Going Paperless Brings Efficiency to Studio
As the largest Toon Boom installation in the Philippines, Toon City has steadily grown over the years, becoming the preferred subcontracting animation facility in Asia.
Back in 2011, Miguel Del Rosario, President and CEO, and Rene de Guzman, Head of Operations, were managing four productions simultaneously with a staff of 1200 people working three shifts a day. "The pace was hectic. We felt that remaining a paper-based operation was unmanageable as it was hard to control all assets," explained Miguel. "We took the decision overnight to go paperless. It was the way to go to better manage our workflow and teams," he added.
Knowing they had a two-month window before their next project was due to start in February 2012, Miguel and Rene gathered the teams and made the official announcement. "The older animators were not too comfortable with it because they never used a computer before. The younger ones were quite thrilled. So it was a real mix of emotions!" Right away, training was put in place and Wacom Cintiq tablets were purchased.
"We did not allow them to go back to their comfort zone and we explained how this was a unique opportunity for them. Learning cutting-edge technology would enable them to work in any other studio throughout the world and would make them eligible. We acted out of a sense of social responsibility because we wanted to develop the people. Knowing they were not tied to us by contract, we took the risk in investing in them regardless and no one left the studio!" stated Miguel.
Before going paperless with Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony, the practice was to take one scene folder, then six to seven days later, turn in the drawings, then another two to three days for revisions for a total of seven to ten days of work for one scene. "Now, one animator needs only eight hours to complete the same work!" proudly shared Rene.
The studio executives had to figure out how to maximize the new production workflow and organize shifts differently in order to inject a new discipline in work habits and change the animators' mindset for their own benefit. "Indeed, all animators are quite happy with the new schedules and enjoy having more time to spend with their families. The new organization enables them to have a better work and family life balance, as well as allowing them to generate more revenue thanks to increased productivity. They can either produce more in the allocated time or deliver the same workload in less time!" added Miguel.
In addition to greater efficiency, adopting a fully paperless pipeline using Toon Boom resulted in significant savings. "Just for the Voltron series, we used eight tons of paper. This expense is completely gone! We also saved on shipping costs, drawing supplies and storage. All in all, these significant savings made up for the investment in Toon Boom software licenses and it paid off!" concluded Rene.
Toon City is now at the forefront of digital animation production, demonstrating its great ability to undertake animation projects of the highest quality and deliver them within tight schedules. Going paperless has proven to be an excellent decision for the studio and reinforces its leading position as a service provider within the global community.
About Toon City Animation Inc.
Based in central Manila, Philippines, Toon City Animation Inc. is a long-standing traditional animation studio with an excellent reputation as a service provider for prestigious studios, such as Walt Disney Television Animation, Universal Animation, Warner Bros. Animation and MoonScoop Productions.