Lytro wanted to create a short CG VR experience to highlight its new Light Field solution, Lytro Volume Tracer. To do so, the team wanted access to professional talent and resources, including experienced connections in the animation industry and insight into what it entails to successfully produce and deliver a high-end animated production.
When you set out to tackle something as big as revolutionizing the animation industry it makes sense to start with some baby steps, and that’s what our pilot program was. We wanted to take first-time directors, creative thinkers who had a story they wanted to tell and empower them with our cloud-based animation platform.
We worked closely with these directors to realize their creative vision. We gave them guidance, advice, and assembled top-level creative crews for their projects. In addition, we provided various features of our platform as they rolled out. With portions of each project completed on the platform, many of the lessons we learned from their creation have provided the foundation and framework to allow Nimble’s engineers to develop the early version of the company’s Cloud Animation Platform.
Coin Operated is the pilot project that was developed with the closest thing to a big budget studio pipeline. Director Nicholas Arioli led a team of industry veterans through the creation of this animated gem. The short was a proving ground for independent production practices as well as a starting off point for our TDs and engineers for the challenges they would be facing to pull off such a high level of quality in later projects.
Merging 2D photo plates with 3D animation was a wonderful test for the Disrupted team, led by Brian Newlin. An additional challenge was the decision not to go with the standard “glossy” look of traditional 3D animation, but to match the vibrant, “sketchy” feel of the original character designs. Made with the highest quality industry standard tools as well as custom toon shaders, Disrupted REALLY put our TDs through their paces to achieve the director’s final vision.
A recent graduate of the SJSU Animation program, director Kathy McNeal came to us with her storyboards for Roadside Assistance. We were able to help her wrangle a team of SJSU Animation students and teach them modeling, rigging, and animation using Blender. Her project allowed us to see the high and lows of a new team collaborating in the cloud, as well as adjust our platform to the needs of a fresh team just entering the animation world for the first time.
Sunny & GERD
A creative tour de force, Sunny and GERD director DaCosta Bayley oversaw every detail of his character’s creation. From storyboarding to picking character textures he and his team were able to wring a truly beautiful short from open source software. Incorporating high quality, but low price options into the platform is a central tenet of bringing our animation platform to everyone.
Utilizing traditional 2D animation techniques, director Mike Shiell was able to convert his hilariously off-kilter 2D comic panels into fully realized animated stories. Utilizing a relatively small team he was able to expand on the stories behind some select gags and bring his Wandering Melon comic strips to life.
Creation of a complex streaming animation platform can’t be done in a vacuum. Sometimes you need to close the hood, hop behind the wheel, and take ‘er out for a spin. That’s where the 4039 Studio comes into play.
This internal studio is comprised of Nimble employees, who, in addition to their day to day duties, are creating on the platform and giving real-time feedback to the engineers. Pulling staffers from engineering, community, marketing, as well as collaborating with freelancers outside of Nimble, the team wears many hats and is able to put the platform through its paces, targeting specific functions and features. This ad hoc, in-house group of artists can be assembled as the need arises, and can take a production from script to screen to give us a broader scope of metrics and analytics to help define our roadmap.
Plus they make some pretty kick ass shorts to boot.
Animal Fact: #164 - Chicken
Animal Facts #164 was created from script to screen using our virtual, streaming, collaborative animation platform. The short was animated, lit, edited, and rendered entirely in Blender with the use of other tools like Nuke, Audacity, and more (including the pencil and paper the chicken was originally designed on) using only a $189 Toshiba Chromebook 2. No software to download. No installs. Just a web browser and the Internet.
Animal Fact: #271 - Mice
Animal Facts #271 was our first short film created in the cloud. It was created as part of the Citrix Synergy 2015 conference where Rex Grignon and Jason Schleifer stood on stage in front of 7,000 people and introduced Nimble Collective to the world!
Citrix Synergy 2015 Introduction
Robyn, the star of our Animal Facts #271 short, was kind enough to introduce us with a BANG at the Citrix Synergy 2015 conference. A little skit was worked out where Robyn would try to get the host’s attention, and upon failing that, set out to make SURE he got everyone’s attention.