Rocky Shi Provides Tips for Animation Teams on Collaboration

Animations entertain, promote brands, and can educate the public. The best animations, however, come out of teams that collaborate easily with one another. Rocky Shi, CEO of TAOST (The Art Of Story Telling), and longtime entertainment investor and producer, is a new player that has entered the film industry and is ready to revolutionize the field.

The History of Animation Collaboration

The first animation collaborations in the United States probably occurred in the Barré-Bowers Studio in the early 1900s. Teams brainstormed the theme, location, and who would perform what task. Walt Disney Studios is also known for creative collaboration on its animations.

Collaboration becomes even more critical as technology advances and animation is used in more varied situations, including websites and games. Engineers and designers must find a way to work together as a team. Yet, collaboration is still sometimes a challenge, Shi says.

Rocky’s Collaboration Tips

Here are some tips for achieving better collaboration among animation team members.

  • Build collaboration into the workflow. Include animation at the start of the layout. Then mock up the animation to make sure it works. By doing this, designers will work with engineers to understand the limitations, and engineers can help navigate through minor limitations.
  • Invest in a collaboration platform. Several exist, and each has pros and cons. They allow for maintaining a steady stream of communication throughout the project.
  • Set clear team goals and objectives so that every team member is committed to the same outcome.
  • Use several methods of communication, including asynchronous and real-time channels and video, audio, and text. Using video occasionally is essential for team members to build rapport and empathy with each other.
  • Develop a culture of giving feedback respectfully.
  • Understand that people prefer different types and styles of communication. Some may prefer brief responses, while others prefer more lengthy ones. Encourage team members to establish communication etiquette.
  • Set clear guidelines around the times when people can message each other. Setting boundaries is crucial if teams work remotely over different time zones.
  • Have team-building activities. The activities can be remote or in-person, depending on how the team works. An example of a remote team-building activity might be getting together to play a digital game instead of having a staff meeting.
  • Find ways to manage conflict so it doesn’t get out of hand. Creating trust and transparency is one way to prevent conflict. Encouraging the two who are in conflict to talk it out and find common ground can prevent the conflict from spreading.
  • Ensure meetings are productive. Develop and track agendas. If possible, record meetings for team members who may not be present.
  • Celebrate accomplishments together by doing something fun.

While collaboration between those of different perspectives isn’t always easy, it is worthwhile. Collaboration always leads to a better product and a better user experience.