Evil geniuses and world domination are 2 of our goals... we also like Dr Who

Snail Tales: Part 1

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I have been working for a long time on a short piece of animation. It’s been made longer by my insistence on using purely Open source software to make the animation with.

I decided to use Synfig Studio and set about creating characters over a year ago.

Of course real life got in the way of this. There was a house move, and of course there’s been my work on Elite Dangerous and Zoo Tycoon as well as the work I continue to do for Hoo on Who. but here are some early tests and work in progress shots for the short.

In the original story board the opening shot was much shorter and it was static but I have decided to make it a longer shot to better establish the kingdom in this early test, there are no peasants, I will add a couple of peasants to the fields and village.

the scarecrow I added on a whim. I had watched the Wizard of Oz a couple of days previous and  trying to think what i could put in the environment to help set the scene, I thought it would be fun to animate a scarcrow. I built and rigged a scarecrow and animated him making a little wave and turning his head to look to camera.

A lot of his animation is masked by the tree currently. I might put the tree on the first  hill so it is well out of the way .


In this shot, the Cat detective is being telephoned by the Queen to come find her stolen money. I wanted to give some contrast to the cat detective’s office, so I designed it to look more Noir-ish and forced the perspective. I always though it could be funny to have the cat play with a ball of wool while taking the call, the idea to put the framed picture of a ball of wool happened as I was designing the background. Originally there was going to be a newtons cradle in the foreground, but the scene was busy enough and I didn’t want to pull focus from the cat.


In this shot, the cat detective is looking through his magnifying glass. I used two copies of the cat detective, and used the shape of the magnifying glass to mask out the larger cat



this shot is tricky and is in the process of being re animated.  The cat detective is climbing up a spirtal staircase, following the dragon prints. The Background was a 3d model I rigged and animated in 3DS Max- still frames were rendered out and the cat detective was then animated to look like he is climbing the stairs. I changed the camera angle to better show the dragon prints. so the cat Detective needs reanimating.


Using open source software has not been easy.  There are certain thing I like to do when animating that Synfig forces to you abandon. In order to combat this, Mike and I wrote Synfig Stage, This software will allow us to compile new scenes with copies of the existing characters in the production. expect a video of it in action soon.

Synfig also has a very steep learning curve, but as with all things, the first time you try anything it will always be hard. Subsequent attempts are quicker and some of the newer chacters have taken less time to rig and in some cases these rigs are more complex than others.  I hope to have a few more shots done soon. in which case ther might be other posts about this (which is why its optimistically called part 1).


when is rare – rare?

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I am sure like most people I am a fan of Family Guy, It’s generally on BBC3 on an evening, and one of only a few reasons to keep the channel.


I also have an Android Phone, so when ‘Family guy- the quest for stuff ‘ came out I donwloaded it and have playing on an off for about 6 months.


Right now there is a comic-con tie in event. part of the event involves you collecting film canisters to free Ron Pearlman. You can collect them by building a screening theatre. \But lets have alook at the theatre:

family guy question










I tweeted the developers TinyCO .


if we hear back we will follow up on this

Goodbye old friend

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It’s a sad day here at the bunker. Last night the PSU on my trusty PC blew. Today there was an examination by one of the tech guys . It seems that the PSU took the motherboard with it.  My trusty friend has bought the farm after 6 years

So it looks like I will be looking for a new PC. So all the videos I have been working on will have to wait.

Farewell my friend.  You will be missed.


Lest we forget…

Little update

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I know it seems ages since I last posted on here. but things are afoot

For those of you that dont know., I am a technical animator at Frontier. My job involes solving animators problems and for the last year or so I have been working on Elite:Dangerous which has just gone Beta:

In addition to that there have been a  number of things going that I will list here- expect more follow-up posts later

I am working on 2 videos for titaniumbunker.TV 1 is a devlog for the process I use to make showgraphics for Hoo on Who. the other is a travelog of a visit to Cardiff I made in June.

Miss Vicki did the race for Life (20/8/14) and did in a respectable 1 hour. I shot some video and might try and edit something together for that. you can see a picture of Miss Vicki and her mum crossing the finish line

My good friend Chip Calqhoun who hosts the Graticast, did a livestraming blindfolded head shave from our house. Miss Vicki and I helped present the show and you can watch it here:

Finally. Progress has really started to move on a short film project that has been over a year in the making. I am using nothing but open source software to make this. Expect a post or video over at Titaniumbunker.tv  With a little luck I might be able to show some of this footage at this years OGGCamp.

Miss Vicki and I were involved in a Walking tour around cambridge looking at shooting locations for the forgotten episode of Doctor who, Shada. expect a video about that as well



Mixed Messages from @Microsoft…

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I got an upgraded new and shiny laptop last week, so I thought I’d see if Automattic – providers of the rather wonderful WordPress do a client for Windows.


It appears they do…

Wordpress.com available on the Microsoft store.

WordPress.com available on the Microsoft store.


It appears they don’t.


Wordpress.com unavailable on the Microsoft store.

WordPress.com unavailable on the Microsoft store.

If something has been removed from the store, why can I still find it in the store.


Anybody got any suggestions for a wordpress client for windows 8.1?