Pen-y-Cilgwyn, Nantlle Ridge.

As I spent all of my Christmas holiday relaxing to the max in Germany, I decided to head over to Wales to say ‘hello’ to my family and friends the second weekend of January – and for a second Christmas.

Since I don’t get the chance to go out much around Dublin/Ireland these days, I often look on Flickr to see of any nice locations people are finding in Wales, and making a list of where to visit when I get the chance to head back home. However, this time – by pure coincidence, I came across an very small thumbnail of the Nantlle Ridge, taken from somewhere that I’ve never seen before. I personally love the Nantlle Ridge, I’ve always tried my best to capture it as best as I can – but this new view I saw from the thumbnail was mighty epic. I put my OS Map skills to work, and quickly figured out that it was taken from above Cilgwyn, on a wee hill called Pen-y-Cilgwyn. This was somewhere I’ve never visited before (in all my years living literally 5mins away) as it leads up to the Cilgwyn landfill site – but boy! does it have a view – my personal new favourite view of the Nantlle Ridge:

Pen y Cilgwyn

Pen-Y-Cilgwyn

Bedol yr Wyddfa

The last image is of the mighty Snowdon Horseshoe – taken from a wee lay-by in Dyffryn Mymbyr, as I drove around taking in the landscape when I don’t get a chance to head up to the mountains when I’m home.

Froot Fly – ‘Merry Christmas’

After three weeks of intense late nights, we managed to roll out the first episode of Froot Fly – ‘Merry Christmas’, just in time for Christmas. Here she is:

I animated the last three shots, from around the 0:40 second mark to the end, and also arranged the Layout for the whole short. It was Directed by Matt Bugeja, and information on the rest of the crew can be found over at Froot Fly’s Crew Page. Fantastic team, one I can’t wait to work with again.

Huge thanks goes to Oasim Karmieh, as the poor guy was left texturing, lighting and rendering right up to Christmas Eve on the short, but he did a fantastic job as I love how everything came togethe. Such a great project to work on, and stay tuned for more episodes in the very near future – I’m going to be Directing the second short, which sould be out in the coming weeks.

Froot Fly Shorts

After years of talking about it, I’m finally teaming up with a few of my friends (who are also my epic co-workers here in Dublin) to work on our own animated project after-hours in work. They are: Matt Bugeja, Glen Southern, Oasim KarmiehPaddy FinnIbrah ChaffardetLiam Neville  and Cormac Phelan.

It’s going to be a series of short-shorts about a fly and his pal. We’re currently working on the Christmas episode which is due to be released in a few weeks, but in the meantime we’re trying to get a following by setting up the website and a facebook page etc.

We’ll be releasing a ton of ‘behind-the-scenes’ type material over the coming weeks, and some insight into our studio over here, how we work – from starting with a cube to the final model, to the texturing, rigging, animation and composting stages, together with a few competitions to win some of the artwork etc.

I created the ‘teaser poster’ for the shorts that we’re currently using to promote it. Introducing: ‘Froot Fly’:

Froot Fly Shorts
Froot Fly Shorts

Our website is over at FrootFlyShorts.com where we have a wallpaper of the above image, and also a Facebook page: Froot Fly shorts – Facebook page where we’ll be announcing the competitions and posting daily about our progress on the shorts.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, and we look forward to be sharing the adventures with you.
Cheers!

Snowdonia Break

We headed to Wales for a short break this week – to hike and to relax for a few days. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side, so we only managed a short hike up Yr Aran, and decided to be ‘tourists’ and visit a few of Snowdonia’s top tourist spots.

Cwm Llan, Eryri.

Rhaeadr Ewynnol - Swallow Falls

The first photo is taken from the summit of Yr Aran, looking towards Snowdon and into Cwm Llan, and the second is a short test I did at the Swallow Falls waterfalls in Betws y Coed, playing with ‘long’ exposure in the daylight. I didn’t have my tripos with me, so this was as long as I could manage without getting some major motion blur.

Afon Llugwy, Swallow Falls.

Here’s something different than the usual – an almost abstract shot that I took of Afon Llugwy, which is much different from my usual panorama, it was nice to play around with this in Post, as I quite like the results.

Snowdonia Winter, early 2013

As I’ve updated my photography section I decided to head into my iPhoto to look for any un-stitched/edited panoramas that I might have hanging around, and boy – I found a couple of what I thought was really nice. I’m not too sure why they were left un-stitched, as I really love they way the came out, especially the first one, looking towards Snowdon (on the left), with the Nantlle Ridge swooping to the right, and Moel Hebog standing strong in the distance.

Yr Wyddfa o Moel Eilio

Craig Cwmbychan o Moel Eilio

Dyffryn Nantlle

The last is somewhat different. When I headed over to Wales a couple of weekends back to see my family and for my big Birthday, I decided one evening to scout the land for possible location ideas for a short film that I’m currently thinking about animating. I really like the location, and the old tree is perfect. Taken from the slopes of Mynydd Mawr, in Dyffryn Nantlle.

Updated ‘Photography’ section

Iestyn Roberts' Photography
Iestyn Roberts’ Photography

Hello, I’ve gone ahead and created a new section for my ‘Photography work’. I wasn’t too happy with how my photos were previously displayed, so I’ve joined Tumblr and created a whole new page that’s linked to my homesite and Flickr.

Iestyn Roberts’ Photography

(If anyone knows how to disable the ‘click to load more pics’ function and have all my photos load at once on this theme and Tumblr, please get it touch, as I’ve searched high and low – and can’t find a work around anywhere)

SplineBomb!

Done by Adrian Williams for the first anniversary of Splinebomb
Done by Adrian Williams for the first anniversary of Splinebomb

I’d just like to take a minute to talk about SplineBomb. Splinebomb started exactly a year ago, by ninja animator, and top guy Matt Bugeja – it’s a website that he updates everyday on new and upcoming animation – which is pretty amazing!

The ‘About’ section states that “It ‘s (a site that) provides all the latest information related to the animation industry including movie trailers, tutorials and loads more…”

It was only a few months back, that I had the pleasure of working and sitting next to Matt over in Brown Bag Films, where I learned that it was him that was behind this amazing site. I quickly began sharing some links with him, which, in turn, made Matt make me an Admin for the site, which was a huge privilege  – being able to share animation news on one of the best, and most active industry sites out there.

Since then, the site has grown immensely. We’re super active, posting everything we find relevant, and we meet up online to discuss how we can expand, and enhance SplineBomb.

My current contribution is that every Monday, I write an article on the history of animation, titled ‘Chronicles of Animation‘ – which is something I’m personally really passionate about, as I love going back in time to learn more about things. It’s getting a really positive response over on Facebook and Twitter, which I’m really happy about.

SplineBomb continues to grow, as Matt has recruited some more people to help post, and to write product reviews on the site. If you’d like to get involved, please ‘like’ us on the Facebook  and follow on Twitter: @SplineBomb – we’d love to hear from you folks!

Stay tuned, as we’re just about to announce some epic news really soon.

Huge thanks to Matt for letting me help out with SplineBomb, I’m having a great time with it, and ‘here’s to another great year!’