a good and simple one. there are rifts in time and instead of us going through them, what would happen if things started coming through to us!!
It is almost the basis of every "B" Movie from "Godzilla" to "The Beast from 20000 Fathoms" The only problem the writer had was to come up with a half believable idea about how the creatures got here. In this series Time has come up with a credible answer (I use credible in a flight of fancy way!!) so that each week he can reintroduce different monsters that occupy different environments! Which brings us round to Fringe. I do like Walter Bishop, reminds me a lot of the Doctor, a genius with something missing! Once again Fringe looks at parallel universe's and the conflict that would exist if 2 worlds tried to occupy the same space and time! Scary!!
Below is a small comic strip I was doing for Primeval.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Scribbles of a Mad Man 03 Tourchwood


Think I got the inspiration for this from the cover of SFX Magazine. Captain Jack, looking a bit older if I must say and I don't think my drawing has done him any favours!! Seems like both Doctor Who and Tourchwood have been given a cash injection as they've both been filmed in the USA this time... You would have thought that USA would have had it's own Touchwood, after all it's got a "Fringe" or  "X Files" department.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

More Scribbles of a Mad Man 2 Doctor Who

Scribbles of a Mad Man

just to keep the theme going that I started a couple of months ago. I've decided to add a few more drawing from my sketch book. I brought the Sketch book about November time last year and it is one of those that you fold out similar to a Constantina! 

Anyway, I've almost filled it, some with good drawings others with not so good!! But nevertheless I thought I'd show what I've been doing and what has taken my fancy in the past few months!

A new series of Doctor Who, where they killed of the main character in the first 15-20 minutes, which I thought was a masterstroke and then reintroduced him from another point in time! Steve Moffatt does like to shake it up a bit. I wasn't to sure about the 11th Doctor at first but Matt Smith has grown on me and I prefer Amy Pond to the winging character Donna played by Catherine Tate!!
Anyway Doctor Number 2 appears in this sketch as I was reading an article by Neil Gaimen who says that Patrick Troughton is his favourite Doctor!! Unfortunately before my time!

My Favourite was Tom Baker, he was completely nutty and self assured in himself. I think he gave Moffatt the template to which he's told all the other Doctors to work from! Peter Davidson sort of sent the Doctor into a world of self doubt where he seemed to continuously question himself! Anyway Amy! Some sketch's as I've tried to get her face right, make your own opinion on that, but anyone who wears skirts as short as hers and runs around space and time cant be all bad!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Staffordshire University End of Year Degree Show

Staffordshire University
Degree Show
Friday 10th June 6pm
College Road
Hey it's that time of year again when the 3rd year students show off there work to the general public and also visiting professionals and industry guests. Starting this Friday (10th June 6pm) the Degree Show Opens.
The Animation Awards are all under one umbrella and also in a new place inside the Henerion Building. There is also an awesome Stop Motion Display which I would strongly recommend everyone to pop along too! It shows what they have learnt and how good that particular award can be and will be in future years, it's a bench mark to be sure! Luckily we've got a few ex students currently working at Aardman on the feature Film "Pirates"on the way to have a look!
Anyway I hope to see you all there and if you see me come over and say hello, or at least get me a beer! Well done to all the students

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Old Art Work

I was looking back through a hard drive the other day and found some of the life and object drawings I set as a module for 1st Year animation students at Staffordshire University. I'm still surprised that good work then is still good work now, and it is a bit of a shame how I never get chance to see any work of this calibre anymore! Curse you 3D!!
These images were taken on a 1st Year trip to Buxton, which is just up the road from the university. Unfortunately the trips may soon become a thing of the past with the introduction of the tuition fees and the onus will be more or less on the student to make their way to various places rather than wait for the institution to organise. Also health and safety has run amock so it is a logistic nightmare to organise, but listen to me rant and rave!
It was the pictures I wanted to talk about and how they were going to get used! The aim was to get students to do primary research and collect as much of it as possible. In Buxton there are some very interesting buildings with period architecture. The whole essence could have been set in the era of steam punk, around the Victorian times. Shame nothing other than these quick sketches came out of it!

Observational drawing of people in and around Bakewell market. This seemed like a good idea at the time. training animators having to quickly sketch poses of people they see. Obviously for some this was too much and the common cry was they never stood still long enough. It never occurred to the student that if they positioned themselves where they and the model didn't move it would be a good start! A Cafe or Bar, followed by going into the market and drawing people browsing! Rather than running across roads!

Life Drawing

Loved these quick sketches knocked up by a mature student who knew how to push the boundaries of a brief! I won't mention him in case I embarrass him but he was and still is good!

Having Jonny Duddle come in and talk to the Students was good as he got them to take the sketches, scan them into the computer and using either Photoshop or Painter, colour them in!

Various exercises, collage and negative space!