Thursday, 15 July 2010

Arcade vs Ashley

Sick and tired of woodchip?
Had enough of floral prints?
Don't want anything more to do with Anaglypta?

Then you need these really rather cool wall decals from Blik. My fave is this one - Asteroids, followed closely by Donkey Kong. When I final manage to redecorate the study/studio I might have to pay Blik a visit.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Something Old and Something New

We like books in our house. We probably like them too much (if you can ever do that?) We have lots of new books, and lots and lots of old books.

A favourite new book of mine, that I picked up last year, is this one. A book about books. Well, typesetting books anyway. 'Book Typography, a designer's manual' was fisrt publish in 2005, and is a must for anyone who is interested in how to design a good book.

As you'd expect it is beautifully laid out and a pleasure to read ... even if it's not everyone's cup of tea. As someone who has quite a fondness for books, type, and such like, this tome has been a great introduction to the dark secrets of typesetting.

A great many of our old books are children's books. I'll show you a fine example
after the break ...

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Wiggly Woods

Here's a much bigger version of the forest. I've made a few more trees, and changed the palette quite a bit. Not so imposing now.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

MOC from lab212 on Vimeo.

An interactive installation from lab212. A very cool and very colourful idea.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

If you go down to the woods today ...

A very early go at a outside scene. I'm still working out how I want the ground to look, how I want the trees to look, etc, but think I've kind of got the direction I'm after.

Now I just need to do it full size!


If you haven't already seen this, then I suggest you have a play of 'Windosill' by Vectorpark. Windosill is a game where you have to guide the little toy train through the door on the right of the screen. The problem is the door is looked, and to unlock the door requires you to find the little cube in the scene and place it in the hole above the door.

The beautifully visuals are 3D but rendered in a very flat fashion which only adds to the charm of this game. On top of that, the animation and interactive bits are just wonderful. Go and have a play!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Time to Leave

It's time for the youngest members of the Bacon family to leave home, and make the way in the world. Wish them luck ...'cos Mr Wolf looks peckish!

And see that little picture of the house and the trees? Gabrielle's work, no less!

Augmented reality is here!

Playe Super Mario Bros. street style with this great video from Surfap.

Super Mario Bros. from Surfap on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Mrs Bacon About The House

Yes, I know it's been a month. Yes, I know I'm rubbish at this blogging lark.

Anyway, I have been very busy, and my house has a roof made from blue plastic sheets, although that's probably not a legitamate excuse for not even managing a single post ...So to try and make it up, here is a recent page of doodles from my sketchbook.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Since My Baby Left Me ...

I found this doodle sitting on top of the scanner this evening. Hey, I thought, I know, I'll colour him in. So I did. Why not pop over to Flickr to check out his song ...

Attack, Attack!

This is a bit fancy, eh? Old school sprites invade New York. Super!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Hoof & The Heel - "King Finds Out" from elliot glass on Vimeo.

I had to put this up. Such a great song. Their EP 'And All the Tigers' is available from iTunes, so why not have a listen?

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter everyone! Only a couple of eggs for the boys today. The main event is tomorrow with the folks. We did manage to have an extremely tasty roast lunch though. Yum, yum!

Here's that sneaky troll Spigby. I think I caught him just in time. Naughty boy.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

I drew this little fellow a few days back, but couldn't think of anything for him to say. So I went begging to my Flickr friends for help. So thanks to @rewedagain and @pikaland, Mr turkey has been spared the roasting tin with his quick wits and a little misdirection. For now.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Take a look at this, doesn't it look wonderful! I thought you'd agree.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

This is the most amazing film I've seen for a while. Just imagine how much work must have gone into building the entire city of New York in miniture. And then animating it all. Wow!

What do you mean it's real? You say it's all been filmed with a fancy camera? It wasn't? To find out how it was done, why not head over to Aero Film and be inspired ...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Oh Ducky

Such a long time between updates! But at last, a new illustration.

I've tried to mix my different styles together a little; so I've got the more painted, cutey look from my earlier work and blended it with the more sketchy stuff I've done recently. I hope you like it.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Here is a video of a new Nintendo DSi game called, I think, Rittai Kakushi e Attakoreda (Hidden 3D Image: There It Is!). The built in camera tracks the players head and so as you tilt the machine the view changes. The result is incredible. Clever stuff.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Say Hello To Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow is a new, independent publisher of Children's books, and in a exciting move they are also going to be developing apps too.

As someone who makes videogames for my day job, I see a great opportunity to get great stories, engaging characters and magical worlds in front of many adults and children by embracing these new toys.

A straight forward thing to do is to produce an animated version of the book such as Guess How Much I Love You which you could download straight to your mobile/iPod for 59p.

There is a opportunity to take children’s stories and bring them to life and add further depth to them by giving children the chance to take a role within the story and take on the choices and challenges that many a protagonist face. A good example of a puzzle game derived from a children’s story is ‘Gretel and Hansel’. The game itself is perhaps aimed at older children and adults, however the art style and simple nature of the gameplay illustrates what you can do with a story as your starting point – I’m sure I could make a pretty fun ‘Gruffalo’ game if Julia Donaldson let me :)

Another approach is to expand the universe within which the story takes place. My children have those beautiful flash cards designed by Eric Carle. I could animate the characters, add music and SFX, add a simple game mechanic that allows children to spell the names of the animals and I’ve got a flash card iPhone app which I’m able to push towards 37 million owners, at 59p a pop. What about a Mr Men advent calendar app which reveals a new character every day during December? Or a Cat-in-the-Hat jigsaw puzzle app?

What about episodic content? You can release chapter 1-5 for free, get your readers hooked then a couple of months later out comes chapters 6-10 for 59p. What about talking with your readers and use them to shape the stories as they develop. What about letting your characters live outside the book, with Twitter and Facebook? Attract your readers and keep them coming back. Brilliant.

Also there is a real opportunity for those who are currently unpublished, as the cost to develop for iPhone is cheap ( compared to Nintendo/Sony/MS) - £500 for a Mac Mini, and about £100 to join Apple’s development program. Here is a real chance for small independent publishers give the big boys a run for their money and reach a massive audience with many more stories.

Like I’ve said, this is pretty exciting stuff.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Pants That Fit

Here's the TV ad for Viva Pinata. A great game don't you know! Especially those trees ...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Cheesy I know. Well, not so much cheesy as chickeny. Friday evening was homemade chicken pie for dinner. So a quick snap with the camera and a quick doodle and I've got a got myself an appropriate picture for Valentines day! Saves me a fortune on all those cards and roses etc...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I'm going to try to draw a new doodle everyday. Might prove too much, given work, the wife, the children, the writing, the washing up, the ironing, Silent Whitness, and everything else the requires my attention in the evenings. Anyway, this is today's effort...

Monday, 1 February 2010

Slowly, but surely my story takes shape and I'm quite excited. I think I might have most of the right words in almost the right order. And to mark this occassion I have been over to Wordle and made some text-art!

Thanks to Angela, over at The Bookshelf Muse for spotting this fun little app.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

High Society.

I've joined Society6, a website for artists and creative types to share, sell, colaborate and connect. There is some extremely wonderful work there to see. The 'discovery' section is especially good, throwing up page after page of arty pictures for you to gawp at. Lovely.

It's Cold Outside...

Check out the striking black and white graphics for the BBC's coverage of the winter Olympics which start on 12th February in Vancouver. Stunning art and animation. Full Stop.

Spiral Mountain Magic.

This morning, my good friend and ex-workmate Grant Kirkhope highlighted this fine version of one of his own classic tunes from the videogame Banjo-Kazooie. So enjoy this redition of 'Spiral Mountain'. Can't help but think back to the summer of 1997 when we first showed BK at E3 in Atlanta, Great days.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Me and My Friends

This is the result of the free time I had over Christmas (not as much as I'd hoped) to make some progress with my childrens story (not as much as I'd liked). Anyway, because the story has a lot of birds, I thought I'd get some practice in. I also wanted to have more of a go at making something that kept a sketchy look to it, and had plenty of colour. I'm pleased with the result. Next job, finish the words and try and draw something that could actually go in the book...

PS - I added a few words to try and make it into something that you could call finished :-)

Friday, 15 January 2010

I'm a Troll....

Oh dear. Over a week since I last posted. Not a good start.

Anyway. I plucked up enough courage to join Flickr and upload some of my artwork for the world to see. The warm response and nice comments that I have recieved will be chearished. Thank you.

Here is my most recent upload. A version of the male bad guy from my story. He's a second generation sketch and along the right lines. The background is stolen from an earlier sketch.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Dark Arts

Alchemy - the ancient art of turning base things into gold. Or, an incredible drawing tool that you can find over at I first saw this last year; a friend of mine was using it and it just blew me away. Now, I've managed to have a go myself and have found it so useful for knocking out quick and loose sketches. It's like having using ink on your screen. A really fun change from Photoshop and Painter. Well, for me anyway.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Duelling Banjo..And Kazooie

Here's something from a little while ago. Ten years ago, to be precise. After completing the game Banjo-Tooie,myself and Steve Mayles assembled all the characters we had created for the game and made a picture for the development team. We all signed the print and had them framed. Looking back now at those characters - pretty much all of which were designed, built and animated by the two of us in 2 years. Blimey.

This artwork and characters are the property of Rare and Microsoft Game Studios. But, you knew that.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

I'm starting to worry. I seem to have a fascination with murky-yellowy-brown palettes. Hmm.

Following on from yesterday, this is another sketch/test for my story. The beginning of the tale is quite bleak and I wanted the art to reflect this. I really got into my paint splatters and coffee stains on this one...
I've just stumbled across this little fellow whilst trying to dig out some other pictures to post. Anyway, he's had enough of being hidden away on my harddisk.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Evening. I found this over at A very slick looking proposal for presenting magazine like material on one of those new fangled e-reader thingies. Having been putting my own attempts at a childrens story in a standard 32 page layout, this video makes interesting viewing.

Monday, 4 January 2010

I've been very busy over the last year trying to take some of my story ideas and draw pictures to go with them. This is an early sketch. I seem to have spent a great deal of time trying to find a style that suits both myself and the story. More to follow. Probably.

And here's the follow up. Mr Pig ventures out into space for the 'thank you' cards. I had great fun painting both of the pictures.

I have to start somewhere, so here goes. This piccy was for my eldest son's 2nd birthday party invites. The image was printed onto postcards with party details on the back.