Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Cuphead @ The Annies and Video Game Awards

Cuphead's getting some recognition!!! 

For the 45th Annie Awards Cuphead will be the recipient of this year's 'Special Achievement Award'!!!! Which according to their website is:
An Annie Award for Special Achievement in Animation is given to an individual, individuals, or a company for unique and outstanding achievement in animation not recognized by in other Annie Award categories. This special award is given by the Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood, by a unanimous vote, when such recognition is deemed desirable. 
This is freaking amazing!! Holy cow!!! 2 animators who worked on the game, Hanna Abi-Hanna and Tina Nawrocki, are also nominated for Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video Game! Super cool!!

At 2017 Game Awards, Cuphead was nominated for 5 categories and won 3! Cuphead received Best Independant Game, Best Art Direction, and Best Debut Indie Game!! It was also nominated for Best Score/Soundtrack and Best Action Game.

Even Justin Trudeau went out the way to congratulate the team! I always told people who were on the fence on buying the game to get it so they can "support Canadian content!" A lot of people tend to forget that it is!


This is insanely amazing to see Cuphead receiving so much attention and praise! The creators and those who worked on it put so much passion into it that I can't help but be so happy for them to see their dream project succeed. Cuphead is still continuing to pop up on other website's Game of The Year Awards lists it's exciting! 

Titmouse Secret Santa Drawing Exchange!

At work we did a Secret Santa drawing exchange and the person I received asked for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so here's what I gave him! He like it! Also really awesome to hear other people in the studio enjoyed it as well.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Home For The Holidays

Ever since joining Titmouse I've had the wonderful opportunity to join the Home team!

Here's a Christmas special that I had the chance to work on! First scene after the establishing shot is mine. So cool to see it together! That's one off the animation bucket list: Work on a Christmas special.

Working on Home has been super cool and I appreciated it a lot to be put specifically on this show for my talents due to how cartoony it is! We can really put a lot of fun into the acting and have the freedom to push the poses as far as we can. Really glad to be on a show that doesn't rely on the storyboards entirely and gives the animators actual freedom to act beyond what is provided to us. I've learned a lot since being on the show and I am very grateful to be on it. Look forward to the Christmas special this December 1st on Netflix!

*** UPDATE ***


Here's a fun sequence of Ben Schwartz rapping about Hanukkah with a bunch of scenes I got to do! From 2:16 - 2:25 are a chunk that are mine as well as the scenes where he's fat at the end 2:52 - 2:59. I also have a couple of short scenes sprinkled throughout the sequence. It was fun to do! I still have to try out latkes...

Friday, 29 September 2017

Cuphead is available now!!

Cuphead is available now! The game was my first animation gig and I had the wonderful opportunity to work on it briefly 2 years ago! Go buy it and play it! The team put a lot of passion and hard work and I hope you enjoy it for its challenging gameplay and wonderful art and animation.

Available on Xbox One, Windows 10 Store, Steam, Humble Bundle, and GoG!

Sunday, 3 September 2017


Here it is! My thesis film! The film that consumed my entire life for 8 months and I enjoyed every minute of it. I put a lot of work into the film and I I hope you enjoy it and take something away from it.

Here are links to posts about the process and a concept art dump:



Dilemma - Idea Development

I had the concept for the film at the end of first year/early second year. Just the look of it popped into my head: A round cartoon character juxtaposed with straight and edgy abstract shapes. That's what I wanted my film to look like. The image was there but the full idea wasn't. 

At the beginning of the second half of second year I quickly drew a concept drawing out since I didn't want the image I had in my head to go away. So here's that drawing from 2ish years ago!

Even that early on I already knew what I wanted in my thesis film. 5 things:

1 - Cartoon animation
     Because I love it and have fun doing it.
2 - Motion graphics and moving shapes  
     Because I love graphic design.
3 - Music based (specifically big band) 
     Because I like old music and big band fits with cartoon animation acting as sound effects.
4 - No layout 
     Because I'm not good at it.

That's it! I wanted my film to be about everything I enjoy and I wanted it to play to my strengths. I didn't want to spend time on things I didn't like and things I wasn't particularly good at. My thought was that if I spent time on something I'm not good at, that is time away from improving on something that I want to be better at. I also wanted it to be 1 minute since during industry day they only show 1 minute of our films during the screening. I wanted a whole product on the screen and I also didn't want to overwork myself. 1 minute was already a ton of work for this film and I would have ripped my hair out if I did it any longer.

I also wanted to incorporate a bit of fine art into it because in the end I have a huge passion for art. When I saw Michel Gagne's Sensology had imagery that resembled Wassily Kandinsky's work, I had a direction I wanted to take it to. Other works I referenced were iPod silhouette commercials, Day & Night by Pixar, Carnival of Animals from Fantasia 2000, The Dot and Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Chuck Jones, UPA, Fleischer Bros., Piet Mondrian, Picasso, Saul Bass, and more that I probably missed. 

Here are some stuff I made in 3rd year. Quick doodles that I made in order to get the idea across.

Although Kandinsky was my first idea, I experimented with boards and sketches with much more basic shapes. A lot of people suggested I simplify things and choose the basic shapes to make the workload a little easier for myself since I was already planning to fully animate characters for the total 1 minute. Which was a smart suggestion since in the end the workload I had was already enough and challenging for me. But I still think about how my film would have turned out with more elaborate Kandinsky style effects.

Here is the first image I made that incorporated the idea I had of using flat shapes to suggest perspective and only when placing the character in it would it give context. I created a rough storyboard sequence in 3rd year using this concept and my instructor suggested I take that idea further.

Progress Reel

Here's my progress reel! I locked down my storyboards by end of September and started animating in October. Other classes got in the way so full on animating didn't start until January to very early March. Clean up took the whole month of March and colouring was a breeze on Toonboom which took 3 days. My original plan was to finish in March but I took into account delays and revisions. I still managed to finish several weeks early! I also never pulled any all nighters and only worked at school from 9am - 9pm and took weekends off! I had to come in on weekends a few times during clean up, but apart from that I had a very healthy lifestyle in fourth year compared to my other three years. I felt great!

A few of my friends kept asking about how I time manage well. Here's the secret: JUST WORK ON YOUR FILM. Don't get side tracked. Fourth year was deceiving with all the "free time" you have with less classes, I just spent most of that working but still took time to have fun. So to any upcoming fourth years working on their thesis films and are reading this: work on your film as much as you can. Lock down your boards as soon as possible. Aim for something manageable and to your strengths. And most importantly sleep. Don't work tired, it will just make the work you output worse. Good luck!

Dilemma - Concept Art Dump

Some art I made during the process of making the film! I'm just going to dump them all here:

Original Dilemma title design by my good friend Juan Munoz! Really great but I felt it was too serious and didn't convey the fun and energy of my film. I really liked the colour choices and the placement of shapes a lot though and wanted to keep that. The final title design is by me taking inspiration from old UPA cartoons whenever they used type in their films as well as old cartoon episode title cards. 

Some colour schemes and images that I referenced for them. I referenced a lot of Rothko's paintings for colour schemes. 

Some super early thumbnails playing around with colour and composition. The large orange and yellow one was an attempt to see the least number of colours to create a space, in this case a down shot of a room.

Colour Script

Making the colour script was difficult! Certain colours needed to seep into the next sequence but each sequence needed to have a different mood. There are 1 or 2 moments in the music and timing that allowed me to cheat and change the colours in an instant. I wanted primary colours at the end due to their abundant use in minimalist paintings but I didn't want one of the three colours to just appear out of nowhere in the end. So I decided to make the first four sequences focus on one primary colour and transition into the next. 

Here are some old in progress colour scripts:

Here's the only layout that I had to do and I needed to get it right. I looked into that Gobelin film, Stewpot Rhapsody as inspiration. I needed Art to fit into the world and also be a contrast to the clean flat painting in order for it to stand out. I ended up picking a the one with the least noise since I wanted to audience to focus more on Art and Dilemma. I was close to choosing the second but the frame took attention away from the characters.

I have posted a lot about the character design process of Art, but here's one of the (spoiler) second character that appears at the end. His name is Intrigue and rather than base it off a question mark ?, I wanted this character to be based off an exclamation point ! Even though he's there for a very short time I imagined his personality is that of genuine interest in contrast to Art who was curious. 

Animation Tests

Here are some animation tests I did very early on while I was still storyboarding. I wanted to make sure I was able to manipulate the characters and shapes in a way I imagined. I also made it as a means to test character timing and emoting basic shapes.


I needed a character that fit in with Art's design but still be different in order to contrast him. All Intrigue's shapes and gestures, from his arms to his feet, are based off thin triangles and circles to mimic the exclamation point.