The Making of Cheezy

Lucky Toast Studio's experience working in our first animation studio


The experience

An all girl class of 5 girls from ages 12-16 met up to be part of a two week course with a company I teach with over the summer named Digital Media Academy. I acted as director and we formed a simulated animation studio, where then the students took all the other roles. They learned about story development, pre-production, and most importantly, they all got real-world experience in collaboration and being part of a team work environment. They learned about the roles and responsibilities in animated film production and got hands-on experience in every step of the process

Animated Storyboards (Animatic)

We took our storyboards that we drew on notecards, and scanned them. Then we created our first edit of the film, starting to imagine what the timing would feel like and also making sure our story still made sense. We had about 3 or 4 versions before we settled on this one.


Pre-Production & Pipeline

The students got to develop their own original story from scratch, create storyboards, and create their own production pipeline just like major studios like Pixar and Dreamworks use.

Immersive Learning

Part of what makes animation such a fun topic is how friendly and willing to share everyone in the field is. I reached out to an old co-worker of mine and we got an amazing tour of Pixar's campus in Emeryville. Everyone couldn't stop smiling!

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Asset Building and Animation

The students took time to draw, design, sculpt, model, and paint every single pixel of the world the film takes place in. They created and placed every single rock and blade of grass, then they worked methodically through, animating each shot we had planned in our storyboards.

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Final film Completed!

Then after all our modeling, texturing, animation, and lighting was done, we rendered it and added some more special effects and some music. All within two weeks!


This was an incredible example of what an immersive experience can accomplish. This is higher quality work than a lot of college level stuff I've seen. To accomplish so much was inspiring to both me and my students.