Today, March 14th, our ITAP lecture was combined with the Animation course for a lecture from our guest Tim Allen. Tim has been a professional animator for thirteen years, and has worked on many Feature films, Commercials and TV series such as Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr Fox, Peter & the Wolf, Shaun the Sheep, Fireman Sam, Creature Comforts & many more. He focuses in Stop Motion animation – something which I am quite interested in, and probably my favourite area/type of animation, as I find it quite do-able without too much equipment/props.

The lecture was very good – Tim was very informative in his methods and his journey from college to work to where he is now. Tim spent 18 months doing part time work for the council, and then had un-paid work experience with a number of names before he got his first professionally paid job. It was great to see some of Tim’s work from when he was at Uni – I know that wasn’t was important to me as it was for the Animation students in the lecture, but it was great to see the level clients require, compared to in education.

Another aspect I found amazing were the auditions Tim had to do for jobs he had applied for. He would received documents showing the style and personality of the character – such as its mouth when talking, their walk or their posture when standing still. Tim would then make a short animation using the puppet, and the client would asses him on that. He would often have to add his own opinion on to how the puppet would move, talk or finish – and sometimes the client wouldn’t like these touches, but would give him the job knowing that he was capable of doing it right in the future.

The final element I was amazed at (before I talk about some of Tim’s work), was how critical the clients/directors/producers were. Tim shown us footage at a frame by frame rate, and would explain were the client has picked out his bad points – such as a leg moving too fast in frames 1-5 and then slow in 6-10 when it should be a fluent movement. But with the strict time frame animators are on, Tim couldn’t just go back and re-do the areas that were wrong – they would just have to run with it, and see what could be edited out frame by frame.

Images below are some of my personal favourite pieces of work by Tim, including Creature comforts, Fireman Sam and many more.






Imagery from