Sun & Moon is a creative-led, full-service animation studio producing high-quality character animation for broadcast, commercials, online and games.
Established in 2008 by traditionally trained 2D animators Dylan Shipley and Louis Jones, the story of the studio starts with their friendship, when the pair first met at university. Talented 2D generalists, Dylan and Louis completed their degrees and went on to have the exact same start in the industry, (albeit two years apart). It was in those early years that they learned about their craft and honed their skills. Experiencing some of the same hurdles, limitations, and frustrations whilst freelancing at established studios, they learned ‘how not to do it’ as much as ‘how to do it’ and ultimately decided to team up and give their combined efforts a go – freelancers to the power of two!
The studio has grown organically and has an agile core team, with the capacity of scaling to 50 in-house crew, giving Sun & Moon the ability to work on multiple productions simultaneously, delivering such celebrated series work as Kit & Pup for CBeebies and Doctor Who – The Macra Terror for BBC Studios, and commercial work for clients such as Clarks, The Woodland Trust, E4, and Fisher-Price. Sun & Moon has proven itself to be a boutique studio that packs a mighty punch, going toe-to-toe with some of the biggest animation studios in the UK, and not only holding its own…but even winning the odd bout on occasion.
Sun & Moon utilised cutting-edge ‘Master Controller’ features in industry-leading 2D- animation software Toon Boom Harmony to deliver a complexity and subtlety of rig that hadn’t been achieved previously, enabling animators to deliver a level of performance and fluidity of movement unseen inDoctor Who reconstructions — and in an incredibly short production time. Sun & Moon had only been using the software for three months when Toon Boom told Sun & Moon that they were leading the world with the use of this feature. The studio went on to help mould how the Master Controller tool was developed and deployed in subsequent versions.
Sun & Moon was awarded the title of ‘Future Leader’ by Creative England for its work in the SEN sector, specifically with its game, ‘Eye Can Fly’. It was the world’s first magical flying adventure, designed especially for eye-gaze devices (a camera that tracks your eye movement). In the game, players learn to control aircraft to become a fully-fledged pilot whilst learning geography skills such as compass directions, landmarks, and regions across the world as well enhancing their eye-gaze skills on the way. The game was a finalist at the prestigious TIGA Games Industry Awards in 2015 and still sells steadily to the SEN market.
The studio was also shortlisted for a Children’s Television BAFTA in 2018 for its work with BBC Bitesize on a short-form series about KS2 Music called ‘Lightning Jelly’.
In 2019 Sun & Moon launched some industry-focused animation courses designed for freelancers, graduates, students, and budding animators to give them the skills they’ll need for a career in animation. Led by working industry professionals, Sun & Moon’s courses teach the skills, techniques, and tricks of the trade gained from years of experience.
Sun & Moon’s culture and work ethic were born from trying to do the right thing, and their values are the focus of everything they do. They believe in their craft and in quality—it’s the difference between okay and WOW. Character is key, too; it’s not enough to just make something move, it needs to take on a life of its own. The team at Sun & Moon quite literally creates the illusion of life. They never stop learning and are constantly striving to develop skills and techniques to deliver the very best in character-led animation. “Animation runs through us like a stick of rock, we live and breathe it.”
Sun & Moon’s dedicated team of experts are passionate about their industry, the studio, and maintaining its high standards through the content they create. They are serious about animation and genuinely LOVE what they do, going above and beyond in producing and delivering quality animated content that gives clients—in Bristol and beyond—a real bang for their buck!