For reasons that will become clear, this month's all-new edition of Computer Animation Arts' PWTM begins with a few inspirational words about the invaluable merit of travel. Proust said "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes" and Seneca agrees: "Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind".
Taking the UCA lift from the ground floor down to the CAA suites on the lower 4th may not seem like 'travel' in the holiday brochure sense of the word, but our students take extraordinary journeys daily. There's always something new to look at, excursion taken or landmark reached. Routines and comfort zones are interrupted with each new project brief or phase of production, with new routes charted, plotted and explored. You might say every day on CAA is like a field trip to somewhere new and unknown.
Our year one students have not long submitted their most ambitious, most challenging project-to-date - the infamous From Script To Screen brief, which begins with three random story components (a character, an environment, and a prop), and ends with resolved scripts and a pre-production showcase. Of all year one projects, FSTS most fully impresses on students the required range of their creative responsibilities - creative writing, structuring stories, character and asset design, storyboarding, directing, working in Maya... The crit was a very positive experience, our first years coming on in leaps and bounds. Enjoy this small selection of their resulting work - and remember, a quick click on their name will transport you to the students' individual blogs, where you can enjoy further voyages of discovery.
|Freak Show / Frank character sheet / Douy Thanachot|
|Freak Show / Jimmy character sheet / Douy Thanachot|
|Freak Show / Storyboard panel #1 / Douy Thanachot|
|Freak Show / Storyboard panel #2 / Douy Thanachot|
|Teeth Gathering Day / Good Fairy development sheet / Anastasija Strelcova|
|Teeth Gathering Day / Good Fairy model sheet / Anastasija Strelcova|
|Teeth Gathering Day / Bad Fairy colour development / Anastasija Strelcova|
|Teeth Gathering Day / Bad Fairy model sheet / Anastasija Strelcova|
|New Beginnings / The Boy character development / Ruth Cann|
|New Beginnings / The Magician character development / Ruth Cann|
Momo And Pogo's Factory Of Fun / Art Of / Ellie Row
Adaptation is the current year 2 project, which is subdivided into two distinct projects - a knock-it-down-and-drag-it-out brief demanding students work fast to complete a dynamic infographic, and a second brief in which they're challenged to adapt an existing text or data-set into a CG outcome. While work on Adaptation B continues, the infographic submission has been and gone. Enjoy Mark Bridgland's World Of Voyager - a nice example of the power of engaging motion graphics to inform and entertain.
Our hard-working third years continue to produce their respective final year animations, pumping out digital sets and props, rigging characters, animating them, and every day moving closer to the moment when they can pull their assets together finally and begin the alchemical art of turning a bunch of bespoke 3D stuff into engaging moving pictures. We're not there yet - but soon...
|The Sound Collector / Digital set #1 / Jack White|
|The Sound Collector / Digital set #2 / Jack White|
|The Sound Collector / Digital set #3 / Jack White|
|Trimia / Xbox vehicle final base model / Jamie Wathen|
Trimia / Xbox vehicle turnaround / Jamie Wathen
Cat Barber & Julien Van Wallandael @ Tysgan Productions
|Stellar! / Heart Throbots development #1 / Tsygan Productions|
|Stellar! / Heart Throbots development #2 / Tsygan Productions|
|Stellar! / Heart Throbots 3D models / Tsygan Productions|
Stellar! / Heart Throbots turnarounds / Tsygan Productions
Stellar! / Shot-by-Shot breakdown / Tsygan Productions
Stellar! / Walk-cycle test / Tsygan Productions
|Stellar! / Render test / Tsygan Productions|
Bedtime Story / Spider Bed animation test / Charlie Serafini
Bedtime Story / Carpet Ocean animation test / Charlie Serafini
|Bedtime Story / Shark Bed model / Charlie Serafini|
Bedtime Story / Shark Bed animation test / Charlie Serafini
|Hem / Arne rendering development / Ryan Brand|
|Hem / Forest assets / Ryan Brand|
|Hem / Test render #1 / Ryan Brand|
|Hem / Test render #2 / Ryan Brand|
|Bloom / Bloom character development sketches #1 / Eva Pinnington|
|Bloom / Bloom character development sketches #1 / Eva Pinnington|
|Bloom / Alien character development sketches #1 / Eva Pinnington|
|Four / Juvenile Four modelling / Mark Stamp|
|Four / Juvenile Four skin development #1 / Mark Stamp|
|Four / Juvenile Four skin development #2 / Mark Stamp|
|Four / Juvenile Four skin development #3 / Mark Stamp|
|Four / Juvenile Four skin development #4 / Mark Stamp|
|The Secret Of The Mosquito Queen / Merozoite 3D model / Sankavy Balasingam|
|The Secret Of The Mosquito Queen / Oocyst 3D model / Sankavy Balasingam|
|The Secret Of The Mosquito Queen / Schizont 3D model / Sankavy Balasingam|
|The Secret Of The Mosquito Queen / Zygote 3D model / Sankavy Balasingam|
The Secret Of The Mosquito Queen / Environment render test / Sankavy Balasingam
Elsewhere, work continues apace on CAA's adaptation of Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra for ONE - an Orchestra Network for Europe. Emily 'Class of 2015' Clarkson continues to envision the YPGTTO script's remaining Kingdoms Of Sound - including the Percussion District, a building-site themed environment derived from the noise-makers of the orchestra:
"This next sequence, which starts with a wide shot – shows Red being winched up very high, past cranes, scaffolding and industrial machines. At about 8 seconds, a distinct volley of drum beats can be heard; these beats align exactly with the rhythm of massive hammers hammering and pile-drivers driving etc. At about 12 seconds, the drums return for a second volley, which again relates to on-screen action of machines and apparatus. It goes without saying that the machines and apparatus should bear close and apparent resemblance to instruments and components of instruments we recognize from the percussion section of an orchestra."
|YPGTTO / The Percussion District buildings / Emily Clarkson|
|YPGTTO / The Percussion District concept painting #1 / Emily Clarkson|
|YPGTTO / The Percussion District concept painting #2 / Emily Clarkson|
Sam 'Class of 2015' Niemczyk is as busy turning all these instrument-derived designs into 3D assets in readiness for 'the great build' - that moment when we bring all the different elements together to create our world in readiness for Red's explorations.
|YPGTTO / The Oboe District models #1 / Samantha Niemczyk (production art by Jordan Buckner)|
|YPGTTO / The Oboe District models #2 / Samantha Niemczyk (production art by Jordan Buckner)|
|YPGTTO / The Oboe District models #3 / Samantha Niemczyk (production art by Jordan Buckner)|
|YPGTTO / The Trumpet District models #1 / Samantha Niemczyk (production art by Emily Clarkson)|
|YPGTTO / The Trumpet District models #2 / Samantha Niemczyk (production art by Emily Clarkson)|
Current year two student and one half of Tsygan Productions, Julien Van Wallandael, has found us some more time to continue his character design duties for our big and mighty YPGTTO collaboration. At one point the YPGTTO script calls for a royal family - and a horse! - which, in keeping with every other character in the YPGTTO universe, derives from musical notation. Next up, Julien will be taking 'King No.1' into further development and offering up a few more hybrids of his horse designs.
|YPGTTO / The King development drawings / Julien Van Wallandael|
|YPGTTO / The Horse development drawings / Julien Van Wallandael|
The job of translating Julien's delicate 2D designs in animatable 3D models falls to CAA graduate, Ethan Shilling. If you saw last month's PWTM, you would have watched Ethan demonstrating his Red rig - a superhuman feat of virtual engineering - and Yellow (Red's travelling companion) is proving no less demanding!
|YPGTTO / Yellow & Red 3D models / Ethan Shilling|
|YPGTTO / Yellow 3D models development / Ethan Shilling|
Meanwhile, we've just returned from our own explorations of another magical kingdom - and some of us have the blisters to prove it! On Monday, February 27th - at 5.30am! - the students, alumni and staff of Computer Animation Arts piled onto an awaiting coach and set off on their 2017 field trip to the ancient city of Rome. It was an early start to a day beginning under cold, drab clouds, but which ended with clear blue skies and warm Italian sunshine. A week of walking, spectacular ruins and pizza ensued. Our students soon found their bearings, racking up between them miles and miles of sight-seeing - from the once-mighty baths of Caracalla to the ruins of the Roman Forum; from the panoramic sun-kissed curves of the Colosseum to the Vatican City (via innumerable pizza restaurants and the odd kareoke bar).
|The students, alumni & staff of Computer Animation Arts at the Catacombs of San Callisto, Rome|
|The Baths of Caracalla|
|Inside the Colosseum #1|
|Inside the Colosseum #2|
|The many Pines of Rome!|
|Column fragment at the Roman Forum|
|Inside the Pantheon|
|Rome's cobbled streets...|
|The Trevi Fountain|
|View from the Palatine Hill|
|One of Rome's many bearded residents!|
|The students, alumni & staff of Computer Animation Arts at the Colosseum, Rome|
And finally, an early sneak peak at what CAA has in store for this year's annual shindig at New Designers - the UK's longest-running 'talent show' for new design talent, and yes - that is a giant brain...
|CAA @ New Designers 2017 / Early visualisation / Ethan Shilling|
The Final Word...
"One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things." Henry Miller