Doonstar uses AI to make YouTube series a success

Dunstar, a nine-year-old Los Angeles animation studio, uses AI technologies to create efficiencies in its animation processes and partners with new creators to launch hit IP. The studio’s recent partnership with Parker James, known for his unique characters, shows how Doonstar uses AI to improve productivity, create additional projects, and solve some of the problems in the entertainment industry.

Toonstar was founded by former Warner Bros. and Disney executives John Attanasio (CEO) and Luisa Huang (COO). The studio focuses on creating animated content for social media platforms like YouTube and Snap, and is also an investor. Dunstar evaluates projects based on creative concept, potential for animated adaptation, target audience and social reach. „We’re really focused on developing multimedia entertainment franchises with frontier technology and working with the next generation of storytellers,” said CEO Attanasio.

Dunstar uses AI at various stages of animation, from pre-rendering to post-production. This approach has reduced the time and cost of producing high-quality animated content. The studio has built AI engines that design visual styles and animation techniques for each project. By applying AI to parts of the animation process, Dunstar allows animation to be produced quickly and cheaply, with the goal of bringing more projects to market, a process they experienced as too limiting for creators in a large studio setting.

„Animation traditionally took a long time,” Huang explained. „From a cost and time-to-market standpoint, this is limited and only possible for projects with large budgets. AI and machine learning keep costs down.

Teaming up with Tik Tok star Parker James, Toonstar used AI to translate his live-action, effects-laden Tik Tok videos into an animated series. Steven & Parker. Known for using a face filter and voice changer in his videos, James worked with Toonstar to adapt his style to animation while maintaining the credibility that attracts his nine million TikTok followers. “Working with Dunstar has been an incredible experience,” says James. „They have helped bring my characters to life in ways I never imagined.”

Toonstar also used AI for the multilingual dubbing of StEvEn & Parker. The studio integrated a native performance dubbing technology with an animation engine that clones James’ voice and enables his character to „speak” multiple languages ​​while preserving the subtleties of his original performance. Dunstar used the technology in Spanish, Japanese and German, expanding James’ reach and attracting additional viewers from non-English speaking markets. „Our dubbing technology has significantly increased the viewership of the series,” said Attanasio. „Parker’s series now gets 30 million viewers weekly.”

Dunstar has received VC funding from Founders Fund and Graycroft as well as industry heavyweight Snapchat and former NBA star Baron Davis. The company employs about 20 full-time employees, with additional contractors brought in for specific projects.

„Frontier technology helps supercharge our productivity and community building. If you’re going to make the next South Park or The Simpsons, you need to work with great storytellers.” Attanasio said, „There’s not a button that you push and get out, and that’s why we’re working with this next generation of storytellers that we really believe in.”

„Creating content with AI isn’t easy.” Attanasio added: „It’s good to tell an entire series in a few words, but the key is to start with talented creators and great storytellers. But with talented creators to bring these stories to life.”

Parker James expressed excitement about the process. „I’ve always wanted to do cartoons, but I’ve never been an animator. I was good at coming up with stories, but I couldn’t have produced a cartoon series until I partnered with Toonstar. They were able to take the stories and characters I was creating, and develop the stories more fully and create this series. Being able to partner with me.

„We discovered Parker on TikTok, where he uses a voice changer to create this cute and funny character,” Attanasio explained. „They were potential skits for animation, so we started testing the shorts on TikTok, and it was really good. We transferred it to YouTube, and his channel had 10,000 subscribers a year ago, with a total of over 6 million. Including Spanish, it gets 30 million unique weekly viewers, And gets 3 billion lifetime views in five languages ​​on five continents.” The company signed a deal with Random House to develop a series of graphic novels based on it Steven & Parker.

„Our goal is to create the next generation of hot IP using new technologies, AI and machine learning, and open up opportunities for new creators and voices. You see in entertainment today, there’s more consolidation and fewer projects being made. This limits the opportunities for creators and storytellers,” Attanasio added.

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