Stationery (2006)

A little over 10 years ago I started making an animated short film to learn how to use Maya. I knew nothing about rigging, animating, shading or lighting but like everyone always says: ‘story is king’, so I set out to tell the story about a happy-snappy stapler who has its comeuppance. I was working… Read more »

Atom, Fountain and Git-Flow

Comment: this blog post is quite top-level, skipping over many details. However all the pieces mentioned are widely documented. Don’t be put off by the technical component, however: the approach is well worth the effort, in my opinion. When I was writing my thesis using LaTeX, a markup language used to create scientific and mathematical… Read more »

Dead Rich (2006)

Part of the prize for winning the Nokia Shorts Competition with HAVE I PASSED? was a small budget to make another short film. Tom Wright and I came up with the idea to do a single camera shot out of the coffin at an open casket viewing before a funeral. It took us fourteen drafts… Read more »

XDCAM EX Meta-Data

SIGNAL FAILURE was shot on a Sony EX1, a versatile camera used on such productions as DISTRICT 9 and PUBLIC ENEMIES. One of the advantages of this camera and many like it is the recording of meta-data such as focal length, ND filter, iris setting and so forth on a per-frame basis.  This data is… Read more »

Have I Passed? (2004)

Here’s an old short we made for the Nokia Shorts Competition back in 2004.  It was my first project with Maya and Shake which even included a rudimentary HDR probe.  The brief was to make a 15-second film for mobile phones on which the public would vote to choose the winning entry from a short-list… Read more »

Depth and breadth of shot folders

A brief digression on the topic of folder hierarchies for VFX sequences, shots and the like.  Obviously many shows and studios use some form of ‘[path_to]/show/sequence/shot’ but I’ve always wondered if there was any good criteria for establishing the shot folder structure.  One such criteria is implicit and is of course the structure itself, which… Read more »

A Sci-Fi Comedy

A couple of years ago we decided to make a low-budget indie feature using whatever resources available to us.  Our philosophy was to ‘quit planning and start doing’, which happened to be one of the themes of the film.  Over the next few years we shot scenes whenever we were all available (and in the… Read more »