The darkest hour…

Animation, Film, VFX

At last I can see a glimmer of light on the horizon… because it is almost here! After many thousands of mouse clicks my music video for this mysterious stranger, is ever-so-almost-nearly-just-about-finally finished! Here’s the stats: Four minutes of green screen, 6000 rendered frames of animation, 45 composited shots, one man, one guitar and one park bench…


The hills are bare now…

Animation, Film, VFX

Here is a link to an ambitious project I worked on with Glasgow based animation studio Once Were Farmers.  It is a new docudrama about the Battle of Bannockburn which is to be screened tomorrow night on BBC 2 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the memorable stramash (and also I expect to further muddy the waters of the referendum debate).  We shot 70 infantry and five cavalry on a green screen the size of a truck which we transformed into thousands using our usual digital jiggery-pokery.  We created swooping vistas, gushing fountains of blood, burning tents and fields of slaughtered soldiers, all on a very modest budget.

Quest for Bannockburn

Who is this mysterious stranger?


Here is the first still from a project I am currently working on.  It is the raw footage before any of the magic happens.  When I say ‘magic’ I really  mean the many painstaking and lonely hours of work in front of a computer screen, however that doesn’t sound as exciting, so lets stick with ‘magic’.

Green Screen

This is the first time I have worked with green screen, so it is all rather new to me, thankfully the shoot went really well and the footage seems relatively easy to work with.   Although I have never shot on green screen before I’ve been intrigued by it ever since I was a kid watching and finding out how the original Star Wars films were made. Back then it was called blue screen and it was state-of-the-art, these days every bootleg filmmaker seems to have a portable green screen set up in their livingroom, , including myself…

But this is just the begining, the canvas has barely been started: a mysterious troubadour sits alone on a bench, but what does he gaze out upon?

Sunken Village

Concept Design, Illustration

Here is a rough sketch for the next illustration I’m planning. I’m still trying to adjust the tone and layout before I progress. I’m thinking about removing the looming shadow of the church at the back and darkening the diver to emphasise his shape and make him more prominent in the image. I am also thinking about curling the shoal of fish around him more rather than spiralling upwards. Any thoughts?

Sunken Village

Now in glorious Technicolor!

Concept Design

Here are the results courtesy of Photoshop. I used layers for each solid colour which I then adjusted using the ‘colour overlay’ mode until I felt I had a nice balance. I then added a shadow and a highlight layer which I blended with the transparency settings. One advantage in the digital world is nothing is permanent so you can experiment for as long as you like, however that is enough tinkering for just now. Now let’s find my paint box and do this the old fashioned way…

Rockpool Colour Digital