Choosing the Toon Boom Pipeline to Preserve Italian Culture

"Using Harmony has a significant impact on the quality we deliver, to the point that high executives of the corporations we cater to noticed the difference." — Omar Ferreri, founder of CappuccinoApps

Choosing the Toon Boom Pipeline to Preserve
Italian Culture

Clarity International is an international digital design agency that projects new forms of storytelling through innovation and technology, with offices in the United Kingdom, Italy, Bulgaria, Israel, United States, and Hong Kong. CappuccinoApps is one of Clarity's subsidiaries specializing in iOS app development using the Toon Boom pipeline. CappuccinoApps comes straight from the heart of Italy, created by Italian people to translate Italian history and introduce children around the world to the richness of Italian folktales and culture. Born out of tradition and passed through generations, these tales are intended to not only educate but entertain and facilitate learning through storytelling and beautiful illustrations.

Released on the AppStore in December 2013 under the "Education" and "Books" categories, Nino and the 3 magic gifts is an homage to Italian cultural tradition and folklore and is the first part of a trilogy. The original story was passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, and has been "translated" for the first time into a digital storybook all using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony. "It's an edutainment tool for kids of all ages, a storybook with fun animations and interactive features to support learning in Italian," stated Omar Ferreri, founder of CappuccinoApps.

Nino and the 3 magic gifts is available in two languages–English and Italian–and allows kids to enhance their vocabulary through the graphic visualization of keywords. It also builds on their phonetic skills with the story read in the mother tongue by a professional actor. Users can also catch up where they left off, restarting the tale at their convenience using the "bookmark" function, which allows them to absorb and digest the best moments of the story over time.

In addition to Omar Ferreri acting as Executive Producer, the production team includes Pedro Alvarez, Concept and Post-production; Federico Bressan, Animation and Post-production; Cristina Cappelletti, Character Design and Background Design; Laura Elli, User Interface and Graphic Design; Hannah Furnell, User Interface and Graphic Design; Pasquale Garibaldi, Character Design and Storyboard; Roberta Marino, Colouring and Post-production; and Marina Melchionda, Project Manager.

For this project, Omar wanted to have more sophistication to create visually appealing animation and include complex movements. "Before, we were using Flash and knew we could not reach the quality we wanted with it. We looked at alternatives and found the Toon Boom pipeline fit our needs the most. We couldn't have done this style with any other solution," shared Omar.

At the beginning of the process, the team used Storyboard Pro and maximized all its features. "We found the software very useful to build a story as we can sketch panels and generate a video board in real time to check the sequence and set the length of animation. This is key for us. We also incorporated camera movements, setting the right motion in a specific scene. We imported the voice tracks and synchronized them with the panels. While main poses are sketched on paper, scanned and vectorized into Storyboard Pro, we were able to quickly watch the animatic and see where adjustments were required," he continued. "The prompt interaction translates into 50% time savings during pre-production compared to our previous process," Omar added.

Once the storyboards are approved, they are directly exported to Harmony. "The aim of working with Toon Boom was primarily to raise the quality of the animations, allowing us to create more detailed and complex animations which integrated 3D and played with multiple views. Our style is cut-out animation; Harmony lets us build characters and animate them easily, all set in an intuitive environment. We couldn't have done it this way in Flash. There is just no comparison," commented Omar.

The team started developing their second app and has completed the storyboarding stage. This new iteration brings five new characters, which will be added to the existing library set.

Clarity International uses Harmony to create corporate animations and explainer videos for internal communications within large corporations. "Using Harmony has a significant impact on the quality we deliver, to the point that high executives of the corporations we cater to noticed the difference. Such an appreciation for quality results means more business opportunities for us. Our customers can be more involved during the creative process. Not only do we save time during the storyboarding phase, but also we share the animatics with them to get their feedback. They can follow the project in real time," concluded Omar.

Clarity International along with CappuccinoApps shine in the market segments they are focusing on, and using the Toon Boom pipeline is certainly serving their interests to go further. Auguri!

Nino and the 3 magic gifts is available for iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini on the AppStore.

About Clarity International

Clarity International is an international digital design agency that projects new forms of storytelling through innovation and technology, with offices in the United Kingdom, Italy, Bulgaria, Israel, United States, and Hong Kong. CappuccinoApps is one of Clarity’s subsidiaries specializing in iOS app development using the Toon Boom pipeline. Released on the AppStore in December 2013 under the "Education" and "Books" categories, Nino and the 3 magic gifts is an homage to Italian cultural tradition and folklore and is the first part of a trilogy. The original story was passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, and has been “translated” for the first time into a digital storybook all using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony.