Sunday, September 15, 2013

A day in the Saloon

Since most of our team have either left for home or new projects in the studio i took a few snaps the other day in the saloon. We have a few seqs left to be animated in house , Sean McCarron and Sandra Anderson  will continue until the end of next month with myself and Fabian hopefully getting to animate a couple of scenes too. We have an amazing group of interns from Viborg in Denmark helping out too , doing clean up and some animation, without Clara, Anne Katrine , Edith and Dionysus I dont know how we would have managed it. We have been lucky as well to have Galway girl Grainne Fordham helping out too. 

Ciaran Duffy continues to work on some remaining key bgs and checking the clean line bgs from Luxembourg , Adrien is kept busy with the final colour bgs and helping me check the compositing as it arrives in.
And luckily Alice Dieudonne has been able to continue her work on the watercolour seqs from Japan ;-) 

Anyway here are some snaps -
Marion Roussel finished up this week and headed home to France she did amazingly spirited and beautifully drawn work on posing and animation. During the production she decorated her desk with funny gag drawings from some scenes she worked on - 

Then theres our intrepid efx supervisor Jeremy Purcell who is still keeping an eye on things with Mark Mullery doing a lot of the prop and vehicle animation in Anime Studio .

Heres clara cleaning up a scene in tvpaint -

And heres Anne Katrine-

And Dionysus -

And last but not least Edith -

Big thanks to you all!!!

Heres Walter working on one of the last scenes he animated on Song , he will be going back onto Mooneboy soon so he will be continuing to animate to young David Rawles voice tracks for a while yet :-)

Heres Sean McCarron animating on the last sequences - these were ones I was boarding when we both visited Norlum during early preproduction to discuss how we would manage working with Tvpaint to produce the quality needed in the time we had to do it in. Solutions discussed then are really coming into play now - I don't think we could have pulled it off in the same timeframe on paper to the same standard. At the time Sean volunteered to animate the underwater scenes I was boarding - and now he's finally onto them .

Colour sketches by Lily Bernard who is now hard at work designing the world of Puffin Rock - these scenes are actually already almost complete in composit - hard to believe really -

A concept painting by Ross Stewart from about two years ago - Ross is codirecting with me on the section of "The Prophet" feature film at the moment. 

A painting by Amelie Flechais on my much neglected animation disk..

A trip to Digital Graphics in Liege , Belgium.


Digital Graphics is located in a beautiful old red brick farmhouse in Wallonia. 


Sfx Maestro Jeremy Purcell lays out his plans to build up an entire stormy sea from a hand animated library of waves , splashes and foam combined with cg water and watercolour textures applied to the tvpaint animation at compositing .

Sometimes the "painters palette "used for digital ink and paint can look quite strange. Here we see ben in an uncharacteristic shade of pink. 

And ferry dan is a bit off colour looking here too - but all will be well on screen in the final output. The crazy colours help the ink and paint team tell where two subtly different colours overlap .

Damien shows us a scene of grannys car leaving the ferry kicking up a load of smoke. The smoke is designed like several charcoally smudges with lighter chalk lines drawn inside which is then animated with a particle system .

I took these iphone snaps last week when we visited Digital Graphics in Liege who are responsible for all the ink and paint, texturing ,compositing and cg efx in our film. 

Serge Ume and his team are old friends by now and its always a pleasure to visit their beautiful studio. The compositing we saw of a couple of early scenes was exciting and rewarding to see , all the work of the past year comes together at this stage. 

Even though we still have some major sequences to animate I feel like we are entering the final stretch of the visuals. 

The brainy folks in dg have developed some impressive new tools for ink and paint that mean they are basically painting scenes as fast as we can deliver clean up drawings... Its kind of amazing that just five people can handle all the ink and paint for the whole film.

The sequences that use the rougher pencil look and watercolour style are coming together well too , we are benefiting from techniques that digital graphics pioneered on the lovely film - "Ernest and Celestine."

Our hand drawn and anime studio efx supervisor Jeremy Purcell came over and  went thru the plans for the stormy sea sequences which combine a number of handdrawn elements with an anime studio boat and dg water efx. 

Adrien and I were happy to see the characters beautifully matched to the bgs painted in Luxembourg and Kilkenny and our Cartoon Saloon production manager Katja Schumann who is also an accomplished compositor herself came to get her head around the process dg uses in order to best prepare for the final seqs deliveries and to help iron out any last problems.

As usual many belgian frites , 
beers and chocolates were consumed and we arrived home happy and looking forward to seeing all the past years work coming together over the next few months.

Serge Ume , studio head , compositor ,coproducer, architect and Ink and Paint artist at work .
Two of our Belgian comrades discuss how rain falling on some Irish nettles should effect the leaves , they have developed a "plip plop" library of rain drop animations for such scenes.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A visit from the stars

We were honoured to show our lead voice actors around recently - young David Rawle snuck a day in between shooting Mooneboy and heading back to school to visit and see how the film is shaping up.

A Lucy O'Connell dropped by with her mum too , she watched the whole animatic and seems happy with the progress o far - phew!

Finally art director Adrien Merigeau and an "away team" of Salooners visited the Saltee islands recently on a follow up research trip to our previous ones.
Amazingly Saoirse herself was there in her seal-form to greet them.