Categories: Multimedia

TVPaint – France – Animation

France’s premier animation software uses CodeMeter for licensing creativity

The Challenge

TVPaint Développement, the creative minds behind France’s marketleading bitmap animation technology, has been serving the art, animation, and design world since 1991. Their 2D animation software is a firm favorite among users ranging from established studios and ambitious freelancers to aspiring students and lovers of the art. In a market as diverse as theirs, including virtually every budget level and enterprise size, TVPaint needed a solution to protect and license its IP that was both reliable and easy to implement for all users.

The Solution

The company originally relied on different generations of dongles from other vendors for simple copy protection, but their chosen setup quickly spiraled into a logistics challenge with software distribution by DVD and dongle assignment taking up more and more of the company’s precious resources. Looking for a nimbler and more versatile solution, TVPaint turned to CodeMeter for a secure and reliable licensing system.

The Success

Switching over to the CodeMeter licensing system turned out to be the commercially and operationally best choice for TVPaint and a comfortable experience for everyone involved. With initial support for the company’s legacy dongle system and assistance with realigning TVPaint’s IT landscape, the technical switchover was finalized in a matter of hours, and CodeMeter’s license distribution and management processes quickly integrated with a rebuilt ERP system using Odoo. TVPaint’s products are now sold and licensed in a cleanly integrated and efficiently automated online process, leaving the company the time to concentrate on what it does best: Creating exceptional animation software.

The Company

TVPaint is a raster-based 2D animation software, developed by TVPaint Développement, a French company based in Metz. Since its very first version developed for Amiga computers in 1991, TVPaint has continually gained traction and is now regarded as one of the industry standards for 2D animation, used by numerous studios and taught in many schools around the world. Not only does the vibrant TVPaint community provide suggestions for constant improvement, but it is also active in the creation of scripts and brushes and trading advice on how to leverage the maximum potential from the software.

Dean C., Technical Sales Agent
TVPaint Développement

”There’s a benefit for everyone. Customers who purchase our software online can start using it within a matter of minutes. They don’t have to wait for a parcel containing a dongle. We don’t just save time and effort that was needed to ship thousands of dongles, but also realize important savings on shipping costs, customs, and taxes.”

Wibu-Systems and TVPaint: Freeing up resources for more creativity, courtesy of CodeMeter licensing

TVPaint Développement, the French makers of animation software beloved by professionals and amateurs alike, manages its licenses safely and efficiently with CodeMeter, without the need for dongles and the time-consuming logistics involved, which was taking away precious resources from its core business. As a result, TVPaint’s customers now have immediate access to the software they purchase online.

TVPaint has been offering its industry-leading bitmap software solutions for 2D traditional animation since 1991 and serving creative needs at all levels: storyboards, animatics, animation, ink, paint, or VFX. Its users include animation studios, freelance professionals, and animation schools and students.

DVDs and dongles

For a developer like TVPaint, protecting the IP invested in their software is of vital importance. That’s why they always took software license management seriously. “We started working with dongles for copy protection,” says Thierry Cantet, Customer Support Manager at TVPaint Développement. “In the early days, we worked with dongles for the parallel interface and later switched to USB dongles.” The basic idea stayed the same, but offered little flexibility or scalability. We had to purchase dongles, add the right licenses, and then mail them to the customer.

This was often very complicated, because we had several types of dongles. For example, someone who bought our software for fourteen users received five dongles: one for ten users and four for one user.”

As TVPaint’s success grew, so did the burden of the logistics of the dongles. “We have a very large numbers of users,” says Dean C., Technical Sales Agent at TVPaint Développement, “all of whom had to receive DVDs with the software and dongles with the licenses. The logistics required more work year after year.”

Users eventually switched to downloading the software, but TVPaint originally continued to mail out many thousands of USB dongles. From 2015, we started looking for a new license management solution”, says Cantet. “We wanted to be able to focus on our core business. And that is software development, not mailing parcels.”

Dongleless license management

TVPaint found the right solution for software license management in CodeMeter. Dean C.: “With us based in Metz, France, and Wibu-Systems in Germany and the Netherlands, we loved the proximity, because we wanted a partner with whom we could communicate directly.” Wibu-Systems first offered a technical solution to support the legacy dongles and provided an SDK to help the transition. “We had implemented the Wibu-Systems solution within two hours.” For the real switch away from dongles, Wibu-Systems carried out an assessment of TVPaint’s IT environment. Cantet: “This turned out to be the ideal opportunity to rebuild our database with Wibu-Systems advising us about the right specifications.”

Wibu-Systems also assisted TVPaint with integrating TVPaint’s ERP environment – based on Odoo – and CodeMeter. “We streamlined the purchasing process,” Cantet continues. “When a customer orders our software online, Odoo automatically generates and sends out an invoice. CodeMeter creates the license and passes it on to Odoo. This ensures that there is a link between invoices and associated licenses.”

Time savings for everyone

TVPaint plans to migrate all customers to CodeMeter, including those who still use dongles today. “There’s a benefit for everyone," says Dean C. “A customer who purchases our software online can start using it in a matter of minutes. That way, we don’t just save the time and effort to ship thousands of dongles, but also realize significant savings on shipping costs, customs, and taxes.” Using CodeMeter solved yet another legacy issue. “Our software is available in two versions: Standard Edition and Professional Edition, Dean C. explains. “Customers who purchased both versions used to receive two dongles that could not connect on one server. With CodeMeter, they can now run different versions on the same container.”

CodeMeter’s web admin capabilities also allows TVPaint’s users to manage their licenses themselves. “Customers have far fewer questions about their licenses,” Cantet concludes. “That also saves us a significant amount of time.”

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