Monday, 30 May 2011

Work Placement Unit Evaluation

The work experience unit is officially over, and with it many things were learnt. With my work placement at Picasso Pictures, I had the chance to see how a small part of a vast industry works. Being in such environment and meeting such great people, helped me understand how to approach work in a production team.  With feedback talks with director James Boty from FinkBoom, t whom I mainly did work for, I understood that is crucial to be able to visualise what the director wants, and quickly show him what he wants.
Although, many times at Picasso Pictures during my placement it was very quiet it allowed me to sneak upstairs and ask productive questions to the freelancers working there.
Questions mainly were focused on work ethic, career approach and professionalism. with these talks I learnt a lot not only about the industry, my career, but also how to effectively approach university. the importance of a community in the CG and animation world.
These were the high points of my work experience, however where is highs is also lows, the only low point I can figure was the fact that it was extremely quiet on the first week, and it truly lowered a lot my esteem to face the second week, though I didnt allow that affect my work ethic, and I was hard-working as I always do.

Overall, It was a great experience, because it allowed me to meet different people and keep their contacts, for future questions. and mainly to have a taste of what the industry awaits me.

Picasso Pictures, Production Company, 2003

Picasso Pictures is a one of the UK's leading independent production companies based in London, more specially in the animation/ advertisement field.

It all started back in 2003 when a group of producers (Jane Bolton, Dominic Buttimore and Richard Price) from the Post-production house The Moving Picture Company , decided to create a production team. The main objective of the creation of Picasso Pictures was to introduce new work to The Moving Picture Company as well as giving opportunity for new talents to shine in the animation/ advertisement world.
The initial studios were on the corner of Wardour street and only later, they moved to 9-11 Broadwick St where they still remain. This studio consists in a 4 floors building in the centre of Soho London, the 4 floors are divided accordingly, the 1st floor houses a small post-production team, which quickly, composite and edit any animation footage ready to show to the clients. The 2nd floor, consists in the executives, Jane Bolton and Richard Price,  and many producers, such as Inga Johnson, they are the people in charge to secure the jobs and ultimately are the face of the company who have to negotiate with the client.
The 3rd Floor is the place where ideas are made, brainstormed and decided, on the director's floor, many animation directors are based in there, however many others work away from the studio.
So if the 3rd floor is the place where ideas are born, the 4th is theproduction of those same ideas. The production room, houses a few computers where many freelances artists pass by and work for Picasso Pictures, giving all their best to the clients. To receive the ideas into a final product Picasso Pictures has its own Render-farm, a potent unit which allows to render the work in time for tight deadlines and picky clients.

One of the main objectives of the creation of Picasso Pictures was to give the opportunity to young talents to share their work and visions. Therefore, the studio consists in great directors who are distinct with their work.

What follows is a quick showcase of some of the directors and their work.

Tokyo Plastic

Zune Art

MTS 4G Commercial


Steve May

X &Y

Alongside this great directors and many more, is a exhaustive list of freelance artists that make these ideas happen. I had the chance to meet 2 of them, and was really pleased to bo able to aske them a lot of questions.

Ricardo David

Gael Lendoiro

These 2 artists were freelance artists, who were working on one of the projects. While Gael Lendoiro,  was a generalist artist, Ricardo David is a generalist focused on animation, his strength. These 2 artists are only two of many people that work for Picasso Pictures as freelance artists, aiding with their respective skill, from concept to final product, from modelling to animation.

With a house full of talent either in the director's room or the production one, Picasso Pictures has been growing since its launch, and the success doesn't look like is going to stop.

All works are copyrighted to the named artists

Maya Tutorials: Intro to Ncloth Week 2

The continuation of Ncloth Maya tutorials, it is great to get a bit more advanced in terms of animation with particles, etc. this will definately help step up my game for next year.

M & Ms Bag


Tearable Surface

Maya Tutorials: Intro to Ncloth Week 1

On the 3rd week of maya tutorials we were introduced to Ncloth. Although I have used Ncloth on my last project, it was great to see it being applied differently onto different materials. these tutorials not only deal with the characteristics of Ncloth, but also but also how to attach it to other surfaces by using constraints.


( I guess here Patriotism came in first place)


Rubber Castle

Rope Bridge

Maya Tutorials: Soft/ Rigid Bodies Week 2

The continuation of simulation with dynamics, more precisely Rigid/ Soft Bodies. This time applying them into a more organic environment.






Maya Tutorials: Soft/ Rigid Bodies Week 1

For the last unit of the year our tutorials were divided in three distinct subjects, Simulation with dynamics, Motion capture and and High Resolution modelling.

Here is the 1st week of the simulation with Rigid/ Soft Bodies, where we learned how to create models which can assume a more realistic feel.




Newton's Craddle

( even though I followed the tutorial, the simulation seemed to not work correctly, it still needs more tweaking).

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Anatomy sketches *1

As part of my plan for summer time, I want to get on with drawing a lot more. understand better human proportions and then apply that to my characters for either realism or stylisation. Therefore I began my own set of Anatomy classes, where i will sketch the human body, either as a whole or detailed parts.

Here is the first set of drawings:

Exploring Skull and Neck Structure- Bones and Muscles

Now back to the Maya tutorials.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Long live the update!

After sometime off, thinking how to approach my future career. I came up with a quite interesting and busy plan for over the summer.However, this unit still needs to be finished, therefore I will try to do the presentation as soon as possible, and write about Picasso Pictures. As well as, do as much as I can of the Maya tutorials.

With this out of the way, I can concentrate on summer time and what I want from it.

My plan range in different things to do, mainly learn more about a few topics:

  • Anatomy 
  • Zbrush ( for character sculpting)
  • Character Rigging- a bit more advanced ( GUI rigs and squash and stretch) 
  • Animation
and maybe give a try at marmoset tool bag rendering, just because I saw some of the results out of it, and really look professional.

Meanwhile, to boost my future career, I will be redesigning my business card and grabbing some elements for my show reel. trying to pick the best work I have produced over this 2 years.

Meanwhile I will continue to model the Robot Pirates and apply what I am about to learn in ZBrush on them. 

I suppose it will be a busy summer time, where the main objective is to boost my knowledge and up the standard of my models.

On a side note, I will be entering a competition on CG Hub, with Ivana, it will be the first that us both will do a collaboration and the first time I will be entering a online challenge so which me luck!! 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Work Experience: Day 6 to 9

The last few days of my work placement ( which is now over), were slightly busier. Firstly, I carried on meeting with the artists upstairs and throwing my shopping list of questions. then I had my first go at modelling for a director.

After meeting with James Boty, from Finkboom. he was willing to give me some 3D stuff to do. I can  i was excited and worried, excited because finally I had something that i enjoyed to do and worried because I didn't know if my modelling skills were up to standard. However, i began modelling some stuff for him which would be featured in an upcoming pitch. ( details I cant say).
This experience was great because it allowed me to work 1 to 1 with the director/ art director, and gave em the chance to get instant feedback on my work and on the things that needed changing. having to prepare the models for a pitch that was due last Friday, it helped me visualise how to work with extremely tight deadlines.
Indeed, some of the days I was doing some extra time to catch up with the production, which was enjoyable.

with my days of work placement over, I pretend to still be in contact with Picasso Pictures and the directors within it as well as applying everything that I learnt from the professionals I had the chance to speak to.
i have to say overall it was a great experience, shame it was so short.

Good things will come, hopefully!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Work Experience: Day 5

Fifth day at Picasso Pictures, and overall it was a quiet day...

I did continue doing some 3DS Max tutorials, to boost my knowledge in the 3DS Max. Wrote the questions to ask the executives about the company. The last part of the day, I went into the production room, and met again with the 3D artists over there.

This time, I focussed my questions on showreels, how to build one and what to put in it. Gael Lendoiro, and Ricardo David, gave me crucial advice on what to do and how to start one.

They also gave me advice on how you present your work, therefore I thought of creating a blog which will be my website, it wont have any feeds but rather will work as a showcase for my work, I will be working on that over the summer so I can update with some of the 3rd year's work. 

for now here is the website of the two incredible artists, I have been meeting with.

Gael Lendoiro Website- Here

Ricardo David Website- Here


Monday, 9 May 2011

Work Experience: Day 4

Day 4, a quiet day... after getting those 2D designs for the client, Rik the one in charge of the project is just correcting some small changes. Although a quiet day, I had the chance to browse some interesting stuff on internet.
I have also met Leo, my colleague who is doing working experience at Nexus. it was cool to share experiences that we are living in both companies.
At Picasso Pictures, I spent some time getting the grips of 3DS Max just for fun!!

A Teacup

The last part of the day was by far the most interesting of these couple of days,. I had the chance to meet with directors, such as Steve May, the Tokyoplastic Guys and others, it was great to speak about work, Steve May for example, showed some work, either the one he did for his band or the funny illustration he is all the time doing. Inga Johnson was spreading the word that I would be in the studio this week and that I ca do some 3D, Tokyo Plastic, member Sam Lanyon Jones asked me for the protfolio so he may find me some stuff to do this week.

Meanwhile, here is some work by the 2 Directors I met.

Tokyo Plastic

©Copyright tokyoplastic

Steve May

©Copyright Steve May

On the second part of the tour, I met the production team, which is finalizing some work in an 3D ad ( in 3DS max). It consisted in a couple of members which were finishing animating and rendering stuff to deliver to a client. Without being too much, I spent some time with them asking questions about the industry, and the difference between big companies and small companies. etc... though, the part that i was really interested in asking was about freelancing. Gael Lendoiro and Ricardo David are two frelancers working in the industry for over 4 years. Although they work as generalists most of the part, Gael is specified in rendering and lighting while Ricardo is an animator, for companies like Crytek, etc. So it was great to meet them, and learn a bit more freelancing, the subject and the industry out there. Lastly, i met another guy doing work experience, he was from Germany, and he was working with tokyo plastic on some concept art, hopefully he will still be there.

Today, I will sneak upstairs and ask a few more questions about showreels. Being a freelancer is all about putting your best work to grab jobs, so I guess I will receive great advice from them.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Work Experience: Day 3

Yesterday, I had my 3rd day working at Picasso Pictures.Thus far is being a great experience, I have been meeting people and talking about the industry.
 I mention to Inga Johnson to meet more people in the production room, which is in the 4th floor (currently at the 1st floor). However that had to be delayed as I was rushed with some work to do. The work consisted in continuing some 2D Design work for a client, creating some website banners in different formats etc.  So far I learnt some stuff about branding, and composition within a banner as well as how space counts a lot in the industry. With me I have a list of what the client have asked with all the sizes and how big they have to be in kb, this has to be followed strictly. The designs I have been doing are just first versions which will be approved or not by the client.

Finally, I have spoke to Inga and she mentioned that maybe some 3D will need to be done next week, hopefully!

p.s: I wont be able to show these designs here, however I will ask inga if it is possible to to get them and show them on the crit.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Work Experience: Day 2

Second day of the work experience at Picasso Pictures and I was a bit more of movement. Without giving it all out, because I can't, I have been doing some 2D work, marketing design for a well-known client. It consists in basic photoshop editing of layers, merging pictures, to make presentable, pitch templates to show the client.  It is just a quick job to do.
Meanwhile, I have a quiet funny experience. I have been following the blog of this illustrator called Steve May, for over a year. Yesterday, while doing some stuff,  one of the directors came downstairs, and after chatting a bit he left. The guys in my room, kept mentioning his name, which was Steve May. After trying to remember where I knew that name,when I check his blog did some research and tried to match the pieces of the puzzle. I found that the artist Steve May, who I have been following the blog for over a year is the same Steve May, Animation Director at Picasso Pictures.Interesting!

I then entered in contact with him, who thank me to follow his blog, today I had properly a 1 to 1 conversation with him.

It just proves that the industry is too small. or that I am all over the web as a stalker. You tell me !

Work Experience: Day 1

Yesterday, I had my 1st day of work experience at Picasso Pictures in London. It started at 10.00 with Inga Johnsson showing the installations of the studio. then they set up a computer for me, so i would be able to work. I have to say the firstly was very quiet, didnt do much apart from browsing the internet, etc. However i was able to see how the industry works when is tight deadlines ahead.

Not much to add from the always awkward first day. Apart that I did some runner work, by going shopping, etc.