David Arandle, A.K.A. ‘The Extraordinary Tourist’ or ‘TET’ for short is an Independent Artist, Animator, Writer, and Animated Video Producer.
He writes the blog – Animation and Video Life, detailing the behind the scenes of his own animated projects, as well as showcasing animation and video related applications, books, creators, tutorials and other resources for beginner to intermediate animators.
“Cartoon Animator is still focused on making the animation process as easy and fun as possible.”David Arandle – 2D Animator / Producer
Hello David, and welcome. Kindly tell us about the work you’re doing with Cartoon Animator 4?
I’m currently in a transitional phase where my business – Art Time Productions, is moving away from creating animated Educational and Corporate Explainer videos for clients, to creating original, independent, animated comedy and drama series that will initially be published through YouTube channels. As such we’re focused on establishing ongoing funding streams like creating Cartoon Animator content for the Reallusion Marketplace that we can invest back into creating our shows.
I have a number of ideas for character and background styles, which are new styles that I’m not seeing much of in the marketplace currently, and I think people would enjoy animating with them. The recent stick figure pack I released is one example, where there wasn’t much in the way of a well designed but simple looking stick figure character. Even before I started promoting the characters I started to see some sales.
With so many 2D animation tools out there, why did you choose Cartoon Animator 4 as the platform to create your content?
I’ve been a Cartoon Animator advocate ever since its very first iteration as CrazyTalk Animator. Initially I was looking for something that could help me animate my own drawings and art relatively quickly that was also fun to use. Since then Cartoon Animator has matured quite a bit, becoming a much more complex application, but still focused on making the process as easy and fun as possible.
The animation process is quite intuitive with more time adjusting things visually and less time adjusting settings in a bunch of properties palettes. While it’s not the most feature packed animation studio it more than makes up for it with speeding up my animation workflow and just being fun to tinker around ideas with.
From your extensive experience, what advantages does Cartoon Animator offer you?
I feel Cartoon Animator is the best platform for 2D, puppet style animation for independent animators. It has an efficient workflow that can cut weeks off of the time it takes to create an animation. Beyond that, I feel it removes all the limitations I had with a previous, cloud based application, that got me back into animation.
I have an entire back catalogue of animated shorts, many of which are conceptually strong ideas constrained by the limitations of that platform. The application only allowed me to use existing character designs (many of which were licensed characters) and pre-animated motions. While I could create hacks that would give me a little more creative flexibility, Cartoon Animator gives me total creative freedom on using my own fully custom characters and motion animation. I feel I owe it to some of the best of those animations, to revisit and expand upon them now I have no limitations with this software.
What’s your favorite animation genre / theme to work with?
Personally I like blending comedy with Sci-fi. Not so much your full on futuristic Sci-fi but more the Sci-fi that maybe is a time that’s not too far ahead of now, where the future is kind of tacked on to present day technology. I also like absurdist comedy that attempts to normalize a completely ridiculous premise. Not too distant Sci-fi is a goldmine of potential humor in that regard.
Do you find the process of creating characters and content for Cartoon Animator easy and enjoyable?
Creating characters and content is a fun process for sure. Creating them for Cartoon Animator has definitely become easier, especially with the introduction of G3 characters. I’m not sure I’d describe the process of drawing all the sprites needed for a G3 character as enjoyable (I’m not the kind of artist that draws for the love of drawing), but once you see your first draft of a character rigged and animated in Cartoon Animator it’s definitely rewarding.
While the introduction of G3-360 heads was a great thing, the new bone hands feature introduced in Cartoon Animator 4.2 almost trumps it for me… (you’re telling me I’m never going to have to draw 50+ hand sprites ever again… and I don’t have to give all my characters the same hand sprites just so I don’t have to draw 50+ hand sprites for each character… I’m in!).
What advice would you have for inspiring developers looking to break into the Reallusion Marketplace and sell their content?
Initially, look at the type of content you personally like to draw and animate and create a version of that for the marketplace that’s a little more generic in the sense that other creators will be able to overlay their story ideas onto your characters, props, and set designs. If you’re creating characters, create them in several different outfits, or create entirely new characters just by changing a hairstyle, eye colors, mouth shapes etc. This will allow you to build up a lot of useful content quickly.
I’d also suggest creating sets, props, and accessories, in the same art style and themes as your characters. Not only can you create these things much faster than characters but your buyers will really appreciate having a unified art style for their entire animations.
Do you have any plans for future content in the works?
Absolutely. Someone suggested I create stick figure dogs and cats to go with my stick figure people. I haven’t actually seen that too much before and I’m interested to see what I come up with (may even do a stick figure horse too since Cartoon Animator has template rigs for cats, dogs, and horses). I don’t want to say too much about other Marketplace content I have in mind but there is definitely room for someone to produce characters suited to more dramatic animation styles.
Learn more about TET Animations: