Your versatile software... ...for 2D animation

 

Interview of Mustapha Rami - September 2007

Mustapha Rami is a 33-years old graphic Designer. He lives near Strasbourg, France, with his wife and his 3-years old daughter. He works as freelance in many fields of digital creation.

About Mustapha Rami

TVPaint: Can you introduce yourself?

Mustapha Rami: I am known as musrami on the TVPaint Forum . I joined the TVPaint Beta Team one year ago.

You can also find me on the Creanum Forum I am in charge with three of my friends (Manelle who created the forum, Gwendal and Vent Sauvage). On this forum we share advices and ideas with the users of Professional Software such as TVPaint Animation, Flash, ToonBoom, Cinema 4D and many others.

TVPaint: How did you get started in computer graphics?

Mustapha Rami: I have been working in computer graphics for three years (since 2005) but in fact it has been near 10 years (since 1999) I create with my computer. One day, I was offered to be paid for what I have been doing as a hobby for years. So I thought it was time for me to start working as a real professional.

Now I am working as a freelance in graphic design, 3D images, animation, video and multimedia for the youth and communication design.

About Mustapha Rami work

TVPaint: How did you learn 2D graphics?

Mustapha Rami: I am an autodidact. Since the first time I hold a pencil in my hand, I never left it. I did not have the luck to study graphic design at university; I only received few trainings.

Evolving in the drawing environment, I used all the traditional tools, from pencils to spray-painting. The only tool I never used before was the computer! I had to wait until I got my first salary in order to buy a computer and be able to make my first trials with Adobe Photoshop. Since then, I only use the computer.

With my first drawings I was offered to illustrate a book for children. Progressively I started to get interested in 3D, animation, multimedia design, etc... I was also lucky to meet very talented people, around me and on the web, who inspired me, gave me useful advices and helped me to improve myself.

TVPaint: What was the first project you have worked on?

Mustapha Rami: The first short film I made was for an association. It should have been part of an educational CDRom but unfortunately it was never released. However this short film became a book and was publishedfew months later. I worked on this project for almost one year to finish it but there is not enough to see! You can have a look at it on my personal website www.musrami.com to make up your mind... but don't laugh too loud! I remember I used Image Ready and Strata 3D.

Since then I have made other better quality films thanks to more interesting software.

TVPaint: So you have discover TVPaint Animation?

Mustapha Rami: I made animations with Flash, Amapi, Cinema 4D and ToonBoom to be able to master them. Then I discovered Mirage (TVPaint 7.5) during the Apple Expo 2005 in Paris. After listening to Sebastien Miglio who introduced this software to me, I wanted to used it for my works.

Then after the release of TVPaint Animation 8.1, the TVPaint Team propose me to join the Beta TestiingGrup. Since then I use this software for the most part of my works.

TVPaint: What are some projects you have worked on with TVPaint Animation?

Mustapha Rami: TVPaint Animation has become a must in my work for real estate developer communication. Added to Cinema 4D I use TVPaint Animation to create images which represent flats under construction. It is also a very useful software for compositing, visual improvements and special effects on 3D stuffs. I can use it for still images as well as for animation or video.

I got the chance to use TVPaint Animation to create the whole pilot of a shadow graph style cartoon. This project is still confidential but you can see a short extract of this video on my commercial website (www.al-onedimension.com). This project help me to improve my knowledge and my skills on TVPaint Animation.

I also have a column in an online community newspaper where I can satirize current events.

Mustapha Rami and TVPaint Animation

TVPaint: What do you feel are some of the best features in TVPaint Animation?

Mustapha Rami: What I appreciate with TVPaint Animation is the possibility to create unlimited brushes and to animate, set and classify them in a personal library. Thanks to that features I can create for example vegetation, flowers, tree, etc... very quickly and without repetitions. Brushes created by other users are available too. It seems that my work have been realized in a traditional manner rather than with a computer.

TVPaint: And what are some of the main reasons you use TVPaint Animation?

Mustapha Rami: TVPaint Animation gives me the possibility to express my creativity without any limit. It is the software that adapts itself to my mind and not the contrary!

TVPaint: What tools in TVPaint Animation did you find most useful?

Mustapha Rami: I also often use other tools. I find them more efficient than in other well-known software. With the Wrapping Grid and the WrapBrush, for example I can model with no limit any image and so caricature faces easily. I can too quickly cut out persons or objects with different keyers and the Particles generator is very useful to simulate smokes, waterfall or even swarm of bees coming out from their hive. Thanks to the MultiPlane Camera I can simulate camera moves interacting with the landscape in a realist way. With all those features, added to other filters and special effects, I can realize a work worthy of famous animation studios... All I need is talent and money...

But what I find the most efficient concerning the animation is the Key Framer allowing you to smoothly move an animation in another one. For example I can make a character move after having animated his movements thanks to the light table (which is a useful tool too).

Moreover TVPaint Animation can load one soundtrack which can be used for lip-sync.

What is also really pleasant is that all the effects can be watched in real time. I do not have to wait the computation of the final image or make a pre-display in a very small window to make modifications.

So I use TVPaint Animation because I can do all my work with it.

TVPaint: Has TVPaint Animation improved your productivity?

Mustapha Rami: The biggest problem I faced was that the use of TVPaint Animation was difficult the first days. I have find in TVPaint Animation tools I already knew in some software before. However some other tools have a different conception, so in order to use them efficiently I need more time and had to adapt myself, regardless to the habits I got using other software.

Today I can say TVPaint Animation is really efficient. Thanks to it I managed to improve and to beautify 3D images or make animations which help me to impress my customers. Now I have a stringer reputation since I can show my real professional skills. It is really important for me since the only thing I have as autodidact is my works. I need it to attract new customers.

Conclusion

TVPaint: Are you currently working on any projects?

Mustapha Rami: For now I use TVPaint Animation to create a logo for a cultural association in Strasbourg, France.

I am also taking part of a contest organized by the TDT3D forum. the goal is to recreate a modern or past architecture realized. I plan to use TVPaint Animation for the post-3D stuffs since the environment can be in matte painting, 2D or compositing.

I also have another project in real estate where I will create images to help visualizing homes and which will be used for communication purposes.

TVPaint Animation is a wonderful tool to express my creativity!

TVPaint: Do you have suggestions for users considering or just beginning with TVPaint Animation?

Mustapha Rami: For somewhat who use it for the first time I recommend him to learn how to use the basic tools. The best way for this is to read the User Manual and then start working with it and learn how to use other features progressively. It is true that it will take time but it is the best way to learn how to work with a new software.

Moreover many professionals and users are here in different forums (TVPaint, Creanum, etc...) to help and give advices to the new users of the software.

Screenshots

Demo Real