Star Wars Rebels Report: A Look at Taiwan Animation Studio CGCG

CGCG is the 3D animation studio that will be responsible for a good portion of the work on the new animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels co-executive producer Dave Filoni recently appeared on October 18th episode of Rebel Force Radio and talked Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels. In this wide-ranging interview he revealed that since Lucasfilm Singapore (the company’s overseas animation studio) was still getting up and running when The Clone Wars began a lot of the production for that show was done by another firm, CGCG. Filoni went on to say that Lucasfilm Singapore is not currently focused on Rebels saying, ”Our talented people at the Singapore studio are on other projects.”

We knew Filoni was in Asia visiting and working with animators based on comments from Pablo Hidalgo at the New York Comic Con panel, but it was assumed by many including myself that this meant he was in Singapore at Lucasfilm’s facility. Instead Filoni is back in Taiwan and once again working with CGCG.CGCG2

CGCG worked on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie in 2008, the first two seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series and also on the recently released LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out. CGCG on animating Star Wars Rebels. CGCG provided Modeling, Color/Texture, Rigging, Layout, Animation, Lighting, VFX, Compositing and Rendering for the production of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

One of the more interesting facts about CGCG is that apparently it is or was partially owned by George Lucas.

In a 2011 story the news website Want China Times discussed CGCG’s relationship with George Lucas and The Clone Wars:

”The 3D computer graphics maker, 43% owned by Lucas, is soon expected to make its way to the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park, Shen Jung-chin, director general of the Export Processing Zone Administration, under Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, said Thursday (Jan. 13). The Taipei-based company, which currently has 300 employees, is optimistic about the talent provided by universities in the south, said Shen (Shih Wen-hsiang, chairman CGCG).”

This is the first I had heard that Lucas or Lucasfilm owned a portion of this studio, it is not clear whether Lucas retained an ownership interest in CGCG. It is not clear if Disney | Lucasfilm retains an equity stake in the company.

“Shih declined to comment on the details of Lucas’s investment but said that his company would continue production of the animated Star Wars film series in Kaohsiung. “A lot of the creative energy in the south has not been developed,” he said.

Lucas is believed to have invested US$2.4-2.7 million in the computer graphics maker.”

A shade under $3 million was not a major investment for Lucas, but it would seem to be a great way to get more value out of his dollars instead of investing it in domestic animation resources.

“The animation company spent only ten months to complete production of Lucas’s film as opposed to the three to five years it usually takes to produce a 3D animated film.”

Now this is the impressive part, CGCG’s ability to deliver quickly could be very important particularly on Star Wars Rebels which is getting a much shorter time for development.

For continuing Star Wars Rebels Coverage check out the Rebels Report Podcast, episodes airing monthly until the show airs.

SOURCES: IMDB, CGCG, Rebel Force Radio, and Want China Times

Editor’s Note: One of the goals of Lightsaber Rattling and the Rebels Report podcast will be to provide the most comprehensive coverage and analysis of Star Wars Rebels that you will find on the web. In that effort we will focus on not just the show as it is on the screen, but also all steps in the creative process and production. We do this not only because we are looking for as much information as possible but to provide a greater understanding for how the industry works and to provide those interested in working in the entertainment industry with as much knowledge as possible about the technical and creative processes.

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