Have you heard of that latest anime from Aniplex which has been melting the hearts of anime fans around the world? Yes, I’m referring to Platelets Cells at Work!” or “Hataraku Kesshōban Saibou!” 

©Akane Shimizu / KODANSHA, Aniplex, davidproduction

But this latest animated series from David Production has a special Singaporean connection. Take a guess what it might be, before scrolling down for the answer.

The answer is:

©Akane Shimizu / KODANSHA, Aniplex, davidproduction – Powered by CACANi

It is the 2D animation software used to animate the series, CACANi! First developed and deployed in Singapore by the Computational Arts Group (CAG) of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The company CACANi is formed in 2011 to further develop as well as to promote the use of the software, with the goal to making 2D animation easier and more accessible to the general public.

Unlike the increasingly common method of animating, the using a rendered 3D Model with texture, CACANi instead improves the efficiency of hand-drawn animation by making use of keyframes and transformation to generate the in-between frames for animation. This allows the animators the options to save on time and effort while hand drawing the animation, adding a layer of automation to the once time-intensive style. All the while retaining the looks and feels hand-drawn animations.

Still, despite there being automation involved, the artists are allowed maximum flexibility to best portray the imagery wanted. It is no wonder since it’s invention, the CACANi software and its team have worked on various projects, like the promotional video for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer-chan in 2013 and the first ever “Seika” animated short in 2014 for Anime Festival Asia.

Inori Aizawa – Microsoft Internet Explorer, 2013

AFA2014 – Promo Video ft. Seika, 2014

Tempura-chan, Tatsunoko Production, 2015

And in recent years with the expansion to the land of the holy grail in 2D animation, the software has seen use in various animated features, most recently in “Cells at Work!” and this:

Strike Witches: Road to Berlin, 2018

It’s interesting how far a local invention can help the industry give us more enjoyable productions as well as making the life of animators easier. Here’s hoping for more good stuff to come! Check out the CACANi website to learn more: cacani.sg/.