Marc Godfrey Animator

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Well, I don't quite know what happened here, but Zeitraffer (which I use to compose all my rendered images) didn't quite like my rendered files, and gave me this piece of weirdness.

Instead of deleting it, I thought I would share. There's something quite beautiful in its strangeness.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Escape VFX Festival 2013

I just wanted to dedicate a little piece of my animation blog to the Escape Studios VFX Festival, that took place last week. I had such a great time!

Not only did I work it, but I attended a couple of the screenings too. I was at the Getting Into VFX talk, which was great - although to be honest, it didn't differ much from the same talk they did the previous year at Escape. A nice addition to the panel was Eamonn Butler from Cinesite, who was there to talk about Animation! So obviously, I was very tuned into him.

One of the most interesting things he mentioned, is that he likes a showreel to have a story - definitely something to think about...although I'm not sure how the material I have at the moment, will fit nicely into a coherent story...but will certainly be looking at ways to incorporate that into my reel.

I was also at The Future of Digital Creativity Panel Debate which was also interesting, although it was chaired by the disappointingly bland Danny Leigh, from Film2013. Following that, was a screening from Framestore showcasing the work they did on Gravity - which looked exquisite.

All screenings were hosted by Helen O'Hara from Empire magazine, who was charismatic, interesting and humourous, with her question handling via teh roaming microphone and the use of the VFX twitter hashtag. She lightened the evenings I attended and was a very welcome addition to the festival (she would have done a much better job than Danny Leigh - why was he there anyway???)

As that was the last night, I also went along to the Closing Party - which was lots of fun. It has to be said that the volume of the music wasn't incredibly conducive to coherent talking, but maybe that was just me. It was nice to catch up with familiar faces and congratulate everyone involved in a great festival.

The shift from last year's relatively small VFX festival, to this year's massive offering only makes me even more excited for next year's VFX Festival, from Escape. Congrats to everyone who made it happen!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

I'm a Tutor!

Yes, you read that right! I was a tutor for the evening. Well, at least that's the name badge said that I got to wear the other night at Escape Studios VFX Festival. I was helping my animation tutor, Alex, who was leading an Animation Masterclass.

It was really exciting, I actually helped people! This time last year, that's the last thing I thought I would have been able to do. I was able to go round, see how people were getting on, and offer any help that was needed. I was actually pretty nervous, I was worried that someone would ask me how to do something, and I wouldn't know what to do - luckily, that didn't happen - but even if it did, I'm sure they wouldn't have minded...would they?

The Festival is/was great, so much better than last year. Escape have really stepped up their game. The studios looked slicker than ever, and the format was incredibly professional, with a welcome desk for everyone to sign in before they actually got inside...last year's was a bit messy because this wasn't done as effectively. It was nice going back to the place I studied too, gave me those warm and fuzzy feelings.

Escape also have some big screenings and industry talks happening at the Vue cinema in Leicester Square. Nice. They're really bringing on the big guns. I have a couple more events to go to next week, which I'm looking forward to. I'm going to be meeting up with one of my friends from Bluebolt Studios, so it's going to be fun having a catch up in the context of the VFX Industry, instead of down the pub!

I'm hoping to be adding my updated Creature Reel soon too - so watch this space!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Oh! Mighty renderer, how I hate thee!

I'm currently rendering out some shots. I'm using an IBL, and a 90 frame shot has taken 5 hours to get half way! Ouch! Why, oh why, did I decide to use an IBL?

I've been to a couple of meetings with animation studios, and things are looking promising. I've been given some great feedback from the directors, and am currently in the process of adjusting my reel, according to their critique. Hence, my reignited relationship with the mighty renderer.

Hopefully over the next couple of days, I'll have my reworked reel ready to send back to them. It was really nice to hear positive things from professionals in the industry, who aren't my tutors or classmates. Happy face!

Oh, Happy Halloween by the way. Here's the article with my screen shot of my animation from the musical Wicked (bottom right, in the article).

And so, here's a reminder of the work in progress shot I did (in its rough form)...y'know, as it's Halloween and everything :)

Monday, 7 October 2013

Animation Updates

Hi there, remember me? I know, I know, it's been a while since I last blogged but don't worry I'm still here.

In between applying for entry level positions in studios across the land, I've moved house and relocated, been on Jury service, been working, been animating, lost 2 stone...and amongst all the excitement of getting my latest Showreel onto my website and sorting through boxes that I haven't gone through since I was at school...I came across this book!

This was my very first animation book I got when I was about 10. I'm not sure of the exact age, but I was at Primary school - I remember having it at my desk in year4, so I may have been younger than 10. reminded me about why I'm doing what I'm doing, and why I'm applying for animation roles. It's strange how my career choices have gone full circle. From wanting to animate, to wanting to work in theatre, to wanting to be an artist, to wanting to work in the corporate rat wanting to fuse together theatre and art to return to my career choice: Animation.

Whilst you breathe a sigh of sweet nostalgia with me, take a peek at my latest showreel, it's pretty cool, even if I do say so myself:

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Showreel #1 - Done!

I've done it! I've finally finished my first showreel. I'm really pleased, and relieved. It's taken a year to get to this stage...

To see it, check out my website:

I would really love to know what you think.

I'm in the process of getting my 2 other showreels completed too. I've done my Animal and Creatures, I still need to complete a Games and Character reel...I'll keep you updated :)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Art of the Title!

I've recently been working on a titles for my showreel. At first glance, it seems like not a big deal, but when you get down to it, you're creating something that makes a first impression - yikes! This means it's got to be good.

Here are my first attempts:


I then simplified to get this:

The feedback about this was about keeping it simple, and drawing inspiration from a title sequence that I like. After trawling the internet and various title websites, I found this intro, and the actual title part of the intro was appealing. It looked simple, classy and bold. What do you think?:


...and so from that, I created this...which so far, is what I'm sticking with.

Let me know what you think - it would be good to get as much feedback as I can :)


Monday, 27 May 2013

How to Animate a Car...

Well, I'm not expert to assume that I can teach someone how to animate a vehicle...but I did a car this's not bad.

The toughest part for me, was to work out where to put the squash the stretch. Although it's a solid object, you still need to add performance elements to give the overall piece some flow.

The car rig is a nice little piece of kit - it came with a good squash functionality, as well as being able to lift up the bonnet and boot...very nice touches!

I used reference from the gazillion clips that are on youtube, of cars screeching doing stunts and 180 slide turns.

There are still a few tweeks here and there that I want to do to it...but for now, it's not that bad. What do you think?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Animating a Flap Cycle

My last assignment with Animation Apprentice is to animate a flying bird. The flap cycle is surprisingly straight forward, the only complication comes when studying the actual motion of a bird's wing and making sure it's doing what a bird, does!

The rig isn't the best to use for close ups. It's quite geometric and low-poly, but the overall effect is very pleasing if the camera angle isn't too close.

Since the bird looks like a crow, I figured it was appropriate to go gothic with my shot. My murder of crows swoop in, and swoop out towards the moon. What do you think?

Monday, 29 April 2013

More Scorpions!

Hello! Here are the final videos for my Scorpion animation.

I really enjoy creature animation. I'm wondering if that's "my thing". I always saw myself as a character animator, given my theatre background. But it would appear that my art background is helping my observations of creature movement?


I've also started a new blog. I've decided to publish all the art from my sketchbooks! I've really enjoyed doing it, I feel like I'm archiving! So please have a look, and don't forget to sign up to receive updates to your email address: Marc Godfrey Sketch Blog

Oh yeah, and always, don't forget to leave me comments :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

I've Been Animating For a Pregnancy!

Don't worry, no one's pregnant. I just logged into my Animation Apprentice account, and I've been a member for just over 9 months - that's a pregnancy! ...and it does feel like I've been reborn, in some sort of cheesy, cliche way.

I've learnt so much. I feel that I'm using my creativity, and I feel very satisfied for it. Before, it was like I was stuck, somehow. I knew where I wanted to be, vaguely, but didn't know how to get there - and because no sails were in motion, I just spent a lot of my time just treading water.

Now, I'm training in a field that sparks my interests, working with like minded people, learning from my peers - I certainly feel more fulfilled than I have done in a very long time. It feels good.

Here's one of my latest animations. I've still got work to do it, but it's getting there. What do you think?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


One of my latest animations has been a spider. I wasn't too keen when I first got the rig, this beast brought out an irrational arachnophobic feeling in me. So, immediately I turned him bright pink, and that was fine!

The assignment was to animate the spider on a walk cycle and add some sort of performance. I did two. Weirdly, and most interestingly, the two animations are very similar. One appears more playful, one more vicious. It's amazing what colours and additional set items can do to tell a story - or rather change a story.

Here's the first one, Playful Spider:


...and here's the second, Vengeful Spider:


See what I mean about them both being very similar? The only real differences are colour, lighting and "prey".

You should also be able to see how much more professional the second animation is? This is because it was the first animation I did as a proper render! From trawling various animation forums, I found a link to this really smart app called "Zeitraffer". Basically, it takes images and puts them together a your desired frame rate, and makes a movie clip. It's so simple. Best thing is, it's FREE! to do more animation now. I love receiving comments, so please let me know what you think...or just say hi!

Thanks :)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Run Horsey, Run!

We had the Grand National at the weekend (thank you very much TeaforThree and Oscar Time), so thought it was a good time to post my latest animation, of a running horse!

I've really enjoyed doing the creature cycles. I find them quite straight forward, surprisingly, I mean they look really complicated right? As long as you have good thumbnails, they're really not that bad!

What do you think...?

I'm getting to the stage where I need to start putting together my show reel, which I'm really excited about. If anything, I'm excited to have a professional looking, quality reel. Playblasts (which this is, a kind of moving screen shot) are good and all that, but the final render is going to look super cool!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

My Trotting Horse

Here's the latest installment in my Animation learning. My 22nd assignment with Animation Apprentice was to take the horse rig, and make him trot. We've done the walk cycle, so now it's time to make him move a bit faster.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Horsey Horsey

On the Animation Apprentice course we're learning about Horse locomotion. At first, fear careered through my body, it looked REALLY fiddly and complicated, but I'm pleased to report...Tweren't at all bad, twas it not!

Once I got my head around the rig and understood the controls, it was really about making sure all the curves looked good and the cycle was working smoothly.

Here's my Walking Horse. What do you think?

My mind is constantly drifting to the dreaded question: How am I going to get a job? The end of the course with Animation Apprentice looms, which means I need to get my showreel up to scratch and good enough to show to a studio, and prove why they should take me on. Lots to do. CV and Linkedin profiles to sharpen!

And above all else...I need to come up with an idea to cohesively put a showreel together. Watch this space!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Some Mental Ray Renders to Salivate over...

On Wednesday, I posted a playblast of my latest Animation assignment, with Animation Apprentice. I've had a look at some renders, and have come up with these.

Don't they make the whole thing look so much better? When the scene is fully finished, I'll render the whole thing out properly, but until then, I'll leave you to drool over these...

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

My Popular Post...

It's been a while since I posted anything, mainly because I've been working on this.

It's not quite finished, but here's a playblast of a lipsync exercise. The extract is Louise Dearman, singing "Popular". All comments welcome :)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A little piece of Big Bang Animation from me...

Feels like ages since I posted something, so thought I would share my latest piece of animation. It's not finished, there's still work to do and tweaks to make before it's worthy.

Anyway, hope you like it, and the joke doesn't make you groan too much :) the way, do you recognise the voice?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Woah! Soooooo BRAVE has won the BAFTA for Best Animation! Why oh why, wasn't it RISE OF THE GUARDIANS? It was such a better film all round...tsk tsk.

The Making of Longbird - Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson also won a BAFTA for best Short Animation...can't say I've heard of it, so I'm eager to find out more!

With awards season well and truly in full swing, what delights will 2013 bring for the next round?

Friday, 8 February 2013

When Facing Fear, get Inspired!

Animation Dreaming

My last official day in my post at work is drawing ever closer. The anxiety and sense of fear that is starting to creep up on me, is getting louder. Am I doing the right thing? Should I be working full time whilst fixing up my showreel? Is it sensible to be giving up work without another job to go to?

Who knows! Well, I'm not leaving work completely, I am going back, but in a different role, and less hours. It feels like a good idea. But it also feels foolish. I guess I'm scared about not being good enough to make it in the world of Animation, and not being able to get a job. I'll get there though, I know it. I can feel it. Secretly though, I'm scared.

Our course at Escape finishes on Tuesday too. I'm scared.

So, um, yeah. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Reunited with an Old Friend!

Vintage Garfield T-shirts - circa 1988
Whilst clearing out a load of long forgotten junk, I stumbled across these little beauties; my treasured Garfield t-shirts I used to wear as a kid.

I used to be obsessed with Garfield. I had all the books and comics, spent hours drawing out my favourite Garfield characters and making cutouts for my bedroom wall. I used watch Garfield and Friends repeatedly on TV. I.was.obsessed.

I couldn't let them go to charity, had to keep them and thought I'd share here. Garfield's creator, Jim Davis, really inspired me to draw when I was perhaps if it wasn't for him and his beloved Garfield creation, I might not be where I am today, vying for a career in Animation. Garfield rocks!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Getting an Animation job!

I'm not yet at the stage where I'm job hunting. I still have a lot of work to do on my showreel. I'm very excited about what the future holds though.

Escape studios posted a blog by HaZ Dulull, offering his advice about getting work, in what is, a very competitive arena. You can get to the pearls of wisdom through the Escape link, or through here: Part 1: The ShowreelPart 2: Finding the right approach and lastly Part 3: Networking

An excellent read - jammed packed with really useful tips and advice. Big thumbs up!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Paperman! Paperman! Paperman!

I just saw the new Disney Short, to be screened before the UK's eagerly anticipated release of Wreck It Ralph...Paperman.

Ok, WOW! It lives up to the high quality standard we've come to expect from the Disney shorts. Sublime animation, beautiful music and perhaps more importantly, a gripping and gorgeous story!


Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Alex, my tutor at Animation Apprentice, is a very inspirational guy. He, along with many other animators, are passionate about drawing. Which as an apprentice, passionate about drawing too, is a very affirming thing to know; that your tutor trusts the very core skills of an animator, drawing, especially as a creative outlet. It doesn't matter if you're not very good at drawing, the most important thing is that you do it.

This blog, which he added recently solidifies this idea brilliantly: In Praise of Sketchbooks

Monday, 28 January 2013

I'm famous!

I forgot to mention...I'm famous! Well, that is, my tutor Alex has blogged about me.

A few years ago, I got a job working on the West End musical, Rent. I told Alex about it, and he was so impressed by how I got the job, he blogged about it.

You can read the article here: The animation student who created his own job

...I'm also celebrating 7 years with my other-half hurrahs all round :)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

How's the Animation Training going?

Me, where the Animation dream got
reawakened, back in 2009.
Things have been moving on for me at a nice pace! I must say though, being honest, for anyone that doesn't have a lot of experience in VFX, doing the Maya course with Escape Studios and doing another course with Animation Apprentice is a lot of work...especially juggling a regular job at the same time.

I've nearly finished with Escape Studios now (it's flown by), only 4 weeks left, but still have a good few weeks left with Alex at Animation Apprentice. If I had to do it all again, I would probably start off with Animation Apprentice, and maybe do a self-learning online Maya course, in my own time to up my skills.

The tutors at Escape are really lovely, and incredibly talented. However, some classes at Escape were, dare I say, I tad boring as we were learning things that bared no resemblance to anything I actually wanted to do with my career (of course, they were useful things to know about, but felt like teaching a drummer how to play the guitar)...but more recently, at Escape, we've been looking at Animation, it's not a patch on what I'm doing with Animation Apprentice. I recommend the course with Alex at AA, 100%!

I'm not phased by what the future holds...yet. I know jobs are few and far between in Animation, but I'm positive and optimistic. I really enjoy Animation, and feel that I'm being true to myself by taking the bull by the horns and retraining to do a completely different career in something I longed for as a child.

I'm leaving work in a few weeks...eeeek...although I will be back and forth, and doing some hours to tide me over, until a job opportunity comes up... I need to take the step and spend more time on my animation and show reel and really focus on landing that dream job! Very exciting! Kinda nerve-racking! Definitely fulfilling!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Books for Animators

I hear all the time, from friends and colleagues, which are the best books for Animators?

The response tends to lean towards a response of "just google what you're looking for" - this is especially the prevalent answer, when asked for the best books to help understand Maya. Maya gets updated every year, so it makes sense to steer away from buying specific books to help with why-won't-keyframes-move-in-the-graph-editor questions.

There are LOADS of great books out there, that become like bibles for animators. Everything from Disney sketchbooks, to the ultimate Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard Williams. So...I made a page especially for them. Take a peek and let me know what you think: Books and Gifts for Animators

Monday, 21 January 2013

I love this Show Reel!

Whilst browsing show reels online, I came across this gem by animator, Erica Pinto. It was really the first scene that caught my attention, as I'm a massive fan of TV show, 30Rock. I think Erica has captured the characters beautifully - I love the attention to detail, such as the little glasses bounce.

One day, I hope to be as gifted as Erica. Check out more of her work here.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Happy New Year - Happy New Animations!

Happy New Year! Hope 2013 brings you all you need!

So far, as well the animation training still going well, I've been busy inspiring myself with interviews from professional animators on Schoolism. These are my favourites: Interview with Disney Legend, Tom Bancroft,  Interview with Pixar Artist, Daniel Arriaga and Interview with Pixar Animator, Michal Makarewicz - inspiring indeed!

Here's one of my latest pieces of animation, so you can see how I'm getting on and developing...

Still got a bit of work to do, slippery feet and timing issues to be ironed not yet show reel worthy...but it will be!

Escape Studios is going well too, nearly finished the evening course, but the project is taking me longer than I hoped. It's been a difficult work load to manage, and if I could do it all again, I would have held off the Maya course and just focus on the Animation tutoring with Alex, but hey.

...Note to self: Keep up the Blog!!