Itchy Pictures is the production studio of freelance animation director and 3D artist Simon Cornish: offering a combination of edgy, creative style and controlled technical ability.
Simon creates animation, motion graphics and effects for promos, commercials and film productions. He also creates illustrations and offers script consultancy.
All for very competitive out-of-London rates.
Case Study: Sony PSP – Post Production and Effects
Post Production for Sony’s PSP Lite Promotion
Directed and produced by Alkin Emirali
A Red Design production
Simon worked on set as digital effects supervisor. He was then handed the rough edited footage for post production.
Shot using a ‘real’ PlayStation using a sophisticated motion control camera this production needed a number of post treatments to create the final commercial. It was important to keep the feeling of intimacy in each shot whilst making the graphics clear enough to get the message across.
Involving a very big studio, a lot of crew, a very big motion control camera, and banks of kit to run it. The motion control camera was capable of spinning both the PSP and the camera in any direction. This made motion tracking a very important issue. The shoot was undertaken on a white background rather than chromakey to allow for a better lighting and in-lens effects of depth and flashes from the surface of the device.
All of this for one tiny PSP at the centre of the show.
Chromakey and Cleanup
The blue rods used to support the PSP’s used in filming were removed from the shot. A number of the backgrounds were also matted out to give a more uniform look to the whole production.
Small plastic devices like the PSP are fluff magnets and, despite the best efforts of the effects crew on the shoot, numerous marks and bits of dust still needed to be removed frame by frame from the footage.
Effects and Motion Graphics
The floating text elements were created and animated in Lightwave 3D. A simple box was used over the video footage and the motion control data and motion tracking used to track the movement of both the camera and the PSP. The rendered text was then passed back to Adobe After Effects for compositing.
The PSP devices used for the shoot were inactive dummy cases with the batteries removed – drilling holes into batteries to insert the blue supporting rods would have been a bad idea. As a result apparently simple details such as adding the green standby light or active video screen had to be added and track seamlessly to maintain the illusion.
Custom flare and light leak effects were created to add more drama. Additional blurring was also introduced to increase the depth in certain shots. A final colour grade was then given to ensure overall consistency of the piece.
Simon specialises in the use of Adobe After Effects and Lightwave 3D. He also uses Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, Final Draft, DaVinci. He is also able to quickly take on board new software or troubleshoot potential production issues, for example converting SketchUp models into a format suitable for animation production.
Simon can work either in-house or on-site depending on the needs and requirements of the client or production.
In-house he is able to offer a full production and post production service from concept to delivery, with high spec digital facilities, optical dolby playback and a small render farm.
Case Study: Blizzard Jackets Promo – Motion Graphics and Branding
Blizzard Clothing: Motion Graphics for Promo
Produced and directed by Ben Sherriff
“Simon took on a brand new concept in outdoor clothing and really got inside the idea and turned my thinking into the most fantastic computer generated graphics. People see this and they say I get it, I get what this product is about!”
Andy MacKellar, Blizzard Clothing.
Simon’s part was to produce moving graphics for the promo that showed how the jacket works, while living up to the high-tech nature of the product.
Over a series of meetings and emails several elements were identified that needed to be shown as graphics during the video.
3D Motion Graphics
It was necessary to show the patented material used in the core of jacket. Simon modelled the light foam with its unique dimpled form in 3D. To reflect its lightweight properties and its ability to provide an airflow through it, he created a ripple effect, finishing the clip with the company branding.
It was important to show diagrammatic and physical versions of the jacket with the airflow passing through. Footage of the actual jacket in use was tracked and arrows added in post production. Blue to represent cool air going in and red for warm air coming out behind.
3D CG models were created and animated to show how the air passes through the jacket and cools the rider down. A mannequin style figure was created both for simplicity and style. For similar reasons a simple wireframe look render of the model was used as it would not only highlight the coloured arrows moving through, but contribute to the high-tech feel of the promo.
The bike and jacket were modelled in a minimalistic style, merely suggesting the profiles. The mannequin figure was given a denser mesh in a subdued shade to allow the simple wireframe profiles of the jacket to stand out.
Each arrow was sent along its own animated path. Along with colour changes and fades, the sheer number of elements made for a complex scene. A spreadsheet was used to keep track of it all, and ensure everything was checked-off at the appropriate point.
Finally Simon created a logo sequence using particle effects that not only showed the the brand off to best effect, but reinforced the message of air flow and temperature regulation that the promo was all about .
Simon has had considerable experience in the industry and can undertake: 2D and 3D animation, 3D modelling, 3D visualisations, particle effects, lighting and cinematography for 3D animation, 2D and 3D design and graphics, motion graphics, logo design and brand animation.
Also for post production simon offers editing, seamless compositing, chromakey, colour correction and grading, digital cleanup, motion tracking, digital visual effects, and on-shoot digital vfx supervision, as well as film and broadcast titles and interstitials.
Simon can also create banner ads, animated gifs, conference graphics and augmented power point presentations.