"After an almost two-decade stint in the animated feature film industry, I have been re-introduced to the world of television series work, bit by bit, over the last four years. In some cases actually working on an animated television series, but more often as a casual observer, watching my overly stressed-out animation industry friends, who always seem to be rushing off to work over-time on yet another on-going television series with an insanely short schedule. Storyboard artists, character designers, layout artists, animators, effects animators — you name it — they’re all out there trying to make ends meet, in what seems to be an industry of ever shrinking schedules and budgets.
Whenever I hear about the insanely tight schedules that these artists are working on, my head just spins! Shorter and shorter schedules, smaller and smaller budgets, but is the quality of the shows diminishing? Well, sometimes yes, but incredibly, a lot of the time it is not! We have at our disposal today the tools to make quality cartoons, faster, slicker and better looking than a great deal of the so-called “limited” animation of years gone by.
This trend that we’re seeing has taken off in the wake of a staggering plethora of new animation technology, hardware and software, which, for better or worse, has enabled us to create stories, storyboards, animatics, backgrounds, characters, animation and special effects in ridiculously short order. This is much to the delight of distributors, broadcasters, and animation clients of all kinds worldwide, who find that in today’s animation industry, an idea or a script can get from early development, into location and character design, straight into production and actually on the air in a matter of mere months. Projects that would have taken at least a year to fully develop and begin to get off the ground, can now sprout wings and take off in a really big hurry, and at a mere fraction of the cost of an old-school hand-drawn cartoon. "