What’s Next?

So… thats it. I am officially finished University. So whats next?

Well, something i don’t talk about too much on my blog is that i have a major heart condition. I had my last surgery when i was 11 and it has done me very well, but as the years go on it has declined and so at the end of this year i am having two surgeries.

My recovery time in 2004 was a few months, and it will be the same this time. Due to this fact, i don’t want to go out now and start working for a studio and when i’m a few months into it say “hey i’m away for a few months, bye!” i am always feeling tired and struggling to get work done, i don’t want to start my professional life this way. I would much rather wait and begin when i am at the best health i can be, and can produce the best work i can.

So for now, whats the plan? Sit around and wait? HELL NO.

I am an artist and illustrator at heart. It’s what i enjoy doing, and its probably what i am best at. Through the past few years i have gotten the odd commission to do paintings of peoples pets etc and sold some water colour illustrations also.  So i am turning this into a business.

The Crafty Cat

I want to do all things craft (paint, draw, design, tapestry etc) and so i wanted the word ‘craft’ in my business name somewhere. My name is Emma Catherine, and it was my close friend Mark Lisk who said “What about the crafty cat?” and i was sold. Being an animal lover as well, it was perfect.  I got straight to work designing a logo.

I knew straight away i wanted the logo to be a cat. Due to my dear love of water colour painting, i came up with this…

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I simply took a basic cat silhouette from google and then started playing around with splats of colour with my paints, I combined them and made this, and for once, i actually love it. It embodies everything about me and my designs. Colourful, playful, delicate and usually involving an animal.

For the font i knew i wanted something quite natural, but since my own handwriting is pretty rubbish, i found this for free on Dafont.com and i think its perfect. It is called ‘Jellyka- Estrya’s Handwriting‘.

Although ‘The Crafty Cat’ has not been announced to the public yet, everything has been set in motion. I have made a Facebook Page…

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And an Instagram Account…

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Although as you can see, both of these are empty as i don’t want to start uploading to them until i have announced the business and the pages are ‘live’ so to speak.

I have also ordered business cards, once these arrive i will officially be ready to roll…

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Even though this venture has barely begun, i am very excited and hopeful for the future. If it goes well i will eventually start an  Etsy store too.

Contacting Industry Professionals

As part of the module we were to make contact with industry professionals, i contacted many people. 3 have gotten back to me. They are…

Jonathan Temples

A Freelance Studio owner based in Belfast with over 20 years in graphic design, Illustration, animation, storyboarding and branding.

Martin Kenny

An experienced freelance graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist.

 

Shaun Absher

A sculptor and modeller for Disney, having worked on films such as ‘Frozen‘, ‘Big Hero 6‘ and ‘Moana‘.

Each of these lovely guys have gotten back to me and received their unique questions. As of yet i have not received the answered questions, but they will be posted as soon as i receive them.

Since i am without questions thus far i have linked below, two interviews i did last semester with women who work in the industry, discussing sexism and inequality with the industry. These women are…

Joanna Romersa

A graphic and digital artist who is employed by Walt Disney Television Studios. She has gained notoriety for her efforts as an animator and animation director for various movies and television series such as ‘Lady & the Tramp‘ and ‘A Pup Named Scooby Doo‘.

Rachel Creaner

Graduated from Ulster University in 2016. Now an Assistant Art Director at ‘Paper Owl Films’

Joanna Romersa Interview

Rachel Creaner Interview

Business Cards

With my Business Card design i didn’t want to go to ‘artsy’ as i wanted them to remain profesional and to the point.

I went for a simple white background with black paint splat design. I wanted to add a feminine touch, and as mentioned in  a previous post, i really like the ‘rose gold/copper’ look at the moment. So i decided to go with that. I simply made a copper boarder and placed the necessary information within it. I ordered them so that the copper font would appear metallic in it’s finish

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Looking at them now, i do wish i had with something a little more creative, but still keeping it plain, but these can always be redesigned at a later date.

Curriculum Vitae

As part of the module, we needed to make a new CV,  this is something i’ve never been particularly good at. But after seeing Greg’s presentation, it gave me more of an idea of how i wanted i to create it.

I didn’t want it to be a plain written word document like most CV’s, we are going into a creative industry, but i also didn’t want to make it overly creative and colourful, thus taking away from the professionalism. This is what i came up with…

EmmaMcCormickCV

 

The Look

I wanted to keep it crisp and clean without adding in to many ‘mad’ colours. I decided to go with a simple white and grey. I am very into the ‘rose gold’, ‘copper’ look at the moment, and even incorporated it into my business cards. So i decided to bring it into my CV also.

I made four columns, Bio, Education, Employment and Skills.

Bio

With my bio i wanted to keep it short and sweet. I basically used an edited down version of the bio i had written for the Website.

Education 

Education was another thing i wanted to keep short and sweet, i only mentioned education that applied to the career i want to pursue, thus only mentioning this like art and design etc. I also only went as far back as A Levels.

Employment

Although my employment within the industry is limited, i do have experience that was very successful, so i wanted to highlight that so that employers see that i’m more than just a recent graduate. I do have experience.

Skills

With skills i just wanted to mention certain skills and personality traits that make me an ideal person to work within the industry. I didn’t want to go into to much detail, but just enough for the reader to understand why these skills are beneficial.

Software

Rather than make the generic list of Softwares have experience using, i decided to put them on the side of my CV in a star based system.

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I personally feel that mentioning that i can used basic softwares such as MS Word is redundant, instead i have only mentioned Softwares that a studio would want to know i have experience in, i have used a star system to mark how experienced i am within using each of them. I have tried to be pretty honest with my reviewing of my own skills.

I wanted to include a photo of myself in the CV as it makes it more personal, and i personally think its nice when going for an interview and having an idea of what a person looks like.  I also added basic contact details such as my phone number and website. I downloaded basic logo’s in vector image form, and made them the same ‘copper/rose gold’ look. I feel that it all ties in well.

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Building a Website

When it came to building my website i decided to go with Squarespace, for the simple reason that they had a basic theme i liked, and it was cheaper to buy a domain name i liked with them.

I ended up becoming…   emccdesign.net

I wanted to go with a very plain theme, as i knew my portfolio would be full of colour, and didn’t want to take away from that. When you first go onto my site it opens directly on my Portfolio as you can see in the Screenshot below…

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My Portfolio is categorised into folders such as ‘Renders’, ‘Character Design’, ‘Watercolour Work’ etc. This is makes it easier for anyone who wants to browse my work, but specifically one part of it.

Once a folder within the portfolio is clicked into, it will display them  in a scrolling system, as can be seen below…

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What i found most difficult about my website was writing my Bio. I am not a good writer, especially when having to talk about myself, but i did my best. I also inserted the same image of myself that has been used in my CV.

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The next page of my site is my CV. Writing a CV is not something ive ever been the best at, but after one of the talks we had with Greg, i had a fair idea of how i wanted to display it. I will discuss it further in the next blog post.

To Display my CV, i simply placed a jpeg image of it to take up most of the page, then at the right hand side i placed 3 buttons, so that the viewer can download my CV in either PSD, PDF or Word Doc format.

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The last two pages of my site are my ‘Showreel’ and my ‘Contact’ page. Which is pretty self explanatory. One simple has my video of my Showreel for the viewer to watch, and the other has a contact form to fill out along with my contact information.  This can be seen below…

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Animating Hank

YES… I, EMMA, AM ANIMATING!

When deadlines are 3 days away and there is still a small amount of shots to have animation fixes, there is no other option but to let the girl who can’t animate, get stuck in too.

Since first year, i have known i am not animator. I do not have the skill, patience or acting ability. My strengths lie within things like Concept art, character design, modelling and texturing.  In fact, other than making a camera move, i don’t think i have done any 3D animation since 2nd year. But nonetheless, duties call.

Luckily, my group also know and understand that animation is not one of my strengths. So Niamh sent me a basic walk cycle of Hank walking towards a tennis ball. My task was to give his face some emotion and expression. So that is what i have attempted to do.

In this piece of animation we wanted Hank to be moving so slowly that he actually looks down at his foot to watch as it lifts and drops back to the ground, and i feel that i managed to make him glance down and slowly move his head to the foot and back up to his natural pose quite successfully. (as successfully as a basic movement by a novice can be anyway) However, after this is where i struggled.

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Once he goes back to his natural pose, i wanted to show his expression change to explain that he has noticed the ball. I made his eyelids lift extremely wide, this gave the impression that his eyes actually enlarged. His mouth then slowly opens in a comical manner. I think this is…ok. But its the best i could achieve.

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Where i really struggled, came next. I wanted to show Hank look at the camera, and have his eyes quickly dart back and forth to the ball, to give the audience an idea of what he wants to do. However, my issue here was that because our turtle is in fact a turtle, thus PAINFULLY slow.  Do you animate the eyes moving as slow as his body moves? or animate them as normal?  Even when i animated it both ways, neither looked right to me.

 

After this part of the walk cycle it was back to basic walking, so i simply added it a few mouth movements and blinks. I also gave a slight rotation to the shell as his feet lift and drop. I am not happy with my animation, but i know its the best i can do under my time limit and limited practice.

Hank Walking

End Credits

We have discussed for a while that we want our end credits to tie in with our Movie Poster. The movie poster can be seen below…

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We aim to have this same white background in our end credits, the text will roll down the screen whilst Hank is moving about the screen dancing, trying to get a bone etc. We have took inspiration from the end credits of (one of my all time favourite shows) Bobs Burgers.

Bobs Burgers “Boyz 4 Life” End Credits

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Although we have not made our end credits yet, i took some rendered images that Shelley made and used them to create a false end credits image, so that we could see what it looked like, and understand the look we want to achieve.

Look 1.  This was my original idea, i liked the idea of the credits running down the centre of the screen as credits traditionally do. Whilst Hank appears from both sides of the a screen doing different things, such as fetching a bone etc.

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Look 2. This looks inspiration was directly pulled from ‘Bobs Burgers’ as can be seen in the beginning of this post.  The image (or piece of animation) is to the left of the screen, whilst the credits roll down the right hand side.

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Look 3. After showing the first two looks to Shelley and Niamh, they suggested that it may look nicer to move the text to the left, and have Hank come slowly creeping onto the screen from the right. A few weeks ago when we first got our Hank rig, Shelley decided to make a comical small piece of animation with Hank dancing, we are considering fixing up this piece of animation and having it play whilst the credits roll.

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I enjoy each of these credit ideas and am pleased that we have kept with a clean and simple idea. I feel it reflects Hanks intentions and the simplicity of our story.