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Toon Boom Speeds Up Mercury Filmworks Flash Pipeline

Toon Boom Technologies designed and installed a new pipeline at Mercury Filmworks, one of Canada's large scale studios producing Flash style series, to increase productivity, raise the level of quality and do away with the issues common to a traditional Flash pipeline.

"The constraints we faced ramping up on our current production were the same ones all studios face when using Flash MX as a production tool," said Clint Eland, president/exec producer at Mercury Filmworks. "The issues of file management, rates of productivity and the limitations imposed by the fact that Flash is not designed as a team production tool are a significant barrier to producers. The new animation module for USAnimation OPUS solves these problems by leveraging off of the mature and proven architecture of USAnimation, and adding animation functionality. This results in a seamless workflow within one overall software that is already built to handle large scale production."

Using the power of USAnimation Opus for the file management, compositing and F/X, Toon Boom created a module that is used in the place of Flash MX for the animate and build process. "Customers who have seen this solution definitely appreciate the benefit of having a unified production pipeline", says Shane Bradley, director of sales for Toon Boom. "Whether it's in Canada, the U.S. or Australia, each studio faces the same bottlenecks when using Flash as a production tool to create animation. Studios using our solution see immediate cost-savings and a marked improvement in quality of the end product."

Ottawa-based Mercury Filmworks is producing, in Flash, the MISCHIEF CITY series for Shaftesbury Films, which will preview on YTV in spring 2004.

The Toon Boom solution is being rolled out worldwide and information is available by contacting Toon Boom directly (www.toonboom.com). Based in Montreal, Canada, Toon Boom Technologies Inc. is a world-leading supplier of animation solutions. Toon Boom Technologies is the parent company of USAnimation, Toon Boom Studio and Boom Studio Express and provides consulting services related to production workflow and productivity.

Toon Boom's client base ranges from major studios creating Hollywood blockbuster animated films to individual animators creating their first masterpieces.

Mercury Filmworks (www.mercuryfilmworks.com), which started as a small three-person operation, is emerging as one of Canada's premier animation, service studios with feature film quality production facilities in Vancouver British Columbia and Ottawa, Ontario. Servicing clients worldwide via a gigabit carrier-class fiber optic link, Mercury is the second largest OPUS facility in North America behind Disney and offers full script to post animation services including design, pre-production, digital animation, digital paint & compositing, 3D, puppet animation, and post-production. IN its first five years the studio has delivered more than 250 half hours of television and feature animation to producers and broadcasters.

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