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Winner Tips & Tricks Interview: The Making of LuckyPlanet’s “The Secret of Figs”


The “Winner Tips & Tricks ” series covers practical workflows and techniques shared by winners from the “2022 Animation At Work Contest”. To let users see the full spectrum of the Cartoon Animator pipeline, we are introducing projects that received attention and credit from the community. Let’s now take a look at LuckyPlanet’s: “The Secret of Figs”, and see how he works his magic with Reallusion Cartoon Animator (CTA).

About LuckyPlanet

Hi, I’m LuckyOne and LuckyPlanet is my YouTube channel. LuckyOne is an alias I use along with a voxel rabbit as my avatar. In the past, I worked as a 3D animator for over seven years before starting this project. I have created several short films which were awarded and nominated in animation festivals like Annecy, SIGGRAPH, and Hiroshima Animation Fest. Unexpectedly, my career prospects took a turn for the worse when I lost 20% of my vision due to eye surgery. That was reason enough to put me off using 3D software because the interface became too complicated and difficult for me to read. I was still able to work as a producer and director for a while, however, I very much miss creating my own shows.

After a long hiatus from animation, I began searching for alternative 2D animation software with a clean UI that is simple and easy to use. I happened to find Cartoon Animator 4 (CTA4), through which, only took me a week to start my first animation project after watching numerous informative tutorials on YouTube.

Although it’s never easy to gather funding for an animation project, I stepped into the world of NFTs in 2021 with a project called “LuckyPlanet”. It had a clear roadmap for financing an animated series and creating an intellectual property business. Cardano—being one of the most eco-friendly blockchains—had a community that welcomed me with open arms. Thanks to them, I finally had enough funding to launch the shows on my own with twenty episodes on the way.

Why choose this entry topic? 

Dr. Tanthai Prasertkul and Linina Phuttitarn, good friends of mine, have produced thousands of hours of science podcasts. We believe it’s possible to create a fancy animated series with these amazing stories. “Scientific thinking” is what we want to convey through our show. Being rational, curious, open-minded, and eager to learn, are the basic skill sets that can help us overcome many of the challenges of the modern world.

Why choose Cartoon Animator?

Pre-rigged characters and facial animations are, in my opinion, the two crucial areas that CTA dominates. As a 3D animator, I can confidently say that these aforementioned facets take a lot of time in production. CTA makes the turnaround twice as fast with results that can compete with other 2D animation software. User-friendliness and large, clear user interfaces are a must for me, and CTA provides it in spades.

How I did it with CTA

Step 1: Script and voice acting

Since each episode of the original podcast is longer than an hour, they need to be cut into two to five-minute shorts (so it doesn’t take years to complete production). This was done by removing several jokes and extraneous information, then having the entire script rewritten to add cohesion. After the script was finalized, we forwarded a copy to our talented voice actors.

Step 2: Character Creation & Rigging

I collaborated with a friend who is a 2D character designer to finalize the main characters’ looks. We iterated on the designs until we had the look and feel that fit the story well and played nicely with the animation style. Thanks to the premade rigs in CTA4, we were able to take two character templates from the library and replace them with our 2D character designs in Photoshop.

Step 3: Character Customization & Animation

360 Head Creator is a very powerful tool in my arsenal; By which, took a week to set up all the facial expressions and provide the ability to make head turns, but it made it much easier and faster to animate the characters. With all the options out there, especially with the motion library at hand, I chose a straightforward process of animating each bone one by one because I wanted to build up a collection of custom motions. In keeping down this path, I should have made enough movement to create the entire series within four to five episodes.

Step 4: Scenes creation & composition & Camera setting

There isn’t much camera work here since the video is focused on narration. In addition, there are only a few layers applied in Adobe After Effects.

Step 5: Composition in After Effects

The characters are composed of basic flat colors. Adding several additional layers in Adobe After Effects can give them more volume and let them stand out from the background.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed our show and would appreciate it if you could subscribe to our YouTube channel and leave some comments!

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1 comment

  1. Love my lucky planet rabbits! Really appreciate you giving us more insight into how everything is mad, this was very interesting. <3

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