Turning Hosted Podcast into 2D Character Animation

Turning Hosted Podcast into 2D Character Animation
Turning Hosted Podcast into 2D Character Animation

Fortunate Planet’s self-introduction

Hello, I’m Lucky Planet. I’ve been an enormous fan of “WiTcast,” one among Thailand’s first science podcasts, since 2012. Their tales at all times spark my creativeness, and I believed it could be wonderful to visualise them. So, in the future, I reached out to see in the event that they’d be serious about turning their tales into animations. That’s how it began. The thought was easy: take a 3-hour podcast episode, distill it all the way down to its key message, and create a vibrant 3-minute animation. This challenge obtained its preliminary enhance from the Thai authorities media fund, which helps nice content material for all ages — precisely what we’re doing right here!

Designing the 2D character animations took a while. I sketched rather a lot till I discovered the right designs. To chop down on manufacturing time and prices, I gave the characters longer legs and arms, which made their gestures extra articulate and expressive. And, since they largely stood or sat in the course of the present with out a lot motion, this method was in the end the best resolution.

Meet Professor Almond, our most important host. He’s an alien devoted to unraveling the mysteries of our world as a science communicator and advocate. I drew inspiration for his look from famend science figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Invoice Nye. His facial options are easy, largely circles and squares, with distinctive rabbit ears to focus on his non-human origin. With broad shoulders, Almond defies the everyday scientist stereotype. His signature coloration is blue, reflecting his cosmic origins and evident in his selection of style.

Subsequent is Cookie, Almond’s co-host. She has no background in science, however desires of changing into a YouTuber. To pursue this ambition, she’s teamed up with the Professor. Cookie’s design contrasts Almond’s — her coloration is pink, and she or he wears enormous pants to make her decrease half look larger in comparison with Almond’s top-heavy body. We’re undecided if Cookie is human, since she has an enormous fortunate clover on prime of her head — a thriller for an additional day.

An important characteristic for each 2D characters are their large, expressive eyes with massive white areas. This permits them to obviously join with the viewers as they information us by means of the wonderful world of science.

The viewers will watch these two hosts’ faces for 3 minutes in each episode. In that timeframe, their facial expressions need to be fascinating and relatable. Largely, the characters can be speaking on to the digital camera or interacting with one another, retaining the 2D character animations dynamic. To realize this, I used CTA’s “” characteristic, which permits for natural-looking and simply managed head actions.

(3D Head Creator transforms 2D artwork into 3D styled characters with as much as 360 diploma of movement)

As anticipated, the voice actors actually nailed it on their podcast. My solely sole concern was to animate them as authentically as I might; and having identified them for years positively helps. I crafted roughly 10 mouth form designs, after which let the software program deal with the lip-syncing mechanically. Nevertheless, it didn’t fairly sync up completely with the Thai audio. With CTA model 4, I needed to manually alter about half of it. Apparently, in model 5, I’ve seen a major enchancment — it solely requires about 30% handbook enhancing now.

(Import a WAV file or seize your voice with an built-in recorder. An enormous library of phoneme shapes is able to be deployed in your photographs. )

Enhancing character movement with

“Spring bones” is a contemporary addition in CTA model 5. It effortlessly applies dynamic actions onto stiff bones, as seen in components just like the rabbit’s lengthy ears, hair, and the fluttering leaf. As soon as I animate the top and physique, the remainder merely falls into place, leading to 2D character animations which can be much more endearing.

The important thing lies in putting the right stability: Too many bones can bathroom issues down, whereas too few can lead to uneven actions. Cartoon Animator 5 affords a spread of spring sorts to fit your wants, from extremely elastic for exaggerated, cartoony motions to stiffer choices for extra nuanced or sensible actions.

Provided that our 2D character animations keep away from the exaggerated actions present in Looney Tunes, I favor stiffer springs. This selection additionally helps maintain the viewers’s consideration on the characters’ facial expressions. Organising Almond’s ears posed a problem, particularly with the 360 Head characteristic in use. At sure angles, the interior and outer ear elements transfer independently. To handle this, I needed to incorporate two separate bone units for exact management.

Behind the scenes on character setup and storyboarding

With the character setup full, it was time to dive into animation! I started by sketching out a fundamental storyboard to stipulate the timing and pacing. Provided that it’s a chat present format, the animation remained pretty easy. I carried out a respiratory movement clip as a default loop cycle after which layered on the arm and physique actions. Nevertheless, the primary focus was on animating the facial expressions, as they’re essential for participating with the viewers. It took me a couple of week to animate a single episode, adopted by one other week to create and combine the illustrations into the storyline.

The present’s manufacturing kicked off in 2023, and we’ve now wrapped up the primary season comprising 25 episodes. The response from Thai audiences has been phenomenal, with one episode even surpassing 3 million views on TikTok! This challenge initially acquired a lift from the Thai authorities media fund. Nevertheless, I’ve grander aspirations — I intention to dub it in English and introduce it to a world viewers. With this journey simply beginning, I’m within the technique of securing funds and in search of out potential sponsors to make this imaginative and prescient a actuality.

Should you’re eager on serving to this science present develop into a world sensation, be at liberty to succeed in out to me to debate potential alternatives. Let’s collaborate and share the magic of podcasts with audiences worldwide!

Comply with Fortunate Planet

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/luckyplanet

X: https://x.com/LuckyPlanet_One

E-mail: [email protected]

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