Sunday, 21 July 2013

Animate and Create

So 3 weeks after Aardman and Christmas/New Year, I got straight back on the horse with a 3 month internship at Animate and Create studios in Kent, followed by a couple of months of freelance work to finish what we started. It was very different working in a smaller studio with fewer people (At Aardman I worked with loads of different people every other day) for starters, I could remember everyones names. But it was no less enjoyable, and it was actually quite interesting to make what I was told to, instead of my own stuff, even though I got to work in my own style, and I enjoyed the challenge. I was there for about 5 months or so, spent most of that time model making, but I got to squeeze in a few weeks of animating as well. To top it all off there was also a basically limitless amount of plasticine to work with, one of the sculpts I made was the size of a fat toddler, and was made out of 17 bars of plasticine over a styrofoam core, he was my child.
Sculpts of Charlie and James, a pair of Heart FM breakfast DJs, mounted to a wooden base, it's in black and white because the fluorescent lighting washed everything out and made it look all 70s, and this is the only picture I took of them finished. Initially Charlie was in a dress but really looked like a transvestite, mostly because her stance made her look like she was packing a big pair of 'nads, a minor oversight as she was sculpted onto rods protruding from the base so that couldn't be helped, (I didn't place the rods myself, but I was the one who marked out where they should go, so it's totally my fault) It took almost a total re-sculpt to rectify that little kerfuffle (she still has big ol' tranny man-shoulders though, due to her armature, but I hid them with her hair so let's just keep that between us...)

Of the following photos below: All the puppets and props were made by myself, but not any of the sets, credit for that goes to a Mr. Alex Searle, fellow intern. I think he did a very good job considering our budget, and they do go very well with the puppets...
 Professor Brian Cox drunk on a space hopper. Indeed. This was just one of 7 space hoppers, we had different shaped ones for the replacement animation bounce sequence, we needed two rigs to support both puppet and hopper, and the studio lights kept melting Brian's hands and face. It was a bloody nightmare, but I did then get to animate him projectile vomiting everywhere. Silver linings and all that.
 Sir Trevor Mcdonald at his breakfast table. In his pants, of course, classic Trevor (OBE).
 I can't take credit for the shoes unfortunately, they were both salvaged off of novelty keyrings, I just packed them with plasticine and stuck them on her lovely, lovely legs.
 Adele doing (presumably) Adele stuff. She actually wasn't meant to be this fat, but it was deemed funnier if she was. Very heavy puppet, but she's sat down the whole time so it doesn't matter (I didn't even need to use the rigging point I put up her bum!). And yes, she eats all this food. Including the Oscar. Yum.
 A nice bit of Boris, complete with slingshot and vanilla mop top. An indescribably sexy man.
Also seen here playing conkers with a dog, which later violates him, because we're anything if not original.
 Ant and Dec outside the job centre, the heads each have two ping pong balls inside for all that extra Geordie foreheady goodness. The pantomime horse head next to them was later used as a murder weapon by one of the puppets, so it had to be as light as possible, it is also stuffed with ping pong balls, they're very handy really. The head still needed two rigs to support it though, plasticine is too bloody heavy sometimes...
 Barbara Windsor in her Jackpot Joy 'Queen of Bingo' get up (I am fully aware that her tits should be much bigger, but I was trying to please a potential client, not myself...)
 Gollum (or Smeagol, depends what kind of mood you're in I guess), this was for a 6 second Vine animation and I was only supposed to spend about 5 minutes on this puppet, but I finished Ant's head early so I spent the best part of a day on this. All for 6 seconds, and to top it off most of his body was hidden behind a sign. Totally worth it though. Precious.
Hey look it's Metro Man! (What? Who?) Some American banking mascot apparently, and surprisingly difficult to convert into a 3D sculpt for such an inspirationally simplistic yet creative design, I mean seriously? An anthropomorphic letter M in a baseball cap and sneakers?...  

*Raucous, unending applause*

I'm just kidding, it was actually a very interesting sculpt to work on, I had to map out the basic shape with balsa wood first to make him as light and symmetrical as possible, and then layer the blue and red accordingly, which was a bitch to do because of that blue strip on the left side which disrupted the symmetry on the corner, and his cap in the design seemed to be defying the laws of physics by being both in and on his head at the same time, which is a technique I had yet to learn (I can totally do it now though.)

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