Ambivalence Society – PART 2

3D & Animation | By Tafadzwa Tarumbwa, Illustrator | 05 April 2013

POVO: How does it take you to complete a 30 second advert? 

TAF: because of time constraints and the simplicity in some of the scripts I was given three days to do as much as possible. In that time, you had to do as much as possible and to animate as much as you could in those three days to complete the advert.

POVO: And the first Ambivalence project? 

TAF: The Ambivalence project was my attempt at breaking out of the three day cycle by trying to show how much could get done and the first series took me three months to complete. In the three months, I worked on designing and coloring with 2D unlike in 3D where you have frame by frame animation to smooth the clips up as much as possible. The second project took me two months because the more you do it the more experience you get and you can work at a faster pace. Plus the new Toon Boom version 5 has new tools that will assist you to take off the pressure.

POVO: In terms of software and hardware, does 2D animation take up as much processing power as 3D?
TAF: You don't take up as much processing power with 2D which enables me to do my rendering with samples as many times as possible. 2D takes more time to actually draw the characters and animate it than it would take to render something that is 10 seconds long depending on the amount of movement which is the only factor in the variables. But if you have something with 10 seconds with average motion you can get it rendered out in a minute.

POVO: where do you see animation in Zimbabwe in future?
TAF: Animation in Zimbabwe is growing and a lot of people are starting to learn about it because most people did not understand the art behind it. They did not understand that we had guys who did sound engineering, the acting, character design and that’s why we are trying to build the Joint Animation Group (JAG). We are trying to get more and more people who are in different areas of graphic designing and visual industries to understand what they can contribute to animation

POVO: Is there a demand for 2D animation now or is it still difficult to get commercial work? 

TAF: Commercially we expect the change to come for as long as we continue to make these hilarious clips we are creating to drive demand and hunger for more content. Once you have a following of people who now understand and appreciate this, once the market needs this all the companies will be forced to shift towards that.

POVO:  Is the creation of TV2 on ZTV a better platform to create room for more local productions?
TAF: We are still to hear from TV 2 but we have tried ZTV and we were finding it difficult to get. In most cases artists have to make a pilot episode from which the channel would fund the production company to continue giving them more content. But with ZTV it was difficult to get material on TV and derive some the commercial value from your work at the same time.

POVO: Are the challenges because of bureaucracy or stiff competition for available slots? 

TAF: Its bureaucracy because you have some episodes that are being played there of certain content that they continuously repeat and people wonder where the film makers are. One cannot get value for their product, which is why we are looking for other platforms to unlock value from our works which almost all the Zimbabwean viewers can see. This is often a challenge, because a lot of people have stopped watching ZTV so, one needs to be innovative to capture the audience’s attention.

POVO: What kind of exposure is likely at the ZIFF?
TAF: At ZIFF you get a lot of exposure because there are a lot of guys from Africa and abroad. If you want to be in the film industry, this is the place to be for the endless networking opportunities and activities.

POVO: In Ambivalence have you delved more into the political than the Zimbabwean pop culture? 

TAF: I am more of a pop culture type of guy. I am in to dig out the humor that lies within Zimbabwe and try to tell as many stories as possible.

POVO: What do you think about Zimbabwe and the future? 

TAF: The country had been on a stand still for some time so the only way that’s left to go is up. Progress is now being made and a lot of industries are recovering and in the process the animation industry will be riding on the crest of that wave to carve its niche.

POVO: Is animation and Ambivalence on a website or it’s still just the Facebook fan page?
TAF: Right now we are still working around the website domain because we want to have a lot of content which are still generating. So the domain is running but the content is not yet attached. We want to generate as many followers as possible on Facebook then we can inform them about current events.

POVO: At ZIFF how will people know Ambivalence will be featuring there, is there any form of marketing

TAF: ZIFF does a lot of marketing for the films that will be premiering there. In addition, Ambivalence Society workshops and the JAG are other forums through which members are informed about such development in the industry. There is also a comic strip on the Facebook page for members to see.  

POVO: Any plans for the comic strip to go into print? 

TAF: We are still in talks with the H-Metro to have it in the tabloid as a daily fixture. We are also exploring other options as well.

POVO: Parting words for Zimbabweans?
TAF: We are going to keep doing as much work as possible to bring them the best quality and the products will always be coming.