Monday, 3 December 2012

The Snowman and the Snowdog Trailer

It's nearly here everyone, the long awaited sequel to Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman" from 30 years ago! The Snowman and the Snowdog is a brand new film from Channel 4 and Lupus Films in London that I have had the incredible privilege and pleasure to work on this year... one of the many reasons I have been so busy since Uni!

The film is set thirty years on from the original and features a new boy, the same old Snowman rebuilt again and a new Snowdog! Some have frowned upon a sequel to the original who feel like this is just a 'remake', but it is a totally new adventure and is a real treasure to watch as it respectfully celebrates the original while also updating the beloved story. 

I was invited to join the crew in London as a 'line tester' so I was testing the original hand drawn animation under a camera (everything was drawn properly on paper like the original, not with a  computer!) to show the animators and Director how the scenes would look before they are scanned. I did this for a couple of months before joining the rendering department where I hand coloured scenes in pencil for the final film! It was an incredible experience and I loved every minute.

So without further ado, here is the finished trailer for the film, which will have its full broadcast premiere on Channel 4 this Christmas! Don't miss it!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Steam Train in Watercolour

There's been a lot going on in my family recently, some good, some bad. A few weeks ago we discovered that my Grandpa was very ill and this week he was diagnosed with several health problems and he may not have long left. I've only seen two family members pass away in my lifetime so it comes to me as quite a shock.

Nevertheless, my family and I are optimistic and are helping him with a better diet and lifestyle to fight back. I visited him for the first time since I graduated from University today and he did start to look better with our company.

This week I tried out some further watercolour experiments as it is a medium I struggle with (unpredictable patterns, long drying times, buckling paper, etc. etc) but if it goes well I get the most satisfaction out of it and I love the look of watercolour artwork. I decided to do a North Wales-inspired landscape with a steam train running through the hills. My Grandpa is a train fanatic and I will always remember his 75th Birthday where we gave him the experience of driving a steam train (with all of us as passengers!) as a present in Llangollen in North Wales.

This is my finished result on A3 paper which I framed to give him, he loved it, though he did say there should be more steam coming out of the front of the train, which I knew he would say! I seemed to have forgotten it.

I still have a lot to learn with watercolour and will be doing more attempts this Christmas.

Wishing my Grandpa all the best xox

Saturday, 1 December 2012

How to make a Zelda Triforce Necklace

Last year I went to the 25th Zelda Anniversary Symphony in London with my family and in the row front of us were two girls and one of them had made her own Zelda Triforce necklace. I wasn't sure how but that's what she said she had done and ever since I knew I wanted to make one too!

This year, Nintendo released an official Zelda Triforce keychain in the UK, which I thought was the perfect pendant material, so you don't have to make anything from scratch if you don't want to (or if you're not a metal worker, like me). In the UK you can buy one from Forbidden Planet for £5-6 and the necklace won't be more than £1-2 so it's very cheap to make!

So first, buy your materials. The keychain can be bought here in the UK or here in the US.

To match the keychain, you need to get a bronze-coloured chain, it helps if it already has the necklace clasp on it so you don't have to match separate findings. You can get them easily from arts and crafts shops, eBay, online jewellery shops etc. Just search "bronze necklace chain" and you should get something suitable. I got a set of 6 necklaces for a little over £2. I accidentally ordered 18 inch chains which weren't really suitable so I connected two together and trimmed off the excess with wire cutters.

I recommend getting between 26-30" chain so that it is long enough to suit the pendant. These kind of chains are what you need.

Then I took off the keychain 'loop' from the Triforce chain (pictured above) and thread the smaller Triforce chain onto the ready prepared necklace. You can remove the small chain attached to the Triforce if you want, but I liked that it could hang from the necklace a little lower.

And that's really all there is to it, a quick and cheap do-it-yourself Zelda necklace (all for under £7!) now you can make and wear your own too! Enjoy! <3 p="p">