Winner Ideas & Methods Interview: The Making of Vivek Rai’s “Biker”

The “Winner Ideas & Methods ” sequence covers sensible workflows and strategies shared by winners of the “2022 Animation At Work Contest”. To let customers see the total spectrum of the Cartoon Animator pipeline, we’re introducing tasks that acquired consideration and credit score from the neighborhood. Let’s now check out “Biker” to see how Vivek Rai labored his magic with Reallusion Cartoon Animator (CTA).

About Vivek Rai

I used to be born and raised in India. Kolkata, town the place I grew up is immensely wealthy in literature and cultural heritage. That is the place I discovered my ardour for pencil sketching and studying comedian books. My thoughts was utterly blown away after I first noticed my classmate make a flip e-book. For individuals who don’t know what a flip e-book is: it’s a sequence of illustrations of an animated scene that’s certain collectively on a number of papers in a sequence, to provide an phantasm of motion by flipping them quickly; a standard instance is a bouncing ball or early Disney cartoons. This was after I realized that art work may be become animation.

The subsequent 25 years had been difficult as a result of we moved to completely different locations in India as a result of my father altering jobs—new faculty, new buddies, and the growing weight of lecturers. The tutorial wrestle continued until I got here to the USA to pursue my grasp’s in electrical engineering in 2008. It was solely in 2011 after I earned my first paycheck and I felt that I can now ease off and revisit my previous ardour for artwork.

The recollections of the superior flip e-book animation from childhood had been nonetheless contemporary in my thoughts, so I purchased myself an iPad and downloaded an app that allowed me to create keyframe animation. And similar to that…I acquired into animation. Or so I believed. As a result of I quickly realized that creating a top quality keyframe animation of even one second would take a major quantity of labor hours, like my first animated video on YouTube contained over 1,500 frames and near 200 work hours as a newbie (In 2017, I began my very own youtube channel by the title Saffire Animation the place I might flip sequential comedian e-book artwork into animation).

Though my first video on YouTube was nicely acquired by the viewers, as an animator I quickly realized that keyframe animation comes with some limitations, and my job as the only animator can be quite a bit simpler if I might overcome these limitations. For instance, if I can simply rig my character for fundamental motions like stroll/run cycle, leap, and discuss, then superimpose the identical rig on completely different characters then it’ll save my time in redoing the identical motions repeatedly. Other than that, I additionally wished to spend much less effort on creating in-betweens. My google search quickly landed me on some title manufacturers available in the market however that they had a month-to-month subscription charge and had been too sophisticated with an enormous studying curve. Reallusion’s Cartoon Animator had all of the options which I used to be searching for and so I began off with a 30-day trial model after which quickly bought it for good. I quickly created a video that had an amazing response of 96k views on my channel in just some weeks. Issues had been all set and good to go, however only one problem remained: time administration.

Now, with a full-time IT job that requires my consideration from 9 am to six pm on daily basis in addition to being a father of a seven-year-old, comes with its personal challenges. So, after dinner, cleansing up, and placing my infant to sleep I don the cape of an animator when everybody in my home is asleep. I had turned a closet in my home into my private studio which additionally has slightly recording house. I animate three to 4 hours in the course of the night time and no less than two extra hours within the early morning. This manner, I can spend roughly 5 hours on my interest. I’m comfortable that in a world the place many individuals complain about issues not being beneath their management, I’m able to find time for what I get pleasure from when and wherever I can.

Why I made “Biker”

I used to personal a Ducati Monster throughout my early years, so the topic I selected for the 2022 Animation at Work contest is a couple of biker and his love for his automobile. Preserving the video easy, I wished to inform a brief story a couple of biker’s ardour, drive, and initiative. To maintain the opening dramatic, I used a soothing monitor and ensured that every successive shot ups the joy to construct up anticipation for the subsequent scene.

Normally, motorcyclists are rebellious and stand for freedom, so I added a bald eagle to the video to indicate its rebellious facet and its high-flying perspective as a logo of freedom that might compete with the biker. I created a number of drawings of the animal and biker that might preserve all the video dramatic. CTA has a tremendous real-time synching method with some picture enhancing software program. I used Adobe Photoshop because the PSD editor and Procreate because the drawing app for hand-drawn scenes.

Why I selected Cartoon Animator

Cartoon Animator is an easy-to-learn software program as a result of it’s designed to offer a really clear workflow and doesn’t comprise a variety of extraneous options to distract you. It’s clear, easy, and straightforward for learners to make use of this software program the place no prior 2D animation expertise is required. One may use CTA to make the method of animation intuitive and non-technical. For individuals who are new to Reallusion’s CTA software program, Reallusion holds dwell webinar classes the place animators can get solutions to their questions.

Although CTA is just not recognized for creating art work, it will possibly work in tandem with both Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, which is the second massive issue for me. One can construct a personality with its particular person components as separate objects in Illustrator, or on separate layers in Photoshop, after which use Character Animator to rig these items collectively into an animatable puppet. CTA has a really underestimated characteristic of supporting frame-by-frame animation; I realized about this characteristic unintentionally after I ready a sequential animation in photoshop, and I imported the frames in PSD format.

The third and most outstanding issue for utilizing CTA is the Live Performance Capture Animation tool. Right here, one can use their webcam and microphone to generate dwell performances for his or her animated characters and ship them to the viewers or document the efficiency on the venture timeline and refine it additional by hand.

How I did it with CTA

Step 1: Script and Storyboard

I saved the video quick round one minute with solely background, SFX, and music (no dialogue). I selected background music from a basic license web site. Then I regarded up varied YouTube movies on bike drifting and created a tough structure of each scene on my timeline. As soon as I finalized the structure of the tough sketch, I began drawing and including colours to my scene. Beneath is a picture of a sequence of snapshots from a number of movies, which I laid over the music as a reference.

Step 2: Character Creation & Sketching

Whereas going by varied YouTube movies, I picked up some fundamental 3D biker equipment like a helmet and boots, in addition to a drift animation. With some drawing skills, I laid out a personality in his early 20s, sporting a helmet and driving a Ducati Monster (my first bike) utilizing paper and pencil. As soon as I used to be assured with the outcomes, I scanned the drawing and digitally imported it into my drawing pill.

Earlier than creating the animation, I like to indicate the drawing to my seven-year-old for a second opinion. His eager to see extra of it provides me confidence that I’m heading in the right direction. The next are a number of the tough sketches in the course of the improvement stage.

Step 3: Characters & Sprite Animation

Each shot had its personal set of necessities. For the shot the place the lead character leaps into the air together with his bike, I used completely different sprites of the character to create a keyframe animation in CTA. Some pictures just like the lead approaching his bike and the chicken flapping its wings required gradual movement that wanted to be easy sans the choppiness that usually accompanies keyframe animation; because of this, I used the bone-rigging characteristic proven beneath.

Step 4: Scenes Creation, Composition & Digital camera Setting

I used digital camera actions to provide dramatic stress by utilizing the Live Camera feature in CTA. With Digital camera Operation set to Mouse Choose mode, I used the Alt key to speed up the switching of the cameras: Alt+LMB to pan, Alt+LMB+RMB to zoom, and Shift+MW to zoom in. I performed with these controls to provide some depth to my nonetheless pictures, particularly the place the biker lands on the bottom after performing a somersault. To attain this impact, I first downloaded a clip with no digital camera motion and one other clip with digital camera motion.

To convey depth to the background, I positioned the props in a method that might give a parallax impact. I mixed each pictures within the video editing software and saved the biker within the middle of the body utilizing the “rule of thirds”. The shaky digital camera impact is a way that I additionally generally use when the biker is zooming previous the display. This took me barely 5 minutes to provide and it delivered precisely what I wished out of that shot.

Step 5: Sound FX

I consider that music performs crucial half to provide a dramatic impact on the scenes. So, I like to make use of copyright-free music from an internet site like the place one can obtain music of assorted moods and tones. Other than that, I regarded up some SFX (like bike roaring, brake screeching, and so on.) that might give my video an expert high quality.


Cartoon Animator may also help me to generate satisfying outcomes with out complicating workflow. Reallusion additionally provides FREE online tutorials for customers to entry at their on-line portal, making self-learning potential for customers like me which have to modify between day-job and nighttime hobbies. I hope with my story and demonstration of the entry workflow, extra customers will get impressed and begin creating extra 2D animations!

Observe Vivek Rai

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