Wednesday, 19 December 2007

New Lip Synch - Matthew Perry (redone + original version)

And here's another version, following the discussion Tim, Wes and I had about a more realistic and slightly less cartoony style. Working through what's basically one pose in the whole animation.

Well, I've worked on a new direction here, trying a close up piece of animation. I threw in the table here for a bit of prop interaction, which really helped me get used to IK / FK blending on the model after some weird experiences. Most of the poses I used in the other piece are in here, but have been refined more, and as Tim pointed out I've tried to distill the acting more. I found watching a few episodes of the IT Crowd on E4 really helped me out as Moss (richard Ayoade) is quite deliberate as a character actor in his poses too. Some of what are though were key poses are I've now realised are simply inbetweens, anyhow I hope you can see an improvement!

So here's the original piece of Lip Synch I did, with Matthew Perry from friends. Tried to work on the acting and movement again on this. Looking back on it though it loodks way to flat, and the poses are crap, so it goes t5o show plan your poses in your head.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Latest Reel

Right here's my latest reel then courtesy of Youtube! A bit of tweaking still to do on some of these pieces but it's my overall idea, gonna do one more piece before I go orund town next Week!

Reel Breakdown

1 Relationships - Acting piece, all animation by Nick Hanks using dialogue from Steve Carell and Max Rig from Highend 3D
2 Hummingbird - All animation and rigging by Nick Hanks
3 Monkey Magic - excerpt from film 'Soupcon', all animation, modelling, filming, compositing and scripting by Nick Hanks
4 Wolf Run - All animation by Nick Hanks - wolf rig by Drew Vaughan
5 Cheetah - Drawn Animation by Nick Hanks
6 Kids About - Excerpt from film 'Soupcon', all animation, modelling, filming, compositing and scripting by Nick Hanks
7 Ball Lift - All animation by Nick Hanks using Alfred Rig from Highend3D
8 Walks - All animation by Nick Hanks using Alfred Rig from Highend3D
9 Sugar - Lip Synch and animation by Nick Hanks using Alfred Rig from Highend3D
10 Fish - All animation and rigging by Nick Hanks
11 My Old Man - Excerpt from film 'Soupcon', all animation, modelling, filming, compositing and scripting by Nick Hanks

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

New Acting Piece - Steve Carell

Right folks, thanks for all the comments. Used a lot of weighting on the tangents in graph editor this time round. I've also decided to switch to Youtube as quite frankly so many people are having issues with Vimeo playback right now. Really tried to texture this (cheers Tim), so that the intro is slow, the blah blah's are harsh movement wise, and the what are you talking about is somewhere in between, trying to show changes in pace and power, and to Mariano for helping out with Lip Synch pointers et al.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

New Showreel 15th November 2007


New showreel taking on baord everyone's advice about shortening it. Couple more animation pieces I want to do before I start hawking my work around town again!

Showreel November 15th 2007 from Spangles on Vimeo.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

New project - Kingfisher / Hummingbird

Amendment 21st November

Right animated the kingfisher with a new rig system after speaking to the guys at LAS last week. Now the main control is between the wings at the top of the spine.

Again, going on Neil and David's recommendations I'm now going for a more realistic style of motion. It's been hard animating after a month off temping, and I've found that using the footage as reference rather than rotoscoping (as which happened for the second half of the film) has made me think about what's going on a lot more.

Anyhow here's my first attempt at moving the rig:-

Kingfisher from Spangles on Vimeo.

So I've rigged up this kingfisher to play around with, it could be hummingbird too, I guess, but I'm going to sit down through some motion footage to decide what to do with it.Anyhow here's the rig:-

Showreel via Youtube Post

Hi folks, seeing as Flash was having a few issues with some peoples browsers I've added the show reel as a Youtube link.



Monday, 22 October 2007

Ball lift 3D view

Right here's a cool thing. on Vimeo has used one of my animations within a 3D video environment! I think this looks really smart, and a clever piece of kit. Anyhow take a look here, it's a bit like playing where's Wally, but with Alfred instead! Just use the mouse clicking on screen to move the camera around. 3D video link

Friday, 12 October 2007

BBC Reference Footage Wolf Run

Hi, been working on a new wolf run trying to use some reference material from the BBC Motion Gallery, an amazing site that is FREE too for all you animators out there!

Latest wolf run, with more extension on hind legs. Struggling with the rig here as it deform, otherwise I'd like to work on the rear legs more. Credit to Drew Vaughan who built the rig!

Wolf Run Post Wes and Tim Crit from Spangles on Vimeo.

So here's the basic wolf run cycle, I think the footage is running slightly slower than real time as the cycle seems to be about 16 frames and also annoyingly you can't see the wolf's feet on the Beeb footage. Anyhow here's my effort with background:-

Wolf Run with Background from Spangles on Vimeo.

And the BBC reference footage:-

Wolf Run Idaho from BBC Motion Gallery from Spangles on Vimeo.

BBC Motion Gallery -

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Bowling Ball Lift


Just done a lift with a bowling ball, thought about using IK on the arms but the control system is a bit weird on Alfred. I think this means the arms do tend to float a bit but I've tried to rectify this by putting in some more key frames using the ghosting tool.

Pleased with the body shapes on this though, and a little acting in it as well with the hand flex as I wanted to make it a little different.

Bowling Ball Lift from Spangles on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

New Catwalk

Right, just done a new catwalk, after looking at some of the students work on Friday night at the National Gallery, I had a real Eureka moment and realised about the hold on the hips. Hope this is an improvement.

Catwalk Hip Hold from Spangles on Vimeo.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Run Cycle


Just done a quick run today, quickened the pace from 60 frames for 6 steps down to 55 frames. Think it gives it a bit more speed (obviously!). Used the graph editor a lot on this to get foot positions right, and the feet should arc into position and not fall back onto a spot as they're planted so overall I quite like it. Crits welcome!

Run 55 Frames from Spangles on Vimeo.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Sneak and Catwalk Walks

Right folks, latest, just got back from France, and am now trying a sneak and a catwalk walk.

So here's the sneak after Edwin looked at it, will post the catwalk when it looks vaguely half decent! Again positive criticism quite welcome... thanks El for saying you liked it full stop.

Sneak Walk Final from Spangles and Vimeo.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

New Double Bounce & Photoshop for Bday Card

Right, here's an adjusted Double Bounce Walk, tweaked the graph editor and broke the splines to give Alfred a lighter feel, quick up, slow mid hold and down, like a ping pong ball, adjusted his pose to give it more balance with less lean back and more pelvis rotation, after advice from DMCA, Eleanor and Wes. Thanks for the help guys and glad you like the angry walk!

Double Bouce post El, DMCA and Wes Crit from Spangles and Vimeo.

And here's a bit of Photoshop work I did for a friends birthday card.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

New walk cycles

Had a meeting last week with an industry insider who was kind enough to look over my reel. Like David Hamblin at Sony, Neil said I should work on some walks as this would be one of the most likely jobs to get started on if I get that first post, and to whack on five or six on my showreel.

I've tried to tone down my naturally cartoony style, but when you're using a rig like alfred it's quite hard. So anyhow here they are.

Angry Walk

Angry Walk Cycle from Spangles and Vimeo.

Sad Walk

Sad Walk from Spangles and Vimeo.

Friday, 6 July 2007

New Commission

Got a first mystery commission (ha ha - you known who you are), so sketched up some of my life drawings. Tried a slightly Neil Buchanan use of pastel paper but here's the two pieces.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Finished Final Project

Well here's my final project, not quite what i wanted but was as near as I could get in the timeframe we had to work. I'm pretty chuffed at how it's worked out rendered with the backgorund and has been a pretty steep learning curve too, with new tools in Maya, After Effects and Premiere.

Any comments/advice appreciated!

Final Project Compressed from Spangles on Vimeo

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Here's my show reel.

Seems so short an amount of time for a years worth of work at college but good to see it all together!!!

My Showreel from Spangles on Vimeo

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

A couple more pieces

Just done a few more bit of Artwork for my business card, including a colouring in of my Avatar.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Preview Film

Right here's the complete script and animatic for the film.

This was edited together using Adobe audition, and used at a critique at the National Gallery with music students from the Royal College of Music, to give a further idea of our projects.

In the end I decided not to use any music, as I felt I wanted a more natural feel to the animation, as if we were observing these characters thorugh a window than via film.

Halfway Monkey Animation For National Gallery Crit from Spangles on Vimeo

Most of the animation is a bit floaty, so I've decided to go back to using pose to pose to get that crispness of movement back.

Friday, 18 May 2007

First 15 Seconds

Right, I've had a fairly productive week, and am currently on schedule to finish right now. Managed to animate my first 15 seconds out of the minute's worth of footage, so here's the playblast for what I've done so far.

First 15 Secs - Final Project from Spangles on Vimeo

Here's the texture map I set up in order to compose the action. It's just a movie texture laid on a square, which acts as a virtual cinema screen in front of which the two monkeys act almost like stage 'actors'.

The film was shot at the gallery (thanks to Carol Hambleton and Lee Riley for seeting up the equipment and getting permission). You'll also notice the Purple primate, C, is now yellow, as he would have blended into the background too much, and now J has switched to a fetching lime green.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Invitation Photo

Just set up a couple of 'Invitation' images for our end of term soiree. The first in 3D is just a render of my two characters, now rigged in Maya, striking a pose for the camera.

And the second, is my initial character sketch, buffed up with a bit of photoshop action.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Animatic and Script

The next stage was to write the script. The stand out train of thought points for me were as follows:-

1) It's an ugly woman.
2) Or is it a man?
3) Either way it's invokes feelings of digust and ridicule (it is a cartoon by nature).
4) But if you think about it, it also brings out some pathos, as it seems a tragic situation too.

Wouldya from Spangles

Using these key points I wrote up a script, from the Monkeys point of view, trying to convey all of these themes within a supposedly humorous frame. Casting was simple for me, a colleague Tim McCourt would do one voice (having established that we both had seen these kind of characters down our local pubs), and less convincingly I would do another. After a few takes we managed to get a half decent effort, with which I then produced a short animatic for the National Gallery on the 27th April.

As you can here it differs greatly from the original script drawn up already as the script has evolved:-

First Script

Two monkeys, J and C, are at an art gallery facing us directly.

J:- Oi, oi, look at tha-ha-at.

C:-Gaw, no, she’s awful!

J:- She, are you sure? She’s got a hairline worse than your Uncles Dunston and Clyde.

C:- Oh-ho yes. I bet she can still move at the old, er, tea parties too.

J:- Really? Wouldya?

C:- Oooh, I suppose I’d have to do some of the old mon-key-mag-ic-ah. , a bit of the old cha-cha-cha. .

J:- You’d need a couple of jungle juices though, eh?
Before you…..

C:- Nooo-no-no-no… stop it, there’s kids about.

J:- Before you, er, you know, er, let her, ahem, peel your bananas like?

C:- Stop it. Stop it. Noooo. No-hooo. Well, maybe. Yeah, alright then.

J:- And your nuts?

C:- Too far. You little monkey.

Character Design

With the idea of these two london wide boys in place, I set about the design. The painting certainly has a somewhat simian quality, and as had two London geezers commentating the only choice for me was two "Cheeky Monkeys".

Character sketch

Dimension Sketches For 3D Modelling

And here's the models I rigged up in Maya in their bind poses ready to go.

A second shot, here you still see the tail joint which in the end I didn't skin, as I thought animating the tail for 2 minutes would be a further pain in the arse, and I'd probably have only used it in one shot anyhow.

A transparency to give a greater idea of the skeletal structure.

Side view overlaid on initial dimensions sketch

Final Project Character Concept

After picking the painting, I needed to get an idea of the two characters who would talk about her. With the idea of her being in a suburban nightclub, I thought the characters would be two dodgy, south london wideboys.

Here's a few examples of the kind of characters I had in mind:-

1) Gary Hobbs and Minty from Eastenders

2) Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse
Lee and Lance on Youtube

3) Danny Dyer

So basically one character is slightly savvy, but not too much more so than his mate.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Final Project with the National Gallery

So for our final project we've been briefed to produce a one minute animation based on a picture at the national gallery.

The picture I've chosen is A Grotesque Old Woman by Quinten MASSYS (1465 - 1530).

It really jumped out at me, and is apparently based on an old cartoon by Leonardo da Vinci. For me this painting could come staight from the cover of a Terry Pratchett novel, and this style of cartooning is even more savage than some stuff around today.

The picture itself is a satire (my kind of humour) of women who dress far younger than their years. Quite appropriate as most of the nighclubs in the UK seem awash with this kind of divorcee nowadays. Apologies, went a bit Daily Mail there. Anyhow basically this painting is mutton dressed up as lamb.

Or maybe Tony Blair in a wimple?

Other paintings that made it close to the list were:-

Madame La La at the Cirque Fernando - DEGAS, Hilaire-Germain-Degas

The Fighting Temeraire - TURNER, Joseph Mallord William

Allegory of Love II (scorn) - VERONESE, Paolo

Anyhow if you get time, go to the gallery, it's free, and there's some paintings there that are worth way more than Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer fee, which is quite impressive really.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Week 21 - Lip Synch

Hi, another piece of animation, in case you're wondering why there's a big space to the right, this was for a pairs project called 'The things they say'. This was based on parents talking about their kids, so I lip synched the mum, and to the right another student Franceso has done a 2D animation of the kid which has been put together in after effects.

For the moment though here's my stuff:-

Lip Synch - Week 21 on Vimeo

Friday, 20 April 2007

First Film From Last Term

Well, here's my first film - Jenga Man. Looking back there's a few pieces of animation I still like in this and a couple that I really dislike, but nothings perfect first time round. Things I've learnt? That I nearly always end up with something too long, really get poses sorted out in your head beforehand, and storyboard properly!

First Film - Jenga Man on Vimeo

Thursday, 19 April 2007


Hi folks, just drew up an avatar.

Application sketches for my Postgrad

Short Course
Some of the first figure drawing I ever did on a Summer short course. Some of it I painted up in acrylics after, but i've left a couple with the original sketches alongside.

Other Sketchbook work
A few other odds and ends from my sketchbook that I submitted for the course.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Sketches from the previous two terms

A few sketches from the first two terms on my post grad at Saint Martins. I guess the longer the course has gone on the more my drawing style has loosened up. These are in time order, most recent at the top, so hopefully some kind of improvement will be evident, or not.

Characters interacting
For me this is one of the most interesting sequences of drawings as we see a fundamental part in human behaviour, in the way two bodies can express themselves and the effect that has on a relationship with others.

Close Ups Of Face Studies For Lip Synch
Just a bit of close sketching, getting some mouth shapes, and skewed perspectives.

Figure drawing

Again using a skewed perspective, whilst trying to keep the body in proportion.

Master and Servant (One Lady and her Dog)

One of the best things about drawing an animal is the line of the spine, as they are usually so more supple than a human. At first being a cat person, this really didn't appeal to me, but again the relationship between two characters in space seems interesting to me.

First Life Drawing

This first sketch is more about catching the movement of peering around a corner.

Sketch showing the relationship between the human and skeletal forms.

Life drawing (of a skeleton). Hmmm, not sure if that's the right definition of a dead thing, death drawing anyone?