Meet our Popcorn Animators Chris and Kelly, the creative brains behind our Popcorn Training characters!  

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and what inspired you to both become animators?

We are a husband and wife animation team working full time for Popcorn Training. Kelly studied at AFDA in JHB and Chris studied at City Varsity in CT.

We have a diverse background working in studio and freelance for the last 9 years. We've worked on some awesome shows for Disney TV, Nickelodeon, Netflix etc.

"I was hooked on the magic of animation ever since the first time she stepped onto a stop motion set" says Kelly."And Chris pretty much decided at the age of 10 that he was going to be an animator."

2. What exactly is animation?

Animation, simply put, is bring something to life. Animation has the unique ability to of making the unbelievable, believable.

3. How long does it usually take you to complete a new Popcorn animated video series from start to finish?

We treat each video as its own production as they each have their own set of challenges, requirements and demands.

Creating a full animated video is complex and takes a long time to complete, our turn around time from start to finish is usually within 1 to 2 months.

4. Who is your favourite character you have created so far and why?

Chris: From the original Something Phishy series it has to be Ian. He's a lovable idiot.

Kelly: I think most people have a soft spot for poor Ian, he was so much fun to animate, he had us laughing so much.

5. What's the coolest thing about being an animator?

Chris: The problem solving of figuring out the process of making a character move from A to B with personality and purpose.

Kelly: When everything you've worked on for weeks and weeks on end finally come to life. The payoff is often worth it.

6. And the most challenging aspect of your job?

We create training videos which are usually filled with technical concepts that we as artists aren't familiar with. We go out of our way to make sure we understand what we are creating with help from our tech savvy co-workers.

We try our very best to ensure that anyone can find our animations easy to follow and fun to watch!

7. Lip Sync and Body Movement how complex is it?

The type of animation we work in is called cut out, this involves creating a digital puppet which we can then manipulate into different poses. It's up to the animator to then bring the puppet to life by posing/drawing it from one key pose to the next. Once the character is animated only then do we focus on lip syncing.

It involves drawing a collection of the most common mouth shapes for each character then going through the audio clips frame by frame and applying the appropriate mouth shape at the right time. We have to make sure that each mouth flows from one to the next.  

8. What is your favourite animated movie?

Chris: It's between Toy Story by Pixar and Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli.

Kelly: This is too difficult to answer. It's like asking a mother to choose her favourite child!