The Welsh animators at the forefront of innovative animation tech

Member News  |  21 March 2024

Eight aspiring animators in Wales have benefited from a one-of-a-kind opportunity, which will see them trained up in the latest animation industry software used by leading animation studios across the globe.

Moho House 2D Animation cohort.
Courtesy of Media Cymru, Biggerhouse Films CIC and Cloth Cat.

The bespoke ‘Moho House 2D Animation’ course is supported by Media Cymru, in association with award-winning animation and games studio Cloth Cat Animation Studios and Biggerhouse Films CIC, with the training run by leading 2D/3D animator Dani Abram. The eight animators will not only receive bespoke training, but work on a live brief and contribute to the development of a new short film.

Until now, Moho has not been commonly available for animators and thus far in the UK, there are no opportunities to receive bespoke support and in-house training to use the tool, which has been used in the Oscar-nominated The Breadwinner, as well as, Irish animation hits Song of the Sea and Wolfwalkers.

The software is widely considered to be an industry standard for professional 2D animation and is increasingly in demand by successful studios in Wales. Now, thanks to Media Cymru’s collaboration with Cloth Cat and Biggerhouse films, the course aims to address skills gap while providing new opportunities for Welsh animators to collaborate and work experimentally on a commissioned short, Crybaby, produced by Biggerhouse Films CIC and funded by Ffilm Cymru.

Eleri Edwards.
Courtesy of Media Cymru, Biggerhouse Films CIC and Cloth Cat.

One of the beneficiaries of the two-week Moho house 2D animation training is Eleri Edwards. A graduate from University of South Wales, she struggled to gain a foothold in the industry, until receiving advice and guidance from Cloth Cat and Biggerhouse, who she met at Cardiff Animation Festival in 2023. She was encouraged to develop her voice in filmmaking and is now developing a film funded by Ffilm Cymru, inspired by her experience of being diagnosed late in life with ADD. Her character Carys navigates the difficulties and challenges of feeling different – and the film’s characters and backgrounds are also being developed by the cohort taking part in the Moho training.

My aunty worked in TV, producing mainly for children’s animation, and that’s kind of how I got introduced into the animation industry. I had an interest in drawing in general and that kind of spun into idea of going into animation as a career. Later on, I met Biggerhouse Films, who specialise in helping disabled Neurodivergent people work into animation filmmaking. I worked as a layout artist with Cloth Cat on the Rubbish World of Dave Spud and began experimenting with an idea to develop a film loosely based on my experience being diagnosed with ADD. I wanted to show that with Autism, no two people who have it are the same. If you’ve met a person with it – that’s just one person.

Eleri Edwards
Dani Abram.
Courtesy of Media Cymru, Biggerhouse Films CIC and Cloth Cat.

Moho course lead Dani Abram’s work has been seen in productions including Puffin Rock, Elmo, Star Wars: Visions and Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby. She said the training would enable the cohort to pick up innovative new skills, but also access career support and guidance for engaging with film studios, marketing themselves and accessing networking opportunities within the sector.

There’s more demand than ever for these skills. I often work overseas because studios can’t find someone people who knows how to use Moho. So at the moment, it feels like there are very few of us out here with this specialist knowledge. The more people I can train up, the more people I can recommend…then more people can go and make amazing TV and film. This is the first training of its kind – I’ve not known of any other Moho training to happen anywhere in the world – and we’re running it right here in Cardiff.

Dani Abram, Course Lead for Moho House 2D Animation

Animation is a global market and it’s important that Wales remains at the forefront. We’re really excited to be able to offer in-depth training for Moho as part of the production for Eleri’s film. Not only is it a new piece of software that we can support in Wales but it’s also integral to the production of an exciting new short film. Many of the participants have worked for Cloth Cat in the past and they all agree that in-person training is much more effective. The training has not only enabled local animators with the skills in new, cutting-edge production software, but it’s also about opening doors and bringing about new opportunities and collaborations. Alongside Ffilm Cymru, Biggerhouse Films CIC and Media Cymru, we’re working together to develop Welsh voices and strengthen the talent pool. The animation community here in the Cardiff Capital Region is all about supporting one another and developing the next generation of animators.

Jon Rennie, Managing Director of Cloth Cat

Watch an introductory video below.