Last week was the big awards night for the Qantas Spirit of youth awards and also the one week of the year that I decided to get the flu! Funny how that happens. But that didn't stop me from having a great time.
My Soya mentor Marco Marenghi came down from L.A to present the trophy which I was really grateful for, it was a pleasure to meet him up close and personal and talk animation.
Marco has had quite a career in animation working as head of animation on films like Green Lantern, I am Legend and Alice in Wonderland just to name a few.
Marco Marenghi and Peter Lowey
Marco presenting the award
Inside Sydney Fox Studios
After the awards night I spent 3 days visiting Animal Logic Studios who are busy wrapping up production on The Lego Movie which is coming out early 2014. I can't talk about much, but the Lego movie looks amazing as well does the new secret projects they have in the works.
Most of my time there was spent under the wing of CGI legend Rob Coleman who is known for his animation Director work on all three of the Star Wars prequel films as well as other big films like The Mask and Men in Black, he also spent many years working at ILM.
Peter Lowey and Rob Coleman (notice the ILM shirt)
I was fortunate to spent a lot of time with Rob, he taught me quite a bit during my time there, from watching him Direct a team of animators to his advice on scheduling production and working with others. He said that being a Director is also like being a part time psychologist. I can imagine that being true to direct a bunch of animators.
His other great advice was from his experience with working with George Lucas, which was that it's sometimes best to sit back in the background , be quiet and listen, and that doing that helped him get hired by George.
I also spent time with Grant Freckelton (Production Designer on Lego Movie) who was in the last mad rush of days before deadline for The Lego Movie. Watching Grants strong work ethic and his eagle eye for the slightest imperfection on the screen was pretty amazing to watch.
Big thanks to Animal Logic for having me as a guest and seeing all the great work they are doing.
I had some good news come my way the other day when I found out I had won the SOYA Animation award here in Australia. Part of the prize includes $5,000 Qantas flying voucher to travel anywhere for work purposes to further my career and a mentorship with Marco Marenghi, Supervising Animator on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. http://www.soya.com.au/entrant/peter-lowey/
So big thanks to SOYA, what a amazing prize! I can't wait to go jetting off overseas in the near future. Just haven't figured out where to go yet.
Here is the new version of my Alfred Skimmy short 'Catch of the day' that I never posted on my blog.
This new version has a different intro to the original and some minor sound effect issues fixed.
The old original version of the film was quickly made in time for a animation competition.
To let you know how madly I rushed to get it finished, the wind sound effect starting at 1m:19s is me literally blowing into my computer microphone and recording it just 20 min before the competition deadline.
I rendered the whole film 10 min before the deadline, and uploaded all of it right on the dot of the 5:00 deadline.
I didn't win the competition in the end but I was over the moon that I finally got to make one of these. Not bad for 2 weeks work and zero budget.
Here is a little Interactive animation test I did late last year. A kind of Bee & Bear meets the 3 stooges. I only know simple coding (thanks to Stewart Haines ) so it was all I could muster, but was enjoyable enough for me to maybe want to work on an actual project, one day.
Until I find a coder to possibly collab with its all just inanimate images and floaty ideas.
But as Confucius say, "If an app gets made and nobody buys it, was it really worth all the bloody effort?"
...Im sure Confucius would recommend a marketing budget.
I thought I should write about the new Cintiq 22HD, I’ve
been having a great time with mine; I got one about 6 months ago now.
I really enjoy using the cintiq, I’m extremely happy with it and it gives a much different experience then using a wacom tablet. For some reason the cintiq makes me want to do more character
(acting) animation as opposed to animating objects/movement. I don’t know why.
Animating on it did remind me of when I used to do paper
pencil animation on a light box in my teens, it has a similar feel to it, which
is great. But, there is nothing natural
about it, I mean you are drawing on a glass monitor screen, but it is as close
(at the moment) as you are going to get to drawing on paper.
Using it can make
you work faster (compared to the wacom tablet) if you use the right click radial menu preset buttons on the
pen. Not to mention the 11 preset buttons on both sides of the Cintiq.
But it doesn't make me a better animator in my opinion, but what it is.....is
a giant luxury. It's like the limousine
of the Wacom tablets and that’s what makes me animate on it more, it makes
animating a joy, a really fun experience.
I can't imagine going back to an awkward Wacom tablet after using the cintiq
for so long now.
But it’s not perfect.
Considering they can make tablets/ipads so thin you would think that the
cintiqs would be way thinner and lighter by now, but to my surprise they are incredibly
bulky and heavy which is the cintiqs biggest drawback in my opinion.
So I don't think I will be totally impressed
by the cintiqs until they make one light and thin enough that I can carry it to
work under one arm.
Picking up the cintiq 22HD is like picking up a flat
widescreen TV, and I hear that the cintiq 24HD even needs two people just to
pick it up.
The good thing about the Cintiq 22HD as opposed to the 24HD
is that you can take the 22HD off the stand and rest the cintiq flat on your lap
like a drawing pad, sure it’s a little bit heavy, but if you rest the top of
the cintiq against your table you wont feel the weight, I sometimes work like
that and it isn't uncomfortable at all. The 24HD would be way to heavy to even do that.
The cursor isn't as accurate as it is with a
mouse, there is a slight lag, but it’s so minimal that it doesn't ruin the
experience for me and is not noticeable when animating / drawing. But that’s another thing you think Wacom
would have sorted out by now.
I would recommend buying it if you do have the money and if
you are a serious artist that spends every day on it. It isn't an essential device
for animators in my opinion although it does give an amazing animating
experience. For illustrators and architects it’s possibly more essential.