Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Australia's Greatest Theme Parks

Theme Parks Opener from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

 I recently completed the opening titles and graphics package for a special that went to air on the 7 Network. As always my budget was pretty tight, so I had to do something that didn't require lots of fiddly layering. I liked the idea that the credits were themselves a rollercoaster ride. Most of the sequence was rendered in 3D and then tweak in After Effects.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Love at First Bite...

A couple of designs done for a game concept. And, you guessed it...there were vampires in it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gallivanting Gourmet

Off the Eaten Track from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

Gallivanting Gourmet was the 'working title' for a while. Hmmmm, seems like forever since I've posted...been busy.

One of the things I have been busy with is creating the graphics for this 'lifestyle/cooking' show. I was inspired by a fellow's animation on Vimeo that was in turn inspired by the work of the great 60s designer Saul Bass. He did a few of the posters for Hitchcock movies (the most notable his work for the film 'Vertigo') as well as some great designs for ad campaigns. I love his stuff in the same way I love Vic Mizzy's sound from that time.

So many people I know seem to think something is inferior if it 'dates' or doesn't speak with the same voice to future generations. While I can certainly understand that point of view, I love the sense of 'flavor' and style from something that truly belongs to its age. It forces you to stop and work a little harder at immersing yourself in a different period of time. That can sometimes become a very rewarding experience, I think.
Anyway, this was pretty much all animated in After Effects. I'm finding I'm doing more animated character stuff in AE, I found this awesome script that lets you set up IK controls inside AE. Bloody brilliant!

Oh, the music was composed/performed by a talented fellow I work with called Pete Christie. He is actually an editor by day, but makes music in his spare time as well as running a music publishing label.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

...yet more life drawing...

I think I had a better session this time 'round. It helped that, once again, the model was quite good.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

...More Life Drawing

I thought I would post at least one drawing from each of the life drawing sessions as a way of pushing myself to produce better figures. Not sure if it's working just yet.
I managed to convince Eddie C to come along. It's been years since I have done any drawing in the company of the great Mr.Campbell. It was both inspiring and a little depressing. His stuff was confident, free, full of life. Mine: pedestrian, methodical, dead.

As always, his mere presence forced me to think more about what the hell I was doing. I hope he continues to come.. it was fun toiling away together (just like in the old days).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick sketch..

Another sketch of an old sock character. Ultimately he was deemed a 'bit too furry'. I always liked this one, though.

Valley Rattler

Valley Rattler from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
Out and about with the Canon 550D again. This time our family took a trip on an old steam train that traverses  the hills and valleys surrounding the country town of Gympie. I was impressed by the sheer 'bulk' of the engine. It really had quite a presence.
I think I've mentioned before that I really need some sort of camera stabilisation for the Canon. They don't call  it the 'Valley Rattler' for nothing.
I gave the whole thing a bit of a grade in After Affects.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Toybox Opening Credits from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
Starting last week on the Seven Network is a kids television series I worked on called 'Toybox'.
I basically did the opener as well as a few graphics peppered throughout the show.
The concept is a well known one: when the people leave, the toys come to life and play. It's aimed at  a younger audience with an educational perspective to it.
It was great fun to work on. As always, time and money were very tight so I had to be fairly economical with my approach to the opener. Because of the 'green screen' nature of the show the camera had to be 'locked down' for the ease of production. I was determined that I move the camera as much as possible for the opener to give the audience a greater sense of the characters interacting with their environment.
This is the opener with the temp audio track laid in.

Toybox_patch vfx from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

As the 'toys' were performers in suits, there was both a 1:1 scale set and an over sized set built.
Budget constraints meant that only certain 'frequently used' areas could be built in the over sized area. All other locations were achieved with the actors on green screen keyed into the 1:1 set.

Toybox_Tina_vfx from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
Obviously props like giant scale chairs and tables would have cost far too much to build practically, so CG versions were created and the original camera move tracked.

Toybox_Tom_vfx from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

This shot was very difficult to track. I realised after the shoot that I needed WAY more elements in the green screen to help with tracking the shot. Matching perspective also became a challenge. In the end, I think I managed to strike enough of a balance between making the shot believable as well as aesthetically appealing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Robots of Death

Not that there are any 'Death Robots' in this post. I just love that title from one of my all time favorite Doctor Who episodes. Man, I wish someone would bring those robots back for the new Who. They were cool.
Seems like a million years since I last posted...oops.
A few 'blasts from the past'...character sketches for a proposed Jackie Chan animated series. Hmmm, I think they eventually did make a show, although I don't think the villains in it were quite so Cthulhu-ish..

Robot/droid design..

And a new drawing...this is from a sexy babe, vampire thingy I've been working on. Yeh, I know...more sexy vampires...but I'm talking about Vampirella sexy, not lame Twilight romance novel sexy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

...just like riding a bike... hell it is. Life drawing. It never seems to get any easier. I always feel like I waste the first hour of a life drawing session fumbling around like an idiot producing crap. It's only in the final moments of a session that I feel like I'm actually making decent pictures.

It's been almost  a year since I did any life drawing. Now that there's a class every couple of weeks up the road, I certainly don't have any excuse not to go.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When in Rome...

Rome animation from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
 A couple of quick shots establishing the scene for a 'Gladiator'-like sequence for the same company I did the 
'Space Hairdryer' for. Once again, time and money worked against more eleborate set-ups. The first shot uses photos from a huge model located in Italy of ancient Rome. It truly is a remarkable piece of art. I would love to see it 'in the flesh' one day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010



 Thanks to Retromancy for guiding me to this fantastic blog. If you're like me and are fighting the good fight for 70s Sci-Fi...this site is for you!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sealab 2020.....not.

Remember that show? When 2020 seemed soooo far away..... A bit like the year 1999 (with moon bases etc.) This is another concept painting for a project that may or may not happen. (Nothing to do with Sealab, unfortunately).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Minimal Movie Posters

I've become a bit of a fan of the current 'minimal' film poster craze. Maybe it's because the simple two-tone posters remind me of growing up in the seventies. Anyway, I thought I'd try my hand at this style using my favorite film franchise as the subject. Here's my first attempt.
The Jerry Goldsmith main title to this movie is just fantastic. Bloody genius.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Sydney-Canon 550d 18-135 lens from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

 A little sequence I cut together from a recent trip to Sydney with my Darling Wife. We decided to purchase the Canon 550D after reading so many positive reviews about it on the net. Darling Wife  wanted to do more photography and I wanted a camera that could shoot HD. Sure, if we had more cash, it would have been great to get the 7D or hey...the 5D, but after reading up on the specs for the 550d (T2i in the US) it really did seem like great value for money.

I think it is obvious that an investment in a camera stabilizer will be next. Still,  the camera makes even low rent amateur cinematographers like me look almost good. I didn't perform any grading or software stabilization on this footage.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Warlord of Mars...Tharks

Another John Carter of Mars pic.
I actually started this picture before the Dejah Thoris pic. I kinda got sick of it and put it to one side. I finally got around to finishing it the other night. Yep, against all logic I'm looking forward to the new film....sigh...

The quick sketches are experiments in Illustrator. It's a bit like Photoshop...and yet, annoyingly not.
The last illo is a concept from a top secret project that will probably never see the light of day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No Strings Attached....

GSE_vfx from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

This was part of a sequence dealing with modern television production. I had next to no time to come up with something (so what's new). I wish I could get a few more 'vfx' type gigs. They're good fun and break up the monotony of the daily grind doing 'flying-logos'.

Termite Attack!!!

These are some frames from a storyboard concept for 
another Pest Control TVC. The idea this time specifically deals with termite problems. I sort of thought 'Aliens'...'This time it's war' kind of thing could have made quite a fun spot.  The termites are supposed to be this relentless army who is led by an evil queen. The hero is the pest control dude who arrives just in time to stop the ravenous horde from destroying some poor woman's house.

Unfortunately the client passed on the concept.
Possibly a bit over the top for your average day time or late night viewer....


Monday, July 5, 2010

Weird, Whacky and er...Whacky

Weekender Special Opener from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
This was done for a special 'Queensland Weekender' (one of the lifestyle programs made by my company). The program featured 'colourful' characters and events. It had to be turned around fairly quickly, so I didn't have much time to add too many elements.
I used Maya and After effects.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vive la France!

Did the 'History Alive' at Fort Lytton again this year. I took this photo during a recreation of Waterloo (the French won this time around). I then did a bit of picture trickery in Photoshop.
I took the whole family along and made a day of it. There were Romans, Vikings, Knights, Confederate soldiers as well as different groups from WW1 and 2.

We were having a picnic when it was interrupted by a German WW2 tank followed by a parade of German soldiers in full gear. My daughter was most indignant at having her lunch spoiled in this way.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Conquest of the Return of the Planet of the Apes

Cornelius/Caesar is finished at last! I ended up extending the layout somewhat..adding another ruined pillar. (made from a piece of plastic tubing and detailed with Milliput).

Ironically, the face didn't take as long as I thought it would...his tunic, however, took many coats of paint to create an even colour without blemishes. I had fun painting the ruins around him...the grass etc came from my stash of train-set vegetation painted to blend in with the overall colour scheme. I used DAS modeling compound for the main 'sand' texture on the base followed by a sprinkling of crushed chalk pastels for the finer grade sand.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fangs for the Memories...

Someone told me vampires are 'cool' at the moment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sparkly Sparkly Shiny Things

Stefan Awards opener 2009 from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.'s that time of the year. Summer has finally released it's stranglehold on us and has stubbornly conceded to Winter. (We really don't have an Autumn in this part of the world).
Kids back at school, wheels of the economy well and truly turning over and I do the graphics for the annual Stefan Awards.
Stefan is basically a local identity, he owns a huge chain of hair salons. He's kinda like the 'Richard Branson' of the hair industry here in my state.

Anyway, every year he has this mega-budget awards ceremony where all of his hairdressers can compete for big prizes. It's a sparkly, shiny, glitzy night where my company supplies all the video feeds to the massive screens at the back of the stage. I get to do the animated backgrounds based on whatever the 'theme' is for that year.

It's always last minute, always kinda tacky, but gee I actually have a bit of fun doing it.

Last year's theme was a sort of heaven, hell, angel affair. I get to go along and a have a nice meal with plenty of wine watching tall, leggy models parading up and down a catwalk. Quite a civilized way to spend an evening really.

Monday, April 12, 2010


At a recent SciFi/Comic convention I got talking to a fellow down 'Artist's Alley' who showed me how he inks his work in Adobe Illustrator. Now, I've dabbled with inking in Adobe Flash with some good results, but I was always keenly aware that I was using the software not in the way it was originally intended. After all, Flash is fundamentally a web/animation program.

Well here's my first attempt at 'penciling' in Photoshop, 'inking' in Illustrator then coloring in Photoshop.
Early days, but I think there's some promise in this technique. It certainly is fast!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Night Sketch

Quick 15 minute sketch taken from the Madonna film clip 'Frozen'. Fantastic imagery, great clip.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Troodon Attack

Dinos_troodon attack from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
More Dinos. This time a sequence showing the meat eating Troodons stalking their prey. Once again, Bevan Lynch handled the dino chores. Nice view of my miniature rock.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Adventures of Toilet Door Man

career video from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

This was a 30 second commercial advertising a Career Expo here in Brisbane. I thought using the 'universal symbol' man would be a good way of representing a non-gender specific member of the public. It was all pretty much created and animated in After Effects with only a couple of elements (paper plane etc) coming from Maya.

I had about a 3 day budget on the project. I created a very rough storyboard which I cut to the voice-over to give the client a fairly accurate idea of how the TVC would play out. That seemed to work very well.
The audio on this version is a temp track without effects.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

...Flying Logo Friday

Trophy animation from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
I always liked the glass finish on this one. Fairly quick turnaround (aren't they all) using Maya and After Effects.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Monday Mornin' dinos...

Troodon_forest from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
This was one of my favourite shots. It had the CG dinos, the miniature tree and foreground foliage as well as comped background stuff. really nicely animated by Bevan Lynch.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

I haven't seen the film 'The Wolfman' yet, but I'm hoping it's going to be every bit as promising as the trailer I saw. I'm a huge fan of Rick Baker's work and I read somewhere that this was going to be his last film. (!?)
I'm not one of these 'all-CG is evil' types who bang on about how stuff looked SO much more convincing in the good old days. Frankly, I think that's just plain bullshit.

I do think that craftsmen like Baker however, can bring a certain artistry to a film that no amount of ray-traced reality on a computer can surpass. I know that this sort of make-up effects stuff will one day disappear completely, more because of cost cutting than for aesthetics, and so it's even more exciting to see a great master (like Rick Baker) strut his stuff for perhaps the last time.

These were done a while ago for a werewolf project (obviously). I really can't remember what the girl illo was for, I just thought it would nice to include her to balance out all the hairiness.

Hmmm, this all reminds me of a cool comic from the seventies 'Werewolf By Night' drawn by Mike Ploog (I think). Man I loved that comic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things to Come...

Future Bris B from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

'Things to Come' is an old movie I have always wanted to see in its entirety...hmmm...maybe Youtube...

I really can't remember why I had to create this. Photoshop, Maya and After Effects were the tools of choice once again. It's the standard... 'like those Hollywood movies except with a two day budget' scenario.

I think it went at the end of a quasi-historical documentary about transportation in Queensland. You know the last line is: ' What does the future hold?...'
or 'Where will it end? Perhaps Artoo, it will never end.'
That sort of thing....insert nerd alert here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tatooine Graffitti

 A couple of sample pages done for Dark Horse comics years ago. Needless to say I didn't get the gig! Bummer!
I can't remember if this was from an original story we were pitching at the time. I have a vague recollection about a storyline set on Tatooine detailing the adventures of Luke and Biggs.
Kind of a 'Tatooine Graffitti'. I thought it was a cool idea, anyway.

Monday, February 15, 2010


When I had heard years ago that they were doing another Dr. Who series I got to thinking about the good Doctor's arch nemeses the Daleks. Surely they would HAVE to be updated for a more savvy 21st century viewer. I did a couple of sketches along these lines.

Nah...what was I thinking...

There was nothing 'broken' about the designs as they were.

Sure enough, when the series aired my favorite aliens were back larger than life and looking pretty much as they had for decades. They're still cool and wonderfully scary.

future bris from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

I posted this ages ago...but very small...I thought I would also show the original plate that I had to work with.
It took a couple of days (usual budget for this sort of thing). Fun gig, wish there were more like this.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Go Ape!....another one... we go again. This kit was my first ever Ebay purchase. I thought it might make a suitable companion to the gorilla kit I had completed.

I'm not sure whether he will be Cornelius or his son, Caesar. The ruins around him would make him more likely be the latter. Straight away I really didn't go for the pose recommended on the box.

I decided to add some good 'ol fashioned 'ancient sacred scrolls' to make the pose work a little better. That's blu-tac standing in for fingers there for the moment.

The feet also needed some attention. I guess the original sculpt for this was in the late sixties early seventies when thongs or flip-flops were all the rage. What appears to be bare feet in the films are actually 'ape boots' shaped like the simian's feet. I've started filling in the areas with Tamiya putty.

I really love the detail in the face. It's going to be a challenge painting this guy. I want to get across the subtle detail that was present in the chimpanzees' make-up on the show. The color scheme for this will be ochers and olive greens. I was also going to try for a sandy environment around him. I haven't exactly figured out how to do that just yet.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Space Jockey....finished!

I'm fairly happy with the end result. I shot these images on my workbench lit withmy desk lamp. I blurred any off-shoot areas in photoshop. I think the colours I ended up using are kinda close to the film.

In fact, it was quite hard to find any good reference for colour, particularly for the Jockey's base. It's funny... I used to be a big fan of  the spacesuits in Alien, having seen a load of photo reference of them in closeup they come off looking a bit crappy. I guess it's a testament to the brilliant way Ridley Scott shot the film that these things all look as good as they did.

The little figures were TINY! I made good use of my magnifier painting them. Anyway, I'm glad it's done....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Arctic Park

dinos_004 from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
More dino animation. This is another one of those animations I have already posted at much lower res.

dinos_003 from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.
This one was quite a challenge. It was certainly helped along by an excellent matte painting by my colleague Darren Roach.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Meet George Jetson....

A quick sketch and yet another one of those 'cartoon ladies in the nude' for Penthouse Magazine. Just in case it isn't immediately obvious, Judy Jetson....daughter of George.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Dinosaurs

dinos_001 from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

A couple more prehistoric animations. Bevan Lynch created and animated the dinos (another fellow, Richard  Waterhouse, did the death throes bit). I pretty much did the rest.  The shot below I had posted before at much lower res. I thought it deserved an up-res.

dinos_002 from Pete Mullins on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Space Jockey new pics

Well, I'm pretty happy with the paint job on the jockey...It might need a bit more colour variation here and there. The next task is to assemble/paint the small figures. This is certainly going to be very detailed work.