It’s all staged – Thesis Film – Staging, WIP update

Here’s some progress videos of some of the scenes that I’ve already blocked for the 2nd years, Tasneem and Adam, that are helping me in my animation.

I think both of the scenes have good poses that convey the story and relationship of the characters, though with a few static movements and stiff legs that need adjusting, it’s coming together.


Juicy Lighting – Thesis Film – Lighting in Maya

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Lighting… it’s great

So as you know I’ve been working and messing around with lighting for the past couple of days, and with the help of Andy I’ve achieved something that actually looks decent. He showed me a technique in Arnold that requires use to use the render settings windows which is called Atmosphere, and as you can guess it gives the environment, and needless it really boosted the environments look, like for example the beams of light withing the Grand hall now have rays following where they light up, which is what I originally intended, but because I suck at lighting it just looked like the areas were emitting a mysterious light from the ground like a fricken light house.

And with that knowledge I applied it to the rest of the environments do most of them look good, the Entrance needs a bit more work, but yeah it’s all good.

mountain for james.png
Mountain by Ellen and Lauren

Also speaking of good stuff, look at the super cool mountain that 2nd years Ellen and Lauren did for me. Like…. holy crap this is good 😀 I’m quite pleased with this as the simplistic style of the background complements my animation quite well. So good job guys.

Illuminate – Thesis Film – Testing Lighting


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Been messing around with some Arnold lighting in Maya, trying to experiment with I can do in it. So far it’s been okay, been trying to light up the Grand Hall to see what the mood, temperature and feel that I can achieve, but so far nothing that sticks. I’m trying create a warm but empty environment, so I’m trying to mess around with Arnolds Temp sliders to help me with that, but so far nothing has really pulled me.

I’ve got Rob on Tuesday’s afternoon lecture as well as Andy, so I’m going to seek their assistance when it comes around, but at the meantime to need to make sure that in my mind I know where all the light sources are located, and how much they illuminate the scene.

Marmalade – Thesis Film – Staging/Blocking, Cutting

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Staging is progressing smoothly. 3 out of the 4 parts have been done and have been passed onto another helper from the lower years (Shout-out to Kosta) and I’m now about to move on to my part of the animation, when the boys get the treasure.

I’ve also made changes to film, and that the corridor involving the arrow trap will not be included. The reason for this is that with the corridor scene in I would have 61 Shots in total, and if it did start staging the corridor, I wouldn’t have time to finish the inbetweens for everything else. So I decided to remove it.

Blib Blob Gobbly Boopy Goop – Thesis Film – Previs/Staging, Finished environments


Previs is going smoothly. I have staged 2 out of 4 scenes that need to be done, I’m close on finishing another. At the moment I have focused on the staging for the scenes that the 2nd years will do, that way I can just hand off to them and then focus on my area.

I also been offered help from a 1st year that shows promising work in his animation work. Debra suggested me to use him with some part of my scene. At the moment I’m thinking of when the boys enter the grand hall and spot the treasure. I need to have a word with him first but at the moment that’s my plan.

Also Dan has finished the entrance. It looks great and one again fits with the theme well do props to him.

2015 vs 2018

So myself, Jegor and Max did another challenge between ourselves. The challenge was to draw something that we did ages ago, and I chose to do the Elizabeth drawing that I did in my first year. I’m quite pleased with the turn out, I can definitely see the progression I’ve made over the past 3 years.

New Showreel

Created a new showreel with old and new stuff in. Gonna use it to showcase myself to a studio that is coming in to meet us tomorrow, and I’m gonna try get some advice about the industry hopefully.

Let us begin – Thesis Film – Setting up and starting Previs

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Previs work has begun and so far it seems to be going quite smoothly. The characters are behaving well, and I’ve managed to reference everything correctly to make everything work, it’s just a matter of getting through these scenes.

I’ve been having some discussions with Debra as well about camera angles and using them to connect the audience to the character. This is because one of my opening shots was originally a high angle shot, the reason being I wanted the room to look isolated and big for when Shay entered the scene. But then she suggested to go for a low angle shot instead, so the audience isn’t so far away from the character and to make the scene more dramatic in a sense.


YouTube. 2018. Incredibles Mr incredible breaks into KRONOS – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 January 2018].

She used this scene as a reference to explain what she meant. In this scene the camera is almost always close to the main character “Mr Incredible”. This way the audience is brought in, to feel as if they are there with him as he breaks into the facility. She then advised that I should do the same within my film, that way you get the audiences attention drawn to the film.

Looking Good – Thesis Film – Characters finished


After some blood, sweat and tears, the boys are finally ready for animating. I’m quite proud of myself, and very satisfied with how they come out, though there’s one tiny issue with their thumbs, as the controllers on the thumbs won’t move with the rotate tool. Which is unfortunate but I could fix it by adding a new attribute(s) moving the thumb in different directions.

But for now It’ll be good for Previs, which is the next step I’m going to take.


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Also some more good news. Thanks to the very talented Daniel Coates my grand hall went from flat boxed room, to a very, very good looking runied temple. I gave him all 4 of my basic environments on Tuesday to add some props and debris to the rooms. And he went above and beyond and created something 10x better than I could’ve made. He really managed to capture the style of my animation and applied it to the hall. He’s only completed the Hall, but he says that he has already made a start on the others, and I can’t wait to see what they look like.

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