I built a talking Charles Dickens for the Bank of England!

Two weeks ago I was assigned an animation for the Bank of England. I had to create a Charles Dickens character lip syncing a famous quote by the writer himself.

I used Z-Brush for this project and then I retopologized the mesh in Maya.

My character mesh is composed of two objects, a head and a torso.

I then created some blend shapes and proceeded to the animation. Overall it was really enjoyable to use Z brush for the sculpt and the blend shapes in Maya for the lip sync.

Here you find a quick recipe for fiercely riding a 3D dragon:



1 x dragon rendered in alpha channels. You can use any dragon animation you want, some people buy them readymade, I prefer homemade mesh. Luckily I happened to have one left from last week’s project. It smells ok and with a splash of new materials it will look as good as new, people won’t be able to tell the difference.

1 x Awkward footage of yourself riding a chair with a green background.

1 x make up and props. Everything works for a late 80s fantasy revival genre, don’t worry if you cant use real make up, use whatever you can get, try with a scoop of nice and hot bitumen, it will do the job just fine!


1 x Background: for this I followed my personal taste and I created a matte painting background of images which I had shot with my phone while travelling. Again, everything goes and it’s free from copyright, a rock can become a floating mountain or if you have no rock images just take a picture of a piece of pavement or even your elbow could do!

Imagination is paramount at this stage of the recipe. 



Place everything in After Effects and cook for a good 8 hours until the footage appears to smooth with the background  but is still chunky.

Et voila’ the footage is served!

Bon apetit!


Drawing Emotions With Closed Eyes

During our latest Laban physical acting class at the end of the session I had to draw basic character emotions keeping my eyes shut.

On the right columns of the sheet are the sketches made with closed eyes. For each we had to list few of the elements that combined together create the emotion.

After opening the eyes we developed the first sketches in a cleaner version.