Reallusion TV

Featured Studio - Totally2d

Tafadzwa Tarumbwa

My name is Tafadzwa Tarumbwa. After my high school studies I studied fine art for a year, and used myself animation skills to work as a Graphic designer/ Animator at an advertising agency. There I made animatics to demostrate TV ad concepts to clients. After two years of that I started freelancing, my first work being Salad Chick. This won me two awards; one as the Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) best short Animation of the year, and another as ZIFF 2009's Most Promising Film Director of the year. My first animation was a crude piece I created in 2004, Salad chick's success came years after with sweat and tears. After making 3 mini episodes of Salad Chick I was nominated for 2 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA Zimbabwe). This was now in 2011. Apart from Salad Chick, the other nominated work was an animated musical video titled Mirira. This was a huge step for an animated musical video to be nominated amongst regular music videos.

A Passionate Motion Graphic Designer, Animator, and Businessman

Q: We have interviewed you before as you are one of Zimbabwe's most talented animators who has had lots of success with CrazyTalk Animator. Now you have started making animations for business, tell us a bit on what motivated you to take this route?

I have been going to film festivals and doing a lot of workshops and screenings. Later I started doing comic strips and illustrations for adverts and over time my characters like Bla Suckie, Stunt Goat and the more famous Ambivalence ended up becoming household names through national television and my festival appearances. Suddenly it became viable for J-Boss (My script writer) and I to walk into a company and say; "If you want teens or young adults all over the country to notice your brand, then use Ambivalence in one of your television adverts." At first it didn't take off but we later found the right brands that suited Salad Chick's outspoken and shy-free personality. All I wanted to do was make her more relevant to the "real" world by getting her to talk about real world products.

Q: Your Salad Chick character has also been very successful, and now she is in the midst of a full-on television campaign for Carex Condoms. Tell us a bit about this project and if you had to first pitch a pilot video to win this advert campaign?

Salad Chick sold herself, the main character (Ambivalence) is gaining her own audience and we didn't actually have to pitch her much. All we did was show one of her short films - "I know you" and the people at the company recognized her and we got the job! People know her more than they know us, so she doesn't need to introduce herself; it's actually me and J-Boss (the script writer) who have to prove we made her. I love being in the shadows as it gives my characters more visibility and power of independence when people don't know their creators.

Q: Business animations and infographics are now popping up all over the internet. Is there a reason why you continue to use CrazyTalk for business?

CrazyTalk Animator (CTA) can do things that no other software in my arsenal can. We had to make that box of condoms sing in a very short space of time and I wouldn't have agreed to do it if I didn't have an easy-to-use software like CTA. Now the latest installment of CrazyTalk Animator comes with a Pipeline Edition than can allow AFFORDABLE motion capture to be done by upcoming/low budget studios like Totally2d. This totally changes everything.

Q: When creating animations for business, besides using CrazyTalk Animator, what are the other tools in your toolkits? And how long does it take to complete a professional 30-second video advert?

Because I now know Ambivalence like the back of my hand, it only takes me a full day's work to complete a 30-second animated video. The voice acting is done the day before, whilst the character design and rigging were all done ages ago. We now just upgrade her wardrobe without doing much rigging work. Being a perfectionist however, I tend not to rush and always give myself at least 3 days to animate her. With the new features that now come with CTA, (like the above mentioned motion capture) animating professional adverts will be as easy as moving your body. Now all Totally2d Studio needs are dancers!

Q: Besides being an animator, you are also a featured developer in the Reallusion Online Stores. Do you have any plans to create content packs for businesses and corporate use?

My Reallusion content store is going well, and as of now I haven't made plans to design content packs for business. In the future once I fully understand the needs and way corporate animations work then I will venture more intimately into business packs and more adverts!

To See more of Tafadzwa Tarumbwa's work and videos, visit >>
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