That survey…

February 21, 2009

Being a fan of the show, and hating writing bios about myself, I thought this might offer something up instead – hearing actors answering the short survey is usually more revealing than the interview itself,  although looking back at my own answers it seems laboured, but I tried to be honest. 


The Inside the Actors Studio Questionnaire


What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on?
Learning, Inventing.

What turns you off?
Laziness, Drink culture.

What sound do you love?
Airplane (propeller) droning/doppler effect as they pass over, church bells in distance.

What sound do you hate?
Hard local accents (Belfast/NI), almost any noise made in a city.

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Inventor of chocolate bars.

What profession would you not like to participate in?

What is your favorite curse word?
Fucktard, or Fagtard. Never used them, and can’t actually remember seeing them being used, I just presume someone has.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

This is the completed video I’ve done for Peter Gabriel – you can see the original test animation here.

I was asked to develop the ‘story’ further, and got some visual ideas from looking through photos from the original OVO album shoot.  I got three extra visual ideas from this – single cells, an empty nest, trails of red berries.

I developed 6 animation sequences using this imagery, all showing different stages of birth, life, transcendence, decay etc.

1. single cells growing on ends of stems, with dark underwater shading , I also added concentric ripples which emanated from the growing vines.

2. empty nests with trails of red berries being left behind where ever the stems grow from, against subdued morning sky shading.

3. the boy in the nest appears, against sunset shaded background.

4. boy in nest against brighter blue sky shading.

5. ‘star child’ luminous effect on dark background.

6. single cells again, without stems, dark watery shading.

I rendered out each sequence for the entirety of the song’s duration.  The shapes of the vines and positions of the sprites are exact for each sequence, this allowed me to dissolve each sequence at any point from one into another and maintain a natural looking transition.   In post production, through simple dissolves, I could experiment with and craft together a visual narrative that changed with musical cues in the song.

I’ve also improved the code in my animation system (programmed in Processing) to smooth out the jarring motion of the stems as they grow out/in – it now eases in/out nicely.


Happy Valentine

February 13, 2009

…so wish I had thought of this – using recursive fractals…



Some real time demos

February 6, 2009

I thought is was time to show my animation system actually running in real time.  It holds up reasonably well, although I’ve had to knock back a lot of the fancy shading fx, but with a bit of work and optimisation I’m sure I could get failrly close to the fully rendered quality of my previous videos.

Here’s the first demo – it’s actually part of a small project I’m working on to create some animated branding material for a local music web channel – to be launched soon.



Here’s the second, it’s just a demo – not a commissioned project, using the BP logo.   As with the previous demo, I’m always interested in how I can use logos growing out of vines and adding extra little effects to somehow suit the product/company.



All built in Processing of course.

This is the first of a couple of commercial projects I’ve been working which has employed my ‘zeno’ animation system programmed in Processing.

I was commissioned to create a looped animation by Lucy-Ann Bouwman at Sightgeist Design as part of a Christmas window display for Hermes.  Images relating to products and the window display design were integrated into the animation.

Client: Sightgeist Design Inc / Hermes of Paris
Concept/Design Copyright 2008: Lucy-Ann Bouwman / Sightgeist Design Inc
Creative Director: Lucy-Ann Bouwman /
Photography Copyright 2009: Chris Akelian /
Digital Animation  Copyright 2008: Glenn Marshall