2018-19 brought me to Vancouver, Canada, where I took on a role on the Dreamworks TV show Archibald’s Next Big Thing as Toon Boom Harmony rigger & builds artist.
Having recently found creative fulfillment with the success of Swift And Loose, I now wanted to focus on my rigging productivity, creating fast but reliable pipelines for creating excellent quality Harmony rigs. In the course of my 1.5 year contract with Titmouse Canada I rigged and built a gigantic 416 things:
259 character rigs (including major character turnarounds, redresses, multi-view setups, mouth comps, and blinks)
157 props (including several full vehicle turnarounds with up to 16 views, a giant multi-view robot, and various props with individual animation needs)
Alongside our building and rigging tasks my team and I were responsible for lining, clean up, and colouring of the character/props from PDFs received from the design department, and liaising with the animation supervisors to ensure animation went as smoothly as possible.
Season 1 of Archibald is out now on Netflix. Due to Dreamworks NDAs I’m unable to post direct images of my rigging process, but here’s a cute promo video with creator Tony Hale:
In 2017 I worked in-studio at Pixel Zoo in Brisbane, Australia as their lead (and only) 2D rigger/builder and Toon Boom Harmony advisor. Their major series was/is the Moose Toys web and TV show Shopkins, based on the successful toy line. The Pixel Zoo crew were new to Harmony at the time, and I was tasked with restructuring and completely redressing the existing rigs from the Shopkins movie for regular use in the World Fair season of the TV show. The web version of the show has a very huge and very young audience, commanding an extremely fast production schedule.
Alongside rigging the major human ‘Shoppies’ characters, I also lead the transition of the original ‘Shopkins’ characters from Flash to Harmony. Using the Flash To Harmony script as a launching pad I developed an efficient routine for getting the existing character rigs converted into the new software with as little redesign as possible.
Swift And Loose is a 9 x 5min adult detective series aimed at a mystery-loving audience. It premiered on the Railtoons Animation channel in October, 2017. It was written, produced, directed, animated, and composited by me, with composer Jeremy King and a hand-picked voice cast from four different countries.
Taking inspiration from classic film noir to gritty indie animation, Swift And Loose brings a unique visual style to an unusual detective story about revenge, forgiveness, and what it means to be human in a world full of loss.
WINNER Best Animated Series: NZ Webfest 2018
Official Selection & Finalist: Melbourne WebFest 2018
Official Selection & Finalist: FIS-MED 2018 (Festival Internacional de Series web de Medellín)
Official Selection: Rio Web Fest
Official Selection: Rolda Web Fest
what’s it about?
Swift And Loose tells the story of Harley Swift (voiced by Sharon Belle from the popular web series Carmilla), a quick-witted private detective who is struggling to get back on her feet after the fiery death of her brother and detective partner, Tony Swift.
When a predatory businesswoman known as Madame Wolfe (voiced by Cassandra Wladyslava from the Warframe game franchise) shows up at Swift Detective Agency with burn scars and a missing employee, Harley must put aside her fears and investigate the seedy underworld of Woods Street.
As the case becomes more complex so too does the relationship between the young detective and her domineering client, especially as Harley becomes increasingly unsure of Wolfe’s true motives.
The original soundtrack from composer Jeremy King melds smoky noir-like jazz with gritty modern synths to create an incredibly emotive soundscape, fitting for the dramatic setting of Swift And Loose.
I was first commissioned to provide design & lead animation work on the forthcoming series Idiot’s Guide To Heroism in 2016, and continue to provide ongoing work for the project and its private Australian client during the pilot pitching process.
My role involves providing guidance on the animation production pipeline to the series’ director, designing several major character turnarounds and backgrounds, lead animation and compositing for the pilot episode, and designs for various marketing materials for IGTH.
A quick look at a few of the designs:
Background design and sketch for Channel 6 News exterior establishing shot / Villain Boardroom low-angle shot.
Little Red Robot Hunter is an original 2D animated short I wrote, designed and animated as my graduation project from SAE Institute.
This film was an absolute joy to work on, made using a mixture of hand-drawn animation, painted backgrounds and multiplane compositing effects. Following the recent tradition of reinterpreting fairytales, it explores the idea of Little Red Riding Hood being retold as a futuristic chase scene, where a young woman living in the woods is confronted by a Terminator-like robot wolf.
Animation – Photoshop and Toon Boom Studio
Compositing & Effects – After Effects
Most Outstanding 2D Project: Perception Student Showcase 2015
Official Selection: Melbourne International Animation Festival 2015
Official Selection: Athens AnimFest 2015
Official Selection: Animac International Festival of Animation 2016
Official Selection: Tri-Cities International Film Festival 2016
Official Selection: ROS Film Festival 2016
This process reel shows a small part of the development and production process, and the work that went into character design, timing, animation, cleanups, backgrounds and effects.
I did some freelance animation work for the fine folks at Studio Joho in Brisbane, Australia, whose clients include the YouTube hit channel College Humor. I worked on the Furious 7 project, where I animated and composited the first scene (with the Rock and guns and bombs and a million explosions), and the second last scene (with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel driving out of a skyscraper because… action movies).
The first scene took 5-6 days of full-time animating, while the later scene took about 3-4 days (the scripts, voice recording and character designs were already done beforehand), using a mixture of Toon Boom Studio, Photoshop, and After Effects.
As of writing in 2019, the animation has racked up over 5.5 million views on YouTube alone.
I created Nothing Gold Can Stay from concept to completion in 36 hours for the 2015 Sarcastic Animation Jam on Newgrounds. Proving to myself that animated content could be produced in such a short time, Nothing Gold went on to win both the Judges’ 1st Place and the Audience Choice Award in the Jam.
Background designs – Photoshop Animation – Toon Boom Studio and After Effects Compositing – After Effects
Winner: Audience Choice Award – Sarcastic Animation Jam 2015 Winner: Judges 1st Place – Sarcastic Animation Jam 2015 Official Selection: Azores Fringe Festival (Shorts@Fringe) 2019 Official Selection: Roma Cinema DOC 2019
“Cent Crazy” was first screened at the 2014 Byron Bay International Film Festival, then went on to be officially selected for Fest Anca International Animation Festival 2015. I developed the one-minute animation in Toon Boom using a squigglevision line style, grunge paper backgrounds and partially transparent paint fills.
Margaret Pomeranz gave it 4.5 stars, while David Stratton gave it 1. Or they may have been talking about a different film entirely.