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When Humour Goes Crossplatform in Harmony

Founded in 2003, Oasis Animation is lead by a dynamic team combining unique expertise with state-of-the-art digital animation tools. Oasis Animation produces high quality animation for TV, motion picture, commercial, mobile and the new media industry. Oasis provides a full range of advanced digital animation services, ranging from preproduction to production, post-production and consulting. With a staff of over 40, the studio is a power user of Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony. Recent productions include 104 60-second episodes of a cartoon newscast titled On s’écoute parler which starred François Pérusse’ comic universe and aired on TVA Network. Other productions include 26 22-minute episodes of 6Teen with Elliott Animation for Fresh TV Inc. Oasis has also worked on some complex scenes of the highly awaited Go West: A New Lucky Lucke Adventure, which will hit the big screen in Quebec on December 21, 2007. A new cross-platform project is currently keeping the studio quite animated. The project is called Stand-Up, and consists of a series of 105 short animated jokes of the day using the voices of famous stand-up comedians. The original French version is almost completed and stars the renowned comedian Gilles Latulipe. Using the same humourous character, the series will be dubbed in English. Led by Jacques Bilodeau and Chantal Bédard, the production team is organized around a well-thought out workflow which combines the beauty of working paperless, all under one roof, and relying on leading edge technology. The team comprises of three to four storyboard artists as well as five to six animators, who take care of the animation and compositing.

“Stand-Up is quite unique as this concept is targeted for TV, mobile phones and the web. Our pipeline is completely digital, fully maximising Toon Boom’s technology,” explained Jacques Bilodeau. “As script writing, storyboarding and animation are done within the same premises, we are able to achieve significant efficiency gains. Once the script is approved, the team starts using Storyboard Pro to the fullest. The format of each episode is set from the beginning: the action takes place in a bar called Stand-Up, there are regular characters and several intrigues related to the joke. Each episode is edited and paced like a TV show. After recording the jokes in a sound studio, the team imports the sound files in Storyboard Pro along with the script and starts sketching the facial expressions, the audience’s reaction and the intrigue. It is amazing to see that at the animatic stage with full sound, we have a pretty good idea of the end result. At the creative level, Storyboard Pro delivers tangible benefits. We can make adjustments early in the process which translates in much less retakes at the end.

NETWORK ANIMATION SOLUTION


Then, the animators import the Storyboard Pro files in Harmony and starts fine-tuning the animation and facial expressions. Using the animatic as a reference, they can work more accurately and efficiently. Our animation style is quite snappy. We are proud of our technique as even though it is done the cut-out way, it really looks traditional. Given the paperless workflow, animators are able to deliver 60 seconds of finished animation per week, sometimes more,” added Jacques. The TV series will be available as 26 two-minute episodes or 105 30-second episodes and offers great export potential to other territories, including the USA. The mobile phone possibilities are quite interesting as well, considering the format of each 30 second joke. Oasis has also developed its own conversion tool to make its animation compatible with wireless devices. Discussions are ongoing with several telecommunication companies in different territories. On the web side, the scenario takes a new dimension. The animated jokes will be netcast on www.stand-up.tv, which is developed in partnership with Télévision Quatre Saisons. Visitors can submit their jokes and vote for the best one on a monthly basis. The winning joke will then be animated by Oasis. “At the end of the year, we will have a contest of the best joke submitted by the stand-up.tv visitors. It is critical to keep high standards when you build a community and want to generate user generated content. They will also be able to download the jokes on their mobile phones directly from the site”, continued Jacques Bilodeau.

Visitors can submit their jokes and vote for the best one on a monthly basis. The winning joke will then be animated by Oasis. “At the end of the year, we will have a contest of the best joke submitted by the stand-up.tv visitors. It is critical to keep high standards when you build a community and want to generate user generated content. They will also be able to download the jokes on their mobile phones directly from the site”, continued Jacques Bilodeau. Oasis animation’s focus is humour. The team is always on the look out for great concepts that are funny and smart.

“In an era when convergence is key, we find that humoristic shorts cater very well to the needs of TV, web and mobile phones. Our expertise and proficiency in Toon Boom technology combined with the fact that all the production is done under one roof result in 15% savings in terms of efficiency and far more in terms of quality,” concluded Jacques. Oasis has many projects in development, three of which are in-house. The future is bright for this dynamic studio which is determined to put a smile on your face for a very long time.

Images courtesy of Oasis Animation © Toon Boom Animation Inc. All rights reserved. Montréal, Canada: +1 (514) 278-8666 • Paris, France: +33 (0)1 40 18 77 90 info@toonboom.com | toonboom.com | ICAS710HAR10EN


When Humour Goes Cross-platform in Toon Boom Harmony