Meet Miffy and the gang!

Tiny Pop have released some cute teasers for the new series of Miffy, which airs next Friday (also my final day working on the show!)

Meet Miffy


and Grunty!

Miffy TV Comes to Tiny Pop!


I have been leading on Miffy for the last year or so and we have a release date! Next Friday at 7pm on TinyPop – Its the first CGI miffy, with a stop motion style – looking forward to seeing it live

Originally posted on Miffy Blogs :

Miffy on Tiny Pop
From Friday 2nd October, Miffy fans can watch Miffy’s new TV show, Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small, on Tiny Pop at 7pm!

Miffy’s Adventures sees Miffy and her friends exploring the exciting world around her, from jumping in a puddle to going on a camping trip! Each adventure is seven minutes long – just long enough for you and your little Miffy to enjoy ‘cuddle time’ together before hopping off to bed.

Miffy 2

Perfect for young, delicate eyes, the show features bright primary colours and simple shapes, combined with plenty of space around them for a child’s imagination to roam.

Join the launch party on 2nd October at 1pm on the @Miffy_UK Twitter.

Tiny Pop is available to watch on Freeview (126), Sky (617) Virgin Media (737) and Freesat (605).

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Commuter Glitch – Pass the Pose Animation

I recently worked on Blue-Zoo’s latest short, Commuter Glitch – check it out below!

The brief was to create a “pass the pose” style animation, where the animators would receive the final few frames of animation, and then were free to do whatever they wanted. Joe Kinch’s idea of a boring commute gone crazy won the pitch and I had the pleasure of lighting 3 of the sections – The lighting was done really quickly and the short rendered in Redshift renderer for its speed.

For the first of my 3 renders I wanted the train turned into a rolling strip club, “Sloppy Joe’s” – adding sexy neon lights and replacing the adverts with some cheeky posters of  bums and other body parts beautifully illustrated by Joe:



For my next render I went for a “Billie Jean” style light-up walkway. I placed area lights around the environment, added locators to  the hands and feet of the character and wrote a python script that drove the intensity and colour of the area lights based on the distance of the locators:




My final render was to turn the characters into little tasty jelly figures!



This was a great project to mess around with and experiment – Looking forward to the next!

“Let me tell you about the true meaning of Christmas”

Last Christmas I got the opportunity to work on Blue-Zoo’s latest in house short, “Daddy Christmas”; Every few months the studio gives us the opportunity to pitch for their latest short, and this years brief was “An unusual Christmas greeting!” – Which Dan Cripps and Rory Cooke won. Voiced by Dan Renton Skinner (Angelos Epithemiou) and Teresa Gallagher, here it is, in all its gruesome glory:

This was an interesting project to work on – The set was “built” in the empty edit room in between refurbishment using bits of found and donated furniture, rubbish and tat – including a microwaveable roast dinner (which after 3 days of being open filled the room with that familiar festive scent) and selotaped wallpaper, with added mud, applied by hand of course.

Concept Art

Pitch concept by Rory Cooke

Dan and Rory

Dan and Rory re-enacting Christmas

Blood and Sick

Blood. Blood. Blood. And bits of sick.

I had a hand in shooting the backplates, which involved setting up the camera, lights and taking reference images of the set and some reference objects (Chrome ball and 3D printed Miffy) – I took multiple exposures of the set and created and HDRi to use as the IBL in the scene to help light match the characters to the background.

Set Photo

Set Reference


HDRi capture

I used the HDR set capture to then create an IBL and get a rough light match to the characters and reference objects. I used Maya for lighting and the short was rendered using Arnold – which gave great physically based lighting straight out of the box – just needing a few tonal tweaks to the HDR and some added lights. I mapped sections of the unwrapped HDR image onto area lights, placing them in the Maya scene as they were in the real world set.

IBL Test

IBL / Lighting Test

Using this light rig, lookdev was then done by Alastair Cross on the textures and shaders, to make dad look like a dirty old man.

Dad Test

Shader Lookdev

Final lookdev / Lighting test:


Final Stills / Christmas card:

Xmas Card


Sick Gif


New animated series of ‘Miffy’ announced

The first image of the new production of “Miffy” has been released!


We will be working on 52x7min episodes of this iconic character – “It will be the first time Dick Bruna’s character, which marks 60 years in 2015, has ever appeared in CGI”

This is a really exciting project, not only is it such an iconic children’s character, taking its first ever step into 3D animation (which is always dangerous territory) but also for me in particular, as I have been offered the role as lead lighter, which is a fantastic opportunity and one that I am really enjoying!

The series is looking beautiful so far – the style will be staying true to the original stop motion aesthetic of “Miffy and Friends” and is using the Arnold renderer, which is perfect for getting physically accurate shaders, lighting and diffuse bounce that is needed to sell the realistic stop motion “set” effect.

More to show soon!

Arnold Object ID colour values

Im a big fan of the Object ID option in the AIUtility shader – It makes the generation of ID’s really quick and easy and can just spit them out as an extra AOV – all you have to do is set an ID number in the Arnold User options, and it assigns all meshes to that colour ID. I have been using this a lot, a really simple python script can apply it to all selected meshes, and because its an Arnold attribute it can be applied to assets and exported through the Alembic pipeline – essentially giving object a permanent ID colour throughout production.


I couldn’t find any info about what colours correspond to what numbers, so just created a quick image for reference which I thought people may find useful.

I am really disappointed that all the colours appear to be similar pastel shades – some strong block colours would really be welcome here to help the compositors pull a really quick key / split the channels out

New Lighting reel is OUT!

Take a look at the new winter 2013/14 collection available NOW!

(give your eyes a treat and view on vimeo for a beautiful HD version!)

Its short and sweet, with some shots of my work as a Lighting TD at blue-zoo productions, a personal project and demonstration of some python scripting.

  • Tree Fu Tom – Blue-Zoo productions: Lighting and Rendering the characters / environments and pre-comping.
  • Robot Integration – Personal project matching a model to a back plate. Filmed and tracked the back plate, matched the lighting, HDRi generation, animation, compositing in Nuke. Model from Digital Tutors.
  • QPootle – Lighting TD – Lighting of characters, environments, input into character shaders and assets, fluid design and simulation.
  • Nuke-Python Script – Pre comps images in a specified folder. Assigns nodes and merges the imported images.
  • Integration Breakdown – Example of the HDRi used, breakdown of passes and post effects.

Looking forward to adding more exciting projects in the future!


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