edge hill university

Black dog has a secret… (Latest animation)

This is something I made for one of the modules on my course. Don't ask how I came up with it.

Brief: Black Dog

We had to make an animation involving a black dog, in the literal, metaphorical or whatever sense we wanted. The catch was that we had to use After Effects to make it.

My solution was to paint everything in photoshop and import it all into After Effects. I then moved them around the timeline and added sound and music. Voila, I created a really crude animation.

I really had no idea why we were forced to use After Effects for this – it’s not at all a tool for animation.

Fun piece to do nevertheless, and hopefully enjoyable to watch although you may not understand what’s going on until the end.

Distraught Teenager, Bastard Baby, Approaching Train

A Six Word Story?

I was assigned to make an animation based on a six word story written by someone else. This is a concept created by Ernest Hemingway, a very highly acclaimed writer. He bet his colleagues that he could tell a story in six words, and those six words turned out to be: “Baby shoes for sale, never worn.” And what a powerful six words they were. You think about it for a minute, and you start thinking well, why haven’t they been worn? And your mind wanders off to thinking about a back-story and what happens next.

My six words were chosen after wading through a long list on sixwordstories.com. Many of them weren’t very thought provoking or were too comedic; I wanted something serious.


I used a Wacom and Photoshop CS4 Extended’s new video layers feature. I later found this to very limiting because it was very difficult (if not impossible) to lift frames and place them back or forwards in the timeline. This meant that the timing of the animation is very poor as it was all done one frame after another sequentially.

In total, there are maybe 800 unique frames and it took me three straight weeks to draw it all. I worked on it every day, for the majority of each day. Traditional animation is extremely time consuming! Very rewarding though.

He can’t find “it”

This is the first animation I made in Edge Hill University. The challenge was to make a character interact with three different objects or situations.

Being my first animation, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. In fact I ended up making it just a few days before the deadline. In total, I drew 120 unique frames in a mind boggling 10 hours. It was this assignment that showed me how crazy animation really is; you simply can’t appreciate the work of Disney etc without having tried it yourself.

As you can see, the drawings and animation are very poor, but I’ve posted this as a basis for showing my progression through the years.