Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Wolf Movie Update

Success. Tomorrow marks the final stage of Team Wolf's short film project. Once our sound editor/designer returns with the final sound file, we'll export the film and present it to the teachers.

Begone, Little Wolf will become an official short film.

It's been an extremely tiring, emotional and excruciating process. One that has taught me many important factors in the world of animation. It has taught me the importance of being a director and the responsibilities of that role. While I hadn't played the director as well as one should've, I've understand a smidgen of the responsibility that comes with the title.

I've learned to work with others, despite their faults and tribulations, and myself with my own annoyances.


I see now that my original 1st year vision of a 5 minute animation piece, starring up to 8 characters, with lots of animation, was a scary ambition. Storyboarding and cutting the film down, especially during production phase, has made me see that even a minute of animation can be long and tiresome.

It hasn't deterred me per say, but it's certainly an eye-opender.


Has been a fun experience, despite the long hours. I've enjoyed animating the various sequences, especially during the action scenes, which allowed me to test my understanding of the principles of animation.


While not perfect, my knowledge of such programs as Adobe After Effects and Premier has increased dramatically. I now know the difference between standards definition (1024/576) and high definition (1920/1080). Compositing has been a fun but irritating experience, one of which I shall improve when I being new projects down the track.

Final Thoughts

My 3 years at Griffith has taught me a great deal about myself and my future goals. While it has shown me that my dream cannot be easily achieved, it has shown me a potential path I can take that will either lead me there, or land me close enough.

I desire to continue improving, drawing, animating and creating stories to share.

One frame at a time.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Colour scheme was developed by Poh-Ling, my partner, and we're currently in the process of colouring all 9 sequences. The program we've used is Photoshop (mainly version CS2). We officially have 4 sequences remaining, and have since done some test renders to check out various settings and visual effects for the final export.

Here's some samples from the movie:

Sequence 6 Scene 5 ~ Wolf and Sam

Sequence 8 Scene 4 ~ Wezz in action
Sequence 8 Scene 5 ~ Showdown

Coming to Theatres

From the creator of such hit movie posters as 'Emily Does Dallas', 'Invasion of the Boob Monsters' and '28 Minutes Later', comes the third installment in the superhero saga.

Starring David Smith as Peter Parker and Benjamin Drake as Eddie Brock/Venom.

The Greatest Battle Lies Within.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Life Drawing at the Museum and Zoo

A collection of life drawing we did during our visits to the Museum at South Bank and at Alma Park Zoo.

These ones are from the museum. They had a funky exhibit set up that had many animals walking along a path, varying from the smallest animals (spiders, urg) to the largest (a Polar bear, ooo).

These ones are from Alma Park Zoo. Was more difficult to achieve, due to the fact most of the animals wouldn't stay still. Except for a lama with a funky doo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wolf Project

Been working away merrily on the Wolf film project, thusly titled: Begone Little Wolf (or else Title Pending until we come up with a final name).

The main task over the holidays we'd set was to focus on finishing the layouts for the end of Week 1. My task was to draw up the layouts for the flashback sequence at the start of the Wolf movie.

This is the roughs of the Hut interior, the home of the Wolf. The angle of the scene was to give the sense of dominance and weakness of the Wolf's position.

This is the final coloured version. Added emphasis on shadow and detail. With the help of Post-grad student, Patrick, added in some textures and fixed a fresco effect over the final image.

Next, is the close up image of the lantern that is a repeated shot throughout the flashback. I planned out the roughs before hand, getting a sense of perspective, drawing back on the emotion of dominance and weakness.

As before, fitted in some textures and added the fresco effect.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cutting Edge - Day 3

The Last Straw

Arrived on time and met up with Kristie, the supervisor. First up, she introduced me to Mark, who worked in the sound department. This was short-lived however as a client then came in and I was forced to head back to Kristie.

I asked if the 2D or 3D department was available, but they were too busy to take on students. So, once again, she plopped me down in tapes and left me under the guidence of Kel. I ended up sitting on a stool in the room, awaiting Kristie who had informed me it would be an hour before she could get me back into the sound department.

2 hours later, I had 4 drawings in my visual diary, and read 2 chapters of my book. Bored out of my mind.

10 minutes before the 2nd hour, one of the ladies from Facilities (Kristie's department) asked me to help her put covers into some DVD cases (basically the same process with the CD cases, fantastic!). Took me a short time, then revisited Kristie before heading to lunch.

Ate lunch and enjoyed it. Didn't have to pay for it. Mwa hahahahahaha!

Met up with Kristie again, she searched for any possible openings. Thankfully, Mark was working on sound for a DVD documentary for QSuper, and so I sat in with him while he worked.

Despite the shitty day thus far, being with him improved my mood greatly. The project he was working on was tedious and made him quite synical, despite him informing he was not usually a synical person. I didn't mind though. After a while, we began having a laugh at nit-picking the documentary from the bad acting and dialogue, to the difficult-to-understand data being explained by the actors.

I had a good time, watching as he applied sound to the project, using the program Pro-Tools which I was familair with. He applied sound that fitted the time of day and mood of the piece. This lasted up until the last 30 minutes of my time with Cutting Edge. I thanked him and departed to find Kristie.

She was unavailable however, and so I left a message with one of the ladies at Facilities and got the hell out of there.

Overall experience:
Cutting Edge is amazingly focused to their task and provide top-notch quality for their clients. The facilities are beautiful, well designed and stocked up with technology no student could ever hope to afford. Their task focuses on post-production, usually with clients in the television industry and provide welcoming environments in which to discuss and show off work to their clients.

I was dissapointed that I did not get to explore a lot of the facility, except for the few people who were available to accomadate me. Would've also helped if Kristie provided something constructive (a few tasks maybe) between finding available staff, so my time would not be reduced to sitting around waiting. Or better yet, not putting covers into CD cases.

Would I want to work there? Its a potential business consideration. However, my dream is to become an animator/director of my own animation series and don't believe Cutting Edge would be interested. Perhaps they will be considered for the latter process of animation.

Total time: Approx 20 hours
Final comments: Purple monkey dish washer

Cutting Edge

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cutting Edge - Day 2

More Work Experience

Not quite eventful as yesterday. Only met two new people at Cutting Edge.

First one I met in the morning was Justin, who worked in the Telecine suite. He worked on converting footage into tape and such, as well as colour correction. I sat in as he worked on the last half of a documentary (which felt more like a drama), correcting the shody camera lighting by editing the colour and gamma, helping it appear more consistant.

The process was interesting, but after about an hour, I found little to do. It was difficult to talk with Justin as he seemed to like his job yet NOT like it. I mainly sat back and watched, fighting to keep my eyes awake since I had travelled on a train for an hour in the early hours of the morning. My assumption that if I were to get into the industry, colour correction is not for me.

After a total of 2 hours watching (the last 20 minutes pointless due to him finishing the work then merely looking up forums on the internet), I departed and headed up to the third floor where I got some lunch. Like yesterday, I was surprised to recieve another free meal and was quite pleased.

During this time, I enjoyed the view of the upper floor and drew this:

I did another drawing while I was with Justin but these two were more refined.

After eating and enjoying the view on the third floor for an hour, I met up with Kristie, my supervisor, and she introduced me to Mark who worked in the visual effects department.

Mark used the program called Inferno, a very expensive program that provided top standard tools to editing footage to create beautiful visual effects. He showed me his various works he'd done recently, including a beautiful ad about Tourism Queensland. I was amazed at how much each scene had been manipulated to suit the scene.

Compared to Justin, he was a nice change. While I had a little difficulty sharing his interest in motorcycles, I was honoured that he allowed me the chance to use the program for a while. Since I had no formal training or any experience with Inferno, my time with the program was....amusing. I could do little with the program, but manged to draw up some text that read "Excellent", and appeared slightly interesting. Until I'm in the industry, this shall probably be the most expensive program I have ever used....if but briefly.

Soon, 3:30 came round and I bid Mark farewell, paying a visit to Kristie on the way out. I aim to ask Kristie tomorrow if I can visit the 2D animators, or if at the least, visit the 3D department, so I see how they work.

One can only hope.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cutting Edge - Day 1

Work Experience

Arrived at Cutting Edge at 8:15am via a train to South Brisbane, and a 10 minute bus. Met up with my supervisor, Kristie, and she gave me a guided tour of the building.

Was quite amazed at the many suites and technology available. I was introduced to Dan, one of the sound designers. She left me with him for about an hour, showing me his work station and what he does.

A bloke by the name of Damien showed up and together with Dan, used the audio booth and recorded some voice over dialogue for television ads and radio for BCF (Boating, Camping, Fishing). It was quite a privilage to see a professional voice actor at work.

After a while, another guy showed up. Dan introduced him as Peter, an editor. Went with him up to his editing suite and observed him at work on the same audio track which he applied to the video. He was a good friendly bloke and we got along quite well. I observed and asked questions regarding the program, called Avid, and generally about client work.

During this time we had lunch, at which I was able to eat free amazingly. Apparentally when employees are booked into rooms to work on projects, the cafe upstairs provides meals without cost. I felt kind of bad for having a free meal despite being only a work experience student.

Peter said don't worry about it. So I didn't.

After 2 hours with him, he transfered me down to the tape library, looked after by Kev. The place felt like out of a movie: machines all around intended for converting video into tape or vice versa. Stayed with him for a while, though I didn't get to spend much time observing the technology. He put me to minor work on putting Cutting Edge covers on some blank cd covers. It was....not....really.....that exciting.

After a while, Kristie showed up and offered to introduce me to someone else. She introduced me to Anthley, who worked with the program called Smoke. Turned out to be quite an amazing program, capable of adding in visual effects to video and such. I stayed with him for the rest of the day, asking questions and observing.

After about 3:20, I decided to head on home. I talked with Kristie, discovering my time schedule for the next two days, being from 9:00am till 3:30pm:

Works for me. Then I departed and headed home. Huzzah.

Friday, May 25, 2007

G-Netech and Titans website

http://www.gnetech.com/ - Link to the G-Netech company website, displaying all their current projects and works they've been involved in. It's been a pleasure working with them, and I look forward to any potential future work with them. It may cost them next time though.

http://www.titans.com.au/ - Link to the Gold Coast Titans official website. Eventually, the animation will be displayed on an introduction page (or on the main page).

I approached Josh a month ago to see where the production was at, and he assures me its still in the works. Its mainly taken a while due to little things such as sound and ensuring it co-sides with the NRL's official Blade image.

It should be soon, I hope, so keep watching and ye shall be amazed..

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Character Designs

Concept designs for the central characters of the film.

The protagonist, Wolf.

The young boy protects, Sam.

The villians, (from the left) Spud, Wezz and Reese.

Special thanks I have to say to Sam, my uni friend, who helped me re-design Sam and the Thugs.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

G-Netech Work Experience Log

This a log of the recent entrees. I've been working for a local Gold Coast company, G-Netech, for the past 3 weeks as part of work experience. I must say It's been a really good experience. Workers are nice, and the office is pleasant.

The entrees are as follows:

Friday 23th February - Work Experience Interview

Met with Joshua at the office and discussed the work experience. He was quite happy to accept me on the grounds of my skills in character development and animation. We talked about the main project and what was required: A 2d animation to be displayed on the Gold Coast Titans website.

Because the Titan mascot, Blade, had no official full body image, I was asked to recreate the character as best as I could, from the main logo and one small source image. This allowed me to be quite creative in designing the mascot.

Confirmed the days I would come in to work (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) then went on home and started working on character drawings.

Monday 26th February – 2:00-4:30 – Day 1

Joshua set me up at an unoccupied computer to work at. Before commencing, I displayed the character drawings I did the night before and he was pleased. We then discussed how the scene would play out and I quickly drew rough storyboards which we clarified.

Once done, I got to work, starting with the first few scenes depicting snippets of Blade. Due to the small graphics tablet provided, this proved difficult; the pen applied no pressure to the small board and made the line work quite rigid. After fixing up the storyboards a bit more, I asked if it was ok to head home early and work from there.

Josh said it was fine. I went home and on my own computer, with my graphics tablet, constructed a few of the scenes with ease. Completed the hand clenching sequence.

Wednesday 28th February – 2:00-5:30Day 2

Arrived with my own graphics tablet in hand (note: the workers there were quite impressed) and showed off the short snippet animations I had made. Josh was quite pleased with them. I had constructed Blade’s hand clenching furiously, entirely drawn and rendered in Flash.

Spent the rest of the day working on the other scenes, such as the close up of Blade’s helmet, and even added the shine to the close up of Blade’s chest armour.

Friday 30th February – 2:00-5:30 – Day 3

Commenced work on the first of the major actions: the run cycle. Within Flash, I drew a rough run cycle of Blade, paying special attention to the way his armour would move, his weight and power point (his chest). I’d developed this way of working in second year for an assessment: completing the rough and full animation within Flash, capable of editing as I go.

I was 3 frames into it when Josh approached me with both good news and bad news. The good news: the NRL had finally released a full drawing of Blade. The bad news: they’d finally released the full drawing of Blade. We checked up on it and for most part, my interpretation of the character looked fine. The only drawback was the significant large column-like boots and the spiked shoulder pads.

With a bit of tweaking, this proved no trouble. I did a makeshift drawing on paper and then corrected the design into the run cycle I was working on. This was a good example of working within the confines of a client. I was pleased that, despite this development, it worked out just fine. Josh was happy with the fix (even though he reckoned my version of Blade was good too).

I later finished the full run cycle for Blade. While rough, it perfectly gave the grounding for a strong running character.

Also did a bit of constructing of what the long hallway segments would look like. Seemed to work for most part.

Monday 5th March – 2:00-5:20Day 4

Spent most of the day outlining the rough sketches in Flash for Blade’s run cycle. After that was done, commenced colouring them with a bit of shading. Fairly productive day.

Friday 9th March – 2:00 – 5:20Day 5

Commenced work on the second run cycle, completing a rough outline. This time I was able to cheat a little, since Blade was facing the camera. I needed only to construct the first half of the animation, then merely flipped them horizontally to create the full animation.

Took a bit of time too to begin work on tattooing the Titan logo onto Blade’s chest in both run cycles. Rough drawings didn’t take too long, but outlining and colouring took longer.

At the end of the day, Josh discussed with me the impending deadline which they had aimed for the following Wednesday. As before, it wasn’t that the animation had to be finished by this time, this was the deadline for the website. or the animation, we discussed that it could be completed at a later week.

Viewing what I’d done, he thought that perhaps the first half, the teaser section, could be uploaded to the site on the Wednesday with the rest of the animation provided later. We decided to see how things went on the Monday and go from there.

Monday 12th March – 1:30 – 5:30Day 6

Didn’t have scriptwriting today, so I showed up 30 minutes earlier. Continued working on the second run cycle and finished it up near the end of the day. Started working on the final stretch of the hallway running scene, mixing in glimpses of Blade’s two run cycles while the impending doorway drew ever closer.

Talked to Josh again about the deadline. Considering that the first Titans NRL match wasn’t till Sunday of this week, and that the animation was coming along nicely, he thought perhaps we could aim for its release on either the Friday or the following Monday. The website would release as normal, and the animation would be uploaded later on.

Josh also wanted me to work on editing the hallway scene, since the “light at the end of the tunnel” graphic didn’t appear right. He suggested trying to make the light stretch as it would down a long corridor.

Friday 16th March – 12:00-4:30 Day 7 – Production Complete

With no uni on today, I went in early to get a good head start. Worked heavily on the final scene: Blade running out into the open air and slamming his chest against the camera, leaving the Titan logo behind. This took a good portion of the day, combined with constantly editing the final hallway stretch.

Once the final scene was completed, I showed it to the other workers and everyone was quite pleased. I was unable, however, to fix the “light at the end of the tunnel”. With Josh’s help, we got a nice royalty free image off the web (cost 5 bucks to download) and I edited it into the scene. Now the scene looked much better.

After tweaking the last few scenes, the animation production was complete. All that remained was importing sound and any text into the final product. Josh said he’d get a guy from the other department to start collecting sound together and test it with the animation (he’d send me a copy to see what I thought of it). On Monday, we would edit it all together and have it nice and ready for upload.

Monday 19th March – 2:00-5:20 Day 8 - Post Production

Despite the plan, I wasn’t able to help much. Josh soon arrived after I did and explains to me that the sound guy was unavailable last weekend. Discussing with Josh, we fixed up the ending of the film to include some text, then exported into an AVI.

He emailed the copy to the sound guy. It was hoped that he would have the sound together by the end of the day, but we got no word back. Josh decided we’d finish the project on Friday, sound and all.

Friday 23rd March - 2:00 - 4:00 Day 9 - Post-Production and side Projects

Once again, things didn't go exactly as planned. While I did get to witness a pre-finished copy of the final animation with sound, there were still elements missing, so it wasn't finished yet. In the meantime, Josh got me to help out Ben with a side project.

His client required a logo design for his online racing poker game, a sort of fun parody/poker game. The client was not happy with the design Ben has created, so he called upon me to do a more "cartoony" design as the client desired. So I sat down and did some simple designs, varying in how "cartoony" the character could be. After a few designs, I approached Ben and he was pleased with the variety, taking a scanned copy and would send it to the client for approval.

At the end of the day, there was still no word from the sound guy. We decided that I'd come in the following Monday and HOPEFULLY the product would be finished.

Monday 26th March - 2:00-4:00 Day 10 - Final Day

No word from the sound guy. Spent most of the day hanging around Josh, hoping for something constructive to do with my skills.

Ben approached me again with what the client had said about the Poker/Horse race logo. Seems he didn't want it "too cartoony", but cartoon like Spirit Stallion off Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Ben helped me obtain some reference images and I began my second attempt at the logo. After a few more designs, I approached Ben, he liked them, copied them and would send them off to the client for approval, once again.

After that, I pretty much approached Josh with a proposition: since I wouldn't really be needed for the upload of the product, I asked that I not come in the following Friday. Should the product be ready for upload, they could call me and I'd come in to witness it, or else watch over the internet. Josh was fine with this and thus concluded the work experience with G-Netech.

Total Time commited:
Approx. 36 Hours

Monday, March 12, 2007

Getting Started


First time with my own blog service. MSN My Space ain't too flashy, and I'd prefer to keep most details off my deviant art site. So, thought I might give this a go.

Mostly intend to use this for work-experience related blogs. Its a requirement for uni, providing them with a nice insight into what I've been up. Once I get use to this, may even use it as an artistic outlet to show off my artwork.

After all, I'm an animator in training.

Just so you know, this is the Wolf.
He's my character and this is his HQ. I'm just borrowing it.

The Wolf (c) Dave S (aka, myself)