Let’s say you’re about to make your own animated short, or even a movie, and you’re looking for inspiration. Or you may be new to the entire process and could use a professional shoulder to look over and learn from — but there are no shoulders around. What if there was an animation archive where anyone could access and view a complete set of development art, at any time?
A new web service called Craft is promising to deliver just that. The website maintains a database of over 22 animated projects (and growing) where all development artifacts are displayed in their entirety, from the scripts (with notes) to character design, backgrounds, color keys, concept art, storyboards, and animation tests. The material was gathered directly from the hard drives of animation professionals and is displayed in an intuitive gallery that can be accessed from any Internet-ready device.
The service just launched and is still gathering materials. Among their current library, the biggest score that Craft has landed is The Secret of Kells, but there are plenty of award-winning films that you may have not heard of displayed at the site. “With Craft we want to share all the great art-of material that high-end productions rarely have a chance to share,” says Emil Villumsen, Craft’s co-founder. “That is a key learning resource for animators and creatives.”
Before you head over there, you’re gonna need to know about one catch: Craft isn’t free. However, it’s not expensive either. $10 will grant you access for one entire month (with half the money going to the content creators). Right now, it’s cheaper than that — the introductory price for the first 1,000 members is $6 a month. And if you’ve come seeking access for a school or organization, Craft is willing to negotiate with you for an even cheaper deal.
Craft was founded by animation company Nørlum, and former staff members from Disney and Pixar productions.