Welcome to my website!

I am a storyboard artist and animator currently based in Scotland. At the moment I’m looking for more work.

Scroll down to see my day-to-day updates, sketches and life drawing. Choose from the menu above to view my portfolio, storyboards, and showreels, see my most recent projects, or get in contact.

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Featured post

David modelled on Tuesday, holding some incredible poses that were often incredibly challenging to draw! It was a good session.

I’m currently boarding a short idea featuring a pigeon, so I thought I’d put in some bird gesture practice! These are a mix of 30- and 60-second drawings. I want to practice wings more, and really get to grips with how they work.

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I went back to conte pastel for last week’s session – I think shaking up the medium every so often helps to keep things fresh! First-time model Silvi held some great poses.

I’ve made some lovely vinyl stickers of my Sea Girl and I’m running giveaways on Twitter and Facebook! Head over there to have a chance at winning a sticker for yourself plus one for a friend. Four sets are available in total, two from Facebook and two from Twitter, and you can enter on both social media sites. The competition ends at 8am BST on Monday the 11th of June 2018.

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Annie modelled at this week’s session. There were some really wonderful poses, and lots of interesting hands and feet!

I like to follow #MerMay on Twitter, which is a yearly drawing event where artist draw mermaids all month long. This is my first time taking part, though I’ve not been drawing every day! My mermaid is inspired by the Sea Girl from ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, who Lucy sees as the ship passes by.

“Suddenly she saw a little Sea Girl of about her own age in the middle of them – a quiet, lonely-looking girl with a sort of crook in her hand. Lucy felt sure that this girl must be a shepherdess – or perhaps a fish-herdess – and that the shoal was really a flock at pasture.”

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Bren modelled at life drawing on Tuesday. I enjoyed the variety of poses, and even drew part of the room using the mirror in the final drawing.

Recently I animated a couple of elements for the new Skoog advert, which you can watch below.

I animated the girl’s moustache, plus several ‘flourishes’ throughout the video. I’ve added a couple of examples as gifs below.

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Mireille modelled at life drawing last night, holding some great twisting and leaning poses. I also enjoyed drawing her hair!

The first two drawings, in charcoal, are from a workshop on an artists’ retreat back in February. It was (just) warm enough to sit outside, though I remember my hands freezing. Both charcoal sketches were drawn half looking at the paper, half looking only at the object. The top one has several under-drawings that have been rubbed back. I wouldn’t normally draw in this way but it was a good exercise.

The final sketch I drew in my garden yesterday, in glorious sunshine.

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I’ve not made it along to life drawing for a few weeks so I thought I’d better get back into practice with some gestures! I drew these from images at Line of Action, using the 30 and 60 second timers.

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This is a little ink illustration I drew for a friend’s birthday card. I coloured it in Photoshop, but I think I prefer it in black and white.

 

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to put these online! A lovely session with Ana modelling. This time I felt a bit more comfortable using conte pastel to draw.

The snow is beginning to melt, leaving icy pools of water and slush. As I struggled through it on a walk this afternoon I thought it would be a good subject for today’s study.

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Here are some quick pen studies of the views from the train today – mist in front of trees, stubble in the snow, hedges, ploughed fields, footprints, snow melting.

I struggled with this one. Choosing the colour and getting the texture right was difficult, and I don’t feel I’ve completely succeeded in either area. This was a study of a canvas bag. I guess I need to paint more cloth!

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I’ve realised that the way I use Photoshop to storyboard isn’t that well known. This way of working uses Frame Animation within the Timeline panel. It takes a short while to organise new shortcuts and change a few settings, but once that’s done it’s easy to add new frames and scroll through the storyboard. Most importantly, it’s simple to export.

I have used this technique in CS5 and CC. This tutorial uses Photoshop CC 2018 on a Mac.

The size of the canvas doesn’t matter. I generally use a 1920×1080 pixel canvas if I’m boarding in 16:9; the inbuilt Film & Video presets can be helpful. Like with any Photoshop file, a large canvas area plus lots of layers can become unwieldy.

Setting up the document

Open the Timeline panel by going to Window > Timeline.

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Click ‘Create Frame Animation’.

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In the bottom left-hand corner of the Timeline panel there will be a single frame. Click the little arrow in its bottom right-hand corner.

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Change the amount to 1.0, or one second. This is important because in order to export the frame rate is set at 1fps.

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Click the ‘Duplicate Frames’ button to add two more frames.

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Click the button in the top right corner of the Timeline panel.

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If ‘New Layers Visible in All Frames’ is checked, uncheck it.

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I like to save a copy of the document as a template.

Setting up shortcuts

By default, Photoshop does not assign any shortcuts for Frames in the Timeline panel. Click Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

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Next to ‘Shortcuts For:’ choose ‘Panel Menus’.

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Scroll down to ‘Timeline (Frames)’ and open the dropdown menu.

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I set shortcuts for ‘New Frame’, ‘Next Frame’ and ‘Previous Frame’. Choose whatever keystrokes suit you best. I don’t worry too much about what the shortcut is as I then assign them to buttons on my Cintiq.

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Click ‘OK’.

To assign the shortcuts to a Wacom tablet, open the Wacom Tablet Preferences. This can be accessed either through the Radial Menu or, on a Mac, System Preferences.

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Select ‘Functions’.

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Click the drop-down menu next to the button. Select Keyboard > Keystroke …

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Add the keystroke and assign it a name.

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Click ‘OK’.

It’s worth testing the buttons a few times, to make sure they’re working as expected. Usually if I have problems it’s because I’ve made a mistake in entering the keystroke.

Storyboarding

This is not a tutorial on how to storyboard, but I’ll give a few hints about how to use this setup.

First, don’t add any layers on the first frame. Always leave it blank. I like to have both the first and last frame blank.

Add a layer to draw. I like to keep my layers reasonably tidy, by sorting all the layers for one shot into one folder.

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It’s easy to reuse layers across several frames. As long as you don’t transform the layer (resize, rotate, etc.) you can move it without duplicating or redrawing. This progression was a simple case of duplicating the frame, then moving the position of the figure. If I rotate the layer with the figure on frame 4, it also rotates on the other frames. It’s the same if I decide to add to the drawing.

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As creating a new frame duplicates the current frame, you need to turn off the layers you don’t want to see in it. (This is when grouping layers can be particularly useful.) Then, add a new layer to draw.

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Exporting

Go to File > Export > Render Video …

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Change the name and save location.

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Change the dropdown menu from ‘Adobe Media Encoder’ to ‘Photoshop Image Sequence’.

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Change the Frame Rate to ‘Custom’ and enter 1 fps.

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Render Video automatically exports all frames, but it is possible to select a group of frames on the Timeline and then export the selected frames only.

Once you’ve finished adding the information you need, click ‘Render’.

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If only a few images have exported, or some have been exported two or more times, check that the frames are all set at 1 sec and that you are also exporting at 1 fps.

This is a very quick walkthrough of the process, so please let me know if you think there’s something I haven’t covered. Ask any questions below!

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