How Kuku Studios Creates a Virtual Story Room with Bluescape

Discover how the award-winning animation house uses Bluescape to bring powerful stories and characters to life.

About Kuku Studios

Kuku Studios is an award-winning storytelling and animation house based in Berkeley, California. Founded by senior creative and production staffers from Pixar Animation Studios, they create memorable characters, experiences, and stories.

Kuku Studios believes that stories should not only entertain, but also challenge us to grow. Following the success of Kuku Studios’ first preschool animated production, Go! Go! Cory Carson, Netflix created an exclusive multi-year agreement with Kuku Studios to develop even more animated series and films.

Kuku studios Go Go Cory Carson


Challenge: Keeping the Puzzle Pieces Together

Visual development artists, script supervisors, and directors are constantly sharing hundreds of assets and communications under severely strict deadlines. As production ramps up, it becomes more difficult to track down essential pieces of the puzzle including files and emails. This disconnect leads to slower turnarounds, unnecessary back-and-forths, and delayed decision-making.

Kuku Studios had relied on pinning artwork up on the walls to help visualize the creative process. However, the pandemic added a new set of challenges to the studio workflow, forcing the team to make critical decisions on visual content remotely.

Zoom was introduced with a combination of screen sharing and file sharing to try and create a “remote view” or “creative round table.” However, this proved to be cumbersome for artists because artboards and pinned content reviews didn’t translate well in this environment.

Their search for a better remote collaboration tool continued…

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“Bluescape is the ultimate presentation and archiving tool.”

-Huey Nguyen, Visual Development Artist at Kuku Studios

Solution: Creating a Virtual Story Room

Kuku Studios selected Bluescape to create a “story room anywhere” set of workflows. Content that was once limited to physical files and local directories can now be uploaded, compiled, organized, and discussed all within an unlimited Bluescape workspace.

No longer bound by physical solutions and spaces, Kuku Studios can now realize the entire creative process within Bluescape. Kuku Studios uses Bluescape as a creative sandbox, a studio archive, and a pitch tool for landing new projects.

By using Bluescape’s vast integration capabilities, Kuku Studios is able to continue using the tools they are most familiar with. They can create concept art in Adobe Illustrator and push it directly to the workspace. They can also review playlists and versions from Autodesk Shotgrid. Bluescape offers a degree of flexibility and a much-needed immersive review layer that other tools lack.

Reviewing content and providing feedback in Bluescape accelerates review cycles by giving everyone a birds-eye view of their work. The team can see a project’s history, understand inspirations, and track iterations of production assets.

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“Bluescape has streamlined the way I work. It’s a great place to quickly brainstorm and organize ideas.”

– Tiffany Pham, Junior Visual Development Artist at Kuku Studios

Making Remote Production Possible

Bluescape equips the Kuku Studios team to have more productive meetings with all of the content of a story room in one workspace. Teams can launch a one-click video call for live conversations and collaborate asynchronously. They aren’t limited to sharing just one screen or asset at a time. In Bluescape, they have access to an entire story room of content from anywhere they work.

Kuku Studios kicks off new art assignments in Bluescape, where they communicate requirements and goals visually using text tools and templates. They then cluster reference images and create inspiration boards to define the tone of the project. From this central workspace, artists push and pull content as needed to ensure visibility and on-time delivery of assets.

Kuku Studios relies on Bluescape as the backbone for critical meetings with executive producers and directors. Artists load their work into canvases within the workspace, present their content, annotate, discuss, and add even more material alongside creative leads.

With Bluescape, Kuku Studios makes true remote production possible.

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About the Author

Megan Ranger
Copywriter at Bluescape

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