Space Nebula

Here's an image based on space nebulas.  I've been doing some space art so I wanted to see what it would be like to create one with a flare of colour and a massive sense of space.

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Art by,
Ash

Animated Pancakes

It was pancake day this week!  It was great fun, I always enjoy holidays that involve guilt-free eating.

Mark Simon however likes to play with his food instead.  Here he makes a few pancakes to create a looped animation cycle.  Using the principle of frame by frame 2D animation he 'draws' with the batter then photographs each pancake.  Putting these images together results in a very angry looking pancake trying to take a bite out of a person.

Thoughts by,
Sian

London Event Welcomes Stoke Animation Studio

Running for over 5 years 'The VFX Festival' is the UK’s leading animation & VFX conference.  This year it took place from the 6th - 8th February at Rix Mix cinema in Shoreditch, London.  It hosts industry leaders in animation and VFX from all over the world.  Bringing everyone together allows a sharing of knowledge with both industry veterans and emerging talent.  It provides an opportunity to learn from the best along with recruitment panels to help artists get their foot in the door.

Our Stoke-on-Trent based studio made it's debut at the London festival as Daniel Waterman was invited to speak on a panel about VFX Producing.  As Carse & Waterman's Company Director and Producer he was well equipped for any questions.

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Titled 'Production and Artists: Let’s Bridge the Gap', the panel saw Daniel alongside producers from some of London’s biggest VFX companies.  The lineup consisted of 'Double Negative', 'Framestore', 'The Mill', 'Smoke & Mirrors', 'Moving Picture Company' and of course 'Carse & Waterman Productions'.  In front of an audience of around 50 keen VFX producers and artists, the panel discussed the many challenges of being a producer and how best to work with artists in order to harness their creativity effectively.

Upon his return to Stoke Daniel had this to say:

“It’s nice to show people in London that the industry reaches further than just the capital city.  I think many were surprised to hear that a VFX studio of our calibre was based in Stoke-on-Trent rather than London.  It was great to be on the panel and hear how other producers handle things.  It's also exciting just to be sat next to the VFX Producer of Paddington 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

Early Man

Aardman Animations have released its new film 'Early Man'.  The beginning of ideas and concepts started in 2011 but it wasn't until May 2017 that shooting the stopmotion feature began.  Production of the animation involved 33 animators and 37 sets, however there were well over 140 staff needed to bring everything together.

The longest shot took 8 weeks to shoot but only lasts 40 seconds in the final film.

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A group of us from the C&W studio are off to the cinema tonight to see it.  We've yet to discover what happens in the story but at least we already know the stop-motion looks great.

Watch the trailer here:

Thoughts by,
Sian

Power of Film

Australia's tourist board has turned to the power of film to entice people to take vacations in their country.  They released a mock film trailer for 'Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home', including an A-list cast.  It was aired in America during the Super Bowl this week, ensuring thousands of viewers.

The idea came about when advertising firm 'Droga5' starting looking into the last time Australia felt a major tourism boost.  Their research lead them to discover the original 'Corocodile Dundee' movie has a massive effect.  This lead to the light-bulb moment of creating a big blockbuster film, without having to actually make the whole thing.

We think the trailer is great.  It makes us want to visit Australia and go watch the film... if only it existed!

Thoughts by,
Sian

 

Ichigo

Here is Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach.  I tried to draw him a year ago and it didn't turn out well.  After lots of practice I've finally created an art piece of him I like.

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Art by,
Ash

Beauty & the Beast Backstage

I mentioned in a previous post that Disney's live-action 'Beauty and The Beast' was my film of 2017.  Therefore I decided it might be a nice idea to share some information about the CGI and special effects - another reason I love the film.

The Beast was portrayed by Dan Stevens but the physical character needed to be brought to life by 'Digital Domain' - a visual effects company.  Here's a video showing actor Dan and the digital creation.

'Thrillist' have written a great in-depth article about all aspects that needed to be considered when doing this live-action / CGI collaboration.  It's very interesting.  Have a read here:

https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/beauty-and-the-best-movie-dan-stevens-special-effects

Thoughts by,
Sian

Sasuke Uchiha

2017 was a sloppy slide for my art however I feel I have improved a lot when it comes to blending.  Now 2018 is here I hope to get a stand to do a good batch of images - at least 100 this year.

I've got a new image to share, one of my favourites from Naruto, Sasuke Uchiha.  I drew him a few times last year however this has been my favourite, especially his hair and giving him his sharingan eyes.

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Art by,
Ash

S-O-T Film Theatre

Our very own Ashley Mountford has helped to create a new book about Stoke on Trent's Film Theatre.  Titled 'Film in North Staffordshire' the book has been published to mark the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Stoke Film Theatre.  Ash designed the front cover and we think it looks great!

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The book will be available in Waterstones soon.

Thoughts by,
Sian

Dan's Top 10

In the last blog post I asked everyone in the office for their favourite film of 2017.  This question was just far too difficult for Dan to answer.  For those who don't know, when Dan isn't at the office he's at the cinema.  He might as well live there.  For this reason I gave him a pass and allowed him to list his top 10.  Here they are:

1. Wonder Woman
2. Mother
3. Paddington 2
4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
5. The Florida Project
6. Killing Of A Sacred Deer
7. Get Out
8. Blade Runner 2049
9. War for the Planet of the Apes
10. Ghost Story

"It's a tough choice, I wish I could do a top 20!  If I must put one in first place it has to be Wonder Woman.  I feel we've been waiting a while for a good DC superhero film.  This was finally worth the wait.  Plus I love that it was female lead with Patty Jenkins as the director and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.  The film was really good fun.  Something you'd want to go to the cinema for to have a great night out with friends."

Wonder Woman 2017

Wonder Woman 2017

I finally got his favourite film out of him!  Do you agree with his top 10?

Thoughts by,
Sian

Our Favourite Films of 2017

What was your favourite film of 2017?

This question caused quite a stir in the office!  Some people could answer straight away with no hesitation, others umm-ed and ahh-ed trying to pin down just one.

Sian - Beauty & The Beast  
"Growing up I loved the 2D version.  Belle was the Disney princess I related to the most.  Seeing the 2D animation brought to life through CGI helped me re-live those magical moments."

Gary - Boss Baby
"I liked that it was experimental using 2D backgrounds.  It was also creative with the way it brought a kids mind to life.  Good script and good animation."

Rich - Disaster Artist
"I wasn't expecting anything from it.  I when in expecting a normal run-of-the-mill film but was completely surprised.  It was incredible!"

Ash - Blade Runner 2049
"Fantastic.  It was a complete work of art, visually breathtaking.  It played with my mind and my eyes."  (There was more but I needed to censor it...)

(Blade Runner 2049)

(Blade Runner 2049)

Sidd - Molly's Game
"I saw this in December thanks to a surprise screening held for Cineworld members.  Sharp and witty with an incredible female lead.  Jessica Chastain drove the film, she was so charismatic."

Adam - Baby Driver
"I liked the music choices and that everything they chose was in sync with the film.  I could say more but I'd go on forever!"

Dan - ?
"Err...".  I return 10 minutes later.  "Can I pick 10?  I can't possibly narrow it down to one!" ... Cue the next blog post to see Dan's top 10 of 2017!

So what was you favourite film?

Thoughts by,
Sian

HTC Vive

We were very lucky yesterday when Overclockers UK kindly brought their HTC Vive to our office.  They set up shop in our meeting and green-screen rooms and everyone got to have a go on the virtual reality equipment.

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The HTC Vive doesn't just have a pair of VR goggles but it also has handsets that allow users to interact with their virtual environment.

Here's Gary being egged on to walk the plank, only to fall off the end.

Everyone at Carse and Waterman had a great time.  We've very grateful to Overclockers for arranging the day for us.

Sian

Paddington 2

Many of us in the office were patiently waiting for the sequel to 'Paddington'.  The first film was released in 2014 and was a huge hit all across the world.  The much awaited sequel 'Paddington 2' was finally released in UK cinemas on 10th November.  The Christmas break gave us all the perfect opportunity to go watch it with friends and family.

Paddington is now settled with his new family and happily carrying on with life.  One day he discovers a pop-up book that would be the perfect gift for his aunts 100th birthday.  Unfortunately a thief steals it and the film follows Paddington's antics trying to get it back in time.

We all loved the film.  By choosing not to pander to a younger audience the film has been created in a way that would appeal to all.  It's not afraid to have true perils and face fears of disappointment.

You'll have to watch the film to see if he does find the book!

Thoughts by,
Sian

Goodbye Christmas

We've all wondered back to work this week.  Some bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, others dragging their heels after too many late nights!

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The tree and decorations have been taken down.  It feels sad that Christmas is over but also excitement at the year ahead.  Plus, it's the perfect reason to tidy up the office - out with the old and in with the new!  A fresh clean work-space to get those creative juices flowing.

We're very much into January and focusing on the future ahead.  We've got loads of projects in the pipeline and can't wait to be able to share them with you.

Thoughts by,
Sian

Happy New Year!

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We're all back in the office ready and raring to go!  We're looking forward to whatever animation projects come our way in 2018.

If you have any crazy ideas this year definitely get in touch.  We're ready for a new challenge!

Thoughts by,
Sian

Off For Christmas!

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It's the day we've been waiting for!  As much as we all love what we do we're very excited to have some much needed time off.  2017 has been a crazy year - good crazy, not tear your hair out crazy... well ok, maybe a few days were.  We're happy with everything we've achieved and can't wait for some of our long term projects to come to fruition in 2018.

We're off for fun with our friends and family.  Have a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

The Carse & Waterman Team

Getting Ready!

It's well into December now so the decorations are up in the office and even iMe is getting ready for the festive celebrations!

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Thoughts by,
Sian

Secret Santa

It was Secret Santa in the office today.  There were some great gifts involving Super Mario, unicorns and food.  We definitely like to lean on the side of unconventional!  Everyone was very happy with what they received - especially me as I got a lot of chocolate.

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Hmm, now which to eat first?!

Thoughts by,
Sian

Get More Out of Giving

I saw this advert for 'Very' earlier this week. It obviously caught my eye because of the 3D animation.  It follows a girl named Anna as she tried to get a present to Father Christmas as she's worried he'll miss out.

So far I've been unable to discover which animation studio is behind the work but I do know that it took more than 30 people 12 months to create!

Thoughts by,
Sian

The Return of Kevin the Carrot

Kevin the Carrot is back!  I'm far too excited about this than I should be.  For those that don't know what I'm on about, Kevin was the star of Aldi's Christmas advert last year.  He's a plucky young carrot who wanted to see Santa.  Here's last years video in case you missed it -

Well this year he's back running across someone else's dinner table where he discovers Katie, an attractive female carrot.  When peas end up flying around the room Kevin bravely jumps in to shield Katie from the splatter. 

As they fly off into the sky on a magical train I wonder if they'll be back again next year.

Thoughts by,
Sian