The Wrong Rock

Short Film

Devils, Angels & Dating

In 2006 I started developing a short computer generated film called 'Devils, Angels and Dating'. This film was made with the internet in mind, fully aware of modern trends. I was inspired by modern dating trends and let those themes influence the core ideas behind the film.

The OceanMaker

I put in a few months of work on this short film. I was largely involved in the 3D filmmaking side of things, creating rough versions of shots, editing it together and figuring out what works to tell the story.

Pete’s Dragon

I filled in as Postvis Supervisor nearing the end of production, and then hung around to animate some new shots for the last few weeks of the project.

Skylanders: Giants

After the release of my short film 'Devils, Angels and Dating' I was just putting my name out there as a potential Animation Director when I came across this unique opportunity in New York. Panda Panther was recruiting for animators for their next big Skylanders job. After a conversation with the Directors it was clear there was a good opportunity here for me to help them at a high level and I was hired as an Animation Director. There were a few related projects around the franchise and the first was a number of cinematic sequences for the XBox 360, PS3 and Wii games due out before Christmas. I took a Lead role alongside a good number of other talented Leads, heading up two of the twelve sequences...

Skylanders: Giants (3DS)

Hot off the completion of the main Skylanders Giants cinematics we were tasked with a set of four new cinematics for a different Nintendo 3DS game based on the Skylanders characters. This time we had to work in Stereoscopic 3D, which was actually new territory for me. I understood a lot of the fundamentals from following the business and taking some lectures from experts, but I'd yet to spend much time practicing it. There was no time to worry about it though and we dived in...

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Previs and Layout from the feature film

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – Postvis

Postvis for a few sequences in Night at the Museum 3

The Great Happyfication

After spending a couple of years working on confidential projects it’s refreshing to have worked on something I can talk about again. I’m writing this after returning to Austin, after spending a couple of months in Los Angeles. I got the call to work at Psyop and when I found it was going to be on Happiness Factory I couldn’t have been… happier. Ironically another job option came up at the same time (why do they always come along at the same time?). Anyway, this was the best fit and I pulled out all the stops to get to LA to work on this.

Happy Feet

I was lucky enough to have an all expenses paid stay in Sydney Australia for four months working on Happy Feet for Animal Logic. It's about singing and dancing penguins and in case you haven’t heard about it… it’s the one that won the Oscar!

Rock Band 2: Cinematic

I started at Passion Pictures and I was working on a really cool project which gave me plenty of room to flex my film making and animation skills. I'm a huge fan of the various styles of Passion Pictures portfolio and a few of my friends from MPC made the move too for various other projects, so it was fun. The first Rock Band cinematic was very...

Narnia: Prince Caspian

Animating on Prince Caspian, I met lots of great people while I settled into life in London. I got the chance to work on characters combining live action and animation, as well as full CG characters. Everything from Tigers, Leopards, Cheetahs, Minotaurs and Fauns to Centaurs.

Singapore Navy: Be Somebody

This Television advert for the Singapore Navy was an interesting piece of work. The brief was; the buildings come to life and head out to sea to engage in battle with office themed projectiles, we then cut back to a man waking up in his office before we see the tag lines.

Megaman: Maverick Hunter

During my two years at Armature as their Lead Animator I worked on a number of, as yet, unannounced prototype games for a variety of publishers. This evolution of the Megaman franchise surfaced on various games news sites and video portals in 2013.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Feature Film Third Floor Shot Creator 2014 to 2015 IMDB Copyright ©  of Disney 2017

Furious 7

I spent seven months in a surprisingly creative role as a previs artist on this film. It's a wonderful crew, lots of fun. We even got to spend the first few months on the Universal lot, which had it's perks. We were able to ...

Devils, Angels & Dating: Trailer

During the development of 'Devils, Angels & Dating' I knew it was going to be very important to create a strong trailer to attract talent to work on the project. So the trailer was planned out early in the process. Storyboards from the film were cut together and a score was created so that we could plan around those shots getting done first. It was updated almost as often as the main film itself so that the team could see how it was coming along. It was completed about six months ahead of the completion of the final film.

Kameo: Thorn Beats Kameo

There were plenty of animatics created that dug into the story elements of the game with characters that actually needed to have performances, but this was probably the first one that I made with full animation. Previous to this all the FMV work had been cheated comic book style (semi-animated) scenes or the evolve scenes that were more spectacle than performance...

Skylanders Giants: Trailer

This trailer was updated and had some new shots added after we completed the main cinematics for the game.

Skylanders: Swap Force

This was a super quick project. I came in as a new animator at Logan in Los Angeles and found myself working on my third Skylanders project. I was assigned two of the most fun shots with Skylanders' biggest re-occurring series favorite character, Kaos. I worked, primarily on ...

Kameo: Title Screen

This group shot plays under the Title/Start screen and shows off all the characters the player can play. It went through many iterations over the years...

Monkey King: Theme Park Attraction

This is a test piece of animation made to showcase a new version of a classic character. I was given the character model. After a few tweaks to the model, I rigged him and animated this short sequence of action in a tightly styled way. It was very quick turn around but good fun.

Kameo: Intro

Funnily enough this sequence was originally conceived for the purposes of a trailer. Nick and I (our concept artist and a past animator) both felt strongly that it was time we did an advert that eluded to the story of the game rather than just quick cuts of the gameplay. So after a meeting about what we wanted, I designed this idea of seeing mini pivotal scenes from throughout the story glimced briefly in the clouds before the camera sweeps down to the castle below to start showing off the characters in action. It was enormously effective and ...

Rock Band 2: Teaser

Part of the same project to work on the cinematic for Rockband 2, this teaser presented some unique challenges. It's much shorter than the cinematic and the second half is all new shots. It was a combination of ...

Kameo: End of Game

The magnum-opus of the entire game. This huge sequence had to top everything you'd seen, push the capabilities of Kameo beyond what you'd previously experienced, draw together numerous story threads, introduce a twist in the plot and give the player a satisfactory ending. It was developed towards the end of the game's development so was under pressure to be completed fast and there were other...

Churchill Insurance

At a time when Glasswork's in-house animator was busy on another project I was brought in as a Freelancer to handle half of the new batch of Churchill adverts. Only two and a half weeks, this one. I setup the shots and animated the Churchill dog for two adverts. There was actually a total of four to do but Alastair handled the other two.

Tales from the Borderlands

I briefly worked on this Borderlands sequel doing rigging and test animation.

Kameo: Evolve Pummel Weed

All the Evolve scenes were very complex pieces that required a lot of R&D, but they presented fantastic opportunities to do something imaginative. The only rules were that it had to start with the baby monster and it had to transform into the adult monster, ideally through a method that reflected their elemental theme. I've included an earlier version of this Evolve cinematic developed for the original Xbox. I later decided to upgrade all the FMVs to HD resolution at the same time as changing the characters to match their new Xbox 360 designs.

Tenkai Knights: Website Intro

I'd worked with the client a couple of times before for some pitches, and this interactive website was one of the ones that got commissioned. I was able to work from home, which made for a nice change. There was a good number of ...

Panda Pander

Panda Pander gathered a few million hits at Crackle before they changed their format. After Two Face Tabby I didn't want to spend so long on my next project so I did some one off exercises to flesh out my showreel while I spent a few months developing the pre-production material for Panda Pander (working title "Shelf Life").

Parkour: Personal Project

I'd wanted to do something acrobatic like this since my University years but when Disney's Tarzan came out I opted not to do it as I figured it would be seen as a rip off, since then Spiderman has also achieved similar feats. Well, in 2007, I felt it was time to have a go anyway...

Renault Megane Sport

A last minute move to London, started with about three weeks working on this 'Pod Racer' style advert at MPC. It was a fast schedule and the advert was on air five weeks after I started on it, which is a really fast turn around the team can be very proud of. There's nothing particularly complex in the animation but the results were good, and the people I worked with were great. I did most the work on the spark plug and wheel shots moving through the corridors.

Kameo: Evolve Flex

Like all the evolve scenes Flex was a unique problem. He had to look like water and be completely malleable. So this required looking into water and water shaders, and some hand painted frames to blend between elements. There was another water themed scene, but I've not included it here because I only did a polish job on the effects and final look of it and the animation was done by Neil. Both scenes turned out pretty well though and I was lucky that they didn't change too much when the rest of the characters were being updated (spikes wouldn't have looked good on water!). Here's the animatic for the Flex scene.

Kameo: Evolve Cloud Monster

This was one of the more imaginative characters in the game. Unfortunately after this cut-scene was finished the character proved too hard technically to implement in the game and we were beginning to realize we didn't need so many characters so he got the chop. But this scene was made available to view as an unlock-able extra (along with the animatic below) and featured in some of the early trailers for the game.

Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise

I spent a month or so working on in-game animations for this game. I’d been busy with numerous departments whilst I was writing up pitch documents for a dozen game ideas and I decided I wanted to find something focused to do while I was waiting for these projects to work their way through the management pipeline. I volunteered my time on the new Asset Creation Team that was currently creating animations for new characters.

Guardian of the Highlands

I spent six months in Glasgow, initially as a Senior Character Animator but quickly taking over as the Animation Supervisor on this CG feature film featuring the voices of Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Gail Porter, Ruby Wax, Richard Briers, Miriam Margolyes.

Dogs on a Seesaw

I started this pet project with the intention of doing some four legged animation, with a jump and some balance/weight issues to address. It began with the dog jumping onto a seesaw with a weight on the other side reacting to the seesaw tilting. Then it occurred to me that the dog’s action wasn’t as interesting as what the weight was doing as it flew up, bounced and rocked around....

Kameo: Evolve 40 Below

I originally created the Snowman Evolve scene with a more snowball like theme but as the character designs all changed this scene had to be updated as well. All the characters were generally made to look more detailed and aggressive, mostly through the addition of bumpy surfaces and spikes. In this particular case I actually preferred the original 'Snowman' design and I think he lost his snowball qualities in the update. So you can see both the final and the original versions here, along with the animatic I originally story-boarded below.

We Need a Hit

I did some part time work on this budget CGI film featuring the Cool Bean characters. It was an interesting challenge working from home, but very familiar territory in every other respect and involves some interesting characters and strong cartoony animation.

Starfox Adventures: TRex Boss

Although I did a number of tasks over the years on this one, I was predominantly responsible for the real-time cut-scenes. There are about two to three hours of the stuff in this game! I spent an awful amount of time with the characters of this world, bringing them to life. I didn't really have much of a clue what to do with them when I started...

Starfox Adventures: Arwing

Although I did a number of tasks over the years on this one, I was predominantly responsible for the real-time cut-scenes. There are about two to three hours of the stuff in this game! I spent an awful amount of time with the characters of this world, bringing them to life. I didn't really have much of a clue what to do with them when I started...

Starfox Adventures: Drakor Boss

Although I did a number of tasks over the years on this one, I was predominantly responsible for the real-time cut-scenes. There are about two to three hours of the stuff in this game! I spent an awful amount of time with the characters of this world, bringing them to life. I didn't really have much of a clue what to do with them when I started...

Starfox Adventures: Introduction to Andross

Although I did a number of tasks over the years on this one, I was predominantly responsible for the real-time cut-scenes. There are about two to three hours of the stuff in this game! I spent an awful amount of time with the characters of this world, bringing them to life. I didn't really have much of a clue what to do with them when I started...

Two Face Tabby

This started with a mythical legend I researched that I have completely forgotten now. My old friend Scott helped me find it, he's good with things like that. The legend formed the basis for the story and provided the name of the beast: Fenrir. The I didn't make any attempt to retell the legend, I just borrowed the idea for the characters and formed my own story from them in a similar setting. My plan for this was ambitious so I never actually managed to completely finish it. Some of the scenes are lacking ...

Archer: Software Demo

During my last summer holiday as a University student I found a local company that built and sold video editing suits, they were also the UK distributors for a number of different pieces of software. I approached them, pitched some ideas and I was asked to do some animation for a video that would showcase and demonstrate the basics of an animation coloring system...

B.I.T. Commercial

This was really just a cheeky last minute request to do an advert for BIT (the same company that commissioned me to do the Archer demo). I used one of the characters (later to be nicknamed Polo) from the Archer piece ...

Animation Reel

Michael Cawood's Animation Demoreel