Sunday, 15 January 2017

Retro Geek Quiz

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Hello there animators,so I'm a massive lover of all things geeky. I started listening to a great podcast called 'the indoor kids'. It is all about the games people played as kids. It got me thinking about all the things I loved when I was young:

What's your childhood era? : The 80's!!!!  

What was your first console?: My first console was an Amiga. I got it for Christmas when I was 4. It was huge and everything had to be done via Dos, but it was amazing.

 What was your favourite game to play on it? I loved Codemasters game Dizzy the Egg. I never finished it and it drove me crazy. There was a game with a bear where you had to paint a house. I LOVED IT! I also had a game where you had to repair an electronic circuit. I realise as an adult that it was trying to educate me. Maybe that knowledge has secretly been placed in my head for an electronic emergency.
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What was the first comic you read? As a British kid my first comics were Twinkle , which was a little girl nurse who fixed wounded toys and also The Beano. The Beano was amazing. Billy Whizz and The Numbskulls were my favourite characters.
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Favourite movies as kid? The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were watched so much in my house that I broke the VHS. My other favourite was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There is a lot of embarrassing footage of me dancing 'the old bamboo' around my house when I was 5.
Mary Poppins was another favourite of mine..look at that bumbag

Favourite books as a kid? Every Saturday my mum, brother and I would head to the library. We'd leave with handfuls of books. There aren't many photos of me as a kid without a book in my hand. My favourite was Matilda when I was really young. I thought that I could definitely move things with my mind if I tried long was preparing me for my life goal of being a Jedi. When I got older I started reading Harry Potter. I was exactly the same age as him every time a new book came out so it holds a very special place in my heart. #TeamHufflepuff

Favourite televison shows?Anything Henson. Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies and Sesame Street were watched religiously in my house. Sesame Street was the place that I first saw Luxo Jr and my mum explained animation to me when I was confused at how lamps were dancing.  Then again Raggy Dolls, Shoe People, Poddington Peas , Duck Tails, Rescue Rangers and Gummie Bears were all 'must see' Saturday morning watches. 5am starts were very common for my brother and I .... incidently this website is called 'marshmallowpenguin' after the little marshmallow moon creatures from one of my favourite shows 'Button Moon' . You gotta love those British animations.

Favourite characters? I thought Rainbow Brite was a hero when I was little. I did a mean Miss Piggy from Muppet Babies impression when I was a kid. Minnie was also a big love of mine.
I was really trying to make my brother like Rainbow Brite

Favourite toy? My addiction as a kid was Polly Pocket. Every Christmas and Birthday was a chance to get my tiny plastic pocket fix. This may be why I love my job working on the Polly Pocket TV show so much. Oh Penny was another favourite. My doll, called Christina, came every where with me, and I had a lot of older cousins so I did get lots of second hand My Little Ponies. I loved it.
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Mario or Sonic? I only had an Amiga , but my Nan had a Sega. This meant I was a sonic kid all the way.

DC or Marvel? I had two favourites , Wonder Woman and it's hard for me to decide.

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First album you bought?My first album was on double tape. It was 'Now That's What I Call Music - 32'. The worst part was I just use to listen to one song. 'Golden Eye' by Tina Turner .....opphs

What geeky memory do you have that reminds you how old you are? 
When Lee and I were about 12 years old we use to play Doom together. We use to bring his whole P.C from across the road (including the screen). We would then connect them together and then put a big piece of wood between the two of us so we couldn't see each others screen. I'd then kick his ass. This was only because I taught him how to use a computer for the first time when we were 11. By the time we were 13 he was a computer pro. As soon as he started to get good I did a 'Bart' and retired from Doom victorious. Now we've been together for 11 years and have been friends for 22 years and he beats me at every game we play...apart from Othello....which weirdly he refuses to play :)  Related image

So that's my weird geeky confessions that shows you just how old (I mean 'retro') I am. 
How about you guys? What are some of your answers? 
This was the day a very kind man on the Disney animation tour took a long time to talk to us and gave me an application form for the future. I remember thinking 'whats a showreel?'

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Felt Has Feelings Too

There is one thing you should know about me...I LOVE The Muppets.
If you know me even slightly you will have read that statement and scoffed at the crazy idea that I would need to tell anyone that. I am a little bit of a super fan. As far as I'm concerned, Jim Henson's Muppets are some of the greatest, most realistic and loveable characters ever created. There is something wonderful about watching people suspend their disbelief when they talk to a Muppet on screen. In CG we spend our entire careers trying to get as much emotion and love in a shot as puppeteers can get with a quick flick of the wrist.  
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Here is a fantastic podcast about Stephanie D'Abruzzo who has worked on everything from Sesame Street to Avenue Q. This great interview is about making an audience not only believe, but fall in love with a piece of felt. I think that learning how puppeteers sell their performances can really help animators add appeal to their work....or maybe I'm just using that as an excuse to re-watch all my favourite Henson films.


2017 - Animation Resolutions

Happy New Year! 
 I use to love resolutions when I was younger. I'd make big to-do lists and inevitably put too much on my plate and give up. (I'm sure I'm the first person in history to encounter this issue)
So this year I've decided to make my resolutions a little more focused and aim them toward my animation work.

So here are my hopeful aims in 2017:

. Finish a 11second club -
I've been following the 11 second club since it was 12 second club. I've animated a lot of clips for the site ,but never had the guts to post them. So this year I aim to put one online. Fingers crossed.  Any excuse to animate a dialogue clip! I love them.

. Create a horse run - I've animated so many animals in my career ,but I haven't created an animal mechanics shot purely for my reel since uni (back in the dark ages) . I've always been a very cartoony animator so doing some realistic animal stuff really excites me.
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. Finish a project I've been thinking of for years - I've planned it, I've done the thumbnails, I've even set up the maya files. I just need to get going on it.

. Animate something in 2d -
My sister has asked me to help her with an animation for her website so I'm think of animating it in maya and rotoscoping over it in photoshop. It'll be my first step into 2d and hopefully be a good stepping stone into some 2d projects.

 . Create a new showreel -
I love editing just as much as animation so I'm going to put together a new reel this year. Hopefully it will inspire me to make some new stuff for it too

Basically my aim is to animate more. After a 14 hour day in work it can difficult to motivate myself to don't own thing, but I love it an it makes me happy. So I'm kicking my butt into gear this year. Here's to a year of creativity.
Happy New Year lovely animated people xxx