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Tangent Animation Closes Down - Hundreds of Talented Artists Laid Off

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In an unexpected and incredibly sad turn of events, the Canadian animation studio Tangent Animation is shutting down, laying off the entirety of its incredibly talented workforce.

Tangent animation first made a name for itself by releasing "Next Gen" on Netflix, a well-received animated feature that further endeared itself to the Blender community by being mostly done with, well, Blender. Tangent rode high on this success, and the amazing work of its artists and engineers was a staple for animation and Blender lovers worldwide.

They have apparently completed work on their most recent project, Maya and the Three, with the film's director chiming in upon hearing the devastating news.

Tangent concurrently lost the two main projects the studio was working on in the space of two weeks, leading to its untimely and devastating shuttering. I sincerely hope the hundreds of incredible artists now on the market find a new home soon.

If you need a Blender artists, please leave a message on this Twitter thread by Brian Kouhi - he shared it with all Tangent artists.

About Author

Mario Hawat

Mario Hawat is a Lebanese 3D artist, writer, and musician currently based in Paris. He is a generalist with a special focus on environments, procedural and generative artworks. Open to freelance work.

10 Comments

  1. If you don't make movies that people enjoy, closing shop should be the result, regardless of how gifted you are or what software you used. Plot and storylines are still the most important.

    • Did you not read the article? They aren't shutting down because their movies were received poorly, it was the cancelation of two major projects in quick succession.

    • Young voter obviously has no idea how the relationship client-vendor works. Most likely, the N puts the money and the script, and the vendor provides the services. Very rarely can the vendor contribute to the story, apart from some minor gags or perfomance choices.

      However, exec decisions on the vendor can definitely affect the relationship, ending up in losing projects. This may or may not be the case in this occasion.

  2. Agree with some CG Guy. Cartoon Brew and Animation Magazine reports Netflix and Tangent had a falling out. A big blow to the Blender community.

  3. Cartoon brews reporting is unreliable. As someone who worked at Tangent, the project's were not all poorly received. This is why it was such a shock and blow to the company. One project went down due to poor communication on expectations, and the other was doing extremely well. After creating such an epic like Maya (which will undoubtedly be a major hit for Netflix) it is extremely sad to see this happen.

  4. QYoung_Voter:

    I suggest researching and reading up on the movie "Life of PI' and the demise of the studio who created it, Rhythm and Hues Studios.

    It's a classic tale of how multiple studios faded into of history due to fixed project prices, tons of (non paid) changes and stubborn studios, producers and directors.

    You have still a lot to learn about the VFX industry, young Padawan.. ;)

  5. Ex employee here. This wasn’t necessarily an issue with what programs they were using at the studio but it also wasn’t all Netflix’s fault. Tangent was a fairly new studio with not a lot of experience under its belt. I enjoyed my time there for the most part, at least the show itself was fun. My lead would often take over my work without even discussing with me first. My team didn’t give me much of a chance to let my skills grow and ended up assigning me grunt work that nobody else wanted to do. I was let go during the pandemic without much explanation and had the worst of luck finding new work afterwards. The director has never seemed very thankful at all for the hundreds of people that worked their butts off, instead all of his thanks goes to Netflix and himself. I wish everyone who was effected by this unfortunate situation the best of luck in finding new opportunities in the industry.

  6. Maybe the COO and CEO shouldn't of paid themselves as much as they did. Maybe the experienced folks running the company should pay their debts before opening another company - again.

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