BFX- Week 1

The first week of the competition has been an introduction to training, the facilities and mentors, along with the dreaded feedback presentation.

I’ll not bore with the details for travelling etc so I’ll briefly summarise the beginning of the week.

Saturday 8th July- Jack, Cassie, Lorna and myself arrive in Bournemouth

Sunday 9th July- the day was spent settling in, getting shopping and living basics (a lot of people didn’t have scales to weigh their suitcase and so only had along the lines of 11kg of stuff for 7 weeks (ouch).

Monday 10th July- Induction day. We were given our passwords and sign ins, allowed to download any extra softwares on the computers and prepare our resources. We also met the technical team (imagine three Mikes), the course director and BFX organisers.

We also received our SISO training, showing us how to book out the various equipment needed and how to fill out the risk assessments etc.

Tuesday 11th July- Rhea arrives, lots of practising throughout the day for our presentation (we are pretty petrified given the reputation of Bournemouth Students).

Wednesday 12th July- presentation day

Both our teams were petrified, as this was the first presentation of this style in front of anyone of higher calibre.

I was utterly shocked by how well our presentations went. It turns out that Bournemouth Uni and the Falmouth University don’t do very much presenting or group work, so we were super prepared.

They commented on our presentation skills, and understanding of typography and alignment in our presentation skills (thank you Conann). They also made comment on how we had went through and completed a lot of the feedback, clarifying how much work we had done.

Originally I was worried about our animatic, this was a comment also brought up by one of the mentors, stating that there was a look of frames in our storyboard. However it was mentioned that we had a good use of a variety of camera angles, interesting ones that could change the story quite drastically without having to show cliche animation/cue. Another mentor commented that there were a few shots that the camera didn’t work as hard- and to cut to 10-13 shots, something we have now rectified.

They also mentioned our characters- one mentor bringing up that he was worried it would be hard to get a lot of emotion across with such small eyes, however, Rhea had added little pose sketches of the characters, and he said we completely counter acted what he would have presumed.


Above is us presenting and here is a link to the presentation.

Thursday 13th July- After the adventure of last night, we had to be up at 9am for our camera training at Elliot Road Studios,

We were given a vigorous training in camera studies- going over the basic functions, aperature, ISO and shutter speed, and then allowed to test out the cameras, and their various lens.

After this we were given training on the Vari-cams. Shown how to set one up, how to record and then how to use the monitors. We were also informed on some of the safety precautions involved with these cameras too. Although none of us are actually doing any live actions/ tracking etc it was incredibly useful- especially with refreshing the different camera settings- this will come in 100% useful at a later stage.

Below are some of the photos from the training, I skillfully dodged a lot of these.






Self Assessment- Semester 2

This semester has been a huge learning curve for me, giving me a huge confidence leap towards exploring different  softwares and working outside of my comfort zone. I have realised that I do enjoy the 3D elements I am working towards and hope to get better especially with Zbrush.  I am finding that I am immensely enjoying character design and texturing, loving creating characters to go alongside the briefs given.

It has taught me a lot with interaction with clients and how to work with those with changing visions or ideas. I enjoyed working for MashMob and definitely will consider working there for my own placement in the upcoming year.

Here is to placement year- hoping I find one. If not, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

MashMob- ‘Final’ meeting

After what we thought may be our ‘final’ meeting today- we have a few changes to make to our work. However, due to the time constraints and continuation with other projects and our essay, we have agreed to make these after our deadline, as a sort of side project.


Gorilla – deformer on m? Using the MM as a texture on the M itself.

Octo – Adjust animation, so it doesn’t swim through the shelving.

Dino – remove the crack in post on the letter B.

Logo – illuminance 15% (less natural but stands out)

After effects – curves, saturation up, post stuff, soft shadows, drop tilt shift

Letters- bevel the letters

Delete- building blocks and the dummy.

Lighting- send scenes to Kerry to do tests to send to us to replicate. ATM it looks too grey and drab.

MashMob Final Video

Below is the final animation video we are bringing to MashMob. There are a few things we need to fix- notably animations on both the chicken and the octopus, as they were keyframed in the wrong position. The chicken was pretty easy to fix itself, as once Robert added a further control we could move the character into position. There was slight shifting in the feet- something we will need to look at fixing at a later date.

The octopus, on the other hand, was a different story. Despite a locked camera and environment- the character was animated through the shelves. This resulted in us having to render the octopus on a separate pass, however the lighting came into play here, making it look off. This is definitely something that will need fixed, as it currently looks terrible.


technique- traditional not as cheap

era hanna barbera

look fresh

power puff girls- pop

Flash shows- comparison of US shows- TV market

feature film went different direction

focus- design and style of movement and writing. Even though people are different.

contact details – John K stuff etc! John cane maker – books on animation

Paul wells- books on animation. journal- animation practice- write in academic style.

SAS studies of animation

SIGGRAPH- more technical stuff too

based on a theme of major. context






Review and Fixes

Posted this image online and received some feedback on Mr Robot. Michael and Eric (my two unofficial after school mentors) gave some suggestions on his mouth to fix the stretch of UV’s.


Michael suggested that with using Substance Painter to add two more subdivisions to the model before painting, stating “It’s a pretty good way of compensating for subdivisions effecting your uvs at render time.”

Michael also explained it was an artefact known as Catmul-Clark subdivisions, created as these only preserve border UV’s. He commented that it was more than likely a stretch UV seam.

I wanted to know what Catmul-Clark subdivisions are so had a look online. Literally I already knew what it was- just not the actual name.

Catmul-Clark subdivisions- technique used in computer graphics to create smooth surfaces by subdivision surface modelling. (Wiki, 2017).

I listened the the advice, upping my subdivisions and therefore removing this artefact.


Ta da. Now onto the rendering.

Design- Robots with Grant Imahara

Looking into how to use design with Robotics I found the below talk which was super interesting, from one of my favourite shows, The MythBusters.

Design- Robots with Grant Imahara (YouTube, 2016).

-Using design to use the time you have- to be more efficient and get more done

-planning in design. First robots are, by nature, complicated.

-pay a little more attention to the early stages of design process, before doing this, spend time to make a study model. CAD or popsicle sticks. Using a model to test- save materials.

– TEAM 1.11- Wildstang and their lifting arm

Define- understanding the problem. Requirements and restraints are the problem at hand. Hand sketches used to identify critical aspects (in this case dimensions of the robot).

-Ideate- brainstorming. Based robot arm on a human arm as a result. Linkages were used as bones and power outages used as muscles.

-Create- building. Using CAD to built a virtual diagram- allows to be split into different parts. These parts were divided among other sub team. This allows to identify problems- using the CAD model to fix these problems, before applying to the real work model.

– Solve- manufacturing. These CAD models provided blueprints for the actual build.

Review- make you model, work out the ideas and then make the parts.