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What's in a Nom?
13 May 2013
Those of you who are remotely interested in the ins, outs and quite possibly back-in-agains of academia may have witnessed Alex and me swimming against a tide of paperwork, even higher than normal, over the past few weeks. The reason for this was that we were re-writing the Animation and New Media foundation degrees with a view to getting them validated by University of Salford. Well, last week, wearing my best bib’n’tucker and even clean shaven in deference to the occasion, I attended the validation meeting with some top bods from the University of Salford and I’m pleased to say that [subject to a few minor tweaks to the paperwork] they’ve agreed to validate the new course.... [ Read More ]
Bundle of Joy [Reprise]
17 Apr 2013
I’ve written in a previous post about macHeist and their software bundles, so I won’t bore you with all the background info again. If you’re interested, read the previous post Suffice to say that the current nanoBundle 3, available for a [yankee] tenner might be of interest to some of you stop-frame animator types, as it includes iStopMotion [usually $50]. Also of interest in said bundle are xScope [which is a handy tool for creators of in-screen graphics] and Path Finder [which is like Apple’s Finder, with most of the annoying crapness removed].... [ Read More ]
IOS Prototyping Prerequisites
15 Mar 2013
For the delight and delectation of those who attended Part 01 of my sessions on iOS Prototyping yesterday –part two at the same time next week!– here is a summary of the bits’n’bobs you’ll need set up, if you want to ‘try this at home’. Adobe Fireworks As this is part of the Creative Suite, you should have this already –provided you’ve stolen bought the rest of suite.... [ Read More ]
Oscars Schmoscars
27 Feb 2013
Fresh from suffering a twat-ful of overpaid Hollywood superstars crying into their onion-filled hankies at the weekend, the world of showbiz was again rocked to its very foundations yesterday, as the who’s who [or should that be who?… who?..] of animation gathered in The Manchester College’s infamous Room 222 for the inaugural Golden Doll Awards. From the outset, controversy was in the air, as plucky South African cheerleader Zack Esterhuizen led a people’s revolt, clamouring for the awards to be renamed the stíobharts, in honour of the world’s greatest living half-wit.... [ Read More ]
Not Mud-Plugging
22 Feb 2013
Yesterday, I dragged the first years screaming and kicking off the computers and nailed their chairs to the floor around the gadget free break-out tables in the middle of the room. Said tables I then piled high with packets of air-drying clay, tubs of PVA adhesive, armature wire, chicken wire and ModRoc and told them it was time they started making something, instead of spending yet another day helping demolish the EU Pritt Stick mountain by gluing “research” into their sketchbooks.... [ Read More ]
Character Design for Brands
13 Feb 2013
Here’s an article from Computer Arts about designing characters to represent brands. Might be of interest to you first years, in light of your current brief... [ Read More ]
Lesson Ideas: Mad Men
10 Feb 2013
For want of anything more interesting to waffle about, I thought I might write up, every now and then, some of the lesson ideas which come to me under the influence of opium pipes and pints of industrial drain cleaner –and which I then inflict upon my long-suffering students. Today, I present Mad Men. Named after the US series which my missus watches and which, from what I can see through an occasional glance over her shoulder, seems to be a show about chain smoking –the Mad Men lesson is an exercise in Creative Thinking under pressure.... [ Read More ]
Shameless Pluggage.
02 Jan 2013
Hey you! -yes, you over there with the stupid face! Isn’t it about time you did something constructive with your life, instead of sitting there, picking your nose and writing “LOL” and “ROFL” on FacePuke all day? Well now, thanks to the miraculous properties of the scroodl challenge, you can! The scroodl challenge involves committing yourself to doing some kind of a doodle and uploading it to the scroodl website, every day for a whole year.... [ Read More ]
Creating an Apple Keyboard Mapping for Debian
01 Jan 2013
old Apple keyboard Old macs never die…. at least in my house where, when they get a bit too long in the tooth to handle the latest versions of OSX, I usually install Debian linux on them [often sans GUI], as that’s what I run on my webservers, so it’s nice to have a Debian box or three lying round the house, so I can practice my l33t *nix skills, without breaking the internet.... [ Read More ]
Scroodl Post-Mortem
29 Dec 2012
Tonight I am smugly basking in the afterglow of my completion of the scroodl challenge. This time a [leap] year ago, disgusted with my terminal indolence when it came to actually producing artwork and presumably under the influence of what remained of my Christmas booze stash, I resolved that I would make a slightly premature New Year Resolution. I vowed to do some drawing every day for a whole year.... [ Read More ]
Stumpy McDunce Writes...
11 Dec 2012
Every now and then I come across an artist’s website which makes me want to burn all my drawing implements, cut both my hands off and fashion for myself the biggest dunce cap in the world, from all my remaining sketchbook paper –all the while whilst kicking my arse to Putney bridge and back, for being the lazy, feckless twonk that I am. Here is one such site, that I came across, only t’other day.... [ Read More ]
Pinterest —It's Not Just for Shoes!
20 Oct 2012
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll have heard of Pinterest, latest ‘flavour of the month’ in the unending avalanche of new social networking sites hoping to cash in on the success of FacePuke et al. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to gather together collections of images and videos from around the intarwebs and ‘pin’ them onto ‘pinboards’ for future reference.... [ Read More ]
Bundle of Joy?
20 Oct 2012
Well folks, it’s that time of year again when the good folks at MacHeist start their annual bombardment of my in-tray with news of this year’s ‘bundle’. For those of you unfamiliar with MacHeist, it’s pretty much a bulk purchase scheme, whereby the kind of people who like paying for software [I’ve heard such creatures exist!] can buy a ‘bundle’ of mac apps for a ridiculously low price. MacHeist has been on the go for years.... [ Read More ]
Heffalump Overload
10 Oct 2012
Yesterday I introduced my animation students to the ‘wunnerful world’ of Edweard Muybridge and asked them to do some tracings from some of his photo-sets, with a view to eventually photographing them on the rostrum and making them animate. Given the nature of the technique and the fact that the Muybridge material is so old, I have coined the following term to describe this form of animation: Retro-scoping Do you see what I did there?... [ Read More ]
I Wanna Destroy!
02 Oct 2012
We did the Destroy Project today with our first years, which basically involves taking photo portraits of yourself and “destroying” them in artistically creative ways [idea shamelessly lifted from the photographer Rankin]. As ever, whenever possible I like to play too, so here are the three efforts I managed to produce, in between running the entire college, practically single-handedly. The astute viewer will notice the depth of the artist’s vision as, with scalpel-like precision he shines the light of enquiry into the darkest recesses of contemporary society, exposing to the glare of self-appraisal the morés and foibles of the twin worlds of fashion and commerce.... [ Read More ]
A Final Scroodl Roundup
22 Sep 2012
Given that I have a terminal inability to draw hands [or feet], I thought it was about time I bit the bullet and actually tried to scribble a few paws, for my scroodl challenge. Yes, even I can be haunted by the disembodied voice of Alex, in my head, telling me to get out of my comfort zone! So, here are a few attempts I’ve made recently. Not great but, given that I am the undisputed ‘King of Crap Hands’, I’m relatively pleased with them.... [ Read More ]
Scroodl Roundup the Ireland Collection
22 Sep 2012
Some more scroodls. These ones are from August, when I was back in Ireland for a bit. ... [ Read More ]
YA Scroodl Roundup –Part One
22 Sep 2012
As is my wont, I’ve been neglecting this blog again, over the summer. I was going to post a roundup of all the doodles I’d done since the last update in my scroodl challenge [trying to upload a doodle a day for an entire year], on which I’ve now got under 100 days to go. But I’ve left it for far too long and reposting all the crap in a mighty roundup would take longer than the life-expectancy of the known universe.... [ Read More ]
The Biggest Scroodl Roundup in All of Christendom
18 Jul 2012
”..Bleedin ‘eck, Guv’nor –you’ve sure neglected to do this for a luvvaduck long while, an’ no bleedin’ mistake!…” OK, my lovelies. Fasten your seatbelts and sit back. Here goes the first part of what will likely turn out to be a bit of an avalanche of scroodl-catching-up. This covers the period from 8th - 17th May. Remember to keep your dangling appendages inside the carriage, at all times. ———... [ Read More ]
App Store Chore
04 Jul 2012
Ever since I was a young man… er… well, for about the past two or three years anyway, I’ve wanted to teach myself the mystical arts of iOS programming. That is, programming for the iPhone and iPad. If, in more civilised times, it was thought that everyone ‘had a book inside them’, then surely the equivalent de nous jours is to believe that everyone has an app inside them. I know I do.... [ Read More ]
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