BBC

A little while ago now, I had the pleasure of being asked by Annabeth if I wanted to get involved in a project set by the BBC. Of course I didn’t hesitate to say yes to this and from their she had set up a small group of people and we began to develop some very simple ideas and create some content. I had yet to have worked with a small team of people outside of the course, creating this sort of content, so it was interesting to work with others in that aspect.

It was good fun but very short, I had been able to test out some animating ideas through this small task though and it was interesting to be able to work with someone from the BBC. Here are some of the short stings that I had created for the BBC program that was being created as a pilot episode for a new program. The idea of these sings where to be placed in between certain parts as a break for each section. I created the first two on my own using Photoshop but then helped Abi create the third one as we both worked on the idea and I had helped her animate the run.

Exhibitions… engage!

I’ve been trying to get out as much as possible with festivals, meetings and exhibitions. One specific exhibition I had attended with Sacha was the Feast exhibition were we met up with Matt Saunders who was in the exhibition, and quite a lot of it may I add. It was a good afternoon full of events as we had just visited the ‘Mates’ exhibition just before hand. It was interesting to see the method that illustrators present their work and organise and display these events. It was nice to also see some of Amy’s work who I have previously talked too on Twitter, sadly she wasn’t able to make the event. It was really good fun and was hosted at Munroe House, with myself, Sacha and Matt moving to Colours May Vary quite a lot to chat, chill and have a good look around. The exhibition space was great and links to a cafe that I’m sure everyone around Leeds Art College and Leeds University know of.

For those who haven’t been over to ‘Colours May Vary’, it is a lovely little shop based in Munroe House and they house a brilliant collection of design books and journals, contemporary gifts, prints, cards & wrapping. You must check this place out even for a visit as it has some great and inspiring imagery work and is just a good place to stop by.

Here’s some pictures from the Feast exhibitions I took on my phone,

IMAG0471

IMAG0473

IMAG0472

Nest II

I was once again involved in the fun and interesting Nest magazine which was ran by Sacha and Kai. A lot of work had gone into the creation of the magazine and I had tried to help out where I could but this time I was only really able to help out with the launch of the second issue.

It was exciting to be part of the magazine once again and do something very different from what I do at the moment. It was a fun night and we had planned a bit more within this launch party which was again set at White Cloth Gallery. The launch was a success once again and everyone that had attended seemed to have a lot of fun with a very different and engaging vibe that I miss from not being able to attend such events. I feel as though being able to be apart of these sorts of things allows me to explore and get involved in much more fun and sociable art events that otherwise I haven’t been able to be apart of. It was nice to be able to also get to know some more different students from other courses as well as make new friends on the night.

Teaching animation

So I’ve been quite lucky recently in terms of people interested in my work and interested in what I can offer in an area I’ve always been interested in although not being in film or games. I’ve recently put in a lot of effort to do as much as possible and see as many new things and meet new people ever-expanding my knowledge, skill and general interest in an area that never ceases to increase or amaze me.

I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs and volunteer work as an animation tutor which is somewhat a little bit mad, as technically I’ve only been ‘animating’ for about two years now as I would see it. Before my degree course I’d actually not really touched animation although it has always been a great passion as well as having written it down for my ‘what I want to be’ in Primary School, weird. I’ve grown to really want to do a little bit of teaching of animation to either children or who ever may be interested and previously tried to set up events to do this, looking at locations, other people interested and the technical and production side of such a project. Previously I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks due to other commitments and the fact it takes so much time and effort to plan and direct such an event. The reason for my want to do these sort of small classes is due to the passion for animation I just wish to share and let off. It’s always great to see people interested in animation but is upsetting to hear that they haven’t been able to try it, or don’t think they can. It was a fun idea to simply have a good time creating some interesting and humorous animations with people who just want to create animation and try teach something a long the way. By teaching animation and talking over both process and ideas, it doesn’t just help others but also clears things in my mind, reminding me and educating myself again a long the way. I find working with others and explaining my work method to others educational and helpful to my own development and a way to see if I really do know what I am doing. Another way to see it is a good piece of advice about this industry, “sharing is caring”.

I was offered and almost started teaching animation courses for young children as an after school club organised thing through various schools within the Leeds and Yorkshire area. Sacha stumbled across the job prospect and nicely sent it in my direction. The company organising the club is named ‘ComputerXplorers’ and is led by a great team with a few tutors.

http://www.northyorkshire.computerxplorers.co.uk/

The job was advertised as a part-time tutor at one of the schools and would teach a simple piece of animation software to the kids as well as teaching them some of the practice and theory behind animation. The animation style is focusing on stop motion as this is the most easiest and appropriate form of animation for younger children as well as children on different skill levels in terms of both computer and drawing. With 3D of course you need to learn the software before the art form, which I personally believe strongly against teaching a software before its practice. I had two very nice interviews and then a test class which went really well, with everything setting into motion I was going to be ready to start being involved further with the classes as well as leading my own. Sadly due to changes within the course timetable, I could no longer do any of the classes that where on as well as car restrictions as car insurance is way too high so I now share. Hopefully on a later date, if I don’t have any further plans or any big developments, I could return to this and hopefully take on a few classes.

Another opportunity to teach animation came about when Annabeth, my tutor, had so kindly notified me about MAP and how they where looking for an animation tutor volunteer. MAP stands for Music and Arts Productions and the place itself is used as an art showcase and events building, but also runs classes for children and young adults who either cannot go to school or have been otherwise removed from school. The idea of the place is to allow a creative outlet and freedom for the children and get them involved with art and other events. The proposal is for classes to be run and set up by me and one or two other helpers in which we do some animation based tasks and along the way try to get them to understand some of the process. The tasks themselves will not be so big or long as we are still unsure as to how much interest there will be with the projects, but trying to give a general idea of animation, what it is and where it can go. The projects would be simple ones and again mainly focusing on stop motion but if there is more interest there are always other options and opportunities to explore further if me and the place have time.

http://www.musicandartsproduction.org/

At the moment we have simply post-pond the date of the classes and projects due to the final major project but hopefully these will be run soon after but again, run within the same time as school dates.

I was also asked by my sister who is one of the leaders for our local Brownies group, if I was interested in doing one or two classes on animation. These classes would be set by myself and run by myself but I had decided to ask if Sacha would also like to be involved due to her good relationship with kids and because she also wants to do a bit of teaching to expand her skills and knowledge. This again is needing to be organised and dated but first off there is a different class to run.

I’ve now got something in my Filofax and all set to be done very soon. The College runs a Saturday Art School which, like the other two events, are classes held on the weekends for children aged 5 to 18 to various art projects such as 3D work, painting, portfolio workshops and now animation. Recently the courses have been growing in interest and in numbers so the new classes have come up in order to fill the demand. It’s great to hear, but even better for myself because the classes are mainly run by Student Ambassadors of the College who are chosen and interviewed by Laura who is in charge of the S.A.S. Of course thanks to Annabeth, again, Sacha and my many hours spent on Reception, Laura had come up to ask me about whether or not I wanted to run the animation classes with Sacha because I had previously mentioned my interest in teaching animation to both her and Annabeth. With a general layout for the project and class laid out by Annabeth, myself and Sacha will be set on organising and running the classes with the kids who have signed up to do them as it starts next week within the Easter holidays. The classes run for three days and will mainly, once again, be focused around stop motion animation but trying to incite some process and practice within the fun of making something move!
I just might possibly be more excited than the children although I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing… I’ll be organising the days with Sacha soon and be having meetings and chats to make sure everything is prepared for the classes.

http://www.leeds-art.ac.uk/home/our-courses/short-courses/saturday-art-school/

I’m in the Xbox Marketplace?!

It’s always exciting to see a game come online for the world to play that you’ve seen the process of or know some one involved; but when you’ve had the lovely chance of being involved as well as getting to see some of the behind the scenes action, it’s even better.

motst

As I mentioned before I had the lovely opportunity to spend a few days with some of the guys at Gaslight Games Ltd, and the game I got to help out on is finally online to download and play! Although I’ve still yet to buy the full game, which I intend to do very soon although I should be animating…
It was exciting just to get the demo to give it a try to see how it turned out but of course was excited to see whether or not my name had been placed in the credits, which are. It was a great excitement and really fun to work on! Hopefully I’ll be able to check out everything on the full game and everything went in well that I got to help on. In the end I don’t know whether or not this is more exciting and interesting to be within the process of a game or within a short film/film. I’ll just have to get myself into a film and find out!

Gaslight Games

Quiet recently I had the lovely pleasure of spending a few days at Gaslight Games who I had met at Bradford Animation Festival as they had shown their new game ‘Master of the Seven Teas’ at the small BAFter hours events.

http://www.gaslightgames.co.uk/

I had chatted to Mark Jawdoszak who is Managing Director of Gaslight Games and was there with his college Helen who was nice enough to give me advice on my showreel and then discussed how they were wanting to get students and recent graduates in to the studio in order to gain experience and to give them the chance to experience the studio environment. Of course this all sounded very exciting and I jumped at the opportunity and later emailed them about when we were both free and chatted over the idea a few times via email and Skype.
It was great to have set the date and then I was able to head over to their studio in Bradford for a few days where they had set me tasks to do for their new game ‘Master of the Seven Teas’ and a future project. Originally they had asked me to re-animate some of the assets they had created for the MotST. I had actually completed all three of the animations they had wanted me to do within the first day of being in the studio, with it being made and animated in Maya it was a good refreshment and a nice way to practice everything I have learnt through traditional animation. It was great fun animating the characters thinking about how they would move within a 3D realm and not just as a flat image as well as practicing my skills and knowledge once again within Maya. The were of course restrictions to the animation there were needed due to it being a for a game, and they also needed to be able to loop and play at certain frame rates and layout. Once I had completed the animations, I was then set tasks on modelling and other small tasks to do with various projects. It was great to feel so included with them asking for ideas and feedback as well as giving me ideas and feedback, with my own computer and having been taught their system and network. It was actually incredibly interesting to see their internal network that they were using which they also looked at organising, passing all the information and dealing with the actual data.

Overall it was a really fun and interesting few days in which I was able to harness my skills and just have a good time putting them to use whilst learning a little bit about how they completed their projects and their approach and methods. Thankfully as well they had told me after the short work experience there, they would credit me in the game for animating which will mean my first credit toward a live game!
Below is a short Vimeo video of the game as it was earlier this year although a lot has changed now and they’ve developed the game even further. I can’t wait for the game to be out as it’s incredibly fun, addictive and quick and easy to play for everyone to get on!

Master of the Seven Teas – October 2012 from Mark Jawdoszak on Vimeo.

Manchester Metropolitan University Animation

So I’ve pretty quiet on blogging recently and this is because of various events, work and lots of development with my final major project. But my time has been spent doing other creative things running around trying to be as busy as possible, here’s some work from not too long ago that I never got around to blogging until now.

I was asked by my friend at Manchester Met University to create a short animation which they had storyboarded and written up for one of their projects that was set to them in order to promote Fair Trade within their University. It was a very different project for me to do as I had yet to animate these forms of transitions and worked on someone elses creation.
It was great for communication and confidence in my practice as the team had left me with some creative freedom and had asked me about the process, time it would take and style. Below is a few versions I had done which I had then shown them for feedback and then the final version.

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Final Version

MMU Fairtrade from Chris Luk on Vimeo.

There of course was a few more versions in between but the main points of development occurred through these pieces of animation. I do miss certain parts I spent a long time that were cut from the original development, but they didn’t fit in the time frame and where not needed in the end so I didn’t dwell on the matter for too long and went to try to develop the other pieces to higher level.
Within this I also developed my understanding of animating within Photoshop which I now prefer to Flash, so if I got the chance again I would re-do this within Photoshop.

Overall the girls got 80% on the project and came second place in their internal competition, which won them a lovely gift basket and a wine tasting session! So fun times all around and some interesting and cool project which I’m pretty happy to have been a part of.
Since finishing the animation it’s been passed around the Fair Trade twitter world but otherwise was more of a development rather than a large live brief although I would class it as one of the toughest.

Remember Oluwale

Oluwale Graffiti from Chris Luk on Vimeo.

A short piece of animation as an ‘ident’ for ‘Remember Oluwale’ which I created mainly for the event taking place in Leeds on the 23rd Jan. The ident is hoping to be used in the future for other events and promotional material, given credit for the work as well.
Continuing from a previous blog post the animation was based around just as a part of the brief originally set out and I had taken up the job of creating a short animation for the ident. I was given information about the history of the title as well as main parts that were needed within the ident but otherwise left to create the actual content and animation.

Hulk-ify

Hulk change from Chris Luk on Vimeo.

This is a quick commission piece in which the person changes into an animated character who then changes into the Hulk. I only had a day to do this in as I still had/have to do all the pieces of work and University work on at the moment!
It was something fun and interesting though that I had never done before so it was a good learning experience.

An Animated Christmas

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged or really had the time to sit and just blog away but I’ll be catching back up with all the little things I’ve been up too!

It was a very good Christmas (last year now!) with the usual family meet ups and a tiny break and breath from the constant amount of work.
Over the Christmas holidays though there was still lots of work to be done and lots of projects to get involved in!
Below is just one of the short animations I started and in this case finished over the Christmas holidays which I did for All Animated, to send out to all the people who have helped me over the year and for joy!
Here’s a link to the All Animated advent calendar which it was placed into,

All Animated are a group I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, but for those who never saw that, All Animated is a group set up in order to meet, network and discuss animations and ideas with various creatives from around the UK!
If you’d like to check out more about All Animated do head over to their twitter which I’ve linked below,

https://twitter.com/allanimateduk

Here’s the short with a little bit of sound on its own on my Vimeo!

Merry Christmas! from Chris Luk on Vimeo.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year.