Author: alicegeary

Animation Student


IMG_0420 IMG_0424 IMG_0426 IMG_0440 IMG_0452 IMG_0472IMG_0426 IMG_0429 IMG_0434  IMG_0475 IMG_0482 IMG_0487IMG_0422IMG_0436

These photographs I took from my garden to gain first hand research into a collection of plants. More specifically I was able to analyse distinctive features of the plants for when i will model them. I noted textures and the way it grows.Furthermore I examined the colours such as the shading in light and how colours contrasted with other existing environmental shades. I thought that it was useful to also see the arrangements of the pots, which would be placed randomly into my own scene. I have included photographs of overgrown plants which are wild looking and good reference for my scene which will include unkempt plants. I used the photograph research study to consider what things would be placed in the conservatory such as garden equipment and the pots, for instance show how organised chaos can be presented. Lastly I plan to use some of these leaves within my own scene.


Google Drive link:


The story focuses around a elderly couple that collect memories by planting a plant for each memory  that they have with one another. Over the years they place these plants into a conservatory where they sit together. Then the whole conservatory is taken over with all these plants. Once the husband dies – the wife places his chair away and covers his sofa with plants – the memories that she connects warmly of him. As they are both elderly she slowly becomes incapable of looking after the plants and so they grow out of control. When she also dies the conservatory is left to grow by itself. However the memories are still encased within this room. My narrative is very simple, it follows different shots which express the love and the meaning behind all of these plants. I wanted the audience at first to be curious over why there are so many plants enclosed in such as small place – and then when it is revealed that it belongs to a couple-it shows the relationship and memories of a couples life. At the end of piece, we see a shot of a plant on a sofa – we see a pot with a label on which reads: “our last” and there are two small sprouts of a plant wrapped around one another – this is meant to be the ending to the piece which express that one or both of the couple are dead and the last plant is valued. We don’t find out what happens to the couple – but we get enough information to understand the tone of the piece. I have used a slow pace with my cameras to give that sadder tone to the piece – furthermore to slowly reveal what is happening in the scene, the audience to read of the labels and to create that atmosphere of emptiness.

This unit has definitely been one of the most difficult that I have done over this first year of the animation course. It has tested my modelling skills, rendering, lighting, concept and narrative knowledge which I have learnt from the previous units.  Its been an independent project and means that I have needed to work fast paced and keep on top of the work – using Gantt diagrams and many, many to do lists to ensure that I do. This course has challenged me and help me build more software skills which weren’t very strong before the start of this unit. For example, I felt as though I couldn’t model at all but after my couple weeks of modelling I can now model more confidently and apply texture to my assets. I have also liked the chance to make mistakes and learn from them (which I made many of). I’m really pleased with overall animation – although it is short and there are a couple of things that I’m not as happy with – the over all relief and end result (made me feel so proud – watching back the work which I didn’t think that I could do at the beginning – it captured all that I hoped — and almost wish that I had more time to explore and develop the piece.)

At the start of the project we began by creating plans and making a project plan so that we were able to keep up to date with all of the different parts of making a digital environment.  However, in the end I did have to remake my plan several times. I didn’t consider my technical ability – but I also had no experience in knowing how long each sections would take me. In addition I didn’t take into account that I had a second unit as the same times as this one and so I had less time that I had expected. I made many to do lists as well to organize my own work flow.

Making a narrative with only the environment was another difficult challenge which I faced as I have never made an animation without the aid of a character which drives the story forward. I decided to spend a majority of time on the narrative section of my digital environment so that the concept was strong enough to make a purpose to the narrative.

I looked at a lot of research to help me create my final Digital Environment – I first looked into several already existing successful environments such as ‘Anna Karenina’ film as the background focuses around the idea that the upper class Russians would immediate the French society. Therefore it centers around a play and the backgrounds moves. This lead me to think about how I could use my environment to move and make the story in that way. However in the end I didn’t use this idea.  I looked at many references for two ideas – mostly from film to take inspiration for the look of my animation / of aspects which I may want to use for my animation.

Modelling was very tough for me at first as I have barely used it. However after working with it none stop over the amount of time which I did I was gaining more confidence in creating a number of objects. With Alex I learnt how to use Nuke and use Dynamics in Maya – even though I didn’t use this new knowledge for my final piece it was still very useful and hope to continue playing around with the software in the future. The texturing at first was a little difficult to get in that mind set of learning the UV layout and maya UV attribute editor – however after I got the hang of it I was happy with using the software. The lighting was a big problem for me as certain angles would be cast in shadows and unseen when I was happy with a particular shot – I had to spend a while ensuring that everything can be scene. If I could re-do the lighting I might try and add more shadows to give the scene a more dramatic feel to it – although I am pleased with the nice green / yellow tone to my final lighting choice.

If I could have more time for this unit I would have spent more time on the texturing and tried to make the objects look alot more used and grubby / and I also really wanted to make the plants look alot more wild and powerful in the scene. I would have liked to have a plant coming out of the sofa and dead leaves over the floor – but I had some technical issues which prevented me from doing so. I would have liked to add some music over the video too – sad piano music / however I kept it silent to make the atmosphere more still to follow the slow pacing of the camera and whole animation on a whole. The matte painting also looked slightly out of place so I would spend more time trying to perfect this. Overall I am happy with my first attempt of making a digital Environment – and proud of my progress of this unit and my entire first year of animation.


Below is a selection of final rendered shots taken from my final piece. I am really please with the outcome –



Here are some images which I took from my final Digital environment – some of the scene isn’t scene in the final animation so here are a few stills I included to show the amount of plants which were included and the ‘organised chaos’ which I was desperate to achieve (like a lot of my research sources that I looked at).

so much in scene

The shape of the conservatory is never seen – so below is the shape (which was actually one of the toughest things I made – or perhaps I kept putting it off because I had to make it technically fit well.) I used a blinn for the glass panels – if I had more time I would have liked to use mental ray glass and add more a dirty texture.


Some of my renders I did during the process of creating my scene and testing the camera angles were working fine.

sofa_view_fianla  View_RENDER2hearmeroarqualityglasse2slalala



The top image is just with the directional lights – it has alot more atmosphere because it is darker – the bottom image is with the ambient light also – it lightens up the scene more which I needed as some of the angles were impossible to see because of shadow.


3 another dark gah hj la net over shoulder pot_)2 sofa th view

A large problem that I faced when adding the lighting was the different camera shots which I had. I put in the chosen lighting settings from my experimentation period – but in some angles (as you see above) was cast in dark black shadow which hid all things from view. Although I wouldn’t have minded this if it was important that I needed to see the object – especially the labels on the pots. Therefore I had to put an ambient light into the scene to brighten it up so that the audience could see the labels – which are vital to the narrative of my Digital environment piece. If I had more time I would have played around longer with the lights until I got the desired look. The ambient did make it lighter but it also took away some of that beautiful atmosphere which is apparent in these shots.


lighting test 2 lighting test 3 lighting test 4 lighting test 5 lighting test 6 lighting test 7 lighting test 8 lighting test 09 lighting test 10  lighting test 12 lighting test SHOT

Lighting is very important to create the mood – I decided in my concept stage that I want the dark shadow across the whole room the conservatory – however I played around with the lighting and colours in order to find out which would look best. Above are all directional lights which I edited around. The last image is the closest to my final render lighting in the end. I played around with duller cold colours to get a sense of sadness and emptiness (the personality gone with the owners) but also create versions with bright sunlight spreading darker shadows.


Final Presentation (to show class a summary of research)

Untitled presentationUntitled presentation (1) Untitled presentation (2) Untitled presentation (3)

 Direct Quote presentation (4) Untitled presentation (5)

Direct Quote: presentation (6) Untitled presentation (7)

Quote source:

Untitled presentation (8)

Quote source: presentation (9) Untitled presentation (10) Untitled presentation (11) Untitled presentation (12)

All references for other (non direct quotes) are found under the tab ‘Term Three – My profession’ – where it has been referenced from the research I have collected for this case study (under Innovation, IP, Entrepreneurship and Economic sector .


1  angle conserva  fern Images from the building of my scene – Before making the plants I collect the furniture and will then create the plants which are needed. plant close plant lifedandelion planting plantview shadedlight sofalight tiles ugky

Whilst continuing the modelling of the plants, I also began texturing the conservatory and understand how to do this. i found texturing a real challenge for me – it was difficult to understand how to cut out the shapes in UV layout and even using Maya’s UV editor was a challenge – however I soon got the hang of it. I spent several days on the texturing of the conservatory. Above are images which I rendered whilst making / putting the scene together – I used a physical sun and sky light to get a sense of the objects. I really liked the natural look without the texture too – so i included it in this.


After the modelling I put together all the furniture pieces that I made to go inside my conservatory. This way I knew how much I had left to make – the plants were going to be a challenge – more because I was running out of time than it being technically challenging. I decided to use a mixture of modelling the plants (like the weed above) and then using the UV texturing to add a leaf texture to these models – and also cutting out leaves on Photoshop making them into PNGs and placing them all over a branch.


Animation Industry and Intellectual Property

The issues / how is the the animation Industry affected by IP:

  • It will protect the animations – Of course the most important reason for IP in the animation industry is to protect the creator’s work – and to prevent others using it in ways which the creator does not like and prevent other using it commercially. The two main Intellectual properties which are used in the animation industry is Copyright and Trademark – copyright protects other from taking the expression and trademark protects and gives value on merchandise created by the animation industry.
  • ownership of idea / profit made to employer / ideas –  The ownership of the IP can be a confusing and important matter for many. As employees in a design world often the employer is the owner of the IP as the have paid for their work. Freelancers must communicate with their clients (best to have it in a contract) which states what will happen with the IP therefore there is no confusion between who has the IP and what can be used – normally for freelancers the use of their work in their own portfolio is expected but this may not be so if not communicated with the client. Larger cooperation may take ideas or similar work to your own but unless their is efficient evidence then there will be nothing to do. Understanding these things and not being so innocent will protect you in this industry.
  • new technology can be patented – if original and can bring innovation into the animation industry.
  • IP creating larger economic revenues / funding  – license: Many large companies use and exploit their IPs by licensing others to use their work worldwide. This way extra profit is given. In the UK broadcasting and programmes do this often to bring more money into the economy. Animation can also sell their IPs globally to gain that extra profit.
  • Need more awareness – copying and sharing online is done by many and often we don’t even realise whose IP we are infringing. Something as simple as using a video or photograph on a blog or website without their permission (or proper credit to the creator). It often is more relaxed for educational reasons. However the need for awareness in this area is vital to insure work from the animation industry is protected – and to let the public know what they are actual doing. It will control and hopefully prevent others from committing IP infringement.
  • Protects a a style –  Copyrights means that a company or designer are able to keep there style without it being stolen. An original style is important for so many designers — so without the copyright law this could be a real problem. Of course there are some which may take a style / steal a design but then the creator has the proper cause for action to ensure their work stays original.
  • Using the work online – It can be a real issue of people taking your work when online. It is too easy for those to take what isn’t theirs – without permission or consent from the creator. Or to steal another persons idea. This is a major fear for all designers as they want to have their work noticed but not taken by others. Furthermore there are very few ways in which this can be stopped. This can affect both small and large companies / and freelancers. Leaking of ideas or series episodes as an eager audience grabs the information. Small business and freelancers without little funds cannot take everyone to court that infringe their IP rights therefore other measures need to be made – such as invisible watermarks which can identify who the original disrupted of their work is – this way they find out who is the offender and can take the proper action.
  • International right? – When registering and receiving automatic rights in the UK they will often only protect that product within the UK – therefore international rights must be brought and protection may become more difficult for covering a worldwide right – extra fiance needed to do so.
  • Terms and conditions – Photo / design sharing websites have become extremely popular over the last 5 years and rise of people registering for accounts on these sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr – however the scandal recently about the terms of conditions which express that the website will have the copyright to the work means that members were automatically ticking the terms and condition without reading the fine print (a thing which many people do) these companies with knowledge that most people do not read this, have placed a policy which takes the rights to use images posted on their sites. When some people that did read these terms and conditions made it aware to other members a protest was made. Therefore it is important when creating accounts and uploading software onto these sites that the fine print is read as in any contract as animations could be taken – and the right exploited against the creator’s wishes.
  • Merchandise protect your stuff : Animation has become more than just the animation itself – for many years animated films and series have used the extra profit in selling merchandise, towards target audiences. By using copyright / trademark of these it means that those which counterfeit or use the brand without permission can be prosecuted or taken to court. Merchandise can also be another way to further the brand and reach out to more audiences – by trademarking these products you can make an original and high quality product ( which can add value / more income to the business.)


  • N/A (N/A) ‘Creative Industries Strategy,’ The creative Industry, N/A (Online) Available: (Accessed 31/05/2015)
  • N/A (2011) ‘Response to the independant Review of Intellectual Property and Growth’ Pact, Friday 1st March (Online) Avaliable: (Accessed 01/06/2015)

How it is relevant to me?


If I create an idea, this is not copyrighted. Only when I written down or made proof of it being mine then the story / design etc is protected under copyright. If I take someone elses idea without my knowledge then as long as I can show that their is evidence that can be used to show I didn’t know about that design/ etc can be used to show your innocence – however who ever the judge believes is down to them. If the design or etc, is very large and would have most likely been seen by many people including you then this could show you may have unconsciously copied and made a similar product.  Many creatives often take inspiration from a design or particular style and create work from this. However it is not right to take credit for a style which isn’t your own. Bring enough of your own creativeness to that work. You can take elements but you cannot copy it entirely – have your own personal touches to make it yours. Be original. When making a piece of work which is homage to the maker or very similar to that creators work – I should try and get consent – let them know if you can take it. Get things in writing. By having a paper trail you can use this to show a judge. Furthermore if the person that has given you that consent later changes their minds and decides to press infringement then you still have the paper trail as evidence saying at the time they gave you permission.


When creating a creative piece of work for a client as a freelancer or for a company (an employee) it can some times become confusing over who has what rights. Normally ownership should be stated within a contract – such should be made by lawyers to draft these agreements – so that you know that you can use the work you create how you want as well as the company/client. Otherwise link the ownership to the payment in the invoice there a provisional agreement is made and if you don’t get paid – that way you are protected. (They will only get ownership once you are paid for the work). If you make a logo and give a company all the rights then that logo is an infringement of someone else work then they are the now the owners of that design and have all the IP therefore you are not responsible. Therefore giving them all the rights can protect yourself (obviously don’t do it on purpose) – they may pay you more if they let you keep that responsibility.In a business it is often seen that the employer owns the copyright of the work – even if the designer have the design rights. The IP normally belongs to to the creator until they sell or give their rights away (in the case of a company the employee owns the work created and paid to the creator.) When working for yourself making sure in a contract an understanding of IP to the client – such as your right to put on portfolio and etc. If it is video editing or something similar when the company/ clients photographs, videos or images are given to the client it may need to be made clear whether you can use that work because you could be infringing their copyrights – therefore always put agreements in writing as evidence.

Work placement & entering competitions.

When working for yourself entering work placements for experience or entering competitions for that extra bit of cash is a usual thing however it is important that you read everything before you sign it. In the case of a work placement at a large corporation – they may ask you to fill out and sign a contract which may refuse you from using the work that you create whilst there for portfolio or end of year shows. Therefore make sure that you have fully read and understand the conditions and if possible take it home and read thoroughly. Otherwise read the IP section and if no stated or refused – Ask to add on to the contract if you can put onto showreel. In a competition they can take your copyright when you enter – even if you don’t even win the prize. This could also prevent you from using your own work / putting it up on social platforms and etc. Unless you read the terms and conditions you may not even know. Is the prize money worth the copyright ownership.


  • Sign and date all work
  • paper trail – keep record
  • Use copyright notice (e.g Copyright —- 2015. All rights reserved) – Copyright sign on work
  • Deliberate markings such as watermarks (Client example with invisible watermarks)
  • Ensure you are not infringing somebody else’s copyright – ASK FOR PERMISSION AND GET IT IN WRITING
  • Keep your meetings in a trail -( e.g explain what you talked about in an email (thank you for meeting me, we talked about this… today)
  • Keep the sketchbook and sketches and you can see the creative process.
  • Whenever you upload your work onto your blog put your name / invisible watermark
  • restrict access to your website. You can control your website you will know.
  • Email the person that is infringement of your work and that you may seek legal advice and action – this often will stop them
  • contracts made with clear view of agreements over IP (who gets what – consent to use in portfolio and etc)
  • Trademark – register in line drawings – not colour when you register a shape of a design
  • The more popular you become the harder it will be to trademark.






Get evidence of infringement. Find out who is infringing and where (keep in mind territorial nature of the rights). Evidence of your right e.g design drawings. Keep contemporaneous notes – Instruct solicitors.


Notes taken from BRIFFA Ramsey Monime talk

TO DO lists and Plans

As I stated on the previous post (Gantt chart post) time management is very important. Not utilising the time will mean that the different elements could be rushed and not fully explored. As well as the Gantt charts I use lists to direct what to do each day. This is going in more depth than the Gantt charts as it allows me to see precisely what I need to do everyday. I also like visually seeing myself tick things off as it shows what I need to do and what I have completed. I find this a much easier way to plan my time and one that comes very naturally to me. Below see these lists. (1) (1)