Sunday, 23 May 2010

Reflections: Final

I am pleased with my progress this term and especially the speed in which I have completed my work and been able to use the Maya interface. At the start of this term I would have been impressed that I have completed a few different walk cycles, a character lip sync, as well as the Pirates of the Produce Aisle scenes and making the DVD.

Positives from the term:
  • working within a team to create the Pirates film
  • animating rigs that I have not created myself as this is likely what I will be doing in the Industry (normally I create my own rigs, so it was fun to get straight on with the animation and modelling not take up all my time)
  • I haven't touched walk cycles for about a year, it's nice to get back to learning and improving my basic skills
  • Same for the lip sync animation, I wish I had spent a bit more time on Verbal's expressions but I think his lip sync is pretty good
  • Working to deadlines set by myself and the Pirates team to make sure all the scenes were finished on time
  • Taking advice from the lead animators, it was nice having someone evaluate your work constantly and getting regular feedback
  • Using a mac to make the DVD
  • I have been far better at Blogging this term and have used it at every opportunity. I could probably have done some more research but I think this is easier for when you are creating your own characters or environments for pictures etc.


  • It seemed to take forever to get the Pirates rigs, and because I was unsure of when I was getting them I kind of held back my other work until I had done it. I did not want to start something else major then have to leave it and lose track of it.
  • I did not complete a lot of things I wanted to do, such as the water effects and also an animal walk cycle. This is going to especially be a focus for me during the summer.
  • I also did not realise that I had to ask permission for my DVD music, and I have still not had a reply to my emails. This is something I will plan far more in advance.

Aims for the Summer

  1. Animal Walk Cycle
  2. Continue with my character animation - I would like to model and rig a character from scratch then use my own voice or record someone else and create my own scene from scratch.
  3. So... modelling and rigging. I especially want to look at rigging as this is a sought after skill in the Industry and links well to animation so you understand how the structure works better
  4. Life drawing!!!
  5. Any other drawing!!!

By the time I come back to University in October I want a completely new Showreel with far more complex work on it. I may even look into creating a rigging and modelling ahowreel and also an animation showreel to showcase a variety of my work.


I am pleased with my term of work, I know that I could have done a bit more to give the last finesse to my work, but I have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do for my own final project next year and I know I want to have my team finished far before this stage.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Copyright Music

Here are the emails I sent regarding the music I used on my DVD. I realise I shouldn't have used the music without their say so but I am hoping they will both say yes. I cannot see why they wouldn't say no as I have made it clear it is not a public file. I am now just waiting for their reply. The Broken Sword music I used on my Photography slideshow was downloaded from their website so I do not need to ask for their permission.

'Hi my name is Hayley Allen and I am an Animation student at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication.I am writing to ask for permission to use the Gorillaz Stylo as background music on my portfolio dvd of my animation work. This is for my final term project and will NOT be made public, so therefore will be seen by myself and my tutor only.I can credit the music to you if you wish.Thank you for your time,Regards,Hayley'

'Hi my name is Hayley Allen and I am currently a student at Ravensbourne college of Design and Communication.I am writing to ask to be able to use Lady Gaga's Bad Romance as backing music for a slideshow of my drawings to put on my portfolio dvd for my uni year.The DVD will NOT be publicly shown and will only be seen by myself and my tutor.I would appreciate this as I love the song and feel the vibrancy of the music suits my style.Thank you for your time,Hayley Allen'

Final Stages

Well finally... after months of work... here are the final stages of my Industry Exercise 3 project.

The first stage was creating my final DVD that works on a DVD player. I used a Mac and DVD Studio Pro to create the DVD, which was a first for me as I am a PC user. The pictures above show my notes that I took in lesson, but I found that when it came to using the program that I didn't really need them and only skimmed through for a couple of points.

Above: proof of using the Mac :)
I did have a few problems using the program because I am not used to the buttons and commands of a Mac and kept using my PC shortcuts. I also spent ages trying to open the DVD drive without avail until I was told that there is a button in the top right hand corner that opens it. There was also problems with the final renders but after 3 attempts it does work.

Here's the final packaging for my showreel. I like that is keeps with the style of the DVD and has quite striking colours. I printed the inserts out at University after trying at home because the colours came out stronger and it looks more professional than my printer at home.

Proof that the DVD works! Woo!

DVD Menus

The next stage in the development of my DVD was to create the different menu screens. I realise that I already had the menu background images, but I wanted to use my previous research to enhance my dvd, so I created a little bit of movement on the one by using Trapcode Particular in After Effects.

I have used a little bit of After Affects before, and only used it very basically here as I did not want to distract too much from the already busy background and also the moving images for the button links.

I am really pleased that I did this because it does add to the pages, makes them a little more creative and saves from having a boring static background. It also shows a mixture of skills that have gone into making the DVD. For the menus alone, I utilises Maya for the 3D lettering and grid, Photoshop to crop the images, After Effects to add the light effects across the grids, Premiere to convert the After Effects files to MPEG-2s and also change the size of the image so that it was fit to Broadcast, and finally DVD Studio Pro to put the DVD together.

The only thing I wish I had done is try out different styles to see which one I prefer, as I am still finding out my own artisitic style. I am pleased with the design of my DVD, I hope it is a little different to everyone elses and does look more professional with the added effects.

DVD Packaging

When it came to the DVD packaging, I wanted to use my own work a bit like when they have still images of a film on the back of a movie case. I therefore print screen copied images from my Showreel to decorate the case.

I want my DVD to be personal to my wokr, so as well as the screen grabs I wanted to use my signature as my logo or trademark, as it is what I use to sign all of my drawings.

The image below shows my final cover design, I kept the theme of the Maya grid from my DVD and added my work images to it. I wanted the background to be dark as I thought this would be quite striking and maybe stand out from coloured cases. The black also highlights the blue and yellow lines as well as emphasising the colour from the screen grabs, so the work jumos out from the case.
This would be good if I sent the case to employers as it gives them an idea of what my work entails even before they open the case. It is evident that I am an Animator and the sort of packages that I use.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

New Improved Showreel!!

This term is finally coming together, here is my new improved showreel including my work from this term :)

I think it is better as my Post Production scenes I weren't entirely happy with have been reduced but are stll there to show I can do it, but it is obviously focused on animation.

Hayley Allen Showreel 2010 (number2) from Hayley Allen on Vimeo.

Mr Bean Final Walk Cycle

I have finally finished my Mr Bean Walk Cycle today, and decided to render it to give it a different look on my showreel to the Pirates and Verbal playblasts. I am quite pleased with the foot movement on this, and it does match the scene perfectly.

I think I could spend more time on this over the summer adding facial expressions and refining the movements, but I am pleased with it in time for my deadline on Friday.

My next aim is to convert my last few files and to create a new version of my Showreel.