The Lego Ninjago Movie

Story Artist for The Lego Ninjago Movie

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.

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.

The Wrong Rock

Short Film Pitch

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Previs and Layout from the feature film

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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

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...

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...

Red vs Blue: Season 10

I returned to Rooster Teeth for another stint on Red vs Blue, this time kicking off the new Maya department for Season 10. Previously Poser had been their primary 3D package and it was still in use for this season too, but it was becoming obvious that they'd need to develop a more widely adopted package for most things in order to expand the goals of the show. I headed up the initial stages of that, built up a team, techniques, tools, work flow etc...

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 ...

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...

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 ...

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 Rubble

This was a scene that was initially worked on my my friend Neil, but when we decided to revamp all the cut-scenes for the Xbox 360 Neil had moved onto another team. So I polished up the first half without changing too much and started the second half again from scratch. The original version was done at a time when we were taking a lot of shortcuts as part of the style of the scenes, but we'd taken all the other scenes a lot further and it was time to do something equally impressive for this.

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.

The Club

I arrived just as this project was nearing completion so all I did was help where I was needed for a couple of months until it was all done. It was a mixture of scene setup with mocap performances. Mocap fixing, and full hand animated replacement where the mocap wasn't providing the necessary performance. I also animated a lot of hands and faces since the mocap doesn't provide that. Then there was lighting and rendering, and a bit of editing and titles work.

Kameo: Theena Gives Book

This deleted sequence started life like most of the others as an animatic. But at this stage storyboards and animatics were fairly new to the team and they liked them so much they thought we didn't really need to do any animation. This wasn't initially a popular decision with the animators but ...

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.

Generalist Reel

Animated Filmmaker, Michael Cawood's, generalist reel.