Friday, 4 December 2009

business cards.

just ordered these business cards from

Sunday, 29 November 2009

new website

My new website is now up!

click here to see Brian and as his friends.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Brian's debut

Brian is now officially the face of Chasing Brussels the EU politics podcast!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Brian jumps for joy

He certainly does.

I just finished an animation of Brian. It definitely needs some tidying up but it's almost there. Ir really pays off if you're strict during the blocking stage. I spent so long in the blocking stage that I pretty much ended up with a key on every frame. Hence not spending much time polishing.

(click on Brian the press space to play)

Original file here

Friday, 30 October 2009

skinny jeans

I've been intending to design a skinny jeans character for ages. I finally got round to it yesterday when a doodle turned into something I liked. I modelled the character in Maya and used surface shaders to get that 2d look, a look inspired by the work of David O'Reilly (more on that later).

(Click to make big)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Animated Yorkshire

Greetings to all who went to the Animated Yorkshire workshop!

Here is the showreel that I brought along. Was a shame that technology let us down... cos that never happens!

I'll be visiting all your sites when I'm back in the comfort of Wales, looking forward to it!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Brian poses

Brian has been asked to represent a podcast called 'Chasing Brussels,' a blog about EU politics. I think Brian will fit right in! The brief was to make him look like he was chasing something (Brussels I imagine) and then being puffed out from all the chasing. Well he's tired out but very pleased to make his mascot debut!

(click to see big)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

It's not all about Brian

I was walking home today and got a craving to draw a goblin. Maybe I'm missing Runescape... or maybe I'm inspired by the locals walking down City Road :)

(click to make big)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Brian drive thru.

Here is Brian finally united with his car. The next step is to texture the car with a bit of rust and dirt. Meanwhile, I'm working on a lady librarian character for Brian to meet. The story of Brian is growing and I need to catch up with my storyboards!

(click to make big)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

a few Brian faces.

Brian is starting to gain the ability to pull a few expressions. The recent development is the addition of brow and eyebrow controls.

The brow is controlled with a blend shape and the eyebrows are controlled with a joint system with stretchy IK spline (my favourite:)) I set up a driven key to allow the brow and eyebrow to move up and down together. The eyebrows can also be tweeked into any position as the driven key animation is applied further up the hierachy.

The next stage will be to add more preset brow and eyebrow poses like angry, sad etc. and then start work on the mouth shapes.

(click to see big)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Brian gains confidence

Here is a new walk cycle with Brian. It is actually a quick adaptation of the previous walk cycle (below).

I have rotated his hips, shoulders and head back to open up his pose. I have also pushed his feet wider apart and pointed his toes out.

All of these changes were made in the graph editor. I just grabbed the necessary curve and dragged the whole thing up or down to make the change. This preserved all the animation that I had completed previously but shifts it around to a different place... if that makes sense.

Oh yeah and I gave him a cheeky smile :)

Friday, 28 August 2009

Brian walks!

Here is my first walk cycle with Brian. This is just a quick one and I haven't paid too much attention to his character, it's just a plain walk. What I have done is hunched his back more and kept his feet and knees close together to give a nerdy effect.

When I animated for Jagex in Cambridge I found that a lot of the character in a walk cycle comes from the character design. The physical shape of the character will govern how you animate it and force character without you having to think about it. The things it won't do is give weight and secondary characteristics like a limp for example, so you do have to think about it a bit!

In Brian's case he is designed with a hunch and looks like a total geek before taking a single step. I did try puffing his chest out and it's amazing what a change it makes... I'll make a demo of some different walk styles using simple changes when I get a chance.

For now here's his first walk cycle, milestone achieved!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


I realised I forgot to give Brian a tongue so I just made him one. It has a stretchy IK spline rig with 3 independent controls. I textured it with a ramp going from dark red to pink and added a procedural bump map for the taste buds. The colour is a little off at the mo, it needs to match his other flesh tones more but that's just a little tweak.

back to business

So back to Brian.

I've just finished skinning him! He currently has a jaw control and blinks which are his basic facial stuff. I will be creating blend shapes and real-time controls for his other expressions later.

This was a big step and I've been putting it off for a while so I'm glad it's done now. And after all the fuss it only took a couple of hours!

Animation tests next!

here's a celebratory (and frankly out of character) image I made to celebrate. It was inspired by a comment I received about Brian's portly shape, not my words!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

just testing

it seems that widescreen youtube videos don't display very well on here...

lets try coding one off!

That's better :)

bug showreel

this is how I intend to display the bug on my showreel. Obviously I'll replace the footage with rendered and textured shots etc. I'll also have the walk cycle (below) either directly after this clip or later in the reel.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Bug finished walk cycle

Here's the finished walk cycle for The Bug. I have re-animated his antennae and his tail. For the antennae I rendered out a side view of the head, imported it into flash and animated a 2D antennae. I then imported an image sequence of this back into Maya and used my flash animation as a guide. The reason I did this was because it was much quicker to animate a curve in flash which only had 2 control points than it was animating the 6 control point antennae in 3D. I also just wanted to see how easy it was using Flash and Maya together as I'd just watched one of the new Gobelin animations which is 3D but uses flash animation for particle effects. ( You can watch it here check out the flash dust at 1:35)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

drunk Brian

I couldn't resist humiliating Brian after giving him teeth and blink controls. This might explain his eratic driving (below) :)

Brian Car test

Neither Brian or the car are finished yet but I thought I do a little animation test to keep me sane. This is from the opening shot of the short.

Some Brian pics.

The Bug

Here's a side project I've dug up from a couple of years ago. The Bug was designed as a character for an as of yet unmade short animation featuring a cowboy and and an indian. The short was never made but The Bug lives on!

I have just rigged and animated him. The most exciting thing about this rig is I've used the "Rivet" plugin which is a simple Mel script for Maya. It simply 'rivets' a locator to a polygon surface. The locator will then stay rivetted as the surface is deformed. This has allowed me to stick the bugs rigid arms to his flexible body and not have to worry about building the arms into the joint hierachy of the body. It really was a joy to see working!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Brians wheels.

Brian drives a 1968 Triumph Herald. It's his pride and joy and he loves to tinker with it on a summer's evening. Unfortunately Brian didn't pay his wife as much attention and she left three years ago. He didn't lose the car though, so it's not all bad.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Brian demo

I made a little film of the progress of Brian.

my first blog

I created this blog to post updates of my short animation 'Brian.' Well, that's the name of the character, the short doesn't have a name yet.
Here he is.