15 Dec 2010

RIP My Softwares

Mattisse  1988-90  Paintbox system running on Cambridge based Spaceward Graphics Ltd. An early competitor of the more famous Quantel Paintbox which won a legal battle against them killing them in 1990. Quantel also sued Photoshop on similar grounds but lost the case later in '97.

Avid Media Illusion -  One of the first high end node based compositing systems
Cyborg -

Avid Matador  -  Great 2d animation package / paintbox  RIP 1998

5D Cyborg - 2001 - very fast online compositing software to give Flame a run for its money- only lasted a year or two

Shake 1997-2006 - boo hoo - I'll have to go and learn Nuke

My first 3d workstation will be 20 years old

The Iris Indigo from Silicon Graphics was made in 1991. We got one at Liquid that cost about £20,000  or something like that with the software. As I remember we used 3d animation package called Acrobat ( no relation to Adobe product ). Alias and Wavefront products were also available.
Silicon Graphics Iris Indigo:
CPU:      33MHz Mips R3000A processor with R3010A FPU,
          32KB instruction cache, 32KB data cache
RAM:      16MB Ram (8-96MB available)
Storage:  426MB Scsi fixed disk (see text)
1024 x 768 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate
Software: Irix system R4.0; 4Dwm OSF/Motif-compliant window
          manager; Iris Workspace desktop; Anvil 5000 R2.1

29 Mar 2010

Avatars and Sprites

Some character icons made as an exercise in making multiple characters from a small set of quick change costume parts, hairstyles and colours. If you have 5 trousers, 5 tops and 5 heads you can make a whopping 125 different avatar type characters - and thats without colour varaition included.


Set of sprite style characters I designed into a sketchbook summer 2011. I scanned them all in and traced / inked them in Painter. Some colours yet to come maybe.

15 Mar 2010

Kids and Fun Title Designs

I found a good compilation image of some of my work from before SquareZero when I was still at Liquid TV. This is all stuff from our old showreel called 'Kids and Fun' . I designed the titles for the first series of  'My Parents are Aliens' as well as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls 'River Cottage' .  My artwork and animation / compositing appears in Eurotrash and Nicktoons idents also. 

My Nicktoons idents won a Promax award back in the day. SquareZero is currently developing our own children's TV series - hope it comes off, there's certainly been a lot of interest in it from the commissioners.

I still see my titles for The Tweenies airing perpetually on the kids channels. I composited the green screen Tweenies into a 2d and 3d CGI world that I made for them - all bright colours and blocky shapes. Animation was done with Softimage or XSi because it was before I learned Maya.


Kids TV series concept

These were concept drawings commissioned by a major terrestial TV channel for the pilot of a new kids series some two years ago. The little characters would be 3d animations and represent small children.

another different character from the same show was cyborg type robot man who was later changed to be a boy. 

Some examples of the environments were worked out as well - these environment concepts would eventually all be realised as 3d animations.

13 Mar 2010

Character Designs

More character designs knocking about the hard drive. These were mostly for animation series development projects or pitches I worked on for our company SquareZero Ltd

Elric and a zombie

my version of Elric - an albino warrior / magician from the books of Michael Moorcock

a horrible anatomic zombie skinned and peeled. ( or a holidaymaker who fell asleep in the sun somewhere on the Equator )

sketch fleshed out

This sketch was made for  a pitch ages ago and I recently found it and resurrected it. The concept was taken away from a superhero type costume and into a more military type cloth uniform.

Character designs work in progress

Some old and recent illustration work I've put together over last few years - some sort of gladiators and a scary norseman.


5 Mar 2010

Tudor Town. stage 1

update on a personal project work in progress

A Tudor London was a project I started as a 2d matte painting some time ago. Recently wanted to brush up on UV texture mapping so I came back to the idea. The models are very simple low poly models with less than 100 facets each. The textures are small 512x512 so I should be able to make a scene with many of them eventually. Modelling and texturing gets quicker as you make them because parts can be recycled, recoloured, sampled, rescaled. Because of the simplicity a town of many hundreds of houses could be achieved later on, although I will need to model more distinctive architecture such as bridges, churches etc. These houses will need chimneys and a few additional details before they are finished. All work using Autodesk Maya.

28 Jan 2010

SquareZero's Abba Hologram wows Abbaworld

We've recently completed two animated sequences of Abba performing the songs ' Dancing Queen' and ' Mamma Mia'. The animations are for projection on the Musion Eyeliner holographic projection system at the heavily hyped Abbaworld exhibition in Earls Court, London. SquareZero have become leading providers of content for the Musion system, having created animations and live action content for more than twenty presentations, launches and events.

SquareZero used motion capture and traditional animation techniques to create the Abba characters. HD renders of the 3d characters were attached to motion data for the body movements. Faces and lip sync were animated by hand. Dynamic animations were applied for hair and other parts such as Bennies tie.

The likeness of the characters was arrived at after making caricatures of the band and reducing them to more natural proportions and attractive features. They were never intended to look entirely like 'Spitting Image' puppets or attempt to look completely 'realistic'.

Those who worked on the project at SquareZero included Jonson Jewell, Jon Ossitt, Chris Maslen, David Elices, Vicky Godfrey, Natalie Harvey, Sarah Klan, George Cheng, Richard Lester and Antonio Flores.

Motion capture for the project was filmed at Centroid.

There has been a huge amount of publicity surrounding the project and the exhibition launch.

But it seems most likely that Ulvaeus's expression is that of a man wondering exactly what expression to wear after being confronted by a lifesize 3D cartoon hologram of himself playing Dancing Queen.
In fairness, it's hard enough to work out what facial expression to wear when confronted with the holograms even if you weren't in the band. ­Punters are encouraged to get up on stage beside them and sing. This proves both breathtaking and deeply weird. I give it a go, to a response you could describe as frosty. Who'd have thought Dancing Queen was so hard to sing?
Still, the holograms' very existence is evidence that no expense has been spared on Abbaworld. 

     Abbaworld:Thank your for the music -  Alexis Petridis, Guardian

LONDON (Reuters) - If singing along to ABBA classics on the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack is not enough, fans have the chance to perform alongside 3-D, holographic versions of the Swedish quartet at a new exhibition dedicated to them.

hologram video on Sky news