Popcorn!

We love any excuse to indulge on food, especially if it’s linked to the cinema experience in some way. It’s National Popcorn Day tomorrow so we’ll be making the most of it by watching films and shovelling lots of this tasty treat in our faces - guilt free!

National Hat Day

Today, across the pond, is National Hat Day!

One of our high school interns Jessica created a drawing especially for the occasion. She was inspired by Fievel from ‘An American Tail’ and his impressive hat!

Also during her time with us she designed a poster for a potential Stoke film festival. Her key references were Audrey Hepburn and pop art. We think she did a great job!

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Adjustment!

Well we’ve been back in the office just over a week now.

Adjusting into a normal routine again hasn’t been easy. We’re not going to lie, there have been a lot of bleary-eyed artists wandering around. It’s safe to say coffee has been even more necessary than normal and those of us who haven’t sworn to diet have made the most of leftover sugary snacks.

We’re all full adjusted now though and back on track - let’s keep this new found momentum going!

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Art by Ash

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See more artwork at: www.deviantart.com/ergoasch

Art by,

Ash

It's 2019!

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We’ve all had a great break over Christmas and hope you have too.

There’s so much in the pipeline for Carse & Waterman this year so we’re very excited.

Keep watching the blog for our updates and as always, if you’re ever in the area feel free to pop in and say hi!

Christmas!

I was going to say it’s finally Christmas but this year has gone so fast that I don’t think anyone in the office can quite believe it’s that time of year again. We’re all very excited though as it’s the last day the office is open until the New Year. There are snacks, games and general merriment before we part ways for a week or so.

Spending time with family & friends is always important and the Christmas break is the perfect time for that. Hopefully everyone will have fun, recoup and relax ready for the new projects next year will hold.

Happy Christmas and Have a Great New Year!

Ruff & Ruby

Meet Santa Bear!

He's here to tell you all about the wonderful work being done by local Stoke on Trent charity Ruff & Ruby.

Thank you to Enlighten for collaborating with us on this.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Decorations

The Christmas decorations are finally up after a few delays and everyone is getting into the spirit of things. Christmas music is on and this time being widely accepted, as opposed to when someone was playing it in September…

Festive jumpers, socks & slippers are now the norm in the office as we all stay comfy and cosy. Mince pies, gingerbread and chocolate is all being consumed in surprising quantities. Well ok, it’s not that surprising for this office. Plus occasionally, very occasionally, hot chocolate is being chosen instead of coffee - now that says a lot!

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'The Box'

I recently came across a really sweet animation by students of the French ESMA animation school. ‘The Box’ / La Boite is the story of an old man who develops an unexpected friendship with a mouse.

Have a watch:

Art by Ash

Near the End of Susoonu Lake

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See more artwork at: www.deviantart.com/ergoasch

Art by,
Ash

Christmas Jumpers!

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Today is the annual Christmas jumper day for The Donna Louise Hospice. The Donna Louise are a local charity who provide care and support to children and young adults with shortened life expectancy or those who have a life-threatening or life-limiting condition. They do great work so we are happily donning our best (and worst!) Christmas jumpers and putting donations in the pot. Hopefully it’ll go towards helping some Stoke-on-Trent families so they can have a great Christmas this year.

Super Smash Bros. Parody

This week 'Nintendo' are releasing a new version of their popular 'Super Smash Bros.' game series.  To celebrate this many people have been creating their own parody intro screens for new characters that could be in the game.  Of course most of the characters people put in these parodies won't actually be included but it's fun to imagine if they were. 

So with that in mind Adam has created an iMe intro screen:

Art by,
Adam

St Andrew's Day

To all the Scots out there - Happy St Andrew’s Day!

We hope you enjoy your celebrations and have a hearty meal of haggie, neeps and tatties.

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The Carse & Waterman Team

The Redemption of No Man’s Sky

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“No Man’s Sky” is an action-adventure survival game by “Hello Games”.  It was first released onto the PS4 back in 2016.  However it did not meet fans expectations due to core gameplay features missing, despite being advertised in trailers before its release.  Fans anticipating "No Man’s Sky" were heavily disappointed with the company behind the game, feeling scammed for the false promises that were never delivered.

Despite the poor launch, "Hello Games" tried to update it throughout 2017, to become the game what was originally promised back in 2016, as an attempt to bring back the consumers.  However these new updates still didn’t fulfil the original concepts from the advertisements, yet again disappointing players who still try to loyally stick with "No Man’s Sky".

However, July 2018 has possibly become the redemption of both the game and "Hello Games".  After months of radio silence, the development team finally released the “No Man’s Sky Next” update which finally met all expectations. 

Review by,
Adam

The Michelin Man is 120

Animated mascots are a great way for companies to get noticed and be recognised, without needing to even show their company name at all.  One of the most well recognised mascots has an impressive birthday.  This year the Michelin Man (Bibendum) celebrates his 120th birthday.  He was created in 1898 by by the Michelin brothers and cartoonist "O’Galop”.

(Image: Copyright Michelin)

(Image: Copyright Michelin)

Michelin have done a great write-up chronicling his evolution over the years:
www.michelin.com/1898-2018-the-Michelin-Man-is-120

Happy Birthday Bibendum!

The Carse & Waterman Team

Art by Ash

Broken south stairway of Ash Fall

broken_south_stair_way_of_ash_fall_by_ergoasch-d82y0y9.jpg

See more artwork at: www.deviantart.com/ergoasch

Art by,
Ash

Are You There?

A mood painting I did to try and capture the feeling of finding someone.

See more artwork at: www.deviantart.com/ergoasch

Art by,
Ash

Pigeon: Impossible

Here’s a throwback to animation we can’t believe is already 9 years old. It’s a great piece by Lucas Martell (along with an accomplished team) that proves a good story and concept can always stand the test of time.

This award winning short provided the basis for Fox Animations new project ‘Spies in Disguise’.

Thoughts by,
Sian

Houdini 17

We use a range of software at Carse & Waterman, but one of the programs we are using more and more is Houdini from SideFX. While we still use Autodesk Maya for all of our animation, we are now using Houdini for almost everything else.

Houdini's procedural nature allows us to generate content much quicker than the traditional linear approach, while also being more flexible with better performance.

SideFX recently released Houdini 17, the latest update to this application, and with it they introduced several new features. Houdini 17 is an enormous release which adds many features but by far the most talked about feature in our offices is Vellum.

(Image from sidefx.com)

(Image from sidefx.com)

Vellum is a new Cloth/Strand/Grain/Softbody solver using xpbd, an extension and improvement of the pbd (position base dynamics) solver. Houdini first introduced pbd's in version 14, and has allowed for the simulation of sand and snow both dry and wet. The new xpbd solver enhances this capability and extends it to support Cloth and Strands/Hair. It is a very fast, very robust solver and has given us some incredible results that were not possible or very difficult to achieve using the older wire and cloth solves. Being a unified solver also allows for direct interaction between cloth and hair, something which would have been hard to do in previous versions.

(Image from sidefx.com)

(Image from sidefx.com)

17 also includes improvements to white water (foam/mist on the top of oceans and waves), material fracturing (useful for destruction of concrete/wood/glass), interactive poly modelling using the new PolyDraw tool, massive improvements to the Pyro/Fluids work flow by sourcing via particles as default along with support for openVDB allowing much faster sourcing and simulation, Terrain improvements, a new Retime SOP for re-timing animation/simulations, UV tool improvements, improvements to character animation and rigging, 64-bit and AVX accelerated Vex - this one is really nice as we use VEX a lot. There are also smaller quality of life improvements like the new attribute noise sop, secure selection, Triangulate 2D improvements, Blends shape node improvements, Trace sop, Winding Number sop and much more.

This is a huge release and we still haven't tested everything new, but are excited for the possibilities these new features allow.

Review by,
Rich

Halloween Fundraiser

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About a month ago was Dougie Mac’s ‘Bring a Pound’ day. It’s a brilliant initiative held every year to raise money for the local charity. Thanks to the generosity of the C&W team and our office neighbours Inspired Film & Video, we collected £50 on the day but were determined to raise more.

Being so busy we decided to merge the fundraising with a Halloween party. It was a great event with everyone having fun playing computer games, watching Halloween films and eating spooky snacks.

Everyone dug deep for Dougie Mac and we raised a further £100! A big thank you to everyone who came and gave what they could. We hope you had a great time in the process.