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by Jessica Zartler / October 25, 2016

How an international team of animators is using Taskworld to work together seamlessly.

“In a world where Avians live high above the clouds on floating islands, spirits dwell in the ruins left on the surface…” -Tree of Life, Studio Izune

The story, the art, the music... when working with abstract, creative ideas, it can be a labor of love to get them out of the clouds and on to the surface. As any creative will tell you, collaborating with multiple artists can be a special kind of challenge. Fitting all the pieces together, adhering to deadlines and keeping all of the drafts and designs organized is, well, like trying to herd wild Pokémon.

Courtesy of Studio Izune

No one knows this collaborative challenge better than Izu Isima. He is an Atlanta-based director, animator and the mastermind behind Studio Izune, a group of talented, young animators and musicians from around the world who work together remotely. The project was born out of a passion to bring eastern animation techniques and practices to the west. Collaborator Peter Hansen says it has been a dream to work freely with a team like this.

“I love the feeling of creating vast and intricate worlds and characters for fans to explore and love. I consider myself beyond blessed to have such talented and experienced team members to help me bring my dream to all of the fans and viewers.”

From the US, Isima works with Hansen and other artists from the UK, Canada, Lithuania, Trinidad, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, China and New Zealand. The team was using a mish-mosh of email and Dropbox to share files and work on their 25-minute animation film, Tree of Life. Isima said it was impossible to keep track of drafts and authors. In addition, having to upload and download, and upload again, trade emails back and forth, and struggle to figure out where progress was, slowed work on the project to a crawl.

Character Sketch — Courtesy of Studio Izune

“I was trying to keep tabs on multiple links. It was very unorganized and I needed a way for everyone to be able to upload their work to the same site and be able to view who did what - without downloading each other’s files.”

He started looking for a software application where the Studio Izune team could seamlessly share files, assign tasks with due dates, comment and chat, visibly see who was working on what and when, and collaborate on every element of the project, from sketches, to early animation GIFs, to music — like the Tree of Life’s main theme:

“I heard about taskworld when I was setting up Trello and it didn’t have everything I needed so I was looking for alternatives and stumbled upon Taskworld. I love it because it keeps everything so organized and visible for all team members to stay on the same page.”

Studio Izune started to see a huge improvement in their workflows, communication, organization and most of all, the team could spend more time in the clouds with the Avians, and less time with the uneasy spirits on the surface.

“I don’t have to be the middle man of everyone’s work and also, I can check the work and leave comments on everything on Taskworld if I need to correct something or post deadlines. It is a lifesaver. Taskworld saves me a lot of time,” Isima said.

The Tree of Life continues to grow and Isima says he’s excited for what the future holds. With an all-in-one platform like Taskworld, the ten-country team can move mountains (or atleast the floating islands of their imaginary world), and Isima has become less a wild Pokémon shepherd, and more the composer of a beautiful symphony of images and sound.

A special thank you to Izu Isima for sharing his story. To read more about Studio Izune, you can connect with the team on Facebook. Check out the official promo of their incredible new anime. We loved it, and are sure you would too.

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