AJETOONS FROM NIGERIA EXPLAINS HOW SHE CREATED “AJEBO VS KPAKO” MOVIE

by Mayor Max in Articles

on February 11th, 2017

CGA:  Please briefly introduce yourself, your background and how you got into the animation industry


My name is Eguvwe Majomi Yugbovwre, but most people know me by my initials EMY. I am the Creative Director at Ajebotoons, a Nigerian based 2D animation company. I have always loved watching cartoons as a child, but I didn’t know I could make a living creating cartoons. It’s funny I never even imagined they were created by people. Anyway, in 2010, while in my final year in school, I came across Toonboom Studio, a friend had given me some tutorials, and that was the beginning of my animation career.


 Eguvwe Majomi Yugbovwre


I began reading, and downloading tutorials from Youtube and learning all I could when I could and in 2012, I registered my company Ajebotoons and continued practicing and learning. My first break was in 2013 when EVCL, an animation company in Abuja (Nigeria) called me and asked me to join them in creating “Bino and Fino”. At this time, although I was already creating some animations and making a little bit of income here and there, it was huge for me because it was a chance for me to work in an established studio and learn how things were done professionally. In 2014, I created an animation I called Aje vs Kpako and posted it online just for the fun of it. I was not proud of the animation, but it turned out to become one of the viral animation videos in Africa. When I realised how popular it became and seeing that people wanted to see more of the characters, I decided to redesign the characters and turn it into a series; right now, “Aje vs Kpako” is what we are working on at the moment. Some pictures of the characters from the series can be found on our website www.ajebotoons.com.



CGA: You mentioned that you had worked on several projects in the past. Can you tell us and walk us through making of the Ajebotoons, describing the process and some of the more interesting findings you encountered while working on it?


MOST EXCITING PROJECT: Well, I can only say that most of the work I had been doing were commercial projects, until I worked on Bino and Fino. To answer your question about my most exciting project so far, I would say it’s my upcoming series “Aje vs Kpako”. We are currently working on the pilot episode which is going to be epic! Of course I cannot embark on such a huge project on my own, and so I have partnered with another talented female animator who goes by the name Dayo. She is the CEO of Nory Animation Studio.  


Software and Tools


For the series, we are using software tools such as Anime Studio Pro, Toonboom Harmony, and Adobe Premier Pro for editing. We are using Anime studio because it’s easy to use, and it provides the professional look we are after. Same thing applies for Toonboom Harmony. Toonboom Harmony works best for frame by frame animations, and thanks to the new improvements on Anime Studio, we probably might end up using just Anime Studio.  


ajetoons


Challenges and Progress


The overall process has been challenging. So far, we have the storyboard ready, but the challenging part is the voice over artist. Because you have to be careful at this stage you know? Choosing the right voice for a character is important because that is the voice everyone will remember. I cannot say more than I already have on this project right now, without trespassing on some boundaries if you know what I mean. But, all in all, it’s been challenging, awesome and exciting at the same time.


CGA: Can we push the boundary a little and ask for a preview? Even one or two slides from the storyboard


Hahahaha… okay, I think I can show a little something. It’s very rough, but we are working with it. By the way, the storyboard was done by my very good friend and talented artist Micheal Okoragha. You can check him out on facebook, he has some amazing skills.


Ajetoons storyboarding


CGA: You mentioned that you partnered with another female animator, how do you find working in the industry as a female?  Are people always surprised when they realise ajebootoons is female?


Working as a female animator, I think I probably get the same treatment as male animators. The only difference is the initial shock. People are like “What? Are you serious?” Sometimes, I get a free hug (smiling) when they realize that I was the person behind the “Aje vs Kpako” video they have on their phones.




 CGA:  What advice do you have for anyone who is aspiring to become an animator?


ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS: I met a wonderful elderly lady recently who said she had watched my animation and she really loved it. She said she’s a writer and she would love to learn animation because she had some children stories she would love to see on TV. I told her if she is ready to make sacrifices, and spend hours in front of a computer with just a dream in her heart, then she should go for it. ADVICE FOR ANIMATORS My advice to anyone who is already in this business is this “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”. Be open to learning, and if at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0 and try again. A lot of people will laugh at you and tell you that you are not good enough. Be ready to accept it, smile, and move on.  



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