Thursday, July 20, 2006

No Retreat, No Surrender!

Damn it!

This pose ain't getting the better of me!

Ryan approved of the changes I made, but thought that the supporting leg was a little far-back in camera space.

So I fixed it!



Wednesday, July 19, 2006

First E-Critique

Bore da!

Had my first E-Crit today. It was cool, I wasn't 100% with my final pose and Ryan gave me some cool feedback on how to make it stronger and what mistakes I made that I can learn from for the future.

So I had a quick go at a revision of the pose, changed the camera angle and the supporting arm- position and moved the supporting leg under the head-line a bit more.

I'd appreciate some feedback if any-body's reading this :)


Monday, July 17, 2006

Week 3 already!

So week 2 has been and gone. It was our first real assignment week. We had to go to a public place and draw some quick thumbnail sketches of people going about their everyday business. We then had to choose what we considered to be our most successful sketch and translate the pose into the computer using 'Stu'.

The first thing I found out was that I have sorely neglected my drawing skills over the years!! i think the next few weeks is going to be a process of 'de-rusting' and getting the old 'pencil-confidence' back. I enjoyed it 'though. I went to Brighton on Thursday and Friday as part of a Games Education Conference and spent the day carrying my sketch book around and trying to catch some interesting poses. Unfortunately, the speakers were standing behind a lecturn so I only saw them from the waist up and every break we had everybody was guzzling tea (which is why most of th sketches have people holding tea-cups.) On the up-side tho' we went to a party on Thursday night and there was a free bar...all night!

Anyways, I've put my thumbs sheet and the Stu pose up below for people to have a look at. I'm not 100% happy with the Stu pose. I screwed his Right Arm up and lost a lot of the weight from the pose, but I'm going to wait for my e-critique from Ryan before I fix it.

And Stu:
Saw Superman Returns on Sunday. I thought it was ok, didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Batman Begins.



Friday, July 07, 2006

First Live Q&A

Man that was cool!

Just had our first Q&A with Ryan, seems like a good guy. It was just a meet & greet to get to know everyone and put a voice to the Avatar, but it was cool. Everybody in the class seems to be hyper-excited. I though I was going to be a bit sleepy seeing as how I had to get up at 4:30 am, but now I'm wired and want to start animating....WOOHOO!


Monday, July 03, 2006

And so it begins...

I'm in!

It's like Wonka's Chocolate factory in there!
I've just watched a 75 minute lecture on why the AM guys love animation so much, their inspirations, Animation tips.....sweeeet!

Haven't stopped smiling yet :)


Friday, June 30, 2006

My 1st Mentor is....

Ryan Donoghue of Rhythym and Hues.....sweet!

Check out his IMDB profile here:

Garfield and it's sequel, Chronicles of Narnia, Stuart Little 2 etc.

Nice one.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Cool...received all my AM orientation stuff on the weekend and watched all the videos about 5 times each! Just waiting to find out who my first Mentor is going to be.

Getting a little excited now!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Glammies 2006

Every year, the Animation course that I teach on, has it's end-of-year bash, called 'The Glammies'. It's in it's 12th year now and is basically a great excuse for all the students to get together, have a drink and wind down after spending the previous 9 months toiling on their films, showreels etc. As a past student of the course myself, it's also a great excuse to catch up with ex-student friends who I don't see as much as I'd like.

As the course becomes more successful and word has started to spread, we also get a lot of industry bods visiting to view graduating students' work, which is great. What's even better is that a lot of our ex-students are now in great positions in the Industry, so this year I had friends turn up from Lion Head Studios, The BBC, Eurocom Games, Rock Star North to name a few. It's a shame that the guys that are working in the States couldn't come, we've got a bunch of ex-grads working at Sony Imageworks, but if I was in their position I wouldn't be rushing back to Sunny Wales :]

Anyway, The Glammies went really well. Had a lot of very positive feedback from Industry bods, regarding the quality of the students's work. We had a great party in the evening in Cardiff, with a Bucking Bronco machine and a Gladiator Duel Bouncy Castle thing. Had a few drinks and caught up with a lot of old friends. Said some good-byes to the graduating students, feel a bit sad to see them go this year, as they were the first group that I started teaching three years ago.

Would have enjoyed the day even more if I hadn't been in plaster up to the knee tho' :[

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sometimes I hate the cinema

Saw 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'X3' this week.

My son is four months old now and before he arrived on the scene, my fiance and I were regular cinema-goers, we wouldn't watch any old crap mind, usually the latest Block-Buster wannabe's and of-course anything animated. Since his arrival, we obviously haven't had the time or inclination to venture far from home, but recently we have managed to rope some poor suckers...I mean Family...into baby-sitting the 'Shitting machine' so we can catch up with popular culture. We saw Ice Age 2 which I was pleasently surprised at, MI-3 which we both absolutely loved and now we've seen the Da Vinci Code and X3.

I'm just hoping that the rest of the films coming out over Summer are better than these two. I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code novel when I was on my hols in the Summer. It was a real page-turner and I managed to finish it in a day. After I finished watching the movie, it felt like a whole day had passed! I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like it, maybe it was that Robert Langdon is just a bit of a boring character when translated to the screen...I don't know, I just felt a bit bored with it.

As for X3, again I came out really disappointed. I'm no X-Men geek, but some of the choices that were made with this film were just nuts! Vinnie Jones in a weird muscly body suit...wrong! Some major characters died and I just didn't give a toss about them (and it seemed neither did anyone else in the film at one point!) And don't get me started on the revelations at the end of the film, which pretty much rendered the whole plot of the film pointless.

(Sigh) Anyway, I could rant for hours but I can't be bothered, just got to move on and hope to God that I haven't invested too much faith in hoping that 'Over the Hedge', 'Cars' and 'Superman' are going to be worth the sanity of our baby-sitters.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Double tick!

The Computer Animation course that I teach on at GCADT has become one of just 4 courses in the UK to receive accreditation by SKILLSET for its Computer Games Artist strand. We have been officially branded as an institution that provides the best education and training development for people wanting to persue a career as a Computer Games Artist.....COOL!

'Ian Livingstone, Product Acquisitions Director at Eidos, and Chair of Skillset's Computer Games Skills Forum announced the courses accredited by Skillset with the industries endorsement at E3, the Computer Games trade fair held in Los Angeles, CA in 2006.'

This is great news for the Course and most importantly the students. As we are already accredited by Skillset for our Animation we have now become THE ONLY institution in the UK to hold a double Skillset accreditation.

The selected courses are:
BA (Honours) Computer Arts, University of Abertay Dundee
BSc (Honours) Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee
BSc (Honours) Computer Games Technology, University of Paisley
BA in Computer Animation, Glamorgan Centre for Art & Design Technology

For more info on what Skillset is all about, take a look at;

Fancy studying to be an Animator or Games Artist at an industry approved training institution?

Take a look:

Nice one!


Saturday, May 06, 2006


Saw Mission Impossible 3 last night.

Fair doos to Tom, I can't say I'm his biggest fan after the Oprah Winfrey/Sofa media debacle, but the guy makes a pretty convincing super-spy.

Keri Russell - 'How much ammo do you have?'
Tom - 'Enough'
Tom takes out hired goon with one well placed bullet,
Tom - 'Now i'm out.'

Aah, action, thy name is JJ Abrams! Shame about the cheesy ending tho'.


I have a feeling most of these posts are just going to contain inane drivel about what films i've seen.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My name is....


I doubt if anybody is reading this, but what the hell 'eh, it's sort of like free therapy.

My name's Gareth and I'm an Animator hailing from the sunny shores of Merthyr Tydfil in the South Wales Valleys, you know, where Tom Jones is from! I'm starting this blog because I want to chart my progress through Animation Mentor which I'm starting in July. Of course for any non-animators reading this you won't have the foggiest what I'm on about, in which case, best be moving on, nothing to see here.

Thought I'd best post a bit of info about myself, so here goes.

I've wanted to be an Animator since I was a kid, I've always dreamt of working for Disney. I was lucky enough to be living 15 minutes from a well-respected Animation school, called the 'Glamorgan Centre for Art & Design Technology' (GCADT). I enrolled in 1996 and after 3 great years of learning Animation, making great friends and playing a lot of football, I graduated in 1999.

I walked straight into a job as a Computer Animator at a Games Production house in West Yorkshire where I worked for 18 months, before becoming a Lead Animator for a CG Animation Production Company in Cardiff in South Wales. I worked there for close to 2 years before moving to work as a Visual FX Artist, still in Cardiff, working on the children's TV series 'Fireman Sam'. Whilst there I started doing a bit of part-time teaching back at GCADT on the Computer Animation course and I set up my own Free-Lance Animation Company 'Good Egg Productions'.

Now I'm working Full-Time as a Computer Animation Lecturer as well as doing bits of free-lance animation here and there, but the dream of working in Features Animation hasn't dimmed. So I've enrolled on Animation Mentor, because I want to learn as much as I can from the guys in the trenches animating features for a living and I can't wait to begin!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In the beginning....


Is there anybody in there?

Just nod if you can hear me.

Is there anybody home?