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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Scene 2

Emily level. Looking unamused as the duke admires his reflection in the diamond. It's amazing how much this scene changed from the first blocking I did.

Now I just need to power through the Duke level and I miiiiight just stay on schedule...

Also, for the record, that diamond was a bugger. It's drawn on a different level, on 2's, and will be inbetweened on 1s for purdiness. :D

Friday, 17 December 2010

Passenger car gate

The safety gate between the various cars of the the Flying Duchess. Can be pulled and pushed in a concertina movement.
Each bit of the gate is a separate piece of geometry, can anyone tell me how to manipulate them all as a single unit so it can be moved around a scene, rotated, etc. grouping isn't working. Cheers.

Isle of Skye Trip - Mountain Photographs

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Passenger Car Geometry

To be duplicated 3 or 4 times.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Landscape Geometry Development

This geometry is for scene 2. Next to build the viaduct which will determine the path of the train.

Captured Vapour Effect Test

Here is a test for a purple smoke creature effect I'm working on for Jayne Ferris in Time Based Art. I've included it here because I aim to use the same meathods for the steam and cloud in The Flying Duchess. You can still make out the chimney where the steam is coming from, more carefull masking will be needed for the final asset.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Scene Five Emily

Beavering away through scene 5. Here's a few rough keys for Emily's level, reacting to edward jumping in. Obviously she's faking surprise, which is kinda subtle. What I'm aiming for is for that to be detectable from the animation on a second viewing, ideally.

I'm using a dope sheet properly this time and actually kind of enjoying it :D

More Emily doodles

Somewhat old drawings of Emily.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Live action alternative?

If we run out of time to animate the film, lets just film it. Ok?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

2D Keyframe Schedule

This is for keyframes only. inbetweening, cleanup and colouring are still to be scheduled but will need to begin as soon as a scene is finished. Its going to be an extremely busy 2nd semester. Well, for Freya and Lynsey it is :D

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Scene 5 Finished Keys - Before Clean-Up

Hey guys,

So just finished the Edward level on Scene 5 - keys that is. It needs cleaned-up and inbetweened. Unfortunately the crazy weather conditions here in Dundee are making it difficult to locate my crack team, as it's hard for a lot of people to get in. The art college was closed yesterday, which was severely unhelpful.

Everyone's also similarly 'snowed under' with work.

Ahahaha. See what I did there. Ah ha. Ha.


Anyway. Found this scene majorly difficult to do. Took me far too long. Serious slaps on wrist. Well it's done, so now to crack on with emily and the duke.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

More steam photographs

© All rights reserved by Envisage Photo
Found on this Flickr discussion thread. Some stunning stuff. Now back to dissertation editing.

Dundee in the age of steam

I'm not sure of the original sources of these photographs, I lifted them from a treasure trove collection of old Dundee photographs on John Hunter's facebook. Some familar views for us west end residents!

Friday, 26 November 2010

3D gears test

All the parts are linked by a combination of constraints and everything is driven from an expression on the right wheel.
There's some pretty bad slipping on a couple of joints, particularly the bullet shaped one on the right but I reckon I can eliminate them all 2nd time around.
Nothings textured I should add.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Layout guides scenes 2-8

These printed layout guides, rendered from maya, will be used as reference for 2D animation.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Been a long time since I textured a model so I done this as a test, aiming for the 2D look. Summit bizarre going on with the maya toon line.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Sc5 Glass Test

Quick test for the shattering glass as Edward comes through the skylight. The glass mioght be falling a little slow.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Rough Sc 5 Part 2

Just in the midst of roughing out the second part of Scene 5 - so Edward's jumped in, now he's trying to get back up...

Kudos for Johnno for having the cool idea of the back of his waistcoat getting stuck over his head.

It's been an absoloute nightmare to attempt, but hey, think I'm getting there...? There's a lot to work on after the rough posing - a proper line of action on that wasitcoat, follow through on hair etc, but currently it's making me smile, which is a good sign.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Jewel shader test

I've used the interior geometry to look at how the 2D animation will be reflected in the surafce of the jewel. The clasp will be rendered in a more 2Dish way, only shaded for now.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

To Inbetween, Or Not to Inbetween. THAT, is the question.

So I'm halfway through animating Edward in Scene 5 - that's when he smashes through the top of the train and lands in front of Emily and the Duke, much to her feigned, and his genuine, surprise.

The action has to take place over 17 frames the way we've timed it, so no extra time can be garnered. The movement's pretty quick though, so the question is, to inbetween or not...?

Version One is without inbetweens on 2's, and Version Two is inbetweened on 1s. Yup, 1s. *shudders*

Anyway, feedback as to which looks better would be much appreciated. :) I personally am thinking towards 2s - not to influence anyone here - but I feel he falls slower, and paradoxically, the movement is smoother and clearer, whereas on ones it seems rushed, albeit fluid.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Jewel geometry work in progress

I shall work at making the clasp look a little cuter...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Chair geometry

Nothing like a hard day's chair modeling. Wey, chair.


We need chairs. Here is a chair design. Now to Maya.

An interesting random photograph. © 2005 Jonathan Hey -

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Carriage interior geometry

The second high vantage point could make a more interesting composition for scene 3.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Finished Inbetweens - Scene One!

I forgot how long clean-up and inbetweens take. It was very naive to assume that I could do it in a day. Nonetheless, here we have finished inbetweened clean-up!

The great thing about doing this whole scene myself was it's taught me a lot about my process and how I work, so I can easier relay this to my wonderful clean-up artists/inbetweeners from now on. Ie. Having done it mysef, I feel in a better position to be able to explain what I want from the crack team we've assembled. It's given me confidence. :)

So Scene 1 Duke, all done. It's now going to be blown up to a larger scale and retraced to enhance the line quality before we start manipulating it for the reflection/jewel effect. In that process the sash and medals will also be added -all courtesy of the wonderful Lyndsy. :D Lyndsy, I love you. You're a star.

Cracking on with another scene now, yaaaaay!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Gear system

I know this might look like an enormous waste of time, but I reckon it'll help when it comes to rigging the pistons; they are on screen for at least 2 or 3 seconds after all.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Behold! A finished linetest!

Kind of.

This is the cleaned-up keyframes for Scene One, in which the Duke admires his reflection in the diamond. So fingers crossed and I'll have this inbetweened for Monday/Tuesday, which means our first 2D scene in the bag. Yay!

Quite happy with how it's turned out, in the end, having started from scratch this week. It's been good to be back in the studio. Special thanks to Brian Lindsay for helping me out with the tricksy moustache. :)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Exterior Geometry

The Flying Duchess engine and royal carriage.
Still missing some wheels and the drive mechanism.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Carriage interior geometry in progress

The beginings of the first carriage interior. I'm finding that the overall shape of the orthographic designs are needing much tweeking once seen in 3D.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Bird animation tutorial by Brendan Body

What are the chances? Brendan Body, who worked as a lead animator on Legend of the Guardians (released here on the 15th), has just posted this in-depth tutorial with many tips and observations on bird flight. Couldn't be more useful when it comes to animating our falcon.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Jewel designs

Three posible design routes for the jewel. I've tried to use bird and cage symbols wherever posible. Your comments please!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Environment paintings

The fish-eye panorama was made for panning in the animatic. I prefer these slightly more subdued colours to some of the earlier images.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Jewelry of René Lalique

Below are examples of the work of Art Nouveau jewelry and glass designer René Lalique, a style which our jewel design will draw from.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Flying Duchess Central

We've been setting up our HQ for production! The giant Tetris game is really a storyboard with a collum for notes on the progress of each scene. All going well we will slowly cover up that wall.

Do come and visit us in Studio A if you are interested in helping work on the project, fancy a chat or would like a cup of tea.

Animatic v.3.1

Monday, 27 September 2010

Peer Review Feedback

Please comment on this post with any feedback on the latest animatic and the project a whole.

Although we are steaming ahead with production there is always room for changes. Any opinion is good opinion and we are keen to hear yours, be it ruthless, reflective or just plain random.

Many thanks!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Rail posters

These rail posters have a great graphic style which our final look could alude to.

Friday, 24 September 2010


Hey hey hey...

Hey kids. Long time no speak, but 'The Flying Duchess' has officially started production; a pretty good reason for our lack of updates.

First deadline as such is our peer review monday, for which we're re-vamping the animatic. We've moved a couple of scenes around, extended a few, made a few a lot more difficult/challenging (yes I'm looking at you Kieran) and had a closer look at sound. Hopefully it's a marked improvement.

I've been working on starting the 2D animation. Here's a couple of veeeery rough tests for Scene One, where the Duke is admiring his own reflection in the diamond. It's already proved to be very challenging, with forshortening and facial animation... I've done a separate test just to figure out hand movements at the beginning. Nothing finalised, just thought I'd post an update on how we're getting on.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Emily sketches

Hello - please accept my humble offering. A few sketches I did of Emily. I didn't want to put all of them up, so here are my favourites. She's not as on-model as I would've liked, and probably out of character in a few, but I hope to fix that soon. I was really just wanting to get used to drawing her, but please, critique to your hearts content!

Been watching a lot of period dramas and animation with princesses to try to get an idea of how her dress might work.

Are there any specific kind of drawings you're wanting me to do?

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