Animation as a form of artistic expression has been around since the 1920’s when Steamboat Willie, the Walt Disney short, became the first film with sound in 1928.
Since then a lot of new developements have popped up in the Animation space that are related in part to new technologies and the rediscovery and refinement of older ones. What’s going on today is as significant; it’s, however, being driven by a whole new set of forces.
New technology tools and a revival of techniques from the Old Masters that influence even video game design among CSEC Students (Deer, 2016, October 3) have me optimistic about the future of Animation, especially in Jamaica!!
So what are the trends in the animation landscape that will impact animation in the future?
Animation and Jamaica – Technology is vanishing
With the improved animation techniques, it’s becoming less obvious that you are watching an animated video as animators are going back to the basics of good storytelling.
No more is it about impressing audiences with technical wizardry; there is now arms races between big animation studios like Pixar and DreamWorks to develope high-end character performances and visual effects that can pass for reality.
Studios are spending tens of millions of dollars becoming, essentially, IT companies. Teams of creators producing stories to demonstrate their latest breakthroughs, such as improved shadow effects and more human like anthropomorphized characters.
Animation and Jamaica – Streaming platforms are driving demand
The explosion of new outlets is creating unprecedented opportunities for animated content in a wide range of styles, genres and format from more indie animators.
No more is it all about the big animation studios; combined with the right technology, they can make and distribute their animated content via:
Streaming is one such platform and no name is more synonymous with streaming animated content than Netflix. They have multiple niche audiences for all kinds of quirky original animated programs….and their competition is taking notice.
These new channels are opening up the world to previously unknown and undiscovered artists and studios with quality content. Anyone anywhere can create a compelling story in the middle of nowhere and the world will have a chance to see it.
Once it hits the right channels and gets the right amount of promotion, a small studio can achieve a release as big as any studio release. Only possible now, thanks to Social Media and Streaming Technologies.
Animation and Jamaica – Augmented and Virtual Reality is invading the physical world
If you love animation and digital imagery, you’d realize that it is spilling into other devices for your viewing pleasure:
- Mobile devices
- Augmented and virtual reality headsets
- Immersive smart spaces
- Giant flat screen
Still, most of these hardware innovations are like a bridegroom awaiting the right software platform or app marriage to make them go viral and catch on with mainstream society. Animation and visual storytelling is key to making VR and AR the next medium for compelling animation.
Animation and Jamaica – Outsourcing is transforming teamwork
The idea of a global distributed workforce is somewhat new for animation production. Sure, offshore outsourcing has been happening for years….just not that much in animations, as the tech just did not exist.
But with the advent of cloud computing, the limitations of space and time are now obsolete. No longer does it matter where you are located; the new collaborative cloud based work tools not only make collaboration easier but also allow you to manage the workflow across a diverse set of people separated by geography.
These tools make animation more massively collaborative and thus teams can collaborate and share their ideas to help a story reach its full potential
Animation and Jamaica – New voices are joining the conversation
All these trends are lowering the barriers and cost to entry for upstarts around the world.
That means more stories that could not have told because some big studio had no interest in your animated concept can now be made at a lower cost but with quality matching that of the bigger studios. We’ll be hearing from lots of people and perspectives that haven’t been part of the animation industry before.
In a world where creativity is akin to energy, Animation is now being made a whole lot richer and easier to produce as it becomes easier to tap into this energy!!
- Deer, L. (2016, October 3). Jamaica’s US$332 billion dollar Industry heralded in CXC’s Animation and Game Design. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/cxcs-animation-and-game-design/