Sunday, 19 December 2010

Uni Film Concept Art and Other Stuff :)

Hello!

Today I get to reveal some concept art for my 3rd year uni film! Me and my co-pilot Dale Wilson have been busy finishing the story for our 10ish minute film of epic proportions, and we can't wait to get production underway! We both think we have a brilliant little film in the making, and we are really excited to hear what everyone makes of it!






We are also collecting all our artwork for an "art of" book to be released at the same time, detailing all the processes that go into making a short animated film. We are hoping to get a trailer out by January.

Also in other news, you may have noticed that on my Etsy store there is now a lack of Doctor Who posters. Due to reasons I can't really disclose Etsy had to take them down. The good news is that you can donate £12 to the Ameba Graphics Poster Fund to cover the excess printing costs and get a poster sent out to you for free :)









Merry Christmas!

-Jonny

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

TeeFury Shirt Submission!

Recently I have been submitting a few designs to TeeFury again! So I thought I would share one. This one basically is a vectorised version of a poster design I made a few months ago, and it only just occurred to me to submit it as a shirt!



The other design I made is another Oddworld related one. If TeeFury doesn't get back to me with an answer then I will post it here :)

If you are a member of the TeeFury community, then let me know what you think of this design in the comments on their website!

-Jonny

Saturday, 27 November 2010

My Handwriting!

I have been toying with one of my favourite iPad apps today called iFontMaker. If you are interested in typography and own an iPad there is NO reason for you not to have this app.

So I had a go at making a TTF of my own handwriting! Which you can download for free HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2010

iPad Backgrounds!

I, like many other people, have recently got hold of an iPad! And as usual, my next logical thought was "what can I make for this??"

So, to match the Nerdfighteria iPhone wallpapers, I have done some matching iPad ones too! They work both in portrait and landscape. Just tap on the one you want, hold down your finger on the image, click "save image" and the in your settings, change your wallpaper! You can even have one colour as the lock screen, and another as the background. I spoil you don't I? :)

Enjoy!






Also, if you want some Android supported backgrounds, leave a comment with your screen dimensions and I will get some made up for you :) Just that Android phones and devices don't have a standard background, thats all :)

New posters are going to be available soon too! So watch this space for christmas delivery times and such :D

-Jonny

Link this on twitter! Short URL: http://dft.ba/-ipad-backgrounds

EDIT:
HTC Wildfire:


HTC Desire

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Nerdfighter Shirt Roundup!

I have been getting a lot of pictures either emailed or tweeted at me the past few days, so I thought I would share some of them, plus LOADS more that I found on the internet. Its very very odd seeing my design being worn by so many awesome people!



Remember if you have a pic of yourself wearing your Nerdfighter shirt and want your tile added to this photomontage, then email me ameba-graphics@hotmail.com or tweet @ameba2k with your pic!

Already my shirt is seeping into the Nerdfighter community, It can be seen worn by a girl who finds double rainbows so intense in Dan Browns LA Gathering Video, and then again in his San Francisco Gathering Vlog (Josh, who likes Jam and tea with bread), and quite a few people wearing it in a Five Awesome Girls video! Thanks to Ellen (@OhDumbledear) for that one.

The money raised from the shirts has been donated to the respective charities, thus the circle is complete :)

Any ideas for my next shirt design? :P

-Jonny

EDIT:
Including John Green wearing my shirt in Amsterdam! Plus a Pikachu hat, unfortunately I didn't make that :P Hi-res HERE

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Nerdfighteria Wallpapers!

Today I got the money through for the Nerdfighteria shirt through! I am in the process of adding together a percentage of the profits from the Nerdfighteria Posters on Etsy to give a total amount soon! That will then get divided between Partners in Health and Cancer Research!

So, to commemorate this joyous occasion, I am giving away some iPhone/iPod Touch wallpapers! Either navigate to the images below in Safari on your iPhone/iPod Touch and save to your library, or sync them through iTunes. Will be getting some sexy looking wallpapers for your computer too! But hopefully these should do for now :) plus they come in 4 wonderful colours! My favourite is the red one.









Also, people have started to get their Nerdfighteria TeeFury shirts delivered! If you feel like sharing a picture or two of you wearing it, send me a message on my twitter @ameba2k or shoot me an email: ameba-graphics@hotmail.com.

-Jonny

Sunday, 24 October 2010

NEWS ROUNDUP!

Hey! Quite a bit has happened in the past few weeks since my Nerdfighter shirt went on sale on TeeFury, so here are some of the highlights so far!

• First of all, thank you to everyone who contributed in the fight against worldsuck and bought a Nerdfighter shirt on the 11th of October! It was such a fantastic day! and altogether we sold 2391 shirts! So thats $2,391 that is going to charity! :D Also I am donating some money from the sales of the Nerdfighteria Posters on my Etsy Store! So if you still feel like contributing, then go get one! Since then I have had a congratulatory Skype conversation with John Green! Hopefully the first of many.

• Production is well underway on mine and Dale's yet to be titled 3rd year animation. In the past few weeks we have built a solid story and have worked on a lot of concept art, I will be posting some of it here in the weeks to follow, but there is still a hell of a lot to do by April 1st, our final deadline for everything to be finished. Ill just tell you that we have a brilliant story for a 10 minute short! Very excited to tell you all about it!

• I went to Otley, Leeds to meet with Stewart Gilray from Just Add Water, a company that is currently remastering the last Oddworld Game; Stranger's Wrath for the PSN. I got to give him a load of my Oddworld Posters, a few of which he is sending to Lorne Lanning. According to him, Lorne simply stated that they where "cool".

• Posters are still all selling very well on my Etsy Store! If you want to grab yourself an Oddworld or Doctor Who or Nerdfighteria Poster then go get one! There is limited stock for each of them!

• And in non-businessy related news, I got my brilliant new iMac, which might be one of the best things I have ever purchased, I am a happy little geek :D

To keep up on places I am going to be, be sure to check out my Twitter, as I usually bring along some free posters for anyone who can find me. On Tuesday I am going to be in London all day! So keep a lookout for me. Probably hanging out at the new Covent Garden Apple Store, as I really want to see what it looks like.

-Jonny

Friday, 1 October 2010

Nerdfighters on TeeFury!

I just got a confirmation email from the lovely Michelle at TeeFury, confirming that my Nerdfighter shirt will be availible to purchase for one day only on the 11th of October, only on TeeFury!



Remember, with TeeFury all the shirts are availible for ONE DAY ONLY! so put the 11th in your diary.

For the remainder of the week I will also be selling a limited number of A2 sized Nerdfighter Posters on Etsy! So be sure once you have grabbed a shirt that you head on over to my Etsy Store to grab yourself a matching poster!

And if you haven't already, follow me on twitter @ameba2k for competitions throughout the day!

All the proceeds from the shirt and poster sales will go towards two charities, once Cancer Research charity, in memory of the awesome Esther, and the other half will go towards John's chosen charity, Partners in Health.

I absolutly cannot wait for another TeeFury day! The last one I had was so much fun throughout the entire 24 hours. And I hope that you Nerdfighters will make this one extra awesome!

So remember, 11th of October, grab yourself a neat T-Shirt and Poster and help make some money for a couple of awesome causes!

See you on then!

-Jonny

Edit: EffYeahNerdfighters just posted a really mint post about the event, if you are on Tumblr, then go and see their post HERE

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Doctor Who A2 Posters!



First of all, I now have a limited supply of Doctor Who A2 Posters, now available from Etsy! go HERE to go and get yourself one! At the moment I only have The Doctor as a print, but if it proves popular then I will get an Amy Pond one made up too. They are printed on 150gsm Gloss paper and are delieverd to you, as all my posters are, in solid cardboard tubes, To make sure you recieve it in the best possible quality.

Second, the Winners of my Twitter Competition! Who receive each an A2 Doctor Who poster, and an A3 Amy Pond Poster are
@EllieMitchell15
and
@Brainyspecs

Congratulations guys! Hope you like them!

I had some fantastic quotes tweeted at me over the last 24 hours, here are just a few that are pretty cool:

"Actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, [time is] more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff."
- @ de4d5y

"Donna: You are completely impossible! The Doctor: Not impossible... just a bit unlikely"
- @katiedoyle

"That's a fairytale." "Aren't we all?"
- @SnapPop

Really was overwhelmed by the response I got for this competition. Will probably be doing more of these in future! So stay following me on my Twitter @ameba2k and see if you win something next time!

Also, Im about to start a new series of Poster Designs! Will be posting the first one later this month, and from that you will probably understand what series I am going for. But feel free to guess in the comments :) Or even suggest a series I should have a crack at next!

Lots and lots done, and loads more planned for the rest of the year :D

-Jonny

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Some Who Shirts!

First of all, thanks again to everyone who bought my Doctor Who TeeFury Shirt, And sorry to people who missed it. Unfortunately I don't have the means to make the shirt myself, but If i ever get round to screen printing my own I will let you all know.

I have been asking people who have bought the shirt on my Twitter to send me some pics of them wearing it! Not only to see my shirt, but also to prove to myself that the whole day actually happened, and people actually liked the design. Here are a few! If you want to send me some more, feel free to email me at ameba-graphics@hotmail.com and send me your best picture. Here are just a few:



I loved the whole experience, and amazingly my followers on Twitter has stayed around 500! It really is amazing to think that people will stick around even after the Doctor Who shirts.

Remember, you can still buy A3 Posters of The Doctor, Amy Pond and other designs from the store!

-Jonny

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Meeting John Green and the Nerdfighter Gathering!

Have just got back from a day trip to Edinburgh to meet John Green and other Nerdfighers.

For those who don't know, John Green is a writer of such teen fiction titles as Looking For Alaska and Paper Towns, he is also primarily known among us all as one half of the Vlog Brothers! Where he exchanged videos every day with his brother Hank Green.

Me and Franki both donned our new Ambea Graphics shirts and headed for Waverly station. After waiting for a while we met up with Nyla and other YouTuber's outside the Millies Cookies stand and waited for John's Train to arrive.

Upon his arrival he was greeted by about 10 of us, exchanged greetings and headed over to the park, where to my amazement, there where about 60 other Nerdfighters all waiting for us!



Then John said a little speech, and we all said good morning to his brother Hank for his Vlog on Monday. Afterwards me and Franki gave out 100 posters to everyone while John signed some books. People also where getting my posters signed too. A surreal experience for me, having someone want someone else to sign something that I have made. Here is the poster I made for the event:



We hung out under the tree overlooking the sea next to a giant Parthenon structure, the weather was beautiful, sung songs and got to know each other. Lots of group photos too. John gathered everyone together to hold up my posters too so I could get a picture. This to me was amazing, seeing everyone with my work. I loved it.




John then had to leave to go to the event, we unfortunately didn't have tickets so we had to leave. Not before I got one last picture with him. He said he made special exceptions for graphic designers. Mint.


All in all, Nyla did a fantastic job putting the gathering together in such a short space of time, if given a few more weeks I recon we could have had double what we had today. But it was a good number of people. Was great to finally meet John after following the Vlog Brothers for so long. Need to meet Hank next please.

-Jonny

Saturday, 14 August 2010

TeeFury Debrief

Wow.

Yesterday has to be one of the most hectic and exciting days ever. Not only did I move into my new house in Newcastle, but also my Tshirt on TeeFury sold 2239 times! Was a fantastic print run, and also it got Pancakes! Pancakes meaning its a "hot seller" or something. Still, look how cute he is!



I fully expect everyone who bought a tee to send me a picture of them wearing it to ameba-graphics@hotmail.com just so it proves you actually did buy them and its not my imagination.

Also I was running two competitions to win 4 of my posters yesterday! Was going to give away 2 but the response was so huge that I decided to give out a few more :) Two on the TeeFury comments, and the other was two on my Twitter by tweeting a hashtag at me. The Winners of them where:

Jadellyn and wbuthod from TeeFury
and
@englamericann and @UlyssesOnion

Congratulations to them! Posters will be printed off and sent off as soon as possible.

Some stats from yesterday:
781 Comments on the site
241 Competition entrants
peaked at 180 tees in an hour

Can't wait to see people actually wearing one of my designs.

Thanks go to Jimiyo for curating my tee and helping me get the design print ready and for all his encouragement, Franki for helping me pick the winners, my new followers on Twitter and the TeeFury community for all their comments

-Jonny

Friday, 13 August 2010

Doctor Who on TeeFury!

Good Morning!



Woke up this morning with two hundred new followers on Twitter and several new followers to this blog! Hello to everyone new!

So, My T Shirt design is on TeeFury NOW! :D

I have to say Jimiyo has done a fantastic conversion job on this one. The colours are very dynamic and really stand out. If you are a Doctor Who fan and love that Tomorrowland Optimism, then you will love todays T-shirt!

Not only that, But there is a competition to win one of 3 Doctor Who Posters! One in the TeeFury comments, and Two on Twitter!

For the one on TeeFury, simply leave comment on the poster, and on Twitter simply tweet @ameba2k #canihavethatdoctorwhoposterplease or Retweet some of my competition updates throughout the day with that particular hashtag! Good Luck!

Having a brilliant day already! Look forward to reading everyones comments about it! :D

-Jonny

Oddworld Poster Series

Hello World! Quick post.

Ive just finished my last in a series of Oddworld inspired Poster Designs! These are something I have been working on quite a bit in my spare time. They started life as Art Deco posters, but quickly evolved into something askew from the style, especially with the Strangers Wrath one.



You can check out all of these and other poster designs, as usual, on my Poster Design Blog!

-Jonny

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Hewitt and Walker's Completion! & Other News

Just got back from the printers this afternoon, which marks the final stage for the Hewitt and Walker History Of Cinema! I am meeting up with Ollie to oversee the final render of the film and burn it, ready to send off!



The design has been ongoing since the films conception, and has seen many different alterations. But this design not only matches the aesthetic of the film, but is in a style that I have been happy with for quite a while. Something of a rarity when you are as self critical as I am!

They look brilliant all folded in the box now. Spend the majority of the night folding them all!

If you want more information on The Hewitt & Walker History of Cinema, then become a fan of us on Facebook! We have around 80 fans already! But be sure to add your name to that select few, and if you like what you see, let us know! :D

In Other News:

• My Blog has been featured on the Official Vancouver Film School Blog! If you look back at previous posts, I did a day by day diary of what I got up to on my Vancouver Film School Summer Intensive. And they liked my blog enough to not only feature it, but give me a free T-Shirt :D Thank you VFS for not only having me, but endorsing my blog.

TeeFury have announced the date that they are going to be producing my TShirt! I won't say exactly what design is going to be printed, but you can probably guess. It will be featured on Friday, August 13 2010. Be sure to go and check out TeeFury in a fortnight to see my design, and if you like it, get a shirt! :D

• I have also uploaded 2 more posters to my Poster Design Blog, one of them being the 3rd in a 4 part Oddworld Poster series focusing on Strangers Wrath, shown below. The other being a Nerdfighters Poster! Visit my poster blog for all of them and more!




More Ameba News as it develops! I am out with Ollie tomorrow, so expect pictures and more news on Hewitt and Walker!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Day 5 at VFS

Last day! The early mornings and inspired late nights were starting to catch up with me. Nothing a coffee couldn't remedy though! And onwards towards my last day. Today we had 3D animation and character modelling!



3D Animation

When it comes to teaching 3D in Maya, the lines are so blurred between different disciplines that often the teachers go over things we had already  covered in previous lessons. But rather than a carbon copy of yesterdays character animation, this one took the basics of animating with Maya and reiterated it until we where at least confident using Maya by yourself. For me, going over the basics was just what I needed. After being pretty much self taught in 3D through trial and error, it was great to have professional tutoring. 

Our lesson consisted of a basic bouncing ball animation. But concentrated on getting that ball to bounce the best it could, applying the squash and stretch techniques we used in classical animation. We where all told that nothing is perfect, and that to make our future animations look more authentic, we had to distort the animation curves slightly, once you had the perfect ball. It was very satisfying getting it looking great! Then we did some texturing to get it looking swish.

Last lunch of the week was some more sandwiches. Lovely.

Then it was Visual Effects time! You could tell that some people had been looking forward to this one all week! The first half of the lesson was a lecture on everything that goes into making modern visual effects. And breakdowns of every aspect of the industry. After that, we had quick fire Maya tutorials! Starting with basic dynamics, texturing, modelling, shading, rigging, animating, cameras and lighting! Was amazing to get that level of teaching in just a couple of hours!

Then, towards the end, our course rep came around with our official VFS course completion certificates! Was hoping I would get something like that, going straight on my wall when I get home. 

They had one last treat for us, we went to the modelling room and where introduced to Zbrush! I have never used a program like it. It's more like sculpting in clay. And I loved it! We only had half an hour on it, but the introduction was massively helpful. Really can't wait to get home and start playing with it. A massively more intuitive way of modelling characters that need a lot of detail. 



Thus completes my week at Vancouver Film School! I'm so happy I had the opportunity to go. I met some massively inspirational people that have changed the way I approach animation and film. Who knows, hopefully I will end up back there! Even if I don't end up at VFS, Vancouver is such a beautiful city, I might just move there once my degree is over! Thanks for having me Canada!

Friday, 23 July 2010

VFS Day 4

Another early morning, and a brisk walk with a morning coffee to VFS's Animation building. Todays lessons where Acting for Animation and 3D Animation!



Acting For Animation

After a bit of room confusion we all bundled into the common room for our much anticipated Acting Class. By now we are starting to get to know each other, and can have a chat about what we expected of this class. Whatever each of us had thought acting was going to be, we where all wrong.

The guy teaching us came and sat down and made us each say what we think acting is. We all said variations of the illusion of characters or making an audience believe whats on screen. We where all right, but very wrong too. He taught us at speed the essence of characters in films and how and audience relates to them, and what it takes to convey emotion with characters.

From there we discussed how to construct a scene using specific examples from Ice Age and Shrek, and how each of them has different things to look out for. Im generalising here of course. He expressed distaste for acting classes that teach you to express yourself by acting as a tree, or a cloud or something like that. Not once has he needed to be a tree or a cloud. Or anything inanimate. Simplicity in the work is key. Something he didn't want us to forget in a hurry.

You could tell that he had years and years of different acting classes, and he had pulled out all the essentials and tried to cram in as much as he could in the 3 hour time slot. We each constructed a scene in pairs using the techniques he showed us, and we each had to talk about it. A fantastic exercise in writing. And I was itching to go home and start writing my own work!

3D Animation

After a sandwich lunch and a lengthy discussion about Pokémon with people, we made our way upstairs to the 3D animation room. Yesterday we learned how to make a fish swim, Today it was getting into making believable 3D animation using a simple bouncing ball animation. Having a bit of Maya knowledge already, I used this oppertunity to grill our tutor about some of the finer things about Maya, and any tips and shortcuts he can show me. Which he did. After then I decided to pick up a bit of zBrush in preparation for our lesson on it tomorrow. Something I really can't wait for! I got a small into to it from a guy called Logan on the course, and some of the stuff he had created was insane. Its such a more intuative way of making 3D models rather than staring with a Polygonal geometry in maya.

Overall I really feel like I am getting the best parts of a broad curriculum. I feel like I can go home soon and feel more ready than ever to get to work on my final year animation. I have a better understanding of story structure now to add to the mix. Its all coming together.

Inception tonight! Then my last day tomorrow! Including a trip to the VFS shop for some gifts for people back home :)

Oh, And a pixelated whale...



-Jonny

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Sunsets and Fireworks

Had to post something about my night.

Yesterday, our history tutor mentioned that there will be a huge firework display on down by the river thanks to a group called the Celebration of Light. So we all nodded and said that we would go and check it out if we weren't doing anything.

I walked over the bridge and saw a mass of people herding towards the coast, lining the beaches and crammed into the parks. After walking down I took my seat on a patch of grass in-between two giant sculptures and watched the sun set...



Then a couple of people from the course, plus some game design lot, came and sat with me and we waited for it to get dark enough. We chatted for a while, then as soon as the fireworks started our attention was diverted. We discussed the mechanics of fireworks and how brilliant it might be to have the general public be able to control it. The people next to us where talking about the free popcorn.

It was so cool just hearing the fireworks rumble through the mountains then back behind you. Anyone oblivious to the fireworks behind the mountains would first think of thunder, then an air raid.



Loved every minute. Pixels never do fireworks (or anything) justice, but I tried :)

-Jonny

VFS Day 2 & 3

Sorry to anyone who reads this for not updating yesterday, I got back from Tuesday completly burned out and slept for 10 hours. But, refreshed this morning I went right into Day 3.

Day 2



Against our scheduled timetable, we had History of Animation, and in the afternoon we completed our classical animation sessions with learning a walk cycle.

Apprehensive about History, we walked into the room to be greeted by a quietly enthusiastic guy. As soon as we all took our seats he dove right in with describing the specifics of how moving pictures and animation works on screen, onto different types of animation there are, to discussing what films have inspired us to come to VFS in the first place. A lot of people influenced by Pixar films, so he talked about what inspired John Lassater when he was at CalArts. One inperticular he showed us was Fredric Back's The Man Who Planted Trees. a 30 minute animation which is fantastic! We watched a few more films and had discussions about each of them. The most phenomenal one is a film made by doing finger paintings on glass called The Old Man and the Sea by Alexandra Petrov. A FINGER Painting! :O There where loads more. All in all you came away from the session with a more broad perspective of the whole of animation, rather than the diet of Disney that you usually get. It was brilliant to get a condensed 4 hour lecture from someone who really has a massive amount of knowledge and appreciation about the field. Rather than hating History of Art, I left wanting to come back for another lecture! Maybe next year.

Classical animation came to its conclusion for the week learning a walk cycle. Different to the sack of flour yesterday, being more planning and getting the movement right over 12 frames. Quite difficult, I went through about 3 different cycles before I got one that looked even remotely realistic. Its something you really have to keep doing over and over again. Which we did. Iain, the guy who was helping teach, when he wasn't teaching anyone, he would sit and draw. By the end of the session, he had a stack of paper about an inch thick that he had made during the afternoon, and each of us in the class had been drawn around 4 different times. Im very aware of my own circular shaped head...

The day finished with a few drinks with the people from Game Design on the other campus. Sat around our table where 2 Autralians, 2 Americans, 1 Mexican and 1 Englishman (me). You had to take a step back and see how VFS had brought people from nearly every continent together in one place. And these guys are really on fire about their fields. They love animation and game designing. Us all talking about our work was exculpating into a inspirationgasm, so we called it a night. After a few days of getting up early and staying up drawing, I was beat.

Day 3



Refreshed, I made my way to VFS for Life Drawing! With Adam Rogers, a guy who looked like a shorter Hugh Laurie with glasses. Neat!
He started talking about the specifics of how life drawing affects your view on the world, and how drawing people all the time improves your style and can bleed into whatever animation discipline you end up doing. His real passion for the subject really shone through, and it was almost infectious! We all went ahead and drew our model in 30 second poses and 10 second poses and so on. By the end of the session each of us had used almost a whole pad of paper. and looking at the first drawing we did compared to the last, everyones was a hundred times better. If that was a 4 hour session, extrapolate that to doing that every week for a year. The message was simple. More drawing makes you better. Im booking myself in for life drawing when I am back in Newcastle!



After scoffing the sandwiches, we made our way to the computer labs for our 3D animation session. We got our basic orientation onto the computers, then in came our tutor, called Magic Eslami. I had a basic knowledge of Maya, our 3D package we where using, but even I had trouble keeping up with the speed at which he wanted to teach us. By the end of the lesson we each had modelled a fish, gave it a skeleton, coloured it, parented it, skinned it and animated it. For me it was a great little recap of the basics, and learning the shortcuts and other really useful tips from a guy who had been teaching there for around 10 years! Here is my fish:



Tonight there is a HUGE firework display on around 10, so I'm heading out to that later on. Will put some pictures up of that. According to pretty much everyone who lives there, it should be something magical.

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

VFS Day One!

As you may or may not know, at the moment I am in Canada attending the Vancouver Film School's Animation and Visual Effects Summer Intensive Course! Today was my first day so I thought I would share what I have been up to!



Was up very early to get to Orientation on time across town. Upon signing in we where given a welcome pack, pens, a drinking bottle and a rucksack! We sat down and watched the intro presentation showcasing some of the work that has been created at VFS so far.
Shuttle Bus!
Then using our trendy key cards we made our way up to the Visual Effects and Animation floor. The first thing you notice is how proud the school is of its alumni and the things they have worked on. Immediately as you walk in there is a District 9 poster signed by Niel Bloomkamp and some of the Visual Effects team. As we where toured round each of the rooms we where greeted happily by the people in them before they explained what they did there. More posters, this time for Toy Story 3, 9 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to name a few. Lining the corridors are framed artworks from previous graduates, with a level of detail and precision and variation that someone could only dream of achieving. Before we had even sat down you where loaded with inspiration.



Todays lessons where firstly Introduction to classical animation, where we learned to bring personality and life into a sack of flour jumping off a table. And after lunch there was Character Design, lead by one of the most charismatic and happy guys I have ever had teach me.

Character Design had to be my favourite of the day. Taught by Mike West. Winding down in the afternoon watching some old Tex Avery cartoons, while being taught quick fire techniques to building some great characters, teaching us all the basics of how people relate to characters, along with which appeal to different age groups. The beginning of the session we where given a stack of paper and just told to keep drawing throughout the afternoon, each hour he gave us something new to try out. Here are some of the drawings I came up with today:





Once 4 o'clock came along we where free to wander the building as we wished, if we wanted to cary on animating from the morning we could just go back in and help ourselves. A few of us sat and chatted with Mike for a while about some of his work. Check out his blog for some examples.

Fully inspired I took to a few coffee shops at the end of the day to do some people watching and some drawing. Nice end to the first day, can't wait till tomorrow!

-Jonny

Monday, 19 July 2010

Toy Story 3: How Canadians Ruined It All (Some Potential Spoilers)

I was seven years old when the first Toy Story came to the UK. The perfect age to be magically taken away by visuals that even then I knew there was something new and unseen before, and if not for the strange and alluring visuals, but for the story. Every child imagines their toys come alive when they are not looking! And here they where all along, in the mind of John Lassater. Everything we children wanted from a film.

Then soon after, Toy Story 2 came along, and for me at my tender age, I felt that the story of Andy and his Toys had some sort of closure. The ending of the sequel capped off the films with a sense of optimism, and counter balanced the first outing like only a brilliant sequel does.

Then there is Toy Story 3. 11 years in the making, and by anyones standards a brilliant film. Unfortunately the cinema I saw it at was full of the most wretched slime of Vancouver, one in particular who thought it was wholly except able to guffaw at every opportunity that they could. Even the most poignant moment in the film (and there are a few) he felt like it deserved a chuckle. Because hey, this is a cartoon! Its here to make me laugh right? So if some of the comments seem a bit harsh for this otherwise 5 star film, my concentration and immersion was taken away by this man. May he stumble back in time and kill his grandfather so he never exists and butterfly effects his way into making this review better. Amen.

Toy Story 3 is a fantastic film. Perfectly put together and the animation, a quality that we have become accustomed to with Pixar Films, is the best they have ever created. Its something that every single person who worked on the film will be, and should be, proud of for the rest of their lives. But me being me, I still had a couple of little things wrong. Baby things. But ones that took me out of the moment and made me remember Im in a cinema again...

Toy Story 3 opens with a spectacular scene in which Woody and the toys are in a wild west chase scene, and as the story unveils it becomes clear that this is either in the eyes of Andy, or its what the toys experience while they are being played with. Personally I prefer to think of it as the latter, explaining why they would want to be played with all the time instead of going ahead and making a Toy Zion somewhere and christening it the homeland.
But as the scene develops, what strikes me most is Andy's lack of imagination. The characters that they portray are the same as the first film. For me this set the tone of the film as going to be filled with attempted nostalgia by making you remember the first ones. As if this one wouldn't be able to stand by itself. Lee Unkrich should have more faith in his storytelling. To me it seemed as wrong as people who say that there must be an Incredibles 2 because there is the Underminer at the end! With this instalment being "lightyears" ahead of the first two, to me it needed to be more separate, instead of constantly reminding us that the first two films existed.

And one you noticed that, its everywhere. If you know the previous films well enough you notice that a lot of the dialogue is reworked to mirror its original counterparts, such as "this is the perfect time to be hysterical". Then there are total reworked scenes that take essence from the oldies: Flashbacks, baddie comeuppance etc...

As I said before, this is probably down to my lack of total immersion in the film due to this now cursed man who was sat next to me. And as the infamous Facebook group put it: "ive been waiting 11 years to see this film", and it was ruined by someone who thinks every move on the screen needs to be rewarded by a chuckle. Sad smiley face time :(

It was a great film, and I am watching it again when I get back from Canada when the hype has died down in the UK over it, and yes I did well up at the ending, but probably more due to the fact that after waiting so long to see this film it was ruined and it wasn't effecting me as much as it should, and I will never be able to see it for the first time ever again.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

New Trailer, New Myspace!

Trailer is done! Myspace is done! (In more ways than one)



Go and check out what me and Ollie have been attacking all day! Today we finished our final trailer, and got ourselves a swanky little myspace page.

The film is in the final stages of completion, and I cant wait to get it out there for everyone to see. Head on over to the Myspace page to see our brand new trailer.

Very happy :)

-Jonny

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

iPhone 4 Stuff!

Hey everyone!



Yes I got myself a new iPhone. I haven't had one since the original one came out 4 years ago, so I thought it was time for an upgrade.

So, I have decided to make a few backgrounds, made from my posters, for all you swanky new iPhone 4 users! You can still use these on other iPhones too. I will be updating this with more as I get them finished off. Hope you like them! And let me know if you use them.

Just click the poster, then press and hold the enlarged image, then click save image. You can then go to your settings and change the background from there :)

-Jonny

Thursday, 17 June 2010

News! Bits from all over the Internet!

Posters!

My Poster Blog has been growing in popularity over the last month or so, riding mostly on the crest of the Lost Finale, I had every Lost related Tumblr re-blogging my 3 Lost posters. So thanks everyone who "liked" it and re-blogged them. Hopefully I will be uploading more soon!
Also on the note of posters, I have made some rather swish looking Oddworld Posters! I have so far made one for Abe's Oddysee and one for Abes Exoddus and another Soulstorm Brewery one, shown below. I happened to also post them on the Oddworld Forum, see what the Oddworld community had to say about them HERE.







Short Films!



After shooting Hunter with Ollie this weekend we are more than on track getting Hewitt and Walker finished. But on another note, after doing a quick search online for our films, one inperticular, called First Date, was featured on some persons blog! check out First Date on there if you haven't seen it already, and see his other collection of pictures, films and poems HERE

The Pixar Talk Says Hello!

Recently me and Ollie went to a Car Boot sale. Upon browsing some of the stalls I found an original Fisher Price Chatter Telephone, as featured in Toy Story 3.What made the photo brilliant was the couple in the background, looking at disbelief at what I was buying.



After Tweeting it to several Pixar Blogs I got a reply from @PixarTalk saying:

PixarTalk @ameba2k that is an awesome photo!
1:23 AM Jun 11th via Twitter


Brilliant


More News as it developes!