Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Street Scene Background Version 1

Because the dissertation is hard to concentrate on for more than an hour at a time, today I've been coloring up one of the backgrounds for Eleanor's film A Sweet Disposistion....

I'm not sure how I feel about it at present but I think its rather odd. Here is a low res version. Some of the angles and colours need badly changed but I do quite like the colour and texture of the trees and its a start...

Naked Words


Chapter 1 is fully drafted out.
Sure it's overly long, repetitive,has no pictures, only references about three books and there's 3 harder chapters to go but editing is far easier than attacking a blank page!

*Many thanks* to Alex Ashman who sent me some gorgeous music to listen to while writing [and coincidentally has a cute sketch blog]. It got me through a grueling 700 words! x

Another Highly Exciting Picture...

Not the prettiest pictures but thats not the full aim. Over the summer I've been trying to do one quick life drawing sketch as close to every day as possible to get some practice in as everyone who shares a studio with me knows I'm not the greatest at it.

So far its been fine but come degree show next May I'm going to have to put something I'm practicing. Although I don't have much experience its really fun. Unfortunately I've always been too shy to show the drawings so will start posting them now and again to conquer this mild fear. Its a working process so bear with me.

Comments are welcome and note that these are dark photos of some of them, none of these took longer than 20 mins and yes...they were done from photographs. Shocking!

Monday, 26 July 2010

More Mneme Doodles

More doodles for Ciaran's Mneme. The angles funny and more distant buildings need to be added but its breaking up the dreaded dissertation monotony!

Before you go crazy, yes it is the same drawing from different angles, and its only done in pencil so beware the smudge marks!

Visual Feast

I have reposted all of
Ciaran's designs so far so that they can finally be accessed in large version! It's also nice to have them all together, by scrolling down the posts you can see the progress on one page!

Clicking on each of the images now will make it fill a browser page so that all the lovely detail he has been drawing can be seen as it is supposed to be. So browse away, enjoy and don't be afraid to comment as you see fit!

:) X

Sunday, 25 July 2010

By Jove He's Done It Again

The week has ended as it began, with another lovely drawing of Ada and Tom from Ciaran. It is a testament to his design that I am really starting to believe in the characters. He asked me to be mean and really all I could think to say was the uninspired "Their hands are still rather vague".

As much as I like my topic I would love for this dissertation to write itself so that I can get back to drawing! I'll try to get some more [Mneme] sketches on the go to break up the writing and to say *muchas gracias* to Ciaran for all the nice drawings!

Now updated.. x

Scripting in The Dissertation Dimension

Between sorting through badly scrawled important dissertation notes which should have been looked at far sooner than they were I've been doing a bit of script reading and minor editing for Ashley's Mouse-tache and Eleanor's A Sweet Disposistion. Both of the scripts are working well Eleanor has tightened up the story without compromising plot and characters while Ashley's Mouse-tache is down to around 3 minutes which is good news and a more manageable time!

More dull pages below with comments and highlights, not entirely riveting but more thrilling than a page of badly written early 20th century art theory!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Ada goes 80's!

I need to study a thesaurus or dictionary to increase my vocabulary of words of praise and thanks, as i am running out of phrases every-time I receive an email with a cute picture or sketch of Ada and Tom. Below is another character sketch of the dynamic duo from Ciaran. For the record I think the glasses are fun, now all we need is to get Tom in fake wizard clothes while wielding a cookie stuck onto a stick...

Colours Colours All Around

Ciaran kindly did this as a lovely colour sketch for an autumnal market crowd scene where Ada is moving through the crowd ahead of Tom.

Very pretty and good range of colours, the warm pastels mixed with hints of fushia and purple are working for me. As they progress down the street it is changing from autumn/afternoon to early evening/winter which I think is nicely conveyed in this too.

Also, nice street angles.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Moving [Mneme] Sketch

Quick moving sketch of how I envision the buildings in [Mneme] because the busy static drawings I've been blocking out often can't quite convey how I see things working.

Very basic and far from perfect I used this as a mini experiment to test out ways in which Scene 2 in Leap Year could work. The timing and some of the layers need to be modified but I think the jist of it is conveyed.

The video is also on Vimeo and can be found here.

Release The Inner Chibi

I was sent this by
Ciaran in an email titled:

'I Don't Know Why I Did This'

Now, I can't answer that but I couldn't help but smile and think that the world is a brighter place for its existence!

Ciaran, keeping the world colourful since 1988.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Another Afternoon Of Ciaran's Hard Work

Gorgeous and apparently both edgier and more controversial than any other previous image!

On showing it to some members of my friends and family I have had mixed responses to the posing, some say it looks like they are playing hide and seek, and others that it looks like they have had a fight. Like Blade Runner I think it should be up to the drawings author to have the definitive say in this but a little ambiguity never did anyone's imaginations or coffee break debates any harm...

Also, I really like Ciaran's addition of the elbow patches on Tom's jacket and the green on his shoes. It is working very well!


Oh dear. Ciaran made me simultaneously laugh and weep to my soul when he sent me the movie poster for the live action film 'Leap Year'.

Five minutes in Photoshop resulted in my sending the poster below which I think you will agree displays characters of a far realistic depth and dimension.

So shall the project name change? I think not.

[Mneme] Madness

Another two doodles for Ciaran's lovely project [Mneme]. It's still not quite spot on yet but hopefully is heading in a more useful direction!
They are really fun to draw are the least I can do after all the gorgeous character drawings he has been doing for Leap Year. I've been slowly upping the scale so my wall at home is turning into a strange amalgamation of mad city shots!

Kiss Chase

An amazing action shot emailed by Ciaran late last night. I'm starting to feel guilty about all the time he's spending on this project but every drawing is immensely appreciated. I am falling very much in love with the colours and love how they are working together. Just to show I'm not the only one who feels that they are great for the project I have Eleanor's kind words from an email:

Your characters are really, really good! They fit with the background styles you've got on your blog, and they're more 'you' than than the first draft :) I really like the the hairbraid round the neck - should make for some interesting followthrough!

In other news I have received a new Mouse-tasche script from Ashley to edit, and have started working on a new background for Eleanor's A Sweet Disposistion. Besides that I will be quiet for a while as Dissertation is requiring some hefty work!

Characters In Action

Ridiculously cute and my current favorite which is no mean feat as everyone Ciaran sends seems to get more dynamic or shows their personalities more strongly. Also, you maybe cant tell with the low res small image below but yes they are holding hands.

I am also a big fan of the stripes and the colours. Another gorgeous image all round.Ciaran is working on dynamic poses between the characters and will be working on testing their expressions and reactions. It's quite exciting and its really great to see them working together, I can't wait to get them into an environment.

Script and Storyboard Completed!

In a word: Huzzah.

It may have resulted in only getting two hours sleep and battling the biggest bee I have ever seen at 5.30am but it got done, and in time for a short trip to Dundee so that documents could be passed over to the ever talented Ciaran Murphy for updates and criticism.

The character designs in it have to be ignored as they are basically stick figures blocking out the actions. I used Ciaran's characters to decorate the corners for constant reference and because I couldn't help it! The script has also been passed onto Kieran Baxter for comment and criticism.

Many of the shots I feel have to be more lively and at more interesting angles and I feel parts of the story will have to be edited and rewritten. I've had many problems trying to export an animatic from After Effects but as soon as I do I'll get it uploaded.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

This Project's On A Roll!

Another from Ciaran. Truly he is the hero of the week.
If only I owned a third class diner in outback America his mugshot would be on the wall.

Not only is this drawing fun and a good representation of their characters but without him knowing its close to one of my favourite anime scenes from honey and clover [ about disenchanted art student relationships as they study for their final year... similarities? non? ]

Honey and Clover [no I don't own the image rights but neither did the website I stole it from] :

and the *more fun* Leap Year version:

Bringing Up The Rear

I am becoming more convinced that Ciaran Murphy when he wants can be a poetic genius. Further thanks to him.

Scanning Complete

And presenting: Le Storyboard v.1.0

All scanned, present and correct ready for a laborious Sunday of lazy animatic making. So many frames, so few of them drawn well.

In the name of unnecessary ambition and reckless previewing here's one of the more pointless panels I scanned earlier.

Stickman Tom looking over the pier cannot see Ada in the sea, only doodled fish.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

More On That Now!

Again from and in the words of Ciaran:

" she isn't the only one who can sit on the invisible ground "

These are turning into a really handsome collection of designs, really glad with the way its working out. The script has now been edited and its great to start picturing these designs in the scenes, its just a shame my stick figures in the basic storyboard cant do Ciaran's lovely pictures justice!

Breaking News

Hot off the press!

Ada has a new nickname. In the words of Ciaran Murphy [character designer extraordinaire] who sent this through not ten minutes previous...

"Ada Seated, because even mystical inter-dimensional cyber pixies need a rest"

Nice. And a lovely drawing too. Gold star.

now with eyebrows. . . x

Darker Driveway

Updated darker version of the Halloween driveway background for Eleanor's A Sweet Disposition. It's still not finished as I'm still unsure as to what and where the action is taking place and it's possible now too dark but I thought I'd try to play with it while I remember the Photoshop layer system.I'm suggesting that the pumpkin light be animated to cast an eerie glow and sinister shadows...

The Next Twelve Months

The schedule for Leap Year has been revised!

The major deadlines at present are:

- Bulk of Dissertation Written By End of August
- Production Bible Completed By Mid September
- At Least One Completed Shot By September
- 45 Second Trailer Ready For Degree Show
- Finish Film by Autumn / Winter 2011

Critical Evaluation

Firstly, although I don't have anything up here to show for it yet, the initial provisional storyboard is done! I may have cheated by cutting the end, still have no idea how to rough out the title sequence, the characters are basic sticks and the story is confused and overly complicated but it's all blocked out. Roll on infinite scanning later today after some sleep!

More excitingly and visible are the profile character designs I got from Ciaran who came up with a good idea : He would send me the original, I'd draw over it with how I like it changed and then send it back. I didn't want to draw directly on top so photoshopped what you see below. It's hard to stress why and how I really like what he is doing with them so it was a challenge to find things I didn't. All my suggestions were minor and I'm not convinced if they are better or just different. But it was a fun task and here they are so spot the difference...



Friday, 16 July 2010


Exciting times!

Ciaran Murphy of [Mneme] has just emailed me some coloured concepts for the designs of Tom and Ada round two. Round two because I am not good at naming things and so seeing as over+out has been shelved for now I'm just going to carry the character names over. I have given him a more detailed crit via email but the general consensus is a unanimous thumbs up. Also for ease the project is now called "Leap Year" which will be modified on the blog as soon as I change the title on the schedule. This is beginning to feel like a real project..

Many thanks Ciaran!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Halloween Driveway

This is a provisionally coloured background for A Sweet Disposition showing a driveway/ front garden at halloween in Suburbia.

I'm not entirely sure what time of day or how dark this background needs to be and I am intending to work back into it at a later date and possibly change the colours as they seem to be rather garish, despite it being a children's animation. I'm also not convinced by the floor or the door and want to add more detail to the wall but I'm unsure what sort of action or movement is taking place across it. These will be modified once I'm more familiar with the shot and get directions from Eleanor...

Supplementary Cityscapes and Character Chatter

A further two [Mneme] cityscape/ skyline doodles which I did last week after finding a spare few hours because they are rather fun to do. The next mission is to do a large coloured A3 one in shades of grey which will be fun so watch this space.

Ciaran has also started work on Character Designs for Utopia whose title may shortly be changing to Leap Year. Sadly I don't have a copy of them to upload yet but so far they are looking *rather gorgeous* and are exactly the kind of characters I was imagining and would love to be able to draw. I can't wait to see the final designs.

Storyboarding for Utopia is slow but going so an animatic will hopefully be completed by the end of this week. Watch this space...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Taming The Mouse-tache Script

Ashley Burns emailed me the mouse-tache script asking if I could look over it and suggest any changes/ possible edits we could do to cut it down. At present it stands at an epic 3 mins 42 seconds. Ideally the aim is to get it down to 3 mins 15 secs which involves losing around 30 seconds of scripting. This is no easy feat but hopefully some of the things I have suggested will help to make it more manageable...

Here is a rather dull, unsexy jpg showing the script and my suggestions..