Nimble Collective, the startup co-founded by former DreamWorks Animation executive Rex Grignon, has entered a partnership with Canada-based software maker Toon Boom Animation to bring its digital solutions to Nimble’s cloud-based production platform.
The agreement will allow studios, animation production teams and educational training facilities to acquire Toon Boom’s storyboard and animation software at lower costs and with shorter production times, the companies announced Thursday at the Annecy festival.
Toon Boom tools such as Harmony and Storyboard Pro will be accessible via Nimble to studios everywhere, but those in emerging markets like Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean will especially benefit from it.
“Technology and digital tools like Toon Boom animation software are making the industry more accessible than ever, paving the way for an increase in feature films, TV series, video games, advertising and education — particularly in emerging markets,” Toon Boom’s CTO, Francisco Del Cueto told Variety.
“The fact that Brazil, a nation that did not have a large industry until less than a decade ago, is the tribute country at Annecy this year is proof that the international growth of animation is producing amazing work that deserves recognition,” he added.
According to Nimble and Toon Boom sources, the deal is perfectly timed to meet surging global needs for animated content. Powered by demand for original content from SVOD platforms like Netflix and Amazon, the total value of the global animation industry is estimated to be $254 billion (as of 2017) and is projected to reach $270 billion by 2020.
“These SVOD and social media platforms are seeking to create original content for regional audiences who want to see their cultural stories told,” Del Cueto said.
Founded in 2014 by industry veterans from DreamWorks and Pixar, Nimble Collective offers animation production teams a cloud-based animation studio infrastructure which includes workstations, professional workflow and storage, all accessible via browser.
“Nimble Collective is on a mission to democratize the animation industry by empowering people worldwide with the best animation production tools, and Toon Boom Animation is an ideal partner to help us make further progress toward that goal,” said Rex Grignon, co-founder and CEO at Nimble Collective.
“The world is full of people who are often underrepresented in mainstream entertainment who are eager to see the stories of their cultures reflected on screen, and animation is a universally popular and powerful medium for storytelling,” he added.