Kartoon Studios unveiled new generative AI toolkit for animated content production

The AI initiative, developed on Nvidia Omniverse, aims to save 75% of current animation production costs while creating dramatic speed-to-market efficiencies.

16 APR 2024

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Kartoon Studios announced the development of a new proprietary generative AI toolkit and workflow designed to enable the development, production, and post-production of new animated content, as well as revitalize and upgrade the quality and distribution reach of thousands of existing catalog episodes and acquisitions.

Spearheading this initiative is Todd Steinman, appointed as Chief AI Officer, leveraging his expertise in technology and digital innovation alongside his current role as President of Toon Media Networks. He will be supported by an internal team that has been developing and refining elements of the toolkit and workflow over the past year.

Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Kartoon Studios stated: “During the past year, we have dedicated a great deal of time and resources to understand the opportunities with AI as it pertains to our business and have been speaking extensively with leaders in the field. Our commitment to harnessing AI reflects a pivotal shift in our industry’s approach to content creation and distribution. By connecting various tools via OpenUSD into ‘our new IA toolkit with Nvidia Omniverse, we aim to streamline production processes, accelerate quality, and significantly reduce both time to market and expenditures. Todd has done a brilliant job of using technology to turn Kartoon Channel! to profit in record time for a streaming service, and his fluency in digital technology makes him a natural fit to lead this initiative into the future.”

Richard Kerris, Vice President of Developer Relations, Head of Media and Entertainment at Nvidia, added: “AI has reshaped the media and entertainment landscape, driving demands for more cutting-edge technology to maintain productivity and efficiency. By leveraging Nvidia RTX GPUs and the Omniverse development platform, Kartoon Studios will equip producers and media professionals with new tools and applications to elevate their workflows to the next level.”

By aggregating a variety of AI tools into one toolkit and workflow, this new tool will endeavor to optimize a broad swath of production services in a fraction of the time and cost.

Heyward emphasized the transformative potential of AI technologies without undermining job opportunities: “Our focus lies in redefining production paradigms and creating opportunities. With this new tool., we anticipate cost savings and accelerated time to market, all while fostering job growth. We anticipate this new cutting-edge approach will enable our products to become more profitable, while offering a better experience for viewers.”

Todd Steinman declared: “This tool integrates cutting-edge technologies, including video synthesis, neural radiance fields, and video style transfers, in conjunction with Nvidia Omniverse and deep learning AI to elevate animation quality while optimizing production efficiencies. It also revolutionizes the dubbing process, traditionally a laborious and costly endeavor. By leveraging AI-driven solutions, Kartoon Studios anticipates accelerated global market entry for its content, marking a significant leap forward in animation distribution.”

This new AI tool leverages Nvidia Omniverse core technologies for OpenUSD and Nvidia RTX ray tracing to facilitate seamless collaboration, real-time simulation, and rendering, and will encompass a spectrum of other production services, including character design, scriptwriting, music, animation, resolution enhancement, and dubbing, all unified to enhance workflow efficiencies.

Steinman continued: “As part of our ethical AI use and supporting our desire to protect our own intellectual property, we plan to use Bria.ai, which employs licensed, certified datasets to ensure our AI-driven animation production respects copyrights and upholds the integrity of original content.”