Like many talented cartoonists, Ed Konyha also had a passion to bring his creations to life via 2D animation.
The chance to give motion and voices to his characters led him on the path to Cartoon Animator, a journey which would eventually see his animated short “Aussie Tale” selected in the AniMate Australian Film Festival.
” Making cartoons is my passion, alongside my other passion which is stand-up comedy. I like working alone for the bulk of the creative process and Cartoon Animator allows me to do just that. “Ed Konyha – Cartoonist, 2D Animator
Q: Hello Ed. You have a lot of fun telling your stories using 2D animation. Can you tell us more about the work you’re doing with Cartoon Animator?
I’m making quirky animated shorts that are just funny or silly. I’m not trying to teach any life lessons, I mostly just want to entertain and make people laugh with my cartoons. I work full-time in the telecommunications industry in a non-creative job.
Making cartoons is my passion, alongside my other passion which is stand-up comedy. I like working alone for the bulk of the creative process and Cartoon Animator allows me to do just that.
Q: How did you discover Cartoon Animator and what made you decide to use it as your animation software?
I saw a promo video for Cartoon Animator somewhere and it sparked me to watch every video on the Reallusion YouTube channel related to this software. I needed something that would allow me to take my character designs and short story ideas and bring them to life and I am glad I took the leap and bought it. I didn’t use it right away, but when things shut down and we were all distancing, I finally had some extra time to work on one of my cartoon ideas. I recorded the audio with a couple Aussie pals who I knew from the stand-up scene here in Vancouver… and as soon as I animated the first bit of dialogue and saw the characters come to life, I was hooked.
After using it to produce a four minute animated short with only one moderately capable animator (me!), a modest budget, a sound tech and two hilarious voice actors… and now getting the validation of having that short to get some accolades on the festival circuit I can testify to the power and ease of use of this software.
The real art of making an animated short as a standalone artist is to have a good idea that is just ambitious enough to challenge you and keep your interest to completion, but not more than you can chew and Cartoon Animator‘s brilliance is that it allows one person to chew far more than they normally could (or should)!
” Cartoon Animator’s brilliance is that it allows one person to chew far more than they normally could (or should)! “Ed Konyha – Cartoonist, 2D Animator
Q: Your “Aussie Tale” animation was very funny indeed. Is comedy your favourite theme to work with in story telling?
There’s so much seriousness and sadness in the world and can there ever be enough content whose sole purpose is to make people laugh? Comedy is a genre and style that plays to my strengths as a comedy writer (I am an aspiring stand up comedian as well). Comedic, dialogue-driven short stories are my preference. I like short sketches that establish a place and time and a scene where two or more characters come into contact and then I just let the dialogue do the rest.
Q: Do you find that Cartoon Animator has made the process of creating characters and content for your animations easy and enjoyable?
Yes! Because my short animation ideas are always so dialogue-heavy, having the ability to do incredibly fast facial animations and lip sync is vital and honestly, Cartoon Animator makes it fun. I do all the facial animation first, on three or four passes because the way I work, the dialogue drives the action.
On the first pass, I scrub the timeline, getting all the major phonemes in place for that chunk of dialogue – those are my markers for the second pass on the mouth. The second pass is about really nailing the timing and the accuracy of the phonemes – visually, it lags behind the sound by 3-4 frames and that looks about right.
I then do eyes and eyebrows on the last pass – the eyes and brows are incredibly important and I find that’s the part that many people neglect or don’t spend enough time on. So to summarize: I start by dropping in mouth sprites & phonemes and then the eyes and then translating brow movements on the final pass and it all goes very quickly in Cartoon Animator, I can do up to five seconds of detailed face animation in 20-30 minutes using this multi-pass process.
Q: What are some of your favourite features or tools in Cartoon Animator? And can you tell us how they benefit your work flow?
It all starts with the Pipeline version – it’s an absolute must if you are serious about getting fast, good-looking & professional results. The ability to drop an already-working character template into an image editor like Photoshop or my favourite, Affinity Designer and just match the folder structure with your own character and load it into Cartoon Animator and immediately drop high-quality, pre-made animations onto your own original character design is just awesome. It shows you where your design works and where it is broken and you can then go back to the image editor to fix those trouble spots. And of course the massive library of pre-made character motions is a huge advantage over other 2D animation software, including support for 3D motions which is absolutely insane.
Finally, the ability to quickly and efficiently output layered scenes to After Effects or another similar post production tool. Depth of field, lighting changes and effects are the cherry on the animation cake and Cartoon Animators ability to output layers for post is a huge.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring animators and developers looking to break into the Reallusion Marketplace to sell their content?
Based on what I have purchased myself, focus on your own style and make your look distinctive and high-quality so that it stands out. It doesn’t all have to look like Disney – it can look like a textured, cutout style or a retro, funky style that emulates old cartoons (shout out to Ward Anderson).
I love both Jay Ward (Rocky & Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody, etc) as well as Hannah Barbera (The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, etc) – what you love tends to show through in your own style.
Q: What would you say is the main advantage of using Cartoon Animator that really stands out for you when making 2D animations?
That’s easy – quickness and ease of use. I animated a four minute animated short working a full time job in my spare time in less than four months… all while learning the software. Honestly, if the rest of the tools in my pipeline were as efficient as Cartoon Animator, I could have done it in less than half that time.
Q: So what’s next for you? Do you have any other projects you are currently working on?
I am building a New York neighborhood scene for my next short, because I wanted a dramatic scenery change from the Australian outback environment from “Aussie Tale” just to have a new challenge. Three new characters are designed and rigged including a hung-over middle-aged man, a grim reaper and a cat… plus a background character or two and some moving vehicles. I’m still animating alone, but this one is definitely more ambitious than Aussie Tale with regards to both characters and background elements… gah! Please pray for me! Haha.
Q: Now that your plans for your next animations are expanding, what does the future hold for you and your work?
I just finished the script for another short and am hoping to complete the voice tracks some time soon. Surprise! it’s another dialogue-driven character piece called, “Death Comes Knocking”. It’s not as scary as the title suggests, except for the fact that the environment is totally different so I can’t reuse many of the props from Aussie Tale. Haha. Hmmmm, perhaps I will peruse the Reallusion 2D marketplace.