Toon Boom on the Move at a Fast Pace The Toon Boom News is back! Toon Boom’s customers and friends kept saying how much they missed the printed version of this publication so here it is. Packed with exciting news, this issue is proud to spotlight the global Toon Boom community and present Toon Boom’s multiple outreach programs.
More than ever, Toon Boom is dedicated to education. To that end, the company adopted a partnership approach at the province and county levels throughout North America to make the Toon Boom educational program available to educators and students. As an example, Toon Boom has worked closely with the Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium of British Columbia, the California Orange County Department of Education, the Quebec Network for Competency Development via Technology Integration (Récit), the Federation of Quebec Private Schools, the Quebec Training and Research Centre in Education and the Leading English Education and Resource Network in Quebec. The goal is to position Toon Boom software as an efficient communication tool to teach all subjects, while developing excellent pedagogical material that facilitates the integration of technology in the classroom. In early September, Toon Boom launched the Myouterspace Contest, hosted by William Shatner. This out of this world initiative brings together Toon Boom, Myouterspace and the Academy of Art University, giving artists the opportunity to show-
Toon Boom App for the iPad Back in August 2010, Toon Boom has launched its first iPad app called Flipboom Lite. This free app is designed to easily create simple smoothlooking animation on your iPad.
Loaded with a sample project, Flipboom Lite offers introductory tools to learn and create animation in a fun and playful environment.
Flipboom Lite lets you use your fingertips to doodle, scribble or draw a sequence of images and see them move.
Information about Flipboom Lite is available online at toonboom. com/app
“Porting our technology to mobile devices is a natural move for Toon Boom. We are pleased to release Flipboom Lite, as our first foray in that direction”, shared Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Toon Boom.
This issue’s cover courtesy of Atlantyca S.p.A. / Moonscoop S.A.S. Toon Boom Corporate Headquarters +1 514 278 8666 7 Laurier Avenue East Montreal (Quebec) Canada H2T 1E4
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case their skills as top-notch animators. The contest challenges animators to create their own original video based on a short William Shatner monologue featuring myouterspace.com. Participants are required to use the Personal Learning Edition of Toon Boom Animate or Animate Pro to design and direct their own animated William Shatner using one of three audio voiceovers. The grand prize winner will be working on an animated project being developed by Myouterspace. Additional prizes include Toon Boom Animate Pro licenses and online courses from education sponsor Academy of Art University. Toon Boom is very much involved in developing the animation industry in Africa, expanding its presence further in North and West Africa. Another focus area is the Caribbean in which the team has initiated several training initiatives. In addition to the University of Trinidad and Tobago, the team has conducted a series of master classes and introductory workshops in Barbados, in collaboration with the National Council of Science and Technology. More than 60 animators have been trained. Toon Boom is also working closely with the University of West Indies Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination and has a project to set up a Digital Media Learning Center. In Guyana, the first train-the-trainer session took place in November where The Brainstreet Group has become the first Harmony installation. Other initiatives are underway in Jamaica and Grenada. On the Awards front, Flip Boom All-Star continues to garner recognition and reap rewards! Early this year, Flip Boom All-Star won the Parents’ Choice Silver Award, which highlighted how novices can easily learn the basics of
putting drawn and painted imagery into motion. It recently received the 2010 Honors Award from the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA), in the software category. NAPPA rated it as a terrific “get started” application for those who aspire to work in the video game or animation professions. Finally, Flip Boom All-Star also received the 2010 Award of Excellence from Tech & Learning as one of the best education offerings of the past year. In addition to regular road trips, the Toon Boom team has an extensive tradeshow calendar for the Winter 2010/2011 season. They will be at Character Dubai, Booth 3E08, in Dubai, November 29-December 1, Expotoons, in Buenos Aires, November 30-December 2, Cartoon Connection, in Guadalajara, December 6-9, Consumer Electronic Show, Booth 26423, in Las Vegas, January 6-9, Florida Educational Technology Conference, Booth 1521, in Orlando, January 31-February 3, Texas Computer Education Association, Booth 2693, in Austin, February 9-11, KidScreen Summit in New York, February 15-18, Cartoon Movie in Lyon, March 2-4, and the National Art Education Association in Seattle, March 17-20 and Tokyo Anime Fair in Tokyo, March 24-27.
Happy Holidays The Toon Boom Team wishes you and your loved ones health, peace, happiness for 2011, and lots of entertaining animated content for the whole year! Send your greetings using Toon Boom’s fun e-card at toonboom.com/greetings2011!
Want to be Toon Boom Certified? The Toon Boom Certified Instructor Program has been developed for professional animators who are interested in teaching with Toon Boom Professional and Enterprise solutions in educational institutions, training centres, studios, or as corporate trainers or freelancers. Why Choose the Toon Boom Certification Program? • Validate your skills and knowledge • Open up career opportunities • Boost your credibility within your field • Highlight your resume with a Toon Boom Certificate and logo • Get referred in the Toon Boom Certified Instructors database Information about the Instructor Certification Program is available online at toonboom.com/edu/certified_instructor.php
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Reel Help to Feed Real Children by Amy Quek
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The entire production process of the animation includes character and background design, storyboard, animatics, key frame animation, clean-up, in-between animation, digital ink and paint-and-editing production. ITE is dedicated to providing an authentic learning environment to teach students how to work and succeed in the industry. 18-year-old ITE student, Nicholas Sim, who was part of the team, said: “I gained a lot of valuable experience working on this project. The entire production process is reflective of the high professional standards in the industry, and I learned from my lecturers, who were industry practitioners themselves.” The next promotional marketing animation clip for AAH will be set in an African context and be produced in 2011. It will be a training platform for another batch of students. Apart from learning the necessary skills of the trade, students could also benefit from an increased awareness of supporting meaningful societal causes. Amy Queck is the Course Manager of Media & Broadcasting Design at ITE College Central.
Images courtesy of ITE College Central
For about eight months between January and September 2010, a team of seven lecturers and 24 students from Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) worked on a special project on top of their usual curriculum work. There is much drawing involved: an average of 2700 drawings in fact, and all for a good cause to raise awareness on children’s suffering from hunger worldwide. Welcome to the Digital Animation department of ITE College Central’s School of Design and Media. The compiled number of drawings covers 720 frames and tells a 30-second story revolving around seven characters. Pieced together, it becomes a 2D animation clip for the efforts of Action Against Hunger (AAH), a humanitarian organization based in Canada, that focuses on ending hunger worldwide. Using Bangladesh as a setting for the storyline, the short film was intended for screening on World Food Day 2010 on October 16th in Montreal, Canada, to complement AAH’s campaign initiatives, which are aimed at saving children all over the world from hunger. The National ITE Certificate (Nitec) in Digital Animation course started in 2006. A year later, the Digital Animation department collaborated with Toon Boom to open a joint ITE-Toon Boom Centre of Excellence in New Media. The Centre enables lecturers and students to embark on research development projects with Toon Boom using software such as Toon Boom Animate Pro. This partnership also involves the creation of a real-world studio environment equipped with tools used by the animation industry and engaging staff and students with real-world projects.
INDUSTRY TIP By Mark Simon
Making more money thanks to real-time animatics I use Storyboard Pro for more than just animation projects. I also use it extensively for live-action productions. I recently worked with a production company who had designed a really cool corporate video for a Sea World adventure park. The problem was that the Sea World Storyboard by Mark Simon of Animatics & Storyboards, Inc. execs had a hard time understanding some of the complicated special effects transitions, the elements that made this a special production.
TOON BOOM STAR This section is dedicated to Toon Boom employees. In each issue, we will introduce you to the people behind the technology and put a face to the voice you may have spoken to.
Shabana Ali has been part of the Multimedia Content Creation Team at Toon Boom since 2008. She is involved in the development and creation of promotional and learning material for all Toon Boom products, namely documentation write-up, user interface concept development, advertisement, character template creation, and most importantly, video tutorial recording. If you have gone through the Animate and Animate Pro video tutorial packs, you should be familiar with her voice and have listened to her detailed instructions on how to use these applications. She never misses an opportunity to give useful tips to make user’s experience even better and take them to the next level. Shabana is a Dawson College graduate in Illustration and Design. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from McGill University. Prior to joining Toon Boom, she worked for various art publications and galleries. On her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing and creating illustrations, keeping her creativity to a fine tune!
When the production company called me, and I had worked with them many times before, the initial thought was to storyboard the sequences so they could present visuals of the transitions to Sea World. I brought my tablet laptop with me and opened up Storyboard Pro. Most of the work I had done for this client in previous years had been drawn on paper or in Photoshop. This time I started to sketch in Storyboard Pro. Since they were used to seeing me sketch digitally, the meeting started exactly the same as any other. But then the tone of the meeting changed. As I was sketching my thumbnails of the transitions, I was placing the various elements on separate layers so I could manipulate them and I quickly added timing and layer moves as we worked. As we finished going over the first transition, my client asked to see the boards. I said to them, “Want to see how it looks in action?” The response was, “What? Really?”. I played scenes and the transition and they could see more than just sketches of their special effect transition, they saw the actual transition in motion…in just a few minutes. Immediately, the gig of storyboarding the transitions became a gig of producing an animatic of the whole video. I love gigs that grow and become more profitable. That client, like many others that I work with, now insists on using Storyboard Pro for its speed, flexibility and improved presentation to their clients. Did it work? Yes. Sea World execs instantly understood the creative when they finally saw the animatic. It also works for me, as providing exceptional help for my clients means they return as clients.
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Images courtesy of Atlantyca S.p.A. / Moonscoop S.A.S.
Geronimo Stilton Travels on Harmony to Resolve Mysteries Atlantyca Entertainment was established in September 2006, by leading Italian publishing entrepreneur and creator Pietro Marietti, who with Elisabetta Dami, produced one of today’s most successful junior publishing sensations, the celebrated kids book series Geronimo Stilton. A transmedia company, with Production (including Distribution division), Licensing, Content and a Foreign Rights Departments, Atlantyca Entertainment seeks co-production partners (and to acquire third party properties) to produce content for TV, movies, books and multi-media. The company along with co-production partner Moonscoop completed the production of the animated series Geronimo Stilton Season I (26 x 22’), which premiered internationally in the Fall of 2009. Both companies are partnered again to produce Season division, has secured 2200 translation deals with 50 leading II, twenty six new episodes to be completed by the Fall of publishers around the world. 2011. The corporate team at Atlantyca Entertainment is The company’s licensing division manages the interna- comprised of seasoned and highly experienced executives, tional licensing initiatives for the Geronimo Stilton brand all including Pietro Marietti, Chairman; Claudia Mazzucco, of its franchise properties the company is the appointed CEO; Caterina Vacchi, Senior Manager, Executive ProducItalian licensing agent for Moonscoop’s Code Lyoko, Grow- er; Luana Perrero, Distribution Manager, Niccolò Sacchi, ing Up Creepie and Dive Olly Dive and most recently was Production Manager; Maria Giovanna Gurrieri, Licensing appointed the Italian licensing agent of Antoine De Saint- Director, and Carmen Castillo, Foreign Rights Manager. Exupery’s internationally famous Le Petit Prince. Atlantyca Based on the award-winning Geronimo Stilton interis a co-production partner and distributor (in Italy only) for national kids’ book series by Edizioni Piemme, the first TV Dive Olly Dive (Season I and II). Atlantyca’s foreign rights sales department is the licensor of the Geronimo Stilton book series and is responsible for seeking new business opportunities for the books and all of its character spin-off franchises. The Content department aims to create original contents, together with developing and producing loosely-based book series based on new and popular animated series such as developing novels for MoonScoop’s Code Lyoko, Dive Olly Dive and Hero 108. Atlantyca Entertainment is responsible for the sales of foreign rights for Piemme children’s books and properties and through a dedicated foreign rights sales Caterina Vacchi, Niccolò Sacchi, Benji Angoncillo and Johnatan Tinsay
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series centers on the life and adventures of mouse-author Geronimo Stilton who works as a journalist for the fictional newspaper, The Rodent’s Gazette. He has a younger sister named Thea Stilton, a cousin named Trap Stilton, and a favorite little nephew, nine-year-old Benjamin Stilton. Geronimo is a nervous, mild-mannered mouse who would like nothing better than to live a quiet life, but he keeps getting involved in far-away adventures with Thea, Trap, and Benjamin. The second season will introduce new characters, new vehicles, a variety of Geronimo’s favourite locations, and the children characters will take a stronger, more active role in the stories. The Geronimo Stilton Season I series, produced with the participation of RAI and M6 France has received wide spread and critical a cclaim. International broadcasters for the first season include: Rai 2, Radio Canada, TV2 Norway, MTV 3 Finland, and Nickelodeon Northern Europe International for Belgium, The Netherlands and Scandinavia. In Iberian markets, broadcasters include Turner’s Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Boing for Spain, RTP 2 and Canal Panda in Portugal; LTV (Latvia), Al Jazeera Children Channel (Pan Arab), Media Corp (Singapore), Content Union (Kazakhstan), Minimax (Multi-territory Eastern Europe) and Noga’s Logi (Israel). In French speaking countries, the series is broadcast on TV5 Monde and CFI. Additional broadcasters include Dogan’s D-Smart TV and TRT (Turkish Radio & Television Corporation) (Turkey) for fall 2011; Poland’s TVN and TVN Style with Media Service Zawada picking up DVD rights; EBS (Korea); Imavision (HV rights for French and English speaking Canada); OKTO TV (Singapore); Truevisions (Thailand) and SUNTV (India). Universal Pictures Video (Multi-territory Western Europe) bringing the total number of territories to more than 80. Atlantyca and its partners have chosen the Toon Boom pipeline to deliver both seasons of Geronimo Stilton, which represents a total of 52 twenty-two minute episodes completely done with traditional animation. From Storyboard Pro to Harmony, each studio involved in this multisite production relied on a unified and integrated workflow to meet deadlines and quality standards.
The production pipeline for Geronimo Stilton Season I was shared globally, linking Italy, France, USA, the Philippines and India together.
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Case study (continued) In order to deliver the first 26 episodes, the following teams have been put together:
Distribution of scope of work Italy
• Spearheading all of the production • 13 scripts (carried by Atlantyca using American writers) • Story editing (carried by Atlantyca using an American story editor) • Director (carried by Atlantyca using an American director) • Art direction (carried by Atlantyca using an American director) • 10 Storyboards/Animatic • Character design • X-sheets • Italian Dubbing
1. In Italy: • Niccolò Sacchi: Supervising Producer • Caterina Vacchi: Executive Producer • Pietro Marietti: Executive Producer (and President) • Claudia Mazzucco: Executive Producer (and CEO) • Karen K. Miller: Producer (part of the Atlantyca team, based in LA) • Lucia Geraldine Scott (Production Coordinator) • 4 staff members (including legal department, accounting, etc)
Atlantyca’s Los Angeles Team from Moonscoop LLC (hired as work for hire by Atlantyca) included:
• Guy Vasilovich: Director • Peter Anderson: Producer • Liz Young: Executive Producer • Finbarr O’Riordan: Production Coordinator • Melissa Mable: Production Coordinator • Christine Deitner: Assistant Director (for the second season) - a few revisionists for storyboards and a few editors for the final animatics for a total number of 7/8 people.
• 13 scripts • 16 Storyboards/animatic • Background and prop design • Audio and Video post production • Produced French dubbing Animation of 24 episodes
Animation of 2 episodes
For character design, storyboards/animatics and the x-sheets, Atlantyca hired Enarmonia out of Turin to handle that portion of the production. Enarmonia had at least 10 people involved in the whole process.
Images courtesy of Atlantyca S.p.A. / Moonscoop S.A.S.
2. In France:
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• Caterina Gonnelli: Creative Producer • Nicolas Atlan: Executive Producer • Christophe di Sabatino: Executive Producer (and President) • Dorothee Lanchier: Production Manager • Caroline Spiteri: Production Coordinator (for the first season) • Rebecca Fraiberger: Script Coordinator • Marilyn Browne: Production Coordinator (for the second season) Additional people involved in the coordination on the breakdown list, backgrounds and props design, storyboards, the editing of the animatic and the storyboard revisions numbered an estimated 15 people.
3. In the Philippines: The staff was estimated at 400, including the studio coordinator, production manager, supervisors and animators.
For Season II, the production staff was slightly larger since the production timeline is shorter. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro was used for storyboarding and animatic pre-editing. The rest of the production was done within Harmony. The Italian and French team started the storyboards with thumbnails, using quick roughs to understand the whole storyboard and all were hand-drawn. Director’s and storyboard supervisor’s notes were managed using Storyboard Pro. Storyboard Pro was used in two different ways: • Based on the experience of the different storyboard artists, some of them would create the storyboards digitally, because they were experienced in using tablets. • For the others, they drew the storyboards on paper and then the panels were scanned and imported into the software. In both cases, in their final stages, Storyboard Pro was used to pre-edit the animatic before the entire project was sent to the director for the revisions, final check and final editing. Once this step was completed, all drawings were scanned as well as inked and painted using Harmony. Effects and compositing were also accomplished within Harmony out of the Philippines and India. “The character design was coloured directly into Harmony. For us, that was a big time saver because our designers could avoid indicating, on each design board. the RGB values, since they exported the color palettes and both studios, in the Philippines and India could use them directly in the ink and paint stage,” commented Niccolò Sacchi, Production Manager at Atlantyca Entertainment and Supervising Producer on Geronimo Stilton.
“Storyboard Pro provided us with enormous timesaving opportunities in one of the most efficient manners— always resulting in top-quality work. This asset we found to be extremely invaluable when working with different teams from one continent to the other. In terms of quality of the storyboards, the ability to import images directly from key backgrounds digitally was extremely advantageous, saving us a vast amount of time because our artists did not need to re-draw them every time! In addition, it offered more detail and clear information for the animation studios we were working with jointly.” “In regard to the pre-production process, having the storyboard supervisors and the artists based in Europe (Italy and France) while the director, the revisionists and the editors were based in Los Angeles, provided us with the ability to send very quickly the “working” Storyboard Projects directly to these key creative individuals. This permitted them in return to “act” and modify directly the original project using all the benefits the software has to offer. This also proved to be a major benefit for the revisionists.” “For our production team, dealing with individuals based in multiple countries with a variety of time zones, we used an online system (SPI by 3DCLICK) to check the scenes at different stages of the animation production. On a daily basis, around 200 scenes were checked and reviewed by the Supervising Producer, the Director and the Animator Supervisor. Harmony was an ideal support tool, providing each studio with the ability to export any video format that matched the technical requirements of the specific online software”, concluded Niccolò. If Geronimo Stilton’s exciting adventures are any indication of Atlantyca’s vitality and creativity, rest assured their future projects will bring young audiences some new very entertaining and captivating television programming. Toon Boom News
Images courtesy of Calabash Animation Inc.
Calabash Animation’s Online ‘Trix Toons’ Honored With Multiple Tellys If you’ve watched commercials in recent years featuring beloved brand icons such as the Trix Rabbit or Lucky the Leprechaun, then you have undoubtedly seen the work of Calabash Animation (http://www.calabashanimation.com), the acclaimed Chicago, Illinois-based animation production studio, known for its award-winning cel, stop-motion and computer-generated animation
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash has been entrusted with some of the ad world’s most durable characters. Moreover, ad agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Worldwide have turned to Sean and Wayne to bring those iconic characters to life in the new media world. Case in point is Trix Toons, a web animation project that resulted in three Telly Awards in the online category. TrixToons consists of three 7-minute webisodes that viewers accessed by entering a passcode found on the lids of the Trix Yogurt product. Set against the backdrops of various TV and film genres, the storylines featured the Trix Rabbit in a series of hilarious offbeat adventures that find the Rabbit and his friends battling his arch nemesis, “Tibbar”. One film is a superhero adventure spoof called The Trixters. Another is a western theme called Ride ‘Em Rabbit. The third is called Trix the Musical, in which the Rabbit leads a rock band in a battle of the bands competition against the unscrupulous Tibbar. “Producing three 7-minute shorts is a lot different than creating a 30-second TV spot,” Brejcha explained. “While it was challenging to adapt the look of the Trix Rabbit, which is usually cell animated with CG or live action environments, it was exciting to really develop the characters with fuller story lines. “ 10 Toon Boom News
Henry notes that he and Brejcha encouraged the animators to invent and improvise and were inspired to see everyone respond to the challenges the job presented. “We backed off a lot and let the animators have fun and they wound up coming up with solutions we might never have thought of,” Henry says. ”One of the strengths of our studio is that our artists tend to focus on solutions rather than limitations. For this project we had some great tools in the hands of some great talent.”
Calabash relied upon Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro as its tools of choice for the production. “Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony software were indispensable throughout the entire project, from start to finish,” Henry says. “We were able to take our ideas all the way from initial concept into animation and final compositing all within the same family of software. This pretty much eliminated the workflow issues we have faced in the past when trying to combine different production pipelines within one project. Harmony allows us to do everything from digital drawn animation to 2D puppet animation and compositing, all within the same software.” In addition to Henry and Brejcha, the Calabash Animation team included Art Director/Designer Jessica Plummer; Art Director Gary Whitney; Compositor Pat Bradley; Animators George Gipson, Caitlin Leham, Gary Whitney, Priscilla Olson, Ian Merch, Pat Bradley, Bob Renzas, Tom Moore, Ben Chow, BJ Crawford, Tom Riffle, Patrick Cheng; Background Artists Julia Lundman, Jeremy Rumas, Sarah Satrun, Catherine Satrun, Jeremiah Alcorn; Production Manager Diane Grider; and Associate Producer Alexis Davison. Looking forward, Calabash continues to be one of the most highly respected studios for character animation
and is in production on several new commercial and film projects. The company is currently stretching its creative muscles with a new two-minute short for Eternal Descent, a popular Goth comic book/music project, and animation for the forthcoming documentary film by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, On the Shoulders of Giants. Calabash has also recently finished production on a series of new Little Caesar’s Pizza spots, reviving the animated character after a long absence from TV ads. What ties them all together? Calabash’s distinctive creative vision and the creative tools from Toon Boom that consistently help bring that vision to life.
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Images courtesy of Liberato Produções Culturais
Mystical Animation Makes it to the Big Screen Founded in 1977, Liberato Produções Culturais is the oldest and most prolific animation studio in Brazil’s Northeast. Specialized in animated film production, it has produced eleven shorts and one feature-length film titled Boi Aruá, the fifth feature-length animated film ever produced in Brazil. The studio’s director is Chico Liberato, who has received dozens of awards in Brazil and abroad, among which: the 1st FEST Rio; the Moscow Youth Festival; and the CCBB Mostra do Filme Livre, in Rio de Janeiro. He was a special guest with Boi Aruá at the Festival Internacional ANIMADRID, in Spain, and the Toulouse Festival, in France. Boi Aruá was also shown on French and Spanish television. Chico Liberato, Director 12 Toon Boom News
The team at Liberato Produções Culturais (left to right, top to bottom): Antonio Cassiano, Antonio Junior, Felipe Assis, Luiz Batalha, Marcelo Vitz, Marcio Oliveira, Mario Alves, Mauritano Junio, Tiago Oliveira, Victor Lima, Cândida Luz Liberato
Liberato Produções Culturais is currently working on its second feature-length animated film, Rites of Passage, all done using Toon Boom Harmony. Co-produced with Araçá Azul Cinema de Video, Rites of Passage brings together a cast of very talented people, including: Chico Liberato as Director, Script Writer and Art Director; Cândida Luz Liberato as Producer; Alba Liberato as Script Writer; Antônio Cassiano as Art Director and Background Designer; Márcio Oliveira as Editor / animatic editor; Claudio Guido, as Director Assistant; Antônio Júnior as Technical Supervisor; Antônio Júnior, Marcelo Vitz, Mário Alves, Tiago Oliveira, Felipe Assis and Mauritano Júnior as Animators. Some important names from the Brazilian entertainment industry are also associated with this project such as singers Xangai and Margareth Menezes, actors Jackson Costa, Ingra Liberato, and the composer of the theme song, Elomar Figueira Mello. Rites of Passage tells the story of two men who have fulfilled their destinies. At the River of Death, they tell the boatman Caronte the stories of their lives. The Warrior fought for justice in a lawless land while the Saint planted plenty for his people in the Promised Land. Now, they need to be strong as they settle scores with their own inner angels and devils. The film Rites of Passage invites the audience to think about the most fundamental issues to human beings as they pass from life to death: what have I done with my life? What were the consequences of my acts? Targeted to the general public, the feature film will be 80-minute long and produced in high definition, with a delivery in 35 mm. To strengthen the film’s message, the team intends to use some of the strongest images and text from the film to create a literary version of the project. This material will be distributed to libraries, at talks and workshops, and at screenings of the film. True to the studio’s tradition and unique art style, Rites of Passage was designed as a traditional 2D animation. The use of symbolic abstractions and experimental approach to traditional animation are known characteristics of the studio films, as presented in the historical feature Boi Aruá (1985). However, the new production is using Toon Boom Harmony to deliver a more sophisticated animation, taking advantage of its industrial oriented environment to achieve high levels of productivity. The first step of the process was crafting a handmade storyboard, done by the director, one screenplay writer and an assistant. In order to test the content in video format, an animatic editor transferred the scanned storyboard to Toon Boom Storyboard Pro (fig. 1). A temporary cast was hired to record
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Case study (continued) some draft dialogs, essential to guess the timing of the scenes. The first version of the animatic was then built and recursively refined, in order to find the best layout and pace for the story. “At this point, the editing capabilities of the software were of great use, allowing the repositioning of scenes, easy adjustment of the duration of the shots and the audio tracks. Inside the scenes, individual elements (as the characters) were animated, with either cuts of the imported images or newly created illustrations made with the drawing tools (fig. 2). Cameras were used to create dynamic framing options. After the required changes, the definitive voices were recorded based on the PDF export of the timeline. When the final version of the animatic was built, every Storyboard Pro shot was exported to Stage, providing the animators with reference video tracks, audio tracks and a simple camera structure (fig. 3)” explained Chico Liberato.
Still in pre-production, it was fundamental to build a consistent set of model sheets and prop designs, leaving them accessible to the animation. Since the studio works within a paperless pipeline, all designs were created digitally. The vector references provided a simple and powerful way to establish not only the artistic guidance, but also technical details such as stroke thickness and color palettes. “Furthermore, the modular structure of Harmony, where the palettes are fig. 5 separated files, helped keeping the consistency of the colors, since many scene projects could link to the same files. That’s even more interesting when it’s necessary to change the palettes of elements that were already animated” continued Chico. In Rites of Passage, many color schemes were invented, sometimes for the very same scenario or characters, in order to suggest various moods (fig. 5). “To achieve that, clone palettes
Images courtesy of Liberato Produções Culturais
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were used. These palettes keep the same link to the drawings as the original palette, and every one of them may be completely changed through features like the Tint Panel or Color Editor,” added Chico. The model sheets were developed by the director and the art director, with two assistants. The backgrounds, done by two background artists, are planned and built according to the animatic. Some shots demand very specific locations, which are built individually. However, in many situations compositions are crafted with the rearrangement of existing templates from the movie library. In order to develop these templates in a reusable form, the BG designers, the director and animatic editor always review the sequences to work in a modular way. For the scenes with 3D camera movements, the backgrounds are organized in layers (fig. 6). They’re initially built as a regular image, and then separated along the Z axis with the Maintain Size tool. It automatically increases the scale of the more distanced parts, keeping the layout intact. The animation is made by 4 leading animators and 2 cleanup artists. The process is mostly traditional, even though it’s common to separate the characters into simple sets of layers, adding some flexibility of the cut out approach to the scheme (fig. 7). By also combining artificial keyframes, on the drawing layers themselves or with pegs, the action is broken down to simpler movements, easier to perform. With the flexibility of the network library, some animation blocks are easily shared and reused, like the classic case of walk or run cycles. “Considering the cleanup stage, splitting the characters into layers also helps to save time, since only the moving parts of the body are redrawn. That economy is increased with the fact that the drawings may be exposed more than once, with different positions, scales or rotations. As an example, the lip sync is done with the same set of mouth drawings, by simply choosing the right phonemes and organizing their placement (fig. 8)” stated Chico. The cleanup artists also do the coloring, and put a thicker line around each character. This contour line, part of the overall visual design, is done combining modules of the composition Network (fig. 9). The Network also offers many other interesting post-production features, like color refinement and creation of shadows. With the screening of Rites of Passage planned in 2011, Liberato Produções Culturais once again establishes itself as a pioneer animation studio in the northeast of Brazil. The new production will keep focus in the Brazilian North eastern culture, and bring many interesting technical improvements thanks to the use of Toon Boom Harmony. Toon Boom News
ANIMATION STUDIOS Flux Animation Studio is an International Award winning, New Zealandbased animation specialist. Animator and Cartoonist Brent Chambers established the company in 1997 using a basement garage in an inner Auckland suburb as the company’s first offices. Today, Flux employs a core team of 23 permanent staff and many more contractors, including traditional, digital and 3D animators. The studio is based in premises that house state-of-the-art technology in central Auckland. Flux’s Television Division have produced 12 series for New Zealand’s leading television broadcaster, TVNZ - Tamatoa, Artoonz, Puzzle Inc., The Adventures of Massey Ferguson and Buzzy Bee and more recently international co-production Staines down Drains – Series 1 and Master Raindrop. Staines Series 1 topped the ratings in both NZ and Australia and has been sold into over 30 territories around the world. Based on this success Flux managed to secure funding for the second series of Staines and is currently in post-production phase of the Staines Series 2. The new production brought new challenges with it and Flux had to look for a more time and cost effective way to produce animation. This is how Toon Boom Harmony came into picture. Brent Chambers, the owner and MD of Flux explained: “We decided to utilize Toon Boom Harmony because of its efficient and streamlined production set up, that allows the production to be conducted very effectively.” Ray McGrath, the Series Director, continued: “Further positive features of the Toon Boom Harmony system are the centralized library set up which allows for easy re-use of the animations and the fast rendering.”
Image courtesy of Totally2d
Image courtesy of Macaia
Image courtesy of Flux Animation Studio
stopped Totally2d from attaining an eminent production style. In 2009 the young studio made an entrance by scooping ‘Best Zimbabwean Short Animation Award’, and The Most Promising Film Director of the Year Award. In a recent musical video project, the team led by the very talented Tafadzwa Tarumbwa, incorporated cut out and rotoscoped characters yielding stunning results. At this stage, the versatility of Toon Boom Studio is what makes it such a powerful product. Totally2d managed to rise from being unknown and suddenly scooped the above awards, which shows that Toon Boom software is capable of unlocking hidden potential. “When your project comes out just the way you wanted, and then goes on to win awards, you know you’re using the right tool. Those who have limited man power like us need to exploit every drop of available resources. Meaning even the best people will obviously need the best software for the job. The smooth brush strokes I get from Toon Boom Studio demonstrate how their software can enable amazing line work. Plus all our character templates are easily accessible in the time saving Global Library feature. My having Toon Boom Studio is a crucial and solid investment” explained Tafadzwa.
Based in Zimbabwe, Totally2d is an independent studio still in its early chapters of existence but has already hit some promising notes by conducting open children workshops (along with JAAG), giving character templates online and participating in film festivals. Most Totally2d projects involve a writer, animator, sound engineer and passionate voice actors. Yet the small handful of man power has never 16 Toon Boom News
Macaia was founded in 2008 by a group of animators and illustrators based in Berlin, Germany and Milan, Italy. The team works on small productions and focuses on high-quality output where the details in every step of the production from the first ideas to the final composition are worked on with meticulous care. Since its founding, Macaia has created episodes for children’s TV, animated title sequences for movies and festivals as well as online clips and animated TV-commercials for clients in Italy, Germany and the UK. Macaia specializes in 2D animation. They combine analogue animation techniques (classical animation or cut-out) with digital techniques. Macaia used Toon Boom Animate in a collaboration with Flickerpix Animations, a company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Flickerpix were producing an animated series for BBC Northern Ireland called Wee Wise Words, in which the words and thoughts of children on a range of subjects were put into animated images. Macaia created one of the episodes. The guideline was to follow a 50’s illustration style, and the animation was to be done using a cut-out technique. “Toon Boom Animate was enormously useful on this project, not only because it provided the possibil-
Dani Bowman is a 15 year old autistic high school student with a love for anime and manga style animation with no formal art or computer training. She has been working on Toon Boom Studio since April 2009. In addition to producing eight series for her company, Powerlight-Studios, Dani
for hire” creating animated short stories for products and characters for websites and marketing programs. Additionally, Powerlight Studios is partnering with Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films to further develop her skills and to create animation projects written by Inclusion Writers. She was recently honoured in Vancouver, BC by ANCA Naturally Autistic for Eeya’s Story in a global competition. Written by George Nickel and a co-production of Powerlight Studios and Inclusion Films, Eeya’s Story is about a young autistic boy that saves his people from the evil weewoos that want to make them their slaves. 10-year-old award-winning artist and film critic Perry Chen from San Diego, California, has a very unique task. He will be using his talents to help other children of many cultures learn the importance of the Holocaust. Done using Toon Boom Studio and five minutes long, Beyond The Forest is an animated short film based on the experience of Holocaust survivor, Ingrid Pitt, who later became a major film and television star. Pitt and her family were imprisoned by the Nazis in the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland in 1942. She spent ages five through eight in the camp and miraculously escaped with her mother in 1945. The characters and storyboards for the animated film were created and drawn by two-time Academy Award nominee Bill Plympton. Chen will be creating thousands of pencil drawings using Studio’s powerful drawing tools and a Wacom Intuos tablet. The animation is black and white, in a simple and realistic style, similar to that in Bill Plympton’s Annie Award-winning short The Fan and the Flower. Perry will use Plympton’s storyboard (23 sketches) and character designs as the basis for drawing. Beyond The Forest is slated to premiere at film festivals in 2011 and will surely garner significant recognition from the animation community. Toon Boom News
Image courtesy of Perry Chen
Luciérnaga Studio is a boutique animation house based in Monterrey, Mexico run by Jorge and Daniel Hernández and featuring a team of young talented and creative animators and illustrators. Founded in February of 2003, it has participated in over 80 regional and national television commercials as well as videogame art, short films, corporate and e learning applications. It recently launched Webtoonz.tv an animation and webcomics channel for the Latin American market. Initially it will feature two animated series for the web and mobile devices. The first series is Santiago and the Yellow Monster, a tribute to B Movies about a group of fourth graders and their pet goblin that get involved in all sorts of incidents involving ghosts, monsters, mutants and other farfetched adventures. It will be available soon in App form for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad as well as Android based phones. The second series is Master of Poppets, an animated videoblog featuring poppets and metal music available in webisode form. “We love how the web allows a small animation studio to distribute its own content” shared Jorge Hernández “It allows us total creativity and enables us to put our ideas out there. We didn’t have the benefit of a big budget but Toon Boom helped us stretch our resources in ways we couldn’t have done with any other solution. We love how easy it is to draw in it, the automatic lip sync, color palettes and inverse kinematics features as well as being able to produce FX without ever leaving Toon Boom Harmony.”
Image courtesy of Dani Bowman
also uses Toon Boon Studio to produce Fan and Tribute art posted on websites around the world including deviantart.com and furaffinity.net. Dani is a huge fan of Strange Flavour and the Airburst series. Dani also does “animation
Image courtesy of Webtoonz.tv/Lucienrnaga Studio
ity of applying the x-sheet to the timeline - which greatly speeded-up the work, but in particular, because it made it so easy to mix traditional animation with cut-out animation,” explained Filippo Letizi. For the characters, Macaia mixed imported Bitmaps that were pre-prepared in Photoshop, and vector shapes created directly in Animate. This made it possible for them to re-use their designs and animations with only small modifications for different characters.
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Originally from Calgary, Malcolm Sutherland studied printmaking at the Alberta College of Art and Design before coming to Montreal in 2002 where he began work at the National Film Board and later studied film at Concordia University. His short animated films, including La Fête (2010), Light Forms (2010), The Astronomer’s Dream (2009), Forming Game (2008), Great Ambition (2008), Returning Round (2008), The Tourists (2007), Birdcalls (2005) and Robot City (2002), have been screened and awarded at festivals worldwide. He has worked in advertising, feature film, television series and animation for the internet. His work has been showcased by Animation World Network, Motionographer, IDN magazine, Cartoonbrew, Drawn.ca and on other major animation, illustration and design sites from around the world. Malcolm creates 2D high quality projects using Toon Boom Studio and enjoys its ease of switching between hand-drawn animation and cut-out animation (or even combining the two). “I have been using it for almost 8 years and I think it is the best 2D animation software in the world. I cannot imagine my creative life without it, I literally use it almost every day,” shared Malcolm.
Image courtesy of Malcolm Sutherland
Pat Bradley is an award winning animator and illustrator with a unique, playful style and a knack for storytelling. His work can be seen in national advertising campaigns and in some of the nation’s top museums including the Field Museum and Art Institute of Chicago. For one of the Field Museum’s latest exhibitions titled Mammoths and Mastodons, Pat produced illustrations for graphic panels, two short animated films as well as the artwork and animation for a small interactive theater about ancient cave art. “Toon Boom software was an essential tool for each of these projects. I used Storyboard Pro for concept art, to sketch out each of the illustrations, and used it for the storyboards and animatics for the animations. Like most of my projects, I used Animate Pro for the animations,” shared Pat. “The cave art interactive is quite different than any project I had worked on before. It is a small 270 degree theater with a video projected on a curved surface so it fills the viewer’s field of vision and makes them feel like they are in the animated space. The scope of work included four animated stories, a 3D cave that is used in the game engine, and short animated scenes that are part of the game play. Creating the animations was a technical challenge. Rather than composing images in a rectangle as you’d see on a typical television monitor, these needed to be created as an extreme fisheye with a custom plug-in for After Effects. The animations looked completely distorted until they were projected on the curved surface of the theater. I was thankful for the flexibility of Animate Pro because there was quite a lot of trial and error, experimenting with different resolutions and aspect ratios, to get the animation to work with the After Effects plug-in. The style of the animation was meant to look somewhat abstract, rustic and textured; reflecting actual cave art. This was easy to accomplish with Animate Pro, with the customizable textured pencils. ” concluded Pat. The combination of the 3D cave, 2D animation and interactivity is truly a unique product. The animation and the exhibit were a great success and are now traveling to museums around the U.S.
Yoni Goodman began his career as an illustrator and designer for “Maariv” and “Haaretz”, two major Israeli newspapers. While studying in the department of Visual Communication at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, he fell in love with animation and hasn’t stopped animating since. After graduating in 2002, Yoni worked as a freelance animator and illustrator for numerous television shows and commercials. In 2004, he began teaching animation in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (until 2009) and in 2005 started working as Director of Animation for Ari Folman’s documentary series, The material that love is made of, creating 3 five-minute animation shorts. The successful connection with Ari Folman led to their next project as Director of Animation for the acclaimed awardwinning feature Waltz with Bashir, in which Yoni also developed the Flash cut-out animation
Image courtesy of Qtab.net
technique needed to create this feature. Since 2008, Yoni has continued working as a freelance animator, creating short animations, mainly for civil rights movement and as Director of Animation for Arin Mark’s short film The Gift and Dawn Shapiro’s The Edge of Joy. Yoni is about to start working for Ari Folman’s next feature, The Futurological Congress, where again he will act as Director of Animation using Toon Boom Harmony. “Harmony is by far superior to Flash in building a project, and giving it the final touches. The brush line and workflow using the art and color modes make it very easy to handle when you build the project. Also, everything regarding pegs and Z depth makes the scene work better so for the whole design/ animating process, I moved completely to Harmony. I also like working with the network view for masking and blur effects,” commented Yoni. Image courtesy of Yoni Goodman
Image courtesy of Mike Shapiro
Mike Shapiro is the author of Book of Sick, a comic strip that was published in alternative weeklies and magazines across the U.S. and Great Britain. As a graphic artist for over 12 years, Mike has decided to bring his concept to life and adopted Toon Boom Studio to make it happen. “(Studio) allows you to combine talent and technology so you can create your vision without so many technical issues; I am basically illiterate when it comes to computer stuff and Toon Boom Studio let me create my films,” stated Mike. Mike recently created an animated music video for Patricia Vonne, a flamenco rock’n’roll singer and song writer in the U.S., titled Joe’s Gone Riding. The clip is available in the Toon Boom Showcase in the Professionals category and reflects his great combination of comic strip and animation styles.
Based in Cairo, Egypt, Essam Hawas is a self taught animator, character designer, storyboard artist, website and graphic designer. Essam holds extensive knowledge of all the elements that shape an animated film or show, from walks to reactions to rotations. He has many techniques for creating various types of model sheets and expression sheets, understanding proportion, caricature and gestures, imitating styles of character design that will help bring an animated story to life. Essam is used to work in both animation pipelines, namely the paperless animation workflow and the cut-out animation workflow. Essam works as a Toon Boom Consultant and Supervisor of the Cut-out Animation Department at Matrix Studio (Areen Studio). He also founded the first training website in Arab World (www.qtab. net) which provides training material in animation and visual effects. “For me, Toon Boom Animate Pro is a time saver that delivers high quality. To reach the same results, it would take much more time and a combination of 2 or 3 software packages,” explained Essam.
Toon Boom News
Animation in Education
Bluffton Elementary School, SC, USA
To Higher Education
Develop a wide array of skills using animation solutions while tying into Math, Science, History, Geography and Arts learning objectives.
Prepare students for a career in animation production, empowering them with marketable knowledge, giving access to a worldwide network of users to enhance their job search.
Art and Cross-Discipline curriculums including lesson material for Toon Boom software available.
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SCHOOLS ON BOARD As of September 2010, elementary and high school students and teachers in English schools across Quebec can access software which helps make learning in the classroom more engaging and relevant. Toon Boom and LEARN have joined forces to make available animation software licenses for students and teachers to utilize in order to explain concepts, tells stories, express themselves creatively while learning about the basics of animation and technology. It is a unique educational opportunity for the Quebec English community and one which many educators are anxious to introduce into the classrooms. As a non-profit educational organization, LEARN has the infrastructure and contacts to help make this educational venture a possibility. Both Toon Boom and LEARN have already started training sessions with key educators from across the province in order to assure a smooth introduction for the animation software. Dikran Husseindjian, Director of Education markets at Toon Boom, highlighted the importance of making it simple and accessible for teachers and users who depend on proper training as well as a reliable support team.
Image courtesy of iACADEMY
The Bachelor of Science in Animation at iACADEMY is a comprehensive and well-rounded 4 year degree that deals with film making for Traditional and Digital Animation. It encompasses a wide range of studies in visual arts with applied science and technology that would enable the students to understand, learn and apply different techniques and methodologies. As it continually adopts cutting edge technology, the students will have a big advantage of being competent and updated in hardware and in software technology. Different software applications are used such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash, After Effects and Premiere, Toon Boom Animate Pro and Storyboard Pro and Autodesk’s 3D Maya, Mudbox and 3D Studio max. For the hardware, iACADEMY is an authorized partner of WACOM, using the Cintiq 21 UX. This course is designed in a stepped learning process: the first two years mainly focus on Traditional drawings and principles of animation with basic computer studies as their dynamic foundation while the last two years focus on Conceptual Design and Digital animation. “Toon Boom Animate Pro and Storyboard Pro are very easy to learn and save time to finish an animated film. That’s why these two applications were included in the animation program and were highly recommended for classroom activity by the chairperson of animation, namely,” shared Cynthia Z. Javier. She is also a freelance feature animator of Cutting Edge Productions and became part of the movie “Dayo”.
The name of Bezalel is synonymous with more than 100 years of Israeli art, years of innovation and quality. Bezalel, established in 1906 by artist Boris Schatz, as the “Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts,” is currently the “Bezalel academy of arts and design Jerusalem”, Israel’s leading academy of art and design, and one of the most prestigious in the world. With more than 200 students, the Animation studies faculty delivers a 4 year Bachelor of Fine Arts program. In the third year, the students have to make a choice between 3D, stopmotion and classical animation. As head of the animation studies, Hanan Kaminski has implemented the Toon Boom line of professional products. He also acts as Animation film director at Cinemon Entertainment, Hungary and has extensively used the Toon Boom digital pipeline in projects such as The Wumblers (Golden Angel award, Silver Telly Award). “I believe that our students need to use the most advanced technologies. That’s why for classical 2D animation, I decided to equip our department with Toon Boom Harmony. It permits us to work on projects with smaller teams, offer a better artistic control to the animators and screen the same project, without changing the artwork, on different platforms like internet, portable phone, iPad, TV or on the big screen,” explained Hanan. Toon Boom News
Communicate through animation with Toon Boom’s award-winning software
Happy Holidays You’re Invited
Image courtesy of Bluffton Elementary
Using Animation For Learning All Subjects Starting at Grade 2 Bluffton Elementary is a rural school located on the mainland, adjacent to Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina. It is on the Bluffton Schools Campus, which consists of Bluffton Elementary School, Bluffton Early Childhood Center, H.E. McCracken Middle School, and Bluffton High School. As an arts-infused school, Bluffton Elementary seeks to ensure there is a reason for every child to come to school each day. The school develops students who are life-long learners, confident, and competent and strives to teach the students where they are and gently push them to their potential. The animation program was a dream of Bluffton Elementary School’s principal, Christine Brown. Mrs. Brown worked with Bluffton Elementary’s Instructional Technology Coach, Lynn Walker, to identify the perfect person for the new program. That person is Celia Stokes. Ms. Stokes is a certified art teacher with a love of technology. She implemented the additional avenue for students to demonstrate their understanding of their grade-level curriculum content through the use of visual arts in the area of animation. It serves as an ultimate vehicle for integrating technology across all content areas. The animation program is supported by Flip Boom Classic. Flip Boom Classic was chosen due to its ease of use and ability ranges, from the novice to the professional. Students use animation to extend their learning by connecting classroom instruction, assignments and concepts with artistic capabilities. Typical animation programs exist in schools at the secondary level to aid in presentation and communication skills as an end result of content knowledge. The animation program at Bluffton Elementary differs from other programs in that it engages students as early as second grade to use animation to support current, ongoing student learning. Engagement in animation extends typical visual arts programs through the use of drawing tablets and storyboards to support story building, visualization, sequencing, logical thinking, creativity and self-expression. Extension of our current arts curriculum is also possible through animation
instruction and introductory application of timing, velocity and motion, as well as various techniques that include traditional 2D animation. The animation program also extends current measures of student assessment across the content areas. Students are able to demonstrate understanding in all content areas, such as animating Math facts, Science life cycles, Historical events, weekly vocabulary, and Story Writing. Through animation, students are able to demonstrate their understanding by the use of a visual illustration, as opposed to traditional paper and pencil activities. As an assessment tool, animation gives teachers of Bluffton Elementary School still another tool for determining the level of a student’s understanding of curriculum standards. Visual documentation of student achievement is especially important for those students who are underperforming in the areas of reading and writing, those that may struggle with such issues as speech and language delays or Autism, and even for students who are learning a second language for the first time. This new technology enriches the nature of school assignments and fosters greater interest and motivation for students in every subject area. Bluffton Elementary has seen a change in student’s attitudes towards learning. Students can’t wait to get to the animation lab. Parents have called to express their appreciation for the offering. One parent explained that her child was sick but cried to come to school because he would be working in the animation lab that day. Students have stopped seeing educational topics as boring and instead have found a joy in the animating process. As one fifth grader stated, “It is like watching a movie, only you have to create it first.” With the huge success of the animation program this year, Bluffton Elementary will be expanding the software options to include Flip Boom All-Star (with sound capabilities) as well as Toon Boom Studio for more sophisticated animations. Also, Bluffton Middle school will be continuing the animation program for grades 6 and 7 so the elementary students are able to grow in the animation experience. Toon Boom News
Starting a new production? “The latest Harmony solution is a leap forward to create animation of the highest quality efficiently. As a studio and a producer, I would not be comfortable doing something this big using Flash. We feel safer with everything related to Harmony’s back-ups and centralized library.” André Koogan Breitman, Executive Producer, 2DLab
“At the start of each production, we design a new rigging system to complement the particular style and required features for that show. Harmony gives us the freedom to not be locked into one particular way of working.” David Hecker, Asset Manager, Clockwork Zoo
The answer is Harmony. • • • • •
Cost-effective integrated solution Ideal for traditional, cut-out and tradigital projects of any size Fast ramp-up thanks to turnkey services Optimized production with server-based infrastructure Easy asset sharing with centralized database