Sunday, 29 December 2013

Ogre Brothers


 Just a quick blog post on these chaps here,

 The Ogre Brothers




First designs


 Sketches & finals





Just a little personal project really but these guys were a lot of fun to do and I will definitely exploring them more in the near future!

I'll be doing another mega post before the year is out so expect that at some point in the next few days.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Signs of the zodiac

Last year I did some illustration work for a local independent magazine http://thatfakemagazine.com/ They wanted me to do all 12 signs of the zodiac but with a twist of me. It was a very fun assignment indeed!



You can still buy the issue here
http://fakemagazine.storenvy.com/collections/39350-all-products/products/757218-fake-006-myths-


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Inktober

Good day everybody!

Last month I took part in a fantastic drawing challenge set by the incredible Jake Parker.
The challenge was to do an ink drawing for everyday of October.
This was such a brilliant exercise for me as it really has helped me pushed my work even more and get used to drawing with ink and watercolour.

I have had an incredible response from people during the whole month and after a bunch of people asking, I decided to set up an Etsy store to sell the original drawings.

Here's a couple of my personal favourites 

 (Sold)

 (Sold)









Currently there are 19 drawings left as 2 have sold and also some sold privately before I even set up the store.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/StopmotionBen



If you could have a wee look on the store and maybe pass the link to for me, I would be so very grateful! 

I hope you are all well and have had a fabulous October!!!!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn already?

Good day to you!

How has it gotten to Autumn already?!?!?!? This year is going so ridiculously fast. Slow down will ya!!


A few bits and pieces to show in this update.

I did a fairly quick sculpt of a chap that I've been wanting to design for a while. I was going to draw him up but instead I decided to sculpt him. I think it probably took a tiny bit longer than drawing it  but not by that much and I think I will start doing more of these concept sculpts instead of drawing them.Although knowing me I'll probably end up doing both :)
I'm quite happy with how he turned out but I think next time I'd definitely push his expression a lot more.

 I'm just calling him "Cigar Guy" for the moment

Digital paint job

Turn around video

VIMEO link

SHAPE BEASTIES
I've been going over notes from the character design course I did last year. I'm revisiting some of the exercises and the first is shape and shape language. I did these wee beasties

Starting point

Finished beasties


I did these other monsters but forgot to take a screenshot of the shapes.


It's a very fun and rewarding exercise and highly advise people to have a go. Just draw some shapes and have some fun!!

PRINTS!!!!

I got quite a lovely response to these from everyone and I had a few requests for prints.
So I looked into it and set up a store over on Society 6 where you can now buy a few of these and many more.


Today (22nd September, midnight pacific time) is the last day that you can get free shipping
Using this link http://society6.com/stopmotionben/prints?promo=ca2e16

I think they do this promotion every now and then so I'll be sure to post on here it happens again :)

 

So that's it for the moment. I have to get back to work!! I hope everyone is well and being awesome!!!

Oh and here's a bonus doodle, a little test I did with some of the default brushes available in Photoshop cs6. They have some very nice textures to them.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Wayfarers


 Hello everybody!

I'm not going to post any puppet news just yet. I'll be finished up with that in just over a few weeks and will do a mega post when he's done.

But I will post about a little idea of mine that has been fermenting for a few months and now I'm finally starting to rough it out a bit more.. Well not so much as "Rough it out" but more "When I have a spare moment, I think about it for a minute"

Knowing me all of this will most likely change in a few months time.

'Wayfarers'


To cut it short, its a story about two brothers and their cat and they go on intergalactic adventures here and there. They meet various aliens on way some good and some bad... very bad.

All of this was spawned from this warm up sketch from a few months backs.
I only have a few bits of character development floating around in my head but that's it for the moment. I do know that I will probably be changing the bird and the snake for something a bit more weird and alien as they will pretty much be companions they've picked up along their other worldly adventures.


Oh, then there are these guys/things/meanies

The "Aylernuns"






I see these being like a pirate/bounty hunter kind of gang. They are lead by the three main meanies and the rest will be a crew of dimwits. I still need to work out the body shapes and keep in mind that they will hopefully become stop motion puppets ;)

The original sketches for those chaps 




That really is all I have so far. Hopefully this will be the first of many updates on this,
Until next time. Never give up, Never surrender!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Burnt fingers

Hello there! 

A lot has been going on recently and everything has been very hectic. Last week I made my first ball and socket armature so I thought I'd show a few behind the scenes photos and not really a tutorial but a bit of a ramble about it :)

So when I say "I made my first ball and socket armature" I kind of didn't make it all myself in that I used various pre made joints and soldered everything together. I dont have the equipment to make my own joints and why worry when there are some fantastic joints out there already for the taking, albeit a pricey taking in some respects.

The knee and elbow joints are from the amazing John Wright http://www.jwmm.co.uk/
John Wright's supplies Aardman with a lot of their joints and also a lot of other people in the UK and Europe. They are pricey but most definitely worth it as the quality is outstanding! He also gives you a length of steel rod for each joint making it even easier to put the parts of your armature together.

All the other joints and everything else for this armature is from a shop that just gets better and better all of the time and is definitely helping to make stop motion more accessible to everybody. The joints can be bought separately or as part of the fantastic armature kit 'Armacreature'
It's hard not to sound like a sales pitch but this is the best armature kit I have ever used and I have used a lot of them! http://www.animationtoolkit.co.uk/armacreature-professional-armature-kit/


With all of the rods, K & S and steel plates cut to size, it was time to get messy.


Most of the components

My dirty colourful soldering block

All of the parts soldered together They almost look like I've gone into the piercing business

Getting there!



Now, for the leg and arm sections I needed to solder a nut on to the ends so that I can slot hands & feet in and lock them of to stop them slipping out while the puppet is being move around or even while it holds its position. I drilled a whole through the K&S to the correct size then to keep the nut in place while soldering I just used some old screws to keep it weighed down and to also stop any rogue bits of silver solder getting into the thread of the nut.  A tiny 3mm grub screw is what pops inside when done and tightens up with a wee allen key.


As I'm fairly new to silver soldering I did find that I ended up charring most of the components but
 that's ok as a little bit of elbow grease some jewelers pickle and some sanding got all of the marks off. I also managed to mutilate myself with various burns and cuts and a good old poke in the eye but hey its not a proper job unless you injure yourself, right?

All the soldering done but very charred!

After all of the soldering was finished I needed to then grind down the joints as even though they are small they were not small enough. This was a tough job as I need to make sure they stay strong enough for the job. But with a bit of TLC and mini bench grinder, all went well.

And here he is all finished. He stands at just over 11" tall








Here is a video that i made for my client. It also shows the balsa sections I add so it makes the puppet easier to grab at when moving around.



I actually really, really enjoyed making this and can happily say it has been my favourite part so far of this puppet build. I cant wait to make another one!


I'm currently working on casting his body in silicone. Hopefully I'll have a spare few moments to document how that goes.
Anyway, back to work! I hope you are all doing great!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Big Old Mould

I gave myself the morning off on Saturday to have a little doodle an and play about with some animation.

I made this guy run!


Here's a link to my other vine videos, lots of silliness goes on there :D http://seenive.com/u/907625454071062528

And I also had some fun drawing up my own Joker






So, puppet wise, I've been making a huge mould!

I find the first half of mould making a bit stressful as its something I've taught myself how to do by studying pictures and videos of other peoples moulds. So I'm never really 100% confidant that all will go well.

I start with a big base of plasticine, or sometimes a water based clay,  for the sculpture to lie in.

I then carve away the basic shape so I don't have so much to build up around the sculpt.


I've seen behind the scenes pictures of the certain stop mo studios using what I believe to be locators for holding the armatures in place when casting. I wanted to give this a go as I think its great way to ensure your armature is placed precisely in the mould. I made mine out of super sculpy.


Closing the gaps around the sculpture

The finished half with all the trimmings

I use Coroplast, or Correx as its known over here in the UK, a corrugated plastic I use for the mould walls. It's great stuff as you can make a whole wall out of one strip.


I have used a Ali-Fastcast to make this mould as it is a very, very strong material compared to the usual Crystacal R plaster I use. Basically it's a prefilled fastcast resin that is filled with an aluminium filler to add extra strength to the mould. Very easy to work with.

Here is the first half done, its just needs a good few layers of mould release and new correx wall then the last pour.


Here is the finished mould. I needed to do a quick test cast to set my mind at ease that everything has worked ok. I made a very basic wire armature covered it in cloth tape and poured in some Dragon Skin FX pro.


The waiting game... Also note that this thing is bloody huuuge! I'm sure it weights the same as a small child! And also another note that the edges on it were ridiculously sharp. I have a few rather large gashes on my hands due to this. Nothing a good filing down didn't solve though!