Friday, 25 May 2012


With only half an hour to go, Mat and I have spent most of the day helping a few others with odds and sods around the workplace to help take the little things off their minds.

We did however have a little panic earlier as we discovered one of the shots was very distorted on the DVD that we made yesterday. But since we had the time we opened up Encore and fixed it...going through about 8 DVDs in the process! Panic over though and we handed in at 1pm :D

It feels strange to have finished but so relaxing to just blog a couple more research posts and not worry about any work anymore. We are both really pleased with what we have done and we just have to put our plan into action for the future, and hopefully we can get ourselves a job in our desired fields pretty soon.

As for this blog, I think I'll try and keep it up. I plan to change the layout of it a little and use it as a WIP site to post some of my work whilst I am getting my website up and running. This will hopefully keep me motivated to keep churning out work while I look for a job.

For now however, this will be my last post for a couple of weeks as I plan to have a nice rest and not open any animating programmes for short while.

D-Day (Deadline)

So it has now ticked past midnight and we have just over 12 hours until the doors are closed and locked on both our hand in and University days. It'll be sad to go but so exciting to get out into the 'real world' we've been told so much about.

As with Mat I have a little check list:

3 Minute Film + production diary
Action Plan + research

and I can officially tick them all off! Our film is on a DVD, along with our respective showreels. My CV has been finished for a short while now and my action plan is finally finished, with quite a large section in the back full of contact details for various companies that I have shown an interest in. And our essays were handed in long long ago!


Job Applications

To get an idea of what is expected from me when applying for a job, I downloaded a job application form from Brown Bag Films for a junior texture artist. It contains a lot of standard questions like; what are you like to work with, why do you want to work here and what makes you an exceptional candidate for this position. But then they throw you a curve ball with; who is your favourite cartoon character and why and what are your 6 favourite websites. Things seem to become more relaxed, which I suppose is what I expect from a creative position as there tend to be less formalities when working in such a field.

I'm going to grab a couple more examples so I can practice for the questions and become fluent in talking about myself and talking myself up, as I'm not really great at that in a position like an interview so doing this would provide great practice.

Animation Mentor

Something I have been considering is starting a course with the online animation school Animation Mentor. This is a much cheaper option for me now than trying to pack up and move out to Canada straight away.

More specifically; they have an animals and creatures specific animation programme, where you are provided with rigged characters so you can get to animating straight away and not worry about the modelling and rigging...even though I still enjoy that part. It consists of two 12 week classes; An Introduction to Animal and Creature Classes and Advanced Creature Production.

I'd like to do this as it is something new that I haven't done before and getting training from more people from the industry (like at uni) would be invaluable. It would be a great challenge and test of my abilities to do something like this as I have obviously never animated animals or creatures before.

The course is $6445 for 24 weeks or 6 months of tuition and training, where you get feed back from professionals from animators who work at companies like Dreamworks and Pixar.  It involves learning the mechanics of creating four-legged motion and how to create a believable quadrupedal motion. They also show you how to break down live-action animal references and apply it to realistic and fantasy characters. There is also an introduction to animating fantasy creatures like dragons and ogres.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

More planning of action

Square Zero are a design company who produce a wide range of digital work, mixing live action with digital media and specialise in high quality 2D and 3D animation for corporate, broadcast advertising and live events.  Some of their clients include the BBC, Disney, LG, Burberry and other big brand names. Their showreel has some pretty nice pieces, with a lot of styles and work I'm interested in, like their commercial work and high quality realistic renders.

Broadening my search beyond only CG companies I have been looking into th1ng, an 'animation, graphics and mixed media production company. They produce a wide variety of work to a very high specification, creating mostly commercials and for well known clients. They also do a lot of work in editing and post production, which I have since come to love as we edited our film over the past week. Their website doesn't have any vacancies but if I have no success up North I will be emailing all of the Southern companies and studios with my details and showreel to see if they have any positions that suit my abilities. This is of course if they don't have job opportunities on their website, even then it would be good to get my name in their system.

I have been quite fortunate in my choice of specialised skill, as a lot of the jobs available now (that I have found in abundance anyway) for animation are for people with CGI knowledge. Which really increases my chance of getting a job in an area that I want, as opposed to settling for something that I didn't really want to do...even though I would start with any job just to get into the animation industry.

Flats in Manchester

As I mentioned previously, I have been looking into flats in Manchester in Salford Quays as this is where my next place of residence is most likely to be.  Due to a severe lack of income, we are looking for fairly cheap 2 bed flats so that we can have one bedroom as an office area where we can set up our computers and have a little area just for work.

We have predominantly been looking for flats around the £500per month mark but have seen a few for about £800 that are reaallly nice! A man can dream :p

Here are the links to the nice ones

Aaaaand here are the realistic ones

Since I did the original search for flats a lot of them have been snapped up by the eager buyers so if we want to make this happen we are going to need to be really proactive about it and make sure we can get part time jobs at first if need must, or get transferred from our current jobs.



We are copying our work onto disks as I type. We have been in uni longer than we expected today as we had to tweak the sound quite a bit more, we also added the sounds that we recorded last night and we are so pleased with the result and are both glad we have pulled some long hours to get this finished.

We did have a bit of a mishap with the sound earlier however, because we leveled it with the somputer speakers at full volume, the end result was too quiet when played on my laptop or other devices, so we had to raise the decibels of each sound file to increase the overall sound level...needless to say it took a bit of time but it really needed doing, we couldn't hand it in like that when we had the opportunity to improve it.

Only one night to go then we are done for good...gonna be weird not having to a project to do for a while, relaxing though! :p