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Animation (MA)

Joseph Whitmore

Joseph Whitmore is an artist living in London whose professional practice spans 3D animation, VFX, workshop facilitation and game design. His varied and multifaceted practice has seen him produce short films, perform live visuals, create music videos and code interactive media. 

Born in Leicester, UK, he later moved to Manchester to study Illustration with Animation at Manchester School Art. It was here where he developed the experimental and holistic style of artmaking he utilises today. 

Upon graduating in 2014, he was selected for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibiting at the World Museum, Liverpool and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. 

Notable moving image works include a commissioned solo exhibition Into The Midst (2019) by Waterside, Sale and funded by Arts Council England, and co-animating To Miss The Ending for studio 'idontloveyouanymore', awarded Best XR Film at London Film Festival and screened at Sundance Film Festival (2020).

In 2021 he received funding from Arts Council England to undergo a period of development focussing on animation and digital technologies as part of the Developing Your Creative Practice funding strand. 

Other selected public artworks include commissioned projects by Future Everything, NOMA, The Portico Library, and Royal Exchange Theatre facilitating a variety of outputs that include live theatre performance, delivery of community workshops, and public installation.

As an extension of his fine art practice, he also initiated One Dish Room, a food focussed participatory project which hosts workshops, pop-ups, and a collaboratively produced recipe book.

Image of a white man

I approach projects with an initial observation of contrasting qualities focussing on subjects such as digital and physical; human and non-human; past and future. I examine these with sensitivity in which my evaluations are then translated through the ever-growing library of media and processes that constitute my practice. Self-reflection, personal growth, and immersion all play a part in my artistic process with the goal of evoking fundamental human emotions from within my audience through immersive and playful mechanisms. The work eventually leads to a document of a relationship between binary subjects.

At the Royal College of Art, my dissertation focussed on a recontextualisation of my relationship with technology. Using GPT-3 (an auto-regressive language model tool) as a case study helped me shape a new mode of working which reignited my animation practice. I used GPT-3 to reflect, converse, and conceptualise ideas surrounding the subject of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This led to the production of my first-year film Tales_From, a silent film with experimentation within the realm of digital technology at its core.

A 3D rendered character takes a gulp of from a pint glass

God Bless You

God Bless You is a 3D animated film which acts as an embracement to my younger self, and serves to acknowledge how childhood experiences influence and challenge our future selves. The project focuses on depicting the commonly experienced issue of alcoholism and its impact on interfamily relationships.

Historically speaking, alcohol and snooker were publicly displayed together as players were allowed to drink and smoke whilst playing professionally and casually. Snooker is also a sport in which there are times when players are rendered powerless, forced to watch their opponent. This feeling I could liken to observing addiction, and how it can take hold and control the lives of the people in its vicinity. Furthermore, players have kept their emotions ‘in check’, not conveying many feelings to the watching public or their opponent until the very end – which could be likened to a ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality and perhaps a reflection of a cultural idea of masculinity. Though there are specificities within my project, I believe the project tackles broader themes which are universal. 

A snooker player is picking up a puppet

Act 1 - You

The audience is shown a side on shot of a snooker table. The camera pans down, the lights turn off, and something can be heard being winched into place. The lights now illuminate a smaller snooker table underneath in a room much like the one above. A player staggers around whilst antagonising what seems like a small string puppet version if themself. 

3D render of two characters in bathrooms

Act 2 - God

Act 2 takes place in two bathrooms on opposing sides of the stage - a reflection of each other. The puppet is now moving in time with The Player, with The Player seemingly struggling as if a force from above is controlling him. 

3D render of two characters dancing together with a shop OPEN light sign behind them

Act 3 - Bless

The final act of the film sees the two central characters part take in a dance, which can be seen as therapeutic, or can be seen as hedonistic. 

A hand reaches out to a glass which is on a matt which has the writing 'IMPOSTERS' in the style of Fosters beer
A dimly lit side shot of a snooker table with 3 engraved signs above stating GOD BLESS YOU
A 3D character in snooker player attire with cue appears to be dancing in a grimy bathroom
A CGI hand reaches out to another hand
The AntagonistThe Player
The Protagonist The Puppet
A snooker cue is aimed at a characters eye
Character floating
A 3D character is turning away from the camera


I used mocap as both a research and production method. I found performing movements helped me see clearly what it was I was wanting to convey. It also became clear that the glitchy nature of the technology I was using fed into the themes of the film, so I began to perform these movements whilst also attempting to provoke the glitches.

Virtual Reality

I used Virtual Reality as a research methodology by creating environments which embodied the memories I was reflecting on, and I was viewing it as a practical approach to exposure/occupational therapy. My responses then fed into the direction of the film.

I am currently developing these methods to be further researched at PhD level, something I am actively pursuing.

Showreel 2022


'Tales_From' is my film from first year. It is a silent film about a digitally created marionette puppet and its journey to self-awareness. Inspired by the Pygmalion myth, 'Tales_From' explores themes of control and love and their link to the hidden mechanisms that guide human behaviour.

‘Tales_From’ was written in collaboration GPT-3. GPT-3 is an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text. Using the 'playground', the text is entered into the terminal and a response is outputted by GPT-3 based on what is inputted. It can answer questions, provide text analysis, converse, and style transfer.

Digital technology was also utilised in creating the score. Musical notes were generated by a specially designed program by Joe Beedles and Joseph Whitmore. These notes were based on the luminosity of the frames of the film - for example, the brighter the pixels, the higher note. This was generated in real-time and fed into live music software Ableton, effectively creating a live score for the film much like how films were presented in early cinema.


3D Animation