Artella brings collaboration to VFX and animation

Being a freelance animator is a pretty crappy existence — it usually means living out of a suitcase, jetting from country to country as the major studios are chasing tax incentives around the world. Launched this week, Artella is attempting to change that by creating a full suite of software to foster collaboration between creative artists, and enabling freelancers to form ad-hoc animation studios for projects.

The new company is the brainchild of the folks behind Animation Mentor, a well-respected online animation school. Founded by animation veterans Bobby Beck (ex-Pixar), Carlos Baena (ex-Pixar) and Shawn Kelly (ex-Industrial Light & Magic), the platform is built with animators and post-production artists in mind.

“The world is full of talented, creative people who have the tools in their home to make great content, but lack the professional network,” said Bobby Beck, co-founder of Artella. “We wanted to find a way to bring them together from anywhere in the world and to give way to a new form of collaborative production studio.”

Browsing and applying to be part of projects has never been this pretty.

Browsing and applying to be part of projects has never been this pretty.

In a classic example of “scratch your own itch,” Artella’s online production platform helps artists find each other to congregate around and collaborate on projects of any size and scope — all through a web browser.

“Artella will unlock a multitude of untapped talent,” said Maxwell Planck, technical founder at Oculus Story Studio. “I’m excited for what Artella brings to the future of remote collaboration in the creative space.”

The platform includes communication tools, file management and review tools aimed at creating all sorts of content, including feature-length and short films, video games and VR content. As you might expect, it integrates with most commonly used production software packages, including Maya, Premiere, Photoshop, Nuke and many others. The platform enables artists to work online or offline.

It’s free to join the platform to connect and communicate with other artists, and to attach yourself to projects. For project creators, the platform will cost $10-30 per team member per month, depending on each team member’s role on the project.

The video below shows Artella in use.