'Pasty Child' wins at inaugural Guardian Witness Awards

Great news, just in, that Pasty Child, a stop motion animated film devised by Sasha Lawrence and directed by Andy Luck and George Tymvios, has won EE Contributor of the Year Award, and Most Original Short Film in these new awards launched by the Guardian and EE.

Pasty Child

GuardianWitness, the Guardian's user-generated content platform, was launched in April 2013 in partnership with digital communications company EE. Since it launched just under a year ago, 28,000 users from every continent on the planet including The British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica have submitted over 60,000 photos, videos and stories.

The story can be read on the Guardian website, here.

Congratulations to everybody involved in the production; another success for these very talented film makers.

John Gosler, Photoshop genius.

Our latest visiting lecturer was Designer, Art Director and Background Artist, John Gosler.

John Gosler, looking as if the photographer has asked him to smile at a loaded gun.
In his morning lecture, John took us on a tour of his career, which has ranged from natural history illustrations to art directing BAFTA nominated TV films and developing a new CG version of the Wombles.
He showed a huge range of material, in many different styles and for many different companies, ranging from Warner Bros to the BBC and from Disney to Aardman, with many of the best of the British animation houses thrown in. Starting as an illustrator, often doing intricate technical illustrations in airbrush, John was introduced to animation by his friend John Stevenson (later the director of Kung Fu Panda) who was also starting out, having been working alongside Jim Henson of Muppets fame. John's skill with the airbrush soon found him in great demand with animation companies in London, doing background work for advertisments and short films. He explained to the students, who had probably never seen an airbrush, the intricacies of the technique, including having to mask off areas that weren't to be painted and the obvious fact that there is no undo button when painting on paper. He puts his skill in using Photoshop down to the fact that he learned to think carefully about what he wanted to achieve, and to prepare for all eventualities, when he was painting in this way.
Of course the airbrush wasn't his only tool and he also showed backgrounds that used watercolour in a very loose way, as well as an illustrational style using scraperboard that is as far away from the smooth surfaces of the airbrush as it is possible to get. John made the point that, in the animation business, there are two ways of working; one is to stick to one thing and become known for that; the other is to be flexible and able to cover many different styles, and there are arguments for both. He has gone the latter route and it has taken him on lots of different adventures.

Design work for a feature film. Created in Photoshop

Like many people in the business, he has also been active in trying to get projects off the ground; his own and for other people. He was very amusing about the ups and downs of working with producers, film financiers and people with egos that need feeding, but those stories will have to stay in the lecture theatre!

More Photoshop painting.
In the afternoon, John gave a Masterclass in working in Photoshop. In one of our Digi Suites, which are kitted out with top of the range Macs, he took the students through the process of creating images like the ones above.
Second year student, Laura Andrews said: 'I found his work incredible due to the use of lighting & the amount of detail used in his work. The fact we were able to learn the process in which he works regarding digital painting was invaluable & also taught me more details of Photoshop.'

To see more of John's work go to his website.

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