Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Minor Project - 'Films' animatic - The Blob

Animatic for one part of the animation. This one is entited Films and Lucy is talking about 'The Blob'

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Minor Project - Characters and audio coming together

Beginning to piece together all the parts of the puzzle now. Editing the audio is taking longer than I anticipated due to the differences in volume and quality of the tracks. In the meantime I've been working on the Poma and 2D Maya tutorials as I will be using these techniques in my final animation. I've also been working on the character designs using the drawings my children have made. I'm hoping to produce 3 characters, though they will be quite simple and most of the detail will come in the facial movements. Alan suggested I look at a programme called nDo which will help me with texturing. Below are a few of the drawings I've copied from the kids' artwork and I'm going to make an amalgamation of my favourite features. For example, I like the hair of number 1 and the eyes of number 4. Lucy seems to have a thing for drawing her people in high heels so I think this is something I need to include! Any comments on these would be greatly received. I've also shown how I am working on them in Photoshop to achieve a 'drawn' effect as if the children have drawn them themselves. I'm creating the facial features in different layers as in the Poma facial rigging tutorial so I can animate in the same way. 

Finally here are a couple of the audio tracks that I've edited. I see the 'Lions & Cows' one as part of a section about animals. Lucy will introduce it and almost be interviewing her little sister Alice about her favourite animals. I'm hoping to animate a little 'Alice' in an animal costume with childlike drawings of the animals being "friends" and "not being nice to each other" as you can hear in the audio. The 'Star Wars' one I could see as Emily trying desperately to talk about one of her favourite films with her smallest sister running around in the background shooting Lucy who, being a bit girly and princessy, is most unimpressed about all of it. Feedback welcome!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Kids' drawings for character design

I've gone through and scanned some of the pictures drawn by my children so I can use them when designing my characters. I will relate them to certain sound clips throughout the animation. For instance, I have a recording of Lucy talking about Rapunzel so I'll take her drawing of Rapunzel and use it to animate the audio. As you can see Lucy seems to have a thing for fairies...!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Minor Project ideas and initial work

After discussions with Phil I've decided to work on a form of adaptation for my minor project. I was inspired by the advert 'Emily's Oz' (link here: in which a blind 7-year-old girl describes how she envisions the Wizard of Oz. This was then made into an advert promoting Audio Description. I love the way a child's mind works and the descriptions they come out with, so my plan is to try out some things to give me a base to work with. Suggestions which Phil and I came up with:-

  • Kids retell a well known story (such as a fairy tale, iconic film or much loved story)
  • Kids describe a film which in its time would have been received much differently from now (so for example, my 8 and 6 year olds watched the B Movie 'The Blob' and found it absolutely hilarious, whereas when it was released in 1958 would have been seen as really scary)
  • Play a game of 'consequences' with them where they add a part of the story in turn.
  • Ask them to describe something, such as "where do bees go when it rains?" or "what does heaven look like?"
From this I will then make a short animation to bring their story to life.

Currently I have a sound recorder at home and I'm making recordings of my 3 children and some of their friends giving me their versions of the life, the universe and everything! Watch this space for the results...

Alice, 3
Lucy, 6
Emily, 8

Monday, 9 May 2016


infograpgic_again from Emma Morley on Vimeo.

Maya Tutorials List

Maya Tutorials Sprites

Wand_Beauty 2 from Emma Morley on Vimeo.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Adaptation B - Maya progress

Today I started adding shaders to my scene and Alan showed me how to use the ambient occlusion effectively to bring the scene to life. Below are the original scene in Maya, the hypershade showing the plug-ins to the shaders and the rendered scene so far.
Original Maya scene
Rendered scene so far

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Adaptation B - Maya progress

I am working on the model in the middle for the Beachcomber's cottage. I'm using lattice deformers to create a more organic and tangible shape. I want the buildings to look like toys with trees and bushes which look like they are made from card. I'm hoping to achieve a world which looks like a child's play area that they have set up themselves.
This is the floor plane for my scene which is set on a beach. I enjoyed making this and Alan showed me a quick way of putting it together.

Sculpting 12/04/16

Really enjoying the sculpting lessons we have recently started. We have been set the task of recreating the bust of a character of our choice. I chose to model the Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar. I thought his head shape and features would make for a fun challenge and I am really enjoying the progress so far. This week we added bulk to our model and started to define distinctive shapes.

Last Acting Class

It was our last acting class this week and I have to say I have really enjoyed the lessons. We learned many skills from Dan that we can use in our animations and it was also really fun to do something different and more relaxed. These are a few photos from when we played 'Ninja'. Much fun!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Adaptation B - Beachcomber's Cottage

This is obviously very late in the day and I'm aware I have a lot of catching up to do with this project but these show the progression of drawings for the Beachcomber's cottage for my adaptation of the book 'Baggywrinkle'. The first pencil drawings were too generic but I was trying to get a sense of what was needed in the building. The story says that the small cottage is on the edge of the beach with a hammock and rocking chair on the balcony. The cottage is made from the leaves of a palm tree and filled with treasures from the ocean.

These next few drawings were inspired by palm trees, masks of the Ivory Coast (where the story is set) and patterns and textures from the seventies, which is when the book was written.

These are a few ideas I had for how to show the sea and the trees on the beach. I wanted to incorporate the seventies theme and these patterns seemed to work quite well.

A quick sketch of the interior and notes on how the cottage is described in the book.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Film Review: When The Wind Blows (1986)

Fig.1 When The Wind Blows (Movie Poster, 1986)
Set during a time of nuclear war, When The Wind Blows tells the story of James and Hilda Bloggs who live together in the Sussex countryside. Although they believe they are fairly prepared for a nuclear strike in regards to getting their home set up, when the time comes that they are hit, they only receive 3 minutes warning. The film shows the few days of post-nuclear strike and we gradually and helplessly see the couple deteriorate. The film is heart-wrenching and shows the bitter side of war that doesn't often get shown.
When The Wind Blows, was directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and written by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman, Father Christmas). The gentle feel of the animation makes us warm to the characters and their situation even more and really highlights their vulnerability. The muted colours reflect the solemn time and the touching score is provided by Roger Waters with the theme song from David Bowie.
Whilst this film is ultimately upsetting and sad, there are some comical moments between the husband and wife which tell us more about their character and their relationship and shows their naivety. The film is an adaptation from a book (written by Briggs), which had previously been adapted to a stage show and a BBC Radio 4 dramatization before the film was released. Despite the sad nature of the movie, it was very enjoyable and was well received by critics on release in 1986.

Illustration List:

Fig 1, When The Wind Blows (1986) [Movie Poster] At:
(Accessed 10.03.16)

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Acting week!

This week was acting week so yesterday and today we had lessons with actor Dan to help us with animation. In all honestly I was dreading the lessons because performing is not my strong point, but early on it was clear that we were going to have lots of fun.

In yesterday's class we had a few simple activities to break the ice and introduce ourselves to Dan. Then we had to team up and mould our friends into different positions and later on told stories with three different poses. We also played 'keepy uppy' with a toy cheeseburger which for me was the highlight of the day! 

Thursday's lesson involved more improvisation and thinking on our feet. We teamed up and created objects with our bodies and also had to get a message across to the audience and our partners just by using mime. Lots of fun and I'm really looking forward to next week's lesson. Here are a couple of quick happy snaps from today...

Actor Dan

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Adaptation A - Musicals Infographic (WIP)

Trying to get back on track after a few tough weeks. This is my infographic so far (without the wordy parts). Lots to work on and I realised through this project how little I know about After Effects! Onwards...

Friday, 29 January 2016

Adaptation A - Musicals Infographic

A few pics to show the style I'm going for with my Infographic on 'The World of Musicals'. The aim is to start with musical notes, so at the moment I'm focusing on how I can use the circular shapes of music notes to create famous musical characters. Above are Dorothy, Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. Underneath are Annie and Sandy (from 'Annie') and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's characters in 'Grease'. More to come...

Friday, 15 January 2016

Infographic Research into Musicals

Facts about musicals:-

- Musical evolved directly out of operas
- There are two different types of musical - "Book musicals" and "sung throughs". Book musicals have songs interspersed between dialogue and acting. In "sung throughs" nearly every line is sung with only occasional dialogue. 
- Many older musical films had singers dubbed over the actors' voices as they couldn't carry a tune
- There is a new trend of 'jukebox musicals' adapting a play or musical from an artist's catalogue of songs (eg Mamma Mia, Moulin Rouge).

Tropes of musicals:-
- All-knowing singing narrator
- Angry Mob Song
- Bad Girl Song
- Colourful Song
- Crowd Song
- Cut Song
- Dark Reprise
- Death Song
- Fanfare
- Friendship Song
- "I Am Becoming" Song
- "I Am Great!" Song
- "I Am" Song
- "I Want" Song
- Duets
- List Song
- Opening Chorus
- Pep Talk Song
- The Song Before the Storm
- They've Come So Far Song
- Triumphant Reprise
- Villain Song
- Welcoming Song

List of famous musicals:-
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Cabaret (1972)
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • High Society (1956)
  • Oliver! (1968)
  • Guys and Dolls (1955)
  • The Jungle Book (1967)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • Grease (1978)
  • Bugsy Malone (1976)
  • An American in Paris (1951)
  • Meet Me in St Louis (1944)
  • Hairspray (1988/2007)
  • Frozen (2013)
  • Once (2007)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Les Miserables (2012)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  • Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
  • Top Hat (1935)
  • A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  • All That Jazz (1979)
  • Annie (1982)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • Chicago (2002)
  • Dancer In The Dark (2000)
  • Sunshine on Leith (2013)
  • Evita (1996)
  • Fiddler On The Roof (1971)
  • Funny Face (1957)
  • Funny Girl (1968)
  • Tommy (1975)
  • Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)
  • Mamma Mia! (2008)
  • New York, New York (1977)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  • Stage Fright (2014)
  • Sweeney Todd (2007)
  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • The Wiz (1978)
  • One From The Heart (1981)
  • Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • 8 Women (2002)
  • Golden Eighties (1986)
  • South Park (1999)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Mudbox introduction

Today we had our first Mudbox lesson with Simon. We played around with painting mainly and sharing files between Maya, Mudbox and Photoshop.