The Moving Picture (and a squirrel)

One of the biggest project I've worked on has just recently come to completion. I was approached by the folks at the Pool to design all the characters and backgrounds for a fully animated ad for the Eurospar chain of shopping centres. It was quite a task, spanning from storyboarding to stylising existing logos and signs.

Here are some early character designs, first up being Ball, the mischievous family dog who provides a lot of the personality and humour in the ad.

Next some of the designs for the family; Mom Avril, budding emo daughter Holly and energetic son Max.

These were polished up, drawn out as character sheets for the animators to build 3d models from

...along with with some vehicles for the street scenes, most important being the family jalopy:

...and of course the staff populating the Eurospar (and a squirrel):

The tone and feel of the backgrounds were worked up from early on, here's a first attempt at a street scene...

...which, after some story rejigging, was eventually replaced with:

And here's the family house:

So all this (and a lot more) was taken by some incredibly skilled folk and turned into a moving world. The backgrounds were mapped onto 3d shapes so the camera pans and zooms would pick up a sense of depth. The character models were animated acting and reacting with personality, and all came together in the finished product:

Eurospar - Easy Peasy from The POOL on Vimeo.

You can see the ad on Irish television right now.


Blog 2: Blog in the City

Hello internet,
I'm afraid I've neglected this blog for the last while. Since my last post I've left fair Dublin to move to the UK and worked on some (hopefully) interesting bits and bobs. Seeing as I've been meaning to do an update for 6 months now I've retired the sloth pictured from above in place of a new classy banner. Classy.

Last November I was back in Dublin and visited the Zoo and in particular the Sloths. My affectation for all things Slothie are well documented, so it was amazing to hang out with the satisfyingly big, scruffy and characterful creatures. As a thanks to the great Zookeeper who introduced me to them I did this piece for her. It features the sloth relaxing in his shared digs with some of the other creatures who live in Dublin Zoo's South America House. The squirrel monkeys with the piggy bank are a reference to when one distracted my girlfriend to allow another to nick a fiver out of her pocket. Clever monkeys.

Up next is a commission, a gift for someone to give their boyfriend. It's Saul Tigh from the rebooted Battlestar Galactica series. I haven't watched the show, apparently it's up there with recent tv classics like Mad Men and Sopranos... but with space ships and sexy robots. I remember when it appeared I was disinterested after I learned they weren't using the original show's theme music.

There's nothing worse than mentioning Christmas in Spring, but this is slightly anti-Xmas to begin with. It's a piece I did for myself featuring the Krampus, a character from seasonal Germanic traditions. He's the ying to Santa's gift-bearing yang. The Krampus punishes children who've been naughty, beating them with sticks and taking them away in his basket. Go Krampus GO! Prints of Krampus are available here.

Finally, another commission. This time it was a gift for a sister. The suggested references were cooking, Breakfast at Tiffany's, butterflies and data analysis. A heady concoction.

I have lots of other stuff to post up here very soon, most notably some work I've recently completed for an animated tv ad. I've also been doing some concept work for a special effects company which has varied from prosthetics for Lady Gaga's face to, most excitingly of all, a creature for a very well known BBC medical/time travel show...

If you're about Dublin I have a piece in a group show entitled 'Graphics Unleashed' in the Blue Leaf Gallery. There are some super talented folk in the mix and I highly recommend throwing a look in. It opened last week and finishes this Friday so chop, chop.

More really soon...