This IBC Accelerator Challenge set out to rethink the established approach to CG animation by creating transformative workflows and redesigned production pipelines to make animated content creation more time efficient, democratised, artist-friendly, nimble and collaborative. The innovation developed through the proof of concept (PoC) demonstrated scalable efficiencies for short-form and long-form content, methods to unify asset creation across media types and unlocked new avenues for cross-department collaboration.

The PoC showcased ground-breaking innovation via a real-time working CG production model that empowers creators and storytellers to reach audiences on platforms at the rate those platforms emerge, and drive the paradigm shift from factory line to parallel process.

Champions: Unity Technologies, Unreal Engine/Epic Games, Sky, Cartoon Network

Participants: Blue Zoo Animation Studio, Masterpiece Studio, AEON Production, InstaLOD, Tvori, National Film Board of Canada

The project demonstrated some very practical applications of spatial design tools in the production environment that increase iteration for experienced artists and make the creative process more accessible for all skill levels.  

The Accelerator Proof of Concept demonstrated: 

  • The methodology and architecture of a nimbe production model designed to meet business challenges in a rapidly shifting landscape of platforms and audience demand. 

  • Pipelines from pre-production to final delivery that directly addresses pain points of the siloed workflows in established linear models.

  • A unified asset creation process that scales across output formats and clearly demonstrates the creative advantage and commercial potential of this alternate methodology.

  • Democratised production tools to enable meaningful feedback and fluid collaboration across functions.

  • Advantages of XR and Real-time production techniques and measurable benefits for key steps in visual design, look dev, animatics, character animation, lighting and interaction.

  • Leveraging XR and Real-time tech to facilitate non-destructive iteration at any stage, end to end.

  • Best practices for a more robust development process including validating multiple CG delivery formats during ideation and prototyping phase.

Why CG animation in real-time and immersive workflows?
Virtual production for live-action content and feature films is a growth area with considerable investment and attention. By comparison, the animation sector is under-served, despite increasing demand for quality animation across a myriad of content platforms and formats. The impressive team of world renowned Champions and Participants in this project illustrated that there’s a real need for such a methodology to create in a smarter way. An accessible and a nimble workflow model with convergent tools for generating richer story worlds and delivering across a wide variety of content formats.

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