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A study on current business performance of Chinese animation industry - page 3 / 21





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plausible movement. The European animation industry remained silent after the 2nd world war, whereas in Asia, both Japan and China began the early development of TV series and movies. Phase Four (1970-1990) is the declining stage of Disney animation, and the recovering of European and Japanese animation. Phase Five (1990-) is the second booming stage of animation industry with increasing more cooperation between big companies and the development of new technology. 2D and 3D computer related skills are used in animation movies. Pixar released the first 3D animation ‘Toy story’. European and Japanese animation industry kept growing with more globalised co-operation. In China and India, specialised animation studios developed as

outsourcing studios collaborating with western and Japanese big companies. To summarise, Figure 1 is a roadmap which indicates the key players, technology and products of each period.

The process of making animation movies (Figure 2) begins with conceputalisation. The production is undertaken by a prime contractor supported by numerous subcontractors in every phases of production. The production process of animation film can be divided into three parts: pre-production, mid-production and

post-production. The pre-production stage contains the creation of screenplay, storyboard, visual development, character design, background design, color design, sound design, story reels and workbook. Normally this part is conducted in-house or by joint project. The mid-production stage starts with modeling and rigging, followed by layout, animation, shading and lighting, rending and film recording. Part of it is currently outsourced to

animation studios. The post-production stage includes picture process (color correction and final print) and sound process (sound effect and musical score, final sound mixed). This is normally conducted in-house or

jointly. For game industry, the production stages include conceputalisation, pre-production, production and release/operation.

Though mostly similar, the Japanese animation industry is driven by the comic industry, where best-selling

comic books will be further made to animation TV movies. Toy companies join the animation concepulisation stage and share the investment risk. The comic and animation industry in Japan has long history and complete supply chain. In USA and many European countries, sample movies are made for shows and exhibition, which is an efficient way to attract investment. Charecter business including cosummer goods and theme park consititute the diversity of anmiation industry in USA. In China, comic industry is not profitable, and most animation produce are made for TV shows only. Charecter business developers do not tend to involve in early stage of investment. The process and features of producing anmiation products are drawn in Figure 3.


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