Friday, 1 June 2012

New Showreel

This is my Showreel 2011/12. Starts exactly like the old one, but then has a lot of new stuff.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Weird title but it makes sense... trust me.

I wrote a JavaScript for AfterEffects that basically uses After Effects awesome Audio to Keyframe function and converts the resulting Audio Amplitude Null to a Maya ASCII file. So basically: If you ever wanted to have some audio reactive animation in Maya, this is for YOU.

I made a quick tutorial (click here to watch HD version)

It's pretty straightforward and easy to use. Apart from writing and setting up the scene file the script doesn't do anything in Maya. It's up to the user to use the given data. The most obvious use would be to assign the channels to an objects scale. But there's definitely more use than that.

KNOWN BUG: The script stops after the import, when used for the first time after launching After Effects.
EASY SOLUTION: run the script again and it works fine.
(I can't work out where this is coming from. PLEASE, if anybody knows javascript and knows what's happening there, let me know. It's annoying the S*** outta me!)

Tips: The Normalize and Smooth Keyframe options work fine but there really just gimmicks.

Normalize Keyframes means that the values on the keyframes are remapped to range 0 to 1.
That you can easily do in Maya with a remap value node.

Smooth Keyframes does what it says. Instead of having a sharp Keyframe on every frame. It puts smooth interpolated keyframes every other frame. The result is less erratic (soo...smooth!).
BUT: if you set the frame rate to something like 24/ 25fps you'll run the danger of, literally, missing a beat. So I'd recommend to use a high frame rate (60fps is the highest allowed by Maya).
Generally, the higher the frame rate the more information (keyframes) you get. So if there's no real reason to use anything less than 50fps, just don't do it.

Where to download:
Either follow the link to my site:

or... (right-click: Save link as...)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hello Again

I haven't done this in a while... But in case someone is still interested in reading my blog this is what happened since I left uni...

I started working at Spider Eye in St.Just, Cornwall. I initially got a job as compositor, but then got into the lighting and rendering department. For most of the time I worked on Jungle Junction. A kids TV show for Disney Playhouse. I had to learn LightWave, a funny(= weird) program. I also got into JavaScript (for After Effects) and Python (for everything else). I'll probably got some things to show for that soon as well.

I also got to meet Matt Walsh, a compositor and colorist located in Penryn. I got to shadow him for a few weekends as part of a mentor scheme from UCP (Unlocking Cornish Potential). He was grading some films while I was there and I learned a lot about the process of grading and to try it myself, I entered the MishMash competition form gettyimages.

You could download up to 70 clips and 5 sound tracks from gettyimages and create a short film.
I'm a big baseball fan (RED SOX, baby!), so I went with a short story of a young player taking the plate and what goes on in his head.

I first downloaded about 80 preview clips (480x360) and a sound clip and edited the first draft in Premier. After deciding on what clips I'd actually really need I downloaded the high quality ones (only 50) and reedited them to the sound. Then color graded everything in After Effects.
After Effects simply because Nuke won't take QuickTime movies and I couldn't be asked to convert everything to images sequences. However I had to convert some of the clips to de-noise them in Nuke.

The clips are clearly from all sorts of different sources and to make them look coherent was the most challenging part. I had two weeks (after work and one weekend!) and I'm alright with the outcome. I definitely want to do more things like that.

Here it is...

Feel free to vote!