Marc Godfrey Animator

Thursday, 21 April 2016

This blog is complete...

It's been over a year now since I became a professional animator, so it seems little redundant to continue using this blog, as it was initially set up as a diary about training to become an animator.

However, I've created a new blog, which will feature news and updates of projects I'm working on and what I'm up to in my career as an Animator. If you'd like to follow me there (and I'd love it if you did), here's the info you need:

Here you'll find: Marc Godfrey, Animator's Blog!

( feels so amazing to make the switch from trainee to professional!)

Thanks for being a part of this incredible journey...which has only just begun.

Marc :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

I'm an Animator

I have news: I made it. I'm an animator.

Looking back through this blog is quite a humbly experience; being able to look back at my journey and how I got here. But I know really that my journey has only just begun...but my leap of faith to do it in the first place, has paid off.

I'm aware that there's quite a bit of missing information in the lead up to my first job. Let me fill you in.

Me and my fabulous course mate, after our graduation.
What happened:
My course at Aardman finished just before Christmas 2014. Our graduation was such a gorgeous, yet bittersweet day. I was proud of the work I had done. I was chomping at the bit to get out into real world again, and starting working. I was sad to say goodbye to all the lovely people I'd met, and I was gutted to be leaving Aardman. But I was excited to see what's next.

By some twist of fate, in my final weeks at Aardman, I was offered a job as a junior animator with a boutique studio up in Glasgow. I had to learn how to use and animate in Cinema4D (which was actually pretty easy, truth be told) and all went well. I was there short term, but three weeks in I got a call from the course co-ordinator at Aardman, telling me I had been invited to join an Internship with Blue Zoo, with potential to stay on for a year contract. How the blinky blonky I ended up with two animator jobs in less than a month after finishing the course, I'll never know!

I spoke to the studio director in Glasgow about the situation, and he gave me his blessing to accept with Blue Zoo. I felt pretty bad about it, as I didn't want to let anyone down. I found somewhere to stay in London and sorted out all my travel (trains are so damn expensive, right?) from York (where I live currently) and I was off. Then three weeks into the Internship, they told me they liked the work I was doing, they thought I fit in, and offered me a contract to stay on...I'm still pinching myself.

When I was at Aardman, I didn't think any studio would come close to the pedestal of greatness that I put it on. Aardman was the ultimate workplace, as far as I was concerned. But, I gotta say, Blue Zoo is up there too. It's a dream. The project I'm working on is called Tree Fu Tom, for CBeebies. It's gorgeous. The episodes are cute and the characters are challenging to work on, which I love...I mean how do you approach animating a character who has four arms, two are enough for the junior to contend with, surely? ;)

So, that's it.

All I can say really, is if I can do it, you can do it. It's funny working with people who are in much higher positions than me, who are younger than me. It makes me think "I wonder where I would be now, if I had gone straight into animation... but hey, let's not get toooo philosophical on that one.

Marc :)

Monday, 10 November 2014

What Have I Learnt So Far From Aardman?

I was wondering what I should write about for my next blog post, and whilst browsing through my Learning Diary of what I've learnt on my Character Animation course at Aardman (yes, I do keep a diary of all the things I'm learning each that tragic?), so thought I'd share with you some of my biggest learning triumphs (or Eureka Moments, as we've affectionately started calling them) from the first couple of weeks. So, here they are:
1) Lines of Actions and Posing.
If you have good poses, you will be on the way to making good animations. Life Drawing has really helped developed my eye for posing a character, and ultimately creating the right feel for weight and balance. Finding the lines of action in the body, and putting them into my characters have really improved the way that I'm working, and ultimately animating!

Some of my simple Lines of Actions Drawings from Aardman
Some of my simple Lines of Actions Drawings

2) Check the Silhouette.
It's all very well posing a character, but does that pose tell your story? If you're not sure, check the silhouette. Is the body shape that has been created readable to the viewer? Is the attitude of the character clear? A simple way to check, is to look at the silhouette and simple ask friends or colleagues what they think is going on. As long as you haven't set up any lights, a super simple way to check your silhouette in Maya is to press 7! Easy!

3) Favouring.
If you're transitioning a character from A to B, a much nicer way to pose the body is to make the lines of action in the body favour one side, over the other. So, if you're moving across a plane, lean back from where you came from, then as you cross the half way point, maybe lean towards where you're going, or still towards where you came from...but just don't create a straight line in the middle...ever (well, hardly ever, at least)'s boring.

4) The Bouncing Ball is Everywhere!
If you've studied animation, undoubtedly, you've animated the bouncing ball. It is a vital part of the animation learning process. The bouncing ball is everywhere. One of my biggest eureka moments, was realising that the bouncing ball is all throughout the body. Especially in the pelvis, or the hips. Of course, it seems obvious, but it wasn't until my tutor pointed at the hips on my rig, and simply said "there is your bouncing ball", that I realised. Keep dem hips moving and a'bouncing!

5) Plant Your Feet.
This is another obvious one, put if you're going to be shifting your character's weight, to make it convincing, make sure the feet are firmly planted to the ground. They can't be floating or sliding. They need to be solid, and supporting the weight, before any weight is moved. Got it? Good!

I'll add more snippets of my learning in another post soon, but for now, that's all...hopefully you can take something away from this. If you do, drop my a line and let me know, and let's share the glory of learning!

Marc :)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Personal Development, Continual Improvement...and Aardman!

Back in May 2014, I applied to join a Character Animation course with the National Film & Television School, based at the Aardman studios in Bristol. I didn't really feel very confident in getting a place, but this summer, I was invited onto the course! Right now, we're half way through, with another six weeks to go.

I ummed and ahhed about whether I was doing the right thing in becoming a student again, but right now, today, I know it was one of the best decisions I've made in regards to developing my animation career. The skills I had already acquired were a great starting point, but now I really feel like they're being polished and honed even further.

The course content is fab - whilst working through weekly assignments, we take part in life drawing classes, acting classes, as well as numerous masterclasses from professionals in the industry, such as Aardman's Nick Park and Dreamwork's Shelley Page. In our first week, even the legend, Glen Keane came in and talked to us about his new project "Duet". Needless to say, we're being inspired left, right and centre! I had to pinch myself when I realised that at one point, I was in the same room as Peter Lord, Richard Williams and Glen Keane!

Glen Keane Duet Print
My fabulous Duet print, signed by animation legend, Glen Keane.

At some point, I'll add the work I've been doing to this blog - at the moment though, it's all a bit rough and in need of some more edits and refinement. For more updates, you can always subscribe to my blog, or look out for me on twitter.

Excitedly yours,

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Final Shot: Like A Dream (Rachael O'Connor, auditioning for The Voice UK)

I realised in the last post, I didn't include the final shot - so here it is, in all its glory:

I hope Rachael O'Connor gets to see it - I'd love to know what she thinks...or any of the fans from #TeamKylie...the more the merrier :)


Character Animation from Real Life Reference Footage

You may remember a few posts back, that I was working on a Character Animation shot, using real life footage? Well, it's now finished, and up and on my showreel. I'm pleased with it, although I'm sure in a few weeks time, I'll be wanting to edit and refine it some more.

I created a playlist on my youtube channel showing the progression of the work. I think it's really cool, especially when you go to the last video and see where the shot started.

Find my Character Animation Process Playlist here!

I've also created a pinterest page, where I store all the cool animation finds from the internet...including some of my favourite tutorials. I've been teaching myself how to animate using After Effects and Flash - I found that making playlists in youtube, not as fun as curating a "board" on pinterest. To see my links and pins visit and follow my page here:

Monday, 31 March 2014

Find me on BlogLovin'!

I know it's been a couple of weeks since I posted last. Hope everyone is keeping well?

Since I last blogged, I joined BlogLovin. If it's not something you've heard about, I recommend checking it out. It's a neat little way of putting all the blogs you love in one place - a bit like Google Reader. You can find me here:

Not only is it the simple way of putting my blogs together in one funky social media platform, but you can also have a look through the blogs that I read. Cool huh?

To find me on Bloglovin', just click here!