The Marksman's Insight - Team Fortress 2

Check out one of my latest projects over at the Steam workshop, creating items for Team Fortress 2 - Rate and favourite!

The Marksman's Insight

Head over to my main blog for a more detailed look.

Top Tips and Advice for CG Arts and Animation

Hey guys, I recently wrote a short article featuring some general tips and advice which I've learnt over my time on the course. So be sure to check it out if you haven't done so already, and I hope you'll find it useful!

New blog and Atom Pancakes

Hey guys, hope everyone's well in this post-grad stage and with the start of the new academic year. Here I just wanted to give a quick update from things on my end.

Recently, I've teamed up with the guys over at Atom Pancakes where we've begun our first project as a studio. This project will be a screenplay adaptation of the book The Little Robot by Amy Mccartney. With this in mind, we've set our initial sights upon presenting 3 still poster style images for our pitch presentation, which will introduce the characters and environments.

You can see some of the work in progress in more detail over at our studio blog.


In the mean time, I've also set up a new blog which will continue to show my new work, as I prefer to keep this one as an archive dedicated to my time on the course. I'll keep things alive here most likely posting content I find useful for anyone still in the course trenches, so stay in touch.

Give my new blog a spin and follow it too if you like!


Graduation and New Designers

My time on the course has come to an end - graduating with Bachelor of Arts (Hons) CG Arts and Animation First Class. I'm immensely proud of my time on the course being an enjoyable and satisfying journey. Three years ago, I never would of believed I could achieve something like this, but here I am today writing this post. But enough sentimental talk as there are a few final things to wrap up.

New Designers
Our New Designers stand was a great success with 5 screens playing our animations/showreels, 3 ever spinning zoetropes, a collection of exquisite making of books and sweet lollies. Needless to say, it made for a very busy stand and gathered a huge amount of interest, including those from various industry contacts which I hope we impressed.

I encourage you to find many more and professional photos here.

The zoetropes gathered a great deal of interest in themselves, so a big thank you is in order to senior lecturer Andy Stead for making them for us. Here I've managed to capture some of the zoetropes going round; with the Isle of Cirrus flying in the sky with clouds moving past and propellers spinning, to Charlotte's girl running with a hoop and Jordan's character turnaround model. Apologies for the poor picture quality but with any luck it should help communicate the sense of charm they had.

Overall, New Designers brought a nice sense of closure to my final year, where it felt wonderful to showcase my hard work for all to see. It was a busy and enjoyable week which will hopefully prove fruitful too.


So - what's next? Well, I think a well earned break is in order and then soon it will be time to look for jobs. In the mean time, I will be working on some personal projects to keep myself going where I'll most likely be starting a new blog too. But fear not, I intend to keep this blog alive and will post from time to time. Perhaps, it will help and inspire for years to come.

Either way, this is not a goodbye but a new beginning. My best wishes to everyone who graduated and the subsequent years on the course. You all know the drill - be amazing. and New Designers

Hey guys, my portfolio website is up and ready online - so head over to and give it a spin!

And tomorrows the big day where our exhibition at New Designers officially begins. Wish us luck!

If you're interested in coming down, tickets are still avalible here.

Preparing for New Designers 2012

Good news everyone - as I'm happy to announce that I'll be going to the New Designers exhition in London to showcase my work on the Isle of Cirrus and The Wolves Within. As such, I have been busy getting things exhibition ready these past few weeks, refining both animations and preparing promotional material such as business cards and art books.

Isle of Cirrus

The Isle of Cirrus received a number of refinements as a whole, improving models and textures in areas such as the roof and chimneys, minor fixes to Volan and additional light wrapping and colour correction to the island.

Art Book
New and updated art book for the Isle of Cirrus, which has been printed by Blurb books (last few refinements did not make it in the printed version).

The Art of Isle of Cirrus v2 by Leo Tsang


We were also asked to prepare a zoetrope sequence for the show. With the island being the central focus of the Isle of Cirrus, I opted to have a looping sequence of the island in flight; so wheels turing, chimney pipe pumping, cloth waving and a cloud or two flying past.

Here is the 24 frame sequence below, watch in full-screen HD for best results!

Isle of Cirrus Zoetrope Sequence from Leo Tsang on Vimeo.

The Wolves Within
With The Wolves Within, it was decided to showcase the project separately between characters and environment in order to best reflect Jolanta's and my areas of work respectively. As such, I've had to edit the animation into something more of a showcase demo as the wolves are no longer present in the environment. Refinments include improved texturing and models to the environment, dynamic effects and some new camera shots.

Business Card
My business card design that I will be using. The idea behind the logo is my initials of 'LT' shaped as a square, where it is uniform in its design it can be viewed upside down and still form the same initials. The verticle lines encourage one to turn the card over, where a QR code is also present on the back.



And finally I'm proud to present my first showreel. I had some fun making this seeing the best of my previous work altogether - it serves as a nice compilation of my time on the course.

My portfolio website is next on the agenda as a temp page is being used for now. Once the site is at a more refined state I'll make a new post to promote it fully.

Otherwise, the New Designers exhition is on July 4-7 as part of the 'Part 2' set of shows. Tickets are still avalible online here.

Render Stills

Some render stills of the Isle of Cirrus

The Isle of Cirrus - Final Animation

Here we are at last at the end of the final major project. I'm proud to present the Isle of Cirrus.

'Only fragments of land remain in a world that has been flooded. These lands are scarce, piloted by individuals over the inhospitable waters below.

Alone and isolated, Volan soars the skies in search for new land and life...'

Isle of Cirrus from Leo Tsang on Vimeo.

(View in 720p!)

The making/art of document for the Isle of Cirrus:

The Art of Isle of Cirrus by Leo Tsang

The current version of the Art of Isle of Cirrus will be updated at a later date.

CD and DVD label

Previs #3

A few problems caused the delay for this updated previs (I've actually gone through a number of them but this is the latest incarnation). Areas may still be a little rough in places but the goal of this previs is to focus mainly on the camera movement and animation.

*Smoke from the chimney should be white, and not black.

Notably, sound is needed to reinforce aspects of the animation with actions such as the wing pivoting into position. I'm also considering a soundtrack to compliment the animation, something akin to a soft intrumental piece to further establish the tone and atmosphere.

Isle of Cirrus Update

These are super busy times with only two weeks left in the project, so here's a quick update on things so far.

The environment has been steadily coming together with the textures finally in place. These are just some raw renders at the moment without the benefit of any passes.

Sample of some of the texture maps created for the scene (normal maps are also used)

Bringing Volan into the environment

Further experimenting with fluids for the clouds using two approaches.
Creating a large clould fluid can provide the background clouds to the scene, though I am concerned with the render time with the larger cloud bed image below taking up to 3-4 minutes. Although, such a large expanse as this may not be necessary with concerns to the framing of the shot camera.

'Cloud-bed' fluid

Using a combination of serveral smaller cloud fluids offers greater control and quicker render times, so perhaps the same can be used to create the background clouds. Otherwise, this method will be necessary for closer foreground clouds which will help to reveal the nature of the island.

Smaller 'single' use of cloud fluids (Low poly environment used)

Overall, most of the secondary animation elements such as the swaying of balloons is in place which I'll post in the form of a previs soon (along with the updated camera momvent), where I am continuing to refine the character animation and use of cloud fluids as remaining major elements.

Previs #2

New version of previs is up with the updated refinments to the environment. It may be a little rough in places as things are still in the works.

Once more, the aim is to capture a moment of flight of Volan and his island as he soars the skies. It relies much on tone and atmosphere which is slowly built up with the reveal of the island and the openness of sound.

The logic behind the camera movement is to follow the reaction of the island as Volan prepares the island to turn. As Volan pulls a lever the camera pans down to see the reaction of the movment of the chain(s), to the emission of the chimney and the turning wheels. We then make our way to the underside of the island to see the wings adjust their position accordingly to bank the island off into the distance.

There are a number of refinements to be had, but any feedback is much appreaciated!

Character Volan Texture

While I'm continuing to work on other areas of the project, here's a quick update on Volan with his textures finalised. I'm pretty pleased with the results as the final outcome achieved the original concept faithfully with only minor adjustments.

Original Concept