Tuesday, 11 October 2011

This box is labelled...

 ...'old junk'.
I've moved! Normally I'd try and keep this blog going but I'm looking for a clean break. The new equivalent blog is:
http://matthew-wood-vfx.blogspot.com/ (I had some paint left over from this one)
Still development but more focused on visual effects. Who knows, maybe I'll post Motion Graphic work to this blog in the future, but for now it's gonna be dead around here. Here's a copy and past job from my 'animation' blog that will let you know where to find me if you've only even known about this here development blog.

Online presence review:
The site that's on my business card: www.matthewood.co.uk 
That's 'Matthew' and 'Wood' with some frugal overlap - unfortunately the internet saw me cutting corners and has justly punished me by forcing me to include the three 'w's for 'world', 'wide' and 'web' if I type it into and address bar. This is the least piggish of my internet presence piggy backing since I have my own URL, however I did it through google sites so I can't actually do much more than bully the design wizard until it cries and develops a twitch, by which I mean: lets me upload a header.
Blogs that site links to:

A new blog dedicated to Visual Effects (of the digital variety) as well as including any and all work I do in my third year at university.
A blog that will likely suffer from neglect and may well be stapled onto the end of the VFX blog (so thats 'neglect' and abuse really)
 It's a little be more yellow than all the others, its called 'animation' but really it's full of pretty poor sketches and stuff (but you know that, you're sitting right on it)
The website site also links to my vimeo profile
So I'm spreading myself a little too thin and intend to try and include some sort of  blog aggregation (even though I'm sure your blog aggregator is doing a fine job of feeding you bits and pieces as they float to the surface). I'll go and see if google sites can handle that.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sunshine, Rain and Spring Coming Again.

...But I don't have it in me.....Confidence  that is.
....at least not when I’m presenting to a room full of people, apparently. As a result of nerves (or whatever the hell happened to me) I skipped a large portion of a recent presentation (thankfully it was mostly the jokes) so I’ll be uploading a bit here (minus the jokes) and in a future post explore how I can improve my presentation style.

‘i c (cockney text talk*)

After exploring what Realflow had to offer, by way of particle effects and simulations, I then moved to Maya to try and get some realistic movement. Mostly because I was more familiar and had dabbled in the dynamic liquid simulations on a previous project .
The best results were seen by using dynamic simulation mixed with key framing (and by 'best' i mean....

Maya - Boatimation Tests from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.
....) [that may be my very first parenthesised video]

Man fall down. Funny.

The second piece I missed was more experimentation of the dynamic variety. This time on my RCUK project.
The software Endorphin is used for dynamically driving collisions (and other things).
I had intend to use it for bridging the gap between animation and...the floor.
The simulation went well and mostly as anticipated (with a bit of effort)...

Carl End-Orff-in Dynamics from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.
... applying this proved difficult, so I’m sticking with traditional 3d animation (as traditional as 3D ever gets). Hoping to be able to use it for some visual effects work, I already have too many ideas.

I did have a much longer video charting the failure of the Endorphin/3D character but 6 minutes of self-indulgent editing of different dramatic angles from the exact same scene seemed a bit much (even with Carl Orff's 'phat beatz' behind it).

Lessons have been learnt, expect a post detailing them.


*[tip: they drop their ‘h’s and ‘c’ is phonetically the same a ‘sea’] 

p.s - the lesson from this post is:
I like ending videos with musical blank screens. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

New World

The latest iteration of my BBC Natural World title sequence.

Natural World Titles 02 - Refined from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.

The animals are absent as there’s just not enough time to do them justice without rushing through the piece, and the titles of late have taken a more stylised approach; focusing on the wonder and importance of the small narratives that make up our natural world – a single drop of water or dandelion seeds in the wind.

Changes to be made:
  • Have the text emerging from the depths (as if discovered) rather than fading in. Adding a sense of depth by including ‘bubble’ elements in the foreground.
  • Better colour for the earth.

  • The initial entrance into the drop, well timed and weighted with a nice effect.
  • Overall duration; short and sweet.

Bit of 'Web Presence' maintenance to conclude with.
If you're looking for a prettier url to point people too them www.matthewood.co.uk is now in a more presentable state. That's 'Matthew' and 'Wood' sharing the same 'w' (just like in my logo!...is the excuse I give because matthewwood and any variation thereof is already taken). I also am now in possession of 250 business cards (mine), if you'd like one then arrange for us to do business, business cards are for business (as well as being 'The business').


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Au Naturel…World

My initial concept for the BBC’s Natural World titles.
A CG water droplet reflecting and refracting the earth makes its way to the ground. We travel into the heart of the drop (the earth) to discover the animals of the natural world.

Natural World Initial Concept Test from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.
(must say - looks much better in HD - click the link above if you have the time)

Rough and ready and all too fast but the concept works.

I like the immediate juxtaposition and change in scale from the usual ‘epic space shot of planet earth’ to the humble, yet essential, drop of water.
If given the go ahead I will likely suggest either lengthen the piece and creating a more abstracting interior for the drop (less of an underwater feel) or cutting the move into the water completely – simply reflecting the myriad of animals in the drop (falling in slow motion), showing that they are inside and part of the world. I would also like to enhance the final reveal of the titles, either a more interesting angle or have the water expose the text.
All of which would streamline the piece and give it more consistency.

Stay posted for more posting of posts.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

RCUK Animation update

Well I've won my first paid commission. An animation for The Resuscitation Council UK to help identify the signs of cardiac arrest.
clickety for the project site.

Here's a clip from the pitch, the actual collapse will be more effective; staying with the sufferer as she falls backward, feeling the impact with her.

RCUK Fall from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.

It's a 3ds Max (I never know what to capitalize when I'm writing that; '3DS Max' I guess would be correct - 'aint pretty though) version of a playblast ... 'make preview' I believe, not quite as catchy. Keep watching my RCUK animation blog for updates. I intend to have a video gallery there soon but there's been some complications, incidentally anyone trying to reach me on my talktalk.net mail...can't, there's a fault so I'm waiting to get access to activation e-mails.

Looking forward to getting a full quality render on this sucker in the near future.

....tee he he, 'limp and heavy'.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Title Sequences

A wonderful opportunity has presented itself. In preparation I made this (it's looped so remember to pause it and get on with your life):

Explosive Particles from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.
Bet you can't guess which British based broadcasting company it's for.

It was a wild stab in the dark (I hear tell that's a very painful place to get stabbed) since all I was going on was 'motion graphics' 'title sequence'. I wanted to simulate realistic lens effects with the particles blowing out (in both senses), almost there.Composed to allow for credits to roll on while stuff got 'sploded on the other side. Mostly just a test of my computer's ability to compute. It does not like particles and advanced blurring effects, whiny piece of junk!
It was slow for the after effects files, but it's completely crashing with the things I'm trying to get it to do in 3DS Max. Possible posts on that to come...though they relate more closely to the RCUK animation project I'm working on, so check there first. Is anyone else beginning to think this multiple blog thing is getting tricky to track? Especially since I'm considering setting up another for this latest project. I may try to create an aggregating blog, a Matthew Wood Mega Store of a blog, to solve this problem, half price on everything that guarantees the death of local businesses! (that's right, I got political on yo ass).

I have a sign off on my 'main' blog...seems rude not to have a definitive conclusion. Maybe I'll just embrace it and stop half way though my

Friday, 11 March 2011

Found Footage Folly

I little test of a concept I’ve had in my head for a while; a sort of temporal Penrose staircase and I was going to apply it to wide landscapes but having found this I couldn’t resist testing the idea.

Grid Concept Test from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.

Would benefit from a little choreography on my part and if I was shooting it myself I’d have fewer people. There needs to be an obvious ‘she walked over it but he didn’t!’ and on a technical note I should have stabilised the footage... pretty apparent how far this could be taken. 
Wish list: a green screen studio with treadmills and stairs. My mind is ablaze with potential, I might actually have to do some 2D animation to irrigate my singed synapses.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Can you tell what it is yet?

Childishly excited by the fruits of this evenings modelling/texturing. So much so that I’m posting prematurely (it's never happened to me before, I swear). One is a object from the past with this clue:
Give me food and I will live; give me water and I will die.
the riddle answer is only indirectly linked to the object, no fun if it's easy.

And the other one is obvious so I won’t be thinking up a riddle.

Dark to hide the fact that it was modelled to American standards, i.e evil mirror twin.

I have two distinct intentions, the first object will be used in a surreal manner and rely on good compositing to sell it, the second will be invisible until it reveals it’s outlandish properties.

Have fun with those, post a comment if you know the answer, there'll be a cash prize at the value of your immortal soul multiplied by the amount effort in solving the riddle

(soul measured by old testament standards ... and subject to interpretation)

Monday, 21 February 2011

Aztechnocracy State

Reading up on the Aztecs, more specifically their demise.
Worked it in to my first DEVELOPMENT:
Familiarise myself with all 3D packages – package the first – 3D Studio Max

Aztec Motion Graphic (Aztext!) from Matthew Wood on Vimeo.

Not quite fast enough with the text pushing through but I didn’t want to lose any of my 12-seconds-to-render-frames ((Aztec) god(s) help me when I need to edit frames that took hours to render!). And sorry I didn’t fade the music (which I got here – no copyright infringement intended, will immediately allow you to press the mute button if you contest ownership rights). Would have been nice to have a textured matte for the patterns crawling across the screen - just some notes I’m giving past me.

My brother is a champion of the oppressed, past tents. So he’s been reading up on indigenous peoples to be better informed for his next confrontation with an oppressive nation of the past.
He has a lot to say about oppression and discrimination. I don’t.

What do I have to say? A working – lower middle class white male, politically disenchanted. I feel as if I have no cultural grievances to highlight, my ‘voice’ lacks a history, it even lacks a personal history, no life lived is without its own tale but does my perspective contribute something new or worthwhile?
The answer is yes. I have overcome debilitating illness, I believe myself to have a good understanding of what it is to be human, I have my grievances to highlight, my loves to share, my own warped lens to cast over ....digital visual effects! I plan on honing (developing if you will) my skill in CG - live action integration and compositing, in the process I will try to find my voice.
An interesting note on Aztec slavery:
[One] method for a slave to recover liberty was described by Manuel Orozco y Berra in La civilizaciĆ³n azteca (1860): if, at the marketplace a slave could escape the vigilance of their master, run outside the walls of the market and step on a piece of human excrement, and then present their case to the judges, who would grant freedom. They would then be washed, provided with new clothes not owned by the master, and declared free. Because a person who was not a relative of the master could be declared a slave for trying to prevent a slave's escape, people typically would not help the master prevent the slave's escape.

‘washed’ because presumably they needed to preserve evidence for the trial. I found no such laws in the legislation of slaves in Britain, though I did find one case of Irish people being taken as slaves to Africa so my knowledge of slavery is not as well informed as I had thought...which was 'not very' in the first place.

Lifted from Wikipedia:
On 20 June 1631, in an event known as the Sack of Baltimore, the village of Baltimore in County Cork, Ireland was attacked by Algerian pirates from the North African Barbary Coast. The pirates killed two villagers and captured almost the whole population of over 100 people, who were put in irons and taken to a life of slavery in North Africa.

Guilt. That is to be my focus for now. I feel personal guilt very acutely, it burns my stomach and presses on my head, that’s why I hardly ever do anything wrong – I’m just not built for it (what is ‘wrong’? – ‘wrong’ is a discussion for another day) I don’t feel guilty for the slavery of people, because I had no part to play in slavery. I reap the benefits, as do many African Americans, as do every nation in the world; we build upon the foundations of our for-bearers, hopefully making progress - 'cept we're not on foundation any more...we're more like those Spanish houses with flat roofs so that you can build another floor when you get that big bonus (in this metaphor I think facebook will be our bonus and digitisation will be our bricks and mortar (people are going to be able to see in!)). But I do feel guilty for contemporary events not directly affected by me, probably because I could potentially contribute.

I’m going to abruptly cur(l) my tail there for because this is now more than a good A4’s worth of text I reckon. I may amend this post in the future once I have thought more on the subject, which, for those of you who weren’t paying attention, was:

‘you gotta step in shit to be free’