New Year - New recruit!

Design Hutch is excited to announce our first recruit.  Dizzy Street will be working alongside the Design Hutch founder and Creative Director Owain, as a general assistant.  Dizzy is a Patterdale Cross and is roughly 3 years old.  She just moved to Banbury from Kenilworth (Dog's Trust) and is settling in nicely.  She says that Motion Design has always been an interest of hers and is excited to see how Owain puts together graphic animations - especially using shape layers and typography.  She is a bit of a layout purist and really knows her kerning and leading as much as her Trapcode Suite!  To be fair, she didn't say any of that...  But I'm sure that's what she's thinking!

Welcome to the team, Dizzy!

Design Hutch is 1!

Amazing - it's been a year since I set up!  Many thanks to all my clients who have helped me make it a success.  Here's to another great year...!

Animation job is back on!

Great to be picking up on an animation project that I started earlier in the year.  Client has now approved two more storyboards and the green light is on!  Should be around two more weeks work. I'll post some vision as and when I can - but it's all NDA at the moment...

Water Droplet Animation - tricky!

Tricky brief this one - but a lot of fun!  Trying to create a flowing 2D animation of a water droplet. Flowing from scene to scene and developing into shapes as it goes.  Hmmm - think I've cracked it after some head scratching!  Nice to be working for the guys and girls at 422.TV again.


What a relief to be moved into the new home for Design Hutch - Park Road, Banbury!  It's been a bit of a rollercoaster but Banbury as a location offers a lot.  The train links are great and the town centre is lovely.  The office space is still in progress, but it is shaping up nicely.  Perhaps a picture or two will make an appearance in my next blog post!

Back IN Manchester (for one week ONLY!)

Had a fun week last week back in Manchester, working for 422.TV.  It was good to see all my old colleagues and get involved in another big project with the team.  Plus I was staying with my mate Ian Radcliffe of - cheers for the slow cooked casserole Ian! Looks like I'll be back up in a week or two.  Alex / Hayley - let's get Taco Tuesday back up and running!

Corgi Idents

422.TV asked me to animate and composite two sequences for broadcast TV.  Featuring the loveable Corgi dog, these are playful, on brand idents, to be shown either side of the London Weekend Weather forecasts.  I used After Effects, Illustrator and Particular to bring these scenes to life. The original, static illustrations, were by the very talented Nicola Anderson with whom I have worked a couple of times now.

Superfast Fibre Speeds at last!

Here at the Design Hutch I am very happy to find that my long awaited Super Fast Fibre Broadband connection is now LIVE!  Test results show a healthy 71.29 Mbps download speed and an 18.51 Mbps upload speed.  Previously, my download speeds maxed out at just under 3Mbps! This means remote working just got a lot easier!

Cineworld Conference Sequence

Really pleased to work for Linney Group again.  This time they asked me to create a three minute motion graphics piece for playing at a Cineworld conference.  Luckily the brand guidelines has some nice typographic styles that I could manipulate into animated type.  Plus the images are all from high end movies, so the raw material was pretty good too!

Rotoscoping for Lime Pictures

Just finished using Imagineer Mocha to do some detailed rotoscoping for Lime Pictures. I can't say what the show is, unfortunately, as I have signed an NDA.  But when it is being broadcast I can probably post some more info about it.  

Adobe After Effects 2015.3

OK - so I don't know what has just happened with the latest update of Adobe After Effects - BUT - having just updated to 2015.3 (version 13.8.1) I have got some very weird behaviour.  Primarily After Effects is now not correctly seeing the alpha channels of some previously imported .mov files.  Just yesterday I was happily using these PNG codec .mov files - with built in alpha channel - and they were working perfectly. But now it is as if they are set to around 10% opacity, which they are not!  Plus they have undergone a colour shift towards a kind of ghostly blue.  All very strange.  SO I have just installed the previous version of 2015 onto my system to try to get back to a version of AE that allows me to use these video clips - especially as I am mid-project!  If you have a similar problem and you don't know how to install a previous version, of any Adobe product, using your Creative Cloud subscription, I will write another blog post shortly, explaining how to do that.  But right now I have to test my new install to ensure I can render out what my client needs!

Why did I go freelance?

Why have I chosen to go freelance?  There are a few reasons:

Firstly it is now possible to work at home, on a decent Apple Mac (or PC if that is your choice!). When I started in this business it would have been too expensive to set up at home - especially during the early days of MoGraph when I was using very expensive kit, such as Quantel's Hal Express!

Secondly, it has given me the freedom to pursue the kind of projects that excite me and to be able to work on those projects at really reasonable rates.  I can be far more competitive without all the overheads of a large company.

Thirdly, it has enabled me to move to another part of the country.  Having worked in Manchester for around 20 years (and loved it), this have given me the freedom to be "location independent", at a time where that freedom is very useful.

And finally, I am now my own boss.  It means that the buck stops with me. Meaning my clients know exactly what is going on at any given time, as I am the sole point of contact. Clients can therefore hear exactly what I intend to do, how I plan to do it and in what time frame.  No confusion, no crossed wires, just a simple client / designer relationship.