Sunday, December 9, 2012

Irn Bru Christmas Cards 2012 - Part I

This is just a wee post which I'm going to expand upon as soon as I get my hands on the original assets, but it's something I've been very excited about since I got the news a couple of months ago, and now that it's in the public sphere I have to talk about it before I burst!

This Autumn I had the very, VERY lucky opportunity to design two Christmas cards for Irn-Bru!  We were approached with a brief and rough sketch of what the client were looking for and I was set the task of realising it!  I then passed it to my Creative Supervisor, Vicki Haworth and she sorted them out,  digitally painted them and made them look BEAUTIFUL! I am so, SO proud of the work I did on this.  It is possibly my favourite work to date since I started at Ink.

Apologies for the poor quality pictures.  I am no photographer it seems.

Like I said, I'll be expanding on this post when, hopefully, the assets are released for me to use and I can better show my creative process.  Till then you should go out and buy a case of 24 pack Irn-Bru cans and get your hands on these cards!

x L

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Waaaaay back in May of this year, in the midst of a string of go-nowhere job opportunities, I received an email from Dundee-based animation company Ink.Digital asking if I would be interesting in testing for a position with them.  After some back and forth I nervously went down to the studios to test inbetween a dozen or so frames from Titeuf, a French film they had worked on a year or so previously.  After my two days of testing, I handed in my work, and thankfully it was very well received. Vicky, the Creative Supervisor, sat me down and offered me a full-time position on the spot and I started shortly after, around the beginning of August.

Since then I've been hauling late nights and missing out on weekends, and although I may occasionally complain after pulling back to back 60-70 hour weeks, I wouldn't change it for the world!  I am so lucky to be in the position I am, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity they have provided me.  I've been there just shy of three months and so far I've got four adverts under my belt with a fifth in production and a sixth on the horizon.

The first advert was mid-production when I started.  It was a short 30 second ad for First Scotrail to market their "Club 55" promotion.  I helped animate a bunch of the wee whizzing arrows, the exploding city names and the end frame.  It was actually a really good place to start as it was a nice and easy way to break me into the software they use (Anime Studio Pro).

The second and third were for an Edinburgh-based property company called ESPC.  I animated the dog and helped with some of the 3D textures in the first, and animated 99% of the children in the second.  

My most recent ad has been for Edinburgh's "Winter In Edinburgh" campaign, which has gone on to receive a lot of both extremely positive and negative press (like Marmite, you either loved it or hated it, it seems).  I for one am very proud of the work I accomplished in this ad, which has not only seen me venture into the petrifying depths of environmental design, (which I have previously avoided due to my huge lack of knowledge on perspective) but also the character design of Edinburgh-based Tom Kitchin, which got sent to his own wife to be approved.  Christ it was nerve-wracking, but thankfully it all turned out very well under Vicky's supervision and I'm hoping to be able to add some it to my portfolio once the two-minute film for Marketing Edinburgh is completed later in the year.

My only other news is that in 143 day I will be living and working in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida!  I managed to get myself a place on Walt Disney World's Cultural Representative Program as a Representative of the UK where I'll be working in Merchandise (this video gives a very small insight into what I'll be doing) at the UK pavilion.  It'll be strange to leave Dundee after 6 years, but my GOD am I excited to get to Florida!  What a chapter that's going to be.

Anyway, I have a couple of wee commissions, that I'd had to put on the back-burner due to work, but which I will hopefully be getting round to soon completing.  They'll be up here as soon as they're done.

Until then!

x L

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Keith Wedding Commission

A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned by my sister, Ingrid, for some drawings as a present for her best friend's, Lisa's, wedding.  My sister was one of the three bridesmaids (the other two being the bride's sisters) and she was absolutely over the moon.  She wanted to make sure the gift was both personal and memorable, so she came to me with the idea of a series of small drawings which symbolised key moments in the happy couple's relationship.  I couldn't have thought of a more lovely idea so while I got to work roughing out some of the ideas Ingrid had given me, Ingrid searched high and low for the perfect frame to hang them in.

After a good dig around most shops in Aberdeen, Ingrid found this absolute BEAUT from Next (in the picture it's fairly cream in colour, but it's a lot whiter in actuality).  We both knew instantly it'd be perfect for a wedding gift:

She gave me the dimensions of the frames and I got to work on her list of ideas.  I began with the most difficult, which was drawing Lisa and her husband-to-be, Lee, in wedding outfits.  I had not met Lee at this point and had very little reference material to go on photo-wise for either of the happy couple.  I also knew very little about what they'd be wearing on their big day, so it had to be entirely made up.  What I did know however, was that Lisa would be wearing a strapless dress and Lee a green kilt.  I also managed to steal the most beautiful picture of the couple from Facebook, which I used as reference for their likeness.  

Now their wedding has since been and gone (and BOY, what a wedding it was! Absolutely superb!) and I now know exactly how they were dressed on their wedding day, and it wasn't much like these two pictures.  Irregardless, this is my hindsightless interpretation:
The rest of the frames were filled with drawings symbolic to their relationship.  Lisa, a teacher, first met Lee, who works for Shell on the rigs, at a bowling alley.

They got engaged whilst on a cruise down the Hudson river in New York City.

All the pictures were drawn digitally in colour then desaturated into black and white. With the white frame as a backdrop we thought the black and white pictures would set it off the best.  As a final touch, I added a hint of pinkish red to each frame; in the skylines, the fingernails, Lee's bow tie, Lisa's lips, the apple and the strips on the bowling pins.  It lifted each picture away from being entirely monochromatic.

Now, please excuse my terrible photography skills, a friend of mine tried to teach me how to use an SLR once but my patience, it seems, was engaged elsewhere that day.  Here is the final frame in all it's glory (and trust me, the frame was a lot more white than any of these pictures make it out to be):

Now I have to say a huge thank you to Art Machine Shetland, for saving my backside when I found out - on the day of the wedding (eep!) - that Shetland Litho shut early on a Friday.  Now I know leaving the printing until the last minute was maybe not the brightest of ideas, but that was my schedule.  Next time I know to phone ahead.  Thankfully, the lovely lasses at the Shetland Times phoned the other print units in Shetland and the lovely folk at the Art Machine got it all printed and trimmed for me.  Magical folk!

The wedding, like I said, was absolutely fantastic, and I have heard through my sister that the beautiful bride loved the present.  Many congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Keith, thank you for a wonderful weekend, glad you liked the gift!  All my love! 

x L

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ice Cream Girls

I promised a post about pretty ladies, so here it is!

A very dear friend of mine from back home recently asked me to design a logo for his new ice cream company.  It couldn't have come at a better time, I was fresh out of art school and initially I had little to do but holiday.  Also, my first commission!  HUZZAH!  Good times. 

The brief he gave me was just awesome.  The design was to be a Zooey Deschanel-esque beauty as a 1950s diner girl, holding an ice cream. How cool is that?  Well fun!  So I amassed a collection of reference material from the web and sketched out a few quick designs to give the guys some options, and myself a good idea of which direction to take.  

They most approved of this lady here...

...especially the levels of 'boobage' (I had to ask them if emphasized boobs were okay,  as I was unsure if she was to be a more 1950s girl or a pin up.  We went with pin up).

So with this in mind I got started on these four beauties...

Pin up, Zooey-esque, diner girl, ice cream cone. BOOM! Done! 

Then it hit me, pin up girl... ice cream cone... what if we played this Dita Von Teese style?  I emailed the guys and asked them what they thought about a girl in a cone?  They liked it, so this lady was born...
Now I'm not gonna lie, I struggled with her.  Reference material was thin on the ground for martini glass dancers, but she came out not too bad in the end.  After sending all five girls to my friend, the cone dancer came out the clear favourite, so I continued on to draw five more cone girls, which, again, I struggled with, but they turned out not too bad.

I got these five girls drawn, but you'll see the first and last pair are very similar.  I would find as I got halfway through drawing them I could draw them better or different, but I couldn't opt them out from the option list so they got sent too.

Whilst writing this post I've had a reply form the guys as to which they'd like me to continue on with, but this I will only continue to blog once she is finished.  My friend kindly allowed me to blog about the work I'm doing for him, but I'd still like to keep the final girl secret until she's finalised and in the hands of her rightful owner.  I will keep you posted as to her final progress.

x L

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Portfolio Pages


I know I have been slacking of late on the blog front, but trust me, there's been a SHED LOAD of work being done elsewhere.  We are currently sitting 6 days until degree show and 3 days till we find out our final grades.  Blogging was very much the last thing on my mind.

Anyhoo, for now, I have uploaded the pages of my portfolio which are exactly the same as what I handed into the lecturers on Monday, if you care for a gander.  We should hopefully be putting the final film up online somewhere (more than likely vimeo) for a period of time for all you wonderful people out there who won't be able to make it to the degree show.  You know who you are, and I will be in contact with you about it soon!

I will be trying to keep this blog up to date again, now I have time to lift my head off the desk and breathe.

So for now, enjoy the portfolio!

And maybe when you get bored of that, check out the Degree Show website of exhibiting students, myself and my fellow animators can be found in there with wee blurbs on our upcoming films.

Otherwise, see you at Degree Show!

Film poster by Susan Ball :D x

x L

Friday, April 6, 2012

Scene 09 Dog Run

Been a wee while since I've updated, so I thought I would share the current scene I've been working on.  Spent the last day and a bit working with the dog run cycle keys I got from Tara, flipping them, re-positioning them, cleaning-up/scanning/colouring them and finally re-timing them in Final Cut Pro.  My first re-timing attempt turned out like so:

As you can see, it wasn't perfect.  I put it past my Director and Lead Background Artist for advice and we decided to slow it down and re-time, which lengthened the animation to about 40 frames, and instantly made it looks better.  I added in the loose dog lead, which gave us this:

Which I am so chuffed about!  Especially 'cause I managed to nail the follow-through on the lead first time!  So, so happy.  Obviously, the dog will be running behind the fence, not on top of it.  I removed the fence layer to give you all a better view of the run cycle.  The dog should also be pink, not grey, as the colour will have spread through his fur by this point.  

The run cycle is actually half the length of what we'd previously timed out in the animatic, so I'm saving myself a good 8 seconds of animating all in all for the whole scene which I'm very pleased with.  It does mean I have to re-dope everything, which is a curse but will take up so much less time than animating those extra 8 seconds.  Good times all round.

Finally, here's an awesome wee compilation of all the dog & lead frames on the one page.  Wish I had ownership of the dog keys 'cause I would have loved to have put this in a frame for degree show.  Hopefully I can do it for another scene.

x L

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Final Character Colours

Here are the final colours for all the characters (minus the painter who hasn't been drawn into a scene yet) that we're using for colouring.  Scene 06 is completely animated and now in the colouring stages so we shall have updates on here soon.  It's looking really good!  So chuffed with how everything's turning out.

More soon!

x L

Friday, March 23, 2012

Scene 06 Updated

Thanks to everyone who got back to me about scene 06! I took all the comments on board and have spent the last couple days fixing and finalising the scene. It looks great now, and I've passed it onto Erin for clean-up.

Here's the scene with the new dog and ball layers:

Scene 06 Final Dog & Ball from Lynne M. Laurenson on Vimeo.

I fixed the slide on the Dog's feet which itself re-timed the run, so now the whole thing happens a lot faster, which a lot of people felt should happen.  Because of this I then had to re-time the ball as the Dog began to overtake it.  I then re-drew the Dog Walker (who I've affectionately renamed Doug Walker after my dear friend, Doug Walker) to match the new frames, and altogether they look like this:

Scene 06 Final Dog, Ball & Walker from Lynne M. Laurenson on Vimeo.

Finally, I added in the Girl layer to see how everything looks so far, and it looks AWESOME!  The new timing of the Dog, etc, couldn't have worked out better!  Very chuffed with how it's all looking now:

Scene 06 Final Girl, Dog, Ball & Walker from Lynne M. Laurenson on Vimeo.

Let me know what you think!

x L

Scene 03 Bear & Ball

Just a couple of short, finalised layers from the wonderful (read: bane of my life) scene 03, the girl on the see-saw scene. The first is the tumble of the teddy bear as it falls off the see-saw:

The second is the ball which slams into the back of the Girl's head:

I love animating these short wee layers, they make you feel like you're getting a lot done and ticking a lot of boxes.  I drew myself up a more precise list of What Needs To Get Done, which looks a little like this:

The lack of ticked boxes scares me.  Wish us luck.  5 weeks to go.

x L

Monday, March 19, 2012

Scene 06 Dogwalker Layer

Been having so many problems with the Dog Walker character in Scene 06 and would very much like some advice on the matter, if that's alright? All that I need to happen is have the Dog run by dragging his poor owner behind him, but I cannot for the life of my get it animated to look right. Something's off, but I don't know what. WHAT IS IT? It's a very quick scene, the whole thing is over in a second, but it feels slow. Why is that? If anyone can give me some pointers that would be DOSS, many thanks in advance!

x L

Little Boy Coloured

Here's the final colouring for the little Boy in our film! There's not much difference between the reds, they're very subtle... BUT it still took me ALL of last night and this morning to finalise though. Getting too pernickety for my own good. Gonna get his wee face added to my portfolio section soon too, which you should totally look at cause it's starting to look awesome!

Got our first scene coloured this weekend too, many thanks to my colouring assistant/flatmate Jenny for sorting that out for my today whilst I was at work!  Will get it to our comper Bambi tomorrow and should HOPEFULLY have our first scene FINALISED!!!  WOOO!

The end is in sight people!

x L

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scene 06 Girl, Dog and Ball Line Test

The wonderful Tara Vaughan-Smith has been kind enough to let us borrow her awesome creature animation skills for the Dog in our film!  Yesterday I stolez the layer she's been working on for scene 06, cleaned it up and added it to the line test along with the Girl and the bouncing ball.  Here's how it's looking with the original background:

Here's the same line test, but this time with a more basic background so that you may see the action of the characters a little more clearly:
To make sure the scene isn't too busy, we're thinking about extending the Little Girl's pause as she looks in the bush until the dog has run off the screen.  This way the Girl gets our full attention, because right now, it's difficult to know where to look with both actions happening simultaneously.  The pace of the Dog's run cycle was taken straight from the animatic, which was quite roughly done.  We're starting to think it may be too quick, considering the dog will be dragging a full grown man behind him as he chases the ball.  This line test shows the dog at his original speed (played at 25 fps):

Scene 06 Dog Layer Final Inbetweens 25 FPS from Lynne M. Laurenson on Vimeo.

I've slowed down the following line test of the dog to 16fps for comparison:

Scene 06 Dog Layer Final Inbetweens 16 FPS from Lynne M. Laurenson on Vimeo.

Feedback for this would be awesome if you have a few minutes to spare!  Any comments are always welcome.  Just need to complete the debris and Dog Walker layers and this scene will be finished.  BOOM!

x L

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scene 3.5 Keys

Here are the keys for a sneaky little scene we've added in last minute, right smack in the middle of Scene 03.  It was suggested by the Independent Examiner for our course, Paul Wells (yes, THE PAUL WELLS :D), and seconded by our own wonderful mentor Wayne Thomas.  It's basically just a tiny three second close up of the Little Girl sad and lonely on her seesaw.  We have the wonderful Sarah Rettie doing the in-betweens as we speak!  

Here it is:

:D x L

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scene 06 Girl Layer Inbetweened

Here are the wonderful Erin Thomson's (THANKS LOVE!) inbetweens for Scene 06 (Girl goes over to bush to confront Boy).  She didn't have access to the layout (I stolez it) to line test it altogether, so you will have to imagine the Girl raking through a pink-stained bush in order to get to the Boy.  There's one frame at the very beginning which is off slightly, but I have a feeling it was my keys and not Erin's inbetweens.  It will get fixed.

EDIT:  I've gone and uploaded a new line test of this scene without moving holds and added in the background.  I felt like the moving holds were causing too much of a boil effect on the line test so they had to go.  I have also fixed the jump at the beginning, so these are the final, final inbetweens:

x L

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

100th Post/Life Drawing 28/02/12

I feel terrible saying this is the first life drawing I've been to this semester, but with all the work I've got going on, coupled with my mystery illness, life drawing has not been my top priority.  But today I made it along!  Felt a wee bit hairy halfway through but I persevered and got a couple of good drawings out of it!  The third years have their life drawing sessions on a Thursday morning so may crash that for the remainder of the semester to catch up.

We had the wonderful Eddie today, and we were drawing his head from various angles.  I was really chuffed with drawing 2 and 3, not so much 1 or 4 (at all, after 15 minutes of 4 I gave up and drew his hand instead).  First three sittings were 15 minutes and the final two were 20 minutes (the hand was just a couple of minutes).  All were drawn using graphite pencils.

Also, 100th post!!  WOOO!  And to celebrate (not really, but I thought it'd be nice to mention) I've updated the look of the blog and finally got round to changing the web address from lynneface to lynnelaurenson, which I think sounds a lot more professional.  The web banner was courtesy of artist/photographer Reece Morton at A4PS and I absolutely love it!  His website's still a working progress, but I can tell you now his art is bloody impressive, keep an eye out for it coming soon.  Mega thanks mate! 


x L

Scene 06 Girl Layer Rough Keys

Here are the rough keys for the Girl layer of Scene 06.  Getting really annoyed at myself for not spending more time on designing her hair, but tbh I've been struggling so long with it that I have just had to finally settle with a design and be happy with it.  I'm too far behind to keep designing and redesigning her hair when it looks fine as it is.  I just think it could, maybe look better.  Meh.

So yeah, any comment and crits would be fantastic!  I'm finding it difficult to see it anymore, since I've been looking at it for so long, so fresh eyes are very, very welcome just now.


x L

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Procrastination Drawings 01

Taking breaks from animating usually involves me facebooking, twittering, Daily Mailing (I know, I KNOW, it's just they always have stories on ants or turtles and WE LOVE STORIES ABOUT ANTS AND TURTLES), or streaming TV shows online.  For a change, and because it'll make me a much better artist, I've been picking up a sheet of paper and a pencil instead and spending some time doodling or sketching.  

Here is the first of my wee trio I've been drawing these last couple days.  LOVE being back in Photoshop colouring, there is nothing more fun!  I won't be saying that when we're colouring for the film, this I know, but when it's for funsies it's awesome.  Having mad problems with the Photoshop I've got though, seems to no longer want to save anything as a jpeg, which is confusing and frustrating.  Think I'm going to have to find myself a newer version...

The other two sketches will be posted poste haste, (as in, as soon as I've coloured them.)  Thinking I may print them off and add them to my sketchbook.  We shall see.

x L

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scene 04 and Clean-Up Test


Been far too long since I last blogged.  Since November I've been having a lot of health issues, so getting better has been a big priority of late, and things such as my blog, and unfortunately the film, have had to take a step back.  I'm still currently "under investigation" at the doctors, and on waiting lists for this treatment and the next, so I am back at uni as much as I can muster and learning to cope with permo-lightheadedness.  

I have managed to finalise a full scene!  Here I present to you Scene 04:

The one where the Boy jumps into the bush.  It is being inbetweened as we speak.  Spent this morning looking at what we plan on doing for clean-up.  I worked on a film last summer for Masters student Mark Haldane and he used ink in his clean-up process, which I have decided to go on and copy, with wonderful results (short test so best played on loop):

Everything's very tense in the studio just now, everyone's feeling The Fear.  It'll be an interesting couple of months in the lead up to final hand-in (30th April).  Have started looking at getting a digital portfolio together for the blog, so will hopefully have that up and running very soon!  Keep your eyes peeled.

More soon!

x L