The Continuing Adventures of Little Miss Dee

I used to love the Mr Men books when the kids were younger, so much so that I bought the whole set. Roger Hargreaves originally drew and authored them and now his son, Adam continues his legacy, with new Mr and Miss characters already added to the range. You might have gathered that I also love Doctor Who which makes me pleased as punch to see the launch of a new range of Doctor Who Mr Men styled books, with the first batch of titles, ‘Dr First,’ ‘Dr Fourth,’ ‘Dr Eleventh’ and ‘Dr Twelfth’ to read and devour!

Addtionally Dr Twelfth has even been brought to life as a short animated book with Missy, aka actress Michelle Gomez narrating the story, so this was great to watch. Also, to celebrate the launch the official BBC Doctor Who Fan Show interviewed Adam Hargreaves, who not only drew a Tardis live, but created a new ‘Little Miss Dee’ character based on fan show presenter, Christel Dee. Little Miss Dee then also ended up in her own animated story, again voiced by Missy.

With all of these new gifts to read and watch I just couldn’t resist using this as inspiration for me to create my own mini animation themed around Little Miss Dee’s continuuing adventures, but this time she had Mr Clever helping her! In fact he cleverly organised a surprise present in an exciting place to help celebrate these new Dr Men series of books.

So basically what I’m trying to say is my animation involves The Tardis, sleep, lots of shouting, vortex travel and cake in the order lol. Having gone live on social media etc it’s great to get really nice comments about it, including the DW fan show themselves, who responded to it with this brilliant pun, ‘Consider us Mr and Little Miss Mind Blown!

Therefore, I hope you enjoy watching it too!


Watery Dalek?

Saturday 15th April 2017 saw the return of Doctor Who Season 10 with a classic episode introducing new companion, Bill Potts. The Pilot remixed influences from previous Who episodes like Shada, Midnight, Destiny of the Daleks, Waters of Mars, to create a shapeshifting watery alien who could not only take on Daleks, but mimic and melt in front of them!

With this in mind I created a short animated gif highlighting a Dalek’s dilemma when facing an alien of this nature i.e. do they Exterminate, or Evaporate it?

Dalek filling with water and melting into nothingness

Animated Museum Gif

Small animated gifs dominate the internet on social network feeds, so it was no surprise that cultural institutions like Museums had the opportunity to create their own fun content and hashtag it with #MusGif on April 12th 2017.

Not only is it fun to do, but it gets you looking closer at a Museum collection and artworks. With this in mind I entered into the spirit and visited Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery seeing a variety of art and sculptures and also taking photo snaps from their, ‘Night in the museum’ and ‘I Want I Want’ exhibitions. Having taken a collection of photos I settled on using four artworks, or sculptures, namely, Jacob Epstein’s Fallen Angel and Rock Drill, Fiona Rae’s Dark Star painting and Henry Moore’s Warrior sculpture.

It’s amazing to think that Epstein’s original sculpture was created in 1913 as it wouldn’t look out of place in a modern day Star Wars film. My inspiration was the internet ‘Dab’ move craze, so again after getting reference video from my daughter, I then created a six second animation which became the alien dab attack gif. Enjoy!

Alien Sculpture Dab Attack!

6SecondHistory Animations

A new venture which I’ve been experimenting with recently is to adapt and animate old archive photos from various Library and public domain copyright free picture archives, then using them to create short six second mini animations, based around a historical event etc. This has been an interesting way of bringing to life 2D photos and repurposing them in an innovative way. It’s also given a great opportunity to really delve into Adobe After Effects CC and learn more about the new features in Adobe Animate CC.

To date I’ve created animations on various themes such as, ‘Shakespeare’, ‘Football’, ‘The Beatles’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Amy Johnson’, ‘Apollo 13’, ‘The Queen’ and many more. To find out more check out my 6SecondHistory Instagram account. If you’d like me to adapt any of your content in such a way then feel free to contact me

Six Second History Instagram picture Cover examples

Animated Animations – Made With Animate

So February 2016 saw the launch of the rebranded version of Adobe’s Flash CC software, appropriately now named. ‘Adobe Animate CC.’ As part of the launch Adobe streamed a week of tutorials, demos, games design etc on Twitch using this new version of the software. They also invited Twitter users to create animations using the software and post them with the hashtag, ‘#MadeWithAnimate.’

Naturally I entered into the spirit of the challenge and created a few short animations, one of which was an extension of a Daleks at War story idea I’d had a while back. I used the idea of the Flash logo infiltrating the Dalek city, gradually wiping out growing Daleks, seen slowly spawning from growth tanks dotted around the city. When this Flash logo was eventually exterminated I thought it’d be a nice twist to see the dead Flash logo regenerating into the new Animate logo and chase the Dalek in an angry, just woken up fashion, while still destroying any spare Daleks lurking in pulsating growth chambers.

I created the opening Doctor Who like introduction, in the style of the 12th Doctor’s timepiece using After Effects CC to recreate a dramatic effect with the spiral clock spinning and weaving from side to side, whilst the cartoony Dalek animation was created mainly using Adobe’s new rebranded Animate CC software. However, I created the Dalek and Flash/animate logo 3d sprites externally as individual pngs using Cheetah3D for the Mac to get all the 3D viewpoints and positions, then imported them into Animate CC, using the ‘Trace Bitmap’ function to turn them into vector drawings, so that they could be scaled and keyframes more easily.

The Dalek city animation is meant to look bright and bold, rather than use traditional dark, intense, monochromatic colour schemes, usually used and seen in Doctor Who to make Daleks look more robotic and menacing. I wanted this city scene to be almost like a kindergarten, because the idea is to have a guardian Dalek trying to stop its children from being destroyed. Enjoy!

So Long and Thanks For All the Fish!

Dr Whoot AnimationIn Birmingham there’s a fun series of Owls lined up across the city and beyond, each with their own costume, identity etc. It’s called The Big Hoot and visitors can track over 80 of them. As part of my leaving The Library of Birmingham message I thought it would be fun to create a Big Hoot inspired Dr Whoot animation. Quite pleased with the results and I’m sure Owl be back animating again soon!