Every animator has a dream and it all started from their first drawing, and another drawing and another ten thousand drawings through those dark and quiet nights until the light behind the light disc started to hurt your eyes. Remember those days when a ten second rough animation was due by the end of the week? All the desks were taken, and you searched and searched for one until half an hour later you found a spot, where you planned to stay up the whole night to get as much done as possible?
Wouldn’t it be so nice if you could have an animation table on the desk in your cozy and warm apartment, so that you can go to the bathroom without worrying someone else took your seat? When you are tired and don’t want to leave home, there’s food and drinks waiting for you in your fridge, just 10 ft away. If you could finish early, you could hop in your warm, soft bed for a power nap before going back to class.
With QLUX, all the above can be true – with much more to offer:
- Competitive price that students can afford.
- Light weight and compatible size for easy and long hour carrying.
- Beautiful design and make only for animators.
- Add-ons and upgrades coming in the future.
Another advantage of the QLUX is the opportunity for YOU to help design it. Since manufacturing hasn’t started yet, we’re open to suggestions that could improve and optimize the light table. Email your suggestions to [email protected], and we’ll engage in an open discourse and take your feedback into consideration.
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CEO of Amoona Studio Inc.
Qian Wang is a graduate of Sheridan College where she completed her Bachelor of Applied Art & Animation. After graduation, she worked as a Freelance Animator, and Web Designer, so she knows a thing or two about animation and the typical pains that come with it. Looking to branch out, she founded Amoona Studio Inc., her first company, which offers graphic design, web design, and printing services. She always kept animation in her heart, however, and with that in mind she decided to create the QLUX to ease the very same pain points she experienced in her school years as an animation student.
Sep.- Dec. 2007: My First Light Box
As soon as I entered my first year of classical animation at Sheridan College, I realized how much work animation involves. I was able to complete the bouncing ball assignment, my first assignment, at school because our teacher gave us enough time in class. But the 2nd assignment wasn’t so easy. It was hard to find a free desk. I finally found one, sat down and drew for 20 minutes, but then students started to come in for their next class and I had to leave. Though I could stay late, I didn’t feel completely safe going home near midnight. I was desperate to buy a light table, however there was nowhere to purchase one.
My bf at that time (now husband) had table saws and tools, and after I described and drew an illustration of a light box, he was able to make one for me. It was the first light box we made together, myself acting as the planner; and it lasted the first two years of my school. Though it was cheaply made, not so good looking and didn’t have the function to rotate and adjust the angle, it was good enough for me to finish my assignments at home. I no longer had to worry about going home late, or the fear of leaving my desk and it being taken by someone else. That’s when I wished there was a Canadian company that produced light tables for animators.
Summer of 2011: Second Light Table
Towards the end of my third year, I saw a light table in a local bookstore and decided to purchase it. It looked like someone had made it in their garage. While it wasn’t perfect, it was much better than the one me and my bf made (no offense sweetie!). It has a hole where I can put my disc in, and there were three angle options. That’s when the idea of making our own light tables and selling them first came to my mind. I was super busy with school, but the idea was always in the back of my head. After graduation, I finally had some free time. So, we went to home depot, bought a large piece of plywood, and asked the store to cut it into 6 pieces. Each piece was large enough to be used for a table top. We also purchased a router, router bits and screws for the joints. We brought all our tools and materials to a construction site and found a spot that was perfect to cut the circle (We didn’t think it was a good idea to go to a construction site, but that’s the only place we could find at that time.)
Rad (my bf) and I managed to figure out how to use the router at home and made a guide using a piece of plywood. When we put on masks, started the router, and saw all the saw dust flying like crazy and covering our hairs and glasses, we realized that we should have had a cover of some sort. It was too late, but at least we had our masks on. The circle was cut perfectly, and the cut didn’t need much sanding. I put my hands on the edge of the circle to feel its texture. Now it was starting to look like a light table.
The arms were harder to make and took longer than I thought. But eventually we completed all the parts and put them together. The result was 90% just like the table I purchased at the bookstore, except that we didn’t paint the surface. I put up an ad in school and not long after someone contacted me and bought it from us. I guess he was just as desperate as I was when I started my first year (ah, memories). It was a fun experience and we proved that light tables have a potential market in the industry. After that, my life got busier and I had to put this idea aside again until 2013.
2013: The 3rd Light Table (Design and Prototype)
While I was working for china.org.cn in 2013, the work load wasn’t too bad, and you already know what happens when I have free time. Yup, I make light tables. This time I had saved some money and though I like what we made last time, I felt there was a lot of room to improve. Luckily, I had some ties in my home city and was introduced to a product design company with connections to the school. After chatting about my idea, they mentioned the option of hiring a student completing their masters degree, who had an interest in furniture design. Though I had been working with clients making short films and designs for website and apps, sitting at the opposite side of the table felt a lot different. The image you see at the top of the page was done by the student, who also made a prototype after he completed the design. Though I liked a lot of the details he presented, after seeing the prototype, I felt there was something missing. The prototype used different alternatives to construct, which doesn’t make the design look 100% continuous, nor as pleasing to the eye as it should be. And in order to produce the product, I needed to contact manufactures and find additional available alternatives (3 cheers for alliteration!). I felt I was coming to a dead end.
A few month later, I attended a party with my former classmates from the Industrial Design program at the Beijing University of Technology. One of them had been working in the product design industry for many years. I told him my story, and he said that it was fine to hire a student if I was just doing it for fun, but if I was serious in design and wanted to develop a product that can be mass produced, I had to hire a professional designer or company that has experience in manufacturing. That made a lot of sense to me, and I was convinced. At the same time, I knew hiring a professional designer or a company would be pricey. I didn’t have the money at that moment. Again, I had to postpone the project.
2019: The QLUX
But no longer! I recently made the decision to go for it and make my dreams a reality – I’m really quite excited for this, and I can’t wait to get started!