Mark Davies Animation Showreel

New Animation Books

A few new animation books to add to the collection. Looking forward to getting stuck into them. Links below if anyone is interested:

A New History of Animation or you can get the slightly older but cheaper version here.

3D Modelling Practice

A model I've been working on as a bit of practice. I've mostly been doing hard surface modelling in my job so this was a good opportunity to practice something a bit different. Its a stylised 3D depiction of myself, which was created using 3dsmax.

Allosaurus Walk & Run Cycle

As a generalist I don't get to do as much animation as I used to so its important for me to keep up with my animation outside work times. I've been meaning to animate a prehistoric creature for a while now so I had quite bit of fun with this one. I've also been working on improving my presentation and production values lately. It's been a good learning experience and hopefully the extra effort shows. The animation was done by me but the model and rigging was done by Harry Gladwin Geoghegan.

CIFF 2016 Animation Masterclasses

Last weekend I attended a few animation talks as part of the Cardiff International Film Festival. This was hosted by the Chapter Arts Centre in Canton and organised by Cardiff Animation Nights. The first talk I attended was by Joanna Quinn, a prize-winning animator and director who's won over 90 awards, including 2 Emmy awards, 4 Bafta awards and a Jury prize at all the major international animation festivals. I'd previously only seen a few examples of Quinn's work. This mainly consisted of the short film "Britannia" and like many others, the "Charmin" adverts which are probably her most renowned and widely recognisable work to date. 

The talk showcased Quinn's extensive back catalogue of work, peppered with a few humorous anecdotes and ended with a short demonstration of her work process. After the talk the audience was invited to peruse a selection of her sketchbooks and stills from her films. Her sketchbook work was particularly inspiring and reminded me of one of my favourite Disney artists, Mark Mcdonnell.

The second talk I attended was given by Ben Bocquelet, a French-British animator, director, writer, producer and creator of Cartoon Network's "The Amazing World of Gumball". I'd seen a few episodes of "Gumball" prior to the talk, but struggled to engage with it as much as other new generation Cartoon Network shows such as "Steven Universe, Young Justice' and 'Over the Garden Wall" etc. Unlike those shows though "Gumball" is a mixture of traditional 2D animation, puppetry, photo-realistic CGI, stop motion, Flash animation and live action. The concept and execution of the show is really interesting from an animators point of view hence why I was keen to attend.

Interestingly, Boquelet began by talking about his first job out of University. It was in advertising and apparently didn't go particularly well. He recounted how he would pitch countless ideas/characters but to no avail. Further down the line at his new Cartoon Network job, Boquelet was eventually asked to pitch an idea for a new show. With an abundance of unused and leftover characters from his advertising days, Boquelet simply pitched a show which could incorporate the use of all of them. This would later grow to become the "The Amazing World of Gumball".

Towards the end of the talk the audience was treated to a special UK premier screening of an upcoming and un-aired "Gumball" episode called "The Fury". It featured fight scenes depicted in an anime style which were produced by Studio 4°C, a studio famous for producing numerous feature films, OVA's and shorts, my favourite being "Tekkon Kinkreet"and their work on the "Animatrix".  

Overall I had a great time at the event and only wish I could have gone to more of the talks/screenings that were being held. I'd like to thank Cardiff Animation Nights and all the speakers for putting on a great show. Hopefully we'll have more events like this to look forward to in the future.

Gem 'n' Huw Book Illustrations

A big bonus to my new job at Futurium is the varied amount of work that comes our way. It gives me the opportunity to try new things and really flex my artistic muscles. Recently I've worked on a series of children's books called Gem 'N' Huw. Below are a few illustrations I did for the books:

Emotional education is a hot topic since the release of  Pixar's 'Inside Out' as it did such a great job of explaining the complicated topic of emotions. The Gem 'N' Huw books are similarly designed to help educate children about their emotions in a fun and interactive way that can lead to a reduce in negative behavior, improve social skills and promote healthy relationships. To find out more about Gem 'N' Huw visit the Moodmwd website.

After Effects Logo Animation

I've wanted to try After Effects for a while now so I spent this weekend getting to grips with it. I decided to attempt a small logo animation that I'll use at the start of  individual animations and future showreels. I used a couple of really useful tutorials to do this which you can find here and here, if you want to check them out yourself. Below is the end result with the sound effects included.

New Job- Futurium

For nearly a month now I have been working as a CG Generalist at Futurium, a Bangor based technology, marketing and design agency. This new job is both a role and industry change for me as I have predominately worked as an animator in the games industry up to this point. As a generalist my day-to-day work is a lot more varied which is a breath of fresh air after working as an animator for three years. I'm also learning a lot of new skills so expect to see a few 3d modelling examples on here in the future. Overall I'm very happy with both the new job and the role change but that doesn't mean I've stopped animating. I'm currently planning a short film which I'm thinking of making using Unity and 3ds Max. More updates on that in the future.

Edge Magazine Studio Profile: Wales Interactive

Wales Interactive had a two page spread in Edge this month and I made it into one of the photos. I'm on the far left if you couldn't tell.

Modelling for Animation

As an animator I've been tasked to rig and skin many a character model. Now personally this isn't the most enjoyable task for me but it is very rewarding once you've finally finished a character and it deforms correctly. However the main thing I've learned from all this is just how important edge loop placement is. Incorrect placement can turn a one-day skinning task into a nightmare. A great resource to look at to avoid this is Brian Tindall's 'The art of Moving Points'. Its a free online resource thats invaluable for both animators, riggers and modellers alike. It covers correct bipedal deformation and articulation for the body and face, modelling for articulation and articulation theory. Follow the link above to check it out.