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When Judo Canada asked its members to create a mascot for the organization, it received so many suggestions that it decided to create seven! The mascots, who represent the country’s provinces and territories, will become the stars of the federation, thanks to three multimedia integration students.
For the past two years, Édouard Goupil, Hera-Meilka Gratton and Rudy Breton have been working on a short film that introduces the mascots and tells their stories. Together, they brought Ju, Do, Kan, Ada, Ma and Scott to life, as well as Roshi, a raccoon who will begin travelling across Canada in the next few weeks and encounter the other mascots along the way. Each of the animal judokas has its own personality and distinct characteristics that represent and personify the diversity of Canada’s athletes and provinces. “To facilitate the mascots’ joining our sports family, we wanted to give them a history by telling their stories, so they didn’t seem to just show up out of nowhere. So, this is a starting point. In the future, the mascots will be able to impart various values or learn judo techniques. There will be endless opportunities for them to convey different messages to children,” explained Patrick Esparbès, Chief Operating Officer of Judo Canada. Édouard Goupil, a graduate of the multimedia integration program at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, oversaw the project from start to finish. “From the very beginning, I was interested in all the different possibilities. It was my first time working on a project of this scale, so it was a great challenge,” said Goupil, who is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in 3D animation and digital design at the School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design. “It required time, organization and consistency. You have to collaborate and structure the work so that all the scenes fit together, regardless of when they were produced.” Goupil received invaluable help from his teammates Hera-Meilka Gratton and Rudy Breton, who too were interns at Judo Canada in the early days of the project.
Gratton began by creating a storyboard based on the script. Then, she and Breton animated the scenes, while Goupil created the 3D models. Step by step, the trio created a short film that will introduce the seven characters to the world of Canadian judo. “I was responsible for animating the mascots and making them move, as well as for adding their voices. I really enjoyed working on this project. It was a big assignment, but it was important to me personally. We put a lot of hours into it, and I’m really looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to the final product,” said Breton. “I’d like to create characters as a profession, so I was lucky to get this experience in the field. I had a chance to work on the environments, and it was very motivating. It was a great professional experience,” added Goupil. “The project progressed one step at a time. We started out with one mascot and ended up with seven. We also produced 3D animations. It was a big undertaking, but now we can see all the possibilities it will provide us,” concluded Esparbès. Stay tuned! Roshi’s adventures will begin in the Maritime provinces and will soon be featured on Judo Canada’s social media pages. Click here for more information about each mascot!