The Tinneny Family History Site



Michael G. Sherwood


1965 - 2022

Michael 'Mike', passed away suddenly at home on June 19, 2022 aged 57 years. He is survived by his loving mother Lucy, much loved brother of Paul (Eva), and much loved Uncle of John, Edward, Adam and Sara, cousins Frank (Carol), Roz and extended family.  He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all his family and friends.  Funeral service and cremation to be held on Wednesday June 29, at 11.00 am in Stranton Grange Crematorium.
Published In Hartlepool Life on June 22, 2022


Mike’s life story by his brother Paul

Michael Gary Sherwood, son of George and Lucy Sherwood. Mike was born on 2nd of March 1965.  I worked with Mike on many projects over the years, and was amazed by his creativity and the range of his talents. He could draw, paint, sculpt, sing, write, act and direct, and he was a world-class 3D character modeller and animator.  Mike’s creativity was obvious from an early age.  At school he excelled in drawing, art and drama. He acted and sang in school plays, and even got into the Hartlepool Mail one year. He was gallivanting around with a donkey’s head on as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and fell off the stage, but somehow he managed to stay in character and carry on. The headline was “Bottom Falls out of Midsummer Night’s Dream”. 

As teenagers Mike and I discovered music together.  We used to go to Hartlepool Library and borrow records mainly based on the cover artwork, with no idea what the music would be like.  That’s what led us to Astral Weeks, and Hawkwind, and Jethro Tull - we played those records nonstop.  Mostly we both liked the same music, but an exception was that he was mad about Jefferson Airplane, because he thought Grace Slick’s voice was amazing. 

Mike studied zoology at Hull University, but his heart wasn’t in it and he dropped out after a year. He said the worst thing about his time at Hull was doing dissections, and the best thing was managing the university bar.  Apparently the bar was quite rough, and he had to keep a baseball bat above his door. After Hull, Mike went to Bretton Hall to study Theatre. He really enjoyed his time at Bretton, and after he graduated, he joined a theatre company called The Secret Agents, getting involved in all aspects including performing, writing, directing and producing. 

Mike felt really disillusioned after The Secret Agents, and  I think this experience led him to abandon the theatrical career he had been pursuing.  He got heavily into Krishnamurti and yoga.  He tried various jobs, but the one he talked most about was “selling washmatics” at exhibitions. For those who don’t know, a washmatic was (and still is) just a plastic pipe with a non-return valve and a brush at one end, usually sold at a ridiculously high price. Using his performance skills and charisma, Mike was very successful, but he felt it was all a scam and packed it in.  Later Mike worked with me for a few years doing company admin and managing projects, but he didn’t enjoy desk work really. The only silver lining was that he learned about computers, and got into computer graphics.  He became highly skilled in Photoshop, and then 3D animation. He was particularly interested in the potential for avatars - computer models of real people. At one point Mike started a company called BioVirtual to focus on avatars and worked for various companies including the BBC, where he created a virtual Anne Robinson for the game version of The Weakest Link.  BioVirtual was way ahead of its time. You may remember the website, which allowed users to turn an avatar of Tony Blair into Pinochio and other japes. 

Everything changed when our dad, George, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Mike moved back to Hartlepool, he was a huge help and provided support right up until dad’s death on Christmas Day 2010. During this period he became friends with dad’s drinking buddies, particularly at The Greenside.  After dad’s death, Mike worked with me again for a few years before returning to his passion (or some would say obsession) which was 3D humans.  He started producing internet demos and tutorials showing how to get the best results when creating and animating 3D humans.  In 2017 his work was noticed by Reallusion, a leading 3D tools company based in Taiwan. 

At first the Reallusion team thought Mike was really arrogant, because he was quite critical about their software and he did not seem interested in their offer to do joint marketing of his work.  But when Charles Chen, the CEO and Founder of Reallusion, had his first call with Mike he realised that there was something special in Mike’s knowledge and talent, and from that time onward Mike worked to improve Reallusion’s products. Charles said that Mike was actually a great mentor to him and his team, and has been the lead product developer for Reallusion for the last five years. They had Skype meetings with Mike every Wednesday at 10:00 and looked forward to those meetings with a mixture of excitement and fear. Often they could not keep up with the pace of his ideas, and would be worried about the problems he would find in their software, but he always inspired them to do their best work and Charles says that Mike will really be missed by the people at Reallusion.


Words and memories of close friend and nephew, John.

Mike was my teacher and he brought a lot of light into all of our lives. From his sense of adventure with lifelong friends Adrian, Theo and Chris all the way to his nightly gatherings with the 10 o’clock club in The Greensides - Dave, John, Kevin and many more - were his regular partners in putting the world to rights. He was to us, many things - he was a great friend, he was a master draftsman, a pacifist and to us all, a graceful comedian. No doubt he would charm us all with his simple expressions and facial movements. ‘Eh??, 'Now then', 'How do' and 'Ah yes...' to name a few. He was also great counsel to me and my brother Edward and a dear family member to all the Sherwoods.


In Memory of Mike Sherwood

Charles Chen CEO, Reallusion, Inc.

June 27, 2022

Everlasting Contribution to Reallusion

I discovered Mike Sherwood on Youtube under the moniker of “3DTest”. My initial impression of him was that of a highly talented character designer who deeply understood Reallusion products. In fact, he had such a profound knowledge of our software, that he was able to push the features to their fullest potential while pointing out design flaws in a succinct and opinionated manner. I instinctively knew that he had to be my coach and Reallusion’s closest partner.

We tried contacting him several times via marketing channels without success before I finally gotten a chance to talk to him in a private call. In that call, he revealed himself as an industry veteran of digital character design, and we went on to share our mutual interests and aspirations as if we had known each other for a long time.

Thereafter from May 2017, Mike worked with Reallusion as a Senior Advisor. In the past five years, he played a pivotal role in turning Reallusion into a world-class company in the field of 3D character design and facial animation.

No one can compare when it comes to his passion for Reallusion and drive to bring 3D characters to life. His depth of knowledge, logical thinking, artistic skill, hands-on expertise, and tireless encouragement won the respect of the entire team. His inspiring spirit and dogmatic insistence had transformed our routine Wednesday meetings into a “Cult of Creativity” which elevated all members who were fortunate enough to be on the same adventure. Charles Chen CEO, Reallusion, Inc June 27, 2022

Mike was the son of George and Lucy Murray Sherwood, grandson of Patrick and Mary Kathleen Reilly Murray, great-grandson of Patrick and Mary Tinneny Murray of Derrykenny, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, NI, great-great-grandson of Mary Tinneny of Goladuff, and great-great-great-grandson of Hugh Tinneny of Goladuff.
Photo courtesy of Lucy Sherwood




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