Monday, 20 October 2014


My animation revolves around the journey of a man who escaped Syria to come to England for freedom and justice, and for the sake of this post I will refer to him as 'Ali' as he would like to remain anonymous.

To get a clearer understanding of Ali's story I researched into the political background in Syria - the civil war which occurred in 2011 encouraged him to escape to find a better life. 

His story begins in 2011 where the uprising had happened, until 2014 where he had arrived in England to seek asylum. I created a rough timeline to pinpoint the main events so I can get a clear idea of what is important to include in my final animation.

I looked at stylised, simplistic animations and videos for inspiration as I think it would suit well with Ali's story. A style like this will give me the freedom to design in an abstract way, and will allow me to exaggerate lighting, colours, designs and other elements when responding to Ali's emotional story - my idea is to make people aware of the trauma of which happened to him, and in order to achieve this I will design in a way which portrays his reactions, feelings and thoughts.

Blank on Blank videos capture the essence of the style that I would like to create, I like the transitions and flow between each scene and the way the animation transforms accordingly to what each person is saying.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Minor Project Research

Art direction ideas
I feel a simplistic innocent style would help the audience relate to the story being told and I think I could achieve this by using a combination of 2d and 3d effects for my final animation.
I want to create a 3d character which represents the man who will be telling the story, with 2d environments constantly changing in the background to fit the scenes that will be described in the audio. I think an illustrated style would be effective as a storytelling method much like these videos -

After watching these game trailers I was inspired by the set-up of the character and the environment. I want to create a 3d character with simple 3d objects in the foreground which the character might interact with, along with a 2d simple, illustrated background.  
In Ori and Blind Forest, certain things grow and appear whenever the character moves near it which gave me the idea create a 2d background which acts in that same way. I like the idea of having the background as separate working animation which works against the character, it moves shrinks in size, morphs and changes according to what is being described in the audio.

Journey has a very beautiful and cultural theme based on influences from Bhutan, this gave the idea to use the Syrian culture as my main design influence. I think it would be interesting to pull out design methods and styles from a Syria as it would make my animation more dynamic and visually compelling and it would also relate to the speaker who is telling the story as he was born and raised there. 

This game has some very dark elements within the story, you see a young boy travelling trying to escape the horrible possibilities of his death. I like the use of the simple design to emphasize the characters innocence, with the contrast of the use of dull colours and harsh lighting to create a sad and scary atmosphere.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Minor Project Proposal

For my Minor project I would like to create a short animation based on someone's life experience - I have come into contact with a person who has recently fled from Syria this year because of the unfortunate circumstances which are occurring there. His story revolves around his struggle of separating from his family and trying to escape from Syria to England, for his desire to live in peace. 

I find that it would be interesting to base an animation from a different perspective, as it would raise awareness to new audiences about other cultures, struggles and situations.
This story in particular will acknowledge the problematic occurrences in which this individual has experienced in Syria and the emotional trauma he went through.

Styles and Influences
In order for this animation to be successful I think a simplistic, innocent style with an audio track would be appropriate for my idea. E.g. StoryCorps animated shorts involves real audio tracks of conversations between people who tell their story, along with a quirky, compelling animation which coincides with it.

I think by including an audio track in my animation would immediately draw the audience in, it would make my overall animation more authentic as it would be narrated by the source. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Friday, 9 May 2014

Year 2 Submission Post

Adaptation A 

Final Infographic

Adaptation Part B

Character Turnaround

Maya Checklist

Pipeline 2: Games Modelling

Pipeline 2: Normal Occ Maps

Pipeline 2: Diffuse Maps and Viewpoint 2.0 

Dynamics 1: Intro to Particle Dynamics

Lighting And Rendering 2: Mental Ray Lighting Techniques 

Mental Ray Part 9: Ambient Occlusion

Mental Ray Part 8: Displacement Maps

      Toadstool.                      Vector.                      Traditional

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Lighting And Rendering 2: Mental Ray And Lighting Techniques 1 - 6

Mental Ray Part 1: Samples and Quality Control

Mental Ray Part 2: Final Gather


Mental Ray Part 3: Linear Work Flow

Raw Image 

Mental Ray Part 4: Physical Sun and Sky



Mental Ray Part 5: Portal Lights

Mental Ray 6: Mia Material X Shader

Dynamica Part 1: Intro To Particle Dynamics

Dynamics Part 1: Sketching Particles

Dynamics Part 2: Particle Grids

Dynamics Part 3: Omni Emitters

Dynamics Part 4: Directional Emitters

Dynamics Part 5: Volume Emitters

Dynamics Part 7: Per Point Emission

Dynamics Part 8: Surface Emission

Dynamics Part 9: Curve Flow

Dynamics Part 10: Emit From Particles


Dynamics Part 11: Collision Events

Dynamics Part 12: Instance Objects

Dynamics Part 13: Instance Rotations


Dynamics Part 14: Goal Weights


Dynamics Part 15: Animated Instances

Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Skinning Attila 

I also added Influence objects to my characters arms due to the loss of volume in his elbows and biceps when it bends..

Rigging Attila

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Development on Attila

When deciding what costume I wanted to pick for my character, I tried to keep in mind of Attila's background- He was known to be from central asia, so I thought this design best fitted with his ethnicity. I was originally going to use a more plainer and duller design, but when experimenting with my previous choice I came to realise that the costume made him look like any other warrior - so I feel this one would give the audience a sense of his character and where he is from. 

I wanted to design a form of armour for attila to show that he was a fighter/warrior. However I decided to design light weight (leather) armour , as opposed to heavy metal armour which I thought would disguise his undergarments a lot more. With these designs I feel that it expresses that he is a nomad and he travels a lot. I am leaning more towards 1b, and 2b. 

Drawings of Attila in action..

Here I was giving myself a choice of subtle differences to make in order to complete my final design, I already decided to make the face quite muscular and sharp with a wonky nose - which makes him look like a fighter. I prefer Attila with either just a ponytail, or a ponytail with a beard and the moustache as I feel these designs makes his face sharper, and exaggerates his strong jaw line..

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Development Work

I decided to take some silhouettes forward and develop on them, however the structure of their bodies weren't really working, so I went back to drawing on paper..

I quickly drew some thumbnails in my sketchbook to attempt to build on the body shape, then developed it on Photoshop. Although the poses of the character express the essence of what I want Attila's characteristics to be like, I realised his shape was still not quite right, it was a bit too round...

So in this sheet I went back to my silhouette and I asked for advice about how to draw legs, as this was the main problem in my drawings, so I looked at a number of references to help me move forward. I practised, and went into reshaping my silhouette..and voila! I have A silhouette that works.

And now with my developed silhouette, I decided to take it on further by figuring out Attila's costume. After completing the first thumbnail on this sheet, I realised I need to think about what he wears underneath his armour, and then go into designing that next, along with his weapons.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Drawing Attila's Face

As I have the rough idea of where I am going with his body, I wanted to get a start on his face. Here are some rough sketches I did with some colouring pencils of possible faces/features I could develop and use in my overall design for my character. I want to represent Attila the Hun as he was originally known, however with a slight comical twist in terms of style - by knowing this I am going for a top heavy/muscular shape to convey that he was a warrior, so I tried incorporating some strong features into his face to coincide with his body e.g. strong jawline, thick neck. And some funny ones too e.g. crooked/big nose, big ears etc. 

Developing Silhouettes

Thursday, 13 March 2014

More Silhouettes...

In response to researching about my style in my previous post, I have come up with some more silhouettes, and re-worked on some previous ones.

Re-establishing My Style/Influences

To help me move forward with my character designs I decided to look more in depth into what style I want. I want to create Attila The Hun for a 3D animation which discusses the history of fearful leaders for CBBC, so within this series, Attila the Hun would feature in one episode where the narrator would discuss his quests and achievements in history. 

When looking at the different cartoons/animations CBBC airs, I can see the style is quite simplistic and cartoony. The  'Pet Squad' and 'League Of Super Evil' both feature a character which is close to the style and body shape that I want for my character. 

 The Dog in the 'Pet Squad'

(Tall man in green) 'League Of The Super Evil'

After having many various discussions with friends and tutors on my recent designs, I realised I need go back and specifically adjust some shapes with the body, so I conducted an influence Map to help get the proportions right for my character. Here are some influences for the overall style and shape I am looking for. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Experimenting With Silhouettes

I was a bit unsure about how I would develop the silhouettes, So I went ahead and experimented with it and tried to establish a cartoonish/comical style.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

And Some More Silhouettes

In this set of thumbnails I attempted to make the silhouettes more rigid and square..

Monday, 10 March 2014


After getting feedback from my recent designs I decided to go back and do silhouettes, focusing more on the shapes.

Developing Thumbnails: Body and Face Of Attila

When drawing these, I tried to consider the background of Attila the Hun as he was a barbaric leader/warrior who was nicknamed 'The Scourge Of God'. So I tried to exaggerate some of the muscular proportions in the body, and decided to experiment with his height. As I'm designing my character for a cbbc program I'm also keeping in mind to keep the style quite comical.

From the last set of thumbnails I did in my previous post I decided to develop the ones I liked, and drew out some possible thumbnails for Attila's face. I particularly like 1, 2, 6, 9 of the body, and 1, 2, 5, 10 of the faces.   I will now look into re-drawing and combining the face and the body together to create a new set of refined thumbnails to develop further. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Developing Thumbnails

After getting Feedback from the pitch, I decided to go back and focus more on the body shapes of my character and exaggerate the body proportions even further for my character.

Body shapes

Face shapes


I went ahead and combined some of the shapes I preferred, and made variations of no. 3, 4, 10, 11 of the body shapes.