Arcana Studio's Sean Patrick O'Reilly: Behind the Scenes of an Animation Studio During a Pandemic

With 5,000+ characters and over 300 titles, Arcana Studio is the mini-studio that could, that became the ultimate creative machine that did. It has worked with Stan Lee, Gene Simmons, Mark Hamill, Bill Paxton, and Christopher Plummer, to name a few.
CALGARY, Alberta - Dec. 4, 2021 - PRLog -- Former Canadian schoolteacher Sean Patrick O'Reilly created Arcana Comics in 2004. Since then, the company has grown into Canada's largest comic and graphic novel publisher and a mini-animation studio that has housed over 150 employees. Animated films and book titles include: Kade, The Clockwork Girl, the Howard Lovecraft Trilogy, Pixies, and Pandas and Aliens.

While a lot of creative work can be done offsite, when it comes to animation, the process requires many synching computers and extraordinary bandwidth to run them. A global pandemic can throw a wrench into the filmmaking process.

Arcana's computers are aggregated at one place. When the March 2020 lockdown happened, everyone was sent home. It was challenging at the beginning for the animators.

O'Reilly explains, "If you're using a remote desktop and you send the file into your computer at the studio, even with just a five millisecond delay, all your lip syncs will be off. So with all the animators, we had to drop off computers at their front door."

In order to upload and download all of the company assets, it had to be through a virtual private network. Creators, however, don't need that delay.

"When you move your mouse, there's a little bit of a drag to it. But if you're doing lighting or programming, or compositing, it's not as important, but then the composite people want to see the final color image.

"Creators worked from home and came in on a Friday afternoon, masked and washing their hands. They would be using a very expensive color, calibrated monitor, to make sure all their colors for the week were on point, then approve them, and then go home."

According to O'Reilly, working on one project is like juggling 10 plate in the air.

For the full interview:


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Debbie Elicksen
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