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Lemon Sky Studios Sails Under Pandemic Cloud to Deliver ‘Santiago of the Seas’

With Nickelodeon’s help and support, creative team quickly shifted to a remote workflow, successfully working on various aspects of animation resulting in quality artwork and timely delivery of brand-new animated series.

Under the cloud of a global pandemic, Lemon Sky Studios has provided both quality artwork and timely delivery of Nickelodeon’s brand-new animated action-adventure series, Santiago of the Seas. This marks the studio’s second project with Nickelodeon, following work on Middle School Moguls in 2019.

Created by Niki López, Leslie Valdes and Valerie Walsh Valdes, Santiago of the Seas follows 8-year-old Santiago “Santi” Montes, a brave and kind-hearted pirate, as he embarks on daring rescues, searches for treasures and keeps the high seas safe in a fantastical Caribbean world.

Set in a fictitious world that pulls inspiration from the Latin-Caribbean culture and locations, the series features blue, cloudy skies; tumultuous waves; water sequences; and majestic ships. Much detail is required to create these animated effects; storylines involving a lot of aquatic scenes are often sidelined as the CGI work required to create them can be daunting. With these challenges, and with the support and partnership of Nickelodeon, the Lemon Sky team worked diligently to set up a to set up a remote workforce.

“We had worked hard to draft out a plan for our team to be able to work remotely,” commented Loo Hon Gene, Head of Production, Animation Division at Lemon Sky Studios. “A completely new workflow had to be set in place, files had to be localized, security compliant methods of working off the server established and a minor readjustment to the schedule had to be made. The team was quick to adapt to the changes and new SOPs that were put into place and we could not be prouder of the outcome.”

About a 100-member team worked on various aspects of the animation, each one working remotely. They worked on the magical elements infused into the storyline; the characters in the series also possess magical traits that involve costume transformation as they embark on their adventures. Other than the cinematic visual effects work used to create the realistic-looking water elements, the magical aspect of the series was something the team payed extra attention to.

“These are challenging times for the creative industry,” explained Lemon Sky Studios CEO Wong Cheng Fei. “We are extremely grateful that our client had the faith to see the project through with Lemon Sky Studios. Facing the hurdles together allowed us to establish an amazing collaborative energy with Nickelodeon. I can say with full confidence now that they have become a part of our Lemon Sky family.”

“When the pandemic hit, we were in the middle of producing the series and were not sure how much it would impact the production,” noted Santiago of the Seas creator and co-executive producer, Niki Lopez. “Lemon Sky Studios were quick to come through with solutions though. I love the way they worked with us throughout the process. The culture within that studio is so collaborative and energetic. They truly bumped up the quality tenfold.”

Lemon Sky Studios has worked on other notable animated series including Sydney Sailboat, Buzzy Bee and Friends, Trucktown and Tinpo. They are also the proud owners of their very own IP, AstroLOLogy with another, Ichiro, in the pipeline.

Source: Lemon Sky Studios