Wednesday 22 December 2021

Pinball Blizzard

Here's an enjoyable 3d animation commission that kept me busy for most of November. MIT's McGovern Institute tasked me with designing and modelling a pinball machine for a Season's Greetings animation that would also run through their 2021 brain research highlights.

I firstly looked at classic pinball machines for inspiration before the challenging work of designing the 2d 'playing field' in Illustrator. The ramps, bumpers, orbit and flippers had to be configured to guide the brain-ball's path way sequentially through the research areas. Once the layout was designed, some Illustrator paths went into Cinema 4d to create the 3d game architecture, combined with some cabinet modelling, while the playing field and exterior graphics were designed in Photoshop.

With the 3d model built I storyboarded the action before going on to create an animatic that was given a punchier, quicker edit before rendering the final scenes. In After Effects I added outdoor snow scenery, screen animations and 8-bit themed holographic info pop-ups for some of the research highlights. Lastly, sound design was fun to create in AE and the Jingle Bells theme chosen to finish a satisfying job overall. You can see this and other animations on the site here.

Thursday 9 December 2021

2 Fast 2 Furious Editorials

Two whole months have managed to pass in the blink of an eye somehow so have a bit of catching up to do with posts. Here are a couple of recent vehicular web illustrations to rev things up for Car and Driver and Road & Track in the US. Speedy commissions mixing up the digital collage with 3d enhancements, fast and furiously. See further work for Car And Driver here.

Monday 11 October 2021


Here's a recent editorial for BBC Science Focus' latest issue on the upcoming Dune movie, which I'm particularly looking forward to seeing at the cinema. The brief was to create three vertical illustrations that interacted with the feature section titles, Ideas, Science and Design. Being more of a typography led assignment I approached it with a simpler , decorative style for clarity and I'm happy with the results. See further work for Science Focus on the blog here.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Manufacturing an Adenoviral Vector Vaccine Video

Earlier in the year I worked with Feed Films on an animated explainer video for AstraZeneca on Manufacturing Adenoviral Vector Vaccines. The lengthy design process involved creating a number of visuals and storyboards as the script went through various technical revisions. I've attached a few early style frames that I liked but were deemed a little dark so the final palette was developed to work with the AZ brand and up the positivity overall. Most of the viral, organic and manufacturing elements were modelled in 3d at the storyboard stage so once the production began I could go directly to animating them in Cinema 4d. These animations and loops would then be composited together in After Effects using the software's 3d camera and many layers of 2d enhancements. Quite technically challenging overall. The final video was edited together with music, sound effects and voiceover at Feed. The video is also available on the AstraZeneca Youtube channel amongst their other educational videos here.

Friday 24 September 2021

Future Skills

Here's a recent cover illustration for Professional Engineering on the Future Skills that will be required of engineers to tackle tomorrow's challenges. Had fun creating this composition around the central type for the cover and making it work on a white background for the feature. Love a tech collage, me!

Wednesday 8 September 2021

SALC Decarbonisation Project

Over the Summer I was commissioned by Lancaster City Council to create an animated video to showcase the work being done at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre (SALC) for their extensive Decarbonisation Project. The brief was to create a stylised 3d representation of the leisure centre and surrounding area with a dynamic and clear overview of the project aims and phases. Modelling the leisure centre in Cinema 4d proved to be the main technical challenge for me, as the building is quite a complicated set of architectural shapes, but I was pleased with the result after more than a few puzzling moments. Once the centre and other elements were constructed I worked with the client to put the script together, develop the visual style and storyboard the action. Once that was all approved the 3d camera moves were set up in Cinema 4d before rendering and compositing it all together in After Effects. Finally, the voiceover was commissioned and the music chosen to wrap up a satisfying and relatively smooth job overall...huzzah!

Tuesday 7 September 2021

DNA Highway

Here's the latest cover illustration and animation for BBC Science Focus on DNA alteration's potential to offer 'A Cure For Everything'. I worked through a few approaches during the process, which I've attached above, before settling on the prog-rock style DNA highway concept. It's created with a combination of Cinema 4d, After Effects and Photoshop and the cover animation loops seamlessly for the Apple News version. You can see more work for BBC Science Focus on the blog here.


First post in a while, been a little preoccupied with moving home from the big city to the seaside whilst juggling a few work projects. Here's a recent cover for French magazine L'Express on the recent spate of ransomware attacks and how cyberwarfare is the new pandemic. Was commissioned for an editorial feature originally and it ended up as the cover - which is always nice!

Tuesday 6 July 2021

The Universal Question

Here's the latest cover illustration for BBC Science Focus, that I've also animated for the digital shelf of Apple News' global corner shop, on Why Does The Universe Exist? A bit of a mind-melter at the outset but the brief was completely open to interpretation and the approach could be abstract and shape-based so I had a lot of fun creating rough ideas, some of which are collected here. The final 'Möbius strippy' illustration was created in Cinema 4d before being polished in Photoshop and After Effects for the looping animation. I never quite found out why the Universe exists, must get on that. See more work for BBC Science Focus on the blog here.

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Play Your Part

Here's a project from earlier in the year that I worked on with Feed Films for IAB UK (Interactive Advertising Bureau). It's an animated call-to-action video titled 'Play Your Part' promoting their Gold Standard in digital advertising. The brief was to homage old war recruitment poster messaging, particularly the classic Lord Kitchener We Want You 1914 poster, and update them with a modern stylistic spin. I created five illustrations for the video and animated them in After Effects along with IAB branding design elements. Always great to draw inspiration from classic war poster artwork and this was a fun creative challenge overall. You can see the full final video above along with the animated illustrations separately.

Monday 17 May 2021

Foe To Friend

Here's a commission for the National Army Museum that I started work on over a year ago now at the start of Lockdown. It's a poster illustration for an exhibition, that has finally re-opened to the public until July, on the relationship between the British and German armies since 1945. The brief was to create a photo realistic scene of British soldiers in 80's Germany enjoying chips and bratwurst from the legendary Wolfgang's takeaway van that fed troops during training exercises in the Cold War. The people and woodland were tackled with some strategic photo-collaging techniques and the vehicles were sourced 3d models of a Chieftain tank and a Mercedes van. The 3d models were lit and rendered in Cinema 4d then texturally enhanced in Photoshop for added realism. An enjoyable technical challenge this one.

Monday 19 April 2021

Where Next?

Here's a novel cover commission for BBC Science Focus that needed to work for the usual illustrated print version and also as an expanded animated version specifically for the Apple News Plus service. I'd worked on animated versions of their covers in the past but usually as a supplement to the illustration. This time the animation took precedence with storyboards being created first and the illustration evolving out of the animation direction. The theme was exploration and the creative brief required a traveller character surveying a cinematic scene composed of the earthbound and interplanetary destinations covered in the issue, from pyramids to asteroids. I thought the most dynamic and exciting approach would be to build the scene in Cinema 4d and fly a camera through it for the allotted 15 seconds before looping back to the start. The central figure, pyramids, mountains and astral bodies were created and rendered in Cinema before being composited into cloud, sky and space scenery in After Effects. Really enjoyed creating this one and I'm pleased with how it all came together in the end. You can check out more Focus work on the blog here

Monday 12 April 2021

Monorail Memories

Here's a recent collaboration project with the talented Black Country Type, an old buddy from my home town of Kingswinford in the West Midlands. His ongoing Black Country based photographic project applies his unique aesthetic to the region's post-industrial landscapes, typography and ephemera. He approached me with the idea of creating a t-shirt design based on the Merry Hill Monorail, a short-lived vision of future transport from 1991 that shuttled consumers between department stores at walk-speed. The monorail eventually succumbed to technical difficulties but nostalgically lives forever in my electric dreams. I jumped at the chance to pay design homage and took inspiration from Black Country Type's visual mood board featuring 80s cool graphics from Epcot Center posters to JVC video cassette packaging. I've posted a few of the initial designs here before simplifying for the final three colour design. The excellent Provide Birmingham printed and launched the limited run of 50 t-shirts which I'm happy to say sold out pretty quickly with prints possibly available soon.

Monday 8 March 2021


Full Video Highlights Reel
Here's a recent 3d animation commission for Sinclair Studio that kept me busy during the first few weeks of the year, an explainer video on 'Understanding Groundworks' for RM Construction & Development. The animation essentially had to show the complicated process of how foundations and basements are created for pre-fabricated houses in a stylised and accessible way. This meant wrapping my impractical mindset around the highly practical field of groundworks. The clear script and process storyboard by Sinclair Studio proved invaluable in getting my understanding kickstarted. Initially, I set about developing 3d environments and construction vehicles in Cinema 4d with RM's branding colours to set the visual tone while the technical details of the script/boards were hammered out. Each scene brought new challenges whilst being constructed in Cinema 4d, such as placing pipes and utilities correctly in the foundation dig, getting a good concrete pour, destroying a barn effectively and putting cameras in the right areas to capture it all. Ultimately it all stretched and elevated my 3d skills in a satisfying and rewarding way and hopefully the final video helps folks get to grips with those tricky ol' groundworks. I've posted the final 5 minute explainer video and a 1 minute highlight reel for the time impoverished plus some screenshots and 3d development imagery. You can see similar work for Sinclair Studio and Solivus here.

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Dark Stars

Here's a new cover illustration for BBC Science Focus on the mysterious possibility of Dark Stars. The theory is that these transparent celestial bodies give off no light and cannot be seen by the human eye. So, for something effectively invisible I decided to make the illustration as bright and in your face as possible! The image plays with the idea of the cosmos and dark matter being warped around the transparent star, and the magazine's title for a fun touch. You can see previous work for Focus on this blog here.

Friday 22 January 2021

Mountain Slider

Here's a little editorial illustration for a Backpacker Magazine survival story about a mountaineer that slid into a huge bergshrund, or crevasse to you and I, just as he thought he'd completed the trek up a glacier. The stuff of nightmares. You can see more work for Backpacker here.

Thursday 14 January 2021

The Pandemic Issue

Here's a new cover and feature illustration for Hadassah's latest issue on the Pandemic looking at Jewish women's experiences in particular. I went with the visual theme of women being isolated in their own Covid-shaped cells and personal experiences composed within the silhouetted figures. I chose an eye-catching palette with a slightly alarming red for the cover to bump up the anxiety. You can see more work for Hadassah magazine here.