Freelance Artist Turns Napkin Doodles Into “ArtSquad” Shorts With NVIDIA Omniverse 3D Tools

As part of their Meet the omnivore creative spotlight series, NVIDIA just shared a fun new project from London-based showrunner, creative consultant, entertainment director and 3D artist Rafi Nizam, who used Omniverse Create XR and content creation apps from Adobe, Autodesk and Epic Games to create the animated spectacle ArtSquad.

Nizam started his career as a web designer over 20 years ago before migrating to content creation using extended reality and virtual production. he tapped NVIDIA Omniversea platform to create and connect custom 3D pipelines, for his new infographic animated series, ArtSquad. The series features vibrant 3D characters who form a band, playing instruments made from classroom objects and solving problems through the power of art.

An animator, director, character designer and freelance storyteller, Nizam is creative director at Masterpiece Studio and head of story at game developer Opis Group, and showrunner at Lunar-X, a next-gen entertainment company.

“The myriad of 3D applications in my animation pipeline can sync and group together in Omniverse using the Universal Scene Description framework,” Nizam said. “This interoperability allows me to be 10 times more productive when visualizing my show concepts – and I’ve reduced my outsourcing costs by 50%, as Omniverse allows me to render, design, layout scenes and manipulate cameras by myself.”

Nizam’s projects typically start with pencil and paper before taking his ideas to a drafting desk, where he creates a simple sketch, then focuses on pre-production using digital content creation apps. like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Procreate. Then he creates 3D production assets from his 2D sketches, manipulating them in virtual reality using Adobe Substance 3D Modeler software.

“Things start moving pretty quickly from here because VR is such an intuitive way to create 3D assets,” Nizam said. “Plus, rigging and texturing in the Masterpiece Studio creative suite and Adobe Substance 3D can be near-automatic.”

Watch Nizam’s character design workflow:

Using the Omniverse Create XR space computing application to lay out scenes in virtual reality, Nizam blocks character actions, designs sets, and finalizes textures using Unreal Engine 5, Autodesk Maya, and Blender software.

Performance capture via Perception Neuron Studio brings it closer to the final animation. With the extensible USD framework, 3D assets are integrated with the Omniverse Create application for rapid appearance development. Here, the character animation is enhanced with hyper-realistic physics integrated with final shots rendered in real time.

“Omniverse gives me an easy entry point to USD-based workflows, live collaboration across disciplines, fast visualization, real-time rendering, an accessible physics engine, and easy editing of predefined simulations. “, notes Nizam. “I can’t wait to come back and try other ideas.”

Find out how Nizam achieves this:

Read it NVIDIA-Blog for the full rundown of Nizam’s work.

Dan Sarto's photo

Dan Sarto is the publisher and editor of Animation World Network.

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