Sunday, 24 September 2017

Music and Animation

Hello All,
Changes
  • We will moving to a better Blog and Newsletter platform in 2018.  Which will allow easier creation of both, solve a few compatibility issues with our readers and open up some interesting options currently unavailable (More on this in 2018)
  • We have had a few issues with the Newsletter where some of our members have had difficulty seeing the newsletter in all it's glory due to software issues.  We will try to alleviate this issue from this month by moving it to a page on our website for easy viewing.
  • Over the past few years, within the News section I have expressed my feeling instead of the latest news about Capemedia UK.  From this month I'm splitting the opening section into my thoughts "Capes Corner" and regular "News"   
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Capes Corner

In life sometimes you hear news that rocks you to your core.  Sadly this last week while away with my family I heard that a colleague who I use to work with had died.  She was younger than me and I had only recently see her.  I was stunned and saddened by this news and my thoughts were with her family.  It questioned my own morality and I was reminded again that within the blink of an eye any of us could be gone.




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News

So as mentioned in the Changes section we will publishing this BLOG / Newsletter on our website.

(Newsletter Only) Please go HERE to view that version 

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Social Media

We have been surprised recently as our page likes have began to decrease.  I suppose this is down to the amount of content that we provide.  Can I just remind people reading this BLOG / Newsletter or from our Facebook page, that Capemedia UK is 80% - 90% one person!  Just little old me, trying to produce content and keep everyone informed.  It's hard!

But like so many other one man bands trying to create new content that people can enjoy, it takes time.  As I have said many times before the production triangle only allows us 2 of 3 and that applies to every aspect of Capemedia UK.  From the animations, through to the music, right to the social network posts.



So we want to produce good animation and music, but we don't have a Hollywood budget so it's going to take time...a lot of time...it's going to be slow!

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Projects

I'm trying to get to grips of iClone 7 to fully understand the many new features that have been added and will continue to be added this year.

So as well as my epic 'ATOT' project I'm working on a little test production.  Based on, possibly the most played and request song I have written (With my good friend Neville Anthony) "If Ever" I'm working on an animated video for the song.

Here are a few teaser images.






In regards to A Tale of Time.  I had reached a massive landmark this last month and completed the re-write of the script.  I'm currently reviewing the final version before I sent it out for external reviewing.

We are making progress...slowly.  Happy Dance!



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Closing Thoughts

So there are no Under the Hood section this month as I'm trying to get "If Ever" finished which is around 70% done.


Thanks for passing, reading, supporting and commenting.

Take Care

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

It's all about the Story

Hello All,

News

So it seems that if you have a family and a full time job then your life is open to drama which can cause massive disruption to any creativity you have.  Even if your children are adults, a crisis hits the family and everything goes up in the air.

This is how we creative part timers must live!

However with every step we take, every chapter seized and every project we complete.  The success of them should be sweeter, but we are so focused in the moment we easily lose sight of how far we have come.

We should all at times take a look at ourselves and see how far we have come.


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Social Media

So this month we passed another milestone on our Facebook page and pushed past the 4000 likes on it.  Now I understand that likes are only one measurement to how successful a page is and the true metric is engagement which recently has been on the rise.

But it's a success that I'm celebrating (At least people had to click on the "Like" button)



Now to get my subscribers up on Youtube
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Project Updates

So I have continued my tests with the new iClone 7 software.  There are many others doing the same and one concept is in regards to the DOF (Depth of Field) that is built into the camera's in iClone.

I know from previous version that the DOF had problems with things like opacity layers for example.  Fortunately some of the experienced users came up with a solution using the shadow settings and a post fix.

Here are my results



NOTE:  The DOF has been improved since this video was published and I know other users are beta testing further improvements.

Another test was in regards to little lighting in a scene.  I will be producing a video which will show this better but I created this image to show a blacked out scene, a shard of light and a volumetric prop.


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Music Updates

Music is the area I have the most experience with over 30 years working in studios, live performances, shows, recording and composing.

I have a huge back catalogue of great music sitting on my computer that really need to be released to the world.  So I'm considering creating a quick project for 2017 of one of my old songs and getting it out there.

Maybe if people like this I'll get more of the back catalogue uploaded for people to listen to and enjoy.  My current uploaded music is on Soundcloud _________________________________________________________________________

Under the Hood

At the beginning of July I reached out to a couple of people to get advice on how to improve my stories, especially "A Tale of Time".  Now I know I had contacted people to review but I still felt the story could be better.

Well the thing I learned was missing, was structure.

I read a great book by Blake Snyder - Save the Cat!  I read a lot of stuff by Robert McKee regarding story, writing and whole host of topics.  But I didn't stop there I read and watched people who questioned these guys.

It's important to take on as much information you can and then decide how that is best for your work.  Snyder's Beat Sheet really did show my "A Tale of Time" had holes in it. Restructuring it now I feel let's the story flow better and hopefully when the second reviews come in I'll hear that from them.

However due to all this learning I'm currently re-writing and it's not finished just yet.

Oh yeah and the book is back on the agenda.




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Closing Thoughts


Thanks for passing, reading, supporting and commenting.

Take Care

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)




Friday, 21 July 2017

Invigorated July

Hello Everyone,

News

So we are halfway through the year and it's time to look back and see if progress has been made in the world of Capemedia UK.

On Facebook we have around reasonable following on our page, with for such a micro media company is pretty good.  However we only seem to have a few YouTube subscribers around 150.  I think this is down to the fact I've had a few disputes over the years which has caused my accounts to be temporarily blocked.  Also YouTube is pretty hard to get established, it's like a full time job.  

So from the end of 2016 and the production of CCMTT A Little History, to the setup of my Newsletter in March 2017, the release of my showreel in April and the continued development of "A Tale of Time" now 18 months since the idea was conceived.  It's been a busy year, considering I do all this part time.


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Software Updates

My software of choice iClone7 has been released this month.  As someone who has been involved with Reallusion since iClone1 I have been part of the development of this amazing software
"Integrated with the latest real-time technologies, iClone7 simplifies the world of 3D Animation in a user-friendly production environment that blends character creation, animation, scene design and cinematic storytelling. The GPU powered renderer gives unparalleled production speed and artistic visual quality. iClone has been widely used by indie filmmakers, pro studio crews, previs team, as well as writers, directors, animators, advertisers or anyone that wishes to quickly turn their vision into a reality."

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Project Updates

During the last month I have been testing iClone 7 with my "A Tale of Time" project and to get the look I want to create.  During the beta testing period a lot of these tests had to have protected links.

So I'm now happy to compile all tests to date into one video.


  
I'm now moving onto more lighting tests with the new Global Illumination system built into iClone to determine if I can get the quality I was getting with Indigo RT.

I'm also behind in designing all my characters and getting the script finished.  Yes I know get your finger out lad.



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Under the Hood

A brand new section I'm adding to the Newsletter and Blog.  This is a special section that will allow me to let you peep over the fence at what's going on the world of Capemedia UK.

I'll show you animation tests, music compositions, images and more.

This month I'm sharing an extract from the "A  Tale of Time" script.


S.F.X:  Old Building change to RECRUITMENT OFFICE 
The scene begins to change and the building now is new.  It is an army recruitment building.  There are people stood around in civilian and soldiers clothes. 
Albert (Old Man) and Jenny (SOT) stand again but disconnected from the scene.
Near the front stood next to an army vehicle are two young men admiring their uniforms and themselves.
 
One of the men is black and the other white.  Both have names on their uniforms.  "Johnson" & "Thomas".  These two men are Albert and Louis as young men. 
ALBERT THOMAS

(Admiring) 
Damn, we didn't half look good.
(Smiling)
Louis was bit of a ladies man. 
We watch as Louis watches a couple of woman walk past.  He gives them a suave look as they pass. 

JENNY (SPIRIT OF TIME)
(Proud)
Fighting for your country was a sacrifice. 

ALBERT THOMAS
(Explaining)
We had no choice.  We were on the verge of being invaded.  We had to protect our families, our homes. 

JENNY (SPIRIT OF TIME)
Even Judith?

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In closing

Thanks for your continued support.

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Painful June

Hello All,

News


So we all are affected by event sometimes that are so big they impact every part of our lives. This Blog should never be political or personal but over the last few years events have made it in.  The recent terror attacks in the UK have moved me and my family so much it cannot be ignored.  And as I type there has been yet another horror attack in London.

So to everyone who has lost family or have been impacted by these events my thoughts and prayers go out to you.

One Love!


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"A Tale of Time"

Update

I've continued to build on the testing for this project.  My main area currently is character design and it's taking quite some time as this project covers many decades of time and they need to look right.

I've created another test and uploaded it.


This process is slow but I've completed my second character emotion set.



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What's next?

I need to continue to design my characters for ATOT which will take a another few weeks.  I also need to complete the final script and have begun the beginning of that end.  Hopefully by the next newsletter I will be able to give you an update on that.

Then it will be onto the storyboards, which on a previous version I had completed but will need a refresh.

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In closing

Make the most of everyday, cherish your loved ones because in a blink of an eye your world can be turned upside down.

I'm off on a much needed holiday now so until next time.

One Love and Take Care

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

I'm late for a very important date - May

Hello All,

News

It seems this thing called real life has a tendency to keep getting in the way when you're on a role and getting projects done.  This time I was asked to do some decorating at the end of April and this has now spilled into May.  Fingers crossed we have nearly finished and I can get back in the studio.


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"A Tale of Time"

Update

There's only one subject that I have been focusing on over the course of the last month and that is "A Tale of Time" or ATOT as it was affectionately named by one of my script reviewers.

I contacted a select group of trusted reviewers who I gave full license to critique my script. Rip it to pieces, tell me it's crap, love it, hate it or tell me it's the best thing ever, I didn't care.

Fortunately everyone came back with different views and reviews of the script.  But the theme which was the most consistent was everyone liked it.  Bonus! 

Next stage now is to read, compile all this feedback and refresh the script to make it even better.



Concept Art

More artwork from the talented artist we have onboard Natalie Ciufo Green



Character Design

As promised last month I've been working on my characters.  Designing the look of each character using the morph options within CC2.0 including clothing for different time periods is one thing.  How the react to certain situations defines their characteristics, which is crucial to all great animation.

Here are my tests.



Here is a very early and still a work in progress animation.



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Closing thoughts

I always find it amazing sometimes when you discuss what you're trying to do with like minded people and they help you see things maybe you couldn't.  This happened this month with one of my reviewers and even though we have never talked before we seemed to be on the same page.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thanks all my reviewers for their time and especially Anita Bell for the Google hangout on about this project.

Take Care

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)

Friday, 21 April 2017

April has spring in the air

Hello All,

News

We are finally seeing the early signs of spring.  In the UK the clocks have gone back and the great British summer time has began.

I always feel invigorated by the bright morning and the nice long evening, winter in the UK is generally grey and very damp.  It's nice to see colours returning to my world.

What has also helped is my few days away in Wales with my wife which has helped us both recharge after a long winter period, Christmas and the start of this new year.


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Showreel

We released our 2017 showreel this last month exclusively on Dailymotion.




We have plans to release this on YouTube but due to my relationship with the site I may need to make changes from this. 

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Projects

So for those not following Capemedia UK on Facebook we are re-doing "A Tale of Time".  As explained over the last couple of months, there is a new major update to our animation software of choice which will allow us to produce stunning visuals.

We have a some new people on board.  A friend of the family has produced some stunning concept artwork.


I'm rewriting the script, which now will contain dialogue, new characters and completely new ending.

Finally we will be organising the entire project, to a proper timeline.  We will set targets and set a date for each of the milestones, including the dates we apply or start funding.

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Character Animation

So there are many facets to making a good animation film or short.  People focus on the quality of the story, the impressive visuals, the musical score, the composition, etc.  All vital but amertuer or low budget animation can sometimes miss a trick with good quality character animation.

So I'm going to be doing some tests and see what level of character animation I can achieve with iClone.  Generally a motion capture and standard library motions are what a lot of the community use.  But can I take this to the next level?

Keep posted and I'll update my findings.

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In Closing

I have a good feeling about how things will go going forward. I have a new mantra to follow and new approach.  We will see if this works. 


Thanks for passing, reading, supporting and commenting.

Take Care

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Eventually the pieces fall into place

Hello Everyone,

News

As the years and month passed.  I've felt on numerous occasions that everything was falling into place and the "Big" thing was just in touch.

What I've learned is that even when you can almost touch what you want, that little journey, that little but more, is just still another mountain that needs to be climbed.



After moving my focus away from "A Tale of Time" last year to help and support my daughters school and their first show.  2017 has seen me revisit the project and consider some massive plans for myself and all our supporters.

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Social Networking

Mailing List

So at the beginning February we created a link to our mailing list to get our new newsletter for 2017.  We released the first version in March 2017.

The newsletter will give people the chance to hear Capemedia UK news before anybody else, even this Blog!

So if you haven't signed up, just visit www.capemediauk.com and fill out the very simple form to get on the mailing list.



Be the first to hear what's going on and signup today


Facebook

Another milestone was reached this last month when we smashed through 2500 likes on our page.


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Projects

We announced on our Facebook page that we will be releasing our 2017 showreel very soon.  So keep posted to the page and "Like" it if you want to keep up to date with the latest news.


As many who follow Capemedia UK know I put "A Tale of Time" on hold at the end of 2016.  With our animation software of choice iClone releasing version 7 this year we can only benefit from this huge update.

Now we have decided to take "A Tale of Time" on a different route I've been able to take stock, stand back and way up many aspects of the project.

I'm over the moon to say that I've managed to get an amazing artist Natalie Ciufo Green onboard to help with the concept art.  Please visit her page - Mille Baci on Facebook. 

Here is just a taste of what she has done for this project.


She will help me get my ideas into visual collections.

Much, much more in regards to this project will be released in the coming weeks and months but it's very exciting for me.
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Other News

Funding is possibly going to be the make or break this year for me.  If I can get a plan together, execute it and get to my end game then Capemedia UK will have finally got to where I've always wanted.

"Time will Tell"

Thanks for passing, reading, supporting and commenting.

Take Care

Colin Cooper (aka Capemedia)