28 Jul 2011

Pin Up illustration

An exercise in taking a photo and giving it the 50's pin up girl painting treatment. the photo is treated heavily in Photoshop and then overpainted in Painter. I changed the face in all but pose. The tyre prop is the crappy bit - I was going to paint over it - need something else there not competing with her so much for attention.

13 Jul 2011

Selected Composites

Over my career I have composited a huge range of media - mixing everything and anything up - all sorts of artwork,  chromakey, CGI, particle effects, photographs. I've comped titles, virals, films and promos. I've preferred node based software - having been a user of Avid's Illusion . For many years after I used Shake, getting to an advanced level making massive node trees. Now that even Shake is dying off I learned Nuke a year ago and getting myself up to speed on that has been fun. Here's a selection of bits I've comped  ( click pics to enlarge )  :

12 Jul 2011

Samaritans promo

Najma designed and directed a promo for the Samaritans which involved some beautiful plate shots and tattoo designs which animate on the surface of the people's skin. The trick in these shots was to make the tattoo artwork not feel superimposed but feel like it was really on the skin and wrapping with the skins contours as they move.

There were four main shots to compose - a tear, a heart, chains and the most difficult a set of swallows flying over a mans hands and wrists.

I drew the original  designs for the tattoos in my sketchbook and we scanned them in to split up and colour in Photoshop. The 2d animations of each tattoo were then made in ToonBoom for the  swallows and the tear - Aftereffects for the heart being sewn up and Nuke for the chains which needed warping.

Next up the 2d animations were put onto 3d geometries which matched as closely as possible the contours of the body parts they were to sit on. Using Maya for the back and chains I created four variations of the back and carefully keyframed a blendshape warp between the four positions- so the back deformed as it straightened. The 2d animation of chains was then UV mapped to the back as a jpeg sequence and rendered in two passes - one for the colour and one as a matte pass to cut it out.

Back in Nuke the final sequences were put together - some masking, grading and slight repositioning of elements were needed for the best fit. In the heart sequence there was quite a lot of tracking and warping needed also. All the tattoos also had a soft shadow effect in a dark reddish colour.

8 Jul 2011

I, Caesar

From my archives of work from Liquid TV.  Working with historical documentary production company Seventh Art I recreated a series of scenes of ancient Rome. Working with researchers who provided a range of accurate references the images were built up from a combination of 3d and hand drawn digital painting. Statues and texture were taken from photographic sources. Various composites were then created - dissolves from present day footage and real moving skies were added - even some birds for extra realism. All these illustrations were also published in the BBC book which accompanied the series. The series director and author of the book was Phil Grabsky. These were made in the mid 90's and at that time I was not even painting in Photoshop but using instead Matador - a paint programme that also could be used for animation.

5 Jul 2011

The Snitch

Maya model made for pitch of animated sequence for Swedish broadcasting giant MTG. The model is a white, feather winged variant of the Harry Potter golden snitch.

2 Jul 2011

3D Logos

Mastering the art of effective 3d logos is not as simple as just extruding some illustrator artwork in Maya then colouring it the right colours. The smoothness of the curves, lighting play on the surface, bevelled edges, sophisticated metallic surface materials - these all add to the quality of a good logo. All this is before even going into the animation - which if done correctly adds a distinct character or brand quality to the logo - just through its movement and the sound design. Click the designs to enlarge the picture.

3d Product Visualisations

Small selection of some of the 3d Products for visualisation animations. A large amount of product demonstrations were made between 2003-2008 for the direct marketing and point of sale channel/company JML ( John Mills Ltd). We also created a lot of 3d products for gas and oil projects - most notably for Western Geco. The idea with these product demonstrations is usually to show how they work using a range of graphic devices - cutaways, arrows, labels, highlights, overlays etc.  Click on images to enlarge.