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On “Glammys", fashion animation is the new black.

Tags: News Storyboard Pro Animation Television Harmony Storyboarding Trends Customer Story

Fabulous 2D animation software is always in style.

That’s what the makers of “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog” discovered while they were creating their series with Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro. The Italian children’s show is produced by European Television Service (ETS), with Maga Animation as the service studio, and follows a group of style students at a famed sartorial school.

In each episode, a different character presents themselves to the audience via a personal vlog. Aimed at kids aged six to nine, this innovative approach is on-trend, speaking to the next generation’s relationship with user-generated video content — both consuming and creating it. It should come as no surprise given over half of Gen Z say they couldn’t live without Youtube.

Online influencers like
Connor Franta and Amanda Steele are affecting kids’ budding senses of style. Considering how powerful a force clothing is in shaping a child’s identity and self-esteem, particularly in the Darwinian ecosystem known as grade school, it is surprising that fashion remains relatively untouched by cartoon producers. (Editor’s note: See more on this topic in our interview with style illustrator Amelia Giller.)

That said, in the digital age, a shift seems to be underway. A synergy between animation and fashion is growing, from the PowerPuff Girls at London Fashion Week to Gwen Stefani’s street fashion-inspired 2D series “Kuu Kuu Harajuku” — and distributors and broadcasters are paying attention. “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog” was recently sold to De Agostini Editore for broadcasting on DeA Kids beginning June 12, a children’s channel on the Sky Italia platform. This marks the second deal for “Glammys” in Italy and its first on pay tv.

Toon Boom spoke to show creator and producer Piero Piacentini (ETS), director Giorgio Bellasio, and art researcher and animator Stefano Trivero (both Maga Animation) about the making of “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog” and what they think future holds for fashion and animation.


Source: Maga Animation.

Ciao, gentlemen! What inspired “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog”?
PP: There was a time around 2007 and 2008 when the most successful kids shows had a special focus on creating music. I started thinking music wasn’t the only kid-friendly international art form, and fashion came to mind.

Can you tell us a little bit about the show?
PP: “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog” is the first animated series to focus on talent and creativity in a concrete way. This can be seen at the end of each episode when an original piece gets made by a main character. We all know how much kids like to create and craft their own stuff, and “Glammys” allows them to explore these instincts inside a fictional, fashionable environment.

At what age do you think kids become interested in fashion?
PP: Before answering that question, let me tell you what “fashion” means in “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog”. Our concept of fashion is not compulsive shopping, expensive clothing or models on the catwalk. To us, fashion means finding and expressing one’s individual style simply and honestly. Based on that, even young children can be interested in fashion — think how much they love dressing up during play or how determined they are to choose their outfits for school.

glammys-toon-boom.pngSource: Maga Animation.

With changing values, do you think more boys will want to engage with fashion animation?
PP: We have worked hard so boys can find relatable characters in the series. There is Victor, a visionary with great taste, and David, a creative design and painter of surfboards. It’s important to see male characters in shows like “Glammys" in the same way it is good to see female characters representing STEM in others. The distinction between girl-skewing and boy-skewing series doesn’t make sense any more.

Why do you think more children’s cartoons haven’t focused on fashion?
PP: It’s hard to find the right perspective to look at fashion in a kids’ show. Creativity, passion and talent are the values we focus on in “Glammys". We think we have found the right vision by inspiring kids to discover their unique style, avoiding stereotypes and freeing their imagination.


Source: Maga Animation.

How did you use Toon Boom 2D animation software in creating “Glammys"?
GB: Toon Boom software was key to “Glammys’” development. It has been a pragmatic and practical tool in the finalization of character design, storyboarding and video boarding, backgrounds, props and animation, and has allowed for a high level of output. Using Toon Boom software also greatly reduced our post-production work, making it a time and cost-saving solution in our workflow.

Can you elaborate further on how working with Toon Boom software facilitated the “Glammys” production pipeline?
GB: The character design tools permitted us to simultaneously create the characters, definition of the library and the rig. Doing fashion, we needed to create and combine various elements in order to realize the glamorous world of the series. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro also played a big role — it meant the posing was extremely detailed and audio was in perfect sync.

glammys-toon-boom-harmony-2.pngSource: Maga Animation.

ST: Toon Boom Harmony took the story from a rough draft to a place where it was cleaned-up and ready for market. It met all the expectations defined in the video board, allowing more control over the animation parts being outsourced. The production setup through Toon Boom software also allowed us to intervene at any time during the pipeline, enabling correction or adjustment for both design and character animation. Once you learn to use the tools and the system nodes, Toon Boom software becomes very simple and intuitive.

Since this is a fashion, how did you find the experience of designing clothing in Toon Boom software?
ST: Toon Boom software made creating a good setup fairly easy, particularly swapping clothes between one character and another. It was like dressing and undressing a doll or a mannequin — effortless and fun! Through levels management, changing outfits and accessories was quick and accurate, something that is very important in a fashion-based animated series like “Glammys School of Fashion Vlog”, where each character’s style is tailor-made in the truest sense of the term.

Do you think there should be more children’s fashion content? Let us know in the comments below!

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