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Webinar recap 2: The business of animation in Vietnam



On Thursday, September 23rd, DeeDee Animation Studio hosted the second webinar about 'The business of animation in Vietnam' with the attendance of nearly 100 people. During the one-hour webinar, we had so much fun talking about the experience of DeeDee Animation Studio working in the Vietnam animation industry as a standing business for almost five years.

Webinar recap 2: The business of animation in Vietnam

If you missed out or could not attend our webinar for some reason, we give you a brief content of your discussion below.

Part 1. General introduction about Toon Boom Animation and DeeDee Animation Studio

What do we need to know about Toon Boom?

In this part, our host Mr. Sylvain Grisollet started with a short introduction about the company he represents - Toon Boom Animation.

Toon Boom is a part of Corus Entertainment, the largest media company in Canada, which provides software development, production, and distribution. Up to now, Toon Boom has been in the industry for about 25 years, presenting in 135 countries around the world.

Toon Boom Harmony is the most popular software for 2D animation production, whether your style is hand-drawn frame-by-frame animation or using the new technique of cut-out or puppet animation. Toon Boom Harmony also covers everything related to compositing and special effects, basically, from the background up to the final compositing and then rendering the final product. Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Producer are two other software products developed by Toon Boom Animation.

Toon Boom is present in a lot of international productions and has become a standard, especially for the segment of 2D animation. It can be said that about 70% of the 2D series and movies produced worldwide use Toon Boom technology.

DeeDee Animation Studio on early days

About DeeDee Animation Studio

DeeDee Animation Studio is a 2D animation house based in Hanoi, Vietnam. We started the business five years ago with a small team to a full-fledged service and IP studio with a crew of 50 experienced artists specializing in 2D animation.

DeeDee Animation has expertise in producing many animation genres, such as animated short films, animated series, music videos, TV commercials, etc. With the ambition to name the Vietnamese animation on the world map, DeeDee has partnered with many domestic and international clients in Japan, the USA, Canada, Thai Lan and develop our own IPs.

Webinar recap 2: The business of animation in Vietnam

How did DeeDee Animation get into the business of animation?

Five years ago, a few animation studios in Vietnam focused on producing high-quality animation films. There was also a shortage of animation schools at that time. After a few years of studying animation in the US, Mr. Hoang, Co-founder of DeeDee Animation Studio, came back to Vietnam and started his studio in 2017.

How has the landscape of animation in Vietnam changed?

The Vietnamese animation industry is still young, but it has grown tremendously in the past few years. We can see the rise of animation studios and people pursuing animation as their professional career path. On the educational side of the industry, there are more private and government-funded universities in Vietnam that include animating as one of the subjects in the major. They are positive signs for the brighter future of the animation industry in Vietnam.

Part 2: The story of DeeDee Animation Studio

What kind of animated projects does DeeDee usually work on?

DeeDee Animation Studio has enough ability and experience to handle most types of 2D animation genres, such as series, short films, music videos, or TV commercials. In the past five years, DeeDee has produced such a large number of animated projects which are both interesting and challenging. Take “Funny with traffic” as an example, the project imposed many challenges in terms of managing the timelines, as well as controlling the qualities of the production. It took animators at DeeDee nine months to turn ideas into an animated film. With “The Archmage Legacy”, a video game trailer for a company from Singapore, it was the first time that DeeDee decided to try the Japanese anime sakura style, which is very complicated to do. DeeDee Animation Studio learned a lot along the way and now feels confident to handle any productions.

The difference between the three types of animation

To answer this question, Mr. Hoang distinguished the main features of each animation genre.

  • Animated short films: These are one-time videos that we can pour all of our resources into them. These short films can look very polished and impressive in the end.

  • Animated series: These are long series that have a lot of episodes. The message needs to be clear and consistent to attract the audience from the beginning to the end.

  • Featured films: When it comes to feature films, it takes a long time to produce because you have to have at least 90 minutes of film to put it in the theater. It will require a lot of commitment and budget.

What are the main steps that DeeDee goes into the production?

After receiving the brief, DeeDee’s artists will have in-depth discussions with clients to figure out their needs or any pre-production assets that they might already have. The production procedure at DeeDee includes three main phases as our two speakers listed down:

  • Pre-production involves character designs, visual development.

  • Production is the next step for layouts and background painting parallel with character animating

  • Post-production: the final phase to edit visual effects, sound designs, voice acting, or music composing.

How does DeeDee apply Toon Boom to make the whole process more efficient?

Toon Boom offers a powerful set of programs that you can use to produce any animation genre. It allows you to have an overall look at characters, the movement of cameras, and other details. Animators can freely show their creativity and ability because of the flexibility of Toon Boom software.

There are tools in Toon Boom that allow you to make the process of making hand-drawn traditional animation much faster than when doing it on paper. Also, Toon Boom supports you to incorporate 3D assets and combine the 2D and 3D animation easily. So, Toon Boom is the perfect choice for professional animation projects.

Webinar recap 2: The business of animation in Vietnam

The two IPs of DeeDee in development: “The Broken Being” and “The Naught-Nice Business”.

The naught-nice business

It is the comedy prime TV show following weird-looking characters and their journeys in exploring a fantasy world full of magic and mysteries. “These characters, no matter how weird they are, are experiencing very human-like problems that all of us can relate to. There are a lot of Vietnamese cultural influences in the show as well. I believe that this show is appealing to both adults and children”, said Mr. Hoang.

Broken Being: Prequel

This series follows a male protagonist in a Vietnamese village seeking answers about his deceased lover — and discovering that his picturesque reality may not be real at all.

To bring this series to life, DeeDee’s artists planned Broken Being in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro before animating it in Harmony. By producing the project in a seamless pipeline, the studio saved time. Additionally, Mr. Hoang emphasized that the intuitiveness and flexibility of the tools allowed artists to refine, revise, reuse and repurpose assets easily while maintaining quality.

Watch the full version of Broken Being here

Part 3. Q&A

After a one-hour discussion with insightful information, many people stayed excited to take part in the last part of our webinar. In the Q&A session, the speakers were very comfortable answering the questions and concerns of the attendees in detail.

When animating, is there any perfectionism that comes up, and how does one deal with that?

  • Mr. Hoang: As an Art Director, I always set high expectations for my work. However, in some circumstances, everything goes in other directions. Move on, learn from the mistakes that you have made and then do better next time. It is my motto.

Webinar recap 2: The business of animation in Vietnam

Can you share how DeeDee Animation is different from other production houses and what are your greatest strengths?

  • Mrs. Nhu: Firstly, our artists are always eager to learn new things and stay updated on modern techniques. We are open to everything new coming. Secondly, as we talked about before, we provide a full production service. It means that we can handle the pre-production and post-production that help us control every part of the process. Lastly, I believe that our high credibility is the key factor to gain the trust of customers. I can tell you that 60% of our revenue comes from the old customer and 40% from the new customer.

I am a freelance animator. I am considering switching to Toon Boom for a faster and better experience. Will Toon Boom be a good option for individual use or just a big animation company?

  • Mr. Sylvain: Toon Boom is not just for production studios but also very well fits freelancers, especially those who want to work with a 2D studio, like DeeDee. Toon Boom Harmony is not only software but also a platform that connects different companies and different individuals. So Toon Boom is also a bridge to connect worldwide animators. There are a lot of benefits for freelancers to use Toon Boom to get better jobs.

Those are some highlights of the second webinar “The business of animation in Vietnam”. Stay tuned for our updates on the next webinar.

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