Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers July 5 to 12, 2019. Read more »
SCAD students used Toon Boom Harmony to go from academia to Adult Swim
The second annual SCAD AnimationFest kicks off today, running September 27 to 29 at the SCADshow theater in Midtown Atlanta. Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the event will bridge the gap between emerging and established talents via panel discussions, special preview screenings and invaluable networking opportunities — connecting students to industry professionals with the experience, expertise and insights to enrich their educations.
Animation is the largest degree program at SCAD and the university is a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence, training the next generation of top 2D artists, visionaries and leaders. Today, there are over 2,100 SCAD animation alumni working in studios around the world.
“As the preeminent animation degree program, SCAD is uniquely positioned to create an atmosphere where leaders in the field can connect with students, alumni and members of the professional public to share ideas, work and experiences in this growing and broadening field,” says Leigh Seaman, senior executive director of SCADFILM.
She continues, “For SCAD AnimationFest 2018, we have doubled the amount of programming and screenings and increased the number of attending guests.”
SCAD AnimationFest is presented by SCADFILM — the leading program for students and working professionals in film and television, animation, gaming, virtual reality and digital art. Among the industry heavyweights on the panels this year will be Andrea Miloro (co-president, Twentieth Century Fox Animation), Christina Elefante (production coordinator, Sesame Workshop) and Tony Bancroft (director, Mulan), among others. There will also be a special preview screening of Warner Bros.’ upcoming feature Smallfoot; starring Channing Tatum, Zendaya and Common, it follows a yeti who believes humans are real.
For the second annual SCAD AnimationFest, Adult Swim will be screening never-before-seen episode of Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and once again offering insights to students and attendees. The university formed a special relationship with the broadcaster via SCADpro — a program and innovation studio that designs solutions for the world’s most influential brands. By harnessing the brainpower of top students, alumni and professors, it hopes to answer big business’ biggest creative challenges.
“[Adult Swim] needed on-air network IDs produced to promote their brand, and felt it was beneficial to have the demographic who watched the network be the ones who spearheaded the production,” says Gregg Azzopardi, professor of animation at SCAD. “The students did such a fantastic job that Adult Swim has returned year after year. SCAD Atlanta students have produced 16 animated short IDs for Adult Swim to date.”
Over the years, many of these shorts were produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony. According to Azzopardi, the world’s leading animation software has been taught at SCAD for nearly a decade. It plays an essential role in the university’s mission to provide students with the latest technology, and the tools and skills that will give them an advantage upon entering the industry.
“By implementing Toon Boom Harmony into our pipeline, students acquire the experience early on in the classroom that gives them the advantage on their job and internship searches,” explains Azzopardi.
From the time they are briefed by Adult Swim, the students have two-and-a-half months from concept to colour to produce the shorts. The class includes 12 to 17 students selected from a long, interdisciplinary list of applicants across animation, motion media design, illustration and more. These SCADpro classes offer pupils a chance to experience a real-world production environment, allowing them to discover where they fit into a production pipeline, build on their communication and leadership skills, and learn how to best approach working within a professional team setting for an actual client, according to Azzopardi.
“Toon Boom Harmony provide the students with an intuitive workflow to approach their collaborative group projects, senior films and class exercises. Our students have enjoyed using Harmony with their digital hand-drawn, puppet and hybrid pipelines on their student films,” says Azzopardi.
“As a professor, it has been fun to teach Harmony in the classroom, especially when a new technique is introduced to the class, and you get a reaction almost as if a magic trick was shown to them. For the students, it’s incredibly exciting when they realize how much they can increase the production value of their films,” he continues.
Given the university’s track record of success with its animation program and Adult Swim shorts, there is little doubt that the second annual SCAD AnimationFest will get top marks from past and present students, professors and professionals in the industry alike.
What are you most excited for at SCAD AnimationFest 2018? Let us know in the comments below.
Banner image source: Adult Swim.