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Animation and illustration project round up for 2018

Mair Perkins Animation Showreel cover 2019

Happy New Year! We made it around the sun yet again!

 Let’s kick this blog post off with a new animation showreel!

Animation Projects

In 2018 I had the joy of working with some amazing people and organisations. There’s a lot of learning, research and discovery that goes into an animation project. Whether it’s writing a script or sketching out storyboard visuals, to properly convey the messages in a video, I need to soak up some information about the clients’ area of expertise. 

The biggest and longest animation project I’ve worked on to date was the “We All Have Mental Health” animation which is part of a free teaching resource for UK secondary schools.  The title of the film “We All Have Mental Health” actually came from a pupil in one of the workshops who prior to the workshops, thought mental health only related to having a mental illness.

Mental health is something we all have and just like physical health, it’s important to take care of our mental health.

Later in the year, I worked with a researcher to create animations for an app about mental health and emotional intelligence in children. Through that project, I learned about some of the tools of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness.

Animation for Mental Health App for Children

Another app project I was involved in was about a Roman Wall in Leicester. This was a fun little historical project that I worked with Derby’s QUAD Tech team on.

Jewry Wall educational heritage app animation

I also worked with an agency to animate some interactive displays for the Science Museum. I can’t share these videos but if you visit, keep an eye out for some educational animations about sun dials!

Another one I can’t share yet but was super interesting to work on was an animation about machine learning with some Australian organisations. It was the first time I’d worked with people in Australia and thanks to modern communication and project organisational tools, we had no problems with the time zone difference!

The wonderful charity and research organisation, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), asked me to turn one of their children’s story books into an animation. Then later in the year I worked with them on these animations that were part of a campaign by CCLG to raise awareness around parents of children with cancer.

What do parents of children with cancer say? Animation for Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group

This year was a big one for environmental projects. I worked with five different environmental science researchers to help summarise their work through animated video. We often only hear about the environmental issues that reach the news headlines but there are so many other areas that aren’t widely published or are still being investigated. Such as…

Sam - Rainforest Soil Environmental Research AnimationIce enrichment of chemical pollutants - - Environmental Science PhD Research Animation

I also created these two animations for my local council to promote…

Alongside the environmental, educational and mental health projects, I often work on explainer videos for tech companies to help explain their services and software. This year I made an overview animation for Cronofy and another video to explain their new “Slack connect” tool. I always enjoy working with the folk at Cronofy, they write great scripts and encourage me to animate fun, quirky characters in their videos.

Slack Connect Explainer Animation

Illustration Projects

The organisers of Hack24 in Nottingham, asked me to design a robot mascot character for the event. They were so lovely to work with and it was amazing to see how many different ways the design was used at the event!

Illustrating Hackbot

The author, Jon Pogioli, asked me to illustrate another book cover. I also made this process video to show my digital painting process.

I designed and illustrated a few booklets about mental health and well being in schools. These are free resources sent to schools by the The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Designing booklets for Mental Health And Wellbeing In SchoolsAnna Freud mental health design illustration

I also created some illustrations for clinicians to use with patients at the NHS Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic. I’m unable to share these just yet but it was a great project to work on.

Another one I can’t share yet is an illustration I did for East Midlands Trains. It was a 10 year timeline illustration for management conference.

Personal Projects

This “Veruna” animation was made in my own time as I wanted to try some new techniques in a cinematic, painterly visual style and create a portfolio piece to demonstrate this style. I also wanted to try out some more frame by frame animation and try mixing some 3D into my 2D work. Check out my portfolio entry to read a production process breakdown.

Veruna water animation thumbnail

I joined the fabulous Punanimation directory and created this little animation for it. 

Punanimation_Animation_loop

Inktober is a drawing challenge I’ve participated in for the past few years. This year I created an animated ink drawing each day. It was exhausting but fun and rewarding (That’s animation in a nutshell!)

This summer, I teamed up with my animator buddy, Steff Lee , her partner Jack and games animator Oz Durose to take part in the Anijam 48 hour animation challenge. Here’s what we made in just 48 hours. From concept to final render. This was also exhausting but fun and rewarding!

The Sketchbook Project is a public library based in Brooklyn, NY filled with sketchbooks contributed by creative people from 135+ countries. I filled up this sketchbook between August 2017 and April 2018. It’s now residing amongst thousands of other sketchbooks from other artists all over the world. If you can’t visit the library in person, you can flick through my sketchbook digitally.

the sketchbook project

I joined in on the annual School of Motion Alumni holiday card again! Traci Brinling organised this fantastic collaborative project. Be sure to watch the full holiday card with all the other amazing SoM alumni’s animations.

I chose “The Moon” as this year was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and who wouldn’t love to travel to the moon?

SoM Moon xmas_Mair Perkins

My buddy, Dav, interviewed me on his YouTube channel and I animated a little clip in the video. He is one hilarious fellow.

Here’s some other things I made to play, learn and experiment. I studied an online course for Cinema 4D in 2018 so there’s a few 3D experiments on my social media feed. I’m still learning and planning a 3D showreel for 2019! I would highly recommend that course by School of Motion if you’re interested in learning Cinema 4D.

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Portrait Commissions

You may know that I also run an anime portrait business alongside my animation / illustration company. These are some of the portraits I’ve been commissioned to do for individuals in 2018.

Podcasts

Towards the end of 2018, I was interviewed on the “Get Work Savvy” podcast and the “Motion Hatch” podcast about my work.  Liam and Hayley are lovely people, were great to chat with and made me feel very comfortable, so a huge thanks to them both for inviting me on. You can listen either via the links in a browser or by searching on your podcast app.

Get Work Savvy podcast Motion Hatch podcast

Questions Answered

In response to the growing number of questions I receive, I wrote this FAQ page. It explains how I work, lists the software and hardware I use and gives a brief overview on my education and career path.

FAQ page

I moved into a new office…

…again! In the summer of 2017, my old office space was burgled. It was stressful at the time but not much was stolen and all is fine now. After that, I had a temporary set up at Friar Gate Studios in Derby until I found the ideal space at 11a St Mary’s Gate where I rent from the lovely folk at Subism.

University Lecturing

In autumn 2018, I taught two character rigging and animation sessions at the University of Derby. I also gave a careers talk there February and met with a few students to give careers advice and answer questions. 

This silly walk was made to demonstrate the need to be subtle with the auto-walk cycle feature in Duik Bassel in After Effects.

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Here’s some photos from the lessons.

New Headshots

It had been 5 years since my last professional photograph so I asked Matthew Jones Photography for help. He did a great job and made me feel comfortable. Later some friends pointed out the resemblance between my facial expression in some photos and a certain meme!

Finally…

Thanks for checking out my round up of 2018. I have some exciting projects and goals lined up for 2019.

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