If you sit long enough on your sofa or or CG-animated TV series, you may notice Known for creating stunning animation and the most popular movie franchises of all time — such as Star Wars, The Avengers and Jurassic World. Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Rebels (the TV series) are some of the latest projects the studio worked on.
Many might be surprised to learn the studio has many more strings to its bow, and also took part in the production of games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy XII and Monster Hunter World that have sold millions of copies.
With headquarters based in Ho Chi of the massive Virtuos Group in 2011. specializing in game development and AAA 3D art production across eleven locations worldwide.
than 300+ diverse artists, working with 18 of the world’s top 20 digital entertainment companies to provide top-quality assets for games and - imation pipeline from previsualization to rendering.
In today’s entertainment landscape, producers develop transmedia IP for a selection of linear and non-linear platforms to match the way consumers enjoy content. Alongside the movie or TV series, are the Apps, games and even smart interactive toys. This convergence between - tic opportunities, but it also requires the combined know-how and skills from both industries.
- al production powerhouse: from the ear rendering we are always thinking 360 degrees,” says the studio’s creative business developer François Belot. “Our animation directors and game designers sits down together to bring the best practices from both industries, identifying at an early stages the pitfalls, understanding what can be reused and making sure the transition from a TV series to game is as smooth as possible.”
The studio’s general manager, Harry of his team. “The combination of 90% local talents and around 10% overseas talents brings a rare coupling of Eastern & Western sensibility, creativity and performance, with an added French touch!” he notes.
The studio, which is currently working on a 3D animated French feature, as well as TV specials for a top IP, works with a wide range of animation and digital tools to deliver cutting-edge animation and visuals to its global studio partners.
very strong and high-quality in-house training and the nurturing of artists from the very beginning with knowledge, passion and technical knowhow,” says animation director Patrice Compagnon. “We want to keep this unique blend of cultures to continue providing our clients superb services. We love the whole process of storytelling and production, and sharing a creative vision with our clients.”
- pand its partnership with North American and major worldwide players for animated content in the year ahead. As Belot puts it, “We would like to continue offering the perfect blend of talents and skills to create high-quality animation
Toronto’s Yowza! Animation has been one of the key providers of top-quality service to animated feature and series producers for 22 years. Founded by Claude and Lucy Chiasson in 1996, the company’s many international clients include Disney Features, Warner Brothers Animation Studio, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Universal and Sony Pictures Animation.
Yowza’s 160-seat, 9000 square-foot facility provides top-of-the-line traditional, classical, hand-drawn service, using tools as diverse as Toon Boom, Flash, Maya, Blender, Adobe Creative Suite, ZBrush, Avid and Crainiac. Other notable projects of the past decade include Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scrolls (DreamWorks), Dan Vs. (Starz), Winnie the Pooh (Disney f) and The Princess and the Frog (Disney), Curious George (Universal) and the award-winning Disney Goofy short, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.
- plains, “It’s great to see the animation - ed to see traditional animation making a little bit of a comeback. I believe we are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of this uptick. Not only do we performance in traditional animation, but we have transitioned our team to be able to perform to the same quality level across all styles and platforms. Our team works in a reciprocal, collaborative fashion with our clients to bring about the best look and feel that they are aiming to accomplish in their storytelling content”
Walker says she loves working in animation as it allows her to apply her high level of strategic skills along with creative and
When asked about her mentors, Walker mentions animation industry veterans Lenora Hume and Joan Vogelesang, who led Toon Boom Studios for many years. She also notes that the studio co-founder Claude Chiasson has been very supportive after she bought Yowza! in 2016. “Together we have been able to ensure that the company continues with the values that were there from the very beginning. In my own personal life, I learned a great deal from my father, that one gets from being a true entrepreneur, integrating the absolute respect for and openness to people that work with you in your company. At Yowza, we have a very family-oriented culture.”
Chiasson also points out animation has been a passion close to his heart. “I’m doing something I love, and I love working with very creative people,” he says. “I’m also very happy to see that there’s a resurgence in traditional-style animation. My mentor is my older brother Roger. I was his assistant for many, many years, and that’s how I learned about the business. He taught me the ropes and he’s my big
“The different challenges of each individual project is what makes the job interesting,” adds Chiasson. “We try to achieve the best quality possible—and studio’s mentorship process is a project they’re working on now. “We took some very high quality talented hand-drawing animation crew in the industry who had never learned Toon Boom software, and trained them on it,” she notes. “We took young animators who had the potential to draw well, but never had the opportunity to learn hand-drawn animation, and in this way, mentored two different silos of people at the same time on the project, and it’s working really well.”
It’s this passion for hand-drawn quality animation that drives Walker and her this level of artfulness and quality across all the new technologies in the market today,,” she concludes. “And I love to work with our crew. I’m driven by the pride I feel in the work that Yowza produces.