Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Finished Guardians

Editing/ Music

Once I had all the scenes to put together including the aftereffects movies. I put everything into Adobe Premier Pro edited it all, exported the animation to then give to charles beeching to create the music once that was done I put that on top and that was the finishing point.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Throughout this project I have been working on the compositing in this animation here are a few snap shots of the scenes I have composited. The stones scene when the wolf shakes is just a png sequence of each stone layered on top of the original scene 'Shake' and then using the brightness and contrast effect lightened the scene to be able to see the stones coming out of the wolf. The other scenes are using masks, I used a lot of masks in this animation especially on the leaf sequences as it saved me time to render one shot of the background then a targa sequences of the leaf in maya with the lights turned on then layering them together in after effects and then masking, this is for when the leaf needed to be behind the stone. This is also the case with the shadow scenes of the girl using a mask on the original 2D drawing putting effects on her to look like a dark shadow.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


This is an video I have found on youtube of a German Shepperd, I have been struggling all day to get this walk cycle of the wolf right, he has been all over the place and has been a bit of a tuffy, but finally with this video and how it shows the dog in slow motion I am able to take each step and understand the movement thanks to the people that videoed their dog on a treadmill you are the best.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Round the corner


I have spent the day working on the wolf walking around the corner,this may seem like they nothing however I have had several attempts at the animation. One being at first he walked towards the camera sniffed then turned and walked away but this seem to be unnecessary so I then had his run round the corner but I think it didn't look right to I then I have him sniffing the ground like he is smelling her scent the slowing go round the corner. I also have put a rendered image of the animation so far.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

improvements on animation

Wolf scene 1

As you can see I have published two posts today, I have been working on the wolf waking up, jumping up onto the wall and landing onto the floor. The photo at the bottom of this playblast of the animation is the rendered version of the animation. You can also see I have been working on animating the bin and I am now deciding whether I am going to use my skills as a drawer and have my girls shadow as a 2d image with a alpha channel on were you only get to see parts of her like the animatic shows in my previous post or whether I am going to do green screen. Decision decisions.


Trash can

I have animated a bin falling and having some rubbish fall out of the bin aswell. This is part of the animation when the wolf stiffs the trash can and tips it over. I thought it would effective to have some bits fall out of the bin. Other than just some rubbish bags. I will be rendering this in targa and composite it into the scene. This will save me time, than rendering the scene with the background.

Animation tweaks

Jumping on the wall.

 Here is the update on my animation of the wolf waking from his sleep. I believe this is a vast improvement to my other playblast of the wolf jumping onto the wall. I will next have him jump from the wall to the floor following the animatic I have created.


 I have showed Teagan Ball my new version of the poem she is very happy with this and would like to meet up on the 23rd to further discuss the progress of the animation.

I have also been given the opportunity to speak with Paul Barlow from stars and heroes to discuss my work and have some critic on the project as a whole. I have recently worked with Paul and would be very pleased to get his opinion.


I have spoken with my helpers, Chris Wass is going to composit some rubbish onto the alley floors for me and composit the leaf on the stone stand of the wolf.
Derek Woodmas has been a great help in the sound department and he is happy with being the voice for my poem that will be said over the animation
I also have Charles Beeching working on the music to the changes to the animation he is still on board with the project which I am very pleased with.

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Wolf Awakens

This is the start of my animation on the wolf. I wanted the wolf to shake himself awake. This would show the audience he has been asleep for a long time and has to shake himself awake to get rid of the stiffness. He is also make out of brick so I will be adding tiny bits of rock that are going to fall off of him when he shakes to give that feel of him standing there for a long time. Getting rid of all the dust and rocks that have been settling on him for a while. This is just a playblast. However noticing the animation he seems a little too slow which needs to be rectified, plus the way he jumps on the wall is still not quite right so I plan on working on that this afternoon.



I have been looking into the movement of wild wolves, the way a head might bob up and down when running. The way a wolf might hunt or track prey. How the interact with things in their environment and how the might react to things in their surroundings. Here are some links from Youtube.

Wolf jump
living with wolves


I have also been working on the poem, taking my tutors advise by making some of the lines longer.
I believe it is coming along well and I do like this new version.

Mantled on stone I am positioned in my place
Stiff and trapped my paws itching to bring you my pace
The Circular man with his small and tall hands will awaken me to the night with one strike.
Rays of silver light from the depths of the night are going to give me life.

Holding your breath it makes you tense
The cloaking shadows bringing the suspense
Light to my dark, you shake
In one swipe the light will break

In the depths of silence hear the rumbling of my growl
Hair prickles to life at my howl
Seeing your perfect life drained
As Guardians cannot be contained

Let us finish this mindless chase
Stand proud in your place, face to face
Swimming in my yellow eyes
Find me in your heart as we now have our ties.

You know I have been awakened

Saturday, 7 April 2012

First look of the Guardian

This last few days have been tedious as all i have been doing is rendering the camera move to the wolf this has taken 50 frames a day to render this is probably due to my laptop not being the best to render on. However whilst I have been rendering those frames out I have been watching videos of wolf movement and also watching the land of lost wolves documentary which has been useful as it gives me the insight on wolf instinct and behaviour. here is the link to the series
I have also changed the eye colour on the wolf to yellow with a
black rim around the eye like a real wolf.
I still think it needs to have a blacker eye.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

opening scenes

These are the first opening scenes to my animation, I think the leaf needs to be alot slower and I think it needs to have a group of leaves in the alleyway and then a single one landing on the plaque however I have not yet put in some rubbish on the floor yet so I am going to work on that. To save myself rendering aswell I rendered one image of the alley, layered the whole alley so I could hide it then animate the leaf and render that out seperatly and in aftereffects using the mask tool I was able to merge the image and animation together. As I said it needs to be tweaked and slowed down but I think it looks like a good start. I spent an whole week on the alleyway, modelling everything, uv mapped the entire alleyway, then went out and took photos for my textures, enhancing the images to allow them to look dirty and grubby. Adding everything into maya I was then able to mess with the lighting, I feel like it needs more however I am not an expert on lighting so I think it is time to hit the youtube and books looking at tutorials.


These are renders I took to have a look at the end product of my project, the images of the left side are the tests and the right images are my end product to my animation.

texture and uv maps


Here is my storyboard that I promised everyone

Friday, 30 March 2012

The new improved story.

As people can tell I have not been on the blog for a while telling you about my project. This is because there has been a big spanner that has hit the clogs of the production last week in rushes. Making everything stop and explode. As a true creative mechanic I have been able to cool the fires that were exploding everywhere. Fixing the tweaks to the machine to get it running again, especially before I came home to Plymouth leaving the comfort of university.

A couple of explosions to the production were.

1. The film footage was not of good quality.

In which I agreed the grainy look, did not go well with the story. The colour needed to be corrected, I was going to do in this in Aftereffects using the grainy look to my advantage.


2. The actor were not convincing enough due to the fact they knew the story.

Personally I believed the acting was good. Needing small improvements in areas however for a student project I would not be able to have the quality of acting like Blockbuster movies.

3. Confusion of the storyline.

If personally people cannot understand the storyline then I am pretty much skewed with the rest of the project.

However as I do with every comment I receive I take it, PANIC. Then sit down and sort the problems to improve my animation. No matter how much I may not like the comments, if people are having this confusion it needs to be corrected.

 I went away and thought about the visual look of the animation, does this have to be live action with CGI? Do I need to show more of my skills as a CGI artist and make everything 3D? I agreed with myself, it needed to be CGI.
 Scrapping the live footage, I came to the beginning again. My next decision was narrowing my story, I came to the conclusion I wanted her to be a werewolf however people didn't see that they didn't understand the inner story I had in my head. So finally I narrowed it to

There is a statue of a wolf
who awakens at night
prowls the alleys at night
finds a girl and chases her
bites her and turns her into a werewolf.

I then spent my weekend creating a storyboard and animatic, I have the animatic and need to scan the storyboard in, this week but here is the animatic.

I then emailed Laura and Teagan stressing that I needed a tutorial with them to talk about the new story and whether it was an improvement and to run with it for my project.

My first meeting was with Laura at ten, She suggested to me that I should create a poem for the story to have more stable story to the animation and allow the audience to slowly come to realise what was happening. Which personally I thought was a fantastic Idea. I like poetry and it would go with the new storyline, extremely well. For the rest of the tutorial we spent time looking over the rhyming dictionary. Breaking down the length of the poem and the different words I can use.

2lines                      Awakening of wolf

                               Montage of wolf

2lines                     Sensing the girl


Prowl, howl, growl,
might, bite, plight, flight, insight
sense, tense, dense, immense, intense, suspense
awaken, shaken, taken, reawaken

Laura also suggested the poem should be read by a male voice to keep the menace of the animation someone with a husky voice.

Laura was happier with my new story and my new ideas and told me to concentrate on the poem and get things going with the project so I am in a stable position when I get back in April for my tutorials.

I then went to my tutorial with Teagan, Teagan had no clue about my story or what my project was about, so I showed her my animatic/film with everything I had put together so far which I will put on here at a later date. I then showed her my new idea and the suggestions Laura had given me. Personally she liked the idea of live action footage with CGI as it is common in the industry. However now changing my idea I am sticking to all CGI with some green screen shots of the girl using shadow.

She wrote down a list of suggestions for me to improve the animation.

1. Wolf rigging in arms?
2. Yellow eyes.
3. Font on plaque
4. Moonlight waking the wolf.
5. Tie the girl in at the end with something in the beginning
6. Pose of the wolf in the beginning
7. From your original film, us textures from walls including graffiti
8. timing of the poem ( read the poem aloud and time yourself)
9. Look at German Shepperd's running.

Unfortunatly the wolf rig, I cannot do anything with as I am not a rigger.
The yellow eyes I will change easily as I have the texture.
The plaque I am going to look at war memorials at home and the fonts on there
moonlight is defiantly an aspect I will be using.
the girl I am going to tie in at the beginning is a shadow that passes the wolf statue and the wolf tracks it with his eyes.
I have taken textures from the alleys that I filmed and now attaching them to the 3D models of the alleyways I have been working on for the last week.
The poem is gradually getting there.
Plus I am researching German Shepperd's and how they run.

All these tips have improved my work and I can see that in the progress of the last week.

My Poem


Secluded in my place
I am ready for to bring the pace
I awaken in the night
Moonlight spraying me with life

My position so tense
The shadows bring my suspense
Your soul will be shaken
I have been re awakened

Listen to my growl
Shiver at my howl
Skin so pale
I will not fail

Let us finish this chase
Stand face to face
Look into my yellow eyes
We have found our ties.

Here are some render tests of textures as well.

The project is coming on in many different ways, I haven't told my team the changes yet unless they see this blog in which I will have other things for them to do with the project.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Guardians Poster

Some of my friends have told me that the title the darkness is a very well known name due to a comic book and other things, which obviously would not be good for me to start using it so I have changed it to Gaurdians.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


I thought I would put my poster of The Darkness on my Blog as it advertises my work further and it shows everyone working on this Project.

wolf run

Friday, 16 March 2012


Work is going well. I have uploaded my research images on wolves, werewolves, gargolyes and films with different types of werewolves in. This is all on my 'the darkness' page. The reason I have put these images up is to show everyone were my ideas have come from and why my wolf is different, why it doesn't have hair why I picked blue for its colour and why it is a brick texture. I wanted something unique and different but not too much that it looked weird. So I used natural wolves as my base because a believed that werewolves should be orginal in some way. I then took the wolf base and played around with colours. This is when I started to look into films. Blood and chocolate was my first film I picked because they were natural wolves and had fur. I drew alot of natural wolves with hair and I really liked them however the wolf seemed too plain. So I then started looking into werewolf films like underworld, dog soliders and resident evil. I really like the zombie look from the resident evil film, even if the were dogs and not werewolfs. I liked the skin look of the dogs with the viens showing and muscle this included dog soldiers and underworld were the have skin with tuffs of fur. So I started to think about skin textures and a colour that would go well, seen as the werewolves were mainly grey or black. I knew this wouldn't work with my project because my outdoor scenes were too dark. I then tryed an orange red burnt texture for the wolf but it the wolf looked too solid so I then started to change the colour. So I watched Avatar and the colour they used in their film and obviously the blue stood out the most. Especially on the viper wolf so I changed my wolf to blue. However it looked too solid so going back to skin textures I thought I would look at hard textures like brick and granite textures. Then I thought what it the wolf looked like a gargoyle. So I then started researching images of gargolyes and really liked the look and texture of them so I tried it out on my wolf and if fit really well. Plus it blended well with the live action footage and it will still easy to see the wolf. So that is how I have my main wolf. I know I haven't showed much of my concept art but that is because I have been trying to carry on with the animation so some time this week I will try and scan them in and upload them onto here. Here is also a walk/trot cycle of the wolf.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


here are the titles, Sorry to everyone I thought it had uploaded on the blog with the last update but it hadn't sorry.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

I have finally got my rig sorted thanks to Paul Whiting who changed the original creative crash rig to allow the mouth to open and close. Plus added my blendshapes to them, so a big thank you to Paul. Now on to the animating of the wolf which is proving difficult however I think I have finally cracked the wolf running thanks to this fabulous step by step run that I found on Bing images. I have been animating for the last couple of days and testing it out on the live footage, I believe it is getting there with some work, I still have lots to consider with angles plus I still haven't finished my live footage. However here are some few videos to show you what I am getting up to plus my credit sequence I have animated and finished. (Charles Beeching did not do the music for the titles it is from Mutemath called spotlight. I won't be using this music in my titles however its on here now just for entertainment until I have an idea for the title music later.)

Friday, 2 March 2012


The images you see are the uv maps, I stitched them together in maya and created a texture for them in photoshop the uv map to my right is a the bottom teeth, I put a simple gravel texture on the teeth so it would work well with the brick look I gave the wolf. 
The texture on the left is the front teeth top and bottom. This was made with two textures a blooding spotted texture and a gravel texture I layered them in photoshop and use the overlay effect to match the textures together I then flattened the image and changed the levels on hue and saturation to give it a green/blue colour.

The texture on the right is the uv map of the tongue and I used an elephant skin texture changing the brightness and contrast to allow the ridges to look defined, I used this texture as it went well with the teeth and it allow it to stand out.
The rendered scenes on both sides are different settings in maya to let me see the difference in the bump map on the skin, I found whilst using mental ray and changing the quality to production the bump looks smoother (right) compared to the draft quality (left) that looks too bumpy.

The rendered image on my right is of the teeth and tongue, I tested the each texture in maya to make sure that they suited the character I think it works well with the wolf.

on the left is an old texture on the wolf I was trying to make it look like fresh scratches into flesh and veins showing up however it look more burnt than anything and did not go with the feel of the film, plus the problem with a brighter colour is the blending with the film and it would have started to look too stuck on.

 These three images are the end result of the wolf, I believe it looks really good and spending time on the textures has really improved my character, the use of fur was too technical and would have take me months to understand properly and I have over come this by looking back at my wolf and come up with a different style and concept which has worked in my favour as I have now sent the model off to be rigged and ready to animate which has freed me to experiment more in animation and compositing.