Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Fishy Tale

Can't believe I haven't posted in over a month! Some animation tests coming soon.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Train Life

I wish I could have done this guy justice. He was actually more of a caricature in reality compared to what I have managed to draw, but thought he was worth posting. Might have another go at it to really get what I was after.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Tea Time...........

I had some real fun designing this guy. I really tried hard to capture his eccentricity and specific posing. Tea time is more fun than a coffee break!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Design Time

It's been a while, busy, holidays.............. life. Here's another set of character designs from the peculiar pets stuff I did a little while ago.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Friday, 10 June 2011


This is the dialogue I will be animating the scene to:

So I now need to listen to it....................and listen to it..............and listen to it.................and listen to it! To get to the heart of the matter and really start to understand what's going on with a random piece of dialogue like this I listen to it literally hundreds of times. I find it useful to put it on my iPod and sit quietly or even go for a walk. Anything really to get the ideas flowing. Like I mentioned in the last post, I start asking questions and really try and grasp the emotions and intent behind the spoken words, the subtext. I know it sounds really obvious, but when we speak, if taken at face value, our words only communicate a very small amount of the thought and emotion that drives them. So I use this repetitive loop to try and understand the characters, empathise and associate with them. 

Okay, let's get into it.

- You stole it..................I've 
- I thought you put it there?
- Why would I put it there?
- Kindness?
- Kindness? 
- You stole it. He stole it. 

After listening to this over and over I realised that as the second character starts delivering his line the first character hasn't actually finished talking. It sounds to me like he's going to say, ' You stole it.......I've been looking for this' before he gets interrupted and can only get the 'I've' out. This helped me to bring a starting point and I began to build the scene around the premise that the first character is getting something back that he once owned and treasures very much. I can also hear some rustling on the track which I may incorporate.  

Sometimes I might just sketch out a diagram like this to help feel the energy and phrasing.  The speed and energy of the first characters reactions make him a high energy, aggressive character to me in contrast to the second guy who seems kind, a little insecure and naive. This reading will support broad animation which I aim to make entertaining and fun. With that I'm on my way.........

Thursday, 9 June 2011

ANIMATION PLANNING 1 here goes! This is going to be the first post of many taking you through my entire approach and thought process when dealing with a dialogue scene. I've been used to lecturing most of this stuff and will be good to get it into a more accessible and hopefully organised format!

So first things first - PLANNING - why bother? For me it's about exploring ideas, having fun, making decisions and laying the solid foundations for all the hard work that will follow. There's nothing worse than getting knee deep into a scene and realising it's not as strong as it could be. That's not to say that absolutely everything remains in a straight jacket as you progress, but the confidence provided in this stage is essential.

ANALYSING THE SOUNDTRACK. The dialogue I have chosen isn't part of a larger project (ie. a film) so this point is a little different to a shot being handed to you by a director. In that case you would be able to ask questions about the overall story, the way the scene fits within that, the intention of the scene etc, etc.. You would also have the story boards to refer to. This isn't the case here, this is for all intents and purposes a stand alone scene, so all that information has to come from yours truly. Including character design. 

So it's time to listen to the soundtrack. As I'm doing this I start to ask myself some questions:

Who are the characters?
What's their story? 
Where are they?
What do they want? 
What's the conflict? 
What's their history?

I really need to post the audio before we can move on. It's getting late here and don't have time to get that up and running right now. To save me some time before tomorrows post, does anybody out there know how to do it? 

Friday, 3 June 2011

At last............ANIMATION

So this is The Animation Art of Neil Housego, yet animation is notably absent from this blog, right? Well I'm in the process of putting together a dialogue scene for fun (some frames shown above) and to show my process from start to finish. I'm going to start with the all important planning stage and will hopefully have a post put together in the next few days. I'm hoping it will be useful to all of you who come here on a regular basis. 

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Some more book stuff................. Sniffin' out the treasure.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Tea time...........

So one of the things I've got in the pipeline is a children's book. It will be written by me and my wife (she being the wordy one and me being the one that can allegedly draw). Not sure when we will get it finished, but I'm hoping to give a sneak peek into the production artwork as it happens. Above is one of the first works in progress, hope you all like it. Also I'm making sure I steer clear of the computer for this project :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Back to some more reportage character stuff. Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been cooking some things up. Stay tuned.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Cat Chat

Thought I'd better post a character with a more conservative taste in pets.

Friday, 8 April 2011

A little bit of process......

Firstly I put together a very quick sketch from observation. This was a character I caught walking in my local park with the basic pose being captured very quickly and the detail added from memory as he continued on his way. As I'm drawing, I'm looking for ways to play with proportion, shape and form to create something specific and unique. Favourite tools of choice, Orange Col-Erase on 13x 21cm Moleskine Sketchbook/ Notebook.

Then I scan in the drawing and lay it on some sort of textured paper. This is sometimes left for later (see other example later in the post).

In Sketchbook Pro I start to block in the main shapes using the paintbrush, paying attention to their appeal and structure to the whole. Things are changed at this stage if needed, to help bring clarity to the design. The initial line work is then laid over the top with the pencil, to help define form and detail.

More line work is added, this time concentrating on the face. Making sure I use the initial sketch as reference, I make the forms more solid and make sure the attitude/ expression is readable. I don't want to lose the original feeling I had from the subject, but I do want to push it a little.

Surface texture or pattern is then added. In this case, I remembered the design of his jacket and have included it as a decorative element which is an exaggeration and simplification of the reality. Always thinking about the three dimensional form as I do this. 

Then it's a case of cleaning up any areas that are outstanding and adding the context. 

So that's a basic overview of the process and hope this gives a bit of insight into how I start to build character from my observational sketching. Below I have included another example to help throw some more light.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Butterfly Girl

I've been meaning to do a post about my process since I started the blog. I will hopefully be getting around to putting that together this week. For the moment though here's another girl with a pet problem.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Spring Stroll

Been really busy putting a little something together. More details about that to follow in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Feeding the character library. I should really take the train more often.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Alice's Adventures Underground

Out and about, searching for the specific. For me discovering new forms and character has to come from life. The way the information is interpreted and applied is an adventure.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Monkey Matters

Here's a sculpt of a character I collaborated with the super talented Ovi Nedelcu on a few years back. This was printed out using a powder based rapid prototyping machine from my original Maya file. This model is now long gone as it got damaged (beheaded to be exact!). Was digging through some files and thought it may be of interest. Also check out Ovi's blog it's well worth a visit (