Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Backwards and Forwards

Backwards and Forwards is the working title of the next pack of designs I will be creating concept art for (I know its not a very exciting title...yet!!)

This pack contains a mixture of scenes and abstract backgrounds which will be panning or moving backwards and forwards. For example, the city scape will be panning backwards so if a character was placed on top doing a walk cycle it would look like they were walking forwards.

The city scape and suburban scape look fairly realistic, but the buildings will be bopping and flashing to make them a bit more surreal for the VJ loops.

Sparkles and Bubbles

Here are the original designs for the piece of concept art and other four loops in the Sparkles and Bubbles pack:

The drawings are very simple to demonstrate what will be happening in each loop, but also to give the animator a bit of creativity when it comes to making the loops.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Concept Art..

Last week Pete and I bought 50 postcards and sketched exactly what would be happening in each animated loop for Con Artists.

We then arranged them into catagories, so the loops now come in packs of 5. For each pack, we must now make 1 piece of concept art, which will be arranged in a book to be sent to Anomaly.

Our aim is to produce 2 pieces of concept art a week over the next 5 weeks. Pete will take charge of character design, and I am designing backgrounds and abstracts.

I have began concept art on my pack which is named 'sparkles and bubbles.' The Con Artists style is going to be very girly, very cheesy, and very bright and colourful to oppose that of VIA. Therefore, this particular catagory is all about cocktails :)

Here is the concept art I am currently working on:

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Tomorrow, Pete, Alex and I have to do a presentation to the class showing what we have done over summer, our concept art and ideas, and our future plans. Here are some of the powerpoint images which really show off the work put into US+THEM:

These are the logo's which are still work in progress. The photograph shows the original members of US+THEM and was pieced together using photo's from a photoshoot we did in July to use as part of our pitch to Anomaly. We wanted the photo's to present us as a young, cool collective of fun people. The image below shows some more pics from the shoot:

In the presentation we are also showing how we have developed as a business, from applying for funding to pitching to Anomaly. We also have Brendan Byrne on board which is a huge honor and a massive achievement for US+THEM.

Finally we are showing some of our concept art to show our progression in the creative process. In June, we pieced together an example of how we hope to work in layers. We have since developed more artwork to figure out exactly what the Con Artists style will be. We want colourful, clean and tidy images that can be played in clubs across Europe. Below is our original concept:

And the image below shows a much cleaner picture using a more intense but gorgeous colour palette. The background was done by myself and the character art was produced by Pete. We hope to develop this style even further:

Sunday, 11 October 2009

VJ Workshop..

This weekend Pete Wood, producer of US+THEM, held a workshop where all members of the collective got together and ran through business plans and the schedule for the next 6 months.

Whilst eating salmon bagels and drinking juice, we ran through the ins and outs of what the next year could hold for us, including plans with Anomaly, production of animations, and life after university.

After a long day, we cracked open the wine and moved on to the more fun side of the project... VJing!

With all of US+THEM gathered in one room, we had to make the most of having the four members of VIA (who already VJ at gigs and festivals) and all of their equipment at hand. Duncan, Dean and Paddy set up their computers, projectors and decks and introduced the rest of us to some of the best VJing software. Although we have our own specialist software, designed and made by Brendan Byrne, I found Resolume the most simple to get to grips with.

We each took turns playing out the visuals which were projected on to the wall, and mixing them and abstracting them using the software. We didn't realise that two hours later we would be making our debut performance in a local bar!

Paddy made a phone call to a mate, and that was that! The equipment was packed away and we were out the door heading in the direction of Q Bar, Falmouth. On arrival, Paddy set up his equipment alongside the DJ and began the set. He quickly ran through the dials and keys with me again, and left me on my own, in the corner, VJing to round about 100 people. And it felt AMAZING! The Q Bar is quite diverse, so it meant I could play around with the software and experiment.

I feel this experience, being thrown in at the deep end, has made me that little bit more excited and passionate about the project. This is something I could be doing for work in the coming months. It has inspired me creatively, and I now know the quality and standard that we have to aim for whilst in production.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Summertime Inspiration...

Over summer I began a folder of visual research to help me with ideas for concept art and animations for the VJ loops I will soon be producing.

I visited clubs including Sankeys in Manchester, ranked 13th best nightclub in the world! I also went to Creamfields, the UK's biggest dance music festival to check out visuals other people were producing and the standard US+THEM will need to match to make it big in the industry. It opened my eyes to how much people really do react to the visuals.

The team have also been researching the popularity of this industry and if there really is a gap that we could break into. We have discovered that there is only one club, Matter in London, who have their very own in-house VJ's to perform and create specialist visuals. However, visuals in clubs are very popular in Europe and America. This means that although visuals in clubs and bars are not overly popular in England at the moment, there is space for other artist collectives to expand on this idea and build on the clubbers experience.

We are also looking at performing at corporate events, including brand promotional events and fashion shows.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Welcome to my blog...

I have just began my final year at University College Falmouth, and decided to keep a blog on my animation and art work.

I study Digital Animation, and as my major project will be working as part of the VJ collective US+THEM producing animated loops and learning how to VJ. We have recently pitched and got a contract with Anomaly, who will be advertising and marketing us. If all works out, we will be travelling Europe doing gigs next summer! Watch this space!

I also have a dissertation to write, and an innovation project, not to mention extra lectures, screenings and life drawing. I am interested in abstract animation and art, and sound production and editing. I will upload my work as it is produced.