Earlier this week I read a post on Cartoon Brew website about an exciting new project called Craft. Here is the article:
books can be beautiful objects to own, but they are an inefficient
format for collecting the massive amounts of artwork generated for most
animation projects. A new Danish company, Craft, aims to solve that
problem by making all the artwork from animated projects available on
the subscription site ItsOnCraft.com, an “ever-evolving interactive art-of book” as the company puts it.
Craft, which launched on May 1, gives users unprecedented access to
art and conceptual materials from animated features, series, and games.
Among the items included (or to be included) is concept art,
storyboards, scripts, character designs, animatics, animation pencil
tests, background paintings, and more. The initial content on the
platform includes material from Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells, as well as the TV series Ernest & Celestine: The Collection and the online series The Reward: Tales of Alethrion.
The digital archive seems best suited to professional artists and
animation students who can use it to study and compare different
versions of scenes, look at source files to deconstruct scenes, and find
reference for their own projects.
“We know how long it takes to get an idea from script to screen—think
of all of the amazing and inspiring work that goes into the making of a
film that never makes it into the final product,” says Craft CEO and
co-founder Frederik Villumsen. “It’s all part of the process, but why
should that material sit on a shelf or languish on a hard drive
somewhere?” (Villumsen is also the CEO of the Danish animation studio
Nørlum, which co-produced Song of the Sea and Long Way North.)
Craft also aims to build a community around creating animation, and
encourages users to ask questions and engage directly with the creators.
The companies that use the service can add notes to the artwork and
answer users’ questions about the material they’ve made available. An
accompanying Craft Store will allow people to purchase merchandise,
prints, and other items, like 3D printed character figures.
While the offerings available on Craft are relatively thin at the
moment, the idea has real potential to evolve into something great.
What’s nice about Craft is that provides a benefit to everyone in our
community: students and pros can use it as an education and professional
development tool, fans have a new way to support and enjoy access to
projects they like, and content creators gain a new revenue stream since
50% of Craft’s revenue is redistributed among filmmakers who provide
content for the service.
“Early-bird” subscribers can join Craft for $6 per month, while group discounts are available to schools and organizations.
I subscribed some minutes ago and I didn't have time to go around so much, but it's really promising. Here are some screenshoots.
Character design from 'The Reward'.
Storyboard from 'The Reward'.
Backgrounds from 'Ernest and Celestine.
Concept Art from 'Spirit Seeker'.
The 'early bird' phase is still open, for only 6$ per month, an almost ridiculous price for what you will find inside the website. The basic subscription is going to be 9,99$ per month.