Stellar Creative Lab Launches CG Animation Studio in Toronto

Stellar Creative Lab has launched a brand new Toronto-based studio with a focus on high-end series and feature projects, offering both in-studio artist space and hybrid/remote working. The first production will be an adult CG animated series for a well-known streaming service.

Line Producer Tracy Grant, based in Toronto, will be leading the team and has already started the recruiting and hiring process. “Our goal is to start with smaller teams in multiple departments, bringing brilliant Toronto and Ontario talent to this new series and the Stellar Creative Culture,” Grant stated.

The company was launched five years ago in Vancouver, founded by industry veterans Hasmi (Giakoumis) Ferguson (Babar), formerly of Toronto, and Bert Van Brande (Sausage Party).

“Our focus, from the day we launched, has been to deliver feature-quality, no matter what project we are producing,” said Van Brande. “Stellar’s past credits are proof-positive of the power and flexibility of the pipeline we’ve designed and developed in five short years.”

These credits include Disney’s Baymax Dreams real-time shorts (created with Unity), Fancy Nancy, Golden Age and The Addams Family CG-feature marketing tool kit.

Stellar’s Vancouver Studio is currently working on Marvel Studios series, including multiple seasons of Emmy-nominated What If?… and the recently announced Marvel Zombies.

“Stellar is thrilled to be working in the Marvel Universe with Marvel Studios’ exceptional teams. We are so proud of our team for creating such world class content for our wonderful partners at Marvel,” added co-founder Ferguson.

Just wrapping production at Stellar are the last few episodes of DreamWorks Television Animation’s Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. This fresh instalment of the Kung Fu Panda franchise launched on Netflix Canada mid-July in the Top 10.

Dave Dick, story director on 22 episodes of the new Kung Fu Panda series, said of his time at Stellar, “We try to create an environment where people deliver their best work with the tools and support to learn and keep honing their craft.” Dick is the Stellar Unit Director and overall AD on the new, to be announced adult CG series that will be launching teams in Toronto.

According to Ferguson, the Ontario expansion was driven by interest from local talents: “We have been inundated with applications from experienced, exceptional Ontario artists who want to work on high quality adult properties, something Stellar has garnered a reputation for producing. I spent my formative years in animation in Toronto, starting at Nelvana, and I look forward to working with past colleagues and new artists from Ontario once again.”

By:Mercedes Milligan/animation magazine

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